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FAQs on Marine Algae Identification 8

Related Articles: Avoiding 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: FAQ ID Visual Guide, Marine Algae ID 1, Marine Algae ID 2, Marine Algae ID 3, Marine Algae ID 4, Marine Algae ID 5, Marine Algae ID 6Marine Algae ID 7, Marine Algae ID 9, Marine Algae ID 10, Marine Algae ID 11, Marine Algae ID 12, Marine Algae ID 13, Marine Algae ID 14, Marine Algae ID 15, Marine Algae ID 16, Marine Algae ID 17, Marine Algae ID 18, Marine Algae ID 19, Marine Algae ID 20, Marine Algae ID 21, Marine Algae ID 22, Marine Algae ID 23, Marine Algae ID 24, Marine Algae ID, 25, SW Algae ID 26, SW Algae ID 27, SW Algae ID 29, SW Algae ID 30, SW Algae ID 31, SW Algae ID 32SW Algae ID 33SW Algae ID 34SW Algae ID 35SW Algae ID 36SW Algae ID 37SW Algae ID 38SW Algae ID 39& Marine Algae Control FAQs 2, Marine Algaecide Use, Nutrient Limitation, Marine Algae Eaters, Culturing Macro-Algae; Controlling: BGA/Cyano, Red/Encrusting Algae, Green Algae, Brown/Diatom Algae       

New Print and eBook on Amazon

Marine Aquarium Algae Control

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Strange Looking Red Stuff <Heeee!>  9/9/05 Hi Guys, <Paul> I have a 5 month old 150 FOWLR which is lightly stocked, never overfed and has excellent water chemistry and crystal clear water. <The algae is taking up the nutrients...> We have started to see areas of the Live and 'non-live' rock being covered in a sort of red 'carpet' type thing which also looks like it has 'dripped' onto the sand and is growing on the sand bed. <BGA...> I appreciate I don't have a pic of this however I wondered if this was a common thing which you would know what it was ? Many thanks, Paul <Oh yes... Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>


Grass Like Algae  9/5/05 Hello, I've been reading about different green algae, but I could not exactly tell if the one's I was reading about were the one I now have.  I've included a picture of the algae that is growing on my live rock, and beginning to grow on some non-living areas.  I've seen it in other display aquariums, but I'm not sure if it is a good thing or not.  The algae itself is about 1/4" long.  I thought this would be great for my coral beauty, but it doesn't seem to be grazing from it. Tank conditions are ph at 8.1, ammonia at 0, nitrites at 0, nitrates at 0, water temp at 81 degrees F.  I have a couple of clowns, a Gramma, and a coral beauty angel.  I change 10% of the water each week.  I have a 46 gallon bowfront with an undergravel filter with two powerhead stacks, a Remora skimmer, and an external back mount filter.  The light is on for 12 hours a day. Is this algae a problem?  Thanks for the help. <Jim, it could lead to a greater problem.  Your Remora is keeping things in check by removing excess nutrients.  I suggest a Sailfin/Algae Blenny.  They make quick work of algae and will also accept other foods.  James (Salty Dog)> Jim

& Algae Mis-ID's on WWM... 8/14/05 Thanks for the comments and advice. I will forward this on to Robert Fenner for a follow up. Sincerely, Mike Kaechele Hello there. I was just surfing around looking for a picture of a particular genus of algae when I found a link to wetwebmedia info page.  First, there is a wealth of great information there... very cool.  However, while scanning the FAQ's on algae identification I was kind of appalled at how many misidentifications there were.  I am by no means an expert on marine macroalgae, but I did eat, sleep, and breathe the subject for 4 years in grad school as well as dabbled in it for 2 years before that in college.  I currently work in the Aquarium dept. at a FL marine park, and every once and awhile I am called on to identify something.  I would like to suggest that if you have a reference section on the site, that you add a few references for id of marine algae and plants.  Specifically, 2 books by Mark and Diane Littler (Offshore Graphics, Inc. : South Pacific Reef Plants, and Caribbean Reef Plants).  Almost any marine plant that could pop up in your tank should be found in one of these 2 books.   (There is no such thing as red Codium, that was a member of the genus Scinaia!)  Just trying to be helpful.  :) Julie Lynnae Liss <Thank you for taking the initiative to write. Specific challenges to identification are well-appreciated... We do cite the Littler's works often... Bob Fenner>

