My Refugium and Caulerpa

Discussion in 'Refugium' started by MRK82, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. MRK82

    MRK82 Astrea Snail

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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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  3. djbonney138

    djbonney138 Peppermint Shrimp

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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.
  4. SAY

    SAY Ocellaris Clown

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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.
  5. chumslickjon

    chumslickjon Purple Spiny Lobster

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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?
  6. scott26

    scott26 Ritteri Anemone

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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?
  7. MRK82

    MRK82 Astrea Snail

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    Scott, What lighting do you have for your fuge?
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  9. SushiGirl

    SushiGirl Barracuda

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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.
  10. scott26

    scott26 Ritteri Anemone

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    The same light that powers the scrubber 2700k

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
  11. MRK82

    MRK82 Astrea Snail

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    Thanks all, is chaeto the best algae to put in my fuge then?
  12. loneracer05

    loneracer05 Clown Trigger

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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.
    1 person likes this.
  13. djbonney138

    djbonney138 Peppermint Shrimp

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    +1 It is the best for my tank.
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  15. Dr. Bergeron

    Dr. Bergeron Peppermint Shrimp

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    cheato could be the best but it really needs to be kept in a high flow environment from my experience. In my tank at work, I have the cheato stuffed into my overflow where it's constantly getting bombarded with water forced through it at 100gph or so. In my tank at home, it's in my fuge which has a gentle current going through it but not pointed directly at the cheato; i'll say roughly 40 gph.

    Cheato at home doesn't grow much, if at all ( i haven't trimmed it in 2-4 months), and is a dark green color; cheato at work is bright green and grows so fast it fills up the overflow on my aquapod 12 in a month's time.

    at work i'm using JBJ nano glo LED lighting reverse cycle, at home i use a combination of a halogen desk lamp from ikea (experimental) and a CFL floodlight.
  16. Renee@LionfishLair

    Renee@LionfishLair 3reef Sponsor

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    [​IMG]

    This is caulerpa when it's about to blow. If you see it before lights out, remove it then or before the lights come on. Ya only have a few minutes after the lights come on before you see this....

    [​IMG]

    I use a lot of macros in my FOWLRs, it really is very good at removing nutrients.
  17. MRK82

    MRK82 Astrea Snail

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    I think I might give Caulerpa a miss in future then. Im going with Cheato in the next few weeks then.
  18. silor

    silor Sea Dragon

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    +1, I agree here.
  19. rocketmandb

    rocketmandb Pajama Cardinal

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    When caulerpa isn't in a good environment for its growth it will go sexual and release spores out into the tank. This is what gives it the translucent look that it has after such an event.