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FAQs about Calcareous and Coralline Algae 2

Related Articles: Coralline Marine Algae, Red Algae in GeneralCalcium and Alkalinity ExplainedAvoiding Algae Problems in Marine System, Algae Control, Marine Maintenance, Nutrient Control and Export, Marine Scavengers, Snails, Hermit Crabs, Mithrax/Emerald Green Crabs, Sea Urchins, Blennies, Algae Filters, Ctenochaetus/Bristle Mouth Tangs, Zebrasoma/Sailfin Tangs, Skimmers, Skimmer Selection, Marine Algae, Coralline Algae, Green Algae, Brown Algae, Blue-Green "Algae"/(Cyanobacteria)Diatoms, Brown Algae

Related FAQs: Coralline Algae 1Coralline Algae 3, Coralline Algae 4, Coralline Algae Identification, Coralline Algae Behavior, Coralline Algae Compatibility/Control, Coralline Algae Selection, Coralline Algae Systems, Coralline Algae Nutrition, Coralline Algae Disease, Coralline Algae Reproduction/Propagation, Red Algae in General, Red Algae 2, Red Algae 3, Red Algae Identification, Red Algae Behavior, Red Algae Compatibility, Red Algae Selection, Red Algae Systems, Red Algae Nutrition, Red Algae Disease, Red Algae Reproduction/Propagation, Marine Macro-Algae, Use in AquariumsMarine Algae ID 1, Marine Algae ID 2, Marine Algae Control FAQs II, Marine Algaecide Use, Nutrient Limitation, Marine Algae Eaters, Culturing Macro-Algae; Controlling: BGA/Cyano, Red/Encrusting Algae, Green Algae, Brown/Diatom Algae

Peyssonnelia sp. in N. Sulawesi.

More questions on Coralline Algae, etc. >I had a nice piece of coralline encrusted rock in my tank that over a couple of days started to "sugar" over and the purple started to retreat.  I looked up on WWM what the problem could be and found out, as I thought, that my Ca levels had dipped below 320ppm! >>While slightly low, I believe that's not terribly low.  Usually you want to shoot for levels between 350-400ppm. >I nipped to my local shop and bought some Tropic Marine Bio-Calcium additive and over the period of a week, have brought it back up to 420ppm. >>To the best of my knowledge, you don't really want your calcium levels over 400ppm.  I believe that you may be wasting product keeping the levels that high. >I also tested for dKH at the same time and originally it was 11dKH. Now it is off the scale at over 16 dKH. I use the Salifert range of test kits as I know these are pretty good. My partner is a Chemist, so I got her to do the tests at her lab at work using electronic tests and she came up with the same reading... >>Yes, this would be expected when raising your calcium up so high. >Does this in itself cause a risk? If so, how do I bring it down more in line with what it should be? >>Water changes, mate.  In my opinion your levels didn't need playing with in the first place.  You've mentioned no other parameters, nor timelines other than the "couple of days" for the "sugaring over", which tells me little.  Water changes. >Another question, after I had brought up the Ca ppm, I, maybe foolishly, bought another 3 kg of live rock (it just looked so good)...After placing in the tank I started to see all these wonderful "things" coming out. >>You mean withOUT curing/quarantining?  Yes, this is foolish. >However, there is something that has me puzzled. On both bits of rock I have several small, perfectly round, glossy "Spheres". They are from 4-10mm across, very shiny, slightly olive/gray in colour and just sit there! Any ideas what they could be? >>Tunicates is my first guess.  Best of luck, Rob.  Marina >Thanks for your help in advance, regards, Rob Brownfield - Aberdeen, Scotland

Snails and coralline growth - 8/19/03 Hi guys! <Hi-ya> Thanks for all the wonderful advise in the past. <It's what we do> I am new to reef keeping and you guys help the newbies so much. <That is truly why we impart our knowledge> So if no one has done it lately...Thank you!! <Thank you for the thank you. A good way to thank us is to purchase from our sponsors, buy our author's books, use the donation link, and become one of us. Not in that order! (just in case anyone is reading)>  Is it normal for my Turbo snails to turn pink and purple on their shells?? <Yes> it looks like coralline algae just wanted the experts to confirm? <Far from an expert, but it is coralline algae growth. Thanks for the question -Paul>

Algae Growth, Coralline Die Off I had a few questions about my reef tank. Over a period of about 6 months I have been seeing my coralline algae die off my rocks and the back of my tank and hair algae start to grow.  What used to be fields of purple is now starting to turn green. All my levels pan out perfect.  My calcium is at 450ppm.  My carbonate hardness (kH) is at about 10 on the German scale.  I believe it is supposed to be between 7-12.  I use a 5 chamber RO/DI unit. There are no phosphates in my water.   <What about silicate? Are you testing the source water or the tank water. There will not be any phosphate in the tank cause the algae is using it up! What about the cartridges in the filter? On my RO/DI I have to change the silicate filter every 400G. Check some of these out> No ammonia.  No nitrites.  My nitrates sit in between 20 to 40 ppm.   <Bringing Nitrate under 10 will help.> I have 4 new bulbs in my canopy that I replace every 6 to 8 months.  The bulbs are 55 watt each.  Two blue, and two white.  I have a Berlin protein skimmer.  I have a Fluval 404, and a UV sterilizer.  My tank is a 55 gal.  As far as trace elements I used Reef Solution for the first 3 to 4 years, and recently switched to Combisan.  My tank has been up and running for about 4 and a half maybe 5 years now.  The problems were starting to happen before I changed trace elements.  All my corals are thriving and growing and have been for many years.  I just don't want this algae to get out of hand.  I have a mated pair of skunk clowns, a mated pair of yellow shrimp gobies, Queensland Dottyback, and an algae blenny.  Thank you for your time, and can you please give me some advise.  Clint Conway   <Check this site (WetWebMedia.com) and use the search engine to find more ideas about controlling hair algae. Hope this helps, Don>

Algae Coming And Going! Bob, <Actually, Scott F. here today> Just have a few minor queries in relation to live rock. I have about 150kg of live rock in the tank and the majority of the rock has portions of coralline/red algae on it. Recently I have seen the live rock slowly turn a green color and if you touch it a little slippery. <Well, it sounds like some other form of microalgae. Microalgae tend to arise when nutrients and light are available in abundance. Green algae are not in and of themselves bad, but if they start to take over all of the "undefended" ("coralline-less") surfaces and rocks in your tank, then it's not so fun. Control of nuisance algae is all about nutrient control: Regular water changes, use of chemical filtration media, aggressive protein skimming, etc.> All the corals look healthy, although the coralline algae is slowly disappearing. Can you tell me what might be occurring and how to increase the red algae and bring the bright color back to the rock. <Coralline algae requires proper levels of calcium and other trace elements in order to appear and thrive on a continuous basis. You can read a lot about coralline algae and their requirements on the WetWebMedia site!> Also is the green on the rock a good or bad thing??? <All really depends on how you view it! Algae are a natural and necessary part of any marine ecosystem, so their appearance is a normal thing.> By the way the Ribbon eel is still eating regularly. Thanks for your help. Stu <My pleasure, Stu! I'm sure that things are going to go just fine with your tank! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

- Cleaning Coralline Algae and ID Assistance - Good morning to all - <And good morning to you, JasonC here...> I regularly remove/disassemble my pumps, heaters, skimmer...etc. for periodic cleaning. I have quite a bit of coralline algae growing on everything and it seems to come back faster after a thorough cleaning (as thorough as I can scrape it off). I have left the back of my tank covered in the algae because, frankly, it is covered and would be too hard to keep clean. Is there anything that I could soak the parts in in order to remove the algae, rather than mechanical means...scrapping - my first thought was vinegar - but I don't know why. <Your first thought was the correct one.> Any suggestions? <Just let the parts soak in vinegar for a while and the stuff will come right off - make sure you rinse thoroughly before replacing in the tank.> Secondly, I need some help with identification, I have searched you and other sites but can't find a picture that resembles a recent purchase. It is a cluster of polyps that looks amazingly like bright, almost florescent green moss growing but upon close inspection, you can see the individual polyps. <Sorry to say, there's not enough information to make a guess - perhaps send along a picture.> Unfortunately, I received a hitch hiker with the purchase - it has an Aiptasia anemone (only one at the time of this writing) that I am trying to remove, that is killing the surrounding polyps and leaving a bare circle around it. I know Aiptasia are not easy to eradicate - but I'm trying nonetheless, before it reproduces. <Consider Peppermint Shrimp - they work really well.> Thanks again for your assistance.    J.T. Craddock

Coralline Algae Growth in my Nano Reef Thanks for the reply, Ananda.   <Anthony Calfo with the follow-up> In response to your inquiry concerning my lighting, I have 72 watts (54 watts 10k, 18 watts actinic) of PC lighting.  The light is on a 12 hour cycle.  So far so good?   <indeed... and curiously, when water changes are done... are the lights off? If not... a common cause of impedance or bleaching in corallines (bright light in air exposure)> I'm eventually planning on stocking the tank with SPS corals, and since the tank is only about 15" deep, I thought this would be adequate.   <agreed... although many sps will quickly outgrow the tank and require frequent pruning> I actually did give MH some thought but I really didn't want to deal with the heat and possibly bleaching of my existing corals. <MH over a 12 gall aquarium is rather obscene unless you scavenge the lower watt lamps (under 100)> I've been reading over the FAQs and it seems as if I should be good to go in terms of producing coralline algae.   <coralline growth is less dependant on lighting and more dependent on very consistent mineral content in the water (CA, ALK, Mg) via consistent water changers and supplements. Seachem's Reef Calcium (liquid calcium gluconate) is also quite helpful for accelerating growth of corallines> I do occasionally notice a golden/yellowish brown film (sometimes with sparse small strands of yellow "grass-like" fibers) developing on the small sections of the aquarium glass.  I'm assuming it is probably just diatoms.  I've been being extra careful to not overfeed as a result, and I always use RO water for top-off with twice a month 15% water changes.   <excellent> Would I be correct in assuming this is a just a diatom bloom which will eventually go away as silicates are removed?   <not only depends on silicates... but nutrient control in general> Just to be safe, I've been checking phosphate levels to be sure they are in check...they were/are very near to, if not, zero.  Oh and btw, sg really is 1.022...sorry for the scare there.  Thanks again. Sandy <all good... and perhaps consider weekly water changes to be less dependent on supplements. Anthony>

Coralline sees a ghost (04/02/03) <Ananda here tonight...> I have noticed my coralline algae is turning white. I check all the parameters and everything seems good. Ph is at 8.0 during the day and 7.9 at night. Calcium is at 450 DKH is 11.8 Nitrates are less than 5 and phosphates are almost indictable. I have 4 VHO's. 2 daylight and 2 actinic. They are connected to a dimmer so they slowly turn on in the mourning and slowly turn off at night. During high noon I have 2 400 watt MH lamps that turn on for about 5 hours. I have a chiller set at 79. I have a large protein skimmer. I also have great water movement using several pumps set on a wavemaker. It is a 120 gallon reef est. 9/01/02 The live rock corals and fish were from my original 75 gallon tank I had running for 18 months. Please can you help me? George <It could be a couple of things. I'm most curious about the lighting in your 75 gallon tank. If the lighting level in the 75 was significantly lower than what you have now, your coralline is getting bleached by the brighter light. Your coralline may not be able to survive your current lighting levels. If that's the case, it will die off, and possibly be replaced by different species of coralline. On the other hand, here's how Anthony answered a similar question: "When water changes are done... are the lights off? If not... a common cause of impedance or bleaching in corallines (bright light in air exposure)..." Another thing: I would try to keep the pH steady at about 8.3 rather than 7.9-8.0. Hope this helps! --Ananda>

