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FAQs about Green Macro-Algae 3

Related Articles: Embracing Biodiversity, Green Algae By Mark E. Evans, Green AlgaeGreen Algae 2Avoiding 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: Caulerpas, Green Macro-Algae 1Green Macro-Algae 2Green Macro-Algae 4, Chlorophyte Identification, Chlorophyte Behavior, Chlorophyte Compatibility/Control, Chlorophyte Selection, Chlorophyte Systems, Chlorophyte Nutrition, Chlorophyte Disease, Chlorophyte Reproduction/Propagation, Marine 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

Typical Caulerpa growth, rhizomatous...

Harvesting Chaetomorpha   03/07/06 Hello Crew, Once again I would like to thank you for the fantastic site. Your hard work is greatly appreciated and I advertise you to all at the LFS and friends in the hobby. Most think with good reason I am a WetWebMedia junkie. <I look forward to your joining us in responding> It has been suggested that  several of us at work join A.A. ( Aquarist Anonymous). I am always referring them to do queries on your site when they ask a question of me. You previously helped me out with plumbing my upstream 30 gallon acrylic sump/refugium. The refugium has been up and running for about one month and all is going well. I had a very mild case of BGA after the first week it was running but increased the flow and vacuuming out the BGA reduced it to nothing quickly (thanks to reading your suggestions to others.) <Very good> Many copepods, amphipods, and worms thriving and are gravity fed to the main 55 gallon display tank.  My original double softball size Chaetomorpha macroalgae has grown into what is now basketball size or better. <Keep trimming, feeding, trading...> The ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels are now undetectable with my Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Saltwater Master liquid test kit. Ph is holding steady as a rock at 8.4 with the reverse lighting cycle. <Simple, eh?> I continue to do 5 gallon water changes twice a week and Aqua C Remora attached to the refugium is still producing skimmate but I might add not as much since the refugium stabilized. Now for my question about harvesting the Chaeto. I looked thru the many pages of refugium and macroalgae area questions and answers but did not see a definitive description of pulling out the Chaeto properly. I know I need to do this on a regular basis. I am unsure what is and when is the proper time and procedure for doing this? Do I just grab a handful and pull it out? <Yep> I have attached a couple of pictures of the refugium and Chaeto. The dimensions on the refugium area of where the Chaeto is are 15" x 12" x 17" (height x width x length). Do I need to start harvesting now or wait until it has covered the entire refugium area? <I wouldn't wait... keep pulling...> Thanks you so much for your educating this want to be aquarist. Ernie from Kansas <Weekly is a good interval, while you're "fooling with" other maintenance. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Dictyosphaeria colony, big green thing   2/13/06 Gentleman, Can you identify this hunk of green algae growing at the base of my reef ? Should I remove it ? Thanks for your help. Tom. <Likely a Dictyosphaeria colony: See here http://wetwebmedia.com/greenalg.htm Up to you to keep or (carefully vacuum, remove rock, scrub... to prevent spreading) not. Bob Fenner>

Mud sump/Chaeto lighting  12/16/05 Hi All, <Hello Chris> I am setting up a miracle mud ecosystem sump and have a question regarding lighting the mud sump - I am thinking of using the sort of power compacts (PLET) that contain the starter gear in the base of the bulb and are designed as a direct replacement for incandescent (GLS) light bulbs. Example here - http://www.bltdirect.co.uk/cat615_1.htm What wattage would be suitable for the Mud portion of the 23x10x12" sump - mud area (where the Chaeto will be) is 10"x11.5" as per the ecosystem design, I have seen the 2410 sump for sale with 13w PC lighting - is this about right?  9w, 11w, 15w or 20w seem to be my choices in the UK <This light would probably work Chris, but you will need some sort of reflector above it to redirect the light into the sump.  I'd go with the 20w bulb.> Finally, what temperature (colour) range (Kelvin) would be most suitable for the strong performance of the mud/algae filter? I plan to probably use Chaetomorpha initially but I would imagine the needs of this would be inline with other algae. <6500-10000 will be fine.  James (Salty Dog)> Cheers Chris

Vague question/response re lighting  11/19/05 Hey guys, I was wondering how many watts might be needed for shaving brush plants in my 90 gallon. I wasn't exactly sure. Thanks. <... depends on depth... a few watts "per gallon"... See WWM re. Bob Fenner> 

