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Thread: Cyano reactor

  1. #1

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    Cyano reactor

    My 130 gallon reef has been doing great for over 13 years now. It houses LPS, SPS, some clams, softies 6 different doctor's fish and a plethora of smaller fishes. But my nitrates and phosphates always were a tiny bit on the high side. No big deal. And my corals have OK colours, not the brightest. But after al this time, I wanted to perfect it. So, I went with an macro algae reactor.

    I got the pax bellum N18. I filled it up with an initial dose of cheato algae. And four weeks later it was all covered in red cyano algae. Weird thing is, I have never ever, in those 13 years seen any cyano in my tank. I actually saw it with my own eyes for the first time in the reactor. I played with high flow and a new seed of cheato, same results. Low flow, longer light period, shorter light period.

    And the more I read about it online, the more I really really really want it to work. Not just for the control of organics, but more so for the other benefits.

    So guys, what could I be doing wrong here?

    Here's my specs:
    NO3: 2
    PO4: 0.03
    DKH: 8.3
    CA: 440
    MG: 1250
    PH: 7.6 (I'm trying to raise this... with the algae reactor. LOL)

  2. #2
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    This is typical of chaeto in low nutrient tanks which are not fed a lot. Chaeto is a weak filter compared to slime, cyano and hair algae, and so you are basically adding more food (chaeto) to the system and it is slowly dissolving and feeding the cyano. And for organics... growing algae does not remove organics; it adds them (glucose, amino's, etc).

    Try harvesting all the chaeto+cyano together, and start it again with a small handful of clean chaeto only.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by SantaMonica View Post
    This is typical of chaeto in low nutrient tanks which are not fed a lot. Chaeto is a weak filter compared to slime, cyano and hair algae, and so you are basically adding more food (chaeto) to the system and it is slowly dissolving and feeding the cyano. And for organics... growing algae does not remove organics; it adds them (glucose, amino's, etc).

    Try harvesting all the chaeto+cyano together, and start it again with a small handful of clean chaeto only.
    Thanks for your answer. I'll do that.

    Just to add... I just checked my NO3, and it is now completely undetectable with my test kit. But my PO4 remains at 0.03. So there is also an imbalance. I'm definitely going to have to start feeding more. And maybe correct the ratio by adding NO3 too?

  4. #4
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    I would just double feeding, especially liquid coral food, especially at night.

  5. #5

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    After doubling my feeding regimen, cleaning my macro algae reactor thoroughly and inserting a newly acquired batch of chaeto, I started my reactor again. That was over a week ago. The ball of chaeto contained a tiny spec of caulerpa. I just now checked inside my reactor. All the chaeto has melted again. It's gone. But the caulerpa is growing really very well! Obviously that means that the conditions in my reactor are more suitable for the latter algae.

    Do you have any more details as to what this might indicate?

  6. #6
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    N and P are probably still too low for the chaeto.

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