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FAQs about Caulerpa Algae 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 Algae 2, Caulerpa 3, Caulerpa 4, Caulerpa 5, Caulerpa Identification, Caulerpa Behavior, Caulerpa Compatibility/Control, Caulerpa  Selection, Caulerpa Systems, Caulerpa Nutrition, Caulerpa Disease, Caulerpa Reproduction/Propagation, Other Green Algae, Refugiums, Green 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 taxifolia in aquarium use.

Re: Tank Expansion OK, now I'm totally confused! You said not to add Caulerpa?  <as aquarists we all have different perspectives... have you followed the FAQ dailies for the last week (peak if not). It is not a matter of plants good or bad... it is a matter of your goals. Massive amounts of Caulerpa cause far more harm than good if your goal is to grow coral. However, if you overfeed or have large fishes... nutrient export is more valuable than coral growth. The story goes on as you can imagine... never think in absolutes, my friend> from what I have read in the refugium pages I thought Caulerpa refugiums were the answer to all our aquarium problems?  <heehee... that is an absolute, but not always accurate, statement ;)> I have Caulerpa prolifera in my reef system now, should I change to Syringodium Manatee Seagrass and/or turtle grass, or stay with what I have?  <likely stay with what you got if it is not excessive (2-5 gallon tank full versus 10+ gallons)> Other than the Caulerpa going sexual what are the other disadvantages of Caulerpa refugiums?  <antibiotic properties shed into the water that concentrate and impact coral and other invert health, noxious compounds secreted at/by the holdfasts to dissolve organic matter causing like duress, significant yellowing agents (far more than most other plants/alga) that reduce light transmission to coral, etc and require above average chemical filtration and protein skimming, and the list goes on> What are the advantages? (I have read the refugium FAQ, everything there is positive)  <one main advantage: fast growth that can be harnessed as a nutrient export mechanism. Again... if you have a very heavy bio-load in the tank then this is helpful> What are the advantages of the seagrass refugium?  <no vegetative state, no burning secretions from holdfasts, more epiphytic matter produced that serve as food for corals, significantly less yellowing and noxious agents in the water against coral> What are the disadvantages?  <very slow growth (can be an advantage too as they don't compete with your corals as severely for nutrients too), a poor nutrient export mechanism until the tank matures> My tank is only 2 month old so it would not be hard to switch to something else. But not to sure what to switch to now.  <depends on your needs as above> One last question, I have an AMiracle PS-4 protein skimmer attached to my 29 sump. Is this enough skimmer until I get my other tanks installed or should a new skimmer be one of my first purchases?  < a great skimmer or two on a system is critical. If your skimmer does not put out a cup of dark skimmate at least daily and you are growing Caulerpa then I am scared in the long run for you... heehee. Do upgrade soon.> It is a counter current skimmer with a 50-100 gph flow rate. <very modest IMO. Best regards, Anthony>

Caulerpa How do You seed your live rock with Caulerpa? I have LR that has been in my display for 2 yrs with no macro. I move 10 Lbs into a refugium and need some Caulerpa for nutrient extraction. Thanks, Jeremy <I would inquire with your LFS, one of the many e-tailers, or fellow hobbyists in your area for some Caulerpa. You just need a sprig or two to seed the refugium. -Steven Pro>

Caulerpa Bob, Are you aware of any company that I can buy Caulerpa species macroalgae on-line and who will ship to Canada? Thank-you. John <Perhaps one of the etailers listed on the WWM Links pages: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/links.htm Bob Fenner>

Caulerpa identification <<CKB00[1].jpg> a labeled, apparently proprietary image> Greetings, could you possibly identify this particular type of Caulerpa, and its origin? thank you! Blanca&Stace <Mmm, not a Caulerpa species... but a rhodophyte. Please take a read through WetWebMedia.com re Red Algae under the Marine Index. Bob Fenner>

