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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V6 #132

Shireen Gonzaga wrote:
Shireen said:

> and with the help of your good circulation system, the
> live rock will provide good biological filtration.

Tom said:
 > You can do it without the live rock if you want.
 > A refugium can be veryu effective with nothing more than the Caulerpa.

Do you mean a refugium with  caulerpa _and_ aragonite?
Would you need a skimmer/skilterr for that setup to take out
the more complex organics?

If you mean only caulerpa, then I don't understand something:
what does the caulerpa suck out of the water? Isn't the point of
live rock/aragonite (that have lots of great habitat for bacteria)
to break down ammonia --> nitrites --> nitrates, and it's the
nitrates that get sucked up by caulerpa? Or can caulerpa also
remove ammonia and nitrites or other broken-down organics.

Obviously, I'm chemistry-challenged! It would be nice to get a
clear explanation about how all this works for a marine tank.
Calling Dr. Tom....  :-)


Macro algae species will take up ammonia directly as well as nitrate. They will also take up a fair amount of phosphate. Fast growing species like Caulerpa will out compete micro algae for these nutrients thereby limiting their growth. So they will clean the water for the animals and make it harder for unsightly micro algae to grow. You will still get some yellowing of the water with macro algae, but water changes can take care of most of this. I would also use a protein skimmer to remove unwanted organics, but if you have good natural filtration you don't need as big of a skimmer.

Tom Barr may have some additional/better insight than I.