A spontaneous mermaids wineglass  8/31/05 Hey all,  The other day I was looking at my tank just for a daily observation and noticed tiny green spikes coming out of the sand... I waited a week and the spikes grew about an inch and started a fuzzy ball on top. Now they are in excess of 3 inches with a small saucer on top. I was looking in the reef aquarium handbook and it says it is mermaids wineglass algae. the spikes/ stalks grow in groups is this really wineglass? Aaron- <Could be. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/greenalg.htm Bob Fenner> Containing "Chaeto" (Keeping Chaetomorpha Where You Want It!) Hi Crew, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> Thanks for the previous response to my worries of a die off in my tank, the nitrogen cycle has settled down nicely now and I'm just waiting for the last little bit of nitrite to disappear and the nitrates are progressively dropping (down to about 10ppm now) and the axinellae polyps are looking very healthy. <Glad to hear that your tank is headed in the right direction!> I have become addicted to trawling through your site and I've learned so much from it, thank you. <We're thrilled to be of service!> I have another question though; I have bought some Chaetomorpha on e-bay which arrived in great condition compared to the Caulerpa which arrived half dead (I have since binned the Caulerpa having read so many bad things about it) <I can't blame you for doing that!> The Chaetomorpha arrived as a kind of ball of spaghetti and I'm not sure whether I'm supposed to unravel it all or just drop it in the tank as is. (i.e. does it need 'planting' or can it just be 'dropped' in the tank and left to it's own devices). (Bearing in mind that the water flow in the tank just carries it around and I'm concerned for it getting tangled on my polyps) Any advice would be much appreciated, Thanking you kindly, Leif Hinks, Birmingham - UK <Well, Leif, with Chaetomorpha, it's really easy- you literally drop it in the tank. No need to unravel the stuff...In fact, you'd drive yourself mad trying to do that! Generally, I recommend employing this macroalgae in the sump or refugium, for the very reason that you cite: It tends to move around! However, I have seen it in displays a number of times. Since this algae tends to grow in a dense "ball", you can literally "impale" it with a toothpick or small dowel, which can hold it in place. Alternatively, you can utilize fishing line to gently tie it to a rock. Either way, this algae grows rapidly under conditions that it finds to it's liking, and you'll really appreciate it's capabilities as a nutrient export device! Enjoy it- and share it with some friends when you harvest it! Regards, Scott F.>

Macro Algae...Which Chaetomorpha? - 06/07/05 Eric, <<Paul>> Thanks for your reply. <<My pleasure>> To control unwanted diatoms and algae, I hope to find a macro algae that can keep phosphate and nitrogen levels low. <<Most any of them will do this>> I haven't considered a macro algae that absorbs silica but the idea is intriguing! <<I may have confused you here...I'm not aware of a macro algae that will absorb/control silicates to any extent.>> My refugium is bare-bottom because the main tank already has a deep sand bed with "wall-to-wall" live rock. <<Understood.  I just believe "more is better."  But that be me <G>.>> So my "ideal" macro algae will keep nutrient levels very low and be able to thrive while floating in suspension. <<Then Chaetomorpha is a great choice.  Easy (relatively) to keep, much less noxious and prone to sexual reproduction than Caulerpa species.>>   You suggested Chaetomorpha linum.  All of the suppliers that I have dealt with have no idea what species of Chaetomorpha they have in stock.  Do you know of any website retailers that specifically carry Chaetomorpha linum? <<I'm no expert on macro algae, but I think you have little concern here.  Though there are several species of Chaetomorpha (cannibina, antennina, linum, etc.), all would likely serve the purpose equally well.  Chaetomorpha linum seems to be the most commonly available is very likely what your suppliers have on hand.>> Thanks very much.  Regards, Paul. <<Very welcome.  Eric R.>>

Valonia Dear Crew, I really appreciate your site and find it very informative. I am always amazed at the boneheads that jump all over somebody when they don't agree with the advice they receive. That being said, I have a question about Valonia. A few years ago I had a few Valonia in my 65 gallon tank, and emerald crab took care of the problem and the tank showed no signs of Valonia. After a tank crash that I think was caused by the death of an orange tree sponge, the crab died. The Valonia has gradually increased to the point where I need to take more aggressive measures to rid my tank of this nuisance. I have read ALL the information on Wet Web Media and its seems that the best answer is to get another emerald crab.  <Yes> I have two questions. First, other than the usual nitrate reductions advice is there anything else I can do? <Do not overstock the tank, reduce nutrients.> Second, I am concerned about my other livestock getting munched by the crab if I get it. I have two peppermint shrimp, a scooter blenny, a six line wrasse, a purple tang, and two percula clownfish. I am very worried that the peppermint shrimp and the blenny are potential victims. How threatened are they?  <Not to worry. I have an emerald crab sharing the same tank as two cleaner shrimp and four small fish. Haven't had a problem yet.> Any other ideas that might be helpful?  <Get another emerald> Thanks for any advice you can provide.  <James (Salty Dog)>

