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FAQs about Caulerpa Algae In/Compatibility/Control 1

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 Compatibility 2, Caulerpa Algae 1, Caulerpa 2, Caulerpa 3, Caulerpa 4, Caulerpa 5, Caulerpa Identification, Caulerpa Behavior, 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

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Marine Aquarium Algae Control

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Algae ID - Caulerpa Taxifolia   3/19/07 Evening Crew! <Hi Jeff!  Mich with you this afternoon.> Not to duplicate, but I sent this and my system crashed so I don't know if it went through or not. <Is here now.> So.....I have attached three pics of an algae growing quite well in my tank. <I see them.> I can only ID it as a Caulerpa, just not sure what variety.  It resembles C. taxifolia, but I need a positive ID from you....hopefully!   <Does appear so.> If it is taxifolia, do I need to get it out ASAP? <Yep at the very least isolated in the sump with lighting 24 hours per day to prevent if from sexually reproducing.  More here and the links in blue: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/caulerpaalg.htm> Thanks for you help!
<Welcome!  Mich>
Algae ID - Caulerpa Taxifolia   3/19/07 Good evening Crew! <Hi Jeff, Mich here.> I sent some pics yesterday and I am concerned that I may have crashed your server as I have not had a response yet. <Our server has been down, but not your doing.> I have down sized them and hopefully you can see them. I know this is a form of Caulerpa, just not sure what variety. <Yes, your ID appears to be correct.> I do want to get is out of the tank if it is not beneficial. <It's not that it's not beneficial, is an excellent nutrient exporter, just can have some unwelcome consequences.> I plan to add a refugium with Chaetomorpha within a month or so and am guessing this will need to be gone by then. <I personally would choose the Chaetomorpha.> Thanks again for your help!

Death to Caulerpa! Hey all, Everyone here has seen my tank. It's a pretty nice tank, and I am proud of most of it. Well, perhaps I should rephrase that. I am proud of everything except my Caulerpa. Grape and Parasail dominate my tank. The grape hitch-hiked on my Ritteri's foot, the Parasail literally grew out of the rocks. I saw it as benign, and left it. Huge mistake. For several months now, I have not seen my rocks. The Grape really does not grow too much, but the parasail does. It covers the rockworks, and has smaller stems and tough roots, making it impossible to extricate.  <I lived through this same problem quite a while ago. Aggressive manual removal which included hand picking and a stiff bristled scrub brush along with dropping the temp allowed grazers to get ahead of it.   Eric Borneman wrote a phenomenal piece on the specific nutrient ratios that favor certain "algae", Cyanobacteria, dinoflagellates, etc. It is hard to find (I recently looked and came up empty). If you can find it, it has some very useful information that could be used to develop a strategy based on manipulating an easily controlled nutrient (Nitrate perhaps).>  It grows over my corals, imbeds its roots in their flesh, and starves them of light. It grows around 4 to 5 inches a day, and will not go away. Daily I pull out about this much:

I have just recently acquired a 6" Sea Hare from IslandReefs.com. The owner there, Tom, says he feeds them Caulerpa as they have run out of hair algae. Sadly, I have yet to see mine even notice the stuff! He just glides right over it without a second glance...eats my Ulva sp. Seaweed, my Nori, my Seaweed Selects, and my Hair Algae, but not my Caulerpa. Tom swears they do, but I have yet to verify that. <I have also heard the claim that these guys will eat Caulerpa, but I would try and find out which kind they actually did eat. With such a noxious battery of defensive chemicals, it is very likely that some might be more or less palatable. Also, it is likely that Caulerpa will only be consumed as a last resort. If other foods are offered or available, they would be eaten first. So, you may have to starve the See Hare into eating it.> What other means are there of naturally controlling Caulerpa? I do know that a specialized species of sacoglossan Slug, Oxynoe viridis consumes Caulerpa and Caulerpa only. I also know that no online vendor or local vendor sells them. Help! I HATE MY CAULERPA! Mike Giangrasso <You could take your cue from the loonies about San Diego bay and in Australia and put a big tarp over it... Oh, No! Even better.... blast it with bleach. Wait! Huge doses of Copper Sulfate delivered with a fire hose! OK, all of those ideas would kill everything in your tank, just like they killed everything in the immediate area they were applied in the wild. And for our next stupid human trick, we'll rid Hawaii of chameleons by exfoliating the whole place with Agent Orange (the herbicide, not the 80's Orange County surf-punk band). Sorry for the sarcastic rant. As for the O. viridis, try IPSF, Inland Aquatics and do a search on RC. Those are your best bets. Hope this helps.  AdamC.> 

Creepin' Caulerpa! Hello gang, <Scott F. here tonight!> Thanks for helping me out on my past couple of questions over the last 5 months as I ease into salt water aquariums. I have one more that has popped up if you have the time. I have some macro algae that I am guessing to be Caulerpa peltata or something similar to it. It grows as a vine and has little round lily like leaves that are rather fragile. I have let it take over much of a single live rock in my tank but now it is starting to grow into my substrate. Will this be beneficial to the substrate, have some kind of negative impact, or not matter at all? My only thought is that it could make vacuuming the substrate a little more difficult in that area. Any advice would be great! Thanks, Andy <Well, Andy, as long as the Caulerpa is not growing into or over any of your corals or other animals, this should not be a problem. I agree that, if the algae makes maintenance difficult, you may need to remove the segments which are causing access problems. There are other considerations with an extensive growth of Caulerpa, mainly, its tendency to go sexual and release its reproductive products into the water. Further, many Caulerpa species are known to release noxious compounds that can create problems for the corals and inverts in your system. Their fast growth necessitates a high nutrient demand, which, if not met, can cause the death of the algae, creating a potential for massive pollution. Many aquarists "prune" the algae regularly, and this can also leach some of the aforementioned noxious compounds into your tank. Gee- I'm not painting a great picture, am I? I like macroalgae, in fact, I like Caulerpa-just understand the good AND the bad of this algae, and what effect it can have on your tank. I prefer the growth of more "purposeful" macroalgae, like Halimeda. As my good friend Anthony Calfo humorously asserts, "Friends don't let friends buy Caulerpa!">

How much Caulerpa is too much? Hello; <Howdy> How are you today?  <fit as a fiddle... a very old creaky fiddle> I have 2 types of Caulerpa in my tank, taxifolia and cupressoides. During the first two months after cycling, the Caulerpa didn't grow, and was just a couple sprigs of each.  <typical of many macroalgae and plants at first> The new tank went through the progression of diatom algae to red slime. Now that I have stocked the tank and started feeding...all the nuisance algaes went away.  <excellent... natural algal succession> The coralline is growing really well now and the Caulerpa has really started to grow more. In the last week to 10 days it has doubled in coverage. <"Houston we have a problem" <G>> I have read your articles on Caulerpa, and learned that it is okay as long as it doesn't grow too much.  <agreed> My question is: How does one know what is too much? I have a 29 gallon tank. <to be monitored by VERY systematic harvest (weekly, twice monthly whatever... but like clockwork) and be sure not to cut or break fronds if possible (causes sapping and risks a vegetative event). Instead... extract whole fronds to reduce breakage> I also didn't know that you should not dump it down the drain when disposing it!!! Thanks for your continued help: Kevin <a large presence of Caulerpa requires weekly/daily address of water clarity (ozonation, weekly changes of carbon) for concern with the significant compromise Caulerpa can pose on water clarity with yellowing agents. It also can release rather noxious compounds which are harmful or irritating to some reef animals if they are allowed to concentrate. Be sure to skim well and change water regularly. No rule on "how much" Caulerpa is possible as long as you maintain it strictly as per above. When so... you can enjoy this very attractive greenery and benefit from its merit as a significant nutrient export mechanism. Best regards, Anthony>

Caulerpa Mega Problem Hi, Bob et. al., <cheers, mate> Thanks for your great site and continuous flow of good info. <our pleasure> I have a problem and I am seeking your counsel, once again. Over the past several months, I have had a couple of challenging situations in my personal life (including a terminal disease in one parent and an intermittent condition in my own heart), <good heavens! You have my empathy and prayers for a blessed turn uphill> so I have not been anything beyond basic life support of my reef. <understood... we must prioritize> My fish are doing well, though, and my soft corals seem to be hanging in there. The problem is this: I had placed some Caulerpa in the main 150gal tank <ughhh...> (I don't have a refugium, though I am considering it, now that things are leveling out a bit) I picked it up at my LFS, and unfortunately. it was unlabeled (and growing in their refugium). From the pictures I have been able find on the web, I am almost 100% certain it is not prolifera, taxifolia, mexicana, racemosa, and I am pretty sure it is sawtooth / serrulata or a variant. <do consult either of the works by the Littlers' if you want the definitive ID> Anyway, it very quickly attached to the live rock I placed it by, and started reaching out with long tendrils. I kept trying to cut those off, and to trim it back, which I managed for a while. But then all those other issues came up, and the Caulerpa just continued to spread. Every time I would try to pull out its holdfasts, they would just seem to break off, and little bits would float around the tank, lodge somewhere new, and start another clump. <yes... simply horrible> At this point, it occupies (by volume) probably 15 or 20% of the tank, and continues to cover over things. <not too terrible yet> It's down in the sand, as well as the live rock. (I must say, a number of my fish and conchs seem to like to hide in it). What can I do to get rid of all this Caulerpa, possibly moving it to a refugium, but frankly, not caring one way or the other. I could probably afford some more live rock and live sand, and could take out all the pieces that it is currently attached to, and just let it die off. <no need for that... to harsh and tedious> That would make it a bit tough on my good bacteria, but I don't have too heavy a bio-load, and quite a bit of filtration. Is there any biological predator or herbicide which would possibly be of use? <no herbicide that are safe, but plenty of natural predators. Take a sample of the algae to the LFS and feed to some Rabbitfish or small Naso tangs for starters to look for a candidate. I'd lean towards the rabbit/Foxface although you must know its spines are mildly venomous like a lionfish (no fatalities... just burn). Foxface are incredible algae grazers and generally quite peaceful> Thanks very much for any thoughts you can share. <don't encourage much Caulerpa in the refugium either... there is serious long term harm to coral with large masses of Caulerpa in the system> Sincerely, Jim Raub <best regards, Anthony>

