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FAQs about Red Algae/Rhodophyte Compatibility & Control

Related Articles: Red Algae in General, Coralline Marine AlgaeAvoiding Algae Problems in Marine System, Algae Control, Marine Maintenance, 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 AlgaeAlgae as Food

Related FAQs: Red Algae 1, Red Algae 2, Red Algae 3, Red Algae in General, Red Algae 2, Red Algae 3, Red Algae Identification, Red Algae Behavior, Red Algae Selection, Red Algae Systems, Red Algae Nutrition, Red Algae Disease, Red Algae Reproduction/Propagation, Coralline Algae, Marine Macro-Algae, Use in AquariumsAlgae as FoodMarine 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

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Marine Aquarium Algae Control

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Bob, I have had several different algae blooms since running my 400l berlin system, caulerpa and green hair algae for the most part, and the latest bloom is the one I am having the most trouble with because it is so difficult to harvest. Stripping it off the rocks by hand seemed quite simple until I realised that small strands of the algae would break off and disperse throughout the tank. It is fluffy and purple in colour (see pic) and seems to have the consistency of a fibrous algae that when removed from the tank can be squeezed like a sponge until you are left with just the dry fibrous material. It grows pretty quickly and it seems to have coincided with a recent change from LED back to Halide. I have increased the flow by investing in a Vortech Pump (very powerful even at half way setting) and I try to reduce feeding to a minimum but this stuff just grows and grows. Where it is a little nicer to look at than the green hair algae, due to its purple colour, I'm finding it a little invasive. Any help would be very much appreciated! Thanks, Daniel

Let's see, I can make out your excellent image'¦ and from your description, not being slimy, this third algae proliferation is likely a red (Rhodophyte) algae of some sort. There are a few standard approaches to controlling all algal organisms: Nutrient deprivation, predation, competition'¦ along with some more drastic measures like blacking out all light availability. I see you've already availed yourself of increased/improved circulation; which should help, and likely made less chemical food available through more conscientious feeding'¦ Do you have tests, water quality measures for the typical compounds Nitrate and Phosphate? These would help give you insight as to what your efforts are doing.

How much of a discourse do we have time/space for here to elaborate on the above moda for countering pest algae? One of the all-time best counter-attacks involves adding a remoted, tied-in living sump, a refugium, replete with a good-sized/depth DSB (Deep Sand Bed). Are you familiar w/ this technology? Bio-geo-chemical activity here can serve to deprive pest life of chemicals they thrive on, produce Protists that feed directly on them, make foodstuffs for your livestock, and much more. Here also you can grow competing, better Macrophytes (large algae) to chemically defeat noisome types in your main display.

Determining what might actually eat this algae is a bit of an adventure. You could look under a microscope at a bit of this material, try to discern its species, investigate in literature, the internet re what might possibly consume it. Or, you could go the experimental route, adding various organisms that might find it palatable. To my mind all these approaches are worth considering, implementing.

Tenacity of Red Turf Algae, olde LR re-use  7/27/13
Hi crew!
<Hello Pam>
 I have a question about the tenacity of Red Turf Algae.
Last January, I finally gave up a 6 month long battle with RTA,....dismantled and disinfected my tank.
I have a new system now and it is doing beautifully!
The nearly 100 lbs of rock that was in this system, has been outside in the cold, rain, snow and sun,  since then.
I would love to use this old rock. Do you think in all this time it is devoid of RTA and other contaminates.
Would bleaching in a weak solution be wise or should I just forget it and  let the rock live its final days in the sun?
<No need to let it spend its last days outside Pam. :-)  I would take it to a DIY car wash and spray it down good to remove any  residue on it. If you have a power washer at home then the trip won't be necessary.>
Thanks for your expert advise! Which, I may add, I always follow!
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>
Re: Tenacity of Red Turf Algae AND second opinion! 8/11/13

Hi Crew!!
<Hello Pam>
I understand that most of you have higher degrees in biology than I, and logic tells me to follow your direction.
<I have only had one semester of biology in college because it was required.
My course did not involve aquariums. :-)>
However, when anxiety kicks in, all logic goes down the tubes!
That said,...I respectfully ask for a second opinion about the tenacity of red turn <turf> algae.
More specifically, if the rock (talked about below) has the remains of the RTA clinging on, (despite a mild bleach bath and almost four seasons outside, and scrubbing with a wire brush) is there any possibility that this would come to life in my new set up?
<These are dead cells, red turf algae is not a Lazarus type of algae. :-)>
James, will you pass this along?
<As I mentioned below, for aesthetic purposes I would power wash the dead cells off the rock at a car wash; yes you will look crazy doing this but I would do it.
Just do it quickly before someone calls a wagon for you. :-)>
Thanks so much!!!
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>
Re: Tenacity of Red Turf Algae AND second opinion! 8/13/13

Lazarus,...had to look that one up! LOL!
Okay then,...I get it now and thank you for the second opinion, even though it was from the same person!
<You're welcome Pam.  James (Salty Dog)>
I'll power wash tomorrow,..quickly!

Mushroom <repro.>, New Coral <id>, and Dragon's Breath <comp.> 3/4/10
Hey Guys!
I recently started up my refugium which is a huge victory for me! lol. Been planning it for a long time. I had a couple questions and an ID question I thought you might be able to help with really quickly. First of all, my red mushroom usually sits on the tank floor of my 90 gal display, just laying there looking nice. I like to split my corals and sell them back to the LFS who has been asking for them..A LOT...anyway, I don't particularly like to cut my animals (I know, kinda wussy but it bothers me lol), so I usually just move them to a precarious position where they will move to another rock and leave their foot, thus replicating.
<Ah, pedal laceration...>
It works really well without a chance of infection and dying. Recently I moved my mushroom closer to the light and instead of moving it just spread up and wide like the picture and was wondering if it DIDN'T like the light or if it wants more. I understood this species preferred deeper and less light.
<Need to define terms>
Second question, I just bought a new coral frag (pic#2) and I was told it was a pagoda. Verifying it LOOKED like a pagoda,
<Might be a Dendrophylliid, perhaps a Turbinaria. Read here:
and the linked files above>
at least to me, I have been watching it. From what I have read, aren't they supposed to have polyps that extend for feeding?
<Mmm, at night time, most all Scleractinians do>
I have yet to see them, and from I understand they require supplemental feeding, unless this is a purely photosynthetic sp.
<There are no such light-only species>
What do you think?
<That stonies are mixotrophic>
It is sitting on a rock off the bottom floor, but not really close to the light. Lastly, I added a small ball of Chaeto and some dragon's breath to my refugium. I attached the dragon's breath to the side of the rock I have attached the Chaeto, and also to the power head I have to create greater flow. I have had a hard time finding info on it, so are there any problems with this Macro that you have encountered?
<Mmm, no>
(I made the pics with smaller resolution but if you need higher, let me know.)
Thanks Much!
Joshua Lucero

