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Cheato Lighting Requirements


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I have a HOB refugium with a couple med size balls of cheato. right now its recieving light only from my tank lights which is a 150w MH and 2 14w actinics. Im not seeing much growth and my nitrates are still hanging around 20ppm. Will my tank light suffice? Or do I need to buy a lamp for it? My MH are on for about 7 hours a day and my actinics for 12.

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Is your fuge getting direct light?

When we had a HOB, it only received the light we put over the tank, which clearly wasn't enough. It didn't kill the chaeto, but it definitely didn't grow. When we upgraded to the 90 and got a regular sump, we just stuck a regular old 100W incadescent light over it right on the chaeto, and it grows like crazy now.

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You definitely want a light for it, and leaving it on 24 hours seems to be good for most people.

It doesn't need much light to survive - I've got some in a tank with no lighting, just whatever it gets from the room lights, closed blinds, and the side of the MH on the tank 10 feet away that is still alive and green after months.... but if you're trying to use it as a nutrient removal system you need to have a lot of light to increase it's growth rate. I've got those JBJ Nano Glo lights (4x1W LEDs) and while they work, I could really use a bit more for more effective removal. It certainly grows and helps, but not as much as one might expect.

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