Caulerpa Removal Scott, I have a few more questions regarding my refugium and our discussion.  I removed almost all of the Caulerpa last night but there are some strands here and there. Is it necessary to remove every single strand ? <To be quite frank- yes! This stuff can grow unchecked even from a single strand with good light and abundant nutrients! That's one of the reasons why it's such a "problem" in some areas! I have personally had the same experience that you are having when removing Caulerpa, and I can assure you that it will grow back if given the opportunity! I have vivid memories of plucking strands of C. racemosa out of a bunch of Chaetomorpha with a stainless steel tweezers (yep- I'm that anal!) > Also, I seem to get a lot of Cyano in my refugium mostly on the substrate surface.  Does that indicate that the water turnover rate is too low or is something else wrong ? <Good hunch! Yes- that is a definite possibility. Additionally, there could be abundant nutrients on the substrate that the Cyano is utilizing. This is an amazingly resourceful life form, that can adapt to a variety of environments. It is not always harmful in and of itself (although some species can be toxic to some animals if ingested), yet its presence is indicative that something is to its liking in the refugium! Do investigate increasing flow, check detritus accumulations, etc. Manually extract what you can from the substrate (granted, you don't want to disturb too much in there-hence the term, "refugium" !), and check water chemistry parameters. With attention to these items, and the passing of time, the Cyano should diminish.> Thanks Again, Chuck Spyropulos <Thanks for stopping by again, Chuck!  Regards, Scott F.>

Caulerpa Control Hello All! <Good evening! Scott F. here tonight!> I have a mature 75g tank, with excellent water quality and have never had any major problems (thanks, in no small part, to your website!). <Glad we can be of assistance!> Several months ago I added some liverock with several types of Caulerpa on it.  The Caulerpa is doing very well, my Blue Tang is very happy with his eat-in kitchen, and the tank looks great! <Awesome!> However, it's getting to the point where the Tang cannot quite keep up with the algae, particularly the hair Caulerpa. I trim the Caulerpa (more like pull out HUGE chunks of it) on a weekly basis, but it's getting to be very difficult to do so, due to tons of baby starfish that like to hide in the Caulerpa (I emailed you about these guys a while ago). <Caulerpa is a very aggressive-growing, prolific macroalgae. It can be difficult to eradicate once it gets established. Part of the reason why many of us are becoming decidedly anti-Caulerpa!> My question is: Do you think it would be OK to add a Yellow Tang to eat up some of the algae?  I think my tank could handle it, as I only have the tang, a couple of Chromis fish, two ocellaris clowns and a Flamefish. So, given that my Blue Tang is medium-large sized, could I get a small Yellow Tang so that there's no question of dominance?  Am I inviting trouble?  If the Yellow Tang would not be recommended, is there some other form of algae control (not elimination, just control) that you would suggest? Thanks! Jes <Well, Jes- I think tangs are a great natural macroalgae control, but IMO, your tank is a little too small to accommodate both of these fish for their natural life spans. I know a lot of hobbyists will disagree, and many people do maintain this combination of tangs without troubles. They will get along, given enough space and resources. However, blue tangs can reach almost a foot in length, and the yellow tang also needs a lot of room as well. If you had a larger (100 plus gallon, 6 foot length) tank, then I'd be inclined to say yes, this would be a good idea. This is my opinion, of course, but I really think that it would be better to hold off on that second tang. I'd still recommend manual extraction of Caulerpa from the tank, in addition to keeping your tang fat and happy!. Good luck!>

Lingering Ammonia (Follow-up) Scott, thanks for the information about my ammonia problem, I removed the Caulerpa that had been in the tank since day one, and two days later it's down to almost 0ppm. <Really glad to hear that!> I put the stuff in a 5gal bucket  and it has set for two days and it smells like dog food. <Hmm- finally a good use for Caulerpa! Talk about "nutrient export"! Woof!  Keep up the good work! Regards, Scott F>

Bits and Pieces Thanks for your helpful input!  It brings up a few other questions, though. <One thing always leads to another in this hobby, huh?> (BTW, I think I will go for a single Firefish) <Good call> 1.Although the Kupang Island LR has lots of great coralline algae and other nifty things on it, I have come to hate having Caulerpa in the main tank. <Good! This stuff can be...well- a pain. I mean, I like it-it has it's uses- but there is definitely a "dark side" to its use.> Little bits and pieces break off & float everywhere--difficult to keep clean. I want something to basically eat it all up. Which would be better for this, the Yellow Tang or the Flame Angel? <I'd give the edge to the tang. However, sometimes, you'll get a tang that doesn't eat Caulerpa (a Gracilaria "snob", perhaps?). But usually, the tang will have a definite impact.> 2. On the other hand, the Caulerpa is working out quite well in the refugium. There are also lots of creepy little white things swimming around in there now. <Sounds like Mysis...a great natural food! If you are employing Caulerpa as a means of nutrient export- do harvest it carefully on a regular basis, BTW..> Are there any good detritivores or other useful creatures that could be added without risking them? I have a few snails with conical shells (Trochus?) in the main tank (came with the LR) now. <I'd stick to the Trochus, Strombus, and other "grazing" snails in the refugium.> Which gobies do you favor and how long should the tank have been running before adding one? <I really like the Stonogobiops species (shrimp gobies)- these are really neat fishes; they stay small, and are fun to watch. You might also want to try a blenny, like the "Midas Blenny" (Ecsenius midas), or one of the Meiacanthus blennies (these are some of my favorites), which are colorful, small, and active.> In reading various entries in Scott W. Michael's PocketExpert Guide to Marine Fishes, I see that he recommends feeding most of them "at least 3 times per day."  I certainly do not have time to feed more than once or perhaps twice per day (though my Hogfish seems to want to earn his name with a seemingly insatiable appetite). The adage in freshwater is often "a hungry fish is a healthy fish." Is there a general rule of thumb for feeding typical marine community fishes? Thanks again, Steve. <I had the pleasure of spending some time with Scott a couple of months ago, and I posed to him the same question. He stressed that the fish don't have to be fed 3 times a day, but that they should be fed well. In other words, use common sense. Make sure that everyone gets food, but don't just dump a large quantity of food into the tank and forget about it. Careful, targeted feeding a couple of times daily is certainly better than careless heavy feeding! Believe me, it's really tough to feed a fish so much that they won't want to eat again for the rest of the day...These "stomachs with fins" are always looking for that next meal! Have fun selecting your next fishes! Regards, Scott F>

Caulerpa (poisoning your corals in the long run) Hi I am thinking of setting up a EcoSystem Filtration system for my 60gal. reef. But what's the deal with Caulerpa (poisoning your corals in the long run). Thanks Dave. <Overrated warning in my estimation. If you keep the Caulerpa pinched back, especially illuminated 24h/day, you should have little problem. If in doubt, there are other algae to consider. Please see the refugium, algal filters, and algae group sections posted on WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>

Manual extraction of Caulerpa sertularoides Esteemed Crew: I have followed the suggestions found on your wonderful site during my various battles with hair algae, bubble and Cyano.  I'm happy to report that it has worked and I've beat them all. <Ah, good> However, I cannot seem to win with Caulerpa sertularoides or cupressoides. I remove it with a long set of tongs, my fingers or tweezers.  Each time it frequently breaks and I end up leaving much of the "runners".  Each week, there is more and more. Can you recommend a good way to manually extract this stuff?  Maybe an affordable underwater handheld particle beam trimmer or something? <Mmm, there are gravel vacuums that you could literally drain your system a few times using... in attempt to remove all. But I suggest "biological warfare", the use of a predator to remove the remaining bits. Do consider placing a Zebrasoma species tang if it will fit in your mix. If not, please write back re the make-up of your system and will come up with other choice. Bob Fenner> Many thanks as always, Michael
Re: manual extraction of Caulerpa sertularoides
I would be interested in a Zebrasoma, if you believe it fits.  I'm concerned about the fish load as well as compatibility with the other tangs.  If not, I would certainly appreciate other suggestions. <Mmm, looking at your stocking list below, I have high confidence that a smaller Sailfin, maybe a Yellow or Scopas would do well here> I currently have the following in a 110g 60x24x18 tank with 150lbs LR, 200lbs sand and a 30g sump. Tank houses SPS, a few clams, typical assortment of small inverts, good sandbed diversity. (1) Kole tang (Ctenochaetus strigosus) (1) Hippo tang (Paracanthurus hepatus) (6) Orange lyretail Anthias (Pseudanthias squamipinnis) (3) Caerulean damselfish (Pomacentrus caeruleus) (1) Diadem Dottyback (Pseudochromis diadema) (1) Six-line wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia) Thanks! <Should get along fine, with minor "jousting" accommodation at first. Bob Fenner>

