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FAQs about Calcareous and Coralline Algae 4

Related Articles: Coralline Marine Algae, Red Algae in GeneralAvoiding 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 2, Coralline Algae 3, 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

Encrusting Red Algae in N. Sulawesi. 

Coralline Algae     7/19/12
Hello all,
Once again, thanks for all you do. Your site is the reason I have had a successful reef tank for a number of years.
<Ahh; so glad we have been of service to you>
 I rarely miss the FAQ and have written a few times. I keep leathers, polyps and mushrooms. Also, a clam (for three years) and a LTA with a pair of spawning maroons (for two years) and several small fish. The clam is placed high in the tank. The lighting is an Aquatic Life t5 HO  fixture with four bulbs and moonlights, all on separate timers. There are two 10,000 and two actinic bulbs. There is a DSB and it is a 46 gallons. The only chemicals I  need to use to keep it balanced is the nano reef two part system from Kent and I use Instant Ocean Crystals to mix water for changes. Now, for the problem. The tank had to be moved seven months ago for new flooring and was placed in a more sunny location. I also improved the lighting fixture the next month to the current one. All the livestock survived the move, but I lost most of my  beautiful purple algae. There is still some low in the tank and under the rocks, along with tons of sponges, etc. The daylights are kept on for twelve hours daily and the actinics for fourteen. I am wondering if the lighting change is the cause and if decreasing the lighting time would help.
<Perhaps... I'd like to know your Ca, Mg, Alkalinity measures... Please
read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corlinepropfaqs.htm
and as much of the linked files above re Corallines as you have time, interest for>
 Also, there is very little green algae which I contribute to the clean up crew and lemon peel. Any suggestions you would have would be very much appreciated.
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Coralline Algae    7/20/12

Thanks for such a fast reply! My test kit is expired and needs replaced, which I keep putting off since everything has been going so well and nothing has been changed in regards to care of the tank (I know, I know), so I can't give you values right now. Do you think it would be harmful to cut down the daylights to ten hours from twelve hours for the clam and LTA?
<Likely a nominal change; but worth trying>
I read almost everything on your site and am thinking that this type of coralline may prefer less light. Thanks again for your help.
<Welcome. BobF>

Help with coralline 6/14/12
<Hello Andy>
First off my name is Brian I am in Virginia . My tank is about 3 years old since I dove hardcore into it to cure high nitrates and phosphates. I worked really hard to get my nitrates down from 160ppm. Took a lot of water changes but they are now down to a steady .75 on the new Red Sea Coral test kit. They have not been above 2ppm in 6months to a year. Phosphates are down to a steady .06 still trying to get to that .02 mark by running GFO.  I cannot get coralline algae to grow. I have introduced several different strains from different places and nothing. I tried scraping a piece over a power head  every day for a month I have a few spots on some rocks but it never grows, it never dies. I was dosing 2 part and have now switched to Kalk to try that. For the last year I have kept a steady Ca 430, Alk 9.3 Mag is 1550( high, my mistake on OD) was running at 1350. What else can I do?
Here is a run down of my tank and set up.
I feed frozen foods every 3rd day rinsed with ro/di water
I do a 5-7g water on Sunday and Thursday
20g long sump/refugium 8" water
Red Sea Coral Pro Salt
Calcium 430
Alk 9.3dkh
Mag 1550
Nitrates .75
Phosphates .06
Nitrites 0
Ammonia 0
SG 1.026
Temp 78-80
Warner Marine MF 181 Kone Skimmer
Hydor Wavemaker 2 Hydor 2's on back pointed towards center surface 1 Hydor 2 that runs during lights on in middle of tank pointed center surface Mag drive 3 return
1 Phosban Reactor with BRS GFO changed every 2 weeks
1 Phosban Reactor with BRS ROX.08 changed every 2 weeks
Nova Extreme Pro 6x 54w T5HO ATI Bulbs changed 8 weeks ago 10hrs a day <What is the Kelvin make up of the lamps.  Coralline needs blue light in the form of actinic.>
roughly 60-70lbs of live rock
4” DSB
1 Bubble Tip Anemone
1 Maroon Clown Yellow Strip
1 Royal Gramma
2 Green Chromis
1 Six Line Wrasse
1 Diamond Goby
New clean up crew of snails
1 Kenya Tree
1 Toadstool
1 Finger Leather
2 Frogspawns
1 rock of Xenia
1 rock assorted mushrooms
1 rock of assorted Zoas
20 Mangroves and other various macro’s
12x12 3" dsb
live rock and pod condo
6500k daylight bulb 27w(100w) runs at lights out
<May want to read through our Coralline Algae Reproduction & Propagation FAQs here.
Thanks for the Help
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>
Brian Vass
Re Help with coralline 6/15/12
Thanks for the reply.
 I will read through the write up. To your question about light I running the following lights. Not in this order but the 6 bulbs are
ATI 1 Coral Plus
ATI 2 Blue Plus 
ATI 2 AquaBlue Special 12k
ATI 1 True Actinic 420nm
<Mmm, should be very suitable for growing coralline.  Do read where the link led you.
James (Salty Dog)>

Coralline Algae Question/No Useful Information 2/9/10
I've recently had a die off of coralline algae in my saltwater tank. The tank's been up and running for a year with fish in it and my water parameters are all in order. Everything else in the tank is fine including my corals.
My basic water change routine is 20% every 2 weeks.
<Not much useful information here for me to provide any worthy suggestions, but you can read here and related articles/FAQ's for information on growing/maintaining coralline algae.
Thank you for your time.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Brown Coralline? 11/09/08 I've had a dark brown slightly reddish coralline algae starting to spread on my back overflows, Koralia's and some live rock. It looks just like the coralline type but the color is wrong. I cannot seem to find anything about this type of algae on the forum. Any ideas? <It could just be the red coralline instead of the purple you are used to seeing. I'm supposing it looks brown because of your lighting. If it is hard and crusty like the purple then no worries. If it is filmy and slimy then it could be cyano or diatoms. But most likely its just a different color coralline.> Thank you for all the support! <Regards, Jessy> alan

Branching Coralline Algae. 9/14/08 Hi all <Hi Leif, Mich here.> I was curios to know if there is any available information on branching coralline algae? <I thought I would be able to fine something relevant for you, but I'm not finding much that I think is terribly valuable.> There is a local reefer here in Colorado that is selling some of this, and I am wondering if it would be worth picking up some. <I do think this would be a worthwhile purchase. Branching coralline is really cool looking!> Here is the link to the local thread. http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=599ef91ed2bc1fb32e9ed1073aaac56d&threadid=1468118 Thank you very much for you're time and any insight you may have for me. <Wish I had something more to tell you, other than give it a try and get as much info as you can when if you purchase it.> Leif Hansson <Mich>

Yellow Coralline Algae 05/23/08 Good Morning Guys, I was wondering if I can get that beautiful yellow algae I've seen on live rock in my reef nano tank? I've herd that I will get that in time with proper lighting. Is that true? I'm currently running a sunpod 150 HQI lamp. Thanx for all you do! <The "varieties" of encrusting algae (et al. organisms) that come to predominate our systems are mainly a function of lighting and water quality conditions (and to just a slightly lesser extent the predatory make-up of a tank). Bob Fenner>

