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FAQs about Brown/Phaeophyte Algae/Kelp 2

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Dictyota sp. .

Scroll Algae Problem - 09/26/06 Hello, <<Howdy>> Ugly brown scroll algae is taking over my tank... does anything eat it? <<Hmm...if a Padina species it is rather calcareous...an urchin perhaps>> What should I do? <<Would be rather drastic, but you could remove the afflicted rocks and scrub with "fresh" water...or remove/replace the rock altogether>> Thank you, Dan Kowalski <<Regards, Eric Russell>>

Lobophora control- I found the answer! Nasos    6/14/06 Hi Bob: <Paul> After 1 year of searching for the control of a serious outbreak of Lobophora <Brown Wafer Algae for browsers> I have finally found the answer.  No it is not pulling out by hand (been there, done that) nor is it some exotic sea urchin (I've tried many different species).  No, the answer is as simple as the common Naso Tang. <Heeee! I have some pix of "intertidal" Naso lituratus in Hawai'i... yes, with their heads out of the water, munching on "Limu" brown/Phaeophyte algae on the shoreline...> I read recently that someone had success with a Naso tang clearing out Lobophora within 1 month.  It works!  I purchased a blonde Naso Tang last week and he has not stopped working on the Lobophora since.  I think the reason why many reefers are reluctant to try the Naso is for fear that if they don't do the job, they are stuck with a fish that will eventually get too big for their tank.  I myself only have a 90 gal tank. I was willing to take the chance rather than see all my rock continue to me smothered with the Lobophora.  There are plenty of small Naso Tangs on the market, you just have to look around and be patient until you find one that's not too big.  I was lucky enough to find one around 3" from head to tail.  I figure I will get a good year or so before he may have to relocate.  I am confident that by that time, there won't be a piece of Lobophora in sight.  In fact, in the past week he has cleared out about 25% of it and is working on the rest every day. By the way, he shares the 90 gal reef with a 4" Yellow Tang and a 2" Hippo Tang.  I am sure you will have fun with that one! <Can be done... particularly where one or more is "occupied" as here> Neither of these tangs will touch the Lobophora.  The Naso tang, which apparently has a diet that consists of mainly brown algae in the wild, loves this stuff. I hope you will post this email. <We post all> It may help out many frustrated reefers that are plagued with this algae.  I have even seen some posts with reefers resorting to pulling out all there rock and scrubbing it. Good grief! Thanks again Bob for all your help on other issues throughout the years.   <Thank you for sharing, writing so well. Cheers, Bob Fenner>  

Algae killing my corals   5/26/06 Hello, I'm moving in a few days and will be tearing down & reassembling the tank. Right now I have time to do what will be necessary to kill/remove these algae (if possible). This is what it looks like: http://www.botany.ubc.ca/people/rob/plate4.html (pictures b & c). <Mmm, looks like some sort of Dictyota species...> This algae hitch hiked on my Walt Smith Fiji live rock from 1 1/2 years ago. I have been trying to keep it in check by weekly plucking. however, when I pluck, a few errant leaves drift about and reattach to anything they land on including corals (even the fleshy parts), sea cucumber, sand & shells ( I guess that's everything except the fish). Attempts to further pluck always leaves a small portion attached that re-grows even when I use a course bristle brush. It is slowly taking over my tank and becoming impossible to remove from corals because the method of removal will kill the polyps or scar the affected creature. This coral grows best under high water flow but will grow anywhere there is light. The only thing helping the situation is my urchin who scrapes the rock clean where ever he passes but he only comes out at night so his aid is minimal and so far I've found nothing else that has an appetite for this plant. I don't know what to do. Each weeding session is taking longer and becoming less effective. All other aspects of my reef keeping have been successful and all the water quality tests are outstanding. I'm at a loss; I hope you can help me. Joshua Mansinon <Do you have room for a Naso species Tang? This is my first choice in control organisms for phaeophytes as this. Bob Fenner>

Re: Algae killing my corals (attn Bob Fenner) I swear I'm not doing it!   5/27/06 Bob Thank you for the quick response. Unfortunately I don't have the room for a Naso Tang, my tank is only 40g so size is a factor. Do you know of any other creature that can help? <Mmm... well, there are a number of mainly other fishes and gastropods that do... but of animals that are readily available in the trade to try... perhaps a Salarias or Atrosalarias blenny, Mithraculus crab, even a Yellow Tang (Zebrasoma flavescens)...> Is there any thing that I should try while the tank is broken down? Any little tip would help, I'll try them all. Thanks Joshua Mansinon <Favoring other macroalgae species (greens and reds) (Culturing them in a lighted, tied-in sump/refugium) and stopping the dosing of iodine/ide/ate compounds (brown kelp/algae need) will likely limit this Dictyota overpopulation. Bob Fenner>

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