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>

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 dying Dear Bob, I'm trying to raise some Caulerpa racemosa to supplement the diet of my Naso tang. I'm keeping it in breeder boxes so he doesn't snarf it all up. It seems to last nicely for 2-3 weeks each time and then loses turgor and dies. I'm raising some in my hospital tank and the same thing is happening. We just installed power compact fluorescents in them main tank and the stuff is beginning to die in both tanks. Here are some other alternatives for why (that I've read on forums). 1.not enough oxygen in the breeder box-The stuff under the bubble wand is growing better. Still, the stuff in my hospital tank gets plenty of circulation and it's dying. <Not oxygen... maybe actually too much O2... perhaps this AND not sufficient CO2... but more likely...> 2.needs iron or iodine or other supplement--It dies after several weeks makes me think it's not getting something it needs. We have a protein skimmer which is supposed to remove nutrients. <Do you have sufficient alkalinity?> 3.not taking root-This time I put sand in the boxes and the stuff I pulled out due to loss of turgor seems to have taken root. 4.nitrates leech out so that there is too high a concentration immediately around the plant which does not diffuse into the system because it's in a breeder box. Again, my hospital tank has lots of circulation. <Not this either> 5.covered in algae that cuts off light--that happened in the beginning. This red filamentous stuff covered it. I cleaned it off every day. Now the red filamentous stuff is growing in the system but not on the Caulerpa. <Not likely> 6.too densely packed in the box-the box with the less densely packed Caulerpa died first. The leaves at the bottom seemed to lose turgor first but this was not always the case. <Mmm, no> I got a bunch in my hospital tank that is beginning to die so I can experiment. I got lots of live rock there too. It's growing under regular fluorescents but given that both the stuff in the main tank and under the fluorescents are dying at the same time, I can't believe the loss is due only to the light. I have some iodine, Kent Tech CB, essential elements supplement. How in the world can I get this stuff to grow??? I've tried 3 times now and it just won't work. This time, I'm getting a bloom of diatoms and red filamentous algae as the Caulerpa dies. <I would try other species, sources> Nitrites (near 0), nitrates (high 25-50 with Salifert test--this has been a persistent problem but I'm working on it), pH(8.3), temp(79 but varying a lot lately--used UV because tang was getting a bit of white spot). I just want stuff from my tang to nibble on during the day and hopefully my nitrates will be better controlled. I've tried every snack I can on this fish (several Nori types, lettuce, bok choy-several varieties, Sprung's sea veggies of several colors...you name it). This is the ONLY stuff he seems to like. Thanks, Allyson <Do look into some of the brown kelp/algae as well... Take a read through Baensch's Marine Atlas v.1 re Caulerpas... 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>

Proper degree K for Caulerpa Hello Bob! For my 20 gal hex refugium w/ Caulerpa, I will use a JBJ 12" 2@18w CF fixture. The bulbs come in 10K, actinic, and 6500K Daylight (which I use w/ good results over a portion of my planted discus corner tank). I don't know what depth the Caulerpa normally grows--this would probably answer my question-- <Some right at the surface, others of the same, dissimilar species down to a few to several tens of feet of depth> but I know that actinics don't do much for the FW higher plants. It will be on display next to the main tank, and there will be some cleaner shrimps in there, so I would lean towards the 10K to show off the red, but what do you think? <Of the choices, this is likely what I would choose. If could be mixed I'd have both a 10k K and 6,500 K> Thanks always, Erik Nelson P.S. I am thinking of housing a small seahorse or fancy pipefish (though I already have a FW pipefish species-only tank) <Might I ask where you were able to procure these? Did you collect them?> in that 20 hex refugium--in your opinion would that defeat half the purpose of having the refugium in the first place? <Not half, perhaps a few tens of percent. Bob Fenner>

Tumble weed algae Hi Bob, I removed the bio balls from my wet/dry and replaced with live rock and tumble weed algae, want to reduce nitrates, currently at 25PPM, can't seem to get lower then this. I have about 25 lbs of live rock in my 54 gal FO tank. <More rock will help... as would a deeper, finer substrate... but is there a concern at 25 ppm of nitrates?> Is tumble weed algae considered macro algae, it is multiplying quite well in my sump, I have a light going 24 hours on the sump. When and how much live rock or algae do I need to get the nitrates to go lower then 25PPM ? <Ummm, is this a Caulerpa species? Please see: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/caulerpaalg.htm ... try trotting around the links if not there. Bob Fenner> Thanks Fred

Re: Tumble weed algae Thanks for getting back so fast, I will add more live rock, after checking your link the algae looks most like Caulerpa serrulata, my LFS called it tumble weed, it was not attached to a rock, you could hold a ball of it in your hand, it has a tight curly, dark green appearance to it. <Sounds like it> I did buy your book "The Conscious Marine Aquarist", it is great resource, I used it to set up my system, I came across your web site my accident, glad I did. <Me too> It seems my LFS will answer direct questions if you know what to ask, but really doesn't really promote the hobby or inquire about any problems one may be having. For the most part your on your own, if I hadn't come across your site, I would probably would have lost all my fish by now. <Mmm... what is it about human nature and our interest... the enlightened seem to be able to anticipate what is needed... to make known what needs to be. I am glad we have met> I love the hobby, I thrive on the challenge to keep the fish healthy and happy, this hobby is not for a person who does not want to invest the time to learn about Marine fishes or deal with the costs involved. <You are correct my friend> Thanks for being there for all of us. <Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner> Fred