Chaetomorpha help The problem/questions: I'm having a problem with Chaetomorpha slowly dying. Small sections are turning from dark green to clear and those clear sections eventually go limp and dissolve or break away. I have tried placing the colonies at different heights within the tanks but with no improvement. Gracilaria in this same system is growing rapidly. Ochtodes is doing well but growing slowly. Micro algae exists, but is kept under control by snails and other tiny invert grazers to the point where I no longer need to clean the glass. The macro algaes are separated by a reasonable distance, but is it possible these are conducting some sort of chemical warfare?  <Yes> I chose these varieties because I believe they are less noxious then most. What is your opinion of chelated Iron in a marine system? <Generally ferrous matter is not rate limited in marine systems, but it does little possible harm to add it> I have heard anything from definitely not to it's a requirement of macro algae. I have started adding Kent Marine Iron supplement for the past month, but that doesn't seem to make a difference one way or the other so far. The setup: The system is 3 months old consisting of a display and refugium with several types of macro algae. It is currently fishless but has two L. debelius and a good assortment of micro-fauna. Both tanks use compact fluorescent lighting - ~4w/gal in the display and ~5w/gal in the 'fuge. The lights are on 10 hours in the display and 18 hours in the 'fuge on a reverse schedule.  Everything is growing well except the Chaetomorpha. There is a fist sized colony in the display directly in the path of one of the returns; it tumbles freely. The second colony in the 'fuge is much large and is stationary with moderate water flow; it rests on a 2" bed of Kent Bio-Sediment. Water parameters: Temp: 80-82F Specific Grav: 1.022-23 pH: 8.2 KH: 110-160 mg/L Calcium: 440-520 mg/L <This is a bit high... I would let drop to about 400 ppm> Ammonia: undetectable Nitrate: undetectable Nitrate: ~5 mg/L Phosphate: undetectable Silicate: undetectable Free Iron: undetectable Chelated Iron: 0.1-0.25 mg/L <I strongly suspect that the Chaetomorpha is indeed being "deselected" for biologically in your system... and would either move it to some other separate system, or let it go. Bob Fenner>

Dying Chaetomorpha... needs more water flow? 1/29/05 Hey guys. Just a quickie for ya, if you don't mind. I have an upstream refugium with a few bundles of Chaeto, and for some reason it is turning white and dying off.  <the most common reason is a lack of water flow. Chaeto is very hardy with regard for lighting (5 watts per gallon will do)... but it is very needy for water flow so strong that it stays tumbling> I run a system with a fairly high nutrient load, since it is a softie tank, so I am a bit confused as to the issue here. I have a 10K regular wattage fluorescent bulb, run opposite of my display tank. Is it a possibility that Iron is depleted too rapidly in my system? <not likely the problem here> I dose b-ionic daily, and it lists iron as one of the trace elements... but I am wondering if I need to supplement further. At any rate, I though Chaetomorpha was not an algae that dies off as it has been, so I am a bit confused.  <correct... it is quite hardy and not prone to events of sexual die-offs... particularly if/when you have been harvesting it regularly> Any speculations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! <this is a common question and problem... most always a lack of water flow. Apply enough to make the Chaeto ball tumble. Anthony>

"Beautiful Hair Algae" Bob, <James> When you get time you may find this item interesting.  Back in the late 60's in my freshwater days I heard of a new shop opening about 12 miles away, "Love's Aquarium". <Heee! An appropriate name for the times... Did they have paisleys and peace signs on their windows?> While browsing through the store I came upon 7 or 8 crystal clear tanks with fish that had colors I've never saw before....gorgeous.  My first encounter face to face with marine fish.  Naturally I had to have a saltwater tank.   Anyway to shorten this up, several weeks later, again at Love's, I came upon this beautiful mustard yellow fish.  Tom says (Love) that's a yellow tang.   Wrap him up Tom.  Not so fast Jim.  This fish requires a healthy green algae growth to survive (1969).  Well, I didn't have algae.  I did everything imaginable to grow it.  Daylight, warm white, cool white, plant lights, no algae.  Also didn't use skimmers or wet/dries then.  So, no algae, no tang.  A few years later Aquarium Systems came out with "Sea Garden".  The answer to my prayers.  Off we went to get Sea Garden.  In two weeks, I'll have my yellow tang.  No you won't, still no algae.  OK Bob, bottom line is, back then I pulled my hair out trying to grow algae to no avail.  Why is it now, that one of the biggest problems with marine systems is the prevention of algae, when over 30 years ago, I couldn't grow it to win a bet?  I always think about that when I get an algae outbreak. Jim (Salty Dog) James Gasta <Yet another example of "Murphy's Law" in petfishing! BobF>

