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Thread: Balance w/ macroalgae

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Balance w/ macroalgae

    Hi all,

    First time poster here. I'm hoping someone here has some experience attempting to balance an ATS with a planted tank.

    Specifically, I have a tank in the works and part of the stocking plan is to have some Penicillus sp. (shaving brush), Halimeda sp., Udotea sp. (mermaid's fan), and Chlorodesmis sp. (maiden's hair), in the display. I also would like to grow Ulva sp. (sea lettuce) and potentially a few other macro algae like Sargassum sp. and Gracilaria sp., in an inline refuge as tang food.

    My intent is to go skimmerless and aim for as homeostatic an ecosystem as possible. Based on a lot of success I see with algae scrubbers over the years, they've peaked my interest as a nutrient export mechanism. My concern is that by their nature, they are more efficient at nutrient uptake than the macro species and thus would starve the other plants.

    I have an attached greenhouse reasonably close to the fish room and a backup plan I'm considering is to enlarge the sea lettuce farm by routing through a large tank in the greenhouse, and harvesting sea lettuce for the compost heap as my nutrient export. I have a lot more unanswered questions about that method though since (to my knowledge) it hasn't been done much. Maintaining steady pH, oxygen levels, and temperature might be an adventure and I have no clue how big I'd need to go relative to total system size, so back to the established ATS...

    Does anyone have any direct experience attempting to balance an ATS with a planted system i.e. by adjusting size, flow, photo-period, or photo-intensity?

    I'd appreciate any thoughts, experiences, or advice anyone can share.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    If you are trying to get rid of nuisance algae, it will work. One the algae is gone, you can reduce the number of hours of light on the scrubber so that you don't compete as much with the plants. Not many people have done it though.

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