Sawblade Caulerpa trimming Hi Bob! It's Gina again. Thanks for your help on my last question about the Longhorned Cowfish. This time I have a Caulerpa question! I did have an incredibly huge mass of Sawblade Caulerpa in my tank. I took some out, then separated the rest into two clumps so that I could ship some to a friend. Well, the next morning, almost all of the Caulerpa had died. It looked like extremely limp, pale green noodles. <this happens... chemically, physically the torn colonies were "signaled" to auto-destruct> One piece survived and is growing rapidly, and will probably reach the size of the former thicket I had. But of course, it's always disturbing when something in your tank dies, so I was wondering if I might be able to trim again without this happening. <Mmm, yes... by carefully "pinching" the strands, pieces to be removed and running activated carbon added on that day.... your chances are much improved of avoiding such a meltdown> Is it possible I disrupted the vascular system of the plant and made the whole thing die?  <Sort of... though this genus of algae doesn't have such (no xylem, phloem vascular networks in thallophytes> I was just kind of grabbing and trimming. Is there a specific way I should be doing this? Thanks for your help. Gina <Scan the Net re others techniques as well. 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>

Caulerpa algae Hi Bob, a couple of questions about Caulerpa Algae. I just received the Feathered Caulerpa Algae from FFE it is about 10" tall and attached to live rock. My question is am I able to trim it aprox. 2" without killing it?  <Yes... do let it "get settled in" for a week or so from when you received it.> The other question is if a part of the Caulerpa is not rooted to the live rock will that hurt it? <No> Is there a way to root it to the live rock? <You can try gently waiting it there... but Caulerpa can, will attach where it deems necessary. Bob Fenner> Thanks

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 Hello again, I?ve told myself that I will try to stop sending you questions, but I keep thinking of more. I really appreciate your advice. My questions this time are about Caulerpa (grape) algae. I recently purchased some from Marine Depot Live. The rock came nicely covered in the algae (it also came with some Halimeda algae). The Caulerpa has now thinned out a lot. It turns white and appears to disintegrate. I have done some research about this and have talked with Marine Depot Live. Everything appears to point to the plant going ?sexual.? First off, I would like to know the details about this process. Could you give me some information about this? <Please read over the WetWebMedia.com site re macroalgae> My water quality parameters are: Temp.: 72-78s? F pH: 8.0-8.5 SG: 1.0245 Ammonia: 0 Nitrite: .025 ppm (high, I know, currently working on this) Nitrate: 0-2 ppm Silicon: .3-.4 ppm silicon oxide (about .75 ppm silicon) Phosphate: Trace to nothing Calcium: 450-500 Alkalinity: At least 7 dKH The tank (a 40 gallon) receives sunlight (some direct) from about 8:00 until 4:00 and then is lit by 2x96w compact florescent lights (one actinic the other full spectrum) until about 10:30. No supplements are added to the aquarium. The algae is located about 16? from the light (directly underneath the full spectrum) and 4? from the front of the glass. Part of the algae appears to be growing and the Halimeda is doing good. Do you think that the sexual process is hurting the algae? <No> Should I remove the dead sections (most of my research says yes)? <I wouldn't at this point> Would you recommend leaving the lights on for 24 hours? <Not necessarily. RDP is fine, or just as you have. Bob Fenner> Thank you, Kevin

Caulerpa Algae Hi Bob I had a question about Caulerpa Algae. I have an Eco System and I need to have the Caulerpa Algae to give me the optimum output. My problem is I cannot find anybody (LFS) that has it. Is there a website that I could order the Caulerpa and hopefully be able to use it without it dieing before getting to my house. Thanks, DG <Would check around, LFS, marine clubs for a local source. Otherwise, hit the livestock etailers. Many of them listed on the WWM links pages. Bob Fenner>

Can you identify this ? My local fish store said they could not make it out. My new Naso Tang won't touch it, but I think it's kinda cool any way. Thanks in advance for any insight you can give me as to it's nature. You are a great friend to the hobby and this hobbyist. <Hmm, a species of Caulerpa... likely C. taxifolia. See this part of our site, images: http://wetwebmedia.com/caulerpaalg.htm Bob Fenner>