Hair algae problems Good day to you all. Great site I have learned so much by reading it. Just a few questions today. First I am from FL and I am using the white beach sand from there for my substrate. I did clean it all up (sifting, bleach, etc). A lot of web sites I have gone through have said that the best type of substrate is aragonite. Do you know what all this sand is made of? << I would think that much beach sand would be aragonite (CaCO3) but also with some silicate impurities.  Nothing that I would worry about. >> Will it do the same as buying sand in a bag labeled aragonite? I have been using it for quite a while now and have seen no problems. << I think it is fine. >> The tank is a 55G FOWLR, 1 Yellow tang, 1 Snowflake eel, 1 Maroon clown,  2 yellow tail Damsels, 1 Blue fin Damsel, 1 brittle star. Not much rock about 20lbsup top, and about 1-1.5 inch sand bed, looking to put more in. 29G sump with 3 in bed sand bed, 20 lbs lava rock, and Caulerpa. Second, I only have 1 40w bulb on my main tank. I have heard that live rock needs strong lights. << Well I wouldn't say strong lights, but I'd run at least four 40 watt bulbs over any tank.  I think your live rock will grow more life. >>  Will this lighting kill my rock? I am planning on a 150G FOWLR and I do not to buy a lot of rock if it is not going to do a lot of good. << Live rock always does good.  It is great to have.  It is important to remember that the most important aspect of reef keepings is keeping things alive.  Good lighting can really help in that area.  I'd certainly upgrade lighting on a tank like that. >> Third, I have a small 10G reef tank. It is full of hair algae and I know my Phos is high. I get my water from the LFS and have talked to them about them having Phos in there water but they assure me it is not in their water. From what I can tell they are a very reputable store.  When I first set it up I think I was overfeeding but I slowed down now I barely feed them anymore. The light bulbs are new. When I bought it about 4 months ago it had 2X65k, 36W bulbs. Since then I replace one of them with a 50/50 10k bulb to put a little more blue light in there. I can not figure out were the Phos is coming from. I replace about 1 gal per week; use a Phos sponge that I replace every few days. Hair algae are getting all over the rock, sand, and water pumps.  Can the hair algae be causing the high Phos if it gets rubbed off gets under the sand or rocks? << Doubtful, but this may not be that bad.  In a 10 gal tank you can easily increase the clean up crew.  Lets say you can get snails or hermits for $.50 each.  For $20 you can get 20 of each and that will make a huge difference.  If it were me, I'd just add $50 of snails and crabs to the tank. >> I also have a lamp sitting right next to the tank that my wife likes to keep on. Could this also be causing the hair algae? << Sure.  Well not causing it, but helping it grow.  High nutrients are also a problem here. >> The tank contains about 15lbs LR, 1 Percula clown, 4 blue hermits, 1 red leg hermit, 3 Cerith, 3 bumble bee, 3 Nassarius snails, 1 small BTA, 1 Montipora digitata, 1 Montipora Cp. The pump 170 GPH and a hang on back filter that pumps 90GPH.  Were can this be coming from? Yesterday I went and bought a Lawnmower Blenny to help keep the algae under control. << I don't think they are very effective. >> I know the tank is too small. I am hoping that he will eat most of the algae up and then I will put him in my larger tank. << Sometimes manual removal is great way.... just put your arm in the tank. >> Thanks, Geoff <<  Blundell  >>

