more newbie questions


New member
Hi All,

A few more newbie questions from someone who doesnt know a lot about plants and refugia

I have a mix of caulerpa and cheato in my 55 gallon "fuge". The area is lit with 3 screw-in compact flourescent bulbs on a 12 hour timer. These bulbs really put out a lot of light. Flow is provided by from a maxi-mod. My caulerpa grows like a weed, and the cheato seems to grow much slower.

The caulerpa seems to run to the surface of the tank. When it hits the top, it tends to float and create a mat. Once caulerpa mats on the surface, a combination of cyano(?) and hair algea grow into the mat creating a structure that is quite resistant to surface agitation.

My cheato seems to grow better where it is shaded by other stuff. It tends to do better underneath those matted areas. However, it keeps getting overtaken by the caulerpa which really grows well. Everything is crawling with pods and bristleworms. I never touch anything in my refugium without gloves.

Recently I started dosing some iron gluconate. This appears to have caused the cheato to green up considerably, but I don't see the explosive growth rates that people describe. I would bet that my cheato takes several months to double.

I would like to make my system more-cheato and less-caulerpa for obvious reasons. Is there such a thing as too much light for cheato? Is there anything I can do to further promote the cheato growth?