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FAQs about Red Calcareous and Coralline Algae Nutrition/Fertilization

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 4, Coralline Algae Identification, Coralline Algae Behavior, Coralline Algae Compatibility/Control, Coralline Algae Selection, Coralline Algae Systems, 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




New Development-Help 2/25/09 Growing Coralline Algae Hi, <Hello> I just wanted to share with you guys that after adding the powdered coral, purple coralline algae has started growing at a very fast pace. Some of the powder has settled down on the rocks and on those areas the coralline growth is excellent. <Great.> Earlier, I had great difficulty in getting coralline algae to grow, I tried Purple-up but no use. After the powdered coral was added, calcium levels are at 480mg/ltr. I just wanted to share this cause I read about a lot of people struggling with coralline algae growth. Thank You. <And thank you for sharing this with us. James (Salty Dog)>

FOWLR question. Carbon, Purple Up and System Size 2/13/08 I have a quick question regarding my aquarium. I have a saltwater setup 30 gal. that has 1 puffer in it, <What type of puffer? The volume of your tank is pushing the limits for even the smallest species.> no other live stock, I recently added 30 lbs of live rock that I got from another aquarist that had it in a 5 yr old reef setup. I have a Bak Pak skimmer a HOT magnum 250 hang on canister and a Via Aqua pump for circulation. Do I still need to use carbon all the time or only once or twice a month? (this was suggested by someone at the LFS), <You can do either, but it is not necessary with frequent water changes. See the link below.> second since I only have the one fish in there, he is about 3 inches long right now, do I need to add anything to keep the live rock up? <No, it will be fine.> And last is it ok to use something like Purple up to keep the coralline algae up? <No, I would supplement via water changes in this small of a system. With all in one concoctions such as Purple Up you do not know what exactly you are adding in relation to what your water tests, alk/calcium being the main components here.> As always thanks for the advice. Terry <Welcome, good luck, Scott V.> http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfiltrmedart.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/puffers.htm and related FAQ's

PURPLE-UP for Coralline Growth? - Thumb's down... 02/22/07 Anyone have any info about this product by CaribSea? <<Have seen/used...don't waste your money mate>> I have a FOWLR and would like to increase the amount of coralline algae...... <<Then look to providing balance to alkalinity/calcium/magnesium.  Obtaining some "seed" material in the form of coralline scrapings from fellow hobbyists/LFS can help too>> Is this product safe and does it work.....? <<Not in my opinion>> I have some very rare fish and do not want to introduce anything that may harm them... <<I have read and seen anecdotal proof that calcium polygluconate can be helpful to "jumpstart" coralline growth.  Seachem makes such a product and if used as directed it should pose no harm to your fish>> Thanks, Craig Smith <<Happy to share.  Eric Russell>>

- 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 -- > 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>> Culturing Coralline Thanks Scott, <You're quite welcome!> Are there any products on the market that are easy to use for the enhancement of the coralline algae. <Well Stu, there are a number of products that you can use to achieve good coralline growth, among them, some form of calcium supplementation. You could either use Kalkwasser (administered per your aquarium's requirements, verified by testing), or perhaps, a product like Seachem's "Reef Calcium", which is comprised of calcium gluconate, a form of calcium that has proven to grow coralline like crazy!> And the removal or reduction of the green algae. <Well, as we indicated previously, green algae and other "nuisance" algae tend to go away, or stay under control, with strict attention to nutrient control and export techniques. See this link:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nutrientcontrol.htm  > I have seen the calcium reactors in the sump at the LFS and the coralline algae on the rocks is so bright and abundant. Can this same look be achieved from supplements rather than the expensive setup of the calcium reactor and co2 cylinders? Stu <Healthy coralline growth is just one side benefit of calcium reactor use, not to mention good alkalinity and calcium levels in the tank. As mentioned above, with the careful administration of calcium supplements or Kalkwasser, you can accomplish the same thing. Reactors provide a less labor intensive method, however, but it's really a matter of what you want to do, and- most important, what you can afford. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Put Your Toe in The Water! On to That DSB & Coralline >I don't exactly ever remember in the past 7 months if the nitrates were as low as 10ppm except when they first started to rise.  This tells me that my DSB has never really kicked in.  It has been a steady slow rise to where they are today.  Is there anything I can do to help things along?  Is time the only thing that will tell? >>Hmm.. I'm wondering about the DSB itself.  I would think it would have kicked in by now.  Is it at LEAST 3" deep (for sand)?  If it's not sand size grains, and maybe more on the order of 1-2mm grains, then it would need to be 4"-6" minimum (this would work well with the sand, too, just be sure to have sufficient sandsifting animals to avoid compaction).    >On another note, what else can I do to help my coralline algae grow?  My calcium at last check was at 375, alk at 4.5 and pH at a "balmy" :-) 8.4.  I add a tsp of Kalk almost every night.  Once again is this just a time thing?  Patience? >>I'm not the best person to ask about calcium and alkalinity, but your calcium level seems to be in a good range, between 350-400.  If I recollect correctly, you want your alkalinity to be on the high side, though I would think that 4.5 meq/l IS on the high side.  Very perplexing.  Here's a link to a discussion on such: http://reefs.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=29957&highlight=correct+alkalinity Randy Holmes-Farley is also a chemist by profession, so his information can be counted on to be pretty good. http://www.reefs.or/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=24550&highlight=correct+alkalinity Also.. http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/no2002/chem.htm Marina

