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FAQs about Green Macro-Algae Stocking/Selection

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 3, Green Macro-Algae 4, Chlorophyte Identification, Chlorophyte Behavior, Chlorophyte Compatibility/Control, 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

MAC extant folk, activities, and Halimeda use in SW systems   9/14/10
Hello. I was really disappointed to read on WWM about the shortcomings of MAC. Be this as it may, are there any other [more] worthy organizations with oversight over the marine aquarium trade?
<Actually, the person/s left who "are the MAC" are indeed capable and honest. Previous administrations were "but a farce">
I ask because I want to make sure that I'm only purchasing livestock caught via sustainable methods, and I would also like to contribute financially.
<I do concur with the direction/stance. There are several outfits with this position as well. Many can be found via Net searching. Two premiere examples bar none are TMC in the UK and Quality Marine in the US.>
Your opinion here would be greatly appreciated. Oh, I do have one technical question: Being that I don't have space in my sump for a refugium, would Halimeda be a good choice to keep in one's display for the purpose of nitrate reuptake?
<This genus can work... but does take a good deal of attention to maintaining/sustaining alkaline earth content (mainly calcium and magnesium) and alkalinity... as when it rapidly metabolises, it can/does take up a good deal of both. Please see WWM re this Chlorophytes use>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Would it be beneficial to feed a Potter's Angel Chaeto?  10/5/09
<Hey Korrine! JustinN here to assist!>
Since they are constantly grazing, would it be nutritionally beneficial to feed a Potter's Angel Chaeto? Basically keep adding it to the tank as it grazed it down?? Or they generally it not eat it? I don't have a fuge yet, but could probably buy some Chaeto and start one.
<Well -- it would likely be beneficial to them if they ate it -- Chaeto holds a good deal of nutrients all-around.. Unfortunately, its largely unpalatable, even to the most unrelenting algae consumers appetite. Don't
let this hinder you from starting a 'fuge though! A Refugium provides so many more health benefits than just a quick source of leafy food -- read more here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/refugium.htm and its related
sublinks. Ciao! -JustinN>
Thank you,
Korrine from South Dakota

Re: Caulerpa Chaetomorpha: The Best Macroalgae for a Refugium?  9/22/08 Many thanks for your advice, Scott <My pleasure!> Is Chaetomorpha the dark green, stringy stuff, that looks a bit like spaghetti? <It sure does...Actually, to me it looks like one of those pot scrubber things, but spaghetti is not that far off the mark.> If so, then that's not a problem, I got some of that too! Had no idea you could use this in a refugium though. <Yep- Chaetomorpha is an excellent macroalgae for nutrient export, with none of the potential bad effects of Caulerpa. It is also a good "substrate" for creatures like amphipods to grow on, so it has other positive attributes, too!> Great stuff, thanks again. <Glad to help! Regards, Scott F.>

Codium... reading and writing  -- 03/18/08 Hello again WWM Crew, <RA> It is I, Random Aquarist, back again for a few more questions. Today I'd like to talk about the macroalgae Codium. The only specimens I've seen for sale have been listed as Codium sp. or Codium taylori. <Mmm, just a note re... have seen the local Codium, C. fragile, mis-sold in tropical aquarium stores out in California...> A visit to AlgaeBase.org (http://www.algaebase.org/search/species/detail/?species_id=1222&-session=abv4:18B0AE0307c400614AmHJ2192D30) told me that this plant is found in the Caribbean, yet it also seems that it's been found in southern Asia as well. Would this be due to human intervention or is it naturally found there? If the former, what species are native to the Indo-Pacific and where can I buy them? TIA, Random Aquarist <Mmm, read here: http://www.google.com/search?q=Codium+taylori+distribution&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-Address&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7PCTA and do a search on "Codium Species Distribution"... perhaps an article on the same... Bob Fenner>

Mmm, some updating perhaps...  4/10/07 http://www.wetwebmedia.com/greenalg.htm What's Available: The Best?: Caulerpas. Ask about sports cars and you hear Porsche, oak- ey wines and it's got to be chardonnay; for saltwater plant material  the winner by a tank-slide are the Green algae species in the genus  Caulerpa... though, yes, they can be toxic if grown too much, too  fast, in the absence of decent filtration and maintenance. Are ya sure ya want to keep with the statement above?  And Chaeto  nary worth a picture let alone a comment?  Poor Chaeto ;( Here, I'll even give you a photo... more if you'd like... Chaetomorpha spp.
<Thanks, will post. B>