ID  8/12/05 Hi Crew- <Howdy John, Ali here> I'd like to thank you for the great site and valuable information it provides! <Thank you friend> I discovered your site a few years ago and my tank has under gone a fantastic transformation in the following years! <Awesome!> My reason for writing is because I have some odd/unusual growth in my tank (pics provided).  What ever it is sprouted up about 2 months ago and seems to be spreading-it appears to be harmless so I've left it alone. Let me give you the specs on my tank.  I have a 55 long with a 5-8 inch sand bed and roughly 90lbs live rock.   Have 30 gallon refugium and 20gal sump.  On main tank I have 440 watt VHO system and on refugium I have 120 watt compact fluorescence.  For filtration I have Aqua-C Remora Pro and a little hang on the back Penguin (run activated charcoal in it). For live stock I have 1 dusky Jawfish, 2 Clarkii Clowns and 1 Lunare Wrasse (it was a present from my wife who wanted more color in my tank) and I have an assortment of snails and tons of Pods and Mysis.  Also, have Green Star Polyps and 10 stalks of Xenia, which started of as one little branch 6 months ago! Again, thanks for the great site! John McCloskey <Ah, it sounds like a very nice little set-up you got there John. The organism in question is indeed Scroll Algae (Padina sp.) Unfortunately, this algae usually ends up dying during liverock shipment (very sensitive to shipping), however it does have the potential to be a hardy yet attractive algae once established. Keeping your calcium/alk stable will go a long way in keeping it happy. Good luck and we wish you success!! - Ali>

Unidentified Green "Grass" Macroalgae 8/9/05 Hello Bob and Gang, <Chris> I loved "the Conscientious Marine Aquarist."  It helped get me into the marine/reef hobby several years ago.  I was just given a green macroalgae growing on a small piece of live rock from a friend of a friend.  The person who gave me this algae did not know what type it was and so I'm a bit concerned that I do not know its care requirements and "idiosyncrasies."  The dimensions of the algae are 5.5 in length, by 3 inches in width, by 4 inches in height.  (See attached picture.)   I thought it might be a Chlorodesmis sp. alga, but it doesn't look that close to the pictures I have found of Chlorodesmis online.  I want to put this algae in my 10 gallon refugium under a 32 watt PC, but am unsure if this is enough light for this algae. <Should be enough, fine> Thanks for any help you can provide! Best, Christopher <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/greenalg.htm I think this is a bit of Turtle Weed, Chlorodesmis, as well. Bob Fenner>

Turtle Weed versus Hair Algae IDs 7/30/05 Is Chlorodesmis fastigiata turtle weed and hair algae the same thing? <Nope... not even close my friend. There are more than a few general of so-called (nuisance) "hair algae". But only one turtle weed I know of: Chlorodesmis> From the pics I could find on the site, my algae is the turtle weed. <Bright green tufts... requiring extremely bright light and high water flow. See algaebase.org for more details versus Derbesia and other types of hair algae> Problem is that lately it has been growing out of control in my 130g tank. <ahhh... no way that its Turtle weed. Chlorodesmis is a slow growing ornamental. "True" hair algae is a fast growing nuisance. Most all aquarists experience the latter at some point in time from nutrients accumulating (weak water change schedule, poor protein skimming, etc.> I had it fallow for 5 weeks due to ick and then introduced my fish...Porc. puffer, 6 yellow tail damsels, Chromis, pink damsel, Foxface, raccoon butterfly, and lawnmower blenny back into the tank slowly over 3-4 weeks in order of aggressive fish last.  After doing this the algae is worse even though it was still present when the tank was fallow. <Indeed... a big influx of nutrients to feed it: fed fish pooping daily> Parameters are 0 except for nitrates which always run 5-15 due to messy puffer. Cant keep any snails other than bumble bee because of BF and puffer. They leave the bumble bees alone but they don't eat the algae. <Ironic, isn't it? :p> I scrape with brush the algae every other week but this is proving exhausting. <Yikes! This IS spreading it! Unless you strap that toothbrush to the end of a siphon tube and suck out the broken fragments as you go along> I get 3-4 cups a week on skimmer and use two powerheads- about 150gph&220gph- a maxi-jet 1200 on skimmer and AC 110 and Penguin 440 powerfilters for water circulation. <Fabulous! Hmmm... have you checked your phosphate and DOC levels (Salifert has a DOC test kit from Champion Light and Supply company for example)> I have read on the site people want to grow this stuff? In my tank it has just gone nuts.  I personally don't hate the way it looks, my husband does, but I have to admit now that it is encroaching on some pretty nice looking purple encrusted. Any other suggestions. Thanks ahead of time. Sherry <Try changing small amounts of carbon weekly instead of larger amounts monthly... use poly filters on your supply/source water (and display) and keep skimming aggressively. It will reduce in months. Maintaining a high and very steady pH at 8.6 knocks it down quickly too and is no harm to fishes or corals if kept steady. Best regards, Anthony>

