Chaeto Algae in the display tank - A workable method?

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We know you can't keep Chaetomorpha algae in the display tank as it's a non-rooted macro algae, so it just floats around. If you trap it under a rock, the trapped bit dies and it floats away, getting tangled in your powerheads.

I have a huge ball of it after being away for a week and not wanting to trim it just before I went, and while I was away, I thought "wouldn't it be nice if the Tangs could be in with the chaeto as they can just snack on it and keep it trimmed as it grows, a perfect ecosystem".

I thought, what if we used the kind of fine nylon netting that you get oranges in, to hold a ball of chaeto? It could be tied to a rock to remain grounded and would grow out of the mesh. The Tangs can keep it trimmed back like a hedge, and the main ball would remain fixed and protected by the mesh...

It sounds flawless to me. Can anyone see any potential pitfalls?

Taking inspiration from this kind of contraption for horses.


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T-Bone Tyrone

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Reply #1

I think it's a good idea, but imagine you may have to keep spare nets as they're not the strongest, maybe you could use a fine landing net from fishing.

Just a thought, would it be worth putting the cheato in the net and placing back in the sump until it has grown through the net and at this point it can go in the DT.
I should really sort this out!!

olyoz

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Reply #2

Ooo. I like it!

Steveanem

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Reply #3

Sounds like an idea worth trying!

On the subject of cheato @i-conica. The last bunch you sent me (a while ago) has been growing, then harvested, then growing, then harvested...but now  just sits on the bottom of the sump doing nothing. The light although not a strong light is the same light as ever. Even put a small power head facing upwards in this section of the sump to try and keep it suspended, but it still finds its way back into a corner.
I've just changed out the Rowa as I was having to clean the DT glass more regularly so I assume there are nutrients available.
Is it dead? Does it still appear green if so?
 :S

mav469

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Reply #4

I have an idea with my frag tank on how I'm going to grow cheats within it to try and populate it with pods for the ,a drain as well as the obvious nutrient advantages. Gonna put it in egg crate under the frag shelf. See how is works. Will upload pics when I do it. Just waiting on @jase to get his new light all up an running so I can buy / swap something for his old par 38s so I ca get the tank thriving as originally planned.

I do think cheato supplies so many benefits and if your net works would love to know as I'll try this in my dt.

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Reply #5

Egg crate sounds like a good idea.
I should really sort this out!!

mav469

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Reply #6

Sod it I'm gonna move it all round tonight once kids are in bed. I got some egg crate here so will see if I have enough to do what I'm wanting.

Jase

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Reply #7

Still waiting :(

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Reply #8

The more I think about it the more a cheato station, makes sense!
I should really sort this out!!

mav469

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Reply #9

Jase, you've been waiting ages, You're more patient than me hehe. I just had a play with my frag tank and don't quite have enough egg crate to do what i originally wanted so will have to buy some more.

In tank Cheato. I'm all for it !!

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Reply #10

@Steveanem Cheato goes clear when it dies and goes mushy. The chaeto either doesn't have enough flow to make it tumble (try cleaning the return pump or turning up if it's adjustable) or it's catching on coralline or something else rough. ?
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HK_Fuey

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Reply #11

I used to use one of those little bags you get for putting washing machine tablets in, and filled it with nori.  I just looped it over a couple of weir comb teeth.  My foxface used to rip bits out of the net and other fish would pick up bits he dropped.

Doing it with chaeto is a great idea.  Might see if I still have one of those bags about and give it a try. 

Could also use some of that nylon gutter guard to build a cage to put it in.  Could grow it all along the top/back of the tank, or even the entire back wall.
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Reply #12

that gutter mesh is a good shout, do we know if it's reef safe?
I should really sort this out!!

HK_Fuey

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Reply #13

I think it would depend on the type of plastic it's made from.  I'm guessing there's loads of types out there, so might just be a case of google what you find to see it it's food grade plastic or not.
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Reply #14

see it it's food grade plastic or not.

That was why I thought the orange/red plastic mesh you get oranges in would be ideal, as it must be "food grade".

Another question is; Is this in place of, or in addition to the chaeto in the sump? Should I leave some in the sump too, or just the chaeto in the net-bag in the tank?!  :S
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