Where's the Coralline? (03/28/03) I have a 12 gallon reef tank with a 5 gallon sump.  Water parameters: Nitrate <10, Nitrite 0, Ammonia 0, Ca 440-480 ppm, KH 11, pH 8.2, sg 1.22, and temp 79. I add Kent's Essential Elements, Iodine, Strontium and Molyb, and Phytoplankton twice a week.  Kalkwasser is used (1 tsp/gallon) for all top-off water.  The problem is, I can't seem to get any noticeable coralline algae growth.  The live rock in the tank came heavily loaded with coralline algae when I purchased it so it's not like I haven't seeded the algae. <Ananda asked for input on this, and I can't seem to keep the stuff from growing, so I thought I would chime in.  You don't make any mention of alkalinity here and you should be monitoring it as Kalk will not replace carbonates completely. Test and maintain carbonate alk at 3.5-5 meq/l (9.8 dKH - 14 dKH) and supplement with a good quality buffer like Seachem Marine Buffer, Reef Builder, etc. Follow the label directions per volume.  I would not recommend calcium gluconate if you are using Kalk, but you may want to test for and supplement magnesium. There are some decent calcium supplements that supply these elements in a balanced ration (Seachem Reef Advantage calcium). Get the alk right with adequate calcium/magnesium/strontium and then you will need better scrapers....  Best of luck!  Craig>

- Dosing Calcium in a Teacup - <Good morning, JasonC here... > This is a great website, and I feel guilty for asking so many questions. Your wealth of knowledge has been incredibly helpful to me, and I can't express enough gratitude.  Now, on to my situation.  I've been using Kalkwasser for about a month now with my 12 gallon tank. <Good god! That doesn't seem safe to me at all - not enough water.> Before that, I was using Kent's Liquid Ca and Superbuffer.  I switched to the Kalkwasser bc of all the benefits I have heard about using it as well as the ease in keeping the alkalinity, [Ca], and pH in check all at once. In addition to the Kalkwasser, I dose in Iodine, Kent's Essential Elements, Strontium, and Molybdenum.  This may be standard procedure for everyone, but I find it somewhat excessive to have to dose all these materials. <Not standard procedure for me... I don't dose any of those myself. Especially with less than 12 gallons of water, you can 'dose' all those by changing the water.> Recently, I inquired to my LFS how they managed to get such an abundance of coralline algae in their display tanks.  The guy tells me that all he uses is Tropic Bio Marin Ca and nothing else since it contains "all the essential elements of sea water" already in the mix. He actually huffed when I told him that I use Kalkwasser, saying it was a waste of time and energy to be doing all the dosing I have been doing. All my parameters are where they need to be, but I haven't seen any significant coralline algae growth in the two and a half months I've had my tank up and running (first month I was using the two part, second month using Kalk). <Your tank needs to run a little while longer... at a certain point, you will have to beat back the coralline with a stick, but your system is quite new and will need some time to mature.> I'm wondering if I should drop my routine (i.e. stop dosing everything I'm using now) and give this Tropic Bio Marin Ca a try exclusively like this particular LFS. <I think you should skip it all and just rely on getting what you need from frequent water changes.> I can't dispute the fact that store's tank has great coralline algae growth and everything looks healthy. <Their tank has likely been running much longer too.> It just seems like it might be too good to be true.  Also, I've been reading up on Bio Marin Ca on the site, and I'm a bit confused.  Is it a balanced additive like Kalk or does it need some kind of additional buffer in equal amts to keep the balance? <I've never used the stuff, but I do use their salt.> If it does need buffer, how do I keep the balance in check...do I just use a 1:1 ratio (e.g. 1 tsp Tropic Bio Marin to 1 tsp Kent SuperBuffer) at each daily addition? <I would follow Tropic Marin's instructions.> Like I mentioned earlier, my parameters are just the way they need to be right now so I don't want to throw that off. <So don't.> I'm also of the impression that I'm just not being patient enough with the coralline algae since it's only been two months with the tank. <This would be my pitch to you - do some deep breathing exercises and relax.> But even still, I think that's plenty of time to at least see SOME coralline algae growth, right? <I don't think so - two and a half months is not a long time.> Also, it's a hassle dosing everything and not seeing any results when I could just dose Tropic Marin Ca only and know that I'm on track to getting the great growth that the LFS has. <Work on that patience thing...> Any advice would be appreciated and thanks in advance. <Cheers, J -- >

Where's the Coralline? (03/28/03) <Ananda here tonight> I have a 12 gallon reef tank with a 5 gallon sump.  Water parameters: Nitrate <10, Nitrite 0, Ammonia 0, Ca 440-480 ppm, KH 11, pH 8.2, sg 1.22, and temp 79. <Presumably you mean the sg is 1.022...> I add Kent's Essential Elements, Iodine, Strontium and Molyb, and Phytoplankton twice a week.  Kalkwasser is used (1 tsp/gallon) for all top-off water.  Protein skimming is fine and it seems as if water movement is more than adequate (MaxiJet 1200 pushing out 300 gph out of a self-built manifold to diffuse flow).  The return pump is also circulating the tank at about 100-150 gph at 5' of head. <Sounds good so far!> The problem is, I can't seem to get any noticeable coralline algae growth.  The live rock in the tank came heavily loaded with coralline algae when I purchased it so it's not like I haven't seeded the algae. I don't know what more to do to get the stuff to grow.  All other types of algae are under control (i.e. sparse to nonexistent).  Any suggestions? <The one thing you didn't mention is lighting. I've read more than one tale of someone with very high lighting -- usually metal halides -- who sees very little or no coralline growth, or in some cases, sees a reduction in coralline.> I was reading the website and you suggested Seachem's Calcium Gluconate. I'll give it a try if it'll improve my situation, but do you think this is the missing piece in the equation?   <Possibly lighting, as mentioned above.> Thing is, my Ca levels are already saturated so how would I go about incorporating the addition of the sugar-based Ca with my Kalkwasser top-off routine?    <I would use the calcium gluconate as directed, and adjust the amount of Kalk as necessary. Do check out the WWM articles and FAQs, using the Google search tool with "calcium gluconate" and "Kalkwasser" as search terms.> Any advice would be appreciated.  Thanks in advance. Sandy

Coralline growth - 3/26/03 I Have A 240 Reef tank With 300lbs Of Fiji Rock, A 12-1 Euroreef Skimmer In A 100 Gallon Sump Under The Tank. I Have 3 250 Watt 10K Halides With 4 55 Watt Actinics. <sounds like a wonderful tank> The Tank Has Been Up And Running Fine For A Year Now, The PO4 Climbs Up Above 1 Part But Everything Else Is Great. My Live Sand Is 3 Inches Deep Also. My Question Is The Live Rock Is Still Green All Over <As in "bad algae" green or green coralline> Maybe A Tiny Bit Of Purple That's Been There, But No New Growth Yet. Is There A Secret To Getting The Coralline To Grow More Or Does This Take Longer Than a Year. <The best answer is probably found here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallinealg.htm as there are many variables as to why it may or may not grow. See if you cannot find something that might be applicable to your situation. I Change 50 Gallons A Week. <Awesome> And That's About It. Check out the link and the FAQ links towards the top of said link> Thank You: Woody <No problem Woody. It does take time, but again, a great many variables can affect growth of coralline algae. See what you can find>

Wacky Calcium Dynamics Hi Bob & Crew, <You have Scott F. today!> I have a 110 which has been a FO for 2 years and I'm trying to convert to a reef. Livestock is Yellow Tang, Coral Beauty, Orchard Dottyback, 2 Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp, 2 Ocellaris Clowns and now a BTA. Tests are Nitrates 0 (since adding deep sand bed), PH 8.3 at peak, alk 3.0 meq/L. Skimming with an Oceanic 6, plenty of circulation. Up until 2 months ago I had calcium at 400 with Coralline Algae flourishing all along (2yrs). Now it is all of a sudden the Coralline Algae is turning pink/white (horror) and calcium is at 0! <Amazing...I'm no chemist, but I can't imagine what would cause an aquarium to lose all measurable calcium...very weird, IMO> This has been verified with a test at fish store. The only thing I have done differently is add a Giesemann Metal Halide light and buffer with Kent's Superbuffer-dkh. I have been told to do one massive water change (35%) and start adding B-Ionic's 2 part calcium additive. I do not like the idea of that large of a water change, a couple of my fish are new and have been stressed enough. I would appreciate your advice, I do not want to use  Kalkwasser and I'm not ready to buy a Calcium Reactor YET.  What is your favorite B-Ionic, Tropic Marin's BioCalcium or Seachem's Reef Calcium (Good for Coralline which I love)?   My water is from a Kent Hi-S RO which I'm now  aerating 12 hrs as per your website's info. Thank you. Rich <Well, Rich- as far as calcium products are concerned- I like all of the ones that you mentioned. If used properly, and tested for regularly, these products do the job quite well. With regards to the plummeting calcium level, I guess two thoughts come to mind. First, there is the calcium/alkalinity dynamic, which can be skewed by misapplication of calcium products (even the two part products). High calcium levels and high alkalinity levels are mutually exclusive. There is a balance.. Curiously, your alkalinity is not excessive at all, though. My second thought is the increased light...Perhaps, due to the increase in light levels provided by the new halide fixture, your corals and other calcium-loving creatures utilized the available calcium rapidly, causing the level of calcium to plummet. Final thought...some test kits do not measure different types of calcium (organic/inorganic calcium...) Of course, if you are not replenishing it regularly, the calcium can remain at a depressed level. Do keep checking, keep measuring, and re-assess your techniques for providing and maintaining calcium levels. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Plummeting Calcium (Pt. 2) Hi Scott,    <Hi there!> Thanks for the quick response.   I think your right as far as the Coralline Algae/Metal Halide using all calcium which having been FO I had never added any calcium supplements.   Strange that the Coralline Algae lasted so long. <I think that coralline algae is remarkably durable and adaptable, despite the common perception that they are delicate. You also have to remember that these algae utilize other compounds, such as magnesium, etc., so having high calcium levels is not the whole picture.>    What about the 35% water change?   Is it necessary to do that large of a change before adding calcium?   Would several 10% be as effective without stressing the tank as much?   I will do whatever is best, I very much want my Coralline back.   Thanks again.   Rich <Rich, I'd rather execute more frequent, smaller water changes. People must be sick of hearing me say this by now, but I think that a couple of small (5% of tank volume) water changes per week will make a big difference. I am not a big fan of large, infrequent changes, unless there is an emergency that is being corrected (i.e.; ammonia spike, poisoning, etc.). I think that adding calcium on a regular, consistent basis, in conjunction with the frequent, small water changes, will do the trick. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

