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Thread: Growing Macroalgae

  1. #1
    Curious Reefer
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    Growing Macroalgae

    Hello All, It's been a while since I've visited the forum.
    But it's good to be back. I have a quesiton about growing macroalgae.
    I want to grow some macroalgae inside my sump. I've got a good size sump and want to know how I can accomplish this.
    what type of light and types of macro i can use.

    Thanks, Terrell

  2. #2
    Master Reefer saxman's Avatar
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    Most macro will do well with plain ol' shop lighting. If you want to dial the lighting in a bit more, bet a tube that is around 5500-6500 K (color temp), as macro favors the red end of the spectrum. To help maintain pH in the DT, you can run the fuge lighting on a reverse cycle.

    As for what types, about the easiest is Chaetomorpha. It's easy to grow and doesn't really go sexual in the Caulerpa term of the word. To prune it, just yank off a hunk of the stuff (swish it into your DT to release the pods that are hiding in it before giving it away or disposing of it). You can also use various species of Caulerpa. C. racemosa (green grape) and C. mexicana (feather) are fast growers, but are classified as invasive species in many states so be a bit more careful about disposal (it's best to freeze any clippings for 24 hrs prior to tossing them).

    Ulva (sea lettuce) is also a fast-grower, and if you or any of your friends have tangs or rabbitfish, the clippings will be eaten eagerly.

    The reds, such as Botryocladia (red grape) or Gracillaria grow more slowly, but are pretty.

    We use several types of macro in our DT's and they really add a nice look to the aquascaping and really help with the water quality (we're FOWLR-ers ATM, so most of our setups are planted).

    HTH
    Greg

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    Grand Master Reefer CarmieJo's Avatar
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    I just want to second Greg's comment about using macros in the DT. I think they add a lot.
    Carmie


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    Apprentice sunny d polyp's Avatar
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    Roti's...

    Hello all, can anyone tell me if JRC is still on the forums, I had a roti question for him.
    Don't sweat the small stuff...

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    Grand Master Reefer Amphibious's Avatar
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    He comes around occasionally when he wants to spread some of his wisdom or he’s lonely. Haven’t seen him since MACNA last Sept. Send him a PM.
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    Apprentice sunny d polyp's Avatar
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    Wink

    Thanks Amphibious I want to pick his brain but I would rather do it in the open forums since he adds a lot of valuable info (hope that doesn't enlarge his cranium too much).

    Are there many here that feed their tanks roti's daily? I culture nano and tet about 6/gals to feed those little oinkers and only have 4/gals of plicatilis and I have to supplement because I keep running out of phyto. I was reading on another forum about feeding powered spiralina, I now supplement with Roti-Rich from FAF, I'm in the process of designing a system in my closed in climate controlled garage using bags to culture the phyto and 10/gal tanks to ramp up my roti production. My tank does great and I'm thinking 2 doses a day of the roti's may be the key and would like to supplement my income when I retire (3 years), what sort of equation can I accurately predict the amount of roti's when I begin to sell on line? The density varies so much from week to week, when I remove a gal from the culture tank sometimes there are twice the amount in the sieve as others, I want to advertise honestly and not be deceiving. I was thinking of selling them on line and to a couple of LFS in 12/16 oz bottles.

    Anyone that wants to start raising their own roti's I encourage it and found one of the most basic rules are about 4 weeks into the culture sieve the culture tank and start with about 70% new cycled (48 hrs cycling) culture water or they crash (my observation only) and crash quick.

    Thanks for this forum.
    Don't sweat the small stuff...

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    Apprentice sunny d polyp's Avatar
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    Wow...

    I guess no one else raises roti's, you all should get out more.
    Don't sweat the small stuff...

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    Master Reefer THEJRC's Avatar
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    lol I'll slink out from under my rock for this one...

    On culturing rotifers, most people going through the trouble are breeders so it's more of a necessary evil than just something to do. During splits or cleanup (methods vary but most do a 30-50% change daily or so) if there is nothing to feed the rots to they just dump them. Not too many people pushing them directly into a tank.

    The reasoning is fairly obvious, most rotifer cultures now are fed with prepared algaes and very few are using live anymore as the products on the market have improved considerably in just the last year. Culturing live microalgae for rotifers means that most will need several species of algae going to keep the nutritional profile of the rotifers good for the target feeder (i.e. fry). These prepared blends on the market are much easier and lower cost (when one factors in time) for most. Downside is that the cultures end up very high in nutrients and nasty stuff!

    Even those (like myself) that still use live microalgaes end up with fairly "nasty" rotifer cultures as nutrients left from the algal cultures and of course lack of filtration and high bio load (yes rotifers are in fact bio load) all play against the water quality. To properly feed our larvae and fry we have to sieve the rotifers to remove the nasty water, this would be the same requirement if feeding your tank.

    To shorten the answer.... no most people that culture roti's do not feed them to their DT's as the level of effort is pretty high. BUT... some of us do on occassion and the filter feeders tend to love it (Randy Reed refers to the rotifer as Reef Candy). I often add rotifers to my plankton drips (which vary dependant on whatever cultures I have excess of at the time) and have great luck, but it must be noted that my drips are done very slowly over time with the use of IV pumps so as to keep from introducing a single nutrient spike which could shock the system.
    ~J


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