Red Turf Algae/Algae Control 3/16/09
Hey Guys and Gals,
I hope the onset of summer is treating you all well, we're still knee deep in snow here in Edmonton.
<Yikes, brings back unpleasant memories. Years ago I had landed in  Edmonton, then drove to Wetaskawin to set up some automated welding equipment. It was the month of January and I couldn't believe how cold it was. Geez, if you didn't plug your car in at night, you were not going anywhere in the morning. Brrr!>
I look at my little slice of reef and imagine myself somewhere a little more warm, where people were actually meant to survive, hehe.
Quickish question about turf algae. That is what I believe I have, it is red wine colored, about 2mm-1cm in length, and has little runners that cling to the rock and make it impossible to move. I also have a red algae that grows in horizontal plates, looks quite pretty but grows everywhere. The hairy stuff started in a patch about the size of a quarter and has since spread to more than half of my live rock. I'm taking the following measures to get rid of it, just wanted your opinion, and any suggestions.
<A picture here would have helped much.>
I read on your sight that red algaes don't like light and thus I increased my photoperiod to 12 hours. I have a mix of T5 (2x18W, 10,000K) and CF (1x Actinic, 1x10,000K).
I upgraded my skimmer from a Prizm Pro to an Aqua C remora with a MaxiJet1200 (amazing how much more gunk this pulls out).
<This improvement will help you here, don't expect overnight results though.>
Changed the flow pattern in the tank (two Koralia nano powerheads both on the back corners, pointing towards the front center of the tank), about 500gph.
Using a phosphate removal media, and nitrate sponge, as well as activated carbon, in a converted hang on back filter.
Trying to remove the really hairy bits, but it's on there solid.
Way lowered the amount I feed to my fish. Once every two days now, a mix of new life spectrum flakes, algae flakes from Betta, and a mix I made myself of frozen seafood.
The flat algae is going from red to orange, and then white, and I pull that out as much as possible, it was easier to remove and seems to be dying first anyway. When most of it was gone, the red turf algae rapidly increased it's growth rate, I'm assuming because the nutrients the other algae consumed were now available for the surviving algae.
Rats. I have two Mexican turbo snails, an emerald crab, 3 blue legged hermits, one scarlet hermit, and about 20 Nassarius snails.
<Nassarius are favored more as carnivores/detritivores.>
I'm thinking of getting more Turbos,
I've heard they like the red turf algae. Any other suggestions for herbivores would be good, can't do fish though, it's only a 29 gallon tank, no sump, and has a full livestock load.
<What is your fish load? You may be importing nutrients faster than you can export.>
The water chemistry has been fine, pH has been hard to keep up, possibly from all the dead/dying algae driving it down.
<Also a sign of a high bio-load.>
I'm using Seachem Marine
buffer to raise it back up. Calcium hovers at around 400-450ppm. I'd like to keep it around 350-400 as I only have polyps, mushrooms, one leather and a few LPS corals. Alkalinity is also low, until I add the buffer to bring it up, only takes a few days to fall back down though. Temperature stays around 80, occasionally rises to 81-82 (I don't have thermostat control in this place, and they guys downstairs get inexplicably cold occasionally....).
<Doesn't surprise me, I was cold taking a hot shower there.>
Nitrates are always at 0, but I'm guessing they are just consumed by the algae. Same with phosphates, they hover around 0.05-1.0.
I do regular 5gal water changes once a week, with R/O water.
It is quite frustrating... the water is beautifully clear, but this algae just won't go away... any comments/suggestions would be awesome!
<May want to replace the carbon with Chemi Pure, much more effective and will aid toward raising your pH. Cleaning the riser tube in your skimmer every
couple of days will increase it's efficiency. Do read here and related articles/FAQ's.
James (Salty Dog)>

Re  Red Turf Algae/Algae Control 3/16/09
Hey There,
Answers to those questions quickly. I'll try to get a picture soon for you.
I have two false Percula Clownfish, a Purple Firefish, a Fire Shrimp and a Coral Beauty Angel.
<In future queries, please cap the names of fish, inverts, etc. Thanks.>
I've been putting off removing the coral beauty, as I realize he's going to grow too big for the tank, but I was hoping to eventually get a bigger tank to transfer him to.
<The Coral Beauty needs more room than a 29 gallon can provide.>
It's a long story, but essentially our landlord won't let me have anything bigger than a 29gal, I want to upgrade to a 72 gal bowfront, or even a 175 gal bowfront (gotta dream right?). Of course this would mean buying this house or moving, so things are at a standstill (is wanting a better tank a bad reason to want a house? haha).
<Nah, I'd buy a beer truck if that was the only way I could get some beer.>
I think I may need to just bite the bullet and pull the angel out of there... I love him but he has started to grow.
<Yes, he would be much happier in a larger system and will lower your waste level.>
I change my carbon every week, so once it's gone I'll use the Chemi Pure to give that a try.
I do clean the riser tube every day.... it pulls out more gunk in a day than the old skimmer did in a week. Thanks again for the help, stay warm! We got
another 5 inches of snow last night and I have to go unbury the car now.
<Pain in the arsh, isn't it.>
<Cheers. James (Salty Dog)>

Red algae. ID, control, more  -- 09/07/08 Hello WWM crew, <Hello Ed> My name is Ed, and I have an algae issue in my 4 year reef tank, and I'm going crazy trying to identify it and trying to halt its advance. I have attached two photos of it. Hopefully you have seen this type before and tell me if anything will consume it. I have searched WWM in hopes of finding it with no luck. In one of the picture's you will also see a type of starfish that literally wraps itself around this algae. Don't mind the 3 year old Mandarin as he is fat and happy... <I have seen this algae many times. It is in my tank!!! I have been plagued by this algae that seems to have originated from the Bali region of the Indo-Pacific coming in on maricultured corals sold at local fish stores. Eric Borneman and I have discussed this in detail. This thread at his forum shows pictures and there is a large discussion... http://forum.marinedepot.com/Topic71371-9-1.aspx Eric has taken Trochus snails to overcome and control his algae while I use sea urchins from the diadema family.(Black long spines)We both feel that this only controls the algae as it can have very small fragments growing in other areas of the tank we can not see. In your direct case, I recommend the removal of any rock with the algae present as it is very invasive. You can than soak that rock in vinegar and strip the life off of it, allow it to dry, and then return it to your system to become re-established with life forms. If the rock is attached or encrusted with corals, you can either frag(CUT) the coral from the rock and attach it to another rock with Super-glue Gel, or clean the rock as best as possible. If you clean the rock you may have to repeat this procedure several times. Always clean the rock in a separate container and rinse before returning to the main system. This will prevent spreading fragments of the algae thru out the system. The addition of Trochus snails will help as the ones I have do eat it also.(Very well, too) Just make sure they are Trochus snails as the other grazers do not eat it. Some have reported that a Foxface Rabbitfish will eat it also. I have not had such luck.> Tank parameters are good, Ammonia-0, Nitrates and Nitrites-0, Ph 8.3, Alk is on the lower end at 2.97.<I would raise Alk to 3.5 and begin checking your Calcium levels with your Alk levels. They work together and affect each other.> Sorry for the second e-mail but, I have added tank information for you. <No, problem. I deleted the duplicate. Good luck-Rich...aka...Mr. Firemouth>

Hypnea pannosa, Rhodophyte control, bio. pred.   8/13/08 Hi Crew, <Campbell> Looks like I have a lot of Hypnea Pannosa growing in my tank. I found some info, surprisingly only one result, on the WWM website in a post by Sara answered by Marco and Lynn. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/maralgidf19.htm In Lynn's' reply she mentions that it's food for people and fish but doesn't go on to say which fish? <Mmm... is used as a source of Carrageenan, and consumed by humans fresh as "salad" in places... I imagine "the usual suspects" in the way of fish groups would consume it... esp. Acanthurids, Siganids, Pomacanthids...> Although the algae is pretty it can be a pain especially at harvesting time. Since it so brittle I usually leave it until I can detach it in large clumps, any sooner and it breaks up and clogs the pump intakes, where it promptly anchors and starts growing again. Trouble with harvesting big clumps is the algae branches are haven to large populations of Copepods, Amphipods and even Bristle/Fire worms. Last time I harvested I spent four back breaking hours hunched over a tub with tweezers and pipettes separating the little critters from the algae so I could return them to the tank. I hope to avoid this in future so I wonder if you could tell me which fish genus and, even better, which particular species will eat this algae. Failing that are there any crabs or snails that would do the job? Many thanks in advance, Campbell <In how large a system, with what other purposeful livestock? A "stock" choice would be the Surgeons of the genera Ctenochaetus and Zebrasoma... Bob Fenner>

