In some instances, other algae can reduce the growth rate of macros. This is due to competition. Suppose you have everything in your system just right for algae growth—a virtual algae paradise. Suppose also that there are other, less desirable forms of algae present. These too will proliferate aggressively. They might, in fact, grow a lot faster than your macroalgae. Planktonic forms can really discolor the water, stealing much of the available light. Benthic forms (known as epiphytes) can actually grow on top of the macros, blocking them from light and water flow. What to do?
In these cases, it’s virtually impossible to physically remove the offending algae. And, any effort to poison them would likely harm the macros as well. Here, the best option is ultraviolet sterilization (to control unwanted plankton blooms) and small herbivores such as hermit crabs (to control epiphytes). Be sure that your refugium clean-up crew consists of species that will consume only the bad algae and ignore the good. Moreover, purchasing only “clean” macros is a great way to start, since you’ll be bringing far less of this bad stuff home with you!
No more micro macros
Whether you use macroalgae for nutrient export or simply because you find them to be beautiful, it can be frustrating when they won’t grow. Fortunately, there are just a few things to look at as you improve their cultural environment. With the right lighting, adequate water chemistry, lots of space and few competitors, your macros will grow to be huge, lush and vibrant!
Can I Put Chaeto in My Display Tank?
The prolific green algae Chaetomorpha spp. has become one of the most widely used “macros” by saltwater aquarists. Generally, it is maintained in large clumps within a specially set up refugium. In some other cases, it is kept in so-called algae ...
What is the Best Macroalgae for a Refugium?
If you’ve decided to install a refugium in your reef aquarium system, you may have just made the best decision you’ll ever make as an aquarist. But now you have another important decision to make: What kind of macroalgae to keep in it? Which ...
Why is My Chaeto Brittle or Crumbling?
Good water flow allows the algae to efficiently release wastes as well as take in nutrients and carbon dioxide. It's very high surface area (the result of its thin, wiry form) helps with this. However, if water movement through the mass is weak, the ...
How do I Acclimate my Macroalgae?
The first thing you might be wondering is, "should I acclimate my macroalgae?". To which the answer is...Absolutely, you should! While macroalgae doesn't experience all the same types of stress that fish or invertebrates do during shipping, they can ...
How Big is a Refugium?
A refugium must be large enough to function properly. That is, not just keep a bed of macroalgae alive, but also provide enough space to allow for continuous growth. Without continuous growth, nitrate and phosphate removal ceases. Worse, if an ...