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Old 08-31-2011, 08:32 AM
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Hi All,

I’m in a bit of a conundrum with my Caulerpa….

I bought some caulerpa a few weeks ago which I put into my Refugium. After a few days I noticed the grapes on the tops of the caulerpa was going translucent, almost like the green was being sucked out of it. A couple of weeks later the volume of the plant had decreased to less than half its original size. Until this point I had a peppermint shrimp and 2 dwarf red legged hermits in my Refugium, I thought the crabs may have been having a go at the caulerpa so I put the two crabs back in the main tank leaving my peppermint shrimp in there on his own, thinking this would solve the problem. The following week I had to go away with work for a few days, when I got back the caulerpa was dead! Don’t think moving my crabs made any difference so now I have two theories

  • My lighting. My Refugium is lit using a 7watt 6400k bulb which is set to run reverse daylight hours. In the top of my fuge I have cut a piece of Acrylic which is used to stop water from bubbling up and causing too much evaporation right next to my sockets. Is the bulb strong enough and the correct temp? Could the Acrylic sheet be filtering out all the “good light”??
  • Flow Rate. There’s not a lot I can do about the flow though the fuge cause this is determined by my overflow and return pipe work and pump. I have a Eheim 1250 universal which I have on a isolation valve which is usually open about 75% which means I’m getting roughly 330Gallon per hour through my fuge is this enough?
I don’t have any algae in my sump at all now but would like to get something I can maintain in there as soon as possible!
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:49 AM   #2
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I have caulerpa in my main tank and I hate it. I never had it in my refugium so it must have hitchhiked. Once it gets in your main tank it is an eyesore and a pain in the butt. IMO. I say this is a good thing and get chaetomorph instead you will be happier.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:52 AM   #3
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how long has your tank been set up? If it is new, you might not have enough nutrients yet to support the macro.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:00 AM   #4
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I can't grow macro. It just doesn't grow. I have a baseball sized clump of chaeto in my sump and it just keeps tumbling, but never grows. I also had a horrible bout with cyano recently. my tests say zero nitrates. Chaeto feeds on nitrates, so thats why my chaeto doesn't grow.
Where does nitrates come from? fish waste. So, after being told by people to keep my feedings down to a few times a week and too keep my tank fairly empty with fish, I'm going against the grain and adding more fish, and I'm going to start feeding everyday. I think I've spent so much time taking care of my tank, and keeping my water quality high, that it's too healthy for chaeto, which in turn allows phosphates to build up and allow cyano to take over. I also never focused on phosphates, and my plan includes running a phosphate remover as well.

Do you think the calerpa is being starved of nitrates?
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:01 PM   #5
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I have some Caulerpa in my fuge as well along side my scrubber and Mangroves. I had to trim it back some last night and got a good look at the growth I also had the grapes of it were turning clear but didn't think anything of it. I was also able to feed it to my tangs they really seem to love it, and the best part is if it does get in the tank they will eat it up.

Maybe your light spectrum was not right?
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:10 PM   #6
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Scott, What lighting do you have for your fuge?
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Old 08-31-2011, 05:21 PM   #7
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When it loses its color like that it's "going sexual" -- which means it's releasing all of the nutrients back into your water. I lost a tank to that while gone over a weekend, it released everything back into the water, turning it green, and killed everything in it, basically by smothering it.

You have to be very careful with caulerpa, especially grape caulerpa, because of this. It's a must to keep it trimmed, and if you see parts of it starting to lose color, get that section out. This is why most people go with chaeto in the fuge.
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Old 08-31-2011, 06:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRK82 View Post
Scott, What lighting do you have for your fuge?
The same light that powers the scrubber 2700k

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
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Old 09-01-2011, 12:38 AM   #9
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Thanks all, is chaeto the best algae to put in my fuge then?
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Old 09-01-2011, 04:31 AM   #10
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The best is a debatable term. It is one of the easier and safer macros and it does a good job of removing nutrients.its definitely one of the best.
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