Re: Hypnea pannosa, contr.    8/14//08 Many thanks Bob, <Welcome Campbell> The system is about 225 gallons after displacement but I have no herbivorous fish. The fish I have are mostly carnivores and planktivores. However, I have plenty of Turbos, Astreas and Ceriths as well as Red Leg Hermits that are doing sterling work as I have no Hair Algae or other nuisance algae, assuming H. Pannosa isn't classed as nuisance, at all but they don't go near the H. Pannosa.. <Mmm, in a volume this size, I am very tempted to suggest a member of the genus Naso... perhaps the most common... N. lituratus... It would, almost assuredly consume this algae... to its exclusion> Now I will have a look at the fish species you mention and hopefully I be able keep the algae in check. Regards, Campbell <Please peruse here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FishInd3.htm Scroll down to the Acanthurids. BobF>
Re: Hypnea pannosa, tang. sel.    8/23/08
Hi Bob, How are you today? <Fine, Campbell. Thank you> Thanks for the info on the Tangs. I have looked at the Lipstick Tang, my tank is 8'x2'x2', plus 6'x18"x16" sump, but I feel at 16" to 20" the Lipstick would be just too big for the display when fully grown. <Would/will take a good long while to reach about half this length... which would be about maximum here> So I have been researching Ctenochaetus strigosus and Acanthurus Japonicus and it looks like they would both be just a nice size. Now I am trying to decide which one of the two to go for and the I am leaning towards A. Japonicus. What do you think? Will A. Japonicus eat this algae? <Mmm, not as likely as a Ctenochaetus species> Lastly, what do A. Japonicus look like as juveniles? <Mmm, like miniature adults... a bit lighter in body color, but the same markings, colors> I am limited by my quarantine tank volume so must get a juvenile at 3" or so, but can't seem to find any info or pics on juveniles. <See Fishbase.org> Given their similarity, in both looks and common name, to A. Nigricans and A. Nigricans relative unsuitability for aquariums I want to make sure that I get an A. Japonicus juvenile. Regards, Campbell <Easy to distinguish twixt these two... at all sizes. Bob Fenner>

Please help me beat this red algae nightmare!!!   5/4/08 I spend way too much time surfing your site and have found lots of useful information. But, I still am having trouble and hope you can help. <Will try> I have had a reef setup - or at least that is the goal- up and running for 2 years, but have not been able to rid my tank of this red nuisance algae since it arrived with the live rock. (Please reference the attached photos). <I see this> I have searched every site I can find on the net to identify it, but no luck. It looks like a red fern; it has numerous small branches making offshoots of a primary branch and each "plant" appears to have 10+ branches. <Is a Rhodophyte... but need a closer-up, better-resolved image to tell more> It starts out a deep magenta and changes to a light pink over time. It really is quite attractive when there is only a little patch. However, it has taken over the tank! This is the setup: · 75 gallon tank with 75 gallon package from Tampa Bay Saltwater (live rock, live sand, brittle star, sea cucumber, blue leg hermits, Astrea snails, unwanted gorilla crabs still lurking in some crevices, lots of purple porcelain crabs) · 2 Koralia 4 power heads for water movement in the main tank · 2 Maxijet 600s for water movement in the main tank · 4 VHO bulbs in main - two actinic blue and two actinic white · under tank CPR sump. I know now it isn't the best choice based on information on your site, but it seemed like a good option at the time. with main pump that is pumping at the max flow rate for the system - to the point that the overflow can only maintain pace with the pump, so I am not sure how many GPH. The sump also has a 2" sand bed <I'd increase this to about four inches... For a few helpful reasons. See here: http://wetwebmedia.com/dsbratuse.htm and the linked files above... and add some Gracilaria, Chaetomorpha... to the same area... with a light on during the hours your main/display is in darkness... See WWM re these algal genera, the rationale for their use...> and a few pieces of live rock - added to see if they would help. but didn't · protein skimmer included with the CPR sump with Maxijet 1200 pump · CoraLife power compact fluorescents in sump that run off cycle of the main tank <Oh! Good> · Chaeto mass (not really a ball and have not been able to get it to tumble) in sump <Oh! I see you have this already> · Use RO/DI water for top off/water changes · Instant Ocean salt · two Ocellaris clown fish · royal Gramma · coral beauty · two Banggai cardinal fish · yellow tang · two Mexican turbo snails (started with 5) · sand sifting snails (not sure which varieties and probably about 7 total left) · two peppermint shrimp · purple long tentacle anemone · flower anemone · pulsing xenia · open brain coral · coral that was attached to the live rock when purchased · various pink, gray, white sponges that were growing on live rock · mushrooms · Zoanthids · hammer coral · 1 lone yellow polyp The live rock came with a small amount of this algae which we decided to keep at the time, since everything I read indicated macro algae is great for a system. If only we had removed it then!!! This is the history of what we have done to try to get rid of it, I know it is quite lengthy, but wanted to let you know what we have tried. Our efforts are based off of numerous searches on your site, on other reef keeping sites, and recommendations from, what we consider a reliable, saltwater fish store. The tank cycled without problem and we had a normal outbreak of green hair algae to begin with. We used the toothbrush-siphon method combined with 50% water changes and ridded the tank of the algae with relatively little effort. Evidently, we still have a phosphorous/nutrient source because the red algae has grown out of control since a few weeks after removing the green hair algae. We have tried to prune and remove as much of the algae as possible. However, the algae is firmly affixed to the rocks and can't be entirely removed (even with a toothbrush), breaks in tiny pieces when pulled, and sprouts from each little piece we can't capture. in other words it doesn't really help! The algae grows so thickly together that I even lost a clownfish in one pruning session. I pulled the fish with a handful of algae and never new it until he didn't reappear. L Determined we could beat this we started getting smarter on algae control and tried: · weekly 30% water changes for 2 months. no change · raised the salinity level slightly. no change (now at 1.025) <Is fine> · decreased the lighting cycle to 8 hours/day. no change · used Rowaphos - twice. no change · added GARF Grunge and additional live sand (total of ~4" depth in display) to promote coralline algae growth. minimal increase, no effect on nuisance algae <Is worthless> · changed all light bulbs. no change · increased main tank lighting cycle by several hours. no change. currently at about 14 hours/day in the hopes of "cooking" the red algae, per your site · rigged up a much bigger pump for the protein skimmer so it always produced large quantities of skimmate. no change just a really loud skimmer · changed all the filters for the RO/DI unit. no change · added a Rabbitface Foxfish <Which species?> hoping it would eat it, he wasn't interested and become victim to a power head at his favorite hiding spot. Two lessons learned, don't trust everything you read, and ALWAYS have a cover on the powerhead intakes. · per instructions for the bullet proof system at GARF, added Seachem Calcium and Reef Builder to top off water to encourage coralline algae growth...slight increase in coralline algae but no decrease in nuisance algae <... not of use> · washed all food - currently only Hikari mysis shrimp and no longer use any flake food or low quality frozen foods from local pet store. no change · reduced feeding to force the herbivores to eat the algae - the would rather starve and the carnivores take it out on the poor snails · added Mexican turbo snails in hopes of seeing the mowed down algae paths others report. they are dying off making dinner for the crabs or starving from refusing to eat this red stuff · Changed 2 of the then 4 MaxiJet power heads to Koralia 4s to increase water movement. no change · let the tank go without water changes to encourage some equilibrium and let the sand bed work. no change I know this sounds like a lot of attempts, but trust that each one was carried out independent of the next step to ensure we gave the system time to respond. We can't seem to find anything that makes a difference with our husbandry techniques or any animal that will eat this stuff. I have tested the water and the parameters are all within the specifications listed on your site. I can't detect phosphate but the more reliable fish store we frequent tested the water and reported slightly elevated levels of phosphates, but said it wasn't high enough to cause significant concern or this widespread of an outbreak. They recommended using Rowaphos and changing RO/DI filters. I don't know what the phosphate level was, but evidently we still have a phosphate or nutrient problem we can't control. In the sump, the Chaeto hardly grows, <Being suppressed by the Red...> instead we have red hair and red slime algae growing on the sides of the sump and a slime coating throughout the Chaeto. The Chaeto also holds a lot of detritus. I am not sure how to remove this without tossing out the Chaeto and getting a new ball after a massive water change and tank clean out. <Pick it up during water changes, give it a good shake in a tub of water> I thought if I can't beat the red stuff, I would use the red nightmare to my advantage and put it in the sump. it won't grow there!!! I assume the main tank uses most of the nutrients and what is left is used by the red slime/hair algae in the sump. The anemones are doing fine (the clownfish and the Cardinalfish are hosting in the LTA) The xenia were growing like mad, but took a hit somewhere in the cycle of ridding the algae. I was so focused on the algae, I am not sure what step impacted them. <Happens> The zoos are doing fine and have spread to several rocks. The mushrooms are doing well and spreading, too. The lone yellow polyp (the remaining transplant from a friend's tank) refuses to grow which I don't understand since they are supposed to grow like weeds. <Likely some Cnidarian negative interaction. Likely the Actinarians/Anemones> Sponges and corals on the live rock are doing well, too. I have not been able to get a good growth of coralline algae, it won't grow on the glass, but does on the plastic overflow and some of the rocks. The hammer coral won't grow either. (I am hoping the combination of what is growing well and what won't might give a clue of how to fix things.) I have tried to clean the sand when I do a water change, but don't have a good technique for doing this without siphoning out the sand. So, I stir up the bottom and siphon out the brown cloud. But, like everything else, it doesn't seem to make a difference. Currently there are patches of the algae on almost all of the live rock and on the powerheads. What else can I try, other than tossing out all the rock and starting over? That is not a financially or time-wise realistic option at this point. I would rather give away the livestock and restart again later. I had dreams of a beautiful reef setup with lots of corals, but I am afraid to put any in the tank until it gets under control. Please help!!! Thanks, Kristina <I would try another Rabbitfish, Siganus stellatus (of small size, less than five inches overall length if you can locate one)... and the "Kalk trick" here... temporarily elevating pH to about 8.6 with successive administration... to precipitate soluble phosphate (the source, foods, water, of HPO4 is likely bound up in the Red algae...)... try this three times (once a week)... and the Siganid... and increasing the DSB depth in the sump with fine/oolitic substrate. Bob Fenner>