Simple question about Caulerpa Dear Dr. Fenner, According to the PBS program, Nova, about the growing threat of Caulerpa in the Mediterranean, native sea urchins would rather starve to death than consume Caulerpa. Your article on the web  refers to a species of sea urchin that has a voracious appetite for Caulerpa. Could this species be useful in the control of this worldwide pest? <Mmm, better perhaps to look for local species that might consume or prove deadly infectious to non-indigenous species... and culture, disperse them than introduce another non-indigenous species> Would it survive in the Mediterranean, or would there be any risk to its introduction there?  I hope you have the time to respond to this question. <I fear the latter if it was able to live there. Recorded history is replete with examples of approaches to bio-control... most have shown that being "patient" (just waiting) is the best option... predators, other rate-limiting factors arise in time to control all populations... including our own. Bob Fenner> Sincerely, Jon Michnovicz M.D., Ph.D. The Foundation for Preventive Oncology

Caulerpa Gone Wild! Good morning, <Hello there! Scott F. with you today!> Could you please give me a bit of advice on how to reduce the amount of Caulerpa in my tank?  When I purchased it I tried to keep it localized in the tank, but it has gradually spread and is causing me to move my corals.  It is just impossible to remove it by hand effectively though I am trying. <It's tough! The fronds tend to put down holdfasts that make removal without breaking them very difficult>   It is a 55g tank and is generally causing me few problems, water quality is fine and fish and corals are healthy.  What would be an appropriate macro-algae eater?  My yellow tang has a nibble, but I don't think the red legged hermits touch it. Many thanks, Peter Harris <Well, Peter, I'd like to recommend a "natural" approach, such as another tang (like a Sailfin tang- which, in my experience, is a macroalgae-eating "machine") or rabbit fish- but I think that your tank could not comfortably accommodate one at this point. They simply get too large. I'd stick to a "low tech" approach, unfortunately- which means manually extracting the stuff! Try to take care when extracting the Caulerpa, as ripping the fronds can leach some potentially toxic substances into the water. The other thing that you could do is try to remove the rocks that the Caulerpa has attached to, and rip away at the stuff once it's outside the tank. Although I am not a big fan of Caulerpa (for a lot of reasons- some of which you are now aware!), it may be worth simply keeping contained as much as possible. Remove all "adventurous" holdfasts that journey out of your "designated Caulerpa zone". Easier said than done, but it may be infinitely more simple than removing your rocks, etc. to extract the stuff. Good luck! Regards, Scott F> temp 25 sg 1.024 ph 8.4 at 8pm lights on nitrates < 10ppm phos is hard to measure, just detectable with my kit calcium 300ppm (I am trying to raise this) I run a hang on skimmer, canister filter, 70kg live rock, no sand.  I have a yellow tang, one purple Dottyback, 3 green Chromis, 1 blood shrimp, 1 red starfish, 4 turbo snails, 4 red legged hermits.

Caulerpa racemosa predator 6/25/03 Dear crew member <cheers, my friend> Have enjoyed and benefited from this site for years - from the times when Bob was handling it alone. <outstanding... and thanks kindly. Really wonderful for us all/the hobby to see it grow <G>> This is my 1st message sent. My 70 gal reef has been up & running for 5 years. I have about 100 lbs of live rock, 1/2" to 1" sand substrate, 2 tridacnid maximas, a branching frogspawn, a hairy leather, a colt, and various polyps and mushrooms. I have a percula clown, a Banggai cardinal, and a chevron tang (4"). The system is stable - it has been over 2 years since I have introduced anything. My problem is Caulerpa racemosa. <heehee... rat weed. And one of the most legitimately noxious of all Caulerpas. My least fav> Once a month or so I harvest it by hand. <be sure to thin (pull fronds) and not tear or cut> I skim aggressively, use activated carbon, perform monthly 15% water changes, feed the fish twice a week rotating frozen Mysis, blood worms, and krill. <excellent> the chevron will rasp at the almost non-existent microalgae on the rocks and aquarium glass, but will not touch the racemosa. <correct... it is quite noxious to many/most fishes> I think my fish load is light enough to introduce another, but I need a big time algae eater, and I'm concerned about mixing tangs. <not a great idea or even likely to work> Is there a prodigious macro algae eater I can add to this group, or should I consider trading in the chevron in favor of a different tang? Thanks for you time and consideration.   Larry <seek instead some of the algae grazing sea slugs of the genus Elysia =Tridachiella... they are cheap, hardy (one of the few Opistos that it is true about)... and certain species are voracious Caulerpa eaters. They harvest their chloroplasts like the nudibranchs harvest cnidarian stinging cells. Best regards, Anthony>

Grape Caulerpa... the Worst - 7/14/03 Please help me.  I have a long-established tank (10-plus years).  We recently did an overhaul (redecorated) and added some more live rock.  Some of it had some pretty grape Caulerpa on it.  However, now the Caulerpa has gone crazy, and I am harvesting about one cup a week of the stuff, as it is crawling all over my corals, even trying to climb up my magnifica anemone!   <Caulerpa racemosa is indeed one of the most invasive and noxious (as in toxic and unpalatable) species to be found> I can't get rid of it.  Someone told me to buy a mustard tang, and that would it Never touched a bite!   <not surprising... this is truly one of the most noxious algae. Herbivory by fishes is rather hit or miss.> Do you know anything that will gobble my Caulerpa?   <you might try an Elysia crispata (lettuce nudibranch). Still... I'm sure it will outgrow even several such nudibranchs on patrol. Manual extraction may be necessary. Do consult our archives and FAQs at www.wetwebmedia.com for much more info (pros and cons) to these algae > thanks for you help. <best regards, Anthony>

Caulerpa Question Hi again!  <Anthony Calfo in your service> You've helped us so much in the past that I am back with another question, this time regarding Caulerpa. Anyway, due to having high nitrates in our reef tank recently, we added some various macroalgae,  <FWIW... a deep sand bed is far more reliable and predictable for nitrate control. #+ inches of sugar-fine sand> a couple of lovely red species and some Caulerpa (with "fronds" of about 2-3" in length). We added this about three weeks ago and though they have not had a significant affect on the nitrate (probably too soon to tell) they have looked very nice and the reds particularly have provided a source of "nibbles" for our yellow tang. <very well> All was well until this morning. I always check on the tank before breakfast (with the "purple" lights on) and, again, about 20 minutes later to make sure the main lights are on and to feed the fish. On this second check the tank was cloudy. The corals were all small and I immediately did water tests to try and find out what had happened. All water tests were ok except for the ammonia which had rocketed. I immediately did as big a water change as I could (we have a smaller tank which we use to prepare and age water for water changes) which I have now emptied. Buckets of water are being heated/prepared as I type this for further water changes later. I also added Ammonia Detox which I really hate doing but felt I had no choice. On testing the water again, the ammonia level had reduced to 0.5ppm. More water changes to follow.... <agreed...dilution is the solution to pollution> The cloudiness started to dissipate when I effected the water changes (we also use activated carbon so I am guessing that this helped). On inspecting the tank I noticed that the Caulerpa had turned white and was dead. I have removed it. <yes, a major pain with Caulerpa> On reading many of the FAQ's on this, I understand that Caulerpa can "melt down" (something to do with reproduction?)  <yes...going vegetative/sexual> and release toxins/nutrients? <yes. horrible> back into the tank causing cloudy water. Do you think this is what caused my emergency this morning? <indeed a strong possibility> To be honest, I was lucky it happened while I was at home. I suspect if it had happened after I had left for work, the fish would have been dead by tonight. <agreed> Anyway, the corals seem ok now and the fish are all ok (they didn't seem to be stressed by the situation - only me!) Assuming it is the Caulerpa, is there anything we could have done to prevent it from happening?  <a tough gig with the macros... one of the many reasons that I don't favor them in mixed garden aquaria. You didn't have the plants long enough to establish a farming routine. no nothing to be done differently> I don't want to risk a recurrence (nor do I want to be late for work again!) but we are still battling high nitrates. All the other macro algaes are doing fine. <do consider a deep sand bed> I would just appreciate your thoughts on this event. Many thanks, as always, for all your help! Lesley <kind regards, Anthony>

Re: Lowering Nitrates, Caulerpa and skimmer WOW, you guys are really fast thanks again. How do I get the end result of skimming darker like coffee instead of green tea color. <a model dependant function of your skimmer...but the gist of it is finer bubbles, slower water flow, and/or lower water level in neck that makes foam climb higher and collect drier. Not a real big deal though... you just don't want the skimmate to be too watery>  I have Caulerpa growing in my tank, are there any downfalls to this? <many in my opinion but may not be necessary to take out. Depends on the tankmates...some are very sensitive to its presence. My biggest gripe is that it is labor intensive to maintain and causes more harm than good for most folks who stick it in, watch it grow like a weed (contaminating the tank in the process with discolorants that reduce light penetration and exuding noxious compound that irritate some coral, etc) and then wipes out (goes vegetative) if not pruned carefully and frequently. I dislike it because I like corals better and want to act in their best interest across the board. If I was more of a horticulturist, I'd have a well groomed tank full of Caulerpa with little or no coral. They are simply uncommon together on a reef (sure they do occur... but how much have you seen in any wild reef photo that you can remember. An unnatural mix in my opinion. Anthony> NICK NY 