bit of a ph problem (additional information), growing coralline, reading  - 03/10/08 Hi guys, I forgot to give you one really important piece of information. <And the prev. corr....> The reason that I started to investigate the ph in the first place was because I am having a very hard time growing coralline algae. My calcium was fine so I looked into the ph and saw that it was low. <How low is low Esteban?> My tank used to grow coralline algae so fast I had to buy two new scrapers. Now I don't have to clean it at all :(. I will never complain about cleaning that stuff ever again. I hope that helps you to figure out what might be going on in my system. Steve <You're not reading... Start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/corallinealg.htm the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Live Rock/Clown & Wrasse Behavior/Coralline Algae   8/8/07 Salutations WWM crew! I am new to the marine hobby, and I must say your website has been an amazing resource for me as I have just contracted the marine addiction. I have been spending incredible amounts of time on your site, and soon will be divorced, broke, and homeless because I have been paying so much attention to the tank and your site! <Well, you can join, move in with us then... and start answering queries! Heeeeeee!> I have a couple of questions regarding live rock/coralline growth, and some fish behavior. My FOWLR set up is as follows (set up for nearly 1 month): -70 gal glass tall tank - 36"L x 31.5"H x 15.5"W -2 inch of crushed coral <Mmm, do see WWM re this depth, material> -105 lbs. of live rock (90% ultra prem. Fiji and 10% Fiji branch) -Temp 78-80F -Salinity 1.022 <I'd raise this... see... WWM> -pH 8.3 -Nitrite 0 -Nitrate 5ppm -Alkalinity - high range (The kit I have doesn't read in actual numbers but in color ranges, showing low, normal, and high) -Hydor Koralia 3 (850 gph) -Hydor Koralia 4 (1200 gph) -Marineland Multistage Canister Filter C-360 (360 gph) rated for 100gal - media used is foam, carbon, bio filter balls, and ceramic -Coralife Super Skimmer (325gph) rated for 65gal HOT - Finally seems to be working correctly after 3 weeks of adjusting -1 - Anampses chrysocephalus (female) - commonly known as red tail Tamarin wrasse - 2.5" <Yes... and not easily kept!> -1 - Amphiprion ocellaris - commonly known as false percula clownfish (I believe wild caught, not aquacultured) - 1.5" -1 - Paracanthurus hepatus - commonly known as blue hippo tang - 1.5" -1 - Cheap-o-China lighting looks like T-6 lighting 1 6300K white and 1 T6 blue (really low wattage)...Just ordered a new lighting 36" 192W PC dual strip w/ 96w 12000K bulb, 96w Actinic Blue bulb, and 3x blue moon LED. -No calcium test kit...yet -Feedings of frozen Mysid, frozen brine, frozen krill, Formula 1 flake, and Spectrum Thera +A small pellets -No QT tank yet, just have been drip acclimating and methylene blue freshwater dips -I have changed water 20% 2x using Instant Ocean salt mix and ammonia treated tap water (both marine enthusiasts and 2 local LFS say that the area I live in has great tap water properties for marine...no problems ever experienced...yet) Now my questions/concerns: I have a couple of questions for you regarding my set up. I have been having what seems like trouble growing my coralline algae. <... see WWM re... your system is too new re... and you may lack sufficient biomineral and/or alkaline reserve...> Its only been approx. a month, with the newest live rock addition (50lbs) being cured and placed in tank for nearly a week, and the rest was placed in the tank when started. Lots of my neon green and purple coralline algae are experiencing scattered white spots, and also some are being covered by bluish/gray substance (looks like typical household mold, but seems to have the characteristics of coralline; hard and encrusting). The coralline also does not seem to spread around to other areas. A little background...Approx. 2.5-3 weeks ago, I did have 6 damsels while cycling, which all died and removed, <... see WWM... not a good practice... You may have advertently added parasites to your system...> had 10 Nassarius snails all died and did NOT remove, had 2 cleaner skunk shrimp that died and could not find and did NOT remove, and 2 emerald crabs that died and I did remove. The water parameters as stated above was as of today. I have also seen bristle worms and what seems to be translucent feather dusters or algae plants floating around the tank seemingly dead. I did not have an algae bloom as most people speak of on your site, but I do seem to have recurring brown algae on glass in small patches. As far as my concern of the coralline algae, am I being to impatient for growth, is this usual coralline die off behavior that needs to run its course, is my lighting too underpowered, or do you suspect another aspect of water chemistry? <Likely mostly the latter> For the dimensions of the tank, I believe from reading on your site I should have metal halide lighting, but will the new PC lighting I am getting be sufficient as I am not going to go full blown reef? <For this height, a likely mix of photosynthates... MH> Next question is regarding the ocellaris. I have had him for nearly 3 days now, and all he seems to do is swim all around the outer ends of the aquarium looking at the glass. I'm assuming its looking at its own reflection, but its behaving in such a way that it seems to border obsessive. <What they do... better to have/keep in pairs...> It has not even once explored the vast live rock landscape (that I'm very proud of...a nearly four hour job and many days of rearranging/adding), and doesn't seem to be eating. It is a very healthy looking specimen, no visible parasites or fungus, and has not shown any color loss as indication of stress. The wrasse, which was added 1 day ago, seems to have picked up on this behavior. The wrasse is in great health, beautifully colored, plump, and swimming and sleeping as normal (according to posts here on WWM). I know of the extreme difficulty in the keeping of this species, but have already ordered live copepods and amphipods and am fully prepared to keep up with its demand of these inverts, most l likely keeping 1000's available daily. I do see the wrasse occasionally stop with the "reflection" behavior and start picking at the live rock and also the sand. Does this indicate that I actually have a population of copepods/amphipods, albeit assumably very small, or is it normal for the wrasse to pick on "nothing"? <Mmm, normal for it to pick... on something> And is the behavior that the clown and now the wrasse is exhibiting normal behavior? <Yes> What can be done to stop this attention to the glass? <Cover it, provide other attractions> The tang itself is doing very well, eats like there is no tomorrow, is very brightly colored, and is very active, but still a bit weary of humans. The tang was added about a week ago. Everyone gets along really well. My next question concerns the placement of my Hydor Koralia water pumps. I don't know where to position them to be most effective, yet not interrupt the activity of my still small fish. I've had the #4 (1200gph) placed at the top on the right side of the tank pointing towards the front glass, and the #3 (850gph) on the left side bottom pointing upwards and into the live rock. The one on the bottom seemed to really distract my tang, and made many areas of my live rock inaccessible for it. So now I have the #4 on the top right side pointing towards the front glass, and the #3 at the top left side pointing towards the back. This creates a circular motion at the top of the tank. When I place in food, it seems to have good enough circulation because the food never ends up falling on the floor, but circulates through the tank, until eaten or sucked into the filter. My question is, do I have too much flow, and is having the pumps not pointing directly at live rock a waste of the pump? I've scoured through the WWM site, but found nothing to help me figure the optimal positioning for water pumps that is beneficial for live rock and livestock. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pwrhdapfaqs.htm and the linked files above> Sorry for the long email, but wanted to provide enough detailed information so as not to have a string of emails back and forth that would be irritating to the WWM crew! Last thing I'd want especially as a novice is to be blacklisted by WWM! <We've never blacklisted anybody... nor will we> Thanks for your help, and hope for a response and possible resolutions. Robert from California <Another Bob, just back to CA>

Coralline Algae Halt and Red Bubble Algae decline... using, reading WWM    7/25/07 Hey WWM In the past month or two, I have noticed that my Coralline algae hasn't being growing and spreading like it used it. <Mmm, very common... "Some-thing/s" become rate-limiting... succession occurs... with predators, competing life taking over, supplanting the encrusting rhodophytes...> Before I upgraded my lighting, my tank was growing purple like crazy, it was beautiful! When I upgraded my lights in the first week in April, is when I saw it was not growing anymore and the algae that was on the glass and rock was starting to turn white and discolor. <Happens> I figured it would be that it was adjusting to the lights, but it has been 3 months and I haven't seen any growth. My calcium level is at about 420, and I don't know what could be the problem. <And alkalinity? Magnesium balance?> I maybe see a few spots in my tank where there is a deep red coralline on the glass. But it hasn't spread very much. Along with the coralline, the red bubble algae problem I had stopped. It hasn't grown anywhere else on my rocks, and it lost its orange glow and red color. Now it looks like it is dead or dying, losing its color and it looks like it is withering away. I assume that whatever it was feeding off of disappeared? <Perhaps> I am going to try and take it all off with a sharpened screwdriver of some sort and break its roots off the rock. <While siphoning to remove the bits...> Hopefully there is nothing wrong with my tank. All my fish, corals, and inverts are doing fine. Thanks Crew Joe <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/corlinesysfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Coralline Not Growing  - 03/12/07 Hi, <Hi Carl> Carl, here in NJ. <James in MI> I've had a live reef reef tank up and running for approx. 2 years now.  Started with a 40 gal, then transferred critters to 75 gal. . 6 weeks ago I noticed that "hey where's my pretty coralline", why so much algae and red slime................so we started reading your site for some answers. <A good start.> I.e. tested well water used for make up and changes and found phos levels running .3 from tap, thus I pointed finger at reason for the algae blooms.  So we started purchasing RO water for weekly changes and added a phos reactor to battle the slime and algae. During this past 6 weeks we began to add calcium via Kalk and past 2 weeks with Purple Up.  During this time I also began adding iodine once a week along with strontium.   <No need to dose iodine when using Purple Up as it contains iodine.> I run a skimmer, 2 power heads and use a refugium with crushed rock and grape Caulerpa (no mud).  All vitals are normal, amm. nitrites and trates are o.  I have about 7 various quiet fish , Turbos, blue legs, a couple bubble tips, the original  bubble split, a couple feather dusters, mushrooms,  a thriving gorgonian, yellow polyps and a brownish polyp that seems to be splitting and flourishing.  I use Phytoplex every other day and feed fish twice a day either with flake or Mysis.  Temp running 80.  Lights are 200 watt fluorescents and 200 watt actinic with moons at night. <Are bulbs changed on a yearly basis?> I consider my rocks appearance to be dark brownish, some pink showing on some recent new rock, some spot dark purple and  lingering lime green and dark green algae but not heavy. But no noticeable increase of pink color overtaking the crappy brownish color. The ultimate question is, should I scrub the ugly rock to clean appearance and add more new rock? <You will need to add some new rock to help reseed the system.  You could lightly scrub the old rock, but if life forms are present on the rock, I'd leave be.> Can or will the rock replenish itself with coralline with my present program, I want to promote coralline growth but not sure how to attack this goal of mine???? <Need to reseed my friend, and do read here along with linked files.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallinealg.htm> Help please?  I want a prettier tank. <Patience and reading/learning will persist here.> Thanks for all the input at Wet Web Media. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Regards, Carl