Good bubble algae   8/12/06 Hello <Hi there> I was wondering if bubble algae can be used to compete with diatoms and hair algae in a F/O tank. <Mmm... in so much that they both use the same nutrient source, yes... not so sure re chemical interactions here> Are there any concerns with letting it grow free when there are no other animals/plants to compete with it?  I know in a reef tank it is a nuisance Can I use it in a F/O tank for nutrient export? <Don't know of a reason why not> I have a 75 gallon tank with an undulated trigger and a little live rock. I use a remora pro skimmer and Fluval 404 canister.  I do not want to spend a lot of money or use my RO/DI filter for a tank containing one very hardy fish.  It wastes a lot of water and I need it for my reef. please let me know if this is a good decision. Thank You, Brent <I prefer other algal species. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/maralgae.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Would Chaetomorpha help during tank cycling ?  5/29/06 Ohio Gozaimasu Crew ! <And good morrow to you> I have been thinking(<==always dangerous) <Less than always feeling> about how to bolster the cycle process in my AquaPod 24 tank.  My 'cured' LFS Fiji live rock went in last night after spending ten minutes each in a super-salinated (1.050) bucket followed by a distilled water soak.  Vigorous swishing and scrubbing left both buckets so nasty that half way through the 22 pound box I stopped and replaced the water.  Some of the obviously dead, decaying soft matter left me really appreciating the heavy neoprene gloves I was wearing while I scrubbed it off.  Right now the LR is simply sitting on top of the DSB and a PVC frame.  Aquascaping for esthetics will wait till the tank is properly cycled.  Having gotten all the LR into the tank I made sure that the heater, powerhead and skimmer were all working properly and went to bed. This morning I tested the tank's water parameters and found that 'shocking' changes had occurred overnight: Ammonia 0.2 (was 0) Nitrate 35 ppm (was 0) Nitrite 0.3 ppm (was 0) Phosphate 0.1 (was 0) pH 8.3 (unchanged) Alkalinity 5.5 (unchanged) Temperature 78 (unchanged) Salinity 1.025 (unchanged) Skimmer cup empty <All about right thus far...> Retesting late this afternoon the numbers were essentially unchanged. <The alkalinity and pH will drop soon... Nitrogenous compounds increase...> After spending the last 2 1/2 (very pleasurable) hours Googling my way around WWM you can imagine my relief to be reassured that these 'instantaneous' changes in water chemistry are completely normal as a new tank begins the cycling process. <Yep> 20 gallons of buffered and aerated water with a SpGr of 1.025 are at the ready while I monitor the ammonia and nitrite levels like a hawk.  Any readings above 0.8 ppm on either will trigger a change of  50% of the water, followed by re-testing twelve hours later. <Very good> Then, while fussing with the airstones and powerhead  trying to ensure even water flow, an inspiration struck.  I currently have the tank lights off because I subscribe to Anthony's advice that leaving them off will minimize the growth of nuisance algae during the curing process. <Some are of this opinion... I am generally not>   Two of my synapses shorted out and I thought "Nitrogen + Phosphate can be controlled using a macro algae like Chaetomorpha (which I was planning on adding anyway)". If I were to add a 5 inch clump of Chaetomorpha (sp) available for less than ten bucks at the LFS, and then started a 10 hour light cycle, would that help or hinder the curing process ?   <Maybe... it might "just die" or be overwhelmed by chemical changes, out-poisoned-competed by BGA et al.> Thumbing through my college Botany book it appears that these compounds which are toxic to the Kingdom Animalia would be ideal 'munchies' for a member of Kingdom Plantae. <Many, not all> Or so my 'reasoning' goes.  Any thoughts/observations ?  I certainly don't want to interfere with the establishment of viable cultures of Nitrogen-fixing bacteria but would really like to help ensure that the toxicity of the tank doesn't threaten the viability of the desirable organisms currently tenaciously clinging to life deep within the crevices of the live rock.  And, maybe, save a few bucks in salt mix and buffering compound. <Mmm, well... the most "trouble free" process involves darkened curing conditions, time going by... but all can be expedited, much life spared by monitoring, doing the water changes you mention... Worth trying the Chaetomorpha though> Sayonara, and thanks once again for being willing to do all the 'donkey work' involved in keeping up such a great site ! John <Eeee haugh! Bob Fenner> Macroalgae Selection   6/13/06 Hello <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> Do you have an opinion on any type of macroalgae that can be used decoratively in the main display? Someone has suggested Halimeda  from Live aquaria. John Arenz <John, as long as you are maintaining sufficient calcium  and light levels in your system, I think that you'll do fine with this macroalgae. It's one of my personal favorites!> Halimeda Leaves    7/13/06 Dear Crew, <Paul> I have two questions regarding a batch of Halimeda leaves that has accumulated on the surface of my otherwise sugar-fine aragonite substrate: <Okay> (1) Will the leaves trap detritus and contribute to a high nitrate & phosphate problem? <No, not likely... in fact...> (2) Will the leaves harbor small organisms that can sustain a Mandarin Dragonet should I acquire one? <Will likely help, and...> In other words, I am trying to determine if the dead Halimeda leaves have any usefulness before I siphon them out. <I would leave them, enjoy their beauty and utility. Are almost completely calcium carbonate... of good shape...> My tank is a 75-gallon reef tank with plenty of live rock, coral, anemones, and 12 small (2" long) fish that unfortunately don't eat algae.  I've had 20 of these fish (Blue Damsels, Pajama Cardinals) but I've recently reduced the fish population to 12 in an attempt to control high nitrates, phosphates and hair algae.  There is also a 29-gallon refugium with a small batch of Chaetomorpha that does not grow as fast as the algae. Thanks very much, Paul. <If we could easily harvest such calcareous material and offer it as purposeful substrate... it would sell. Bob Fenner>

