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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Trying to stir up some conversation on how much Chaeto does a reef tank need?

I think after the release of the BRS video and their experiment on how effective Cheato is, I would like to know how much do you really need?

Its a balance act, PO4 to low or to high you SPS losses coral or it can die out. So is it really effective to fill out a huge spot of your sump for Chaeto? Insert the new wave of Chaeto reactors, small compact areas that are able to grow Chaeto fast with out taking up a large space.

Would be like to see the science behind how much a reactor size of Chaeto can export nutrients compared to say a sump type setting. Would like to see the size tank you are running compared to how much Chaeto you have.
 

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Well,.. The more you have, the faster it can (potentially) increase in volume, and the more phosphate it can remove.

But there are other limiting factors. In a sump you are only lighting from above, which means only the top few inches are getting enough light to grow effectively. In a reactor it is being lit all around the algae. CO2 is also often limiting, and more importantly how effectively CO2 gets to the plant. Most sumps are very slow flow, and because water produces a substantial boundary layer around plants this would effect how much CO2 they can actually get. In a reactor with high flow going through it this would be less because the flow would decrease that boundary layer. You could do the same thing with powerheads.

That being said, I think there is more at play here than the amount of algae.

It's also worth noting that I've seen references to where Phosphate becomes limiting to algae being around 0.03. This is my target for P04 in my tank, and I think it tends to indicate that it's impossible for algae to reduce p04 so much that it would limit or bleach corals alone.

Whiskey
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So its it possible for a reactor to out produce a traditional chaeto sump, which is larger, because you have more light hitting the surface of the chaeto?

I also think the reactor lights produce more PAR because they are much closer to the light.

Would be a good test to see how much each would perform. Say could 1/2 cup of chaeto in a reactor produce better than say two cups from a traditional sump?
 

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My cheato is actually getting more PAR than my SPS coral. There seems to be no upper limit, at least not one I've found.

Still though, it was not enough to keep my PO4 down long term. Though it surely helped, it depleted my N03 faster. It's growth took an uptick when I started dosing NO3 but I had to add Phosban anyway because I struggled to keep it below 0.1 without. Now I'm down to 0.03 where I should be in an SPS tank. I'm still dosing NO3. Interestingly my Cheato is still growing (though slower) which leads me to believe that I at least have periods of time when my PO4 is much higher.

My Acro growth has taken an uptick since lowering PO4 though, and the color is coming back.

Whiskey
 

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Old thread, but I've done this!!! The one I chose wasn't great and they kept failing every few months, but as far as growing Macro goes, it does work! I think Tunze makes one for this purpose now, if I were to do it again I'd use that one. In fact I might use that and underlight my traditional refugium as well as the overhead light one day to see if I get better performance out of the algae.

Whiskey
 
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