Please help me ID and get rid of this Brown Algae   8/22/07 Hello. I've been trying to id this brown algae in my tank so I can figure out how to get rid of it, but haven't found any pictures that look like this algae. <Mmm... not a brown, but a Red: Peyssonnelia sp. An encrusting Red. Class Rhodophyceae, Subclass Florideophycidae, Order Gigartinales, Family Peyssonneliaceae.> Hoping you wonderfully knowledgeable reefers can help. :) I have some dark brown algae growing in circular patterns on my rock. Attached are 3 pictures of the same algae. What concerns me, is how much it has grown in 6 weeks. I looked at an old picture, and 6 weeks ago, there were a couple spots on one rock that were about the size of the tip of my pinky finger, and now they've grown into one spot about 2" in diameter. I thought this algae wouldn't be removable because it looks fused to the rock, but with some work, I completely was able to remove one circle about 1.5" in diameter. Came off in very small pieces. I thought it was slimy, but when I started pulling off pieces, it actually looks and feels like seaweed / kelp. My tank is pretty new....has been up and running for 4 months. My parameters are good, and I feed once a day and try to only give enough food that the fish can consume within 5 minutes. I use RO/DI water (Spectrapure MaxCap) with 0 TDS, and faithfully do bi-weekly water changes (10%). The sand bed looks good. It's just some good size patches of brown algae on the rock. No hair algae or any other type of nuisance algae. I had a small spot of bubble algae and turned the lights off for 3 days about a month ago and it disappeared and hasn't come back, but turning off the lights didn't do anything with this algae. Any idea what this algae is and what is the best option to get rid of it? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/redalgcompfaqs.htm and the linked files above> If I work on pulling it out manually, or using a toothbrush, will little pieces of it that might not make it to the skimmer, create an even bigger problem by spreading it around the tank? <Maybe...> Just FYI.... I recently added a second power-head to add some flow. (25x turnover now). I run my T5's for 10 hours a day, and the 150w MH only runs for 4 hours a day (only softies right now). All bulbs are only 4 months old. My parameters: Nitrates, Nitrites and Ammonia are all 0. Phosphates are .1 PH 8.1 Alk 2.9 Temp 82 going up close to 84 when MH's are lit Calcium 330 5 small fish in a 53 gallon tank. (2 small Perculas, 1 Purple Firefish, 1 Pygmy Possum Wrasse and 1 Tailspot Blenny) Thanks! Pam <Mmm, a few possible approaches here... Nutrient limitation... the growing of competitive species... Greens likely... Read on. Bob Fenner>

Re: Please help me ID and get rid of this Brown Algae  8/23/07 Thank you Bob. I'll start going through the links on the page you sent me. It looks more brown to me, than red, <Perhaps the photo itself has some artifactual color influence here> in person...but I know in the photos I sent, it definitely looks deep red. Any chance this could be Lobophora? <Mmmm, not much...> It's not lifting up at the edges at all, but maybe it hasn't gotten to that stage yet? <Bingo...> If it's definitely a red algae, any way that's best to remove it, or is manual removal the best option? Thanks, Pam....also an avid diver! :) <Actually, I'd enjoy it... likely increasing light intensity alone would disfavor either a Red or Brown/Phaeophyte, over a Green... Bob Fenner>

Re: Please help me ID and get rid of this Brown Algae   8/24/07 Hey Bob. Thanks again for the quick response. Hmmm...hadn't thought about increasing light intensity. I thought the opposite, that algae would grow more, with more light. <Mmmm, think about how the various Divisions (the botanical equivalent of zoological taxonomies Phyla) are semi-arranged... with some found/predominating more/less bright et al. environs...> Right now, my four 24w T5's are lit 10 hours a day, and one 150w MH's is only lit for 4 hours a day (all softies and LPS in my tank right now). What would you suggest slowly increasing the hours my MH is lit and would you increase it by an hour a day, an hour a week?? <I'd try a few more hours per day... increase to perhaps 8,9...> I don't find the looks of this algae very appealing, and if it didn't spread, I'd be fine, but seeing how much it has spread in 6 weeks, scares me. I'd much rather see more coralline on the rock than this ugly algae. I do have one red macroalgae that popped up on it's own that I love. Looks like red lettuce or something. Really cool looking. I see one sprout beginning elsewhere too. Just curious.... what made you rule out Lobophora ? <A few things... one is that this and most browns don't do well in captive systems unless they are administered iodine/ide/ate... in quantity, regularly... Another, that it does not look "soft" as this genus almost always appear in aquariums... and lastly, the very distinctive "ring-like" growth of Peyssonnelia...> I know you're an expert reefer.... <Oh... I can be wrong... am almost a few times daily...> so I completely trust your judgment. <Mmm, please, don't> Lobophora was just the closest thing I could find to what I have. Had no idea if it was actually that or something else. Thanks again. Pam <Can be determined pretty easily twixt being a Phaeophyte or a Rhodophyte... do you have access to a simple microscope and simple chemical tools? Bob Fenner>