How does your coralline grow - 3/24/03 Bob: <Paul pretending to be Bob =) (yeah right)> I've read though all the pages wherein I might find Coralline Algae notes, but I am still left with a few questions. <OK> 1. When I first put my rock in (after curing) it was mostly bleached white with a few purple patches remaining so I assumed this had the capability to return? <Yes. Time and proper calcium and alkalinity will all aid in a quick return.> I also included some Tonga branches with red coralline. <Very good. Good to add various types and color of coralline to seed your tank> I have this seeded around my existing Tufa rock at varying depths.  So far, no Coralline growth whatsoever (3 months in tank) however, do have some feather dusters that sprouted up (as well as a small amount of brown hair algae (very little)) could this inhibit the Coralline? <Any problem algae will inhibit growth of coralline insofar as anywhere where alga is taking up space on the rock other animals will have trouble taking over that same "spot" or living space without the problem alga being removed.> Unsure of Calcium level - will get that checked at LFS today - should be between 400-450 right? <Good to shoot for> Also, could lighting be a problem? <your lighting seems good for coralline growth as it seems that the growth of coralline is related to lower light levels to a degree> (See specs) 55g FOWLR 1 x 40w Actinic blue (Marine Glow) 1 x 40w Full Spectrum Power Glo Penguin 400 Filter Modified Skilter (produces well) Hagen Powerheads (802 and 402) Nitrites 0 Nitrates 40 (working on this - used to overfeed - has come down from 100 with DSB and better husbandry) <Very good to hear> SG 1.023 Temp. 75-78 PH "Good" according to my Handy-Dandy dip strips from AquaLabs <YUCK! Find a better source for finding your PH value. "Good" doesn't cut it, my friend. This could be a problem> Tanks, <My pleasure David. Paul out-> David

Growing Coralline Algae Bob: <Scott F. here today!> I've read though all the pages wherein I might find Coralline Algae notes, but I am still left with a few questions. 1.When I first put my rock in (after curing) it was mostly bleached white with a few purple patches remaining so I assumed this had the capability to return? <I have seen this happen. I personally believe that it can return, given the right conditions and some time> I also included some Tonga branches with red coralline. I have  this seeded around my existing Tufa rock at varying depths.  So far, no Coralline growth whatsoever (3 months in tank) however, do have some feather dusters that sprouted up (as well as a small amount of brown hair algae (very little) could this inhibit the Coralline? <Well, brown algae and other nuisance algae tend to colonize any "undefended" areas on the rock, live or otherwise. This makes it very difficult for coralline algae to grow. Tufa rock, unfortunately, tends to grow nuisance algae at times, so careful attention to nutrient control is important.> Unsure of Calcium level - will get that checked at LFS today - should be between 400-450 right? <Well, that certainly would be appropriate for these algae to thrive. Also, there are other important nutrients and environmental factors that coralline require, such as magnesium, proper current, etc.> Also, could lighting be a problem?  (See specs) 55g FOWLR 1 x 40w Actinic blue (Marine Glow) 1 x 40w Full Spectrum Power Glo <You might need some additional lighting, but see how it goes> Penguin 400 Filter <Be sure to replace the filter media regularly> Modified Skilter (produces well) Hagen Powerheads (802 and 402) Nitrites 0 Nitrates 40 (working on this - used to overfeed - has come down from 100 with DSB and better husbandry) <Good to hear that...keep up the good work> SG 1.023 Temp. 75-78 PH "Good" according to my Handy-Dandy dip strips from AquaLabs Tanks, David <Well, David, it sounds like you're on the right track. Keep   on top of things, maintain good husbandry procedures, and be patient...The coralline will grow in time. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Re: LR color changes? Greetings, and thank you for looking at my question. Great site!!! <Hello and thank you much for the compliments!> I tried searching this one out, but all I get is references to Cyanobacteria & Diatoms. I think that I have come to the conclusion that what I have is neither. And I'm still no further in finding out exactly what it is?! So I'll start out by listing my setup: 55g D.A.S. tank w/internal "box" filtration & return pump DAS internal protein skimmer 2) Aquaclear 401 Powerheads (providing cross current) 1) Tronic 175w Heater 2) Marineglo Actinic (36") 30w 1) Coralife 10,000k VHO (36") 30w 1) PowerGlo (18") 15w (dusk/dawn) 20lbs LR (pre-cured) 2 Mollies (to promote tank cycle) Cleaning crew - 2 snails & 5 blue-legged Hermits RO/DI water used for top offs & changes (15% per week after 5 weeks of cycle) PH - 8.2 Ammonia - 0 Both N's - 0 (+/- .05) The tank is in its 7th week of conception, I have several polyps & mushrooms (all doing fine) that came with some of the LR, all levels are fine - been like that since after the 4th week. My question is - in the last few days there has been a changing color pattern on my live rock, the rock was mostly white/beige, but now I'm getting nice patterns of purple and dark reds. They are not slimy at all to the touch, and seem fairly hard actually. I have observed established reef tank setups where all the LR is a deep purple/blue color. So my question is, IS this normal, or should I be looking out for something happening? The only change I have made lately is adding some new lighting, but this over a course of a few weeks. Other then that the tank looks good, tests fine, so am I just over-reacting at this point? Maybe I should just let the tank do its thing? <This is indeed normal and in fact very desirable. It's Coralline algae and once it has covered your rocks it will actually help inhibit the growth of the less desirable algaes. To encourage growth you need good lighting and try to keep your calcium level around 450ppm. Your lighting is probably sufficient for a FOWLR tank but to keep your mushrooms and any future coral additions healthy you will need to add more. Congrats on the rapid growth of this, many people wait what seems like ages for this to happen!> Thanks in advance for your reply. Alex (aka Thunder) <You're welcome! Ronni>

Coralline Algae update - 3/12/2003 Good Evening Scott V! <Hello!> Well, up in Northeast Wisconsin, I'm betting you are probably as  cold as I!  <Most likely, if not colder :) >  Now I don't feel so alone  shivering!  (Big grins!) <Misery loves company?> We have a NSA water purifier that we use, but still had ammonia in it... I  shudder to think what it would have been without the purifier on! ( I'm afraid to test the water without the purifier on!)  Thank you for the fast response and thank you for confirming what I was thinking about the ammonia in our source water relating to the nitrate problem I was having.  <I wish we could make them stop adding things to our water.  Don't they know it's for the fish and not just us?> Wish I could show you a picture of the algae that I have growing...alas it is so small that it does not show up on our digital camera!  <It will grow :) > I am hoping it is coralline algae starting!!!   I must say...I really have to scrape hard to get this stuff to come off!  I will have to resort to using a razor blade to get it off the front tank wall, but I got to do what I got to do! <Yep, it's part of the job.  It sounds like coralline to me, so you should be fine>  I wish I could accept the kudos here, but I cannot, the kudos belong to you guys who work so hard and diligently on answering all our aquarium problems/challenges and help us resolve them!  <Thanks! I'm just getting started myself, but I can't believe how many e-mail actually come through that the others are keeping up with! I'm sure they all appreciate the thanks.> As far as spring goes, it cannot get here soon enough!  <We're almost there !> Rest assured that we will not let the tank slide!  LOL!!! Have a great evening!   Lee <You too! Scott V.>

Bleached coralline on snail 3/10/03 Thanks for your response. Very informative and set my mind at ease. <excellent my friend> I did see a snail spend a few hours on top of a powerhead with half his shell out of the water last week (not positive it was the one in question though). Calc is 400 and dKH is 11, so probably the exposure to air with the lights on eh? Thanks again! <indeed... very likely. It reminds me of a symptom other aquarists often misdiagnose. After a water change, sometimes the corallines bleach in a perfect band down to where the water level had dropped for the WC. Some folks naturally think it was the air-exposure... but that is not the case (consider that you got your corallines from live rock shipped dry and exposed to air for days). It is the water change under bright lights  (always turn light off here) that exposes the corallines to a sudden increase in light intensity no longer tempered by the density and depth of the water they grew under. Best regards, Anthony>

Where did all the Coralline go - 3/10/03 You have a lot of information on your website about calcareous algae, but my problem seems unique. <Are you sure?> Pink, red, and purple algae were plentiful in my tank until I did a lighting change. <Bleached white? Right? I could guess this one already without even finishing the email <G>> I was using the original cheap hood light that came with my 20H aquarium. <Ah, makes sense since algae of all sorts are light sensitive organisms. Some like a lot and some not>  It had a single HO bulb. <Cool>  Believe it or not, the calcareous algae prospered with this small amount of light. <Oh, I believe it alright. It is as designed and to be expected> I then decided that I wanted to add some soft corals and I knew I would need much more light. <Kudos to you for looking in to the needs of coral husbandry, my friend. Seriously, I am very glad to hear this. Too many do very little research when deciding to purchase coral.> So I bought a retrofit kit for two 65 watt PC lights.  One light is 10K and the other Actinic-03. <very nice> They turn on and off simultaneously and I run them 11 hours per day on a timer. <very good>  The soft corals are spreading like crazy! <Good to hear and well deserved. Your research is paying off. Good for you! =) Knowledge is power and knowing is half the battle> Mushrooms and polyps are reproducing quickly, their coverage has tripled in about three months.  Its great! <Indeed> Unfortunately almost all of my pink, red, and purple calcareous algae has turned white, especially in areas that are 90 degrees to the light. <Ohhh. No problem, will and can come back in time. Certain colors do seem to be more or less light sensitive, so over time some other colored coralline algae will more than likely take its place.>  I guess that is to be expected at first with a drastic light change, <definitely yes!> but it isn't coming back. <How long has it been? Took mine well over 9 months to even start coming back on my back wall!>> All of the Calcareous algae that was on the rocks with direct light has turned white. It looks awful! <Agreed but give it time. More is on the way> Here's the weird thing, light purple calcareous algae, an entirely new color for my aquarium, is quickly covered the back glass, but it is not forming on any of the rocks. <more time is needed my friend. No need to worry here. All in due time.>  It almost seems like the calcareous algae only prospers where it is getting very little of the 10K light, but it seems to like the blue light. <Exactly. Have you gone through our FAQs? I believe Anthony Calfo has broached this subject a few times. Here you go: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallinealg.htm and hit the links at the top after you have read through the article for the FAQs.> Everything else in the tank is healthy.  My fish, snails, crabs, mushrooms, polyps, etc. are all doing great, <very cool> the rock is the only problem and it looks awful. <for now>  Is there something wrong with my live rock? <No. This is a common occurrence with light sensitive specimens. Need time to recover. May take up to a year or more in some cases> The soft corals attach to it quite well. <Hope so. Otherwise we would be talking about a whole new classification of corals here...of the pelagic kind> I have noticed that the rock seems to have a clear film all over it. It is almost not noticeable, but it is there.  Can you shed any light on this live rock/coralline algae problem? <hopefully I have. Good luck and no worries. Give it some time and I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Paulo>

