In honor of World Ocean Month, we will highlight some of our favorite products that help to preserve our ocean ecosystems. Chaetomorpha linum, or Chaeto for short, is a favorite macroalga of reef keepers.
Chaeto is a well-known macroalga in reef keeping. In fact, it is one of the most efficient species of macro that we can use for assisting in nutrient export! So, it is no surprise to hear that chaeto has a crucial role in maintaining life in the ocean. Reef keepers know that one of the best methods to filter nutrients and wastes in the reef tank is Cheato.
By adding Chaeto in the refugium or algae scrubber, we get closer to replicating the natural filtration that takes place in the ocean. Macro is also being used by fish farmers to filter waste in the aquaculture system. This practice helps to improve water quality in the aquaculture system. It also filters natural seawater in the surrounding areas. Chaeto is also used in commercial shrimp farming as a nutritious source of food.
How Chaeto in Aquaculture supports the marine ecosystem
Seaweeds are a vital component of the marine ecosystem. They are primary producers and supply food for other marine organisms. This makes them a crucial component of the food chain. Seaweed serves as a nursery for young inverts and fish. They also provide habitat and shelter to other animals. Like other macros, Cheato has a vital role in coastal ecosystems. It provides shelter for marine inverts and adds oxygen by photosynthesis. It serves to sustain biodiversity. In reef ecosystems, seaweeds are also substantial primary producers. They play a vital role in the trophic structure.
Seaweeds act as good bioindicators. They help to assess the pollution level in waters for environmental monitoring programs. Furthermore, they are economically valuable. Chaeto is a primary producer of organic matter. They also produce atmospheric oxygen, as well as carbon dioxide fixation. Seaweeds like Chaeto have widespread ecological and biotech benefits. Chaeto is harvested extensively for various purposes. This includes aquaculture, research, and the reef aquarium trade.
Overexploitation of natural resources like Chaeto poses several risks. It creates the potential for serious ecological, economic, and social impacts. These effects would be felt on a local, regional, and even global scale. Cultivation of Chaeto has important benefits for the environment. The aquaculture industry is crucial for a growing macro which will reduce wild harvests. Chaeto is also used to naturally filter water used in large-scale fish farming operations. Sustainable aquaculture helps support natural resources. This is key for conservation and for maintaining a healthy marine ecosystem.
The basics of Chaeto
Chaeto is found around the shores of North America, Europe, and the Mediterranean. In nature, Chaeto is noninvasive. This means that there is no such thing as an overgrowth of Chaeto in the ocean. Its structure is like a tangle of hair or spaghetti, due to the unbranched filaments. Hence the common name: spaghetti algae. The color ranges from dark green to bright or yellowish-green. Cheato is a filamentous macroalga. There are mainly two varieties of Chaeto: unattached and attached. Fine, hair-like tufts sprout from a stalk attached to the substrate in the attached variety. Reef keepers have adopted the various forms of unattached Chaeto. They can have thicker or thinner strands. They all produce a shrub-like structure that doesn’t grab onto the substrate.
Cheato has stiff individual strands. Therefore, they don’t clump up in refugia. This allows for efficient water flow. Copepods and other small, helpful benthic inverts flourish in this habitat. They easily get a hiding place inside the algal mass.
How Cheato gets aquacultured
The most important factor for growing Chaeto in Aquaculture is determined by available light. Like most plants, if more light is provided, growth is more robust. Photosynthesis is vital for growth and collecting the nutrients it needs. Adequate lighting is a must! It is also suggested that the lighting cycle has at least 8 hours of darkness. The large-scale culture of Chaeto appears to be more consistent in using artificial lighting rather than natural sunlight.
Phosphates and nitrates are required for the growth of Chaeto. In large-scale Chaeto aquaculture operations, phosphate and nitrate are dosed into the systems. Other trace elements and minerals are also required for healthy growth. In large-scale fish farming facilities, Chaeto may not require additional dosing for growth. Chaeto is a great companion product to be grown alongside farm-raised fish.
Benefits of growing Cheato in aquaculture:
- They grow quickly in ideal conditions and are naturally hardy.
- Chaeto is photosynthetic macroalgae. They release a large amount of oxygen into their ecosystem. This oxygen will be used by other organisms occupying the system.
- Chaeto filters the phosphates and nitrates in the water and thrives on it! As a result, it keeps those elements in balance and keeps the system healthy.
- Chaeto acts as a natural filter and maintains the stability and water quality of the system.
- Chaeto also absorbs other compounds like copper and zinc ions. Due to this reason, it can even be used in wastewater management of industrial wastes. They also play an important part in the regulation of trace elements in aquaculture.
- The chapter provides an excellent habitat for dozens of microfauna! This is an ideal food source for the entire aquaculture system. The residents of the system gain an additional source of food, which helps reduce costs for the farmer. Chaeto has proven to be a great habitat for detritivores and marine zooplankton.
Chaeto plays a vital role in the maintenance of the ecosystem of seawater. The aquaculture industry helps to conserve Cheato by reducing the demand for wild collection. Chaeto in Aquaculture is one of the most widely used macroalgae in refugium and reef tank systems. It acts as a nutrient sink and filters excess nutrients from the system. It provides a safe habitat to other organisms like copepods. For all the reasons reef keepers love Cheato, it works just as well for the aquaculture industry!
Chaeto also provides oxygen for other organisms in the tank due to photosynthesis. The addition of Chaeto as a natural filter in aquaculture reduces costs and improves the overall health of the system. We hope this article has helped to explain how this amazing macro protects the aquaculture industry and keeps our oceans healthy!