Caulerpa Confusion Hello Gentlemen, <Steven Pro here this afternoon.> My husband and I have recently taken the plunge into saltwater, and so far, so good. We have a 72 gallon tank, wet/dry filter and protein skimmer in the sump, 80 pounds of aragonite live sand, and 50 pounds of live rock. All the water parameters are right on. On one of the rocks there is a fair amount of feather Caulerpa growing. I was under the impression (from Bob's book) that this was a good thing, but now I read (on your website) about it possibly releasing toxins into the water. <That was in reference to growing Caulerpa with corals. Nothing to be concerned about with fish. Caulerpa is known to release certain compounds that would inhibit the growth of corals and discolor the water, further retarding coral growth. No such worries with fish.> The Caulerpa is definitely growing, but I became concerned last night when I noticed that several of the tips were white. That's when I scoured your site and found out about the possible release of toxins. However, this morning the Caulerpa is lush and green again! We just added our first fish to the tank two days ago (2 Percula clowns), and one of the clowns was acting very strange last night and was on his side swimming at the top of the water. It was at that time I noticed the white tips on the Caulerpa. Could his behavior have been a result of the release of toxins? <No, unrelated.> I tested our water when I noticed him acting strange, but everything was still right on. Today the fish is fine -- eating well, looking great, and swimming all over (with the Caulerpa remaining all green). <Glad to hear it.> I read on your site about some people leaving their lights on for 24 hours/day to stop the Caulerpa from going into a vegetative/sexual state. <This is in reference to growing Caulerpa in a separate vessel, like a sump/refugium, not the main display and not with fish exposed to the constant lighting. This would be very stressful on them.> We have our lights on for 12 hours on, 12 hours off. <That is an appropriate photoperiod.> Future tank inhabitants in our fish-only system will include a royal Gramma, Foxface rabbit fish, dogface puffer, and possibly a flame angel. <The dogface concerns me with your other fairly small fish. Also, be warned that the Foxface and angelfish will eat some of your Caulerpa, possibly eating it faster than it can grow.> No tangs or crabs, but we may get some turbo snails. Should we be concerned about the Caulerpa in our tank? <No> Should we remove it from the rock? <No> We don't want to leave the lights on for 24 hours/day. <See above comments.> Any advice you can give us would be greatly appreciated. Karen <Your tank sounds fine now. Watch the clown fish's behavior and search through the WWM archives for anything that matches. -Steven Pro>

Caulerpa and California I have a quick question for you. Over the years I have accumulated a lot of Caulerpa. I would like to sell some of it off because I have two 150g tanks full of it. But my business is in California and I am having trouble finding what the laws are as to what I can, and can't sell and ship in and out of the state. The good people on Reef Central felt that you would be the man to answer this question. I appreciate any help that I can get, and I have to say I am a big fan. Thanks! <Please see here: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/ This is the California Department of Fish and Game site... insert the word "Caulerpa" in the search feature there, and read over the "Caulerpa Brochure" and beyond... Bob Fenner> Justin Phillips

Caulerpa What is the best natural way to get rid of Caulerpa.  <no immediate or overnight cures that aren't stressful (salinity or temp shock). But aggressive skimming and nutrient control (light feeding/bio-load) can starve it to crash within weeks, high Redox (water changes, ozone, etc) also discourage it. Some natural predators too although never reliable> I ha a 55 gallon tank that is infested with Sawblade Caulerpa. The plant is taking up about 75% to 90% of the tank.  <it really is a dreadful weed> what will eat this stuff but leave my corals alone or would barely bother corals  <a Sailfin or like Zebrasoma tang would work> the corals are all Sarcophyton corals but are not doing too well  <Caulerpa in large quantities is VERY harmful to corals as you have seen... I hear this daily from aquarists yet many people selling Caulerpa and refugium technologies still promote it.. yuck> I also have some mushrooms corals. Please help, I have already had 1 algae bloom with feather Caulerpa. <best regards, Anthony>

Reef Questions Anthony/Bob - Thanks for your quick response! However, your responses raised even more questions: 1) Caulerpa in sump: You indicated that you disliked the use of Caulerpa in a planted sump. Can you provide specific reasons as to why you dislike the use of Caulerpa in a lighted sump for display systems (with corals/fish) -  <this is literally a several hour/many page dissertation but the short story of it all has been written about many times here in the FAQs if you care to use the google feature in a keyword search to run down the history. My apologies for not retelling the entire story but we literally get upwards of sixty or more emails daily here and brevity alas is necessary at times. The short story is that there are far more disadvantages than advantages. Yes it grows fast and yes it is a large nutrient exporter for it. However, for those same reasons is a very strong competitor with corals for the same nutrients. Furthermore, they exude noxious compounds that slow the potential growth of many corals (read: slows, not stops). They are tedious to maintain without breaching critical mass for fear of a vegetative event which is inevitable and potentially catastrophic in many systems. The list goes on. There are much better macros out there. Caulerpa is popular because it was commercially marketed, not because it is the best choice. See how many corals you can find in Caulerpa zones on wild shores (zero or nearly so... there must be a reason!)> I will definitely be pre-ordering your new book that you mentioned?  <thank you my friend. Read it in good health!> I've used Caulerpa in my reef tanks with very good results - and this was after being encouraged to do so by Bob Fenner (via wetwebmedia).  <in small quantities it causes little harm... but doesn't help much either. Bob is a VERY wise an experienced aquarist. My specialty is reef invertebrate science and coral propagation however (Bob's the Fish guy :) ) I have written a two volume set of books on the topic of coral farming (first volume 450 pages mostly text!). And I have lived this science for many years. Short story: if you love plants and are willing to sacrifice some coral growth... enjoy the Caulerpa. It you want maximum coral growth and health (like coral farmers do), don't take Caulerpa for free!> I went back and looked thru several FAQs/articles on wetwebmedia, and found several places that promoted the use of Caulerpa in a planted sump along with several places where concerns were raised with this approach (but couldn't find specifics on the 'concerns' - other than not to use it in a highly variable bio-load system). <try a keyword string like "Caulerpa, Anthony, refugium" for some of my views> 2) Refugiums vs. Caulerpa in a lighted sump: You stated "If your goal is coral or fish growth... PLEASE do not use Caulerpa but set up a refugium for plankton generation instead." This confused me. Caulerpa set up in a lighted sump should act as a plankton generator to some degree in a mature reef tank - shouldn't it (isn't it a type of refugium - a low intensity plankton generator)?  <agreed... low intensity. Deep rubble zones and seagrass beds are far more productive though. Most corals feed on zooplankton too... very few feed much or at all on phyto (Gorgonids, Nephtheids, some other soft corals but even then not much)> I've used refugiums, but my definition may be different from yours:  <good heaven's... there are more refugium styles than either of us has the time to define.> My 'refugiums' are just small tanks hung off the side of the main tank, with reduced filtration. They are not lighted 24s a day (because of this, I don't use Caulerpa in them), but they contain a few types of macro algae (i.e.. picking types that don't tend to spontaneously degenerate) along with plankton generating species and detritivores - I like using Inland Aquatics refugium Flora/Fauna kits. Both the refugiums and the 24 hour lighted sumps with Caulerpa seem to work well in my reef/fish tanks. <simply "your" refugium my friend. Refugiums are merely places of refuge for whatever you choose to grow/protect and not exclusive of a certain flow or filtration style or limited to certain livestock. You are simple conditioned to the commercially popular interpretation (commercial: driven by a market ($) and not a charity... take such information for what it is worth). However, Morgan and Inland are GREAT folks, indeed. No comment or reflection on them here> 3) Colorimeters - Alk You stated that if I had to pick just one, that the CA-hardness would be the best test for alkalinity. I'm not limited to just one colorimeter - I could use all 3. Its just that I don't know how the 3 hardness colorimeters (CA-hardness, MG-hardness, Total Hardness) relate to the ALKALINITY tests. Could you explain? <not in the scope of an e-mail my friend. Let me guide you to hunt (and easy hunt... keywords again on the wonderful Internet!) for the fantastic works of chemist Dr Craig Bingman. He is widely published and a search of his name will bury you in more good reading than you likely have time for :)> 4) QT systems: You mentioned that I should consider visiting the wholesalers in LA on 104th street. Well, is it possible to hire WetWebMedia experts for private consulting?  <thank you my friend for the consideration. As WWM folks we are categorically unpaid volunteers here. However, WWM crew member Steven Pro is an industry professional on private and commercial system installations. I will forward this e-mail to him and perhaps you can make an arrangement.> Basically, I'd be interested in working with someone there to help me design an acclimation and quarantine system(s) that could: Hold multiple specimens at once (fish, corals, other inverts) be easily sterilized when needed. Automated - i.e.. low need for constant human interaction during the QT process. Or, if I did fly out to LA to see the wholesalers, would it be possible to hire someone from wetwebmedia to give me a tour of the wholesalers systems - pointing the 'good, bad, and ugly' as you put it?  <indeed possible with one of us and I suspect it would be a fine investment for you. Its a pleasure to see your level of commitment> I'm just trying to set up a system for my own personal use, but I've got several reef/fish tanks, and a lot invested (money, time, emotions) in my tanks, and currently my QT process is giving me relatively high death rates - I'd like to spend what it takes (money/time) to get it optimized. <I am sincerely impressed with your efforts and applaud you my friend. It is a pleasure to see an aquarist with the resolve to set up an optimal system. I apologize for the brevity but believe that Steven can help you out better than I can. Best regards to you in your endeavors. Anthony>