Possible Coralline Orange Lethal Disease? 3/7/03 Greetings crew, <Howdy> I have an Astraea snail who's purple coralline turned bright orange within 24 hours and is now fading to white. <a simple bleaching event. This snail was either caught out of water during some water exchange/drain event, or the water quality (Ca/ALK levels) in the tank have degraded and stressed the corallines> I have not been able to find much info on C.L.O.D. but Im afraid that's what it might be. <rest assured, this is a simple bleaching event. CLOD is rare in the wild, let alone the hobby. See a little bit of info here: http://www.geology.iupui.edu/classes/g130/reefs/IWO_174.htm excerpted: "Reef building algae and coral reef ecology have re-cently been found under attack by a previously unknown disease. Coralline lethal orange disease, known as CLOD, is caused by a bright orange bacterial pathogen that is lethal to the encrusting red algae (corallines) that deposit calcium carbonate on the reefs. These algae cement to-gether sand, dead algae, and other debris to form a hard, stable substrate. CLOD was initially found in 1993 in the Cook Islands and Fiji; by 1994 it had spread to the Solomon Islands and New Guinea; by 1995 it was found over a 6000 km (3600 mi) range of the South Pacific. No one knows whether it has been recently introduced from some obscure location or whether it has been present on the reefs but has now evolved into a more virulent form." Would it be a good idea to remove this snail just to be safe? <not necessary... the problem is not likely the snail at all. Do check your calcium and alkalinity levels... likely one has strayed low. Else, a recent sudden influx of fresh evaporation water near the snail could have stressed the corallines. Still the most common cause is a water change when you leave the reef lights on (bad! for corallines) which bleaches them with the sudden increase in light without the diffusion of water. The snail was perhaps high on the glass unnoticed> Thanks Emerson <best regards, Anthony> Lack of Coralline and Surplus of Bad Stuff Hi guys, About 5 months ago I made some major upgrades to my 90 gallon tank.  I added 330watts of PC light (115 10,000K and 115 actinic) - ~3.6 watts/gallon.  I began using an RO/DI unit.  I added 90# of LR, and removed 90% of bioballs.  And I began dosing and measuring alkalinity, and calcium.  I have been very patient in my wait for coralline, but in 5 months I have only seen a few tiny specs here and there.  My parameters: pH 8.3, Alk 3.5 meq/l, Calcium 380, Ammonia/nitrite 0, nitrate 10, temp 77, photoperiod 13 hours. <Your alkalinity is a little low...> The coralline that was on the rock that I purchased is about 75% gone, and the remaining coralline is slowly bleaching/flaking away. What else can I do? <Consider a calcium reactor.> To top it off, I now have a small Cyano problem, which I never had before I used the RO/DI water.   And my rock has recently developed a grayish fuzzy/hairy/web-like coating - what is this? <Cyanobacteria - BGA - what about your feeding habits?> I have been using the ESV B-ionic system; and Seachem reef builder and marine buffer for top off. <You may want to consider more buffer than just this, perhaps added directly into your mix-water for changes or daily into the tank - the Reef Builder will only supplement the top-off water which is already de-mineralized.> This is very frustrating, I have spent over two hours a day for the past 8 months reading everything I can get my hands on (WWM, message boards, and books), and my tank has been moving in the opposite direction of what I would like. Everyone in the tank is happy and health, with the exception of a plate coral that recently bleached, and an orange star that never acclimated and only lasted about two weeks. I currently have a blue damsel, 3-stripe damsel, true percula, yellow tang, royal Gramma, blue Linckia, a frogspawn coral, a few cukes, and a bunch of snails and hermits.   As for my equipment:  AquaC EV-120 skimmer, 25 watt UV, ocean clear canister, and about 2,500 gph circulation. What could I possibly be doing wrong? <Try turning off the UV for a while... coralline is an algae and UV kills many types.> Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Adam <Cheers, J -- >

Pretty In Pink? (Coralline Growth After Copper) Hi again. <Hey! Scott F here today!> Thanks a lot for the info and quick response. I think I will take your advice and find another store. One last question.. Is it still possible to get any coralline growth on my rock or would you suggest that I get some new rock? Thanks so much! It is very appreciated! Chris S. <Well, Chris, after you've dosed with copper, it would be in your best interest to use a chemical filtration media, such as PolyFilter, to really remove as much copper as possible from the system. Unfortunately, there is the potential for copper to leach out for some time to come...May be a while before I'd consider this rock "reef-ready". Get a good copper test kit and monitor copper levels regularly! Coralline will grow on the rocks once the proper (chemical) conditions present themselves again...Just be patient, give it some time, provide optimal conditions to foster coralline growth, and you'll be seeing pink and green soon! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Difference in coralline algae Hi again, I had written you earlier and forgot to ask you something. I have quite a bit of purple coralline algae in my tank which is good. I just added more live rock which has a lot of orange and red coralline algae, what is the difference in the color of these? I was told that orange coralline is not good to have. I'm trying to go for more pink, maroon, and purple. <Don't know why/if the orange is 'bad' but different. Lighting, alkalinity and calcium will dictate what/which is dominate. See here for more http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corlalgfaqs.htm >  Thank you, Tim <No problem, Don>

Question re: Live Rock HI guys, <<Don with you Today>>     Just getting my 55 gallon tank started. It has been running for 1 full week now with 36 lbs premium live rock from Fiji. I'm using the rock to cycle the tank as well as to be biological filtration etc for the tank going forward. <<Strap on the seatbelts and cinch 'em tight you are in for an incredible/fascinating ride <G>>>     When purchased the cured live rock was a nice purple and pink under the store's lights. I put them in the tank and the rock gradually turned whitish with white smoke like plumes and web like patches during the first 2-3 days. <<A normal progression, the coralline will come back in time>>     The rock has been in my tank now for 9 days and now I am getting the brown diatoms algae forming on the tank, the aragonite substrate and it is quickly covering all of the rock. <<Not unusual either. Control the nutrients and you control the algae. Continue skimming and shoot for the 'dark cup of gunk every day or two'.>>     My skimmer is running, <<Again, you want to 'tune' it so you get good, constant, production. Keep it clean as well>> I have a wet dry filter and a pressurized mechanical ocean clear filter. I have also deionized filtered tap water in my tank. <This will help as well>>     Could you explain what is happening with all of these color changes on my live rock and how can I get rid of this ugly brown algae and will I ever have pretty pink and purple coralline covered rock for my tank ???<<Normal progression, good maintenance and husbandry (as well as time and patience) will help>>     Thanks for your time and help. You guys are the best. <<Aww, <SG> shucks, Thanks. Don>>

Should I remove the coralline? After implementing much of the advice all of you have provided and reading a lot of FAQ's, I have finally gotten my BakPak2 skimming quite nicely.  The fish fast once a week.  The dreaded diatoms appear to be in submission. <good> I had been in the habit of cleaning the glass every week and skipped last weekend.  Lo and behold I looked tonight and amongst the algae growth on the back of the tank is a nice spot of what I believe to be coralline. <cool> So, my question is: a) coralline is good and should be encouraged so I should not be cleaning the back of the tank, or b) coralline is indicative of a healthy tank but it is OK to clean it off (the wife hates algae). <It is not helping nor hurting anything, it is ok to clean it off if you do not like it.  Personally I like it because I not longer have to put a background on the outside of the tank, of course my tank is no longer viewable from the sides, but oh well.  We have some articles and FAQs on the subject, feel free to check them out. -Gage http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallinealg.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/coralredalgcontfaqs.htm > Thanks for all of your help,

Re snails ok trying not to bother you to much. I bought 4 turban snails to get rid of the diatom but I also bought the live rock I was telling you about and a big chunk of it had beautiful purple coloring on it and it seems like the snails  are striping it or is this my imagination. <I'm not aware of any snails that eat coralline...urchins? yes> they are doing a great job on the  diatom think I'm spelling this right its the bloom you get in the beginning of the startup. <you are correct> sorry for bugging you like this but I was heartbroken when I noticed the purple vanishing. Misty PS thanks for such a fast response. The lights are just bulbs I know how to put them in but I was trying to figure out how to do an inexpensive hood. <Don't fool around with lighting very much. Be sure that everything is made for use around water/humidity and use a ground fault interrupter. 6 years ago when I started my first marine tank, the lighting set a corner of my house on fire! My wife and I  were eating dinner and heard two or three loud pops...almost instantly, fire began shooting up from behind the aquarium. Scared the ^*&*%& out of me! I was not using a ground fault interrupter and had no idea how to put out an electrical fire. Do you know how to put out an electrical fire? I'm all for DIY, but do yourself and your family a favor: Buy the right equipment that was made for use around the aquarium. Otherwise, you are asking for trouble. I am experienced in this area...I know the dark side of aquariums and electricity! Be careful!> How much lighting do I need for live rock to flourish. <Well, many corallines prefer low lighting 2+ watts per gallon. If you want to grow green stuff 3+ watts per gallon> Here is a thought. Can I buy 2 more light hoods that hold the 14 in bulbs and add that to the pre existing light fixture and use the 14 in bulbs in these fixtures? <Just don't overdrive your fixtures. Only use the exact wattage suggested on the fixture else you're asking for a fire> is this enough light <See the above light level suggestions. There is much at WetWebMedia about lighting. David Dowless> Coralline growth Greeting and salutations from a scorching hot South Africa. <Greetings from scorching hot Las Vegas, Nevada!> My problem is as follows setup: 300 Litres Used to have 2 Actinic Fluorescents and 2 10000K White fluorescents -Recently changed the 10000k's to 2 x 150 MH. Power head driven protein skimmer Fluval 404 Filter NO Calcium Reactor. My water parameters are good although monitoring my Calcium is a problem I use reef life Calcium Supplements and Buffer tablets on a weekly basis. The problem is that my coralline algae was thriving with the fluorescents and now since the MH it seems to be fading away; I started by putting them on for 4 hours a day and gradually increased their time on. I do 10 % weekly water changes. What is happening and is the calcium supplements I'm using adequate for my size tank or should I be using Kalk dosers etc <This development isn't surprising. Corallines like low/lower light and often times a new stronger lighting regiment will bleach them. Mine bleach and recede every time I change the bulbs and I too allow for an adjustment period! As to your calcium practices, I would consider dosing Kalk and adding a gluconate calcium (such as SeaChem Reef calcium) to help with your coralline growth. Your corallines will likely return once they have fully adjusted to the new lighting although they probably won't be as strong as before. David Dowless> Werner Schoeman

Coralline On His Mind! Hello. My name is Ryan. First of all I would like to comment on your great site. It is by far the best on the web and thanks for all the wonderful information. I have one question for you. I am a beginning hobbyist and I was wondering what the best way was to get coralline algae to form and grow on my rock. I have a few small patches but they have never amounted to much.  Any help or advice would be very appreciated. Thanks a lot for your time. Ryan <Well, Ryan, the fact that you're getting some coralline growth means that the conditions are right...Just give it time. You need to keep an eye on calcium and magnesium levels. The calcium supplementation can be in the form of Kalkwasser, a gluconate calcium product, such as Sea Chem's Reef Calcium (renowned for growing corallines!), or via a calcium reactor. Frankly, I would not mess with the magnesium; I'd read about various ways to administer and maintain calcium (including the relationship between calcium and alkalinity), and try to maintain proper calcium levels to stimulate the growth. Routine water changes (small ones twice a week, IMO) should help maintain the proper levels of other nutrients and trace elements required by corallines. Just don't get carried away with dosing stuff, and you'll be okay! Good Luck! Regards, Scott F>

Coralline purple to brown Hello I have a friend who's coralline algae is turning brown. <Check the alkalinity> His tank has been set up for a long time ,It  has massive amounts of purple coralline algae in it and now it has started to turn brown . it looks terrible and it is spreading all over his tank he has a lot of coral in it and live rock . We are starting to wonder if this will harm his coral. <No> what is the cause of this and is there a cure ? <Check the alkalinity level. Has the lighting changed recently?> he will be adding a picture to this web site www.canreef.com  under reefrat . he posted a picture of his 180 gal tank two days ago you can see the brown algae in the bottom left corner of the tank . thank you for taking the time to look at this email   A.J. have a nice day at work or have a better day go fishing <You're welcome! David Dowless>