Coralline Algae/Alkaline Precipitation/Ca Reactor Tuning - 12/07/06 Hi Eric, <<Hey Ken!>> I hope all is well with you. <<Indeed it is...thank you>> Things have been going well with the tank, but I have a few questions. <<Ok>> The tank is set up 6 weeks now.  The few soft corals and star-polyps look good. <<Excellent>> I did buy a clean-up crew about 10 days ago.  I feel like I should put the snails on the payroll.  In the first two days they cleaned all of the greenish algae I had on the rocks. <<Cool!>> The tank looks good.  My nitrate is less than 1-ppm and phosphate is zero using LaMotte Colorimeter. <<Very good>> The pH is usually 8.10 to 8.20 and ORP has been about 415MV. <<More good news>> I also have gotten more and more pink coralline algae on some of the rocks.  My first question has to do with that in the last couple of days I am getting areas of a burgundy color on the rocks. <<Coralline algae comes in "many" colors>> It looks to be more on the areas that have some of the pinkish coralline. <<Conditions in those locations are likely "optimum" for both species...everything competes for space on the reef>> Also I notice the burgundy color is all of a sudden on a lot of the turbo snails. <<Very common>> Is this just another color coralline? <<Indeed it is>> I am hoping that it is not like red Cyano or something. <<Can usually tell the difference>> I don't see this on most of the rocks and none on sand, powerheads, sand etc.  I tried scraping it off with my fingernail and it does come off somewhat.  It doesn't seem as hard as the pink coralline algae. <<Differences in structure/composition>> I'm not sure if this is coralline or not. <<Likely so>> I would say that I see this burgundy color mostly on places that had pink to begin with pretty much.  My next question has to do with my AGA Mega Flow.  Their isn't really any algae on my rocks or tank, but I do have some thick greenish layers of it in the overflow box only.  Should I leave it their, or manually remove it, or can I put a couple of my turbo snails in there to eat it. <<Can remove or leave, whichever you prefer...I would not put turbo snails in the overflow box (will probably get there sooner or later anyway, but...) as they will get in to the overflow pipes and restrict/block flow>> I thought about snails and overflows but the Durso pipe and the return pipe are sealed unit and nothing could get in there.  What do you think? <<If you have some kind of "screen" on the Durso then this may be fine>> By the way, if I manually remove the algae will anything? <<...?>> I don't want to spread it around the tank?  Also is it possible that this algae is in its own "container" and it can act like a refugium in a way? <<Sure...on a very small scale.  If nothing else, it is removing nutrients...but I'll bet close observation will reveal some tiny crustaceans living there as well>> My last question and most perplexing and bothersome to me has to do with my calcium reactor.  I have an MTC Pro-Cal calcium reactor.  I don't run it all of the time as my tank is only 6 weeks old and there isn't much in the tank to take up the Alk and Ca.  When my alk gets down to 8dKH, I turn on the CO2 and run it at 1 bubble per second and the effluent at .02 ml as per the instructions.  This is their starting point. <<And as good as any>> I will shut of the CO2 once the alk hits 10 or 11 dKH.  My Ca usually is in the 410 to 425 ppm range.  The strange thing is that once I run the Ca reactor for a day or so, I see some of the rock (usually more evident where the coralline algae is) start to get a whitish tone to it.  It does not blow off.  Also, and more importantly, when I take a turkey baster, I can blow off what almost looks like ash. <<Sounds as if you may have some carbonaceous material falling out of solution>> This has happened all three times I ran it. <<You may want to consider experimenting with different reactor media>> I was wondering if it was calcium precipitate, but how could it be? <<Easy enough...the water can only "hold" so much material.  Maximizing alkalinity (11dKH) and calcium (425ppm) over saturates the water with carbonaceous material.  Try test your alkalinity AND calcium after one of these events...likely BOTH have fallen as a result>> All of the parameters are in check.  I am not using limewater or any additive and I do 20% water changes weekly with Reef Crystals. Do you have any ideas? <<The reactor is probably "too large" for the system (right now anyway) and is producing to much alkaline and calcium reserve than the tank can "use."  I would turn to one of the two-part alkalinity/calcium supplements for now.  Based on your future stocking levels/specimens, you may find you don't need the reactor>> By the way, I am using CaribSea Geo Thermal aragonite for the media. <<Mmm, I see...this product is likely soft/more soluble than others...try adjusting the reactor effluent to a pH of about 7.0 the next time you use it and see what results>> I did buy a kalk stirrer and plan on using it with my dosing pump and float switch for top off water once I have the time to set it up in a few days. <<Proceed with caution here...for now anyway>> I appreciate your help. Regards, Ken <<Always happy to assist.  EricR>>

Re: Coralline Algae/Alkaline Precipitation/Ca Reactor Tuning - 12/07/06 Hey Eric, <<Ken>> Thanks for the reply. <<Welcome>> With regards to the calcium issue, is it possible that my magnesium could be too low? <<Testing would tell...but no, this is not the reason your alkalinity rises so fast when the reactor is operating>> If so, what supplement do you recommend? <<I prefer the Seachem product...though "small and infrequent" adjustments can be made using simple Epsom Salts>> By the way, the person at MTC said that I should switch to Instant Ocean instead of Reef Crystals. <<tomAto-TOMaTO...made/distributed by the same company.  But the Instant Ocean will be fine (is what I use) and will save you a few bucks to boot>> He said why use salt with all of the extra ingredients in it when you are supplementing the tank anyway with a Ca reactor?  What do you think? <<The difference in the mixes is of small consequence here...in my opinion>> Also, I have been doing 20% water change per week. <<Ah...though water changes are the single best function you can perform, you might consider reducing this to every 3-4 weeks to better give this "new" tank time to stabilize/reach a balance between these changes.  Once the tank has "matured" for a year or so, and if stocking levels warrant, you may find you need to "up" the frequency>> Do you think this is too much at a time? <<Too much too often at this stage, yes>> I can tell you that after the water change, the corals close up for a while and my ORP drops quite a bit. <<The salt mix is quite "reactive" and irritates the corals/fish...best to let newly mixed salt mature for a week or two while being aerated/moved around with a powerhead>> All goes back eventually of course. <<But not without exacting a "toll" in energy used/lost>> With regards to a two-part supplement, what do you recommend? <<E.S.V. or C-Balance>> Do I need to use both parts together to make it work? (Sorry for the dumb question). <<Yes...do follow manufacturer's instructions closely>> Lastly, wouldn't the addition of limewater as top off and no further supplementation or Ca reactor work for me at this point as long as I watch the alk and don't let it go over 11 dKH? <<You need to monitor both alkalinity AND calcium...these elements are mutually exclusive at the high end of their ranges, which is why you experience the precipitation events>> I am at 7.5 dKH right now. <<A "tad" low>> Why did you note to proceed with caution? <<You are already having problems with high alkalinity and calcium when running the Ca reactor...utilizing Kalkwasser in conjunction will compound the issue>> By the way, I evaporate approx 4 or 5 quarts per day right now. Thanks again. Regards, Ken <<Cheers mate, EricR>>

R2: Coralline Algae/Alkaline Precipitation/Ca Reactor Tuning - 12/08/06 Hey Eric, <<Ken>> All noted. <<Cool>> You did mention that I had high alkalinity but the testing doesn't bare this out. <<...?>> It was high when I first set up the tank, but has been in the 11-12 dKH range ever since. <<And this is the "high" end of the acceptable range...couple this with calcium levels above 400ppm and you have the "potential" for precipitous events>> I waited until the alkalinity hit 7-8 dKH before turning on the CO2.  I measured morning and night.  The alk never hit 8dKH but I still got the precipitate. <<Mmm...pretty sure you stated in a previous query your alkalinity had reached 11dKH and with calcium at 425ppm>> Something is odd here I think. <<Hmm, maybe...though likely much to do with the newness/instability of the system>> Oh yea and Ca was about 415 ppm. <<Again, on the high end...>> I didn't even have the CO2 running for 24 hours? <<I'm still guessing the reactor needs more tuning/backing-off on bubble/effluent rates>> I am definitely confused.  Good thing that I can rest on the fact that this is a relaxing hobby. :) <<Ha!  Indeed...>> Regards, Ken <<Be chatting, EricR>>

R3: Coralline Algae/Alkaline Precipitation/Ca Reactor Tuning - 12/08/06 Hi Eric, <<Hey Ken>> I did have alkalinity at 11 dKH and calcium at 425 ppm, however the alkalinity was at 8 dKH when I turned on the reactor. <<Understood>> I was just confused at the precipitate in the tank. <<As previously explained...I think (?)>> I also thought that 1 bubble per second and effluent of .02 ml was not a lot. <<Is all relative...may very well be/appears to be too much for "your" system>> I guess I am wrong? <<Just new...and learning...>> Anyway, I ordered a new solenoid as the one I have now I cannot adjust under this amount of 1 bubble per second as it doesn't seem to be too fine. <<Mmm, I see...might have been able to use a simple pinch-clamp on the hose in conjunction with the current solenoid/metering valve>> Also from what the Ca reactor maker said, it should be running all of the time and not off and on. <<Bull...how can the "maker" know what your system's needs are/what's best for your tank?  Only by testing can you/anyone determine if the Ca reactor needs to be fed CO2 on a full-time basis.  To help with pH swings, I have my Ca reactor on a timer that turns off the CO2 when the lights come-on on my vegetable refugium (refugium is on a RDP)>> I will try it at maybe 30 or 40 bubbles per minute and watch the tank and test morning and night for a few days and see what happens. <<Once you reduce the bubble-rate, adjust the effluent until the effluent pH is about 7.0 with the CaribSea media>> If I still have issues, should I use something like ESV two-part or Kalkwasser (watching pH of course) until my tank has more of an alkalinity and calcium demand? <<Try the two-part over the Kalkwasser for now...but honestly...with your current stock list/stocking density, monthly 20% water changes should be quite sufficient for maintaining the tanks earth elements>> Also the Ca reactor maker recommends aragonite for his reactor, is this a good choice? <<It is, most all reactor media is a "form" of aragonite.  Do look in to the larger "European style" (10mm nominal) medias as carried by 'Premium Aquatics' and 'Aquarium Specialty' (the latter is owned by a friend of mine).  Scott at Aquarium Specialty also has a Magnesium granulate that can be added to the CA reactor and may help with maintaining this element as well>> Lastly, I will cut back on my water changes as per the last email. <<For the best I believe>> What percent and how many times a month do you recommend? <<With the tank so new and lightly stocked, I think 25% per month would be just fine>> Thanks, Ken <<Always welcome.  Eric Russell>>