Re: Caulerpa Hello again, You mention that a sump raising plankton without Caulerpa is good for Faviids. I am working with an ecosystem sump that happens to have a ton of Caulerpa.  <the merits of refugium applications (and there are many styles and purposes) have been horribly distorted by the commercial marketing of mud and Caulerpa style refugia. There is strong evidence detailing the many disadvantages of Caulerpa in coral systems. Without getting into a very long rant (much of which is covered in the new book from Bob, Steve and I that will be unveiled at next months MACNA and released earl 2003), suffice it to say: if your goal is to grow plants and macroalgae... the mud and Caulerpa system is very fine. If, however you goal is to grow corals, you will be impeded by Caulerpa growth IMO. There are more disadvantages to it than merits and far more disadvantages with it than growing zooplankton in a rubble zone, or phyto in a green water reactor, etc (depending on your corals needs). By chance are you going to MACNA conference or near the Dallas/Fort Worth area. A great meeting this September with many speakers and opportunities to learn and chat with us/many? www.DFWMAS.com> Do you suggest that I should use something like "marine snow "to feed this coral? <Yowsa, bud... we need to get you up to speed on real aquarium science issues. Instead someone has snookered you with a lot of marketing glitch. Independent studies have not shone a favorable light on marine snow products and they explain detailed as well. Most of your coral will eat zooplankton. Cultured rotifers and HUFA enriched baby brine are best for live (although still large particle sizes)... and natural plankton from a seagrass refugium (Thalassia sp) can help a whole lot more. Most of the commercial products are merely pollution in a bottle. Do a keyword google search of WetWebMedia from our index page looking for recent FAQs on the topics that interest you (zooplankton, fishless refugiums, etc) Best regards, Anthony>

Caulerpa in a blender? Hi Bob, I'm back at Vanderbilt and continuing my studies shuddering). Anyway I had an idea that totally came out of the blue. Well here it is. This weekend I came home and I asked my brother to help me feed the corals and dispose of some of the Caulerpa growing in my tank. Well, I left the room to do something and I came back in and my brother was popping the Caulerpa. I asked him what he was doing and he said that I told him to do that because it released nutrients back into the tank. Well I know that at the time I told my brother to throw away some Caulerpa he was on the computer playing a video game and that distracted him from listening to me. I then thought about what he was doing and wondered if some of the coral in the tank would actually ingest the popped Caulerpa. Do you think the corals would? I then thought that well hey they might be able to and I had the idea of putting the Caulerpa in the blender to provide food/nutrients for my corals. Would this work or would it just provide food for microalgae and pollute the water. Weird story huh? Well thanks for you time and I'll get back to working on my 10 pg lab report (blah!). <Those reports are good practice... I might experiment here with the blended/chopped Caulerpa, but I'd like to warn you that there may be some danger here. Turns out that in the process of sexual reproduction this genus/family dissolve in sort of the same fashion as blending... and that this sometimes makes a real green mess of aquariums... and has resulted in total wipe-outs... Bob Fenner> Thanks, Eric
Re: Caulerpa in a blender?
Thanks Bob for answering my question. I have to ask though, do you think I should try this or is the risk not worth it. I have a pretty stocked 10 gal tank, but I haven't checked the water parameters. Do you think that if there were no nitrates/phosphates in the water that the Caulerpa would hurt my tank?  <Worth trying, but not in your stocked/only tank.> I might get another 10 gal to try but I'm really short on cash at the moment. By the way, I just finished the report and I'm exhausted(10hrs+of work at one time isn't fun). <Wait till you're older... you'll look back on these exercises as great fun, believe me> I wonder how you could write such long books. <Piece by piece my friend. With an outline, and keeping my eyes on the prize> Maybe it might be fun if you wrote about what you enjoy but I'm not enjoying myself so its not fun. <Convince yourself that what you are doing is indeed in your best interests... as it actually is... and hold yourself in good faith. You should only do "what you want"... and you are doing so. Bob Fenner> Keep up the great work on WWM. I enjoy reading these Q&A's everyday. <Will endeavor to do so my friend.> Thanks again, Eric

Controlling Caulerpa racemosa I have some grape algae in my 55 gallon reef tank. Actually 'some' is an understatement. I have lots. It is really going nuts. I kind of let it go for awhile because I was planning on getting a yellow tang and I was told by the LFS where I bought the rock that had the algae on it that the tang would really eat the stuff. Well I have my tang now and he doesn't seem very interested in it. He seems much more interested in the beautiful red algaes (most of which I believe to be Gracilaria judging from the pictures) that are growing in there. So now I am wondering what other critters might be out there that would have more of an appetite for the Caulerpa. I have begun pulling it out as best I can, but it is back in and under the rocks pretty good in some places and is intertwined with desirables, like the red algae, in others. I think the Regal Tangs are beautiful and have considered getting one so I have two questions about them. First, is a 55gal too small to keep a yellow and a regal tang together? <Ultimately yes... the Regal (Acanthurus lineatus) will outgrow this system too soon> Second, will the regal have any more of an appetite for the Caulerpa than the yellow does? <Only possibly. Look to other Zebrasoma, perhaps a Ctenochaetus, and go over the genus Acanthurus coverage on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com... many more choices... and the Siganids/Rabbitfishes...> Thanks for the help and your valuable time. Greg <All our time is equally valuable my friend. Thank you for sharing yours. Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Caulerpa Update hey all, looks like we lost this round within the California State Assembly. as of May 8 AB 1334 passed with a 78 to zero vote......how does this happen that no one votes against it ? <Hmm, "politics"... remember the four inch carapace turtle requirement, the protected Garibaldi...? Same nonsense, different topic> answer....California is so strapped with this Electrical Issue that anything else must be getting swept along with minimal effort, or thinking. what do we do now ? take aim at the California Senators....start sending those same letters, faxes, e-mails, and phone calls to your California Senators. <Just ignore them... the "government" is not a god, and when it doesn't make sense should be discarded (which they are ultimately)... but of course, the law will not protect you or the environment... and only apathetic fools or ignoramuses release exotics to the wild...> for those of you who are not California residents, don't worry, send your letter, faxes, emails to..... Senator Ross Johnson, Irvine Calif. ph 949-833-0180 fax 949-833-0696 Senator Dede Alpert, San Diego Calif ph 916-445-3952 fax 916-327-2188 go get-um, this is our hobby they are trying to take away from us, <Little by little, they shall... taxes on everything, tariffs on much, various rules... they're all about what modern government is: Control. Don't let the backwardness of others reduce your quality of life in so much that you let it bother you (emotionally). Do engage in behavior that empowers you... either "fighting" such restrictions or deciding (by action) to ignore them. Bob Fenner> Jim Aquarium Design http://www.aquarium-design.com/reef/taxifolia.html

Re: [Fwd: Petition against California Leg. Assembly bill 1334] Glad you agree, but how to change the minds of the California government. Or- looking at the petition, how to change the minds of people in our own industry?! <Assuming the first have minds (open to more than "voter appeal")... or the last want to have theirs changed (open to more than material accumulation)? If I knew these answers I'd fly us about the world to go diving and discoursing constantly. Be chatting Jules. Bob Fenner> Julian

Caulerpa *URGENT* Julian wrote >Dear Jim, Well I see you understand the full extent of the potential impact of the Caulerpa bill. What you do not realize is that in your website you have inadvertently (at least I hope so!) provided all the evidence needed to support the bill. You have in effect acknowledged that the claims about Caulerpa taxifolia are true. You have promoted the book Killer Algae... that is one of the key purposes of all of this. The author of that book and his associates are very clever because they have used the news media to convince you of the truth of their work and then used you to shoot yourself in the foot. < Julian, you make a good point ( and my foot is sore < s > ).......let me offer two comments; in an attempt to bring this Caulerpa issue to the attention of hobbyists I may have offered too much information, but for one to make a proper decision as to whether you, me, or the guy who wrote that book is right or wrong, is not the more information reviewed the better the resulting decision ? the bottom line, I believe, is that the real issue here is not so much whether Caulerpa is problematic or not, but how the government handles the situation. if they can pass legislation with lightening fast speed, without the hobbyist being aware of it, or worse yet the hobbyist not doing anything about it, then what is to stop the government from taking aim at some other aspect of the hobby ? hobbyists need to stand up and make their rights known ! hobbyists here in California need to contact their local Assembly Representative and Senators. I have created a web page that offers a letter ( to copy, paste, and modify ), addresses, and a how-to- find-your-Legislator link. this is at >> http://www.aquarium-design.com/reef/letter.html << Jim Aquarium Design BTW, on my web site, of the 8454 Amazon Book 'click-throughs' between Feb 29 and April 29, per my Amazon Affiliates Stats, there have only been eight people who looked at information on that book, and as of yet there have been no sales, via my site, on the that book. <Thanks much for this Jim... and good point re the "awareness of something entailing its... knowledge..." Will add your comments and Jules to the "Caulerpa" FAQs on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com when back on mainland (am over on Kona for a bit). Bob Fenner, who understands too well perhaps how "knee-jerky" the collective will can/does become at time through well-meaning simple servants... and is always guarded about the same. Bob Fenner>
Re: Caulerpa *URGENT*
Robert, Thanks for the email. I had received a cover letter from Dr. Tim Hovanec from Marineland/PIJAC and forwarded it to our 800 plus customers last Thursday. I have also made copies of the letter for our local customers to grab when they come in to shop. I am going to include another copy in every order that leaves our place this coming week. <Good idea> The letter is basically a format from which people can follow to contact Sen. Harmon and voice their displeasure regarding the proposed bill. <Again, agreed> I hope you can come by our new warehouse soon and take some pictures for your article on Sea Dwelling Creatures. We are currently finishing up the drain pipes underground that will be hopefully covered up early this coming week. Our new facility on 104th street, near Quality Marine and Underwater World will be the largest Saltwater facility ever constructed!  <Wowzah! About time you all got going on a new, bigger, best facility. Will come by soon, and hope that you will help me with the text part.> It isn't hard to see that this move is the biggest "happening" in the Industry today. We hope that you can publish a story on us for the Anaheim trade show edition as that will also be our grand opening. <Glad to help you with your continuing success Eric.> Hope to see you soon....you funny man you. Best regards, Eric <Back from Kona tonight! Been scoping out properties... diving, photographing... but not pet-fishing thank goodness! Bob Fenner>

