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Cultivated Reef

macroalgae or chempure elite? BC29


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GOAL: to control nitrates and phosphates to allow for: coral growth, water clairity, algae control




1)Thinking of running a 2 part sump with media racks. Will running chempure elite and purigen remove so much nitrate and phosphate that i can not support my refugium (chaeto)?


2) RUN chemipure elite and purigen (seems to be the preferred choice) or run carbon and GFO?


3) If i add macro algaes to the tank display area (decorative varieties) will that be enough (combined with my fuge) to control nitrate and phosphate levels to control algae and maintatin a healthy coral growth environment?


4) Will BC29 stock lighting combined with 120W of TrueLumen LED strips (blue and white) support macroalgae growth in the display tank.


I feed once every 3 days and sparingly. i am actually concerned that the tank might not be getting enough food. I am hoping for minimal maintenance and optimal water quality. Go natural or go chemical. :huh:


Any and all comments appreciated!

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I am still relatively new to this, but I will tell you my experiences in this regard. FYI, content of my BC 14 is 20lbs live sand, 15 lbs live rock, an ocellaris clown, a rainfordi goby, leather, acan, duncan, 4 ricordeas, trumpet coral, tupipora, hairy mushroom, several other mushrooms, zoas, 5 snails (2 are nassarius), a peppermint shrimp, and a fire shrimp. I use only the standard lighting. I did add a koralia hydor for additional water motion which has been a good thing, even in such a small environment. My rock came covered in coralline algae, some of which has died off, but is still pretty dominant. I have mollusks that came on the rock, tube coral, and lots of sponges, tunicates, and little feather dusters that have emerged over time. So, lots of life to feed from the beginning.


First, my LR came live from the Gulf, complete with three different types of macro: halimeda discoides, some kind of strap algae, and something that looked like red cheato, but probably wasn't. The latter two types were eaten into non-existence by a red emerald hitchhiker and my turbo snail. The halimeda is still going strong. Given a research paper I am currently reading, I'd recommend some macro in the tank. I have both the halimeda (which I've trimmed about 30% since I first got it) and a small clump of green cheato in the back corner of the tank. Macro provides an important living environment for the various micro-forms of life in the tank. They also provide a site for detritus, which sounds bad but is actually very good and high in nutritional content -- the detritus is an important food source for some micro-life and for many kinds of popular fish, e.g. gobies and blennies.


Because I don't feed sparingly, but a bit each day, usually at least twice (mix of frozen marine fusion, freeze dried cyclop-eeze and flake), my system has a higher nutrient load than is likely good for a 14 gallon tank. My only real problem has been with cyanobacteria (this is after the normal part of cycling). I had a lovely outbreak for quite a few weeks that I tried to get rid of with reduced light and nutrients, but ended up going with a 1/2 unit of chem-pure elite in addition to the carbon filter that is standard with an oceanic system. The cyano didn't really seem to be harming anything, but after three weeks, it is very nearly gone. I've turned the lights back to a 7 hour cycle. The little cyano that is left I want in the tank b/c the goby grazes on it along with its sand-sifting. I've chosen to go with the chemi-pure/carbon combo b/c I do not want to back off on feeding. There are lots of different experiences with feeding, so mine is just one. I subscribe to the model that in the natural environment, our reef systems and fish would have some food available at different points throughout the day, not just at one time. So, I feed a bit twice a day. I've tried doing a huge infusion of food a couple of times just to see what would happen and nothing has ever remained circulating past 4 minutes. There are just too many things eating it. Again, this is just my experience in my tank. I have lots of filter feeding critters, so worry less about nutrient overload. I also can't stand not to feed every day! My tank is in my office, so no one gets fed over the weekend. And again, choice of fish matters. Both the ocellaris and goby eat off the rocks, but for the goby, this is a main food source b/c it isn't anatomically suited to grabbing food out of the water column.


So, I say go with both macro and the chemi-pure elite! In my unit, the chemi-pure elite came with two items in the "bag" -- what looked like good old fashioned carbon, and the gel stuff that takes out the phosphates. I know my phosphates were running a bit high, which is why I went for it. Thus far, the halimeda and cheato are doing fine. I like the green in the tank, and I like the fact that macro provides a site for culturing food that is important to the reef overall.


As always, just one person's experience, and someone who's only been doing this for about 1/2 a year!

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thank you for taking the time to break this down. The logic seems solid and I like the approach.


I ordered buy 2 get one free chemi-pure elite form FS. I am diving in the gulf of mexico tomorrow and plan to harvest a few macros (in accordance with FLA law of course), clean them, prune them and plant them in my display.


I intend to use the chemi-pure on and off as needed to control algae outbursts but let the macros do the bulk of the work.


After reading you info I intend to up my feeding a bit as well. Not over the top but bump it up a bit.


ill post results

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I've run chemi-pure elite with an SWC skimmer and chaeto refugium for over two years and if one thing has been stable in my tank it has been water quality. I have had periods of time when I have not done a water change for over 6 months with no problems other than limited coral growth (not health). It's almost like a stable ecosystem. I'm not condoning not doing water changes, I was just being lazy for a bit.


You should be able to run chemipure elite w/ a refugium with no problems. I also have a few macros in my display that are healthy as well.

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  • 2 weeks later...
chemi pure elite has gfo in it i believe....correct me if I'm wrong

You are not wrong -- the granular ferric oxide is how the phosphates are removed.

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I have a mixed reef in my BC29 with med level stocking of fish (1 perc, 2 green chromis, 1 bicolour blenny, 1 randall's goby+tiger pistol shrimp, 1 skunk cleaner shrimp, usual cuc).


check out shop.mediabaskets.com ... I got the the media basket running filter floss on top, purigen in middle, carbon and gfo bottom + chaeto in the back with the jbj nano-glo light. Works great, keeps algae growth in tank down

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