R4: Coralline Algae/Alkaline Precipitation/Ca Reactor Tuning - 12/12/06 Hi Eric, <<Hello Ken>> The tank looks good, but I am still trying to figure out the Ca and alk deal.  I haven't added anything to the tank in a week. <<Good>> My alk was 9 dKH and Ca was about 385 ppm last night. <<Both excellent values>> I changed about 5% water last Friday. <<...thought we agreed to cut back on this and let the tank find its "balance" *grin*>> Right now I guess there is no need to do anything. <<Agreed>> At what reading do you think I need to take action? <<As long as alkalinity stays within 8-12 dKH and Ca between 350-450 ppm; and keeping both from being at the high end of their respective range at the same time, then you need do nothing.  If any adjustments do need to be made then make "small" ones>> I don't want to get involved in that two-part addition additive. <<Ok>> I have the Ca reactor and the Kalk stirrer and I would rather go that route when the time comes. <<Indeed...both are better methodologies.  And you could probably go ahead and use the calcium reactor...with a different (harder) media and "fine tuning" of the reactor effluent>> By the way, I had checked my Mg and it was somewhere between 1230 and 1260.  So this doesn't appear to be low. <<Nope>> You mentioned about a larger media for the Ca reactor.  What would the purpose be for using this over the CaribSea aragonite that I have? <<Slower dissolution...as it appears now, the calcium reactor is overwhelming your system> By the way, I did get myself a better Co2 controller for better control over how much is added.  I will hold off on the reactor until for the present. <<I would try a different media, crank-back the output, and see what happens now>> With regards to the Kalkwasser stirrer, can I dose some amount with my top off water? <<You can...if the system will handle it...>> I have a Liter Meter and it administers is whatever you want to set it at.  It just takes that amount you want to deliver in a 24 hour period and divides it into 150 doses. <<Understood>> That looks to be a dose each 9.6 minutes.  So if I dose as per my evaporation rate of a gallon per day, this would mean it would dose .85 of an ounce every 9.6 minutes.  I could also set with a timer and only have it dose for the 12-hour lights-off period.  I would then tell the Liter Meter that it doses 2-gallons a day so that it can dose the 1-gallon in that 12-hour period that is needed. <<Mmm, better to run 24/7 for better system stability if will be your only means for top-off>> I could also use a timer and have it dose 1/2-gallon in 12-hours with limewater and then does the other 12-hours with just my ro/di water.  What do you think? <<Ah, even better to run/dose separately.  I would set the meter to add the fresh top-off water (minus whatever volume of limewater you decide to dose) throughout a 24-hour period, and then set the limewater to be added during "lights out">> Getting back to my "ash" debris on the rocks.  I had mentioned previously that I noticed this after I ran the Ca reactor. <<Maybe another indicator that the CaribSea media id being dissolved "too fast">> However I have not run it in a week and I still noticed it when I blew off the rocks the last few days. <<Likely the material will not go back in to solution and is resettling...along with detritus in the tank...this is not uncommon/unusual>> Maybe it is not from the CO2 reactor and maybe not calcium precipitate? <<Possibly detritus>> It's hard to describe what it looks like on the rock except debris.  Almost looks like blowing ashes. <<Does sound like "precipitate"...hmm or maybe...you haven't added a flocculent to your system have you?>> It is not powdery like what I get when I use the turkey baster and blow out the holes in the rocks. <<I see>> Could the rock be breaking down at all? <<Doubtful>> The tank itself looks good.  The two tangs and the few soft corals/star-polyps look good.  Phosphate is still zero and nitrate is .15ppm using LaMotte. <<All good>> Thanks and regards, Ken <<I'll wager everything will "settle in/stabilize" with time and less "fiddling" of the system.  Regards, EricR>>

Re: Rinsing Live Rock, survival of coralline algae in fresh water  - 08/10/06 Hello and thanks in advance.  I've gotten no end of great help from reading here, but this is a problem that doesn't seem to have come up before.  Short story: a friend took my live rock, rinsed it, and left it in freshwater for three weeks, thinking they were doing me a favor.  Really.  My question is, is there any chance the coralline algae will survive? Thanks, Mark <<Hmm, curious...I answered this same question from you a month ago...answer is same as before/as follows...would also think you could/would have determined this answer yourself by this time.  Don't misunderstand my tone...just a little bewildered by your repeat of this particular question a month later.  Regards, EricR>> Rinsing Live Rock - 07/11/06 Thanks in advance! So much good information here! <<Glad you think so!>> Short version of story: friend rinses off live rock, leaves it in freshwater for three weeks, as a favor.  Really. <<Mmm...>> Question: any chance that the coralline algae will survive?? <<I doubt "anything" survived>> Thanks, Mark <<Regards, EricR>>

Coralline Algae Propagation   5/23/06 To whom it may concern: <Crew is good enough.> I believe that I am having trouble with the live rock in my 37G (high) tank.  I started this tank about 9 months ago, and began with 35 lbs. of Fiji live rock and live sand.  The rock had a nice, white crust over most of it, along with beautiful light purple hues.  I then added about 40 tiny crabs, and two sally lightfoot crabs, along with a feather duster.   The sally Lightfoots died months ago, and I recently added a yellow tang, which is currently the only fish in the tank.   I'm writing because yesterday I went into a local fish store, and their reef tank had live rock completely covered in beautiful crimson red coral.  My rock looks completely stripped and barren.  I'm not sure if my janitorial creatures are "overdoing" it.  I just started adding 10 cc of calcium and 10 cc of alkalinity solution per day.  Is there anything else that I can do in order to encourage beautiful looking coralline algae for my reef? <Yes, there is.  Read here and linked files above.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallinealg.htm Many thanks, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Chris Re: Coralline Algae Propagation   5/23/06 James (and crew): <Chris> I appreciate the quick reply, however, I have one follow-up question for you.  The live-rock was added in August of 2005, and has subsequently been stripped of all the thick crusted coralline growth by my janitorial creatures.  If I simply follow your instructions, approximately how long will it take for me to experience full growth?  <If you maintain calcium and alkalinity along with pH, you should start noticing some growth in three to four weeks.>  Also, have I seriously hurt my tank by letting the rock get so stripped and barren for so long without any alkalinity or calcium supplementation?  <Don't think so.  If you performed water changes at least twice a month there would be enough supplements to take care of animals requiring it, but growth would be slow with calcium loving animals.> I guess that's two follow-up questions, actually. Thanks again, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Chris Coralline Algae and Hermits a-chomping    5/2/06 Hi Crew and thanks for helping all of us! <Hello back at you!  Jodie here once again on this fine and stormy evening.> We have a 30 gallon tank with 30 pounds of live sand and about 40 pounds of live rock. We have 4 very small fish and around 30 hermit crabs. <What kind?> In spite of all of our efforts, we can't get the rocks to "purple" with coralline algae. A year and a half ago, we added a 120 watt lamp. The rocks look darker now, but not purple. My wife has noticed at the local fish shop that the tanks that have nice purple rocks have no hermit crabs. She's convinced our crabs are eating the coralline algae. <She could be right...> I insist otherwise. <...but so could you.> Which one of us is correct so we can settle our wager? <Hermit crabs, especially red-legged ones, could be eating the coralline if they are lacking in food.  I would check your parameters first though, before blaming them.  Low magnesium levels can hinder coralline growth, as can nuisance algae, poor water circulation, urchins, etc.) Thanks for all of your great advise! <Sorry I couldn't definitively settle your bet.  Too many variables for me to make a solid judgment.  Cheerio,  Jodie> Charlie