Caulerpa problem Good morning Bob, Glad to have you back. It seems that your absence has caused a lot of people to go into "Bob Withdrawal"! :-)  <Saw this. Missed my friends here as well.> Well, since the last time I've emailed you, I've added some grape Caulerpa to my continuously lit sump, and added 4 turbo and 12 Astrea snails, and 8 red leg hermits. I've also added another small powerhead and switched to RO water for top off.  <All good changes, additions> All this to battle the diatom outbreak in my tank. My question is, on my grape Caulerpa, half of it seems to be thriving, growing new buds and extending it's stem, but the other half has shrunken down, lost it's color, and looks like it's covered with brown patches. Is the diatom killing the Caulerpa? <No... but that patch is dying... no worries> Should I move the Caulerpa to the main tank where there's better lighting (although not on 24 hrs/day)? Light on the sump is the cheapy 2-15watt hood that came with the 10gal hospital tank. I switched out the bulbs with 2-15 watt CF bulbs. Thanks in advance for the advice. <I would leave it where it is. The "rest" will soon need to be trimmed. Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Re: Caulerpa problem Thanks for advice Bob. Ahhh, my arms have stopped shaking now that I've got my "Bob fix". :-) Forgot to ask, should I remove the dying portions now, or will it revive?  <Unless very decomposing/decomposed I'd leave it all as is. If removed, pinch off bad parts with your fingers, crushing thalli/"branches" in the process> Also, when (hopefully) the Caulerpa in the sump needs to be trimmed, can I feed the trimmings to the fish in the main tank, <Yes> or would this release the nutrients absorbed by the Caulerpa back into the tank? Thanks again Bob. It's good to have you back. <And to be so. Bob Fenner>

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>

Too much Caulerpa and R/O maintenance Dear Bob, It's Howard again celebrating a year of the joy of reef keeping. As usual I have couple of questions as I strive for perfect conditions and perfect water. Still haven't lost a fish. <Ah! Good for you.> How does one know when a R/O unit needs servicing (as everything else in a system does)? Mine has been in use a year and has probably processed 1000 gallons or so. There is plenty of flow, I'm just wondering if it is getting all the bad stuff out. I don't think my testing ability shows the small concentrations that might cause trouble. <Good question. Most folks I bet just taste a difference in the produced water... or figure it's time. But there are simple water quality tests, like conductivity (some water softening, reverse osmosis units come with a light bulb arrangement... with the light "coming on" as the amount of charged particles in the water passing between its electrodes increases)... You can test for total dissolved solids and more as well...> Is it possible to have too much Caulerpa in a refugium? <Yes... as in when it blocks the light too much for the material below it, or impedes water flow... or removes/bioaccumulates too much nutrient you want to go to livestock photosynthates...> I flow about 200 gallons per hour directly from the show tank to the refugium. The 20 gallon refugium is now totally packed with plant growth and producing lots of amphipods. I figure the more I have the more nutrients will be removed and the more oxygen will be produced. is that right? Or is there a down side to too much? <If you see too much dying below, remove some of the Caulerpa...> God bless America Howard <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Caulerpa question dear bob, I'm planning to ship/ transport some Caulerpa to someone in Colorado... can you help me with some questions here? <I will try> 1. can you elaborate step by step on how to pack these in a Styrofoam container? Do's and Don'ts <A very small amount of water (just enough to keep the algae underwater, just filled with atmosphere (the air around us), but not all the way... about three quarters (leave space for expansion under less than pressurized circumstances in transit), seal with a sturdy rubber band... then "bag this bag about the same" with another over it and seal...> 2. how long can they survive in a dark box <Days> 3 how much does it cost to buy a Caulerpa from your local LFS or from another state <Five, ten to twenty so dollars depending on species, size, what it may be attached to> 4. in what quantities are they sold? per bundle? pound? kilos? <Often "a bunch" (about a handful), or by the attached "piece". Very subjective.> pls feel free to give some more information which you think I should know... assuming I don't know anything hehe. <Good questions... this aspect (commercial, practical) is rarely discussed.> thanks again bob, Jonathan, from Cebu city, P.I.. <Oh! Did just write an article/page touching on my last trip to Lapu Lapu city, Bohol there: http://wetwebmedia.com/c_miniata.htm Mabute, Bob Fenner>