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.>>

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 

"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>

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.>>

The grass is always greener... >Hi there, >>Hello, Mike. >I have a specific question about algae and the substrate in my 150g FOWLR.  The tank is about 4mo new and everything is perfect water quality-wise, fish and snails, crabs, shrimp very healthy, including coralline algae and a few critters doing well on the LR.  I have had a short green grass-like growth of algae covering a lot of the substrate for a few months now.  The fish and crabs of course love to eat it, so it's growth is in check and as I've read some of this algae is beneficial so I've left it.   >>Actually, this is not an "of course" situation.  Far too many folks end up with undesirable species of algae, micro or macro, which, to their dismay, nothing will eat.  Therefore, it is of no benefit.  You, however, clearly have something that is beneficial.  Don't get rid of it. >I'm not sure if it's microalgae but some appears to be "leafy" which I guess is a macro kind.  What is your take on this, and should I leave it grow as is or should I mix the gravel around and vacuum it, etc?   >>See above.  I say keep it there. >So far I haven't vacuumed the gravel at all, but I was planning to do a bit of that (once I get a python).  I have about 1.5" of CaribSea aragonite, lighting @10hrs/day with 2x140W VHO (one 10k, one actinic), temp 75F, pH 8.1, sal~1.023, alk 4meq/l, ~0 nitrates, and I drip Kalkwasser at night to maintain ~390ppm Ca.   >>If you're using the aragonite, then I'd suggest that, shallow though it may be, it's become something of a nutrient sink which allows this beneficial algal growth.  I would suggest deepening the bed, to around 3", this will help you gain the benefits of a deep sand bed, which you should NOT vacuum. >I have a good skimmer (Tunze), it doesn't pull that much but I don't have many fish.  Haven't used carbon yet, would you recommend that? >>No, not at all.  I, myself, have recently learned that many activated carbons can leach phosphates.  This leads to my basic philosophy here, If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It!  It sounds as though your setup is golden. >Thanks!  Mike >>You're welcome!  Marina

C. taxifolia Bob, I have seen some references to potential algae problems in the local area, specifically Caulerpa taxifolia. I receive an e-mail the other night from a woman who wanted to ask me some questions about this algae, other algaes and the hobby. I spoke with her tonight and within the conversation she informed me that there is potential legislation to make ALL species of Caulerpa illegal in the State of California? <Have heard of this, yes... You are aware of the "Lagoon" fiasco here in town, with the gov't overreacting as usual, toxically nuking an area where this species had been proliferating... probably from a hobbyist release... And the many square miles in the Mediterranean...> are you aware of this, and its issues ? <Only vaguely... the typical knee jerk, half-cocked "let's protect our jobs" bureaucratic huzzah... like, um, the Garibaldi protection, the disallowal of small freshwater turtles... the rationale doesn't hold up... but it gets press, votes for "doing something"... and we get... more simple servants, taxes! What would you do?> since you are such a knowledgeable fellow....I suggested that she contact you, especially since this is an issue that is San Diego related Jim, Aquarium Design <Ahh, great. Bob Fenner>

Re: C. taxifolia Bob, I have heard of the Mediterranean incident, and originally I was under the impression that episode in San Diego was an isolated situation that was simply being monitored. <No... poisoned to prevent spread... millions of dollars... typical> additionally I have seen a few posters placed on the walls at the wholesalers. when asked if I could be interviewed I said yes, expecting to simple flex-my-wings. as the interview went on it became apparent that these people are out-of-control, and working with 'scientists' who " have a hard time specifically identifying C. taxifolia from C. mexicana" and as a result have decided to broadly list all Caulerpas as problematic. <Yes... also all too typical.> my greater concern is their attempt to legislate a law against Caulerpas in the state of California.....not so much against Caulerpas, but if they are successful then that starts a bad effect in the house-of-cards that we call our hobby. what's next ? <Reasons to search, seize, arrest, fine, incarcerate, tax, confiscate... Nazi-petfish control... The BIG "C", that's what government is all about here... Bob Fenner> Jim