Marine Algae; Still Frustrating You After Death  - 04/19/06 Hi <Hello Simon.> I have decided to retire from my salt water hobby and move into fresh water. <I'm sorry to hear that….I guess.> I have emptied/dismantled my old tank but am struggling to clean it. The main concern is what appears to be both green and purple (probably coralline algae) on the glass and plastic back divider - I have one of those JBJ Nanos. <Ahhh….you started your marine endeavor with a  "ready-made" tank and a nano at that…..that is why you became frustrated with the hobby I surmise.> I have tried scrubbing at it using one of those algae removal pads, but that was unsuccessful. I am reluctant to use a razor because of scratching - particularly against the plastic. <I understand.> Do you have any suggested methods given that the tank is empty. <The tank is free of livestock and empty correct? If so do the following: Fill the tank with tap water and generous portion of distilled vinegar, let it sit for at least 24 hours, then attempt to use a credit card or straight edge (Kent pro-scrapers are great) to get it off.> The tank is stored in a dark place - would it be fair to say that the algae will die off ? <It is dead I surmise, just the calcified remains left over.> With regards to my next project, I would like to create a fresh water tank which is a microcosm of a particular environment - such as the Amazon or whatever may be suitable to my tank dimensions. So I would want it to contain the same livestock, landscape, parameters that you might find in such a setting. I was just wanting to know whether you have any resources that may describe those environments and their configurations so that I could plan. <Read through the WWM and net re: the bio-tope first then if you get any specific questions I would love to help.> Your response is appreciated. <Quite welcome.> Regards Simon <Adam J.>

Coralline Growth In A FOWLR - 03/30/06 I have a 180 gallon FOWLR tank, in your opinion is it worth the expense of a calcium reactor to enhance coralline growth on the live rock (I have about 200lbs of live rock)?  If not, are there alternatives you suggest.   <<Simple water changes should be enough to maintain calcium/alkalinity/magnesium/et al in this system.  To boost coralline growth I would dose Seachem's "Reef Calcium" for a few months as per the manufacturer's recommendation.  This is a polygluconate complexed form of calcium that some have reported induces excellent coralline growth.>> D'Wayne <<Regards, EricR>>

Coralline algae dying off, too much light??    3/29/06 Hey.  I was wondering if you could please help me solve the mystery of why the coralline algae (mainly the purple) is dying.  I have had the tank set up for 3 years now.  Though I have struggled maintaining good levels of calcium and alkalinity (mainly alkalinity), the live rock always looked pretty good, mostly covered with the purple coralline algae.  Around December of last year I changed my lighting from  two 55 watt PC 10K and two 55 watt PC actinic to FOUR 55 watt PC 10K and two 40 watt regular fluorescent actinic.  Since then the exposed purple coralline algae started dying off.  It turned a dull purple, slowly got white splotches and now is mostly white.  About a month ago I bought some SPS corals, so I exchanged the two fluorescent bulbs for two 175 watt metal halide 10K (Aragamax brand, they are quite blue) and changed the PCs back to two 10K and two actinic. The live rock didn't seem to get any worse or any better.   The only area where I still have healthy looking live rock is where a huge colony of Xenia elongata is growing.  I cut some of the xenia because it was getting too large and the purple coralline algae directly beneath it is started to look splotchy within a few days.  Is there anything about my lighting arrangement that is causing the coralline algae to die? <May be> The tank parameters are: 55 gallon temp 76-78 F salinity 1.024 pH 8.1-8.3 (depending on time of day) calcium 380 alkalinity 8.3 magnesium 1200 roughly 50 lbs of liverock 2-3 inch aragonite bottom protein skimmer, 2 Hagen powerheads and 2 Penguin hang-on filters with BioWheels All my corals: mushrooms, zooanthids, colt coral, Gorgonia, Montipora capricornis, xenia (pompom and elongata), Fungia, and frogspawn are growing wonderfully. <These might be acting on your corallines as well...> My inverts: 2 peppermint shrimp, 2 cleaner shrimp, 2 brittle stars, and numerous blue legged hermits and turbo snails have been in the tank for 3 years and look healthy. I do have healthy coralline algae growing in the tank (beneath the xenia colony) so this leads me to believe that all my water parameters are adequate. My second question pertains to maintaining calcium and alkalinity.  Currently they are: calc 380 and alk 8.3.  If I add any calcium the alk drops quickly.  If I raise alk the calc drops, but much slower. <Yep> I read the forums about maintaining the two and understand that it is difficult to have high levels of both at the same time, but why do I have low levels of both? <These are not low... and not easy to make, keep higher with much metabolic activity...> Do you think it may be the slightly low magnesium (1200) that is making raising calc and alkalinity difficult?   <Nope... your ratio is about right> I do 20% water changes every 2 weeks (I use Reef Crystals Marine Salt), to maintain proper conditions, but still struggle with the calc and alk.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.  Thanks Jon <Likely just the balance of conditions is favoring your cnidarians over your encrusting red algae. Hey, ho, go with the flow. Bob Fenner> Bob, chemistry problem, Coralline algae   3/28/06   Bob, I will be in Kona end of April.  Any chance your in town?. <Am out here now... till 4/4... doing the Lavaman on 4/2!> Anyway problem is as follows. Cannot get Coralline algae to grow around the tank despite good chunks  of several rocks with good deposits on them.  Just can't get it to spread   throughout the tanks on base rock. pH 8.3 alkalinity 3.5 meq calcium off the scale 500+ op 300 spg 1.024 light (1)10k PC, and (1) 03 PC. i.e. 50/50 Very hard "Well water" is my water source, supply.  I'm expect  hard coral will love it. <Likely so> But I'm concerned that I somehow need to balance the chemistry. Any ideas  on this issue. <Would be better for the corallines to have a bit more alkalinity, a bit less calcium... I'd blend some lower-Ca water here...> No fish or coral added yet, but tons of other small life   multiplying from the live rock.  Tank has been running for about 4 months  now.   Thanks as always Bob F <Sorry to miss you in Kailua town... perhaps next time. Bob Fenner>

Re: Bob, chemistry problem,  Coralline algae  - 03/28/06 Bob what would be your thoughts on trying to strike a balance  by boosting alkalinity, via simple baking soda, sodium bicarbonate?   Bummer on getting together in Kona.  Next time. Bob F <Good idea... perhaps we were separated at girth, make that birth! Heeeeee! The other BobF>