Caulerpa Dying...What to do? I noticed in your FAQ that you said to add a tablespoon of baking soda with the system water, does this help the Caulerpa?  <In general yes... particularly in cases (water conditions) where alkalinity is in short supply... and/or there is an abundance of biomineral (typically calcium)> I've had a similar problem trying to grow Caulerpa in my 120 gallon mud system. <Ah, yes... especially in "mud" filtration systems. Do investigate alkalinity as a concept, use a test kit...> Thanks for a great web site, Ken <Thank you for helping by adding to it. Bob Fenner>

Caulerpa I had a quick question about Caulerpa. I had been running my sump with Caulerpa on a 24 hour day light schedule. Yesterday some of my macro algae starting to "melt" and release their green color in the tank. <Yikes... not a good sign... best to cut the material back about half... and do a massive water change... with hopefully pre-made and stored water: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/water4maruse.htm... to reduce stress...> I have 2 types of macro algae in my sump, razor Caulerpa and Halimeda. I suspect it was the Halimeda that "melted". Can I know what I'm doing wrong and if this cloudiness in my tank caused my the melting Caulerpa harmful to my corals and fish. Thanks again. <Could be trouble... either a reproductive event (the 24h/d light cycle should have prevented this) or "something" not in agreement with the macrophyte/s... Would also add activated carbon in your filter flow path... keep an eye on your livestock... you may have to move them... quick. Bob Fenner>

Caulerpa Dying...What to do? Bob, Great, informative Website.  <Thank you... how'd you find us?> I have a 50 gal. reef for 2 years w / 2x96w PC lighting (10k & 03), Berlin Classic Skimmer w/Dolphin Tankmaster 800, about 50lbs LR,  <Is this LR all original? You likely would benefit from adding some new> 2" LS, overflow goes into a recently built, 10gal refugium w/Double Mini-Mite lighting 24/7 w/ 1" DS, to return via a Rio 2500 to a spray bar in back of the LR and through a 4w UV hang-on. It seems that every time I put any species of Caulerpa in the tank or refugium, it appears to disintegrate in a matter of a 2 days by breaking apart, turning white or brown. I have read about the plants turning sexual, but this fast. <This is not the cause> I suspect it is lack of some chemical or tank parameter. My nitrates have been consistently high around 30ppm, along with Ca at 400, Alk around 9dkH, pH at 8.4, Phosphates are close to 0. I perform a 20%, 10gal RO/DI water change every 2 weeks with the addition of Kent Iodine, Strontium and Coral Vital trace, <Stop using this product... it is very likely adding to your problem... you don't need more simple sugars added to the water> 2 Fishes Ca/Alk every 4 days. My livestock includes 1 Yellow Tang, 1 Maroon Clown, 1 Hippo Tang, 1 Yellow Tail Damsel, 1 Sand Shifting Star, 6 Trochus Snails, about 8 Red Leg Hermits, Hammer Coral, 2 Bubble Coral, Candy Cane, 2 Open Brain, Ricordea, 3 shrooms, Yellow Polyps, Green and Brown star polyps, snake polyps, Button polyps, Toadstool leather, and a Pulsing Xenia...All doing great. I have added some Kent Iron to the tank but am hesitant to add anything unnecessary. What could possibly cause such disintegration? BTW, the same thing happened before I upgraded the lighting from a NO 10k and an 03. I did put in a red type of plant on a rock from my LFS a while ago. It has survived but does not seem to grow. Please let me know what I should do to keep these macros. Glenn Koenig <Hmm, some"thing" is missing here... as you state. I would cut the "vital" out, add a tablespoon of ordinary baking soda once a week (dissolved in some system water), add a unit of Chemipure or like to your filter flow path, AND a pad of PolyFilter... I suspect either a surfeit of ready alkaline material, and/or a spurious large amount of metal... perhaps iron... The stopgap measures mentioned should prepare your system, water for another Caulerpa "try" in a month or so. Bob Fenner>

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 Orange County Coast Keeper....

