Lightning and Algae & sexually reproducing..?

Discussion in 'Biological/Natural Filtration and Deep Sand Beds' started by Raven, 8 Feb 2008.

  1. Raven

    Raven

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    Hi guys,
    I just want some information regarding the "good" Algea/Lightning and sexually reproductive workings of Algea.

    I've read somewhere that some folks are keeping their algea plants lit 24/7 to prevent it to reproduce sexually... :biggrin:
    1. why is this bad?
    2. How does this work?
     
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  3. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi Raven - A very warm welcome to MASA.....

    Here's my abreviated answer to your question.
    The "sexually reproduction" of macro-algae is MOSTLY directed towards caulerpa macro-algae. They tend to sometimes reproduce "sexually" by releasing eggs/sperm sometimes, during darkness...... This release of sperm/eggs can cause a major spike in the chemical balance of your water parameters.... causing nitrates/phosphates to shoot sky-high. This could cause deaths of some corals during this time.

    Therefore the suggested route of always trying to keep caulerpa macro-algae under lighting, where it can grow, and reproduce, by photosynthesis alone..... Then they work quite well as a way to "scrub" problem chemicals from the water (e.g. nitrates/phosphates).......

    The macro algae named chaetomorpha does seemingly not have these problems that caulerpa is blamed with. So, therefore the popularity of using chaeto, much rather than caulerpa, as a method of nutrient export....
     
  4. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Very nice explanation. Fenner and Co. reckon Caulerpa if managed probably is one of the best macro around. They also mention that when they go sexual they can wipe out the entire tank depending on how big your stock is. Another suggestion is pruning regularly stops sexual behavior.

    Also Caulerpa is a great food source but in moderation as it is known to make fish sick if they consume too much.
     
  5. Raven

    Raven Thread Starter

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    THanks

    Thanks guys!
    How often can this occur?
    Lets say for example that my light fuses and it's dark for - lets say a day or two - can sexually reproduction occr?
    Where can i get my hands on chaetomorpha? I'm in Vereeniging...
     
  6. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi Raven - sexual reproduction would not occur that often - it is just a possibility.... I have never in 3 years experienced this in any of my tanks....

    Raven - start a new thread asking for chaetomorpha, or perhaps add your request in one of the existing "chaetomorpha" threads.....
    I think that Galibore got some from Dean/Viper357 (Dean posted it to him via snailmail).... I am sure that someone in or around Jo'burg area can help you get some....

    Or perhaps if Mel has some (she is in Henley-on-Klip) - ask her via PM perhaps....
     
  7. Galibore

    Galibore Retired Moderator

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    Raven, nag Viper457 for some. And when he agrees, please ask him to send me some as well :whistling:
     
  8. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Yes, caulerpa will "go sexual" as a survival response, and after two or three days of total darkness it could decide that "the end is nigh". If you had an extended light failure it would be advisable to have at least *some* light, even just incidental light from a window, to enter the sump.

    The biggest risk in causing this problem is, however, not lighting, but damage to the plant's body. Caulerpa does not have cell divisions inside the "stalks" and "leaves" like most other plants - if this alga is damaged in one place, the whole body could "leak" out through the wound. The caulerpa then responds by releasing spores, in a bid for survival, and this sporing event triggers a similar event in all the other caulerpa plants in the tank - within a very short time they all literally burst open when they release their spores. The trick to prevent this is to either remove whole plants, or to squeeze the place where you want to break the "stalk" for a few seconds before you break it - this causes the internal fluids to "clot" like blood, and prevent the plant from "bleeding" to death.

    In 10 years of keeping caulerpa in my sump I've only had them go "sexual" on me once, and that was about 8 years ago, before I learned about the "bleeding"...

    Hey, I'm currently working in the Sasolburg area, and often sleep over in Vaalpark during the week - perhaps we could meet one evening, I always love to see fellow aquarist's tanks... PM me if you're interested.

    Hennie
     
  9. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Hennie, First person I have heard using Caulerpa. Does this macro have benefits over the safer species.
     
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