Re: lighting Hey Gang, I have a  question about general lighting. I have a 48"x18" 20" tank with 90 lbs of live rock, Remora Pro skimmer & a tidepool filtration unit. I only have 160 watts of light (two 48" shoplites). I'd like to see some coralline algae start on the live rock (tanks been set up for about 1 month). Knowing more light is in order, I was thinking about getting a Custom Sealife Britelight & a SmartLite with two 65 watt bulbs each  in the 48" models, will 260 watts produced by these lamps be able to grow some coralline algae, possibly some low light corals in the future?  These lamps are really going to be pushing my hobby budget (otherwise I'd get a 48", 4 tube VHO hood), the first goal is to get the live rock to produce... whatever it will! P.S. I enclosed a picture of the temporary set-up, when the skimmer box for the Remora  shows up, then  the final  "landscape" can be completed.   Thanks, Scott <Hi Scott, 260 watts will grow coralline but you will be limited to low light corals placed higher on the rock.  I personally prefer VHO lighting for coralline (50% actinic blue and 50%actinic white) and for general reef lighting over compact fluorescent. If you are handy you might consider making a hood to save some $$$. Ice Cap ballasts will drive VHO or CF lighting, check them out at one of our WetWebMedia.com sponsors. Best of luck with your budget!  Craig>

PVC. SUBSTRATE ?????????? Hey Guys...I can't get this thought out of my head, so hopefully you can lend your opinion...I love the appearance of coralline algae in my system...Since coralline really likes PVC, and PVC is aquarium friendly, could I mix some ground PVC (1/8" in size) to my existing crushed coral substrate, (of similar size), to foster the growth of such...My goal is to add some "character, if you will" to the ugly bottom of my aquarium, and as an anticipated result, inhibit the future growth of undesirable algae...Please let me know what you think... <Worth experimenting. I suggest you place the bits of PVC in a plastic or glass tray to see if you really like the look... easier to remove if not. Bob Fenner> Thanks in advance, McKenna

Rockin' Around! Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> Hoping you can help me out. I have a 230 gallon tank FOWLR.  I introduced the ich parasite into it by adding some rock.  I cannot remove the fish so I would like to do hyposalinity for 45 days.  I have no corals but do have beautiful coralline algae on the rocks...my questions is...by doing hypo will this kill the coralline and other stuff on my rocks? if so, could this cause a ammonia spike? <In all likelihood, yes. And the die off of animals and algae could overwhelm your filtration and cause an ammonia spike. I know it's not a fun (or easy) method, but removing the fishes and letting the tank run "fallow" for a month really is the best way, IMO. Hyposalinity can work, but the fact is, the hosts for the ich parasite (the fishes) are still there. Granted, the parasites don't make the osmotic "stretch" as well as the fishes, but... I'd err on the side of caution. Sometimes this course of action works, sometimes it doesn't. If it were my tank, I'd rather endure the hassle of removing the rock to get out fishes (and re-setting it when the fishes are gone) and facing that disruption, than I would potentially killing all of the desired growth on the rock and dealing with the possible pollution (not to mention, having to wait for the desirable life forms to re-colonize the rocks). Whatever course of action you choose, just be patient! I'm sure you'll be successful!> Thank you so much, your site is marvelous!! Lynn McKinney <And thank you for the kind words, Laura! Good Luck! Regards, Scott F>

- Losing the Coralline battle? - Hey guys, <Hi, JasonC here...> OK, I added 90# LR to my 90 about a month ago, and began dosing with EVS B-ionic, and an all in one trace element additive including strontium, magnesium, iodine and vitamin C (Ecosystem's Reef Solution).  Since I added the rock, the beautiful purple coralline has been on the decline.  I also began to see brown diatoms and green hair algae (I have never before had the hair algae, and haven't seen the diatoms in a few years).   Following this I began using Seachem's Phosguard (for 4 days, as the directions stated), and have not seen any changes.  I should mention that I am using tap water in New York City.  Am I missing something?  I know I need to have patience, but I don't want to just stand by and watch the Coralline disappear if there is something I could be doing. <Well, you got the patience thing correct, you need lots of it. What you describe is pretty typical for live rock. Just about all the life on it, including the coralline goes through cycles and if you keep up the calcium additions, the coralline will make a comeback. You might also want to cut back on the food if you think you might be overfeeding.> Oh yeah, I have 330 Watts of PC light.  All tests are good, except phosphate is unknown (I am going to pick up a test kit this week, but I am using the PhosGuard as noted above).  <On that note, you should always test for the various elements you are trying to replace before adding stuff wholesale to the tank. The recommended dose on the bottle is just a recommendation... you should always test for these before adding. You may be adding too much of one thing or another. As for your water source, I would also test that for phosphate to see if you might be a candidate for an RO filter.> Thanks <Cheers, J -- >

Growing Coralline Algae I have a trigger tank which significantly limits the amount of interesting inverts/coral/anemone (right?) I can add to the tank. <You can add 'em- they just won't last long! :)> However my live rock contains a good amount of coralline algae, Caulerpa Valonia sp. and a small amount of Halimeda.  The tank is 100 gallons with a skimmer two filters rank for 125 gallon tank, two counter-current power heads, two corallite/whites no actinic blues yet (will they help?). My question to you is what other than calcium and macronutrients can I do to really make them take off --particularly the coralline algae.  Is their some magic product out there that will get the coralline to spread rapidly off the rock onto the glass.  I recognize you are not going to be a commercial (please do)--- but what products would you use in the system I described to really get the coralline spreading?  Thanks in advance. <Well- to be quite honest, there is no "magic" or "vital" formula to increase coralline algae growth. You already cited the two major factors- calcium and some micronutrients. Corallines will establish themselves without too much effort on the aquarist's part in time, once the conditions that they favor are reached. Some very good results growing coralline have been achieved with Calcium gluconate, which is available in commercial form in Seachem's "Reef Calcium" product. Some people think that this stuff also provides fuel for undesirable forms of algae as well; if your husbandry techniques and water quality were not up to par to begin with, you will definitely see a greater growth of the "yucky" algae! All the more reason to always do your best to keep water quality as high and stable as possible, particularly in a tank full of messy eaters/waste producers like triggers. Keep on top of the "basics" and your tank will do great! Good luck! Scott F>

Growing coralline algae I have been trying to get the pink or purple coralline algae to grow in my 55gal tank, but have not had much success. I use Kalkwasser and keep my calcium around 450 and my dKH around 11,(everything else checks out fine also) which from what I've read on here are good parameters for growing the coralline algae. <agreed> A salesman at LFS told me I need to add magnesium to help the calcium get absorbed, but thought I would ask you guys before buying something I might not need. <true... Mg should be about 3X calcium. 1200-1300ppm Mg would be nice here> I do have a few blue legged hermit crabs and couple of serpent starfish, and one regal tang, but that's all as far livestock goes. <no harm> I would appreciate any help with this problem. <do consider using SeaChem's Reef Calcium (organic Ca gluconate) in addition to your regular regime for 4 months (full doses). It is useless IMO for coral growth... but phenomenal for coralline algae growth> Also I would like to know which you prefer using, the Kalkwasser or the two part supplements? Thank you. <2-parts are nice, but still have Ca chloride which is problematic in the long run. They are also expensive and easily corrupted (Ca/Alk dynamic) unless you begin with a tank in perfect balance. Kalkwasser has many benefits over any other form of calcium at any rate. If you can use the slurry method (in archives and my book) to get over the tedious dosing of Kalk, there are tremendous benefits (also detailed over again in the FAQ archives). Best regards, Anthony>

Coralline Algae This is for Anthony. I talked to you yesterday about coralline algae growth and you suggested using Seachem's Reef Calcium along with my Kalkwasser. I just have a few follow up questions. First if I use the SeaChem's' should I lower my dosage of Kalkwasser as to not drive my calcium to high? <simply obey your test kit readings and tanks needs. Use the recommended dose of Reef Calcium and make up the rest of your daily Ca need with Kalkwasser. After a few months your corallines will be great (if you kept Ca and Alk consistent!) and you can go back to using Kalk only> Lastly , I have Seachem's Reef Complete ,can I use that instead of the Reef Calcium since it has magnesium and strontium already in it, plus I already have it and wouldn't have to buy the Reef Calcium? <nope... this product has calcium chloride and not calcium gluconate (Reef Calcium) which is ideal for spurring corallines> I only used it a couple of times and stopped because of what I have read and been told that it is not good for maintaining calcium in the long run because it is calcium chloride and Kalkwasser was better. Anyway thanks for help. <yes... liquid or dry calcium chloride is a bad long term solution. Just a temporary quick and safe Ca boost for neglected tanks. Best regards, Anthony>  

Coralline growth I had no other coralline or live rock. And I want to regenerate/populate my old 20 lbs of 2 year dried rock. So I bought 3 lb of live rock with a piece of coral thrown in. <ahhh, yes... very fine> Thank you for the information (and your patience) on generating additional coralline ( I plead ignorance here, were talking the purple stuff on the rock here right?) <our great pleasure> If so, is it safe to add while my tank is cycling?  I'm in week 3, ammonia is finally down to .10 to 0.0.. Nitrite is still 1.0 Nitrate just moved up to .20 The Seachem Reef Calcium can be added anytime... and Kalkwasser (for Calcium) and SeaBuffer (alkalinity) must be added ASAP and as necessary to maintain appropriate Ca Dn ALK levels. Test accordingly and read this article for a primer on the subject: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Anthony%20pics/understanding_calcium_and_alk.htm >> Again a million thanks to you all for the newbie help... Dave <best regards. Anthony>

Growing coralline, and please... no more anemones in reef tanks Thanks for the information. I bought because it had some nice coralline. I'm trying to repopulate some old now dead (at least two years dried out) live rock. Understood... but unless your tank had absolutely no speck of other coralline, this was not needed or helpful. Growing coralline algae is about water quality, not starter cultures per se. Very consistent levels (and dosing) of Calcium and alkalinity (buffers) are crucial for fast and strong coralline growth. Adding sugar based calcium to this (Seachem's Reef Calcium) can really jump start the growth too> I doing this one a very tight budget, so I'm not getting anything too expensive for a long while. Mostly live rock, maybe a tang ( have a damsel right now of course, new tank). At some point I'd like to get a couple clowns and a nice carpet for them to play in. <the clown does not need the anemone and the anemone (in captivity) will be worse for wear with the clown. Furthermore, most anemones (especially carpets) require more expensive and brighter light than most coral. They are also harder to keep and should not be mixed with any other stinging cnidarians (other anemones or coral). Basically... they need a species tank at best. I'd recommend you leave them in the ocean and admire form afar> Do you think I should remove the coral? Again, thanks for everything <if it gets covered with more corallines before nuisance algae, then leave it in if you like. Best regards, Anthony>