Halimeda Algae causes disease? Hello Mr. Fenner, Thanks to you and the WWM crew for all the info you have provided (and $$$saved) me over the past year. I came across this recent article and wantedto get your opinion: http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/pfk/pages/item.php?news=449 <Hi Cliff, Ryan with you today.  Interesting article, but I wouldn't freak out at the first sign of a Halimeda sprouting from live rock.  Algae play an important part of the reef aquarium- But common sense tells us that they're better displayed in refugia.  Halimeda isn't the best choice for nutrient export, so it has recently lost some favor in the reefing community.  Competition is fierce in a reef!  Anything you truly want to flourish (in this case, stony corals) will need a bit of pampering, and removal of competition.  Could it be that the Halimeda causes undue stress to the coral, therefore creating opportunity for already present disease?  Food for thought.  Thanks for the link!  Ryan> Thanks, Cliff Trying to increase hair algae growth! Thanks Adam B! BTW, I just came back from a 4 day weekend and my Kole tang has wiped out all the hair algae in the tank -rocks, glass and sand. << Good to hear. >> I'll give him a week to start feeding on other stuff. If not, what can I do to get the hair algae to grow faster to keep him fed.  << I wouldn't try to do that.  I'd stick with feeding him Nori and Spirulina and let the hair algae go away. >> I'm planning on not using the phosphate sponge and poly filter anymore -just some carbon. Maybe I should get a few more fish so I introduce more nutrients in to my tank! << Most people go there other way and are trying to decrease nutrients, so I don't think I'd intentionally make my water bad. >> Narayan <<  Blundell  >>

Ulva for Refugium Hello Crew, Is Ulva a good macroalgae for nutrient export in the refugium?  I have a bunch growing in my refuge but don't know if I should crop it or not. Thanks for your help. Roy <Ulva and Enteromorpha (Order Ulvales), aka Sea Lettuce are excellent green algae for refugium use... for nutrient export as well as food. Bob Fenner>

Chaetomorpha Hi, I have just started a 10 gal refugium for my 26 gal reef tank. Tank has been set up about a year. I have ordered two different batches of Chaetomorpha and both have done the same thing. When I first get it it's light green in color and soft after about 1 to 2 weeks it turns dark green and gets really stiff. << That sound normal. >> It doesn't look like it is growing at all. I have an 18 watt florescent light on it running 24 hours. Any idea on what I could do to make it grow or may be doing wrong? << That doesn't sound like much light.  I would try at least 30 watts of compact lighting, and I would like the refugium for about 12 hours per day. >> Or does it take a while to start growing? << Well it is certainly not a fast growing algae.  And that isn't bad. Remember it can only grow as fast as the nutrients allow it to. So if you have a big skimmer in there, and you don't feed your tank, it won't grow. >> The Chaeto has been in there now for about a month and a half with no growth. One other question if it does start growing is it better to cut pieces off or just pull pieces off. << Good question.  It is better to pinch it off.  By this I mean you pinch it between your fingers first, then cut it off.  That way, the pinching helps prevent the alga from "bleeding" when you cut it. >> Thanks for any help you can give.    <<  Adam Blundell  >>

Great Source for Mermaid's Wineglass (I didn't know they drank) >Hi 'Skeleton Crew' gang: >>HA! Someone DID notice! Woo-dee-hoo! >I'm a nut for marine macroalgae... and in the past my best source has been Morgan Lidster at Inland Aquatics (I've seen him and his operation referred to favorably here in WWM before)... >>Indeed, though, last I'd heard, Inland was closing at least its online operations. Fantastic operator, they all really know their stuff. >..but one species in particular that's been hard to find is Acetabularia crenulata AKA Mermaid's Wineglass or Mermaid's Winecups. >>Oh yes! Not sure, but I seem to recollect hear tell of Harbor Aquatics having it, at least occasionally, as well. >It's a beautiful, lightly calcified algae, with bright green 'parasols' suspended on slender stalks... >>Indeed, almost like having a zoanthid or other animal. Really attractive species, though I personally have never kept it. Is its husbandry particularly difficult? >..it's actually the cover photo species for Littler & Littler's 'Marine Plants of the Caribbean'... >>Those interested, take note! >..by virtue of being so attractive. Anyway, I FINALLY found source for this, very reasonable ($4.99 per cluster, plus shipping) with great service and  attention to packing (it's a delicate shipper)... so I thought I'd share it. >>Please do! >It's Holly@Floridapets.com - The only caveat is it's fresh from the ocean floor, and full of 'hitchhikers', so be prepared for a dip/QT regimen unless you're anxious to include same in your system. >>Fantastic to know, Chuck. >Chuck >>Will be posting this on the dailies, and I'm sure there will be many thankful for the tip. Marina 

Re: a plant for Paul to id  I just had to do some research myself. Here's a nice link that id's this algae well. http://www.mbari.org/staff/conn/botany/2003/julia/   -  Pam  <Thank you for this input Pam. Bob Fenner over in HI>

