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I've been on and off on both sides of the hobby (have done fw planted and sw, though I only have planted tanks nowadays). Recently I've come across a new trend of planted tanks which is macro algae. Technically they are not really plants but they replica the plant looks, though my friend said they look fake as hell, which I agreed to some degree. I'm curious if any of you guys have done this and more importantly, what do you think about it?
 

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It's not a new concept at all. I've done closed unit saltwater tanks using this method and I wouldn't put a saltwater tank together without one, personally. That being said I will probably never do another saltwater tank in my life so take my opinion with a grain of salt. Like everything else aquaria is, though, they are awesome until something goes wrong. I liked having copepods breeding so my fish had supplemental foods and I could keep the ugly stuff like extra live rock hidden from view.

* just noticed you're not mentioning this as a sump tank... I don't know how to feel about people making showcases of the sumps... Kinda weird to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's not a new concept at all. I've done closed unit saltwater tanks using this method and I wouldn't put a saltwater tank together without one, personally. That being said I will probably never do another saltwater tank in my life so take my opinion with a grain of salt. Like everything else aquaria is, though, they are awesome until something goes wrong. I liked having copepods breeding so my fish had supplemental foods and I could keep the ugly stuff like extra live rock hidden from view.

* just noticed you're not mentioning this as a sump tank... I don't know how to feel about people making showcases of the sumps... Kinda weird to me.
I mean as a main display tank. Take a look on reddit they have stunning tanks. I posted pictures but mod removed them.
 

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I mean as a main display tank. Take a look on reddit they have stunning tanks. I posted pictures but mod removed them.
Yea, I noticed that afterward, that is really weird to me lol because, as you said, marine macroalgae looks like green plastic twine. I guess it's an aesthetic and biological habitat some people have found an affinity for. The biodiversity can be incredible. Maybe if I were more into saltwater than I am it would draw me in, but, like I said, I've only used this style in sumps to keep people from seeing it.
 

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Yea, I noticed that afterward, that is really weird to me lol because, as you said, marine macroalgae looks like green plastic twine.
That's only the specific macroalgae, Chaetomorpha.

Here's a macro dominant tank I set up just a few weeks ago. Please excuse the diagonal protein skimmer, the aquarium lid gap is too small for it. I'll take it out for the next "aquascape" ready photo ;)
1028785

1028786
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I couldn't see it either. I did post some pics here (with the owner's name on it) but mods removed them because "it's not my tank". Meanwhile someone could post photos of someone else's tank withour being removed.
 

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That's only the specific macroalgae, Chaetomorpha.

Here's a macro dominant tank I set up just a few weeks ago. Please excuse the diagonal protein skimmer, the aquarium lid gap is too small for it. I'll take it out for the next "aquascape" ready photo ;)
View attachment 1028785
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I stand 100% corrected. That is a beautiful macroalgae display!! Good job!!!

View attachment 1028787

Here's a 10 gallon macro algae "lagoon" tank I set up several years ago. I don't know if you can tell right away, but I was going for a slight Iwagumi look!
My lord you make me eat my words 😉😆
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
View attachment 1028787

Here's a 10 gallon macro algae "lagoon" tank I set up several years ago. I don't know if you can tell right away, but I was going for a slight Iwagumi look!
Looks neat to me! Love everything especially the rock scape. When those caulerpa grew more it would be awesome in the background.

To be honest I like the clean look of this tank better than your new tank above, though both look great.
 

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I'm working on mine. Right now I'm dealing with a phyto bloom because I need the lighting period on for a longer period of time + feeding heavily since it's a macro+breeding tank. I like the look, and I think I like it better than the reef tanks. It's kind of a middle ground between FOWLR and reef tanks in terms of pricing so I like the cheapness of it. I mostly use macros as utilities to sop up excess nutrients from the tank. But it helps that they're pretty!
 

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This wasn't specifically for a macroalgae tank, but this guide for setting up a saltwater tank may be helpful on the algae front; Easy quick start reef tank guide – Nano Reef Adviser

This guide has a very interesting idea...keep the tank in complete darkness during the cycle, then add a fish but keep the lights off (not in complete darkness anymore obviously), THEN - after a month or more - add corals (or, in this case, macroalgae) and the cleanup crew. The idea is that since pest algae will not be well established by the time the CUC is added, the CUC will be able to eat the algae as quickly as it grows and thus prevent it from getting out of hand. I wonder if a similar concept could be used in freshwater planted tanks?
 

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This wasn't specifically for a macroalgae tank, but this guide for setting up a saltwater tank may be helpful on the algae front; Easy quick start reef tank guide – Nano Reef Adviser

This guide has a very interesting idea...keep the tank in complete darkness during the cycle, then add a fish but keep the lights off (not in complete darkness anymore obviously), THEN - after a month or more - add corals (or, in this case, macroalgae) and the cleanup crew. The idea is that since pest algae will not be well established by the time the CUC is added, the CUC will be able to eat the algae as quickly as it grows and thus prevent it from getting out of hand. I wonder if a similar concept could be used in freshwater planted tanks?
I've seen this called the "dark start" method and it's recommended as a way to cope with all the water chemistry mayhem associated with cycling aqua soils. It doesn't seem to be widely practiced, but I think the reasoning is sound and intend to try a modified version when I set up my next tank.
 
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