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FAQs on Marine Algae Identification 36

Related Articles: Avoiding 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: Algae ID Visual Guide, Marine Algae ID 1, Marine Algae ID 2, Marine Algae ID 3, Marine Algae ID 4, Marine Algae ID 5, Marine Algae ID 6, Marine Algae ID 7, Marine Algae ID 8, Marine Algae ID 9, Marine Algae ID 10, Marine Algae ID 11, Marine Algae ID 12, Marine Algae ID 13, Marine Algae ID 14, Marine Algae ID 15, Marine Algae ID 16, Marine Algae ID 17, Marine Algae ID 18, Marine Algae ID 19, Marine Algae ID 20, Marine Algae ID 21, Marine Algae ID 21, Marine Algae ID 23, Marine Algae ID 24, Marine Algae ID 25, SW Algae ID 26, SW Algae ID 27, SW Algae ID 28, SW Algae ID 29, SW Algae ID 30, SW Algae ID 31, SW Algae ID 32, SW Algae ID 33, SW Algae ID 34, SW Algae ID 35SW Algae ID 37SW Algae ID 38SW Algae ID 39& Marine Algae Control FAQs 2, Marine Algaecide Use, Nutrient Limitation, Marine Algae Eaters, Culturing Macro-Algae; Controlling: BGA/Cyano, Red/Encrusting Algae, Green Algae, Brown/Diatom Algae,


Narrowing down algae identification   4/1/13
I was hoping you could point me in the right direction.  You've helped me recently battling a Cyanobacteria invasion.  Right now, I do not have any obvious Cyano on the sand or rocks, it's been dwindling and have not had to siphon the sand in a week or two.  I would guess there is still Cyano in there but just not enough to be obvious.  The pink Fiji sand is not making it easy to tell.  The tank is 55 gallons and I'm still changing about 7 gallons of water a week.  Ammonia and nitrites are 0.  Nitrates are either 0 or a tiny smidge above depending on who you ask to read the test kit and what kind of light they are using.  I've added a medium Aquafuge 2 with 20 pounds of live sand which gives me a small DSB ranging from 4 inches at one end sloping up to 5 inches at the other end.
<Ahh, these should help in time>
 I have CPR's 24 watt PC light fixture on it and some Chaeto that is growing plus a few critters.  I'd like to give a shout out to CPR for making a well done product.  All of the display tank lighting is now LED's with the latest addition being a pair of TMC AquaRay Aquabeam 600 "reef white" Ultima's on one side of the tank where the other side has the pretty nice but older LED fixture meant for corals.
<Very nice indeed>
  I have to do a quick touch up with magnetic scrubber on the glass maybe once a week.  There are still just one Coral Beauty, the Lyretail Hawkfish and one Blue Green Chromis.  
What I have now is best described a pink translucent fuzz growing on the tops of the rocks, the backs of snails and on the tops of the power heads and tubing.  The fuzz is 1/16th of an inch tall.  It is growing out of either dark green/brown/red looking "plugs" depending on how you look at them so in reality, the pink fuzz is most likely green or brown but made to look pink because of the lighting.  It is some very tough stuff, you can not scrub it off with a tooth brush.  Snails eat it.
I've included a picture.  There is also a similar looking photo on  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/maralgidf23.htm  "Re: Algae ID... time, past, for a scope  -- 07/08/08 "  but I can't tell the scale.
The higher up in the tank you go, the more there is.  It is some type of algae for sure which means I've still got work to do on nutrient control but....is it some sort of Cyano or is this just what has pushed the Cyano out? 
Thank you!
<Can't tell from looking here; but I would just keep on the path you're set on... this too will go in time. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Narrowing down algae identification   4/1/13
I had a feeling identifying with a description and a questionable photograph would be a challenge.
<Heeeee! Oh yes... see WWM re algal IDs... had a few courses in phycology/algology in college... have to look/see under a 'scope, test for storage food type/s, light capturing pigment type/s.... Can't tell by colour, gross appearances>
A friend of mine does bird watching and I asked what kind of bird was in the back yard. She looked and said it was a LBJ. 
<Lyndon B. Johnson? "Believe me or I'll tan your hide!">
 I'd never heard if that and asked what it stood for. She responded "Little Brown Jobbie".  You need something like that for algae.
  I'm going to watch the fish now.  The tank is increasingly looking like a patient in the ICU with lots of tubes, wires and plastic machines all neatly organized and humming along with a bill that will make your hair stand on end.  Enjoy and have fun today.
<Thank you Paul. You as well. BobF>