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

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

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>

Bubble Algae? Bob, I have a type of algae that started growing out of my live sand and I am trying to make a determination as to what it is. It has small pearl shaped green bubbles growing on a stalk that is also green and what looks like roots coming off of the stalk. I did some research on your site and the web and found a Caulerpa that is close to it (grape Caulerpa), however, there are still some differences in the way the pictures of the grape Caulerpa I have found on the web look when compared to what's in my tank. The bubbles growing on the stalk do not strand up like some of the grape pictures I have seen. Approximately every half an inch on the stalk, there is a spot where there is a small limb with three or four bubbles attached. Could this actually be Valonia or something similar and should I remove it? <Could be... and there is tremendous variation in these species with varying conditions (light, nutrient, current...) in captivity... Removal? I would leave it unless it's growing too much, unattractive to you> The only thing I have found about Valonia is that it usually grows in clumps or as a single bubble, but not on stalks like other macro-algae.  <Usually, yes> I actually didn't have much concern over the matter until today at lunch I noticed a small clump of three bubbles attached to a piece of live rock for the first time. I immediately removed the piece of rock and the bubbles from it. Again I wasn't sure if this was actually bubble algae either since the coloration of the algae on the rock was similar to that which is growing on the stalk. Also, from what I have seen, most Valonia appears to be a deep green (almost metallic) color. This algae is more of a true green and not as deep and shiny as the pictures I have seen. Any ideas? <Lots... but not much about this situation... as I say/state, no reason to be overly concerned... you can add Mithrax Crabs... physically remove this material at a later date if it proves to be too vigorous. Bob Fenner> Thanks for your help, Chad

Re: Bubble Algae? Thanks for your help. I managed to get a couple of pictures of the algae in question. I thought that might help with the identification. Right now it doesn't appear to be growing at what I would consider an alarming rate, but I think it will require some pruning soon. Other than the clump of bubbles I found on that piece of rock yesterday I haven't seen any indication that it is spreading anywhere the vine is not present. <Ah, good news to report... this is almost undoubtedly a stand of Caulerpa racemosa... we have images of this species on the "Caulerpa Algae" sections on our website: www.WetWebMedia.com... can be easily "pinched" at whatever point you want to contain it and removed... a beneficial species. Bob Fenner>

Re: Bubble Algae? Whew!!!!!! Thank you very much! <You're welcome my friend. Bob Fenner>

Problems Growing Caulerpa Hi Bob I need your help!! <Actually... your own...> I would like to grow feather Caulerpa in my main tank. It just lasts a couple of days and the dies off. I have been trying for a while but can't seem to get it right. Also, the calcium doesn't rise above 300 ppm. No matter how much Kalkwasser I add. <And it won't... you need a firm grounding in the related phenomena of alkalinity, pH and biominerals in seawater and the mal-affects of mis-supplementation. Please read over each of the above on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com and the references listed/mentioned on the FAQs associated with each article...> Thanks for your help, Alexis I have an 80 gallon tank. It is 3 years old & has a wet/dry filter system . LIGHT: One 175 watt 5500K Metal halide with reflector installed along with two 48"VHO bulbs actinic & Aquasun). They are on for 10 hours. WATER TESTS: Ammonia/Nitrate/Nitrite is 0 Phosphate - 0.1ppm pH - 8.4 Alkalinity - 1.7 ppm Calcium- 300 ppm (I know it's low!!) <Both the above two are too low... and likely your magnesium as well...> SG: 1.023 Temp: 86F EQUIPMENT: Seaclone Skimmer Water Circulation: Two Mag 802 powerheads with a Natural Wave Timer Sump Pump: Mag Drive 700 BIOLOAD (very low): 2 Royal Gramma) 1 Blue Damsel 1 Squirrelfish 3 Brittlestars (up to 6") 100's of small ones Misc scarlet and blue hermits Misc Turbo snails (about 15) 3 Carpet anemones 1 6"X12" rock with Sea mat 40 lb Live Rock 4 Sea urchins MAINTENANCE: 20% water change every two weeks I prepare a 5 gallon mix of Kalkwasser and use a peristaltic pump to add it. Weekly add KENT Iron/Iodine/Strontium&Magnesium Activated Carbon Bag in Sump <You can do a few things here... as you will find out soon. We'll be chatting. Bob Fenner>

What Caulerpa? I just sent you a question regarding the addition of macro-algae into a sump/refugium... you replied: If so, where should this macro algae go? Into a sump/refugium? <And in your main system... yes, where your livestock will eat a good part of it> Some species of Caulerpa is stated to grow and take over the system. Which species to you recommend? <There are many... as you likely know (see Baensch Marine Atlas v.1 here), but Caulerpa taxifolia (the species "on the run" in the Mediterranean and California in places) and C. sertularoides are my faves... do what you want them to physiologically, look good, readily available... All this on the genus/family posted on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com> How much in the main tank of 55 gallons? I'm assuming you'd suggest that I get as much as I can squeeze into the refugium. <Hmm, sold by "the bunch" or "a clump" or "rock"... a couple of these units is about right. Bob Fenner>