Another Point of View on Caulerpa Ban (proposal) I was looking for the opinion of someone else in the business with a lot more experience than me. My first question is in regards to Assembly Bill 1334. I have heard California plans to ban the importation of all Caulerpa. Is this more than a rumor?  <Yes, coming down the pipes as we key> Do you think it will pass? Honestly, what kind of effect are we talking about? <Yes, likely to pass... more bureaucrats, more scare tactics to control the citizenry... more nonsense... as any/all exotic introductions are a mistake... some just larger/smaller, longer/shorter, different in their deleterious ways... But, what are "elected officials" to do? Really? Take a look at "Blazing Saddles" again (not the Mr. Taggert farting scene, though hysterical), the "Gentlemen, we could lose our phony baloney jobs" bit... "they've" got to do "something"... and "the rest of the public" is either oblivious, apathetic, or most likely too busy otherwise to know about another law on the books... Idiocy, but human "nature" at its worst, best...> My second questions has to do with AMDA. I was just asked by Randy Goodlet, current President, if I would like to be the North Central Regional Director. Is AMDA getting any worthwhile work done?  <Yes, much more than the glad-handing MAC... when are they going to do anything other than steal the spiels of "their stakeholders?"... Paul Holthus still will not reveal the source of MAC funding... am still waiting to see if they're anything other than the sorts of charlatans I've seen come and go in similar disguise> Would this be a resume building position or would some potential employers frown on this experience? Not that I am looking for work. The business is doing great. I am giving some thought to hiring someone, but that is a whole other discussion. <A very good experience Steve... folks of lofty ideals... that are concurrent with yours and mine... providing good quality livestock to all, information on husbandry... You want to be part of the AMDA because you actually ARE> P.S. Deb and I are beginning to get excited! Thank You, Steven Pro <Me too, though I hate to come back to the mainland... have been in HI. Bob Fenner>

Petition Against Assembly Bill 1334 To: Honorary Tom Harman Member, California State Assembly State Capitol Sacramento, CA 95814 From: A Concerned Marine Ornamental Industry Professional Dear Assemblyman Harman, I have come to understand that the California Legislature intends to ban ALL species of the salt water algae Caulerpa, based on the problems that are currently being faced with a specific species, Caulerpa taxifolia. I understand the problems that C. taxifolia may present to the natural marine environment of the California coast and I support a ban of that species. However, there are many other species of non-intrusive algae that fall under the genus of Caulerpa. Los Angeles is the primary port of entry for animals and plants entering the country for the marine aquarium trade. This ban would negatively affect the industry nationwide. For instance, it would have a severe direct effect on my business as many of the harmless marine plants I sell belong to the genus Caulerpa. These plants are used as natural filtration for aquariums, they provide refuge for small animals living in some aquaria, they are sometimes used as food for animals I sell to my customers and they are an integral part of my saltwater aquarium business. Furthermore, there is no scientific data proving that the other species of Caulerpa have the potential to become a nuisance. Indeed, these species have been sold in this trade for decades without any adverse affects to the environment. In absence of any negative data regarding the other species of Caulerpa, I feel that this bill should be revised to be specific in only targeting Caulerpa taxifolia. If this bill is not so revised, I believe it will set a bad precedence in harming a large number of marine retailers nationwide without just reason. The current bill seems to have been penned with an emotional rush to judgment without a complete review of all of the facts, and in it's current form it will definitely have a large negative effect on the livelihood of thousands of individuals nationwide. Please revise the bill accordingly. _________________________ Signature _________________________ Printed Name _________________________ Company Name _________________________ _________________________ Address _________________________ Phone Number

Re: [Fwd: Petition against California Leg. Assembly bill 1334] Dear Bob, I do not support a ban of Caulerpa taxifolia. There is no reason to ban it or any Caulerpa species. If Meinesz told me to jump off the empire state building I would not do so, no matter how scientific his suggestion sounded! Julian <Thanks for this Julian... Reminds me of the sound advice of my great grandmother (RIP). I do agree. Bob Fenner>

Re: Caulerpa Ban Thanks again for the help. BTW, what do you think of the recent ban on Caulerpa in CA?  <It's ludicrous, knee-jerk, human nature/politics as we currently know it...> How do you think this is going to effect the saltwater aquarium industry?  <Not really... I do hope it urges people to be more aware, conscientious of dumping/not-dumping life in novel environments... but the "laws" have become so numerous and outlandish in this State, country... that folks will greatly ignore this one as well... MANY people have piranha, lepisosteids/gars... I could go on... "illegal" aquatic livestock here as it is... the "law" is an ass... Believe it or not, now you can't drink beer at the beaches here in southern California... idiocy> I'm in the process of setting up my new 125, and I hope I can still order some nice live rock to go in it. Has the bill become a law yet?, or do you know when? Thanks. <Still in debate... will be posting a few comments from others, who to contact, what have you... on the recent FAQs pages on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com today, tomorrow. Bob Fenner>

Algae growth Dear Bob, My 20 gal. refugium, now 3 months old and loaded with Caulerpa and Hawaiian red fern is still producing quite a bit of a yellowish brown slime/hair algae. This is most pronounced when the Caulerpa reaches the water surface so I've put egg crate over it to keep it down. Lights are on 24 hours, 1 actinic 03 and 2 daylight 20 watt fl. <Hmm> Is this normal or am I missing something? I can't find and phosphate or nitrate in the water but I still get a great deal of algae on the glass of the show tank as well as in the refugium. <Normal... keep harvesting (I would cut it with a sharp razor blade, watch your fingers...) the Caulerpa... a few inches below the water surface... like steering an ocean liner with a small rudder, your system will "come about"> I'm considering covering the entire show tank with a drape to block ambient light when I am away. Is there any reason not to do this? <Plenty... a possible "crash" that might take most everything with it... I urge your patience here. Perhaps add some activated carbon in your filter flow path... give this a few more weeks. Bob Fenner> Howard