Alkalinity and Algae ID 4/12/04  Hi crew,  <howdy>  While Ca level is in the range of 400 ppm, and PH between 8.2 to 8.3, alkalinity has been low for some months (in the order of 6-7 dKH). I added Kalkwasser and C balance daily and did 15% water change weekly. Situation remained same.  <not to worry... it's fine if it stays steady. Coral growth will be better than in tank that spikes higher and is not steady>  My tank is 100 gal, with 100lbs of live rock nearly all covered with coralline, a bit of white spots though recently. There are 14 fishes, many are small ones and kept for over a year. The big ones are a blue face, a juvenile imperator, a pacific blue and a purple tang.  <Ughhh... a horrifying quad of fishes for a mere 100 gallons water. It is sad/disappointing to hear. Please do look up their adult sizes on fishbase.org if not our site and ask yourself if you/we can expect them to reach a full lifespan/size in a tank that is smaller than their cumulative adult potential length. Please (!)reconsider here my friend and get these bruisers thinned out or into a larger tank sooner rather than later. If it looks like they will not outgrow the tank after a few years, that's because they are stunting/developmental retardation. Not good. Rather sad>  Water parameters normal - NH4, NO2, NO3 and PO4 all close to zero. Other equipment include a protein skimmer which is working fairly well (1/3 cup of dark skimmate per day),  <also good to hear about its consistency rather than volume. No complaint here>  5 x 54WT5H0 tubes, a chiller, and a overhead filter. I use tricarbon based pelletized carbon, PH rock and right now bacterial to provide biological filtration.  My questions are :  (1) why alkalinity is low and any means to raise it?  <perhaps its the nature of your source water (not buffered or hard/mineral rich enough>  (2) There appears not much natural growth of macro algae.  <because of the unnaturally concentrated fish grazers in the tank. You will never have macroalgae here. Consider adding a refugium with Gracilaria and growing it for them to recycle nutrients>  The only species is the featherlike one shown in the photo which I transplanted from the overhead filter. Can you advise the name of the algae please.  <it looks like the nuisance genus Bryopsis. Do a keyword search on our website form the index page at wetwebmedia.com using the Google search tool. You will find a lot I the archives about controlling this algae. >  Regards, TFChow 
<best of luck. Anthony>

Algae ID Howdy Crew, <Hi there> Thought I keep you guys busier than you need to be! <Is that possible?> My new reef tank is spreading all sorts of algae I guess mainly seeded from my live rock.  One type of algae (attached) in particular is spreading like forest fire.  It's growing on my live rock, substrate, and mainly dominating my dead rocks.  I've searched and it looks like Ulva?  I'm not sure.  Will it go asexual on me?  Should I leave it be or should I be doing some gardening to keep it under control?   <It is Ulva... 'Sea Lettuce', you lucky dog! A great green algae to culture, have in ones system... for food, nutrient accumulation... looks! Will not "go sexual" (actually will sporulate... no big deal). Would definitely leave it be, share your wealth with other aquarists... At some point, "conditions" will change in your system and this species will be supplanted by others. Bob Fenner> Thks for your time.

Halimeda getting white - going sexual 3/11/04 Hello Anthony! <cheers, Thanassis> In my display tank, as well as in my sump, I have macroalgae growing (Dictyota, Halimeda and  a little Caulerpa racemosa). <please do resist mixing macroalgae species... they will not fare well together in the long run (competition and chemical aggression)> During the last couple of days I noticed that some -not all- of my Halimeda has turned white - I mean totally white colour. Does this mean it is dead? <sort of... it may simply have gone sexual and new growth will sprout in the system in the next couple of months. Else, it has suffered from the very toxic/noxious Caulerpa racemosa (one of the most noxious of all macros in the sea)> If yes, should I remove it from the tank? <you can let it dissolve and provide calcium. Also do a large water change> I checked my Ca Hardness is 11 dKH and Ca is 450. What could be the reason of this problem? <no problem at all here> Thanks, Thanassis <best regards, Anthony> Lighting Chaetomorpha (1/22/04)    Hi, and thank you for your good work !! <A pleasure>    I'm searching for a couple of days on the web what is the amount of light (in lumens) the Chaetomorpha algae do need and how many hours/days at most can we light it?  <Don't know how many lumens. Standard output or PC fluorescent lights should be fine. I light mine with 46W of PC. W would not recommend more than 12 hours per day.> Is it the best choice of algae to put in a refugium with a deep sand bed  and to do nutrient export ?! <A matter of opinion. There are pros/cons to all algae. Read the FAQs on Chaeto & Caulerpa and choose which is best for you.> Thank you ! Steve Timmons  <Hope this helps. Steve Allen>   