Coralline Overgrowth    3/17/06 I have a 100 gallon sps reef that is thriving and everything is growing very quickly including the coralline algae. I am away at college and my family has let the coralline algae build up. What is the best way of removing coralline from the acrylic? I don't want to scratch it but in the past the only thing that worked even a little bit was a stainless steal blade, which leaves small scratches. I have used my Magfloat, a cleaning pad, a Kent marine algae scraper, and a credit card with no results. Any advice besides not letting it build up in the first place, which is probably the best thing.  <You have answered your own question.  You are using tools I would recommend, all but the stainless blade.  James (Salty Dog)> Dosing/Overdosing - 03/04/06 Hi all. <<Howdy>> I have a problem and it is concerning me.  I am trying to get my coralline to grow faster so I've been treating my water with Seachem Reef, Buffer, Calcium, and Plus. <<Mmm...are you sure you need all this?  Have you performed water tests re?  The Reef Calcium alone will help with coralline growth.>> I was using Calxmax by WM research till it ran out now I'm using the Seachem products.  Only have a small Hammer Coral and some Green Button polyps.  I added the Reef Calcium, Reef Plus and Reef Complete today and a few hours later the water is becoming more and more cloudy white. <<Indeed...likely an overdose/mixing of too much alkaline material.>> The ALK tests high and cal says 440.  I assume this has something to do with precipitation <<yes>> but I was hoping I could do something to fix it now.  I just got a Long Nose Butterfly and I'm concerned for him. <<Perform a large partial water change and only dose (according to the manufacturers recommendations) the Reef Calcium going forward.  Continue to do frequent partial water changes to maintain your alkalinity, magnesium, et al.>> Thank you for all your help! <<Regards, EricR>> Too much light killing live rock? Reading re corallines   2/22/06 How's it going?  Got a few questions I was hoping you could answer.  I recently (last 2 weeks) noticed that the coralline algae on my liverock is dying off.  Areas that use to be almost entirely purple are now looking yellowish/white and splotchy.  I checked water parameters, everything seemed ok, except alkalinity was a bit low ( 2.5 mg/L).   <Doh! This could be "it"... by itself> I immediately started adding carbonate supplement and did a 20% water change just to be sure.  The live rock seems to have stopped dying but I haven't noticed it growing back yet, maybe too soon.  Yesterday I went to purchase some corals out of someone else's aquarium. <...? Not while you're having this water quality...> He had lots of SPS and LPS that were doing wonderfully, but his live rock looked like crap.  It was all almost completely white.  Only  a small splotch of coralline here or there.  He claimed his bright metal halide lights bleached it.  He had a 90 gallon with 2 x 250 DIY 14K XM bulbs and has had them on for the last 4 years.  Is that possible? <Yes>    Is it common for metal halide and VHO to be too bright for live rock? <Mmm, can... that is, the Red Algae which are corallines are easily "disfavored" or outcompeted by higher-light using life if it is very intense...> I have no experience with them, I'm still using power compact. Speaking of which, when I got home I took a closer look at my liverock and realized that the parts that were shaded out by a massive colony of *Xenia* *elongata* were still covered with coralline algae and looked great. The pieces that were out in the light were the ones with all the dying coralline.  I then remembered that about a month ago I had changed my lighting.  I had a 50/50 set up on my 55 watt X 4 power compact hood.  I took the 2 actinics out and added 2 10K for a total of 4 10K.  Could this sudden increase in lighting have caused my coralline algae to start dying? <... possibly, but not likely here> If so, will it slowly recover with time? <... Corallines require both high biomineral content AND alkalinity...> Is there anything I can do to help, or just wait?  I also noticed that my green star polyps have stopped coming out like they use to.  They come out early before the lights come on and stay out for about 3/4 of the day.  Only about 1/2 as many come out as before.  Could this also be due to shock from more light too quickly?  If so, will they recover, can I help???  Sorry for the long email, thank you in advance. Jon <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/corallinealg.htm and the Related FAQs linked above... Bob Fenner> Porites lobata?/Coralline Algae Growth - 02/20/06 Hello again and thanks for answering all the questions that keep me up at night! <<Hee!>> About 3 months ago I decided it was time to move from the land to the ocean and set up a 20 gal saltwater tank.  Yes, the tank is entirely too small although I have not had any problems with it so far, but perhaps that is just a result of caring for it like a bear protects their young... <<Indeed>> Now to the question(s) at hand.  After setting everything up in my tank and letting it run for a few days, I went to one of my LFS's and purchased 13lbs of live rock.  Upon bringing it home and examining it, I discovered a growth on the bottom half that appeared to either be a sponge or some kind of coral. <<One of the great things about live rock.>> After searching through Google as well as WWM I gave up on identifying it and forgot about it.  Now I have decided upon further review that what I am looking at is some form of Porites coral, I'm leaning towards Porites lobata as this seems to be the closest to what I have. <<Ok...quite possible.>> My question is what kind of conditions (lighting, water flow, etc.) are needed to make this coral thrive? <<'Moderately high' to 'high' light and flow.>> Currently there are a few polyps open, but it seems to be the ones slightly under the edges of the rock that are open, while the ones exposed directly are closed. <<Strange...for Porites...is a light loving coral.>> I thought about flipping the rock over so the coral was at the top nearest the light and in the heavier flow of water, but all the coralline algae would be buried, not to mention a complete remodel of the aquascaping. <<Mmm, this indicates to me the rock is indeed "upside down" at this moment.  Most coralline algae is found on the sides/underside of rocks exposed to high light levels.  If this specimen is Porites, then I suspect this to be the case here.>> Any suggestions on care would be greatly appreciated. <<Do have a read here, and follow the indices in blue at the top of the page:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/porites.htm >> On the topic of coralline algae, what can I do to encourage its growth?  I've read that it can take up to six months to see new growth, however 2 months ago I added some coral skeleton rocks and am beginning to see little bright green specks pop up all over them. <<Maintain proper levels/balances of calcium/alkalinity/magnesium (all found with a search of our site).  Some folks have reported good/accelerated growth using Seachem's Reef Calcium (a polygluconate complexed calcium).>> Lastly, I am currently running a powerfilter as my means of mechanical filtration and have a question about oxygen levels. Currently, the tank is filled to about 1 inch from the top so that the water spilling from the filter produces bubbles to get air into the water.  This was fine, but now I have decided that the micro bubbles as well as splashing sound are a nuisance and was wondering if their would be enough oxygen in the tank water if I raised the level of water so it met the spill-way, thereby eliminating the splashing.  Any advice in this matter? <<As long as you have sufficient water flow (10x tank volume, can be supplemented with a small powerhead), likely so.>> I currently do not have a protein skimmer (blasphemy, I know), but I currently have no room for a sump and can't afford a good hang on back style skimmer.  Not to worry, upgrading to either a 40, 55, or dare I say a 75 gallon (if only my girl friend would allow it...) soon. <<Hmm...perhaps time to upgrade the girl friend...<G>.>> Thanks for all your help. Joel F. <<Regards, EricR>> Coralline algae   1/20/06 Hey Crew,  Over the last 5 years I have enjoyed a lush growth of pink algae along with mushroom anemones growing wild. The last few months I have noticed that the algae is slowly going away & the mushrooms aren't as full as they were. The water parameters are dKH is 8, Ca is 400.The lights are 110W Super Actinic-R & 110W Actinic white. What can I do, the lighting is changed every 6-9 mos. <Need a little more info Tom...size/depth of tank, additives being used, nitrate level, etc.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks, Tom Re: coralline algae   1/22/06 Your e-mail to me on 1/20 regarding coralline algae slowly going away, you asked for more info. Tank size 48w x 24h x 20d-ph-8.1 (a little low this morning) nitrate-0. Reef Advantage Calcium & Reef Builder. I've been using Coral Vital to bring back the pink algae.  Once again, thank you. <The lighting should be sufficient for coralline growth.  How long are the lights on per day?  Was there any change in the photoperiod?  Personally I don't care for Coral Vital, too expensive for what you are getting.  Better results can be obtained with Kent's Liquid Calcium.  Coral Vital runs around $13.00 for 6 ounces whereas the Kent product is $10.00 for 16 ounces.  Kent's will treat 6,000 gallons where the Coral Vital treats 3,500 gallons.  Try the Kent product and I believe you will see a difference.  The Reef Advantage Calcium should still be used.  James (Salty Dog)> Coralline Algae   1/18/06 Hey Crew,  Over the last 5 years I have enjoyed a lush growth of pink algae along with mushroom anemones growing wild. The last few months I have noticed that the algae is slowly going away & the mushrooms aren't as full as they were. The water parameters are dKH is 8, Ca is 400.The lights are 110W Super Actinic-R & 110W Actinic white. What can I do, the lighting is changed every 6-9 mos. Thanks, Tom <... perhaps an imbalance of magnesium/calcium... maybe you have a change in predation going on in this system... I would be switching out a good part of the substrate (rock, sand...) every six months or so... Have you read re corallines on WWM? Bob Fenner>

Coralline algae  11/19/05 Dear Bob, I have a bit of a stupid question. I have live rock in my tank that has been there for approx 2-3 mos. I have a 180g FOWLR. The rock is growing pink and red encrusting algae. There are areas on the rock where there is green algae growing and I am having a hard time determining if this is coralline algae. The green algae doesn't look like it is "encrusting" but when it grows on the walls of the tank it feels like fine sandpaper. On the rock, the porosity of the rock that is covered by the green is evident. Unlike the encrusting pinks where the rock is "plated" I had a piece of dead fire coral in the tank that first grew pink, then green algae. This algae is not removed very easily and it is not slimy to touch. I have noted that it is now growing in the gravel of the tank. Is this likely to be coralline ? Jimmy <Well... encrusting is a descriptive term... usually associated with given species of red, brown and green algae... if it's hard, rough to the touch... is "encrusting"... but coralline refers to Reds/Rhodophytes of algae species... and these do look red, unless bleached (then white). Bob Fenner> 

Live rock problem... actually coralline algae knowledge search  11/16/05 I have a live rock problem. The problem is that the purple color turns bleached white in a couple of days. Is this a pH problem, lighting problem? <Could be... either, both, and/or alkalinity, calcium, magnesium...> I have 400watt 20k <Does not favor coralline growth> halide chiller at 79 degrees, I <I> add the recommended amount of chemical for growth ect <etc... short for et cetera res, "and other things"> ... I also use purple up <A proper noun, capitalized> along with many other recommended chemicals. My calcium levels are in the 400-500 ppm range. Can you please help me. Many thanks for your time. Chris  <Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallinealg.htm and on to the linked files above... until you understand what you're looking for. Bob Fenner> 

Excessive Coralline Growth And Light Spectrum - 11/12/05 Dear Bob, <<EricR here tonight>> I have a 180g FOWLR acrylic tank. I have approx 150lbs of LR since Sept. 2005. Nitrates 25 ppm, phosphates < .01 ppm, alkalinity 13 dKH, Calcium 400, pH 8.2, ORP 310- 325 w/ozone. <<Mmm, pushing the limits on the calcium and alkalinity...in my opinion.>> Lighting 160w VHO actinic 03 160w VHO actinic white URI on 5 hrs. per day 60w actinic 03 on 12 hours per day. <<Way too much actinic.>> I have had incredible coralline algae growth everywhere in the aquarium. <<Replace all those actinic bulbs with 10000K bulbs and you'll likely see a decrease.>> I have to scrape front and side every three days. After I clean the back of the tank, within days pinpoint colonies of coralline algae emerge. <<Not surprising with your current light spectrum.>> With an acrylic tank I really have to stay on top of this if I wish to keep acrylic surfaces clean. <<I understand, I too have an acrylic tank.>> Should I let the back of the tank go on to grow pink, purple, green corallines? <<I would>> Am I doing more harm than good by trying to keep the back clean? <<Doubt you're doing any harm...but if you're not viewing through the back, why go to the trouble?>> Thanks Jimmy <<Regards, EricR>>