Tangs & Algae Mr. Fenner, I haven written to you in the past and am in need of your advice again. I might be answering my own questions, so maybe you can just tell me if I am on the right track? <Will do so> I have a 75 gallon Reef just starting out. I have a sump (bio-balls), 85 pounds live rock and a 2" LS, crushed coral bed. Power Compact lighting 384 watts. 4 powerheads. Berlin Skimmer. Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 10ppm pH 8.4 Ca 430 Alk 1.7mill (working on raising) <Do so.> Temp. 79 1 Yellow tang, 3 green Chromis, 2 cleaner shrimp, 5 Astrea snails, 4 hermit crabs, feather Caulerpa (a spattering,) <Will be more with increasing alkalinity> & a torch coral. My problem is, what else, algae. I had at one time diatom covering my rocks and sand, and green film covering all over my glass (both cleaned each day.) When I added my torch coral and the small amount of Caulerpa, (my tang ate 3/4 of it in two days, leaving only a bit of feather. did have grape, & cup) the green algae disappeared from the glass and the diatom on the bottom cleared some. It's taking up nutrients I believe. <Yes... and you might want to try Halimeda spp... not quite as palatable and do much the same jobs> My problem is that I have a film of this gray-green stuff floating on top of my water, on the right side. Perhaps my powerhead placement is not moving it to the overflow box?  <Possibly... or you might need more surface disruption, skimming from other influences> I tried to mess around with that but to no avail. Next problem is that I have no room for a separate refugium. <No where? Even about the system?> I have a Del-Ray filter and am all thumbs. I have no idea what's so ever on how to convert that to a refugium. I looking all over your links and the web for a DIY plan. No help there.  <Look on OzReef: http://www.ozreef.org/ and beyond on their links> So I thought I would grow macroalgae in the main tank. That was mostly a bust because my tang realized he had a smorgasbord before him. Just a little feather left. Since I do not know how to turn the del-ray system to a refugium, could you tell me what would be the best choice for macroalgae that my tang would turn it's nose up at? <See the macro-algae information areas on WetWebMedia> Last but not least is that I add B-Ionic to my water once a week to buffer my Alk & Ca, 20 mill each, and the alk has been added more often. Try as I might I cannot get my Alk up. <Switch to other products, or try supplementing with more carbonate, bicarbonate... in the shorter term, simple baking soda (yes, Arm and Hammer) will do... about a teaspoon per day, mixed in system water...> I thought it was my test kit, so I went to my LFS and had them test it (they use a different, better product then what I was using) and they came up with the same low reading. My question might sound dumb but what takes the Alk from the system? <In your case, likely the other supplement component... and skimming, and algal growth... and more...> My pH is steady as well as my Ca. I think I need a shove in the right direction. :) Also I would like a lawnmower blenny. I hope he can help with the diatom problem. Or do you think it better to add more snails and crabs? <The Lawnmower Blennies mainly eat Greens (Chlorophyta)... Read through the Algae Control sections on WWM, consider a Ctenochaetus tang...> Or both? So sorry this is such a long letter! I thank you in advance for any help, big or small, you have to offer. <Study my friend. Bob Fenner>

Kole tang ich update and macroalgae Hi Bob Fenner, I wrote several weeks ago, several times, about my Kole tang with ich. Well, he has been in his hospital tank for two weeks, with a gradual reduction of spg to now 1.016 and temp at 82 degrees F. He is doing great ! As of yesterday, he had no more ich cysts present on his fins or body. He is healthy and his color is really bright ! I feed him brine shrimp in the morning, and a prepared frozen algae (mostly Spirulina) in the evening, then again at night. He actually comes to beg when he sees me come into the room. (Brine shrimp are his favorite food.) I suppose I will leave him at this spg for another 3 weeks since the main tank will have been fallow for 5 weeks at that time. Is this too long to leave him in this low salinity water? (Total of 3-4 weeks in spg=1.016) <No problem> About the main tank,... I have begun to stock the refugium part of my sump with macroalgae (have only actually purchased 2 different kinds, but as of last count have 6 different kinds present,....) Since I upgraded my lighting down there to 64W power compacts (15 gallon refugium area), things have begun to pop up everywhere. I have one kind of Halimeda which has very large "leaves" and is beginning to cover up a small piece of coral which has just began to extend its polyps for the first time. Both are located on a piece of live rock I purchased back in April, they have just never been under sufficient lighting. I would much rather the coral get to growing, over the Halimeda, but is there any way to pick the algae off the rock without harming it and "replant" it somewhere else in the tank? <Best to make a small "chip" off the rock with the holdfast mechanism of the Halimeda intact on it> Thanks for the constant, consistent advice, The recovering pet hospital, Jana <Thank you for the update on your continuing progress, success. Bob Fenner>

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