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Macroalgae and nitrates for survival?


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#1
MatthewStarr

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Hi, I'm fairly new to the macroalgae area and I was wondering, do they need nitrates for survival? I currently have a red branching algae, and a few types of caulerpa which I keep trimmed. I dose calcium, strontium and molybdenum, and also replenish which has trace elements including a bit of iron in it. Now they all seem do be growing great, the red branching algae seems to be more dense where there is more light hitting it and less dense where there is less light. currently my tank does not have any detectable nitrates, ammonia or nitrites. Is this good enough for the growth of my macroalgae? Anything else I should be dosing?

#2
C.I._Reefer

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I think you are good. And if you have fish, your tank is producing nitrates, believe me. Your macros are hopefully just taking it in as quickly as it is produced.

#3
altolamprologus

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Macros do need nitrates to survive, but your nitrate level is undetectable because they're sucking up as fast as it's being produced. If the macros are in the same tank as corals, that is a good thing and as long as they are growing you have nothing to worry about and should not mess with anything. If they are in their own dedicated macro tank, you may get more growth with higher nitrate levels.

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#4
MatthewStarr

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Thanks guys. I had to really trim off some of the grap caulerpa because it was choking the red branching algae. Hopefully I don't kill off the grape caulerpa by doing that. I doubt it though they seem to be super hardy even a tiny little root seems to sprout. Any ideas?

#5
altolamprologus

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Thanks guys. I had to really trim off some of the grap caulerpa because it was choking the red branching algae. Hopefully I don't kill off the grape caulerpa by doing that. I doubt it though they seem to be super hardy even a tiny little root seems to sprout. Any ideas?

You could probably throw caulerpa in a blender and each piece would grow into a new plant. Trimming won't even phase it

You're the type of man who passes by sports illustrated and grabs encyclopedia brittanica when you take a dump, huh?

Did someone mention Alto ???
Im GAGA for Alto !!

I'd give you a hug but you might stab me

29 gallon reef; 20 gallon angler lagoon

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#6
grmoore

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Iron will help your green algae, and Iodine (Lugols) will help your red algae. Potassium Nitrate (KNO3) can be added to boost nitrates if you want more explosive growth.

#7
MatthewStarr

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Iron will help your green algae, and Iodine (Lugols) will help your red algae. Potassium Nitrate (KNO3) can be added to boost nitrates if you want more explosive growth.


Thanks for the info :) I didn't know there were specific supplements for different color algaes. I have a red branching algae that i'm very fond of. Its beauitful but i've noticed lately its starting to get some white areas on some branches. I don't know if this is an indication that its going to die or if its normal. What would be the proper lighting for it? I have 3 watt blue and white leds over my nano tank. And currently the red branching is getting about moderate lighting. Also besides lugols what supplements out of all of them out there would benefit the algae overal, red and green? Thanks

#8
grmoore

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Thanks for the info :) I didn't know there were specific supplements for different color algaes. I have a red branching algae that i'm very fond of. Its beauitful but i've noticed lately its starting to get some white areas on some branches. I don't know if this is an indication that its going to die or if its normal. What would be the proper lighting for it? I have 3 watt blue and white leds over my nano tank. And currently the red branching is getting about moderate lighting. Also besides lugols what supplements out of all of them out there would benefit the algae overal, red and green? Thanks


Magnesium levels affect algae directly. Low magnesium around 1200 will cause algae die-off. I dose several different things to keep my water parameters where I want them - you can find them at the top of my build thread. You should trim off the dead areas with sharp scissors.

#9
MatthewStarr

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Magnesium levels affect algae directly. Low magnesium around 1200 will cause algae die-off. I dose several different things to keep my water parameters where I want them - you can find them at the top of my build thread. You should trim off the dead areas with sharp scissors.


Very interesting. I will sure take a look at your build. Thanks.

#10
MatthewStarr

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Magnesium levels affect algae directly. Low magnesium around 1200 will cause algae die-off. I dose several different things to keep my water parameters where I want them - you can find them at the top of my build thread. You should trim off the dead areas with sharp scissors.


I do have one question though. I saw your build and all the stuff you dose your tank. I have a fluval edge tank and its a mixed reef with macro algae. I don't want to end up dosing so many nutrients that my tank ends up being over run by cyano bacteria and other nuisance algae. So my question is what would be the most important items to dose into my tank to keep the macro algae thriving without it affecting the tank in a negative way? Thanks so much for your help.

#11
grmoore

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I do have one question though. I saw your build and all the stuff you dose your tank. I have a fluval edge tank and its a mixed reef with macro algae. I don't want to end up dosing so many nutrients that my tank ends up being over run by cyano bacteria and other nuisance algae. So my question is what would be the most important items to dose into my tank to keep the macro algae thriving without it affecting the tank in a negative way? Thanks so much for your help.


Keep the main 3 (magnesium, Calcium and Carbonate Hardness) at proper levels. Iron and Lugols (Iodine/Iodide) will help with green and red respectively. Potassium Nitrate will feed the algae. If you have fish or do regular feeding of your coral, then that may be all need to do to feed the algae as well.