Caulerpa Bob, I have recently added a small refugium to my tank that I am trying to grow Caulerpa in. I am using 2 small aquarium lights and the water is moving fairly well. There seems to be brown micro algae growing on the Caulerpa (it seems especially dense closer to the light). I do however, have plenty of new growth of Caulerpa which don't seem to be covered with micro not yet at least, system is new). I've read that the Caulerpa is a superior competitor for nutrients. Maybe the original Caulerpa went into shock allowing micro to out compete? <Possibly> Any insight as to what might be going on? Alkalinity=7DkH; PH=8.4; I do frequent water changes w/RO water/tropic Marin salt; I have started using a marine buffer it's really old...does this stuff go bad?) <Not really... may get "clumpy", but still usable> ; I also add trace elements which include calcium. <This may be the source of your low alkalinity problem... what is your calcium concentration? If 350 or higher, I'd stop with the "calcium supplement"... which may likely be precipitating out your alkalinity. Please read over these topics information, FAQs posted on the www.WetWebMedia.com site> Thank You... Nick Gialias <You're welcome. Bob Fenner>

Queen angel update/HLLE cure/Caulerpa Culture dear bob, back in November I e-mailed you about the HLLE problem I was having with my queen angel. you were kind enough to respond right away with some suggestions that I add a macro algae culture and freshen the live rock. <yes, I recall> well since that post I wanted to let you know that my angel has improved dramatically! the lesions that once ravaged here face, eyes, and lateral line are now limited to her "cheek" area. it seems that she has a ravenous taste for the Caulerpa and I provide it to her 3 times a week. thank you so much for your suggestions. <Ah, great to hear of your success> the fresh algae is costing me close to $10.00 a week in addition to all the other frozen goodies, fish eat better than I do! As such I've tried numerous ways to grow it myself but with no luck. several times I tried placing a fresh harvest in a floating acrylic breeder in the display tank but the algae deteriorated in 4 days. my 75 gallon tank is lit with 2 Coralife 10,000k fluor. and 2 actinic lights. I have also tried cultivating the algae in my 100 g reef system equipped with power compact lighting. however, a $25.00 "bush" attached to a piece of live rock turned my tank green and then died in as many days. now as a last ditch effort I have placed some freshly harvested cup, blade, and grape specimens in a 20 g undergravel filter set up. 12 hour light with Coralife reef sun and a generic incandescent plant bulb. there are 3 small fish in the tank to fertilize - so far it seems that the algae is also dying in this tank too. what could be wrong? <A few things... I would go back to/with the compact fluorescent lighting, use just some live rock for attachment, and boost both alkalinity and biomineral content (mainly calcium)... keep these above 4 meq/l and 400ppm respectively> I am seriously considering installing an ecosystem refugium from Leng Sy's website however if I'm unable to grow the algae what is the point? your thoughts? Gisela <The miracle mud systems are also very good/worthwhile. Bob Fenner, who would also look around, ask your local marine hobby club, perhaps the stores if they know someone who has the opposite problem... that is, too much Caulerpa... not uncommon.>

? on green and red algae Hello Mr. Fenner, Thanks for the reply and input. It looks like there is some red coral algae starting. I am taking note of what you said about getting a better protein skimmer. <Ah, good to hear, read on both counts> I have been reading and researching different ones. What is your opinion of a good system? I would like to get a system that hangs on the back and is quiet. <Quite a few choices here> After reading more on what you wrote on macro algae and Caulerpa, I am planning on adding some Caulerpa to my system. Is this still a good idea or will it over-run the tank? <No worries... Should you grow a bumper crop, it's easy to remove, cull... feed, make available to others> Thanks again for your thoughts and again your books have been a great source of information. Dave <A pleasure to be of help. Bob Fenner>

Mexican Caulerpas  I was wondering if you could help me. We have recently noticed some green algae growing in our 75 gallon reef tank. This algae appears to be almost feather looking. It only grows in certain areas of the tank. Is this normal?  <Yes, and yes... Algae, as in life "happens" where there are propitious to allowable conditions... a good sign really> If not what can I do to permanently remove it. <Permanently? Nothing... But much can be done to help control it> I was told that this was Mexican Caulerpas and it was a good thing to have. I would like to get any information you can on this. Also will this stuff need to be controlled??? If so is there some kind of fish or something that will eat it?? Thanks for any help you may offer. Debbie  <Please read through the materials constantly being added to on the topics of Marine Algae, Caulerpas (there's a pic of mexicana there if memory serves), Algae Control... and related FAQs files. Bob Fenner>