Supplements, coralline algae and carbon 9/20/04 Hello WWM Staff,  My name is Jim. I have a 90 gallon reef tank that is 8 months old. I have a UV, Protein skimmer and wet/dry (Removed bio balls).  I use the following Seachem supplements as per GARF website. (3) TBS Reef Plus 2X week (3) TBS Reef Complete 2X week (3) TBS Reef Calcium 2x week (1) TBS Reef Advantage Calcium makeup water 2nd and 4th weeks (1) TBS Reef Builder makeup water on the 3rd week. My Question is. I am having a tough time getting coralline algae to grow. My LFS sold me Seachem Reef Kalkwasser. They told me that would bring down my Phosphates and help grow coralline. <Hmmm.. did you test for Phosphate?  Did they?  What was the result?  What are your Ca, Alk, Mg, Po4, Salinity, temp, lighting and water movement.  All of these will affect coralline growth.  What is your water change routine?  All of the listed additives are perfectly fine, but they should be dosed according to the demands of your tank (determined through testing), not a "standard recipe".> The problem I have is I'm not sure if I should stop adding the calcium supplements listed above and use the Kalkwasser in there place and in what amount? <If proper water changes are carried out (20% a month or so), Kalkwasser is usually the only supplement needed.  It will supply calcium and alkalinity in a balanced fashion.  All other "trace elements" will be supplied through water changes.  If you make the change to Kalkwasser, do be sure to continue to measure Ca and Alk to be sure you are meeting your tanks needs.> Also do u suggest using any Activated carbon in a reef tank. Thanks for your help! <Carbon helps keep the water clear and will remove the noxious defensive chemicals produced by corals.  I personally don't use carbon often, but it has it's place.  Please do use small amounts and change it frequently rather than large amounts left for long periods.  Also, rinse it well before use.  Best Regards.  Adam>

Supplements, coralline algae and carbon follow up 9/21/04 Thank you for the quick reply. I do a 10% water change twice a month using Marin Topic salt. If I am reading your reply correctly I should do away with all those products and stick to water changes and Kalkwasser? <In my opinion, yes.  Tropic Marin salt is excellent and with your water change schedule, it will provide all you need.  Calcium and alkalinity are the only exception, and Kalk should take care of those just fine.  The bottom line rule of thumb... if you aren't testing for it, don't add it!  Best Regards.  AdamC.>