Re: turtle weed 8/3/05 I replaced my phosphate remover just recently... when I noticed a growth in the hair algae. This is helping and the algae is slowly losing it's ability to stay adhered to rock. So it is slowly receding. You mentioned DOC levels for testing. What is this? <An acronym for Dissolved Organic Carbon> Have not heard of this. I test for the normals... nitrite, nitrate, ammonia, ph, hardness. Also might be a dumb question but are poly filters different from polyester filters? <Yes... Polyester is a base material for mechanical filtration, Polyfilters are a product that incorporates chemical filtration...> I have both but am wondering if these are the same. Also I will do the smaller amount more frequent change of carbon. Also you said that brushing without siphoning will spread the algae. I usually let my filters catch it. So this is not good as well and I should not brush it away? If yes than this is good for me. <Better to vacuum out as much loose algae (and the nutrient that it represents, will recycle), after brushing> What phosphate removers/reducers do you recommend. <Posted on WWM> I have used several types in the past and have found the pads to work pretty well, as well as phos ban, but what do you recommend?  Thanks so much. Sherry <Please include previous correspondence. Bob Fenner>

What algae is it? Greetings crewmembers !  I am trying to identify a particular type of algae. This little pest causes people to fall due to its'  slippery nature and is commonly found in "lawn and garden" centers, growing everywhere, including the damp floor. "Bryopsis" species seems to be the culprit...but I am not positive..? What is it and how does one get rid of it? Any help would be greatly appreciated. <I visit a Marine (boat) dealer and ask about coatings they put on boats to resist algae growth and other critters from attaching.  I believe these coatings have copper sulphate mixed in.  As far as what it is, don't know for sure.  We cater to marine/freshwater aquariums.  James (Salty Dog)>  

Blue green algae....maybe maybe not... illiterate message and ID hi WWM. how are you? I've attached some pix to see if you can tell me what it is. looks like blue green algae. some of it is in long hair like strains. now I have read over the algae FAQs and you guys said that algae needs 2 things to survive... light and nutrients. I feed every other day. half of a bloodworm cube. I have 3 shrimps, 2 crabs and a bunch of snails. now I use to have a diamond watchmen goby and a peppermint shrimp which died and the bodies were never recovered. goby died underneath a rock. impossible to check unless I take out all the rocks. also I read on your FAQs that Tufa rocks have minerals that leak out. I was wondering if this is what's feeding the algae. I upped the water changes to 6 gallons every Wednesday and Saturday. I have a 55g reef tank. 304 Fluval. SeaClone skimmer...yeah I know SeaClone is a piece of... but lately it seems to be workin kind of good. but still not a couple of cups a week. I entered a contest to win a aqua c remora. hope I win!! I also read somewhere on the net that when algae on the rocks start to produce bubbles in them that it means that they are dying out. any thoughts? I hope you can give me a quick response. BTW, your website is a godsend to people like me. thanks for being there to help people like me. keep up the good work. teddy <Is BGA... your grammar is atrocious... go sit in the corner... no, come back... and read on WWM re Cyanobacteria. Test on Friday. Bob Fenner>

Silver bubbles on coral & rock Hi- Recently in my 120 gls salt water reef tank we have noticed small patches of silver like bubbles which are eating away at the coral. Please advise what can be causing this situation and how to correct it. Thank you in advance. Regards, Ceil <Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/greenalg.htm.  Scroll down to "Valonia"... See the linked files above re Algae Control? Follow them. Bob Fenner>   

ID Troublesome Encrusting Algae, Sponge Hi guys, I've searched & scanned the archive and couldn't figure out what this is... Photos are attached. It's a reddish-brown, spongy algae (or sponge?) <The latter> that encrusts rock, GSP fairly quickly. I originally was scrubbing it off with a toothbrush, but now I'm seeing little bits of it replicating/seeding in more & more places. Can you tell me (a) what it is, and (b) how to either exterminate it, or at least keep it under control? Thanks!! John <Likely nutrient limitation is your best approach here... along with physical removal, perhaps a search for a purposeful predator. Bob Fenner> 

Algae identification Hi there, Just a quick question to see if someone over there could identify this algae? (plant) <A Brown algae for sure, perhaps a Sargassum species... do you see it here: http://wetwebmedia.com/brnalgae.htm > It's growing mainly on one piece of live rock near the op of the tank but I also have smaller patches on other live rock. Thanks for your help Mandie <Enjoy it... keep it trimmed, lest it out-compete other livestock you want for nutrients... I suspect you already administer iodine/ide... Bob Fenner> 

New Print and eBook on Amazon

Marine Aquarium Algae Control

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

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