Reef Calcium Anthony, I've seen you recommend SeaChem Reef Calcium a number of times as a great stimulus for coralline growth.   <yes... specifically Calcium gluconate.. a sugar based/organic calcium. Great for corallines, but not useful for most other calcifying reef animals (corals)> Right now, I have a 125g fish only w/ live rock that I'm not adding any supplements to.   <not a crime in a young tank or aquaria with few calcifying animals. Still... calcium and carbonates are being used daily to some extent. If you do weekly water changes you are likely fine without supplements> I'd love to have some coralline growth though.  Can I just add Reef Calcium and nothing else?   <no my friend... sugar based calcium is a temporary boost for corallines only IMO. It is a fact otherwise that your calcifying animals need a consistent and constant supply of calcium and carbonates separately. For this you must test your water periodically and dose accordingly to maintain targets (8-12dKH hardness and 350-425 ppm Ca> I have read through your 'Understanding Calcium & Alkalinity' section.  From what I've read there & in the WWM FAQs, it seemed like the sugar-based composition of Reef Calcium wouldn't necessitate adding other supplements. Am I misunderstanding this? <yes, my friend... enormously. Please read again at leisure. I do understand that chemistry for those of us that aren't chemists is no fun at first. I have always been outspoken that Calcium gluconate is not at all useful for corals. They do not take it up well, quickly or at all in some cases it seem. For the benefit of other daily FAQ readers, the passage from the above mentioned article: "Organic Calcium (Calcium gluconate): This calcium supplement is an exception to the above warnings about the dangers of "Liquid calcium" products. Sugar-based calcium is an essentially safe source of calcium, but has not clearly demonstrated its efficacy for coral growth. It has, however, been shown to greatly accelerate the growth of desirable coralline algae species. As such, it is recommended as a supplement to a primary method for dosing calcium." Complete article here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Anthony%20pics/understanding_calcium_and_alk.htm > Along with this, would there be a long-term negative impact to adding this?   <well... no problems like Calcium Chloride (Most liquid calciums) with skewed Ca/Alk levels... but it IS an organic nutrient and can feed nuisance algae if you abuse it. Reef Calcium is mostly a jump start for corallines until you get into a good routing with Kalkwasser and buffer, and/or a calcium reactor> I've seen you warn about long-term supplementation of liquid calcium, but wasn't sure if this was the same thing. <they are different indeed... gluconate versus chloride base> And if you'll indulge me, let me ask one other unrelated question...I'm building a new sump for my tank to better house my new skimmer (AquaC EV-150). <awesome> I was using a wet/dry without the bioballs, but with the grids, etc.   In the wet/dry, there was a big sponge that all the water flowed through as it went out of chamber 1 into chamber 2.  My wife and I are split on whether I should incorporate this into the new sump in a somewhat similar manner.  (If it helps knowing, we currently have about 50lbs of live rock and were just given another 60-70 lbs worth, which is currently in quarantine.)  Is the sponge a good thing to keep or not, and why? <the foam block can be kept as a polishing filter (and used as a filter in some cases for a quick QT tank when needed). It must be the last thing before the return pump though (never place it before a skimmer or refugium) and it should be rinsed regularly to reduce nitrification (nitrate accumulation form it)> Thanks a ton for your help! (and for your ongoing work on this great web resource!) John <our great pleasure... best regards. Anthony>

Re: fresh to salt Steve you're a genius man. <Oh, I don't know about that.> I didn't think about doing that. I happen to have a mag pump too so that'll work out great. <Supreme Mag-Drives are one of my favorites, so cheap and versatile.> So if I wanted to use my lava rock as base rock, it could work? <It depends on your situation.> Is there anyway thing that I can do to the rock to make sure it is safe to use, like soaking it in water or bake in the sun or something? <No> I just hate wasting all this good rock when I could be growing coralline algae on it. <One of the drawbacks of using lava rock is coralline does not grow on it very well.> But, then again, I don't want to risk losing livestock because of it either. Thanks again, Jason <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Pink calcareous algae waning I have a question regarding pink calcareous algae....I've noticed over the past few months that the pink calcareous algae covering my live rock is losing its color.  Its turning whitish-yellowish and its surface is getting bumpy...almost like small blisters raising on its surface.  Any ideas what this may be...is it harmful? Thanks for any help. Chris Donovan <most often this is caused by an inconsistency in dosing and maintaining Calcium and/or Alkalinity levels. Test both and see if you are at least at 8 dKH carbonate hardness and 350 ppm Calcium: these are the bare minimums but are quite acceptable if stable. No need to aim for the high end. Aiming too high as with liquid Calcium supplements can drop Alk too low. Best regards, Anthony>

Growing Coralline Algae David, Thanks for your reply to my question. <You are more than welcome!> I will try the silversides and see if the tang takes them. <Just about anything meat of marine origin will work. Make sure the pieces are small enough to fit in the mouth of the fish.> Regarding the coralline algae, I am not sure what conditions are precipitating their growth (as I have not varied the conditions to see what parameters are positive/negative affecters) even though I am leaning to the efficient protein skimmer, the 10 gallons water change/week, and the source of the saltwater I use. For more detail here are my tank conditions: <Fabulous!> Lighting: ? Four (4) 96 W each CustomSeaLife Power compacts: 2 10,000K Super Daylight and 2 Super Actinic. Super Daylights on for 12 hours/Actinics on for 14 hours Filtration: ? 100 lbs. Live rock,  3 ? 4 inch sandbed, sump with Aqua C 150 protein skimmer. Circulation: ? Main pump plus two Rio powerheads in the tank that . Makeup water: ? Distilled bottled water that I add Kalkwasser (2 teaspoons/gallon). The amount of makeup water added depends on the evaporation rate. Water changes: ? 10 gallons/week. The saltwater I get is from Jeff?s Exotic Fish in Gardena, CA and is saltwater they get from Scripps Institute. They tell me it is filtered Pacific Ocean water. I test it and the Ca is 350 ppm/Alk 3.9 meq Fish feeding: ? 2 to 3/week Tank chemistry: S.G.:1.024 pH: ? 8.3 Alk: ? 3.5 meq Ca: ? 300 ppm. I know this is low, but it appears that this is    due to the high rate of Ca uptake by the clam, coralline algae  and corals. Oxygen: ? Saturation Temperature: 78 to 82 Nitrates: less than 10 ppm One item I did notice is that the lower the nitrate and dissolved organics material (DOM), there seemed to be an increase in coralline algae. Of course this is single observation, so it could be that the activities that lower the nitrates and DOM are conditions coralline algae favors. I also have a large number of algae eaters in the form of hermit crabs and snails. I also notice that the fastest growth is where the powerhead water deflects off the aquarium walls. I hope that this information has something that you have not tried. I also have a Korallin calcium reactor, but I ran out of CO2 and have yet it to refill it for the last 2 months, but this has not lead to a slow down in coralline algae growth. Please let me know if you need additional information. Kevin <Thanks for this! Every aquarist I know would like to have a problem with "too much" coralline. I did find a few things to try and I'm sure others will too! David D.>   

How to control Mesophyllum coralline algae? Hello, For some time now I have been trying to identify a golden-brownish, encrusting and plate forming, growth that has been covering my live rock and some corals. I now believe that what I have growing in my tank is a Mesophyllum sp. coralline algae, based on the two pictures in The Reef Aquarium, Volume1, on pages 162 and 215. How can I control, or ideally eliminate, the growth of this algae, since it is growing over a number of my corals and choking them out? The plates are easy to break off, but I have not been able to completely remove it where it has encrusted the rock or coral. Thanks in advance for your help. Jay <sea urchins are some of the only reef-safe grazers on this algae. Some limpets or Chitons may graze too but less likely or effectively. Short spine Atlantic sea urchins would be a safe first choice. Best regards>

Purple Coralline Algae I think I am having problems with purple coralline growth. I have a 72gallon tank with 90lbs of liverock. 440 watts of PC lights. It has been up about 6 months. I have a about 30 propagated coral plugs from GARF, about 40 snails, 10 hermits, 2 cleaner shrimp and 2 serpent stars. I have a yellow tang, Hippo Tang and Tomato Clown. I Have been following GARF'S Bullet proof recipe (Seachem Reef Plus, Reef Complete- Reef Builder and Reef Advantage Calcium). I also have been adding Marks Weiss Coral Vital once a day (My LFS- Hidden Reef in Philly really believes this promotes coralline growth). My problem is the purple coralline algae seems to come on strong for a month or two and then seems to shrink in the areas it was growing (looks as it gives the appearance almost slowly pealing . It still there but it doesn't seem to spread. The next month it seems to dissipate somewhat. Any Idea why seems this way? I wasn't sure if something is eating it. My liverock has quite a bit of red coralline algae on it and the red doesn't seem to disappear and re-appear like the purple. Over the last 3 month my liverock and become predominately greenish tone/algae in the areas where there is no purple or red? What Can I do maintain the purple coralline growth that I am not already doing. Thanks in advance - Ron <Without knowing your water parameters I cannot say for sure, but peeling corallines are usually a sign of low alkalinity. The growth that follows is fed by the die off from the last batch. I would avoid the Mark Weiss products, they are unproven and not as reliable as some of the other products on the market. I would suggest SeaChem's Reef Calcium in support of Kalk and buffer dosed with test kits. I strongly urge you to get some test kits, it is the only way to really know what is going on in your tank. Best Regards, Gage>

Re: Purple Coralline Algae Gage - In response to your reply- I do routinely test my water- As far as the coralline peeling, I always feel my ph is on the higher side 8.3-8.5. My alkalinity would seem to be high rather than on the lower side. My current levels are listed below. I will mention that I have been using "cheap' salt - Crystal Reef- and will be switching to the premium brand- Instant Ocean Salt. Please let me know what you think. <Instant Ocean and Reef Crystals are both made by Aquarium systems and it is Reef Crystals that is the enriched premium salt> - Thanks Again- Ron PH- 8.4 AMMONIA- 0.0 NITRATE NO2- 0.0 NITRATE NO3- 10 CALCIUM- 540 PHOSPHATE- 0.0-0.03 <Hey Ron. What we are looking for here is a measure of hardness (General or Carbonate). It is possible for water with a high ph value to have low alkalinity. I have included an excerpt on the topic from Anthony's book below. Best Regards, Gage>

Coralline Algae Growth I think I am having problems with purple coralline growth. I have a 72gallon tank with 90lbs of liverock. 440 watts of PC lights. It has been up about 6 months. I have a about 30 propagated coral plugs from GARF, about 40 snails, 10 hermits, 2 cleaner shrimp and 2 serpent stars. I have a yellow tang, Hippo Tang and Tomatoe Clown. I Have been following GARF'S Bullet proof recipe ( Seachem Reef Plus, Reef Complete- Reef Builder and Reef Advantage Calcium). <All good products> I also have been adding Marks Weiss Coral Vital once a day (My LFS- Hidden Reef in Philly really believes this promotes coralline growth). <My mother always told me that "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say it..."- so I will refrain from comment on this product :)> My problem is the purple coralline algae seems to come on strong for a month or two and then seems to shrink in the areas it was growing looks as it gives the appearance almost slowly pealing . It still there but it doesn't seem to spread. The next month it seems to dissipate somewhat. Any Idea why seems this way? I wasn't sure if something is eating it. My liverock has quite a bit of red coralline algae on it and the red doesn't seem to disappear and re-appear like the purple. Over the last 3 month my liverock and become predominately greenish tone/algae in the areas where there is no purple or red? What Can I do maintain the purple coralline growth that I am not already doing. Thanks in advance - Ron < I think that you are doing fine with your current methods (well-except for one product, IMHO). Note that there are different colors of coralline algae; there is nothing wrong with pink or green coralline! Keep in mind that concentrations of various nutrients are depleted as the algae grows, so be consistent with your additives, do regular water changes, monitor calcium levels, possibly magnesium. Research calcium reactors and the natural requirements of coralline algae with the resources on wetwebmedia.com. You're doing fine! Scott F.>