Macro Algae Hello Bob, I just added some sand and placed Grape and Feather Caulerpa from my main tank to my sump, and use CP for lights. Well I noticed now 2 days later that my whole tank is very cloudy, and the Caulerpas are turning a light green almost white color. What has happened? Is the Caulerpa dying? Will the corals and fish in the main tank be ok? Please let me know if I'm in trouble. Thanks Rob <All should be fine... likely there is/was some die-off from the move, set-up... Do keep the lights on continuously to prevent reproduction... and of course a sharp eye on your water quality and livestock. Bob Fenner>

Caulerpa We have a 55gal reef and fish tank. So far have had very good luck growing and maintaining grape Caulerpa. However, even with regular trimming it has taken on a pale appearance. It appears to have a brown film covering it. We have recently treated the water with Phosguard, to help the invertebrates. I s there any way to save/ improve the appearance of the Caulerpa without increasing the phosphates in the water.? We have a product called GROW-IT which contains phosphoric acid, is this going to increase the phosphates?  Should we use it? Thanks for your help  >> Take a look at your alkalinity and calcium concentrations... Don't use the Phosphoric Acid (yes it will increase the phosphate in your system), and you should be able to dispense with using the chemical filtrant as well... The Caulerpa will jealously remove any excess phosphate. Bob Fenner

First question is about Caulerpa. What is this and what is it used for. My assumption is that it absorbs some nitrates. Is it a good thing to add to a tank? <Caulerpa is a large genus of Green Algae, found in shallow waters throughout the tropical seas. They do absorb nitrates, phosphates, more... and make oxygen, release other chemicals of benefit to captive systems... All good things for your tank> Second - I just purchased a long tentacled anemone because the maroon gold striped clown I wanted was firmly attached to him. Any information you can give me to give this guy (the anemone) the best chance possible for survival would be greatly appreciated. I only have regular fluorescent lighting right now, but have a 250 watt metal halide retrofit kit on the way (should be here within the week). Also, are there any additives that would help (I use Kent Coral-Vite)? <Hmm, don't know if I'm following you here... the animal is photosynthetic... needs more light... now... no additives... some folks purposely feed the large anemones found in symbioses with Clownfishes... others rely on the fish feeding their anemone and incidental foods blowing into the anemone...> tank stats: 55 gallon tank 1 30 watt daylight fluorescent (PowerGlo) 1 15 watt daylight fluorescent (PowerGlo) 1 15 watt blue actinic 1 250 watt metal halide w/6700k bulb on the way) 1 Emperor 400 (carbon media removed and bio beads added to extra media basket) 1 Emperor 280 (also modified as above) 1 20" venturi skimmer (purchased from FFExpress) ~20 to 25lbs of Marshall Island live rock. I hate killing things, let me know if this is sufficient. Thanks!!!!! >> I would "look, before you leap/purchase" going forward... these anemones aren't easy to maintain... and can cause real problems if they die suddenly, get sucked up against an intake.... Bob Fenner

About Caulerpa racemosa When I order, what will I get, number of pieces and length of each peace of Caulerpa racemosa. >> About a "handful"... indeterminate number of pieces, length... Bob Fenner

Caulerpa What is the minimum wattage per gallon needed to keep Caulerpa alive and well? Is any type of Caulerpa better than another and need less light? Would red fern algae do well...what amount of wattage per gallon would suffice.....actinic and white bulbs? thank you. Alan >> Hmm, lots of good (i.e. hard) questions here. Caulerpa spp. algae will grow in low lighted conditions, less than a watt per gallon, but four or even more per gallon are better... and somewhere around four (depending on depth, species....) are probably near-ideal.  Of the several species available to the aquarium trade, C. sertularoides and C. racemosa are about the best for tropical marine use... C. mexicana is a good choice for cooler tanks. Red Fern is not nearly as suitable... a very different low-light using organism... the family Caulerpaceae reigns supreme in "function", regardless of "looks" consideration. Both types of algae require full spectrum lighting... inclusive of the wavelengths that include "actinic"... but can/do get enough of these spectra from "standard" "warm" (5k or higher) lamps. Bob Fenner, who hopes is being understood, and not too harshly judged for such "easy" answers

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