A Caulerpa question Hi there - <Hello> I don't know you, and don't presume to understand your entire stance... however I have just spent the past half hour reading your FAQ of Caulerpa questions, and although I\'m sure you have received people who can\'t believe what they were reading before, I felt compelled to add my two cents as well. <Please do> You preach to your readers how Caulerpa isn\'t the devil alga many make it out to be... how the real problem is dumping into an exotic environment, and not the organism itself. <This is my position, yes> I have been an aquarist for many years, starting, as I'm sure many did, with a 5 cent goldfish from a church fair when I was 5, <A very common start... analogous to giving someone their first pack of Pall Malls> to now, when my hobby has stepped beyond that boundary, and I find myself as a full time marine biologist in Southern California.  <Working for who?> You refer to the politicians and their laws in horribly negative terms, yet to me, it seems the very organism they're seeking to ban is one many of your readers have trouble with. Time and again, your readers had problems with it "overgrowing" and "choking out" other algae.  <In artificial settings like aquariums small wonder...> You refer to adding it to filters but just dropping a clump in there and letting it do its thing. You've proven this alga to be extremely tolerant of adverse conditions and nearly impossible to kill in a moderately healthy aquarium... yet you repeatedly fail to recognize the dangers of this alga reaching our coastal waters. In one description you refer to it as the largest living organism on the planet... you didn\'t say that this organism is the largest because it has completely ruined about 10,000 acres of underwater habitat around Monaco.  <You should revisit that sensationalist story... now considered an ally, cleaning up the environment there...> Also, you didn't add that as little as ten years ago the enormous organism was no more than a single clump that escaped from a public aquarium. <Mmm, don't know this account> You warn people about dumping into a foreign water body, but what about people who let something go down a storm drain?  <Should not be done... though I agree many people do just "wash away" such material there and the sanitary sewer (both poor choices)> And what about those who don't realize just how easily this stuff can propagate? It is single cellular, it doesn't\'t require the whole stalk and holdfast to propagate, a single cell, one square millimeter of this needs to survive long enough to get back in the water, and it will take off. It can survive on a city street in full sun for 10 days and still reroot, it can survive water with salinity from 15 to 300 parts per thousand and so can easily survive a stint in rivers or streams as it makes its way to the ocean. <Do you find it strange that this family, the Caulerpaceae aren't everywhere?> You had people write in about how it was invading and destroying their other algae... can you imagine what it would do to get out into California\'s already suffering kelp beds? You refer to your own diving and underwater experiences, I would hope you love that environment or you wouldn\'t have embraced it so wholly, but would you really like to get in the water near your favorite reef to see it replaced with a perfectly flat Astroturf equivalent? It has no competition around here, and where they have found it is nearly impossible to kill, and at very great cost. I take that back, there is one thing that they have been finding to out compete Caulerpa taxifolia.. at least in the Mediterranean has actually been able to out compete it... Caulerpa racemosa! You preach such strong words against people trying to make a difference as not knowing what its really like, as trying to protect the public from the ignoramuses... <By stealing their money? Again... there is no "public edict" against stupidity... but why in what/whoever's name do people "working in the public interest, on public funds" believe they have such a right? Incredible> maybe that's what laws are for.  <Who's laws?> There's a law against drunk driving because some people are too stupid to realize they should't. There're laws against killing people because to some that isn't an obvious conclusion, why should\'t there also be a law to protect California, and every other coastal state, for that matter, from an organism which has the potential to single handedly destroy every square inch of habitat along our coastline. I'm sorry, but I want my kids to be able to go diving and enjoy the kelp as much as I do, and I want them to be able to get on a boat and enjoy fishing as much as I do, and so I will do all that I can to protect what we have left from careless people unwilling to listen to all the facts before ruining it for us all. <Such laws already exist in abundance... You and I are in total agreement re the necessity of "law" (even in this obtuse case of Caulerpa), where we differ is the need to single out this genus, hire more simple servants, tax the public for same... Where will/would an economic system end with such abuse? Ask the former Soviet Union...> Please feel free to respond to me or any like me, I\'d love for the aquarium industry and scientific community to discuss what's happening and how to go about affecting change, there's a lot more at stake here than fish tanks, and I think you'll agree with that, even though we may disagree on what it is. <Are you going to pay for it? Think about this. Again, thank you for your input. Bob Fenner, who might make a case for funding a commission, council on peanut butter sandwich eaters... a source of greater mortality than human-shark related deaths... and seek to pass laws, ban the evil goober...> Mark Brinkman Dive master, Underwater Researcher

Re: a Caulerpa question Thank you for being willing to write back to me... you had a couple questions or made reference to a couple of the points I referenced that you hadn\'t heard yet... <Okay.> Quoting Robert Fenner <by Bob Fenner>: > Time and again, your readers had > problems > with it \\\"overgrowing\\\" and \\\"choking out\\\" other algae. > <In artificial settings like aquariums small wonder...> The thing with this alga is that despite your tone, many organisms actually do much better in the wild than an aquarium, at least those with evolved characteristics for surviving in the wild. <Umm, I do have a couple of life science degrees, a teaching credential... Fully realize the effects, allowance of a dearth of parasite, predator fauna...> The only thing an aquarium has going for it is high nutrient levels, but compared to a natural setting, aquaria are, generally, terribly polluted, why else can pet stores stay alive when the 20 dollar angelfish they sold is supposed to survive 20 years.. we both know they invariably do not, and 6 months later that \'spur of the moment\' aquarium shopper with an inflated wallet will be back to kill... I mean, buy another. <Hmm, a dismal view... there are many places in the wild that are far more polluted than any living aquarium... and many examples of organisms living longer than "average" in captivity...> The truth is, this alga has proven itself capable of out competing many local plant and algae - choking out eelgrass easily and creating a monoculture. The web address I listed at the end includes a photo of a former eelgrass bed in San Diego - you can see the eelgrass didn\'t stand a chance. <Visited the site myself... no Zostera, Phyllospadix...> >In one description you refer to it as the > > largest living organism on the planet... you didn\\\'t say that this > organism > is the largest because it has completely ruined about 10,000 acres of > underwater habitat around Monaco. > <You should revisit that sensationalist story... now considered an ally, cleaning up the environment there... Cleaning up the environment? what do you mean? it absorbs all the pollution 2 centuries of industrialization have left in the Mediterranean? What about the local fish that relied on what naturally belongs in that huge area for food, refuge, spawning... etc. Generally, as one of your readers pointed out as he found with his yellow tang, many fish prefer not to eat this stuff, and certainly not any fish around not in this alga\'s natural habitat. <Wish I had the capacity to do computer search bibliographic work here... Do agree that wholesale displacement is bad... but do take a look at the recent literature on this issue in the Mediterranean.> On that web site who\'s link I sent, you will find a few other links, one of which to a research institution in France currently working with this alga... although it is VERY informative - it is, unfortunately, in French - I have yet to find an equivalent in English. <Science News excerpted a bit of this: http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m1200/22_155/54881965/p1/article.jhtml.> > Also, you didn\\\'t add that as little as ten years ago the > enormous organism was no more than a single clump that > escaped from a public aquarium. > <Mmm, don\'t know this account> I excerpted an article written by Rachel Woodfield, a researcher in San Diego whom I\'ve done some work with recently, in which she outlines a bit of the history of this alga in the Mediterranean (my dates were off slightly in my initial email to you, but hopefully their spirit is still intact). ================================================= Around 1984 this species apparently escaped or was released from an aquarium into Mediterranean waters, and rapidly spread from an initial patch of about one square yard to over two acres by 1989. Meinesz reports that by 1997 it blanketed more than 11,000 acres of the northern Mediterranean coastline and has recently been reported off northern Africa. Genetic analysis suggests that all Caulerpa taxifolia plants in the Mediterranean are clones of the original, inadvertently released saltwater aquarium plant. In areas where the species has become well established, it has caused ecological and economic devastation by overgrowing and eliminating native seaweeds, seagrasses, reefs, and other communities. In the Mediterranean, it is reported to have harmed tourism and pleasure boating, devastated recreational diving, and had a costly impact on commercial fishing both by altering the distribution of fish as well as creating a considerable impediment to net fisheries. The dense carpet that this species can form on the bottom could inhibit the establishment of juveniles of many reef species, and its establishment offshore could seriously impact commercial fisheries and navigation through quarantine restrictions to prevent the spread of this species. ========================================================= <Why doesn't this genus take over the aquatic parts of the planet? It surely must have been "moved about" by ship ballasting, floating debris... many times> > You warn people about dumping into a foreign water body, but what about > > people who let something go down a storm drain? > <Should not be done... though I agree many people do just \"wash away\" > such > material there and the sanitary sewer (both poor choices)> There are more possibilities to contend with here as well, many people who can afford it hire private companies to service their aquaria, or do this themselves - when performing a partial water change, they merely run the hose down to the water (if their house is on a harbor) or to the drain, or their driveway - because this alga spreads by fragmentation, so far as they know, they\'re only dumping water, but in fact they are easily sending hundreds of \"wanna be\" baby Caulerpa colonies downstream. I know I\'ve taken out cuttings... snails.. gravel... hair algae, who knows what all, both inadvertently and on purpose from my tank... and I know there must be many people doing the same with their Caulerpa. which is a dangerous practice because of its survivability. <Agreed... as are the absolute need to extricate all foreign seeds, infectious and parasitic agents from foreign travelers, clothing, luggage, shipping... "It" is not happening, nor can economically...> In the same article, Rachel recommends eradication of the alga from aquaria in the following manner: =================================================== The public can help prevent and detect infestations of Caulerpa taxifolia. The most important task is to prevent the introduction of ANY aquarium organisms into water bodies. Extreme care must be taken when cleaning or dismantling fish tanks, because a half-inch piece of Caulerpa taxifolia that is inadvertently washed into the gutter while rinsing a fish tank on the lawn could quite plausibly travel through the storm drain directly to a nearby estuary or beach and establish itself there. Aside from caution, an even more responsible action would be to eliminate any risk of accidental introduction by discontinuing the use of Caulerpa in home aquaria. Caulerpa can be removed from the tank, with all the material it is attached to (rocks, gravel, etc), placed in a freezer for 24 hours, and then placed in the trash for disposal in a landfill. Under no circumstances should any unwanted aquarium plants or animals be released into the wild. <I say dump the material on solid ground...> =================================================== > And what about those who don\\\'t realize just how easily this stuff can > propagate? > <Do you find it strange that this family, the Caulerpaceae aren\'t everywhere? I do find it somewhat strange, until I consider why it hasn\'t. If memory serves, C. taxifolia is native to Australia.  <Mmm, the family is worldwide in tropical seas...> Furthermore, it does not float - like kelp and many other marine brown algae which can disperse this way, Caulerpa does not, and so would never have a way to cross the oceans. It could travel in bilge water or on anchors (thought to be a big means of transport in the Mediterranean) however, those aren\'t viable means for spreading the alga from Australia except into other Australian waters... and here, over the years several species have evolved capabilities to eat this alga. There has been discussion of releasing these gastropods into non-native waters, but this practice has been discouraged by many in the scientific community because gauging how an organism will behave in a new environment is impossible to tell... and what happens to them once the Caulerpa is in check? <There are way too many examples of these errors...> what\'s to keep them from mowing down the eelgrass and kelp. In California, as in the Mediterranean, there are no natural grazers of this alga, California, being on the eastern boundary of the pacific, is a zone of much upwelling, providing very nutrient rich waters, allowing for the Caulerpa found here to grow incredibly well. <Seemingly... give the whole experience a few years... Remember Hydrilla verticillata? How about Eichornia crassipes? I could go on> In fact, once a bunch has been detected the only marginally effective way found thus far of eradicating it is to drape it in 35 mm PVC, pump in chlorine, and kill everything within that area... and then the plastic must remain on the bottom indefinitely - because the subsurface runners can survive this and much more. <This use of biocides is great for the environment> many people don\'t realize just how insidious this stuff is and think the threat is really blown out of proportion... yet the more I, and others like me, research this organism, the more we realize just how terrible a threat this stuff can pose, although much of this information hasn\'t yet been disclosed because the data is not completely ready for publication. <Caulerpas are far less a threat than too much government interference... Do agree with trying to educate all... do so at my own expense... but where would you, or anyone stop with this "control"? What about all the non-indigenous terrestrial plant material? Let's say the five million acres of non-native trees in production in California? What about the genus Eucalyptus... how much Vapam would you induct under polyethylene to get rid of this "down under" greenery? My side point from knowing that you can't legislate, tax, incarcerate people to compulsion is that these same folks pay your (the government and all other people who "take more out of a/the system" than they put in... just won't put up with too much regulation... Witness the result of the ban on collecting Hypsypops rubicunda... and the restriction on the carapace length of saleable chelonians... ridiculous laws that are ignored... Do consider this. We can't all work for the government... and denying people exposure to the living world will only hasten the demise of this society/economic system. Bob Fenner> anyway, I must get running back to work, hope to hear back from you again Cheers Mark http://swr.nmfs.noaa.gov/hcd/caulerpa.htm