Spreading red bubble algae! At my wits end!   4/15/07 I am currently struggling with red bubble algae in my 14 gallon BioCube. My tank is 6 1/2 months old. I have been battling this red bubble algae for the last two months. It is spreading and getting worse, as you will see in the attached photos. <Can see this... does look like a Botryocladia infestation... of epic proportions> It started off with what looked like red/burgundy or even blood spattered looking stuff over the top of one of my rocks. Then it turned into red bubbles. Hard, solid bubbles. Now it has spread to the next rock. I was told not to pop any of the bubbles because it will release spores into my tank and cause it to spread more. I was told not to remove the rocks and scrub it off and then rinse and return the rock to my tank because it will continue to come back. I was told that putting a small Foxface in my tank will take care of the problem, <Mmm, not likely> but as soon as I took the Foxface out after it ate all the bubble algae, it would come right back. I cannot even think about this option because my tank is too small for a Foxface, and I already have 3 small fish in my tank that I am quite attached to. I was then told that my only option would be to totally tear my tank down; siphon all water, remove the sand, rocks, etc... and start all over again with everything new, after scrubbing my tank and equipment clean. Is this the only way to get rid of the red bubble algae? <Mmm, no... there are a few other approaches worth considering> I am very frustrated with it at this point and it breaks my heart if I have to start all over again. What do I do with my current tank inhabitants and corals? <Mmm, depends...> My tank inhabitants are a percula, sixline wrasse, midas blenny, fire shrimp, 10 tiny blue legged hermits, pom pom crab, 4 Astrea snails, 2 Nassarius snails, and electric blue legged hermit crab. Coral-wise, I have a pagoda cup, star polyps, button polyps/zoos, mushrooms, finger leather, xenia and Octobubble coral. What causes this bubble algae <Like crimes... access, motive...> and if I have to break everything down and start all over again, how do I make sure that it doesn't come back? Also, how harmful is it if "nothing" is done? <Might cause a collapse... cascade event if something becomes rate limiting...> I do 20% water changes every other Saturday using Nutri-Seawater, I top off using RO/DI water. My parameters have all been consistent for the last 4 months. Temp: 80.9, Ammonia: 0, PH: 8.2, Nitrite: 0, Nitrate: 0, Calcium: 450, Salinity: 0.126.  I feed my fish twice a day during the week with frozen brine, mysis, emerald entree, marine cuisine, (mixing it up from day to day) and on the weekends, I just feed once a day. I have my lights on a timer; actinics on from 7am-6pm, regular lights on from 8am-5pm, and then the moonlights on from 6pm-7am. Is there anything that I can do/try before having to tear down my whole tank? <All sorts...> I was told to send you an e-mail because if anyone would be able to properly advise me and help, it would be you. I am looking forward to your response. Thanks, Kim   P.S. The first pic shows what the bubble algae looked like 2 months ago, the second and third, from 1 month ago, and then the rest are from today. <Mmm, there are a few places I would read before settling on a course of trials, changes here... http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-02/hcj/feature/index.php and: http://wetwebmedia.com/redalgcompfaqs.htm and the linked files above, where you lead yourself... A multiple "front" approach is advised... nutrient limitation, macrophyte competition... perhaps adding a purposeful refugium, DSB... Bob Fenner>

Red algae herbivore?  3/7/07 I have an outbreak of a red algae and I'd like to know what would eat it. I think the algae is Hypnea ramentacea and I've tried an urchin and a Zebrasoma scopas but neither seem interested. Should I get another type of tang (maybe Bristletooth) or a Rabbitfish. Cheers Gavin <Worth trying... though... if it were me/mine, I'd harvest and sell this as an ornamental! Bob Fenner>

Re: Red algae herbivore?   3/8/07 All attempts at manually harvesting it just spread it more. As you tear it off the rocks, small pieces are blown around the tank and establish where they land. <Ah, yes... been here... maddening> I don't think I can ever eradicate it so I need a method of control. As per some other responses on your site I will reduce nutrient input, increase water changes and get another herbivore. I have read that a type of Hypnea has become a pest in Hawaii and studies indicated a type of Siganus and sea turtles eat it. So if I can't find a sea turtle :) <Heeee!> I may have to settle for a Rabbitfish. <Maybe a Siganid...> Do you think that growing a faster algae in the sump would out-compete it and slow it's growth? <Yes... often a useful technique> If so, what would be a suitable species, Chaetomorpha? <A good choice... this and the genus Gracilaria> Cheers Gavin <And please do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/redalgcompfaqs.htm and consider the ever-more popular seaslugs... Aplysiids... that might well gobble all in quite a short while. Bob Fenner>

Re:  Red Algae.. Nuisance Or Not  2/12/07 James, <Andrew> Thank you for the reply and sorry about the image size.  I resized it and is now 255 kb.  Hopefully that will fit your server limit and show enough detail for my question. <Thank you for this.> Again, I appreciate the response and look forward to any help you might give me. Andrew On 2/9/07, crew <crew@mail.wetwebmedia.com> wrote: Thank you for contacting us at WetWebMedia.com> Your reply is below Red Algae. Nuisance Or Not 2/9/07 Hello guys, not sure who I am going to get but thank you for taking my question! <Andrew, please downsize the photo and resend, much too large a file for our server, a few hundred kb will do.  James (Salty Dog)> I have had my 75g reef tank set up for a little over three years now.  I have unknowingly been sitting with a lot of phosphates in the water for an undetermined amount of time and have felt the hurt of my tank not flourishing as well as it should.  I am now attacking the problem with R.O. water changes/ top off and PhosBan to remove the existing phosphates.  I know it is a long time to finally figure this problem out but better late than before it was too late... <Yes indeed.> Along with a couple issues, I have had a recent growth in an undetermined (what I believe to be) algae.  At first I thought it was red bubble algae but the pictures I have found don't match.  I also checked the forums here and did not find a match.  I did see a picture I thought could have been a match but it was not clear enough for you guys to ID it.  I have attached a  picture of this unknown, I hope it is clear enough to ID. If this is a "bad" algae, what can I do to rid my tank of it?  Are there any  inverts that would like to feast upon this algae?  Would the stabilizing of  my water conditions eventually kill these off?  Do I need to meticulously pick every last one off?  Is this a positive addition to the reef? Any help would be greatly appreciated and again, I thank you for taking my question.  Keep up the great work, I should have come here a long time ago to make sure I started in the right direction! PS-  Tank specifications are as follow: 75g Oceanic Reef Ready 20g Sump (Bio Balls) with Rio 3100 (1 water exhaust with splitter)<-- <With live rock, you can safely remove the bio balls, but remove 25% weekly so as to give the bacteria growing on the rock time to adjust.> Another e-mail to > follow soon regarding this Nautilus PS (in sump) JBJ PC hood (4x65w; 2 dual 10K, 2 dual Blue 03) ~70 lbs live rock ~20 lbs live sand (2 inches) <Without sand stirring critters, I'd have no more than one inch depth, a good place to start a nitrate factory.> Mated pair of Clarkii clowns (2 years) Pink Goby (1 month) Bicolor Blenny (3 months) Candy Hogfish (removing this week; destroyed organisms on live rock. Bad advice form LFS) Eibli Angel (removing this week; destroyed organisms on live rock.  Bad advice form LFS) Cleaner shrimp (2 years) Bubbletip Anemone (2.5 years) Kenya Tree Coral (1 month) Colt Coral (2 months) Andrew <Andrew, forgot to mention that your red algae is perfectly safe in your tank.  Too many things on my mind at the moment...sorry.>