some algae ID please 12/3/12
Hi.  3reef seems stumped and I was directed here.
Linking a pic and a video (photobucket) for reference.
This stuff followed a Cyano outbreak.  The tank is over four years old.
Param.s are solid and nasties are 0 (measurable) though they are probably tied up in this growth.
<Assuredly, yes>
Calothrix was suggested but it doesn't really fit the description, it's not as stringy.  iodine test showed no starches
Haven't been able to ID the source.  Changed all filters in all stages of RO/DI (even though was 0 TDS) to be safe.  Have added a green clown goby.
Otherwise, no additions in a very long time.
it's slimy, disintegrates when you take it out of the water, almost bulbous looking.
<Have seen this sort of mass/mess many times in wholesale LR curing operations... and under a scope; it's a mix of Dinoflagellates, some browns (Phaeophytes), Cyanophytes, and other Monera, Protistans... >
The directory of pics
Some highlighted pics and a video
Thank you!!! Any help appreciated.
ID is most important, tips for getting rid of it appreciated too.
<Dumping all the water out, rinsing off most the biomass, doing what one can to restrict nutrient availability, using competitors, algal predators... the usual assortment of techniques gone over and over on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Help identifying and treating this stuff … ? algae 11/9/12
Hello All
I have a 250 red sea max that has been running for the past 6 months.
<Nice units>
Lights have been changed to LEDs. I upgraded from a 30g Biocube. Original inhabitants were a yellow and blue tang. I added in a few mushrooms, xenia, bubble coral, and frogspawn 3 months ago. They have all been doing well. 4-6 wks ago I added in a hot pink bubble tip anemone (small about 1.5 inches in diameter) and a few fish (glass cardinal and a pair of orange and black clowns-after quarantine).
Now my tank is covered in a web like substance that I suspect is some kind of algae.
<Yes; most likely Dinoflagellates; though could be a considerable amount of diatoms, even blue-green/Cyanophytes>
I may have gotten a little excited about all the new fish and may have fed them a little more than I normally do. I feed them formula one pellets and a very little bit of brine fish. The anemone gets a tiny piece of shrimp that I cut up. I got a goby and 4 more Turbos to try to control it, but it does not seem to be working. The stuff looks like spider webs. It seems like its getting worse. At first I read about worms that may do this but it is too extensive and it has bubbles all over it.
<Not worms; but the only way to discern what groups of algae are here is microscopic examination>
The sand looks a little better after adding the goby, but the sand it kicks up seems to make the rest of the tank look dirtier as it sticks to the algae.
Please let me know what I did wrong,
<Mmm, not likely much... this is a sort/path of "maturing" of a new/er system>
how to fix it and prevent it from happening again.
<You've a bit of reading... Start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/avoidingalgaeproblesm.htm
and on to the embedded links... the linked files at top>
My poor bubble coral went from being a pretty white to a brownish color. I assume this is due to the algae growing in/around it. Will it change back?
pH 8.4, KH107.4 (added buffer), nitrate 0,phosphate 0,
<... your corals, other photosynthates need measurable NO3 and PO4>
sp gr 1.025-.026, 80 degrees...
Thanks in advance. I had a beautifully clean tank full of coralline. I am hoping to see it again.
<Get reading... write back if your options are not clear. Bob Fenner>

Algae ID 11/1/12
Hey guys!
sorry of the pic is large sending email from iPhone.
<Tis fine size wise, but poorly resolved>
Anyways, I'm having trouble with a very light/lime green fuzzy/hairy algae. (I checked your algae id page couldn't an id) I've dealt with the normal dark green algae before and this seems to different. Number one it is very easy to just brush away, number 2 my phosphate and nitrates cease to exist.
<Likely being taken up by the life here, including this algae>
I have recently within the last month -2months changed out my t-5 bulbs since I've had the others for a year. I know that new bulbs can sometimes cause nuisance algae. But this just seems to maybe be something else. Any suggestions?
<...? Yes; read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/avoidingalgaeproblesm.htm
and the linked files where they pertain... You/I can't tell what algal group is involved here w/o microscopic examination... this may be a Green/Chlorophyte, a Blue/Green/Cyanophyte, or.... color alone is not definitive>
I also do 10g water changes weekly (75g mixed reef), I've turned the lights off for 2-3days with a water change. Just seems to keep coming back.
Also am getting a Nasty dark brown algae in my sand, not red slime!
Thanks guys!
<"Many roads..." lead not only to Rome, but to understanding of nuisance algae issues... Read on! Bob Fenner>