Bleached Turtle Weed Hi Bob, Hope you and the rest at WWM have had a wonderful and merry Christmas.   <It was a bit hectic, but all in all a good holiday season.  Hope you had a good one yourself!> I hope you can give me some advice to my query soon, I had bit of a hair algae problem in my tank that seems to be improving, with some vigorous water movement by addition of 2 power heads and a new skimmer. Recently I bought some Chlorodesmis fastigiata turtle weed which was a healthy green colour, I put it into my tank it is about 8" away from my fluorescent tubes, yesterday I noticed it has started to bleach and is getting white in colour, the temperature in my tank is a constant 26 Deg, rest of the corals and fishes are doing well.  Is there any way I could reverse this process or is that patch of weed doomed? <I would suggest moving it farther away from the light source.  I think it's getting a bit too much light than it's used to in wild.  If you move it to a more shaded area of the tank or at least farther from the lights then I should expect for the bleaching to at least slow, but hopefully for the turtle weed to come back to it's natural emerald color.  Surprisingly not a lot of info is found on turtle weed, but I'm sure once this catches on as a great natural filter for water more info will become available.   http://people.hws.edu/fieldguide/show.asp?ID=160 That is at least one nice site with some basic info on it.> Wishing you and the crew a very happy and prosperous new year. Compliments of the season. Jorell <Hope you and the tank have a great year as well. -Magnus>

Ulva Hello to all! I recently purchased some Ulva and Gracilaria verrucosa for my 20g refugium (from Florida-aqua-farms).   <both are nice macros... but please don't make a habit of mixing too many species together. Competition> The Gracilaria I just fixed in between some rocks, but the Ulva is just floating around.  Some is at the surface and the rest lying on the substrate.  Is this fine or do I need to fix it within the rocks?   <it does not attach readily... tying it down may help indeed> Oh, while I'm here. I currently have 4x96w PCs on my 65g tank (36"x18"x24").  I am thinking of swapping out 2 of the PCs and installing a 175w MH.  I know you need 1 bulb/24" of tank length.  Since my tank is 36" long, would 1 bulb be fine? <depends on what you are trying to grow. Its impossible for us to say if you have enough light without knowing this <G>. But I can say that one lamp indeed will grow most popular corals in the trade in such a shallow tank> Surfs Up! Jason <Mahalo. Anthony>

Could it be Valonia? >We have growing in our tank two little bubbles that I can only describe as looking like black pearls. They are very small, growing on our live rock, and they seem iridescent with black and blue depending on how the light hits them. Also, their surface seems very smooth and shiny.   >>My first thoughts are leaning towards some sort of algal form.  There is a nuisance algae called Valonia, or bubble algae.  It's normally green, but does have the appearance of pearls. >We have a 50 gallon saltwater tank with live rock, two pulsating Xenia, two false clowns, three green Chromis and a sand sifting star fish. We also have two big turbo snails, some red legged crabs (had five, not sure how many now, at least two). We also have a six line wrasse, a feather duster, some kind of big bristle worm that we would like not to have. >>They're actually rather beneficial, and if you ever experience a population explosion of them, then you know that your husbandry/filtration techniques need reassessing, as they're indicative of detritus build up. >We also have two bubble anemones. I don't know what kind of pump system we have other than it is made by SeaLife and it has a skimmer. My husband has the details but is not present for me to ask. I hope I supplied enough information.  Thank you for your quick response!  Mary >>You've done your best here, Mary.  As I said, it sounds like an algal form.  Maybe you can get a picture of them, and someone else (or myself) on the crew may have a better idea of what they are.  They sound harmless, though.  Marina