Re:  Red Algae.. Nuisance Or Not 2/13/07 James, <Andrew> Thank you for your response.  I appreciate the info regarding the live sand and the bio balls. <You're welcome.> Looks like I have my weekend project set for the next few weeks. <Can be fun.> I am still not too sure what the probable algae is.  Where you able to ID it? <No, didn't try.  Thinking it may be Laurencia nidifica or a very similar species.  Do Google, I'm sure you will find.> If not, what would you recommend I do with it? <Keep it, very attractive, nice contrasting color for the tank.  These type algae are generally not long lived in the home aquarium (personal opinion), so enjoy.> Thank you again for the advice. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Red Turf Algae in my overflow box...acting as a nutrient scrubber?  1/29/07 Dear Crew, <Russell> Yet another red turf algae question... A few weeks ago I noticed a thick carpet of red turf algae (after searching your website, possibly Polysiphonia) growing in my overflow box, but barely any in my tank. I thought to myself, "Hey...I have the answer to this!" So I covered the overflow box with a piece of dark Tupperware (high tech) and sure enough, in a week or so it was dead. <Good going> Then, to my surprise, it started popping out all over my tank in tight little bunches. Great stuff this algae. Not so much an invasion, but just numerous little tufts on the sharp edges of rock.    I've tried not to take it personally. <Heeee! Good attitude> My tank parameters are pristine, although I suppose dKH is a little low at 7-8... but I've recently backed off dosing 2-part additive. I was going crazy with B-Ionic and the like, chasing numbers and turning my sump into a pile of concrete. Now, I'm just going for water changes instead, 10% per week. <Good> My skimmer is doing great and I have a well maintained RO/DI system. I have a Chaeto refugium. I've done a couple of 20% plus water changes with maybe positive results. Also, scrubbing it off with a brush seems to be keeping it mostly in check. Questions: When I starved it of "sunshine" did it seek revenge by releasing spores? <Likely so> Or was it possible the red algae lining of my overflow box actually been acting as a nutrient scrubber? <This too> It must have been growing there for some time. Besides water changes, super-skimming, not over-feeding (I have a low biomass, 3 fish and a half dozen corals... softies, polyps, LPS) and perhaps bumping the dKH a little, any other suggestions for keeping this algae at bay? <Mmm, do you have room, desire to add another organism? I'd try a genus Ctenochaetus tang... or a Salarias, Atrosalarias Blenny if they'll get along with what you currently have> I've considered allowing it to grow back in my overflow box. Could I possibly have too much light over my 75 gallon tank? (2x250watts of 20K MH light 6 hours midday, 2x220watts 20K VHO 3hrs   morning, 3hrs late afternoon)? Thanks, Russell in KY <Mmm, no... not IMO... I'd do about as you have thus far... and consider adding a/the purposeful algae eater. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Growing Macro Algae 1/24/07 Morning Crew :) <Good morning Lisa.> We picked up this piece of live rock a couple of days ago because the LFS said they wouldn't/couldn't separate the anemone from the rock. It's having no problem relocating itself. <Is the way to go.> Anyway, the clown hasn't gone back to it's anemone (the shine a light suggestion didn't work) <Give it time, right now the clown is adjusting to new quarters.> but the rock is covered with this red macroalgae. <Unfortunately, I cannot open the file.  Just appears as a square with a red x (Bob, am I missing some software here to open this?)> <<Right click James... see the "Show Picture" line? Left click it. RMF>> It seems to be lightening up a little from when we first got it.  It's in a 90 gal bowfront and I'm wondering if it's too far from the lights? Lights are Dual Daylight 6,700k/ 10,000k Dual Actinic 420nm/460nm Lunar Light Moon White Independent Control No Fans. <Stating the wattage of the tubes is important here> Water parameters are all excellent, SG is 1.025.  Running a phosphate reactor, protein skimmer in sump with refugium. <If growing macro is your desire, I'd shut down the phosphate reactor.  Macro algae thrive on phosphorous and nitrogen.> Does this beautiful red algae need to be placed higher in the tank or will it be okay where it is? <If you have about 4 to 5 watts of light per gallon, the algae should thrive.  If not, try relocating to the upper third of the tank. Try sending the pic a different way, like through Kodak software or similar program. There are some types of macro that do not fair well under aquarium conditions.> Thanks, <Your welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>
Lisa Hupman


Unexpected Affinity for Botryocladia   12/14/06 Dear Wet Web Media <Hello there, Mich with you tonight.>     I love your site and consult it often, thank you for all your work.   <Thank you for your kind words.  Glad you find the site helpful.> I recently moved and when I did I upgraded from a 55gal to a 180gal tank.   <Very nice!> I gave away all of my fish and inverts when I moved and started over with the new tank pretty much form scratch except for some live rock.   <OK> So I bought about 100 lbs more live rock and cycled the tank.  Its now been about six months and I've begun to add a few things.  My question comes because I've run into an issue with my stocking plan.  I was hoping to have a Kole Tang and some type of Dwarf Angel in the tank at some point however an unexpected thing came with the new live rock.  On several of the peaces <pieces> red macro algae began to grow ( I think its Botryocladia sp. form what I found on your site - long red strands of grape like balls )  Now the problem is that I've become somewhat attached to the algae after these months and I'm not sure that I want to introduce a fish that will completely wipe out the algae.   <How nice, an unexpected affection.> So is it possible that a single Kole Tang could eat all of the algae?   <Hard to tell, but it wouldn't surprise me if he did.> Or could the algae keep up with the grazing?  I always planned on adding clips of algae for grazing but wasn't sure if fish prefer live food?   <Depends on the fish.> And also about the Dwarf Angel?  Would the Angel graze less?   <Less than a Kole Tang.> Any help you could give me would be great.   <If you care about this algae, which it sounds like you do, I would try to chip a piece of rock off with the algae attached.  Place it somewhere that the fish won't have access to it.  It could be in the main displace as long as it is well sheltered (but still getting adequate light and circulation) or you could try to grow it in another tank, be it your refugium or sump, or possibly share with a friend.   Thanks again for the great site. <Nice that you feel it is so.  -Mich> Precision Metal Works Jonathan Lockard