Live Rock Turning White 10/18/05 Hi guys, <Hey, Mike G with you this evening.> I have a question about the 79 lbs of Live Rock in my 75 gallon tank, it is turning whitish in color, do you guys know why? <Coralline die off. Coralline algae is a benign, desirable calcareous algae that grows in profusion in established aquaria and on the reefs of the world. It comes in a vast array of colors, all in the Red-Purple-Orange area. Often, new aquaria do not possess the facilities to properly care for this algae, and it dies off, leaving behind its (white) skeletal remains.> I had heard that this means that your live rock is dying or decaying, but It has been in there for about 5 weeks and is fully cycled, it was really flourishing until I noticed a few areas of the rock turning white, it isn't all white yet though.... In the tank I have a Neon Goby, 2 ocellaris clowns, 3 blue green chromis, and a twin spot goby, all of the fish are doing great. here are my water parameters: Nitrate: 10 <Decent.> Nitrite: 0 Ammonia: 0 pH: 8.3 Salinity: 1.025 <Good.> Calcium: 350 <Low, could be a factor in the coralline die off.> Alkalinity: 10 <A bit low.> Temperature: 80.5 <Fine.> I just did a 12 gallon water change about 4 days ago, anything else I should be testing, or do you see why this would be happening? <See above.> Also, the surface of my water looks like it has oil in it <Common problem. Get a powerhead to agitate the surface, no real way to prevent it.> I use RO/DI water for water changes so I don't know why this would be <Dust, etc. from the air.> but like I said everything other than the rock is doing great. <As should be expected.> Any insights, thoughts, ideas, or actions you tell me to take are greatly appreciated :) Thanks, <No problem.> Clare
<Mike G> 

Coralline Algae  9/27/05 Hello all: <Hello Mitch> I perused the plethora of perplexing problems that were addressed in the FAQs on the subject. However, I did not find an answer to my specific concern, which I shall now pose. For roughly 5 months, I have had approximately 130 pounds of LR in my 125G tank, in addition to another 20 pounds in the sump of my wet/dry. The bio-media has been removed. The LR in the display has taken on an orange/reddish color, which I assume to be a type of coralline algae. My calcium level is approximately 500 ppm with an alkalinity reading of 12 dKH. I have a 192W power compact that is placed 3" above the water surface. My specific question is in regard to the color of the coralline algae. As I see wonderful pictures of the lavender algae and desire the same, please advise what I need to do to attain this goal and approximately how long it should take.<Mitch, normally coralline should seed within the first month.  Lets start with lighting, you don't mention the types of tubes you are using.  Coralline loves actinic light, hates white light.  In nature, coralline grows best deep in the ocean where only blue light can penetrate.  For starters I would use one true actinic tube in your fixture and keep this on 24/7 for two weeks. In your top off water use Chem's Reef Builder and Reef Advantage in alternating doses.  This will keep the strontium level high which coralline does need to grow.  Use of a protein skimmer is highly recommended to keep phosphates at a low level.  Calcium levels of 400ppm with a dKH of 8 to 12 is all that is needed.  Try this and I think you will be pleasantly surprised in three to four weeks.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks,                Mitch
Coralline Algae  9/27/05 Thanks, James, for the prompt response! I did not mention in my first post, but this is a FO tank with just live rock and no corals. Just so I am clear on the procedures to follow... 1.    I have one actinic 96W tube and one white 96W tube. The actinic comes on 1 hour before and turns off 1 hour after the white, which is on for 12 hours. So, the actinic is on for a total of 14 hours. Do I leave the white on for the same 12 hour daily cycle while leaving the actinic on for 24/7 for two weeks?<Yes> Will the continuous actinic lighting be of any concern for my fish?<No> 2.    I have been using ESV's B-Ionic Calcium Buffer System, the two component liquid system. Should I stop using this product and switch to the Seachem products that you recommend? <I can't tell you to stop using a named product.  All I can tell you is that I know the Sea Chem works.  I use it.  I've tried the ESV years ago and personally I really don't care for it.  It's impossible to use equal amounts of it and maintain 400ppm and 8-12 dKH.  Keep in mind, I'm not pushing Sea Chem products, its just one I tried and liked the results.  There are probably other products out there that work equally well.  Just my preference.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks,
Coralline Algae  9/27/05 Thanks again, James, for the info...much appreciated! <No problem Mitch.  I'm attaching a pic of a rock that was lightly seeded two months ago.  It is the rock on the left.  Pic not very clear but you'll see the results. James (Salty Dog)> Mitch

Glass or Acrylic Tank and Coralline Algae  9/3/05 Dear Crew, <<Hello Bob - Ted here>> I am planning an upgrade of my current reef from 300 gal (96x30x24) to 500 gal (108x42x26).<<Excellent>> The custom shops I have been talking to can do either glass or acrylic, but seem to prefer acrylic.  Have you had any experience removing coralline and other calcareous algae from acrylic panels?<<Yes. Frequent cleaning will prevent coralline from becoming a problem. And yes, acrylic is easier to scratch when you have to scrape the coralline off so stay ahead of the coralline growth>>  My fear is that I will buy the tank and in four or five years the viewing panels will be ruined from all the scraping to remove the algae.<<Badly scratched acrylic can be polished. Please see this link for information about tank materials http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tksstds.htm>> Thanks, Bob McCook <<You're welcome and good luck with the upgrade - Ted>>

Losing Coralline Algae - 06/12/05 It seems to me that I am losing some of my algae in my tank.  I keep the tank clean, also I keep the calcium, DT's, iodine and the strontium in my tank at all times.  I have a lot of live coral in my tank, and also fish.  There is a plate coral that seems to be dying a little on one end am I missing something?  I am not sure of what else to do? <<Not much info to go on here.  Coralline algae growth is a function of several factors...do have a read here and among the links in blue: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallinealg.htm  Eric R.>>

- Purple Haze - Bob, <JasonC today.> I have enclosed an old question I found while trying to find the answer to my question.  Tom has the exact same problem I have, my tank is being overran with coralline algae.  I don't add any calcium. I don't really want to see encrusting green algae either, can you tell me what the encrusting red algae eaters are? <Urchins... I'd look for a tuxedo urchin.> I have a pencil urchin, he's been in my tank for about 11 months, he eats little spots but my real problem is the back of my tank. Any ideas? <Learn to enjoy it - I doubt there's a reef on the planet [including cold water ones] where coralline isn't prevalent. It's an artifact of good tank keeping. You could scrape the back wall with a razor blade or appropriate scraper if this is an acrylic tank but this always seems to bring on more coralline. As Bob stated in his earlier reply, many folks would kill to have this problem.>   Thanks so much! I enjoy your site ever so much! Amy <Cheers, J -- >

Calcareous Algae - 06/02/05 Great thanks so much. <<MY pleasure.>> I think I am going to switch to the 250 watt Metal Halide. <<A fine choice.>> One more question.  How do I get the purple algae in my tank to spread and grow more?  I know I need to raise the alkalinity, what is the best way to do so to get the purple algae. <<Calcareous algae (purple, red, orange, green, etc.) depend on more than alkalinity to grow and prosper.  Start by maintaining BALANCED calcium and alkalinity (you can do this with the proper application of two-part additives for such, or through the proper use of Kalkwasser, and augmenting both processes with frequent partial water changes).  You can help spread/speed the process by obtaining coralline scrapings from a friend (or a friendly LFS), pureeing these in a blender with some tank water, and pouring the solution in your tank to spread the algae spores.  We have much info on the site about calcareous/coralline algae, begin reading here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corlalgfaqs.htm>> Thanks <<Welcome, Eric R.>> Lighting For Tall FOWLR Tank (Growing Coralline) - 05/06/05 I have a 96x30x36 (tall) tank which mostly will be FO but I am going to add about 200 pounds of live rock. I have received inconsistent information from various suppliers on this question: Will my 6x96 watt PC light fixture be adequate to support coralline algae (I intend to buy the LR fully cured) assuming PH 8.2+ and the usual trace mineral additives? <Mostly FO? This statement concerns me...please decide first what, if any, inverts you plan to keep...this will determine your lighting requirements. As for just the coralline, I've grown coralline in a 22" deep tank under 6x40w NO lighting...likely the 6x96w PCs will function the same for your 36" deep system. Regards, Eric R.> Marine algae issue, growing corallines Hello, I have a quick question. I have 2 tanks, one a 110 gallon reef tank and the other is a 150 gallon salt water tank with a Picasso trigger, queen trigger, stars and stripes puffer, lion fish and snow flake eel. I have just Texas holey rock in the aggressive tank, and obviously live rock in the reef tank. I use DT's live marine phytoplankton and WM research Calxmax in the reef tank and it works great. Would it be beneficial to use this stuff in my aggressive tank to build coralline algae on the plain white rocks or would it interrupt the system in this tank....or would it just not do anything at all? Thanks for all your help. I love this site and I am so glad you guys are here to help. I would be lost without you!!!  ~N.S~ <... adding free-living algae will not increase, cause the growth of coralline algae. If you want to encourage this, you can boost alkalinity and biomineral content of your water... This is posted on WWM under Coralline Algae... Bob Fenner>

