Teach me about red macros and light!

Coelli

New member
I have red gracilaria and dragon's breath in my fuge and dragon's breath in my DT. The macro in the fuge is beginning to pale and some of the gracilaria is turning pale and/or yellow, while the macro in the DT looks great. I've only had the DB about 3 weeks and the gracilaria about 2 weeks, it was a pretty big amount from a reefer breaking down their tank.

My new tank has only been running for around 6 weeks and had livestock for 3 weeks tomorrow. It's a 65g with only 2 fish (yellow watchman and a 2.5" royal gramma), a few snails, several blue-leg hermits, a small emerald crab, and various hitchhikers like stomatellas and brittle stars. Plus various softies, LPS and SPS. Overall the bio load is very light so not a ton of nutrients; everything is testing 0.

The clumps of dragon's breath in the DT are looking good under Kessils (which max at 25% as I'm still acclimating everything to the new lights). The macro in the fuge is under a 90w-equivalent single 5000k LED bulb. Originally I had it on for 14 hours offset to the tank, but when I noticed it fading I cut it back to 8 hours. It has continued to fade.

Thoughts on whether it's getting too much light, not enough light, the light is too bright, the wrong color or...? I would suspect low nutrients if the dragon's breath in the DT didn't look so good - red with orange tips, like it should be. The dragon's breath in the fuge looks washed out and the gracilaria is worse.

Thanks for any thoughts and/or advice :)
 

Danyal

New member
the LED bulb in your fuge probably isn't sufficiently powerful, add another or a PC cfl for spectrum and more PAR.
 

brycerb

New member
I treat my dragons breath like a high light coral, it does amazing. Really pops under actinic lights.
 

Coelli

New member
I really should have mentioned (was tired when I posted) - the macro in the bottom layers of the fuge is still nice and red. It is only what's exposed to light that is turning very light in color.
 

Reef or Die

New member
i am curious on this topic as well. looking to grow red dragons breath in my fuge and want to make sure it shows the burnt red tips. what lights are people using successfully???

i know t5 will do the job because my dragons breath has perfect color under 1 blue plus and 1 actinic bulb. unfortunately i don't have t5's for my refugium so I want to know what is the next best option as well...
 

phobos2deimos

New member
The 90w-equivalent (I'm guessing ~15-19w actual?) LED ought to be fine for growing any macro. Red macros like blue light for better reds, get a bit brickish-brown when under white only, but that's not your problem.

My thought is that you don't have enough nutrients. The top layer of macros in the fuge are getting the most light and are accelerated in their death due to that. The macros in the DT and the bottom layer of the fuge are getting less light and so the lack of nutrients isn't having an impact as quickly.
This is just a guess - finzaquatics mentioned that her Dragon's Breath died off as soon as she started running GFO to lower her phosphates, and I'm thinking your case may be similar.

I grow tons of Dragon's Tongue under both chinese full spectrum LEDs and CREE 17w PAR38 LEDs in 3000k (or maybe 5k?) - the ones you get at home depot.

Also, how far away are your fuge LEDs placed from the macros?
 

Coelli

New member
The 90w-equivalent (I'm guessing ~15-19w actual?) LED ought to be fine for growing any macro. Red macros like blue light for better reds, get a bit brickish-brown when under white only, but that's not your problem.

My thought is that you don't have enough nutrients. The top layer of macros in the fuge are getting the most light and are accelerated in their death due to that. The macros in the DT and the bottom layer of the fuge are getting less light and so the lack of nutrients isn't having an impact as quickly.
This is just a guess - finzaquatics mentioned that her Dragon's Breath died off as soon as she started running GFO to lower her phosphates, and I'm thinking your case may be similar.

I grow tons of Dragon's Tongue under both chinese full spectrum LEDs and CREE 17w PAR38 LEDs in 3000k (or maybe 5k?) - the ones you get at home depot.

Also, how far away are your fuge LEDs placed from the macros?

Thanks! I'm actually trying to get my nutrients up just a little; I want them low, but I have a mixed reef so not 0.

I'd say the macro is about 8" under the light; it's in one of those cheap clip-on worklamp reflectors and is clipped to one of the supports under the tank.

As an experiment I transferred the dragon's breath to the DT in the same spot as the other ones to see if it just completely dies or if it colors up again. Not sure what that will tell me, but I'm curious to see which way it goes.
 

phobos2deimos

New member
Other thought is maybe it's light shock? I don't think that's been an issue for me, or if it's even a thing macros are affected by, but maybe?
 

reelredfish

New member
Following along. I to have dragons breath as for the way i understand it tangs will eat it?

So i am trying to get it to take off. Have a few small ones in a frag rack in the fuge and some at the bottom of the fuge.

All of them look fine guess time will tell hope to be able to throw parts into the display for the tangs to eat.
 

Coelli

New member
Just wanted to post an update!

After cutting the light back from 14 hours/night to 8, the red gracilaria is darkening up again. Also, it's been growing like crazy apparently; I realized it when I was flipping through it last night. For comparison:

When it first went in 3 wees ago (1/9); that's the gracilaria in the front and the dragon's breath/tongue in the back right.
16205829639_4e16424770_z.jpg


and today, only gracilaria, all DB removed to the DT:

16391130562_5da521f862_z.jpg


There's significantly more than there was at first. There was also a small strand of chaeto mixed in that's at least quadrupled. So I guess I'll stick to this lighting schedule and see how it goes!

The bleached DB I moved to the DT has not died; it seems like it might be darkening a little, and still has the orange tips.

All in all sounds like light shock.
 

Coelli

New member
Are you in SoCal? I could definitely give you some since it's starting to have issues because my nutrients are so low. :( The little pieces of chaeto I have are still growing slowly, but the gracilaria is very unhappy with 0 nitrates and phosphates. Just in case it's still light I swapped again to a lower daylight CFL on a longer period. Only been a couple of days so we'll see.
 

phobos2deimos

New member
Are you in SoCal? I could definitely give you some since it's starting to have issues because my nutrients are so low. :( The little pieces of chaeto I have are still growing slowly, but the gracilaria is very unhappy with 0 nitrates and phosphates. Just in case it's still light I swapped again to a lower daylight CFL on a longer period. Only been a couple of days so we'll see.

I'm in San Diego, and would love to trade if possible. Someone shipped me a huge bunch of Dragon's Breath, but *all* of it arrived DOA even though it only spent a day in the mail and came from Long Beach. If you'd be willing to pack even a *little* bit of DB and some Red Grace in almost no water and just wrapped in a wet paper towel I would love to send you some cash or some of my macros. I'm particular, I know :) Just having a hard time getting DB into SD successfully! :beer:
 

reelredfish

New member
Placed some of my dragons breath in the display this afternoon and thought that the yellow tang or my Naso would attack it. However that was not the case. My pink tail trigger did eat some of it but thats because he eats everything i put in the tank.
 
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