add some macro algae

Add some macro algae

Welcome to Day 13 of the 31 Days to Build a Better Saltwater Aquarium Challenge.

One of the simplest and best things I ever did to build a better saltwater aquarium was to Add Some Macro Algae to my sump.  I added chaetomorpha algae,(affectionately called “chateo”),  but you could certainly add any other species you can find at your local fish store.

If you don’t have a sump, that’s okay, you can add it directly to your tank. If this is the case, I recommend you stick with chaetomorpha or halimeda, rather than some of the more invasive caulerpa species. They will grow well, but perhaps too well.

Adding macro algae to your sump or aquarium does three important things:

  1. The fishes, corals and foods you feed them create waste. That waste is actually algae fertilizer.
  2. It also acts as a home for copepods and amphipods and will help improve the biodiversity in your tan
  3. You can also feed small amounts to tangs, angelfish, rabbitfish or other herbivores.

add some macro algae

The macro algae helps keep your water clean and otherwise algae-free by removing those pollutants from the water that would cause problem algae spikes, magically scrubbing your water.

There are even ornamental macro algae available today that look stunning in your display or sump.

Build a better saltwater aquarium today and add some macro algae to your tank.

This is a simple and effective way to keep nutrient loads down while simultaneously improving the biodiversity in your tank.

If you already have macro algae growing in your tank, sump or refugium, consider improving the biodiversity even further by adding a second type of algae, or even mangroves..






6 responses to “Add some macro algae”

  1. Chris

    Do you need a separate refugium in the sump? If not where do you add it?

    1. Hi Chris, thanks for the comment/question. Creating a refugium (defined area in the sump designed for this purpose) is potentially best practice, but some of us just have macro algae floating in the sump. Mine is where the water comes into the sump from the tank (farthest point from the return pump) because otherwise it gets stuck to the return pump.

  2. Hector Robles

    How about chaetomorpha that is already grown, could it be added directly to the tank? This is new to me.

    1. yes, you could. The only downside would be finding the right spot, aesthetically, but I have some in my display too. It grows, gets in the way and I ‘harvest’ it. Helps keep nutrients down and provides another small source for biodiversity. From your perspective, just make sure you’re okay with the look of it.

  3. Sandy

    I have tried many types of macro and all of it just dies. I have been told “that is a good thing” because macro needs nitrate to live so your tank does not have any. That is correct Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are all zero… Still not growing in my sump. I used a LED strip light on the side for light for a while and now have a LED in a hood.. Still nothing. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Sandy,

      thanks for the comment/question. How is the rest of your tank doing–what do you have in the tank and how is it doing? Is it only the macro that doesn’t grow? Do you have any corals–how are they doing? First thought is lighting (is there enough)? Second thought is water flow. Do you have moderate flow? Curious to hear your thoughts on how everything else is growing in your tank.

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