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>

Trace elements O.K. One more question, no, not a question, I'll call this a puzzle in which I don't have all the pieces to finish myself. I did a little experiment. I have a built in overflow chamber in my 75-gal aquarium. It also has a protein skimmer, Fluval 404 canister filter, 2 1,000-gal/hr powerheads, some live rock, aragonite substrate, and a few fish. All my fish are very healthy, including my 4 to 5-inch juvenile imperator angel. However, my coralline algae is suffering. A was digging around in a box of supplies my friend gave for the aquarium and found some mineral/trace element chalky-octangle-porous chips of about 4-inch diameter and 2 inches thick. No label was provided with the chips but I was suggested to break it in half and drop one in my overflow chamber. I did this.  To my surprise I saw amazing coralline algae growth on the glass and bottom of the overflow chamber. It may be good to note that the chamber also contains a few bio-balls which shade the bottom of the chamber. Surprised at what I witnessed after the first chip had completely dissolved (1-2 weeks), I wedged one between two pieces of live rock that had decaying coralline algae. Nothing happened that I could see to this coralline algae. However, the algae in the overflow chamber began regressing. I then added another chip to the overflow chamber and witnessed another growth spurt. I hypothesized that the overflow chamber allowed a local concentration of what ever was in the chips to increase, giving the algae the ability to grow by supplementing what was otherwise lacking. I thought of purchasing and adding trace elements in higher doses that may be more appropriate for my tank volume. I was previously thinking about adding Kalkwasser (too poor to buy a reactor, yet). Now, I doubt that the increased growth was a result of supplemented calcium by the chips? Further complicating the puzzle, I contacted Aquarium Systems, and found that newly mixed Indoor Oceans salt water at 1.026 has calcium at 400 ppm and alkalinity at 3.02-3.5 meq/L. I do add baking soda at the doses recommended in your book every week. It seems that the concentrations provided by the Indoor Oceans salt mix provides an optimal condition for coralline algae growth. Of course one would expect consumption of the elements, but the 7.5% weekly water change should replenish anything lost. Can you give your opinion on the coralline algae growth? I would love to get this effect throughout my tank. I apologize, I feel that test kits encourage me take unnecessary steps in maintaining my water quality. The fish seem to love the water and that is good enough for me. Can you make conclusions without knowing exact concentrations? I also wondered if my skimmer may be 'over skimming' and depleting the elements? Thanks, Jeff >> Lots of interesting observations here.... Does seem that the "block" (alkalinity booster) did more good in your filter flow path... and the same material was probably more toxic than beneficial when/where you wedged it in between the rocks... You can buy the same mix of carbonates, bicarbonates as liquid prep.s... and do get/use a test kit at least for alkalinity and calcium to use along with them.... and get ready to study up re the interrelationships of these phenomena... Bob Fenner

Reef Tank I have a 90 Gallon Reef Tank. I currently use 4 - 100w VHO lights. Two URI super actinic and 2 actinic. My problem is that the algae on the rock is bleaching out. The only algae that stay red is shaded by rock or down low in the tank. Alkalinity is 3 and calcium is 450. Do you think the lights are to strong? I am using ESV additives for alkalinity and calcium. >> Hmm, the lighting is bright, favoring other algal forms... but you can probably recover the corallines... Try adding a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) a day... if/till you can register more than six milliequivalents per liter of alkalinity (it won't happen)...  Bob Fenner

Reef tank (algae control) Mr. Fenner, I appreciate your continued help and all you do for the marine aquarium hobby.  <Ah, everyone needs to feel important. I am glad to be so here> I once again need your expert advice. I'm beyond frustrated with my reef tank. I currently have an outbreak of ich, and have moved my fish to a quarantine tank, and am lowering the salinity and temp to attempt to clear it out. (right track?)  <Yes> but the ich I can deal with. my biggest problem is algae. we finally got our live rock about 50% covered with coralline algae, then it was suddenly (in approx. 1 week) taken over by what looks like a carpet-like green and brown algae. I clean it off the glass weekly, but it comes back full strength by the end of the week. I can't figure out a way to get it off the rocks at all. any advice would be greatly appreciated.  <Have you read through the mass of materials on algae causes/controls posted on our site? Please start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/algaeconMar.htm See all the blue colored links above? I know they're a bunch of them. Do read through these> one final question. have you ever heard of "Reef Vital DNA, enhanced reef life energizer" by Marc Weiss companies, inc.? we got it because it says it enhances coralline algae growth. I have been using it steadily (as directed) for over a week. could this stuff be encouraging my algae growth? any ideas? <This product is trouble. Discontinue it, return it and demand a refund. It is helping the algae problem almost assuredly> sorry this email was so long, but I have so many questions, and you're a fountain of knowledge on this subject. thanks again!! Tracy <No worries my friend. Study. Bob Fenner>

Help on Growing Coralline Algae Hi Bob <<Hello, JasonC here filling in while Bob is off diving.>> I have a 6' x 2' x2' reef tank up and running (8 months) all is well but I wish to get more red/purple coralline algae on my live rock, to replace the grey look I get a lot of green on the rock/glass but want the red/purple is there a formula to grow this type of algae see attached pics <<Coralline Algae is just that, algae which means it will usually grow with very little help. The big secret, and it's not much of a secret, is that coralline needs calcium to grow. The coralline that is on your rocks now will spread, it just takes time and nutrients. Do read Bob's article on coralline algae: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corlalgfaqs.htm >> Many thanks in advance Wayne <<You are quite welcome. Cheers, J -- >>

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