Bernd's Coralline >Hola Marina. como estas usted? >>Soy bien, muy bien. I've been consulting with James, another crewmember regarding your issues with the lack of coralline growth and loss of coralline already on rock you've collected, and I'm going to try to condense all correspondence as best I can. One of the things he wondered about, along with lighting, was whether or not you have urchins, as some do eat coralline. >My lights are: 1 x 250 W MH 10K; 4 x 65 W PC Actinic and 50/50; 1 x 96 W PC 50/50. The MH is on 9 hours a day and the PC's 12 hours. >>Ok, here's an excerpt of our discussion.. "You don't need the high intensity as for corals but I would say at least 3 watts per gallon. I think SeaChem's liquid calcium is excellent for growing coralline. It is just an additive, it really doesn't raise the calcium more than 10mg/l, but the gluconate base seems to do wonders for coralline growth. He won't see overnight results, but if he uses it religiously for a month and a half to two months it will amaze him. I experimented with a tank of rock with no coralline, just added a small rock as seed and in two months time all the rocks had growth on them using the reef calcium. Kent's liquid calcium is not gluconate base so I'm not so sure the results would be there. Anthony uses this also and he swears by it. I've [also] heard from several sources that some actinic is better for growing coralline. If he had 50/50 I think he would be OK. I'm kind of wondering what kind of salt mix he is using in that area, along with the age of the lamps. I would [again] suggest the use of the SeaChem liquid calcium. Just sounds to me like there is not enough elements in his water that the coralline needs to grow as long as his lighting is putting out the Kelvin temp it is supposed to. " >>So, I don't believe that lighting is your issue, although he does point out that the age of the bulbs is a factor in the quality of light (from a PAR standpoint). >Here are some of my tank's parameters, taken at 10 a.m. this morning. Calcium 450 >>Good. >Alkalinity 6 meq/l >>I'm not positive, but if I've calculated correctly that is a very high degree of alkalinity. Is there a possibility of switching to natural seawater (filtered, sterilized)? >pH 8.0, spec grav. 1.024 >>Those are well within natural ranges. >I service the Magnum 350 canister filter every 4-6 weeks. I fill it with carbon and de-nitrate. Sometimes also Phosguard. >>Are you getting phosphate/phosphorous readings? If so, the Phosguard is good to use, if not, I wouldn't spend the money. Again, I'm going to strongly suggest looking into setting up an inexpensive refugium my friend. >All my pump intakes have foam pre-filters which I clean twice a week. I make a 20 % water change every 4 weeks. I can't do it more often because of uncertain salt supplies. >>All that water around you... > My fish are: 1 fox face, 1 hippo tang, 1 yellow tang, 2 yellow tail blue demoiselles, 1 dotty back, 1 neon goby, 1 ocellaris clown, 1 Clark's clown. > As for corals: several Ricordeas, mushrooms, some SPS, 1 bubble tip anemone, 1 Condylactis, 1 corkscrew anemone. About 50 blue legged hermits crabs, several emerald crabs and some brittle stars. >>Do watch the brittle stars for their fishing habits, and do be careful with the mix of anemones, and especially the fire coral! (Oddly enough, I accidentally brushed against some in Bali last year, did nothing to me..). >The SPS are fragments that I brought from the Islands here. They are brain coral, Fire coral, Favia, mustard head. 1 Sea fan, some hydroids that came on the rocks that I collected. Those are the ones that I could identify. Have a nice Sunday, what's left of it. Saludos, Bernd >>Yesterday was cold and rainy, we also had a nice power outage in the morning. Hail overnight, and in the morning as well, and we had to fire up the wood burning stove for the first time in at LEAST a month! I much preferred last weekend, mid-70s, SUNNY, gorgeous. It will be here again! In any event, the odd bit that I can see is that alkalinity reading, which as I mentioned does seem high. Unfortunately, this is the extent to which I can help, beyond this I'm probably going to boot you to other crewmembers more well-versed in coralline troubles. My problem is that I've never HAD a problem, and so have never had to solve it, always using seawater in the past. You may wish to enquire on some of the better reefing bulletin boards, Reefs.org, reefcentral.com, et al, for more input. Saludos, Marina 

Follow-up re: Bernd's Coralline >Hola, Marina. Thank You for Your exhaustive reply. >>Buenos dias, Bernd, es de nada. >I know I have at least one small (thumbnail size) sea urchin in the tank. I had some bigger ones but took them out. >>Well, not all species eat coralline, but James did bring it up, so I thought it worth mentioning. >As for my salt mix, I use Kent or Instant Ocean, whatever I can get. You mention all the saltwater around me, but I live on the mainland coast and the sea water here is too contaminated with run off from the mountains and rivers, to use it in a tank. >>Ah, claro. >I change my PC's every 12-18 month. Also due to short supply. You don't know how it is when You have no access to anything. >>Living where I currently am (Sierra Nevada mountains of California), I'm getting an idea.  >The only store we have in the whole country that has anything marine is too scared to buy expensive equipment and store it. >>Not *quite* that bad here, I do have internet orders, can drive to Stockton or Sacramento if need be. >So we have to make do with what we can get. I depend on visitors that come and I can convince them that a powerhead or protein skimmer is more important in their suitcase than underwear. >>Oh my, that IS a tough sell! >I have ordered the Seachem Reef Calcium, let's hope that I get the right one. Sometimes they send me products from a different brand. >>Am curious, who "they"? Do you have troubles getting internet suppliers to send to Honduras? I'm wondering if going via Brazil or Mexico might garner more reliable results. >Anyway, I am in Your debt and if Your travels ever bring You in this region please don't hesitate to mail me first and I will give You all the info how to contact me and I will show You this lovely country. >>That would be my great pleasure, Bernd. My fianc? had purchased some land en Belize, but is going to let his ex-wife keep it. Too bad, is also close to Costa Rica, my family (en Puerto Rico) has friends there as well. >I will save the "Mangowitz" for Anthony or Bob, though. Saludos, Bernd >>Understood, my friend. >P.S. Su espa?l es perfecto. Mejor que el mio. >>Better than yours? You are too kind (and a good fibber). It's all I can do to keep up with basic syntax! Take care, Marina 

Lighting for Coralline Hi, I am upgrading to a larger tank. I currently have fluoro lighting which grows great coralline. I want to upgrade to either T5 or MH lighting, whichever grows the better coralline. My brother upgraded from fluoro lighting to MH and his coralline has completely bleached out, something I don't want to happen to mine. The tank will only have soft corals and an anemone which have all done fine under fluoro to date.  <Davin, my guess is your brother probably didn't acclimate the new lighting to the tank. A sudden increase in intensity over the same photoperiod can cause this. His coralline will return. My choice would be the MH since that would allow me to keep most anything if the occasion arises. James (Salty Dog)>

Coralline algae Hi there.  <Hello Dave> I've found tons of helpful hints in this site for keeping my 50 gal FO tank. Thanks a lot.  Now I'm setting up a mini FOWLR and since I have no experience with LR I hope you can give me some light on this. I got a 20 gal tank which is 16" tall, a SeaClone 100 skimmer, an AquaClear 200, and a 2 T-5 bulbs 14 watts each (one daylight and one actinic) lighting setup for a total 28 watts. Would these stuff work out fine? I'm specially concerned about the lighting. Would that be enough light for the coralline algae to grow???  <40 to 60 watts would be better. Lower intensities usually cause more nuisance algae to grow. If it's just coralline you're interested in, then a 50/50 combo would be better. Here is a link you can read. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallinealg.htm. James (Salty Dog)> 

- Ever Heard of Purple Up? - The URL for the product can be found here: Purple-Up! <This is the first I've heard of this, and don't put much stock in products that proposed "miracle" fixes for non-issues. You can accomplish the same by using a calcium additive to your system. I suggest the two-part solution B-Ionic. Cheers, J -- > Coralline algae Mr. Fenner, I was reading your forums and found them very informative. A question that I have is that: I had a system (75gal.) running for 3 yrs, FO. I recently moved, I couldn't take the tank with me , so I  am now  setting up a smaller system as space permits ( FO... again). My live rock started to lose its coralline algae. I used Kent Pro buffer Dkh with coralline accelerator and Kent liquid calcium, I maintained all the proper levels with my water, my pH never had drastic changes and gave doses of Kalkwasser  as informed to by my LFS, it bloomed heavily but eventually it just died off. ( I have suspected the rock be of poor quality) But my real question is repopulating the rock as I don't want to unload any money on new rock. I thought about, getting a few pounds and  placing them around the old as well as obtaining some scrapings from my LFS display tanks, if they will ,and epoxying them to the rock hoping that it will repopulate. Will these methods work, or should I just cut my losses and enjoy new rock? <<Yes, can work. RMF>> I can still see plenty of small patches here and there and some very faint red polyps, but this is mainly on rock that was at the bottom and doesn't help my display. <Patience my friend, you are making soup in your tank.  Probably the best product for growing coralline (provided the lighting is strong enough) is Sea Chem's Liquid Calcium.  I've been told be a member of the crew that in two months I would have wicked coralline using this product. You do need to monitor calcium levels to make sure your at a 350-400ppm level. With proper lighting and using liquid calcium your coralline should look great in about two months.  James (Salty Dog)> Thank You Paul

Coralline algae Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2005 I recently wrote regarding coralline algae, I thank you for your fast response, and wisdom. I already purchased SeaChem liquid calcium and am researching GARF's items, but I came across something from CaribSea called " Purple - Up" and was wondering if you have any experience with this item? It claims to do a lot in short time ( If it sounds too good - it probably is ) Just wondering.  <Paul, you just answered your own question. We can't make ourselves grow fast, we are living beings, but we will be healthier if we eat right. Pretty much goes for the coralline supplements. The SeaChem LC will be fine and you should have plenty of coralline in a month or two providing the use of decent lighting. James (Salty Dog)>  

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