Ackk Hair Algae (10-8-03) Greetings crew! <Howdy, Cody here today.> If it's not too much trouble, can anybody identify this algae? <Looks like hair algae to me.> (See the link at the bottom of this mail.  The algae in the pics may seem different but they are all the same plant.)  From what I could gather from WWM and other resources about the net, it is a 'turf algae' but that covers a pretty broad area.  The trimmed pieces tend to be a brownish red while the pieces that I allow to grow, are a light or olive green.  Can you recommend a herbivore or omnivore that likes to munch on it?  As you can see from the pics, I have a mass of it growing on a rock which is rather interesting and I keep it pruned however, it migrates from small pieces to my reef tank and attaches itself everywhere.  I don't mind it growing in my refugium (or should I?) but don't care for it in my reef tank.  <It is fine and normal to have some in the refugium but it isn't desirable in the display.  I t is always best to solve this problem from the cause which is excessive nutrients, old bulbs, etc.  What kind of filtration do you have, what size tank, do you have a skimmer, what type of lighting and how old are the bulbs, and what are the inhabitants and feeding schedule?  Some of the best grazers I have found for this stuff are the Kole tang and the Foxface.>I have a lawnmower blenny in the reef tank that won't touch it.  I also have a few red leg hermits and emerald crabs that do not care for it either.  I was thinking about adding a dwarf angle or surgeonfish and hopefully they will browse on it.  Do you know its scientific name? <Chaetomorpha> Want some :)  <Nope>? http://mywebpages.comcast.net/wjrsan/tank/algae/algae.html

Dying Halimeda 07/15/03 <Hi, PF with you tonight> I purchased a reef tank that had been established for two years. The tank had plenty of Halimeda plants growing in it. I use to use synthetic salt water but now converted to ocean salt water from a local source. The problem that I am having is that the Halimeda is dying. I set up a refugium and planted Halimeda in it along with other algae plant. All the plants are doing very well with the exception of the Halimeda. This same problem is occurring in the tank, all plants are prospering with the exception of the Halimeda. I added extra iron and calcium but still the problem exists. <Well, in all honesty switch back to the synthetic salt mixes. There's plenty of public aquariums that use them (like the National Aquarium in Baltimore), and if it's good enough for them... From what I have read and been told (by the likes of Bob, Anthony, JasonC, and others) sterilized seawater generally doesn't perform as well in a tank as does a mix. I'm not a chemist so I can tell you why, but for example, it loses it's buffering properties a lot faster.>

Little Green Bubble Things... Hi guys and dolls <Scott F. your guy today!> We have a funky little situation. <As in ..."Play that Funky Music, White Boy..." or...?> I looked at our 55 gallon reef today and noticed on a flat space on one of the LR there are about 8 little olive greenish bubble looking things. I have no idea what they are. We have a hammer coral, leather coral, a white band cleaner shrimp, pulsing xenia, and star polyp . That's it. Running around them are what look like copepods or some other little tiny bug like creature. Any ideas what these "green thingies" might be??? Thanks A lot. Have a wonderful day!!! Christy <Well, Christy, I'd need a picture to be absolutely sure...But I'll bet even money that what you're seeing is some sort of "bubble algae", probably of the genus Valonia...They come in a variety of tones, colors, and sizes, but are often a transparent greenish color...Could be something else (like eggs from the shrimp- but I doubt it.) entirely, of course- but that's my guess. Still funky, though! Regards, Scott F.>

Italian fishes to eat spaghetti algae - Chaetomorpha control 6/28/03 Is there ANYTHING that will eat Chaetomorpha?   <indeed... 'a plenty. Some larger gastropods, likely some opisthobranchs (sea hares or Elysia Nudis?)> I bought some about a month and a half ago, and it has quadrupled in size in that time.  Now that I'm thinning it out, I was wondering if it would make a tasty snack for any fishes out there? <Rabbitfishes perhaps... funny, but I never thought much about keeping it in the display... really a wonderful macro for nutrient export and manual harvest in refugia as a vegetable filter. Really a wonderful and durable (as you know <G>) algae. So tough many fishes can't eat it> Eagerly awaiting my copy of the new book! <excellent my friend. I'm in SD as we speak signing the pre-orders for posting Monday. It looks like you'll have some reading to do for the holiday weekend :) > Philip DuPont
<thanks kindly! Anthony>

Algae ID 6/21/03 This is a picture of what I believe to be some form of macro algae. Can you tell me what kind it is and if it would be safe to use in a  refugium. Thanks <Cheers, Shawn... wish I could help you with it, mate... but the pics sent are severely out of focus. Rather a blue. Perhaps I could trouble you to take a portion out of water and get a clear shot of it against a white towel?>

Algae ID 6/21/03 I think these pics will be better... Indeed... a Caulerpa species... prolifera type. Can be a boon or a scourge depending on how well it is managed. Too precarious and dangerous en masse for most aquarists (noxious exudations) but rather handsome and good for nutrient export if you are very diligent in keeping and harvesting it (thin fronds... never cut them). Much is written in the WWM archives about Caulerpa, refugiums, etc. Especially seek the FAQs. Bets regards, Anthony>

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