Coralline question for Anthony Calfo This is a question to Anthonalamidingdong, the Calfonator, the Calfitola (ok I'm done)  <but I'm not done yet: Father Calfo Sarducci, Calfaroni... the Calfster... Antoine the Beautiful... Antoine the vertically challenged... and once, only once... Sheila. OK... now I'm done> in your book "Book Of Coral Propagation." You State on pg 215 in the section on live foods. That systems that are left unlit for up to a year without predatory fish include extraordinary coralline algae growth. Sorry I'm para phrasing. <understood... but not exactly my sentiment/meaning. I'm referencing aquarists (many Europeans) that cure their live rock for 6-12 months in the dark or dimly lit aquarium with regular calcium/alkalinity dosing to boost corallines without the inconvenience of competitive nuisance algae, grazing herbivores like urchins, etc. All for the purpose of growing a massive coralline population in advance of stocking. For us impatient Americans <wink> we can get similarly good results by resisting hard grazing fishes, echinoderms and gastropods for at least 4 months, keep Ca and ALK at strong and consistent levels, and dose Reefchem's liquid calcium generously (a sugar-based organic calcium that is excellent for spurring coralline growth) > Your saying it will grow after the introduction of lights.  <nope... during the dimly lit long curing period> A year later Right?  <indeed a year is for the most patient aquarists. 4-6 months conditioning of live rock is very fine for most instead with a long view> The tank wont have "extraordinary coralline algae growths" from just ambient room light?  <it may very well... but do add some good reef lighting to prevent shock> By the way love your book maybe one day it will be remade with more pictures so I wont have to look up things like "Pachyseris" in a coffee table book for a picture reference.  <indeed a possibility!> Many thanks to you and the whole crew.  <our great pleasure> I'm eagerly awaiting your new invert book that I preordered.  <and with our kind thanks> I'm also hoping for a new Fennerino, Calfster, Book in the future. <you will not be disappointed, my friend> Keep on rockin... <...in the free world and beyond> Your Compadre in Coral-Steve Buchholz <your friend with a wicked wedgie, Anthony>

Cleaning Acrylic Tank I am looking for a way to remove coralline algae from the front of an acrylic aquarium. Anything will help please! -Donovan <I like to use the scrapers from Kent Marine. I believe their red plastic blades are acrylic safe. -Steven Pro>

Coralline algae on glass Hello! How are you today? <Extraordinarily tired. I had to go work on my in-laws farm picking pumpkins.> I have been adding some strontium to my tank, according to the directions on the bottle. After a few weeks, I am starting to get coralline algae growing on the glass of my tank. It is a pretty pink and purple color. Is this normal, or is it too much coralline growth? <I would never say you could have too much coralline.> I have since stopped adding the strontium to my tank, (it is a 29 gallon with 25 lbs live rock). I think that I am getting enough strontium by just doing water changes, from the salt mix. <If frequent enough, large enough, and demand low enough, possible.> The coralline on the glass is slow growing. Should I scrape it off or let it go? <I let it go on the back.> It is harder to scrape off than nuisance algae! <And far better for your tank.> Thanks again, Kevin <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Help with my coralline Hi Bob, <<You got JasonC today...>> Keep up the great job on the website. <<Will do.>> It's a very useful tool for the hobby. I have a 125 gal reef tank that has been established for close to 3 years now(1yr. as a fish and 2yr. as a reef only tank) I have lots of SPS and some LPS as well as a few softies. The lighting setup includes (3) 175w 10k MH, (2) 55w actinic CF, (2) 55w 10k Supersun CF, (1) 110w VHO 50/50, and (1) 110w VHO 03 actinic fluorescent. The total lighting is about 11 hours. The actinics start the cycle for about 1 1/2 hours, the CF and VHO fluorescents are on about 8 hours during which the MH turn on for about 5 hours, and the actinics finishing for another 1 1/2 hours. The chiller keeps the temp between 79 and 81 degrees. I have a Knop calcium reactor that has been installed for about four months filled with Korallith media The drip return having Ph of approx 6.8. The G3 protein skimmer w/2 Rio 2100's produces lots of solid gunk and I'm happy with its performance. Plenty of live rock (maybe 200 lbs) with a straight live sand bed. I'm not a big additive guy but I do admit to using sea-chem reef plus and reef complete bi weekly plus a weekly dose of Kent Lugol's solution. My water parameters are as follows : Ph goes between 8.6 and 8.8, <<That's a little on the high side...>> Ca.390-420, Mg.1000-1150, KH averages 9.6 - 10.8 . The Spec.Grav. is an average 1.023. Nine fish mostly small gobies, blennies & Basslets with a 4 inch Maroon clown who basks in his 12 inch Anemone. The corals are many acropora and Montipora frags, 4 parent acropora colonies, plus many others hard and soft corals. Most of which have been fragged in some way or another. (and both the parent and frags seem to be very happy in the tank.)............... Now for my problem. My Purple coralline has been fading to a white chalky color for some time now (maybe six months) with the edges being the whitest. The deep purple usually starts to regain its color soon after 35 gal water changes that I perform every 3 weeks or so, but starts the same fading soon after. (I'm using the AquaCraft 2-part Marine Environment Salt mixed with my own RO water) I've also noticed that instead of the deep purple encrusting coralline that used to grow on the glass, It has been replaced by a definite round, very light purple (almost lavender/white) algae of some sort about the diameter of a round toothpick. Although the same deep purple algae still grows on new and existing live rock. Six or so months ago I would of had to scrape that same coralline off the glass weekly, it grew so quickly. (I was using Kent part A & B as my calcium source back then). Do you think the addition of the Calcium Reactor or the higher Ph has anything to do with it? <<I would start with the higher pH.>> And if so...how do I safely lower it without using baking soda (which seems to only have a temporary effect as well as elevating the KH) My makeup water is plain RO water that has Ph of 8.1. but my Tank Ph never drops below 8.6 and has seen higher readings in the 8.9 range. <<That's too high - you need to look for what is causing your pH to be so high - you can pretty safely eliminate the calcium reactor.>> I use a regularly calibrated Hanna ProntoPh in the sump and also have a Hanna Phep handheld to double check my readings. <<You may need to resort to adding a weak acid - acetic [vinegar] or Muriatic - solution to the tank to bring down that pH.>> So....any help You may have will be greatly appreciated. I'd love to see my purple coralline turn purple again..=)..Write me back if you need anymore specs on my setup and I could also send you a picture of what I'm talking about if that's OK...let me know. Thanks, Shawn <<Cheers, J -- >>

Coralline Algae Hi Bob and experts, I brought few live rock recently with coralline algae, however some part of it turn white color. I add Coralife calcium, Kalkwasser plus (strontium & magnesium) and reef builder for ph control. Q1. Why it turn white ? <Could be a few things, combination... too little available calcium, too little alkalinity (what are your test readings?), too much imbalance with magnesium... scavengers eating it, other life forms out-competing it... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallinealg.htm and the many FAQs beyond where folks with similar questions have been answered> Q2. If too much calcium is added to the water, is there any side effect ? <Many... precipitation most outstandingly... Your test kits measure what?> Q3. After added calcium for about 1 week, I see some pinkish color substance appear on the dead live rock that is already in my tank. I used a brush to brush away some of it and it came off. It seem to be a red slime to me.. or is it the growth of coralline algae ? <Not coralline... typically very much hard, stuck on rock substrates> Q4. when coralline algae started to grow in a dead rock, is it something that look like red slime algae ? <Not really... not soft, moving in water current... more like encrusting scale... though there are softer, even branching varieties/species of corallines. Do read through the sections on marine algae, use on WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner> Thanks a lot.. Danny

Coralline Algae... Hi Bob, I really like LOW lighting for my 125gal (that's why my tank IS FOWLR) and I like to keep coralline algae. I have 1 actinic blue (40 Watts). I have been reading the coralline FAQ. I want to ask, if I had good calcium and alkalinity levels would the coralline algae grow? <Yes, there are different species that occupy different niches, grow at different light levels.> I am thinking to add another 40 Watts. Your site helped me a lot. Thanks WWM crew. <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Something is eating coralline Hey there oh faithful gods of the sea. <<And hey to you...> my coralline is being eaten by someone. <<oh?>> I have the standard cleanup crew, including a giant emerald crab along with 2 smaller ones. hermit crab, etc. I noticed the blue claw hermits spend a lot of time picking at my rock. shrimps also. could it be them? <<I doubt it - what are you doing to supplement calcium in the tank? Coralline is a calcium-based algae and needs a steady supply to flourish.>> no loss of coralline in areas next to the wall of my tank, where nobody fat could fit, 1/4 inch clearance. should I catch the beasts and put them into one of my other, less pretty tanks. which could it be.?? <<I didn't see mention of an urchin of any type, and I've never seen a crab or shrimp of any type eat coralline algae. You might want to check out this URL and the FAQs beyond: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallinealg.htm >> thank you, Renee RN <<You are quite welcome. Cheers, J -- >>

Re: Something is Eating Coralline By far, the most awesome gods, you are right! I have a pincushion and a pencil urchin. That's what is eating the coralline. poor giant emerald crab, I caught him and threw him into another tank. I guess I could put him back now...urchins...ugh. <<while I appreciate the kind words, I can assure you, I am quite human and make many more mistakes than any god should. But where were we?? Urchins... yes... they are like self-propelled Brillo-pads.>> yes, I supplement calcium and drip Kalk at night and etc, etc. little coralline dots growing everywhere else. <<Ahh good, well we've now solved the mystery of the missing coralline so no worries about the calcium.>> which urchin to remove or both? <<Well, depends just how much of the coralline they are removing - if you can live with a little loss - recall this is food for them - then keep them. I'm sure you can find balance there somewhere.>> can I put him/them into a tank with a giant carpet and two clowns? <<sure.>> another subject...cuz gods can do more than one thing at a time. <<well, actually, I'm done with that previous thing so... sorry to disappoint, but... one thing at a time here ;-) >> how do the fish retain color. I buy clowns from ORA and they are BRILLIANT. then they gradually turn regular color. what do they feed them. <<A better question to ask would be, what do you feed them?>> I am truly blessed to have such bright and attentive gods to watch over me.\Renee RN <<Cheers, J -- >>

