Chaetomorpha / Chaeto

Chaetomorpha / Chaeto 

Chaetomorpha or often called Chaeto / Cheato is a very popular macro algae which is widely used in the sump or a planted refugium to reduce the nitrate and phosphate level in the marine aquarium for a more clean water environment. 

There are more than 20 different species of Chaetomorpha / Chaeto macro algae species available and we sell three different Chaeto algae species , sustainable UK grown,  at the moment.

The first Chaeto macro algae species we offer features a thick, dark green tangled mass of filaments, which looks like long strings. 
This Chaeto algae species is not palatable. Herbivore marine fishes may try to eat it, but often they can not digest it. It is a great macroalgae species as well for low nutrients tanks as although it grows rather medium fast it is more stable than some other Chaetomorpha algae species, especially when your reef tank runs very low on Nutrients for a period of time.

The second Cheatomorpha macro algae species we offer has medium thick strings and grows at a much faster rate than the above mentioned thick Chaeto algae species. It is an excellent macroalgae choice when it comes to effectively lowering the NItrate & Phosphate level in the reef tank, eg. for Nutrients export, but it does not stand well when the nutrients are very low, especially Nitrate & Phosphate, as this Chaeto grows very fast it needs always good nutrients level, otherwise it will starve and may die off. Using a specialised fertiliser for the marine aquarium will help to avoid this, like Seachem Flourish. Please note that when your Nitrate is below 3 ppm and/or your Phosphate is below 0.02 ppm you might need to add as well Nitrate and Phosphate to your tank to keep this macroalgae growing well.

The third Chaetomorpha algae we offer is palatable and very, very thin. Especially algae-eating marine fishes like the Fox Face Fish and Tang species like the Yellow Tang and The Blue Tang will love to eat this. It is medium fast growing and needs even more than the medium thick Chaeto species, always enough nutrients available, or it will collapse and die off. It prefers as well regular Iodine and Iron dosing.

All the Chaeto macroalgae we sell are sustainable grown in the UK in Fish & Copper free Tanks for a disease-free premium clean macroalgae quality.
This said, they might come with hitchhikers not limited to Copepods and Rotifers, as those beneficial critters love the protected environment of our planted marine tanks.

We recommend this macroalgae when you like the idea of having algae growing to reduce Nutrients like Phosphate / Nitrate and at the same time to have -depending on the Chaetomorpha species you have chosen -  a natural algae food source growing for your fishes.

Chaeto macroalgae, in general, are quite stable macroalgae, which will not cause any problems like some Caulerpa species, which might go sexual, and as it is noninvasive you will not have the problem like with invasive macroalgae which might overgrow a reef tank. 

By removing the excessive growth of the Chaeto out of the tank, the nutrients Chaeto used to grow out of the marine water, mainly Nitrate and Phosphate will be removed effectively.
As these macroalgae don't attach themselves it is as well very easy to remove them from the aquarium again or to thin it out.

Chaetomorpha is also known to host beneficial copepods, amphipods and rotifers which can be used as a food source for corals and animals within the aquarium.

Chaeto prefers a more red-light colour spectrum to grow well, opposite to a lot of the marine macroalgae we offer, which prefer a light colour around 6500k and we recommend to let it tumble around in the refugium, so it gets good light and doesn't collect any detritus.

If you like to read more about how to grow Chaetomorpha successfully read more HERE

Dosing Nutrients /Minerals for an optimized macroalgae growth

Should you experience a sudden reduction in growth of your Chaeto or is it not growing well at all most likely you will have not enough of necessary minerals for it to grow, assuming you have proper lighting for your Chaeto in use. BTW Chaeto prefers a more reddish light to grow strong opposite to some other macroalgae species like Caulerpa.

In this case it can be beneficial to dose nutrients extra to your marine aquarium to improve the growth of the macroalgae.

We recommend for this especially two plant fertilizer for this:

1) Brightwell Chaetogro, which is formulated especially for the use in the marine aquarium and does not include any Phosphate, Nitrate or Copper.

2) Seachem Flourish Comprehensive which if widely used and just has a minor part of Nitrate, Phosphate plus a very small amount of Copper.

If you have a densely planted Reef Tank or planted Refugium it might be necessary to add extra Nitrate and Phosphate, depending on your water levels. 

You can read more about Fertilizer for the planted Tank HERE

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