Botryocladia (red bubble algae)  10/26/06 I bet you have lots of questions like this. I did read the articles but could not come up with a plan for my specific tank. I have a 10 gallon tank, pretty small, live rock and sand are the mainstay. I have a pump, a charcoal filter-mostly for flow and breeding area for little creatures that look like 1/4inch size shrimp, and a air stone. I have mushrooms, 1 type of polyps and a portion of a frogspawn coral. Everything was happy for years. Then somewhere I  developed this red bubble algae, not to big of a problem I actually thought it was pretty as it had almost a gold luminance. Now it is so out of hand! It is growing on the small encrustations that grow in the tank, these are small about 1/4 inch also. They just came along. The only creatures in the tank are those small things I mentioned, some bristle worms that came with the live rock.  The problem is that the red bubble algae is now trying to grow on the frogspawn stalk and the polyps. I need help in controlling how much of this grows. I did leave an area for this to grow so that whatever nutrients it  was taking in would be used up however that did not work. It is extremely hard  to remove without breaking the sacs open or replanting these. Also  difficult to remove from the rock with the polyps. I did not know if I  should try a fish, or emerald crabs or what and that is what I am asking. <Mmm, maybe...> I  do have a 75 gallon saltwater tank without any bubble algae hair algae, much  easier to pull out), this tank has also been up and running reef tank  with only 1 fish, a pretty blue and yellow damsel. That tank has the  original frogspawn, xenia which likes to live everywhere), open brain  coral, slipper. All the parameters of both tanks are where you'd want them, as  is the lighting and temps. I cannot afford RO water so use tap. hence the  hair algae) Any idea how to save the polyps on the rocks of the 10 gallon tank with the red bubble algae, I am fairly sure it is of the: Botryocladia (red  bubble algae) species. <A few possibilities... Please read here:   http://wetwebmedia.com/redalgcompfaqs.htm> Sue <No mention of nutrient levels... or alkalinity, biomineral content... I would use water from the main tank, re-new/replace the LS, LR... Bob Fenner>
Re: Botryocladia (red bubble algae)  - 11/02/06
Before I sent my question to you regarding the red algae I did read all I could find using the search engine on WWM, that is how I found out what the algae was. I have also read WWM many many times over the past 6 years that I have had both reef tanks, I have found the questions and answers informative and helpful. However, when I feel the tank is crashing and I cannot locate the information that pertains specifically to the situation I am in or perhaps I just do not realize that answer would apply to my case too I have written in the  past. Generally every one answering was so nice, helpful and things worked out. <Good> What I eventually did after reading 3 articles on red algae was take all  the rocks out into another container w/water from the 75 gallon tank, scrape off and remove the algae by hand, added a green emerald crab, 3 margarita snails and  7 zebra snails. <Good moves> Hopefully, they will be able to eat the young algae as it forms  preventing another out break. I then used water for a small water change and  added water from the 75 gallon tank. While I probably have room for other creatures I have been reluctant to get any as it is such a small  tank, the LFS were not encouraging this size tank as they can quickly  develop problems. But, I would end up with the odd mushroom or polyp or  frogspawn and put those parts into this tank and they just took off doing so  well. The mushrooms and frogspawn took a beating having to do this.  Hopefully, they will have some resilience and perk back up. The polyps seem to  be lost and I do not know what will come of them. I would not have sent an email  requesting information on what to do unless I searched and researched not  just the WWW but Reef Central and other online to feel I could not find the  information. I am not sure I have enough of the cleaner crew but the LFS did not  want to sell more for 10 gallon tank. and have had to send email to WWM crew in  the past. Hopefully this will correct the situation. AND, hopefully my mushrooms  will live, the frogspawn is doing well and the polyps return. Thank you, Sue <Please do keep me/us apprised. Bob Fenner>

Making Ogo Go-Go!   8/11/06 Just a quickie: Is there ANYTHING that will eat Gracilaria textorii? <Umm....500,000,000 Tangs! LOL> The dilemma? It's a 24 gallon; LPS, and zoos. <Ahh...the problem.> All my fellow reefers are out of ideas. Pygmy angel too big for 24 gallon. I am out of ideas and ripping the stuff out constantly does not help. <Although my personal experience is with G. parvispora. I'll make the assumption (gulp) that its palatability is similar to other species. What that all means is that you are really limited to Tangs, Rabbitfishes and possibly, other harsh grazers (maybe Urchins)! Which of these would live comfortably in a 24 gallon tank? Probably none of them. My thinking is that you might need to "rent out" your rocks covered in the algae to friends with Tangs in appropriate-sized tanks. The other thought would be to remove the other photosynthetic life in your tank and go without light for several days. Perhaps this might knock off some of the macroalgae. On the other hand, if you do use this technique, you'll need to keep water quality high as the algae die off.> My tang worked wonders when it was a 220 gallon. But my downsize after a move is letting the G. textorii get the better of me. HELP! <Well, it's sort of an interesting problem...For some people with Tangs, it would be a dream come true! Given your small quarters, manual extraction and the aforementioned "rent-a-rock" idea will help. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Getting Gelidium! Hello guys! <Scott F. your guy today!> Hope all is well.  Can you help me, I have red turf algae (Gelidium pusillus) that is slowly taking over my rock. The snails keep it short, but it is still a slow creep that covers up my coralline algae and is becoming a general nuisance. Do you know of anything other than tangs that eat this stuff? Inverts, crabs, slugs, anything? <Grr...this is a miserable algae, which I've battled myself. I have yet to find an herbivore that eats this stuff, although a friend of mine swears that his Tuxedo Urchin has eaten the stuff...> Once we get our giant skimmer setup that will slow it down, but until then I need help! This stuff is impossible to get rid of. You can't pull it off the rock, toothbrush scrubbing doesn't work, and I can't take all my corals off the rock and cure it. So what's a girl to do?? <There is a tactical nuclear weapon that the Air Force has tested...Nah, seriously, I think that you should continue with the tedious manual extraction until the skimmer is in operation. You could try the urchin, but beware of the potential collateral damage that this creature could cause...> Thanks! Luv, M&M <Good luck! And do relay any success that you have in destroying this awful stuff! Regards, Scott F>

Red Hair/Branching algae - Ceramium 5/31/04 Hello Bob, <Anthony Calfo in his stead> I hope you're well and in a good shape. <the more years that go by with me working in front of a computer, the rounder I get. I'm thinking of strapping my laptop to a treadmill <G>> I'm ok too, it could be better but it could be worse.... <keep on keeping on my friend> I have received a question about : "red algae Ceramium (???, do you know this algae?) <the correct spelling is Ceramium with an "m". It is a nuisance species... one of the many things called "red hair algae". This one really is a doozy though. It naturally occurs in high nutrient near shore environments and often lives as an unwelcome epiphyte on other critters and substrates> The aquarist has a wild growth of these algae and can't get rid of it. <no worries... it can be controlled. Easily starved into submission with tighter nutrient control. Really... it can disappear in 2-3 weeks with wicked protein skimming. It probably got there because of poor protein skimming, weak water changes and/or weak water flow which allowed sediments to accumulate> He asks for my help.  Al seems to be good in his measurements but he has a Ca test of 600, to heavy I think. <I doubt that the reading is even accurate. Indeed too high. And if his Alk is not very low, then I am sure it is a misreading. Else, the poor chap is having a precipitous snowstorm as we speak <G>> I ask for my help and I ask for the help of the supreme chancellor.... <Hmmm... yikes! And we've just been calling him "Bob" all along.> He said he had a problem with his Ca reactor a while ago, what he did to help the problem, he didn't say, perhaps is the solution knowing what he did.... Read You. Regards, the best. Claude <Claude, do suggest in concert with starving the algae out, some Diadema urchins (Pacific or Atlantic species). They will only be treating the symptom and not the problem, but will give results fast. They are marvelous algae grazers. One small urchin per 100 gallons if you want to be conservative. Prost! Anthony>

Nuisance red algae 4/5/04 Hey Anthony and Bob - I don't know if you remember me but I am from the Rocky Mountain Reef Club in Colorado and we had you guys come out and speak with us.   I also work with Barry at Aqua Medic and handle all his website development and talked with you about wetwebmedia.com. <cheers to all the Denver gang... especially that sweetie Becky at Neptune's <G>> I am having a very annoying algae bloom in my tank and I don't know what it is or what I need to put into the tank to eat it or what I need to change to stop it. Here is a picture: http://www.johnsreef.com/images/red_macroalgae.jpg Any information would help.  I would really appreciate it! Thanks! John Michael <decent picture, but just not clear/close enough to make a confident ID. Looks like it might be the dreaded red turf algae, Polysiphonia to me. Do research that name (know that there are many forms of it... stick to the hobby pics/sites.) Best regards, Anthony>

Botryocladia Predators Hello. <Hey, Mike G here> I recently purchased a red grape macro (Botryocladia sp.) and would like to know if there are snails that will eat algae, but not touch my red grape macro. <An astonishing array of herbivorous marine life will consume Botryocladia species macroalgae, I am sorry to inform you. I would think it would be consumed soon after you began to fill your tank.> Also, would a lawnmower blenny eat the red grape macro? <I would think so.>