Disappearing Coralline Algae Hello Mr. Fenner, I have been reading the articles on WetWebMedia and I am very impressed that someone has put the time in to build such a great site. Anyways, I have a 55 gallon saltwater tank with 1 False Percula Clown, 1 Coral Beauty Angel and 1 Green Chromis. <Pretty low stocking density. I like it. You can get more fish, of course, but it is an unusual change of pace for the questions we routinely get.> My equipment consists of an Emperor 400 Filter, Aquarium Systems Seaclone Protein Skimmer and an All Glass power compact hood rated @ 2 x 55 watts and all has been running well for about 14 months. <And at 14 months you still only have three fish. I sincerely hope this is a sign of your patience and not of previous problems. If patience, congratulations. You are probably rewarded with a great diversity and number of critters; copepods, amphipods, worms, etc.> The problem that I have been having is that over the past 2 months my rock has been losing its coralline algae and the small organisms have all disappeared. I changed the PC bulbs the other day because they were 7 months old. <Not terribly old for PC lamps. Many can last up to one year.> Is there not enough lighting to maintain the coralline algae on the rock for this size tank? <No, should be fine for just coralline.> I changed my salt last week from Instant Ocean to Reef Crystals. Will that help bring the rock back or do I need to add something else to help the coralline algae grow. <I would check your pH, alkalinity, calcium, and nitrate levels to make sure you are in the appropriate ranges.> Also, I have dead rock outside my tank in a box. Would it be ok to put it in there as a base for the other rock? <I would soak it outside the tank for a few days and double check for any ammonia. There is a small concern for junk leaching out from deep inside the pore space.> Your comments would be sincerely appreciated. Thank You For Your Time, Jim Stawiarski <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

New Liverock Came Shipped Chalky White Hello Mr. Fenner: <Steven Pro in today.> I have never written to you in the past and I spend at least 30 minutes a day reading all your great info on your website. I just have to say that I find WetWebMedia very informative. I just love it. I have your book and have pretty much read it over and over. It has helped me a lot. <From all of us, thank you for your praise. Be sure to tell your friends.> Now, here my question if I may. Is there a trick to getting the coralline algae on liverock to return? <No trick really. Maintain good levels of pH, alkalinity, and calcium levels and supply adequate lighting.> This rock is brand new to my tank. I purchased it from an online dealer (Aquacon). It is Tonga branch and Hapai, 50 pounds total and has been in my system for three days. It is as white as white could be, but, I thought I was getting mostly red coralline covered rock. The rock was shipped this way. This stuff is expensive! <Sorry to hear about your bad experience. Will make a mental note for myself and I am sure many of our readers will do the same.> My system has been up and running for 7 months now with 40 to 50 pounds of liverock purchased locally. Now, my system is a 75 gal tank with an Eheim wet/dry canister, magnum 350 canister, Marineland emperor penguin 400, two power heads and a prism skimmer (most of the filters were on this tank when it was a freshwater setup). My water readings are pretty good. Salinity 1.025, pH 8.3, alkalinity normal to high (the test I have only shows a color chart no numbers), calcium 450, and I add trace elements, Combisan once a week and Iodine drops once a week. My lighting is a Phazer compact pendant light with two 55 watt 10,000k ultra daylight bulbs and two 55 watt actinic blue bulbs with a grand total of 220 watts. Critters are as follows 1 Kole tang, 1 yellow Coris wrasse, 1 yellow tail damsel, 1 Foxface Rabbitfish, and 1 spunky coral beauty angel. I also have various cleanup critters red hermits, blue hermits, turbo snails, sally lightfoot crab and a emerald green crab. Then there are the hitchhikers on the previous liverock. Will this liverock regain its color or always remain chalk white? <In time, yes.> What can I do to bring it back? <Along with the items noted above, patience.> Thanks so much for your help. Sherry Spitz <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Coralline algae Hi Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I have a question regarding coralline algae. I have about 67lbs of Fiji live rock in a 65gal fish only tank. Much of the rock is covered w/ purple and/or pink coralline algae. How can I keep it healthy and growing?  <needs very consistent and natural/high levels of calcium and carbonate (alkalinity). Do buy and use both test kits> What supplements should I add?  <Manually... Kalkwasser and SeaBuffer/bicarbonate. Or... more expensive and more convenient: ESV two part calcium (mix well with each use). Or... for hardcore reefing: calcium reactor and Kalkwasser. And finally, I'd suggest Seachem's reef calcium (sugar based calcium) in addition to any of the above mentioned Ca/ALK combos> Is there anything I need to watch out for? What should I avoid?  <yep... a sudden laziness or neglect on your part which allows the ca and/or alk levels to fall can cause the corallines to "bleach"/crash... erasing months or years of hard work. This will be a good husbandry primer for you if you are going to keep more challenging corals in the future> Any advice would be a great help.  <do also look for assistance/fellowship from a good local aquarium society. Do holler if you are not aware of one in your area> Thanks. Andy <best regards, Anthony>

Re: Coralline algae Thanks for the response. Some of my beautiful rock has already started to bleach.  <caused more often by exposure to light when out of water than as to exposure to air (as with recent transit as many suspect. Do make a habit of conducting water changes (which drops water level in tank and exposes rock to bright reef lights through air instead of refracted through water)> Can I expect color to return? What type of time frame? <absolutely... and likely faster than if the rock had little of no coralline to start (the bleached corallines dissolve and feed new so to speak). 2-4 months with good Ca and Alk levels> Also, what levels of Calcium am I looking to have? How about the alkalinity? <target 350-450 ppm calcium and 10-12 dKH would be nice. Do read up a bit on reef water chemistry... much good free information on the net, and in books. Best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Fading Corallines Hello Guys <Cheers, bub> I bought 3 pieces of live rock last week to add to my 120g aquarium. They are nicely covered in purple and red coralline algae, and a multitude of tube worms. Anyway, over the last couple of days I have noticed the purple patches of algae seem to be fading, and white faded spots are slowly appearing. <if the white patches are not loosely necrotic, but rather hard/calcareous then it sounds like the corallines are bleaching. Rough curing by vendor and/or low Calcium or Alk on yours> My water parameters are : pH 8.2 SG 1.023 dKH 14 ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 0 temp - 78 300 watts MH total - live rock placed in "sunny" areas calcium unknown - am dosing Kalk nightly though. <hmmm... a slightly high (but OK) Alk, do test for calcium too see if it isn't skewed or being precipitated by the high Alk. This would contribute to the corallines bleaching> My instincts tell me this is a die-off process,  <indeed. it may simply be that> my question to you - is this normal on the introduction of cured live rock?  <more a sign of live rock that cured rough> Is this phenomena just associated with the live rock acclimatizing ? <to a small extent at least> Do you recommend adding a calcium supplement ? <I'm content with Kalkwasser and buffer... but you may also consider tow-part liquid calcium or a calcium reactor just the same> Enjoy your day, I thank you in advance, Andrew <best regards, Anthony>

Calcium, Alk, & Coralline Algae Now that I have figured out kH and was given good info on what to do on how to keep my calcium levels up. I had a question on coralline algae, my tank has been set up for a little over a year when I started the coralline grew like crazy but now it has started to turn white and now to a green color. I have been testing my calcium now for about 2 weeks. when I started it was about 280 ppm I have gotten it up to 320 these past 2 weeks but have had no color changes is this just a problem that will right itself when I achieve 400-450 ppm? <Yes, given all other conditions appropriate; lighting, nutrients, etc.> parameters 55 gallon long tank 330 watts pc lighting 110 watts 50-50 110 watts 10 k 110 9650k ph 8.2 ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 0 calcium 320 ppm kH 10.64meq/l sg 1.023 temp 79 degrees f still haven't found a alk. test kit <Salifert makes a nice, affordable kit. What a minute! How do you know what you KH is? Alkalinity is measured in two scales. One is German degrees of hardness, dKH, the other is milliequivalents per liter, meq/l.> Skilter need a real skimmer 2 power heads <Everything sounds ok. Calcium and alkalinity need to come up, but you know that.> inhabitants rose anemone 1 now gave one to friend maroon clown above buddy button polyps two colonies pagoda coral yellow star polyps encrusting gorgonian red tube worm colony 8 different color zoanthids 2 large candies 2 small candies pom-pom xenias 5 colonies long tactical Xenia getting big branching hammer large branching hammer frag branching frogspawn 1 green 1 brown flower pot 1 pink 1 tan Nepthea branching torch 4 large star colonies 3 colony pipe organ started with 1 medium cabbage was the size of the tip of my little finger Galaxea 4 colonies rose leather red moon? toad stool leather mushroom leather bubble Octo bubble sun coral cloves daisies 10 Christmas tree worms 2 serpent star fish 1 Scopas tang multiple crabs {hermit} multiple snails and a partridge in a pear tree <Wow, that is a pretty well packed 55. -Steven Pro>

Trouble with Tribbles Anthony, First let me start by reporting the best reef conditions I have ever had. Thanks to you and yours, water is better, skimmer is functioning properly, rock and inverts are thriving, and the reef is reefier! (Did I just coin a word?) <sounds delicious!> You guys ought to wear capes!  <I used to wear one... but apparently it is unlawful to do so without wearing any other garment of clothing while standing in a park fountain> Yes, reefier. Has a nice ring to it. I'll be using that one again.) <just ducky! <winky>> I was scraping algae off the glass this morning for the first time in a couple of weeks, (snails are apparently getting lazy) and I noticed what looked like very tiny white bugs scampering around in the algae. Then I noticed that there were none left on any place I had scraped, and only collecting on spots I had missed. Upon closer examination, I could almost make out a tadpole (sperm) shape, they were white and definitely moving of there own free will.  <perhaps you've discovered the secret ingredient in some of the vital/snake oil reef supplements?> I stopped scraping to avoid possibly wiping out a colony of something cool. Any idea what they might be? <well... many desirable microorganisms...amphipods, copepods and the like. Do look up some of Shimek's or Moe's drawings/photos of such critters. Very desirable though I'm sure> Also, a couple of weeks ago, against my better judgment, I bought a really cool long spined urchin. I took the advice of a reef store that said........"Sure he'll eat your precious coralline algae, but upon doing so, they expel the spores thus repopulating/propagating the species." Is this BS?  <Hahahahahahhhahhahhahhahhahahhhahhah...........> <Ha... ha....he....hehe...he....hahahahahahahhahhahhahahhahhaahah> <woooo...hooooo...ha...hooo. Ahe...heheh. Ahem....> <Pat,...I do not believe that explanation by your LFS was entirely correct <tear>> I have noticed a whole lot of chewing going on. Can this little monster actually chew down my reef? or is the new coralline growth I'm starting to see (on the snails of all places) evidence of this. I hand picked all 75lbs ( and counting) of my rock for it's abundant coralline/calcareous growth and I'd hate to see it all devoured by this aquatic tribbles, as cool as he is. <in fact, I agree that the long-spine urchin is pretty cool. Yes they can eat some coralline algae...but  no, they do not shoot "Magic" coralline algae spores out of their bungholes....hahahahahahahah...heheheheh, wooohooooo. Oh, yeah! I got to get the name of that sales clerk and thank him for that one <smile>! Anyway... my take on the urchin/live rock deal is that I would recommend them for tanks that for whatever reason grow enough microalgae for them to graze. In such cases their presence serves the greater good. Else, they eat more coralline algae than most people can grow. If you see that exposed white carbonate material on the rock than pink, etc corallines sprouting...pull the urchin. Else, enjoy it>> Hey anyway, have 65 nice days in a row. If they ever come out with a small porous statue of you, I will surely sink it in the tank so as it seeds, my animals can all have someone to worship.  <I'm actually hoping they manufacture my likeness in one of those springy tassel dolls that you can mount on the dashboard of your car. But if you do submerge a statue of me in the tank, please cultivate some long hair algae on my head so that I look taller> As always, thank you. -Pat <with kind regards, Anthony>


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