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FAQs about Caulerpa Algae Behavior

Related Articles: Caulerpas by Bob Fenner, A closer look at Caulerpa - Common aquarium species and their care by Adam Jenkins, Embracing Biodiversity, Green Algae By Mark E. Evans, Green AlgaeAvoiding 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: Caulerpa Algae 1, Caulerpa 2, Caulerpa 3, Caulerpa 4, Caulerpa 5, Caulerpa Identification, Caulerpa Compatibility/Control, Caulerpa  Selection, Caulerpa Systems, Caulerpa Nutrition, Caulerpa Disease, Caulerpa Reproduction/Propagation, Other Green Algae, RefugiumsGreen Algae Control 1Marine 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


Caulerpa verticillata; sel., beh.  12/20/07 Hi team, <Dave> I have Caulerpa Verticillata growing in my refugium. I have looked amongst all the algae and Caulerpa faqs but can't determine an answer to my question. Can you tell me whether this variety is likely to go sexual, and whether therefore, I should keep my lights on 24/7 (currently operating 14 hours per day RDP) to prevent this event? Cheers Dave <Mmm, no more than the other Caulerpa spp. commonly utilized by aquarists... Better by far to be very regular re harvesting, extracting, thinning bits... via their "rhizomes"... per what is posted on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Concerned about my Caulerpa Hello Crew, Thanks a ton for all your good advice so far. Here is my latest. I have some feather Caulerpa growing in my refugium that came along with my live rock. It has been growing well under a 12 watt Jalli daylight bulb. Recently I have noticed the long runner that the leaves come out of is looking white, and some of the leaves are more pale than the others. Also, there is some red slime growing on the leaves. Specs are as follows: pH 8.2 Salinity 1.023 Nitrates 0.00 Calcium 480 Is there something I am doing/not doing to cause this? I have recently added additional substrate to accommodate a jawfish. Some thing I will never do again to an established (3 mo) tank. Thanks in advance <Hello, it sounds like you are o.k. My advice is as follows: check the algae to make sure that there is not a dense overgrowth above it, shading the light. Check the water flow through the refugium for good water flow. You should be thinning the Caulerpa weekly to prevent die off. The part that is "bleaching" prune and remove from the tank. Good Luck. MikeB.>

Caulerpa\phosphate\nitrates Hi, <Hello there> I was reading some articles on reducing phosphate and came across Phosphate solutions 7/31/03 stating "I'll put some Caulerpa too for helping to reduce phosphates. <do consider a safer and more stable macroalgae like Chaetomorpha, Ochtodes or Gracilaria for this purpose> What are the problems with Caulerpa? <There are some folks here that believe that the likelihood of species of this genus going reproductive and thereby toxic (and unattractive mess) too much trouble... as well as Caulerpas being too aggressive growers... taking too much out of the water that reefers might want for other life's use... and that their growth discolors the water too much... and that it grows so quickly as to be a pain to keep harvested> My understanding is that Caulerpa, Chaetomorpha, Ochtodes or Gracilaria will help reduce phosphate and nitrate. <Yes> Is that correct? Is there anything else that they help reduce? <Most any, all nutrients, biominerals... if boosted (with light mainly)> I was unable to find a picture of Chaetomorpha, Ochtodes and Gracilaria due to my browser at work, is it possible to e-mail me a picture of what Chaetomorpha, Ochtodes and Gracilaria looks like? <Mmm, some of these may be presented on WetWebMedia, but you're likely to get them fastest by doing a Google search and looking through their "pictures" feature. Bob Fenner> Thanks Mohamed. Algae question I have a rather large clump of macro-algae (sawtooth Caulerpa) in my very small tank (11 gallons) because I find its quite helpful in maintaining a balanced system, keeping the chemistry closer to optimal and as a supplement to the filter (no skimmer as they seem to over skim this small system, so I do quite frequent water changes instead). <agreed> I'm worried about my algae. I recently trimmed it and since that time some of the under growth has become clear, loosing its green color. It seems to be attached still to the rock and not actually dead, but another cutting I had once went through this phase right before it died. Any idea what's happening?  <yes... if natural, it is going vegetative/reproductive or if followed by actual cutting/pruning then the colony is sapped and dying. Caulerpa really shouldn't be cut or torn back... cutting "bleeds" the colony and too many wounds are impossible to heal. Pulling up entire fronds and thinning out is best to control> Should I try to save the still-green parts (rather significant sections are still completely green) by cutting them away? Could this have happened because I didn't pinch the places where the cuttings were taken? LFS guy said it might be "bleeding to death" because of this. <agreed essentially with LFS> I'm not real sure what's happening but I don't want to lose this algae because they're so bloody difficult to find to buy here in CA and this one has done a first rate job of keeping the system stable. An additional concern is that the crash of a fairly large algae plant in a fairly small system could cause problems--  <yep... a very real concern... that is why I don't care for Caulerpa in most systems... I feel the merits are outweighed> I am keeping a close eye and testing the water to make sure its okay for the rest of the residents (it's a live rock/sand mini reef with a couple fish and a couple types of polyps). <sounds very nice indeed> Any advice would be appreciated. Derek Milne <best regards, Anthony>

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