Fauchea for Tangs? 1/8/04 Hi, Will Tangs eat Fauchea and if so, does it supply nutrition similar to Tang Heaven?   <it is not so readily accepted as Gracilaria. I am not sure about nutritional value though. I've seen the specs on Gracilaria (Tang Heaven), but nothing on Fauchea. My advice is to stick with Gracilaria... Fauchea can be a miserable nuisance over time. Somewhat noxious too> Red Fauchea looks like a species that grows really well in a tank or refugium <yes... because it is a nuisance <G>> (we've tried several times to get Gracilaria to grow out for the tangs - no luck). Thanks! <do try to find a copy of our "Reef Invertebrates" which has extensive coverage of refugiums, plants and algae species (the most comprehensive in the industry to date). But the crash course on Gracilaria is most people do not give it enough light (5 watts per gallon minimum... 2-3X even better), or enough water flow (very strong is needed to keep the colony tumbling in suspension in the aquarium). This algae is line or basket grown in shallow tropical waters under very bright light and strong wave action. Anthony>

Anotrichum barbatum (The Red Scourge!) - 05/17/05 I have what looks like red turf algae. Anotrichum barbatum was the name I was given. <Is a red turf algae, yes.> Is there anything I can do to get rid of it? All parameters are optimal (0 or correct levels). Lighting is 300 watts of VHO, HOB refugium, and a mini 606 power head. This tank is a 20L. Current inhabitants are a clown, Kenya tree, BTA, lawn mower blenny, misc. blenny, scarlet hermits and blue leg hermits. <You need much more flow, especially with that BTA. Please increase water flow to 10x-20x the tank volume.> Is there something I can put in there that will eat it? Possibly a Nudibranch of sort? <Not likely. This algae can be very troublesome to eradicate. Elevate your pH to 8.6 and keep it there for several weeks, this has proven successful for some. I would also recommend adding a protein skimmer to help with nutrient export...an AquaC Remora would serve you well here.> Thank you very much, Stephen. <Very welcome, Eric R.>

Tap water Rinse for Aiptasia?  Another Infestation of Aiptasia after Buying Gracilaria - QT! Dear Crew, <Paul> After receiving in the mail, a half-pound of beautiful Gracilaria parvispora infested with Aiptasia, I am at a loss as to what to do with it. Currently, it is isolated in a bucket of saltwater with lighting and aeration but the vendor does not seem to want it back. Is it possible to completely kill the Aiptasia and its larvae by soaking the Gracilaria for several minutes with chlorinated tap water? <Mmm, no> I don't want to contaminate my aquariums but I hate to simply throw out the Gracilaria. Thanks, Paul <I would go the route of using a purposeful Glass Anemone predator with this red algae, while still keeping it separate from your other systems. These Aiptasia-eaters are listed on WWM. Bob Fenner>  

Can I Get Some Ogo To Go? 09/25/05 Hello, I was at this site called Indo-Pacific Sea Farms and was reading about "Tang Heaven Red".  They call it a natural red sea weed that our tangs will love. Have you great people at W.W.M. ever heard of this stuff. If you have is it easy to grow in an aquarium like they say it is? <<Some Tangs love Gracilaria parvispora, also known as 'Ogo'. It is possible to grow Ogo though I would not say it is easy. Please see this link http://www.wetwebmedia.com/redalgfaqs.htm). You could also search WWM for "Gracilaria".>> Thanks for taking the time to answer. Jim Jesko <<You're welcome. Cheers - Ted>>

Botryocladia  skottsbergii  HELP! Rhodophyte control in a nano   7/2/06 Hi Great website. Its may mainstay of info. <Glad it is of use to/for you> I have mainly all PICO and NANO sized tanks. I have two tanks with beautiful growth of coralline and many zoos and other corals, however it being over run with  Botryocladia  skottsbergii. At first I did not mind it, but now its just gotten out of hand. Even my hermits and snails all sport coats of the stuff...... <Yikes... "Attack of the Sea Grapes"!> Simply stated. I need it gone or at least a way to control it. I tired to manually clean it off the rocks, but it seems to propagate it.   Tanks are much to small for a tang unless I "rent" a small one for awhile. I use I/O salt, SG is 1.026, temp 81 deg, cal 460, alk 11.6, ph 8.3, I use Chaeto for  nutrient export and run a protein skimmer as well. The tank that is worst is a 12 gal nano. Is there any other small fish that would eat this stuff.......that would be better suited than a tang.......I sure do not want to ruin my live rock and its encrusted life. Any help is greatly appreciated. Roy Hauer <Mmm, an excellent discussion of various "bubble algae" here: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-02/hcj/feature/index.php including input on control means. Turbo species snails and small tangs of the genera Ctenochaetus and Zebrasoma would be my first tries... though these last can't live in such small confines indefinitely. Bob Fenner>

Red Algae <<Greetings, JasonC here...>> Can you give me some direction regarding where I am going wrong in trying to control the red algae (probably Centroceras & Wrangelia) in my aquarium? <<My guess would be BGA - Cyanobacteria, not really an algae but certainly behaves like one.>> I have a 50 gallon tank, Fluval 404, BakPak Skimmer and powerhead for circulation. I feed my 3 fish and 2 shrimp carefully. Readings are H 8.2, Temp 78-80, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10 mg/L. I do a 5% water change every other week. I run 3x30 watt full spectrum and 1x30 watt actinic for 12 hours a day. I've just added a couple of small pieces of Marshall Island living rock and a small bunch of Caulerpa. However, the red algae covers everything within a week to 10 days. How can I reverse this? <<I would add one or two powerheads to the tank, perhaps more to increase the water flow inside the tank. This is the best way as it makes it very difficult for the algae to take hold. You will also have to continue the manual removal until you gain the upper hand. Cheers, J -->>

Red algae/plant Thanks for the feedback! My hermits, snails and cleaner shrimp haven't touched them from what I can tell (but maybe I just haven't seen it).  <they are the wrong kind of herbivore for this job... they feed on microalgae/diatoms. You need a fish grazer likely> Any idea what might find this thing tasty?  <a Foxface/Rabbitfish or some tang species> When should I be worried about it taking over the tank and possibly causing problems for other inhabitants? <really just an aesthetic matter... trim back as you desire/wish> Thanks again, Andy <best regards, Anthony>

Fauchea Red Algae 11/3/03 Sorry, I do have one other question.  Have you heard of and know anything about Fauchea Red Algae? Thanks, Paul <it is an interesting algae that can be a plague in tanks without proper nutrient control. Have you referenced this species on the website I sent you in the last e-mail? www.algaebase.org  see their links for this genus here - http://www.algaebase.org/action.lasso Anthony>

Macroalgae II 11/3/03 Thanks for the info.  I will research algae on your web site better.  I just have one more question about it.  From what you said below, I take it that I should pick one type of algae that I want to use, and use only that one, correct?   <correct> For example, if I think Chaetomorpha is the one to go with, buy and use nothing but it. <exactly... else one species will dominate the others and worsen water quality in the process (during the fight). Anthony>

Botryocladia (red bubble algae) 1/11/04 New to the reef thing!!! So the questions might be silly sorry. <no worries... keep asking questions and learning> I have a 120 gal reef tank and about 130lbs of live rock. After buying the live rock I had run out of money so basically have watched the rock grow with only a couple corals in the tank and hermits and snails. <excellent. Not enough aquarists have such time/patience to let the rock establish without fishes. The quality of live rock is much(!) better for this> Anyway I have a lot of what I think is Botryocladia skottsbergii over a lot of the live rock. I don't really have any other "bad" algae problems no slime in my tank very few of the big green bubble. 1. Should I be concerned about it? <not at all... it is very desirable to most aquarists. Rather hard to procure and somewhat "ethereal" in existence. Enjoy it while you can> 2. Is there anything that feeds on it? <actually... and overwhelming variety of herbivores will eat it. It will disappear once you begin stocking the tank unless you take the time to set up a refugium on the tank (very good idea) and remove some that safe vessel for safe keeping. Anthony>

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