My Chaeto will not grow!


Do Not Listen To Me!!!
I have had the same size piece for like 6 weeks.

I have this light over it Coralife Mini Aqualight | Power Compact | PetSolutions

It comes with one 6 watt 10,000K and one 6 watt Actinic Bulb.

I am just about slap the chaeto.

From reading around I am thinking I should put different bulbs in there.

It is made for refugiums and fits my Proflex like a glove and the little tips on the bottom fit the groove exactly as it states it is for them in the description.

Anyway the bulbs are just like a tanks bulbs so if that is best for my refugium would there be a way to maybe get a better bulb for the chaeto and leave one in there for the refugium.

My refugium is chaeto and rock only.

Also there is a small water pump that blows water across the chaeto so it is getting great water flow. It plugs into the side of my hanging refugium that is hanging in the main refugium. See pix here.
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Yeah I had some what looked like hair algae it was green and small and I removed it and it really hasn't grown back but I know my Nitrates are high. Like 40 give or take 5.

Oh and I get diatom brown spots a little but mostly near the bottom.
That sucks because I got this light because it was for my refugium and now the bulbs don't work for the chaeto.
I have had luck with ones I got from Walmart....they're the squiggly bulbs, it's 6500K (I looked for this SPECIFICALLY -- I think something about this color spectrum that really stimulates growth), and 90w equivalent (or maybe it's 100 w equivalent...)...I think it uses 25w.

0004316885397_180X180.jpg GE Energy Smart CFL Daylight Light Bulb: 26 Watt (100W Equivalent): Decor

I previously had luck with a Brinks CFL floodlight -- it was 90w equivalent, chaeto grew like a weed. This was in my 45g. But one day, growth stopped. But I'm positive it's due to lack of nutrients. I had a very low bioload (I had maybe 4 small fish). I had problems getting my chaeto to grow in my 125g, and I just had to reconfigure things...added more flow to the fuge area, changed bules to the one I posted above, and I seem to be getting more growth.
I was just reading and the bulbs are only 6watts each

What the heck will 12W do no matter the spectrum.

Also won't the Chaeto be unable to suck up the Nitrates if it doesn't get enough lighting to use it.

If you look up the Proflex Sump it has a cover with a square of plexiglass for a splash guard. It woud be a big deal if the light has to go through that will it but what if the Chaeto isn't directly under the bulb.

I don't think that will make a big deal though.
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Do they provide a 6500k bulb? Maybe 10000k is just too blue? I know if the bulb is too yellow, you won't get as much growth as something that's maybe 5100 (read this write up by melevsreef on 2700k vs 5100k) - Refugium Bulb

It won't fit yours, but if you get tired of yours, just try getting a $5 socket from home depot, and the cheap bulbs, and see if you have better luck. It ain't pretty, but if you can't get your light go make the chaeto grow, might be worth a try.
No they only give you the 2 that come with it that are the same as the main lights would normally be.

But even if they did these bulbs are only 6 watts and that seems might low for anything to grow.

My thing was if the light isn't high enough to promote growth then the Chaeto won't absorb the Nitrates anyway.
My guess is not enough light. 12 watts of PCs is nothing. Buy a clamp on shop light from the hardware store and screw in a 23 watt CFL (squiggly) bulb. The light you have is especially not enough if your chaeto is more than a few inches away from it.
Go to home depot buy the 5100k cfl and start finding out who needs the macro it grows crazy under these bulbs and exports nutrient like you would not believe.Icant find enough people to take my crops
I just slapped in a 6500k CFL Flood Light and a small clip on. I did not see any 5100k but this should be good.

It sits about 2 inches from the refugium cover and the Chaeto is like 6 inches under that. Well maybe a little less let me look be right back......

Ok the Chaeto sits about 9-10 inches from the light bulb. I cannot get it any closer with my hanging options.

I really don't want to try to hang the light down inside the sump. I feel safer with the sump cover between the water and the light. I would hate for it to fall in the water for any reason on accident.

It can't happen if I am careful but it is just worrying me a little.

I see people with the light inches away from the Chaeto but I am hoping the 75W Flood can do fine at that distance. It is 5 inches of water so I don't see how it can't work just fine.

It sure is more than the 12W it was getting from the T5s. I just want it to eat all the Nitrates it can.
I kept planted freshwater tanks for years before starting up a saltwater tank so I do have some experience with growing aquatic plants, Wonton has covered much of what you need to know.

6500K daylight bulbs are the best for growing cheato or any other macro algae or freshwater plants, make sure that it is a daylight bulb, sometimes they might not list the range on the bulb but *most* daylight bulbs are 6500k, some may be 2700k so verify if you can. You can actually find spot light CFL's at HomeDepot and Lowes that work very well. If you have a normal CFL you can also get the reflectors with the built in sock for 5-12 dollars depending on the size at HomeDepot and Lowes like wontonflip said. Make sure you change them out after 3-4 months for optimum growth and don't use them for longer than 6 months. The bulbs spectrum shifts after that period of time and while you can't see any difference, your plants will know, trust me. I just use the old lights around the house as they are still fine for normal lighting. Actinic lighting does nothing for plants or cheato.
It is a Bright Effects R40 Reflector 6500 Daylight 75Watt bulb that produces 900Lumens. It is a flood light so the light has no backward lighting but I put it in the clip on light holder so I could have a way to hold it over the refugium.

I actually own some plant growing lights and if I had a way to put them on a refugium I would use those. They are phenominal for plants at least and hold 4 tubes.

This should work 20 fold better than the Coralife Refugium Light. I just don't understand the 2 6Watt T-5's. maybe they are good for a refugium that doesn't have Chaeto in it. Even Aqueon and Coralife recommend it.

I plan on getting a 200-250Gal next time and I will have the room for a 10-20 Gallon Refugium just for my Chaeto and rocks. I plan on making it custom with 2 chambers and have it go from rock to Chaeto and then back to the tank.

Well the sump will go first to the skimmer and then to the Refugium then back to the return pump but I want to have a separate refugium with 2 CFLs.

I like the Aqueon Sump I have but it is way to small for a huge tank. I may just copy the water entry system and then make 2 totally separate units for the refugium and then the return chamber.

Should be awesome and I may just build it myself. Will be cool but I will have to do research on the size needed and I will be doing all dry rock aquascape and since I have 160 pounds live rock I can use that for filler.

Now I just need $4000 for the tank and skimmer :)))))))
It's ironic how chaeto can survive in the cold, dark for a couple of weeks but we kill them off faster in our tanks LOL I know Biff mailed some to Canada in the winter, and it took a week or 2, and it survived...I was worried when mine took 2 days in winter LOL It was fine ;) Or maybe it was just her magic chaeto? :shock:
It's ironic how chaeto can survive in the cold, dark for a couple of weeks but we kill them off faster in our tanks LOL I know Biff mailed some to Canada in the winter, and it took a week or 2, and it survived...I was worried when mine took 2 days in winter LOL It was fine ;) Or maybe it was just her magic chaeto? :shock:

I think the longest package that I sent was nearly 3 weeks, and that was in November or December, to Canada. And yes, it amazingly survived. The recipient said it looked great. I have no idea how this stuff pulls it off...