Caulerpa Dear Bob, I'm thinking of introducing Caulerpa to our tank and I just read your sections on Green macroalgae http://www.wetwebmedia.com/greenalg.htm and Caulerpa http://www.wetwebmedia.com/caulerpaalg.htm and FAQ's. I have some basic questions. If I missed something, please let me know where to read. You list a lot of benefits but are there any downsides to introducing it? <Good question... yes, some potential problems for sure. A "reproductive" collapse of a colony of Caulerpa spp. can be trouble... More likely the possibility of over competition for light, nutrients, alkaline reserve... with other purposeful photosynthates...> People have them on 24 hour light schedules. Why? <To optimize their use... avoid the reproductive collapse mentioned... reduce diurnal fluctuations in pH, dissolved oxygen, Redox....> What is this about going sexual and wipe-outs? <This is the repro. problem mentioned... occasions of stress and optimized growth can bring on a release of plasma so to speak... the algae "emptying out" into the water> Do they really help reduce nitrites/nitrates/ammonia? <Of a certainty, yes> Many thanks, Allyson <Thank you for your well-thought out/written query. Bob Fenner>

Coral vs. Caulerpa Question Bob, I recently purchased a piece of coral which had quite a few Protopalythoa vestitus (green zoanthids) on it and the piece also had Caulerpa serrulata (Sawblade Caulerpa) on it (at least I think this is the type of Caulerpa that it is). My question is this - all the polyps in the coral seem to be fine except the ones which are in contact with the Caulerpa. The polyps which are in contact with the Caulerpa seemed to be closed up and turning white (it seems to be killing them). Is this the possible cause of the polyps demise. <Yes> Like I said, any polyp which has no contact with the Caulerpa seems to be thriving. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your help, Phil in San Diego <Conditions may otherwise just favor the algae in your system. Bob Fenner>

Caulerpa - old topic Hi Bob, How are you doing? Just wanted to let you know that with your help and advice, my purple tang has won his battle with ich, my corals and inverts have survived the hi temp/low spg fallow period, and everyone looks healthy and happy. <Very good news> I also had some questions re Caulerpa. First is regarding the AB 1334. I know it's been awhile since anyone has brought it up, but is the ban in effect yet? <Not as far as I know, am concerned> Is there a site where we could get more info on this? <The meandering morass of government documents on/not-on line no doubt> I've searched the web, but most of the sites are dated. It seems like a done deal. But people are still selling the stuff.  <Yes...> I still have some in my tank. Should I think about removing it? <It's up to you.> Did they ever finalize their list on restricted species, i.e.. mexicana or racemosa? <Don't know... I am much more inclined to think, act as a responsible individual than to follow governmental rules, suggestions, restrictions that are ill-informed.> And finally, does it really release toxins like they claim? <How to put this in perspective... all living things produce, co-produce chemicals that have some negative impact on other living things... The Caulerpaceae are not grand offendis in this area> I grow some in my main tank for my tang to graze on. Should I worry about it engaging in chemical warfare with my corals?  <No... do keep the Caulerpa in check population wise (trimmed back, only a percentage of total life in the system), do what you can (trim, regular lighting) to subtend reproductive events... and don't worry> CMA and WWM never mention anything about Caulerpa and toxins, so I never really gave it a thought.  Thanks in advance. Hope you have a wonderful Turkey Day. <You as well. Bob Fenner>
Re: Caulerpa - old topic
Hi Bob, Thanks for the quick response as always. Funny how this legislation and come and go, without the people most affected by it even being aware of it. <Yes... criminal at times, and most others criminally stupid to treat ones "bosses" (taxpaying citizens) with such low to no regard> I will keep the Caulerpa I have now, and send any trimmings to the landfills and not the oceans. <Not to the landfills... please see to it that these are buried in your yard. I am serious> One more question I forgot to mention last time. I had some C. racemosa in my sump. It was doing fine, but then I went on a one week vacation, came back, and it disappeared!!! No trace of it whatsoever. It had been growing a piece of rock in my sump, but now there is only rock. I also had/still have C. taxifolia in the sump and main tank which seems unaffected. It wasn't like the taxifolia grew like crazy and choked out the racemosa.  <Perhaps in a manner of speaking it "choked" on the chemicals of the congener> Everything else seems normal. Checked all water parameters and everything was normal. No visible floating spores or "green water". Any ideas? I'll leave you alone after this one. Thanks, and again, have a wonderful Turkey Day weekend. <Sometimes hard to maintain more than one closely related species... allelopathogenic activity? Circumstances favoring one over the other? A bit of both? Bob Fenner>

Need Information!!!! Trying to kill Caulerpa I just conducted an experiment trying to eradicate Caulerpa prolifera ( I could not find taxifolia) bleach, urea, powdered dandelion roots, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. I place an upright and 40mm of rhizome in each of containers of different concentrations of bleach, urea, and dandelion roots and had two other containers for nitrogen and carbon dioxide gases. For my results, the bleach was the most effective killing the upright in about 3 days, however, at there was still a lot of pigments left in the rhizome. Can you explain why that is??? <Explain... survival mechanism? The oxidizing agent didn't penetrate the syncitium...> The dandelion roots was the second effective, killing both the upright and rhizome after 6 days at higher concentrations. It might be far fetched, but these roots are known to kill bacteria, do you think Caulerpa needs bacteria to grow??? <I strongly suspect that all life needs bacteria to grow... and that bacteria are derived ultimately from viridis... that they're the progenitors of eukaryotes... not endoplasmic inclusions... and have some pretty far-fetched notions of the origins of the stripped materials origins (ex-terrestrial)... I sense a sci-fi work coming on> Urea was also effective at higher concentrations but it took a little longer, and at lower concentrations, it even promoted growth. Is there an explanation for that?  <Likely> The algae with exposure to nitrogen gas showed the most growth and CO2 killed the algae in 9 days. I would really appreciate your help. My science competition is in a week, and I am in desperate need of help! Thanks again Pai Liu <Don't know if I can be of assistance here... I would look to more specialized sources of information, speculation. Bob Fenner>

Evil Algae Bob, Was wondering if you got the packet of info in the mail from the city regarding the "killer algae"?? I guess they sent it out to everyone aquarium-related. Let me know if you didn't and I can send you a copy of the letter, I am sure you would be interested. <Not EEEville like those terrorists we must destroy! No, haven't seen this extortion-paid (taxes) paid propaganda (re Caulerpa spp.?)... yet. Less government is what we need. Be seeing you. Bob Fenner> Jason Kim President AquaC, Inc.

Caulerpa and Seahorses Hello again! We are very impressed with your knowledge about marine plants. If is isn't too troublesome, we would like to ask for your advice on an issue or two. <I will try> We are writing to you from the Ft. Worth Zoo in Texas. Our exhibit deals with native marine life in the Gulf coast of Texas. The specific exhibit we are referring too concerns Hippocampus zosterae, dwarf seahorses. We are trying to find a marine plant that is compatible with the seahorses, relatively low maintenance, hardy, and a native resident to the Gulf. We have looked at many species of Caulerpa, but is not our only option. If you could give us any suggestions or comments or point us in the right direction it would be much appreciated. S.L. Stokes, Blanca Zarate, Fort Worth Zoo <Is the system large enough to support a Thalassia bed? This is the predominant plant that I have seen H. zosterae associated with... next perhaps Penicillus, Halimeda spp.... Please see: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/maralgae.htm Bob Fenner>

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