Orange spots ID... new SW tank      10/25/12
Hello! I have a saltwater tank with live rock and live sand and T5's. I added a few snails and hermit crabs to the tank roughly a week ago and yesterday I noticed a lot of Orange spots on the sand and on the rock. Do you know what this could be?
<... likely an algae of some sort; but this can only be a guess given the info. presented. Bob Fenner>
 Thank you, Andie 
Re: Orange spots on sand; algal ID f'     10/25/12

Thank you so much!!
<Don't be concerned re these (likely) Diatom algal colony growths... they're part of the process of breaking in a new system. BobF>

algae identification    10/1/12
Hello WWW Crew,
I was wondering if you could help me identify the following algae. I searched de web, it looks very similar to Chaetomorpha, but not exactly.
<Mmm, can't make this out well enough other than to state that it appears to be a filamentous green/Chlorophyte...
I see  by your contact info. below that you're associated w/ a university; do you have access to a copy of "How to Know the Seaweeds" by E. Yale Dawson? I'd ask a reference librarian in your school for help here, and a professor for use of a dissecting 'scope for a closer view.
Thank you,
Javiera Echenique Berton
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: algae identification    10/1/12
Thank you for the help!! I will look for the book.
<Real good. Nos vemos. BobF>
Help! Ich? Prelude to disaster, now alg. ids
Bob, hm, wonder if there is a root cause in the "algae"...having ignored this problem due to managing the disease but now giving it more focus...
Can I trouble you to review the attached pictures/video of the "algae" in my tank?
You will see: flakes that slough off and rest (grow?) on nearby PVC pipe, the pest growing on substrate and rocks, short/stocky filaments waving in the water column.
I am having difficulty identifying what this could be - algae, diatom, cyanobacteria all seem doubtful. Any thoughts?
<Could be any/all of these>
I assumed that nuisance algae issues were occurring due to the / crypto-pro dosing and didn't pay much more attention to them over the last few months.
<The Cu should have killed all off... one last time (for now!); "don't treat in display systems". B>

algae ID    7/20/12
<Good morning Dave.>
Could anyone hazard a guess on the identification of the 2 little buds of algae on my rock, and the 3rd similar one between the Neomeris and Halimeda? They are very tiny, and at first I thought it was a Caulerpa nummularia, but now am wondering if it’s actually an Acetabularia.
<Can be a tricky distinction from a single picture.>
 There is no sign of a rhizome, and each one seems like a separate “plant”, however the two close ones have a very short “stalk”, while the other has a longer stalk.
<Lack of rhizomes eliminates the Caulerpa.>
 There are several on different parts of the rock which also have a longer stalk. Just trying to decide whether to let it be or start scrubbing!
<From the picture and description, I believe you have an Acetabularia sp. I'd let it be.>
Thank you,

Unknown Saltwater Plant???   6/20/12
<Afternoon Bill>
I noticed this specimen growing in my Reef Tank about 3 Days ago....  I believe that it is a plant of some sort.....
I have no idea what it is, where it came from, or obviously if it is a positive thing or should I remove it as quickly as possible.....
<A very small piece likely hitch-hiked in.>
I know that the pic is not the best, but I have included one.....  Any ideas???
<Appears to be a species of Caulerpa.  I am fairly certain it is C. racemosa based on the circular fronds and rhizoids; a more defined picture would eliminate any doubt.>
BTW - The tank has been up for 2.5 Years...   50 Gallon Sea Clear System II....  SG is 1.025, Zero for Nitrates, and unable to get a reading for Phosphates....  Water Temp has been a little high  at 78.9 F....
I have not introduced any new inhabitants for at least 3 Months, or Live Rock for approx. 9 Months....  No Refugium....  Protein Skimmer, External Rena Filter XP4, and Power Heads
for moderate flow
Any help would be appreciated....  Any ideas???
<I would remove it but that's your call. Read more on Caulerpa--
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/caulerpaalg.htm >
<Quite welcome.>

Re: Unknown Saltwater Plant???   6/20/12
Hi Jordan,
<Hello Bill>
Just wanted to Thank-you for the quick response....
I will yank the offender ASAP....
<Sounds like a plan, be sure to remove all of the rhizoid.>
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