Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs about Marine Macro-Algae 1

Related Articles: Marine Algae, Algae Can Be Your FriendRefugiumsAvoiding 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: Marine (Macro) Algae 2, Marine (Macro) Algae 3, Marine (Macro) Algae 4, Marine (Macro) Algae 5, Rationale, Identification, Selection/Compatibility/Control, Systems, LightingNutrition, Disease/Pests/Predators, Culture Algae Use in Refugiums, Coralline Algae: Use in Marine Aquariums, 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


Weed FYI - http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&ncid=585&e=4&cid=585&u=/nm/2002 0814/sc_nm/environment_australia_seaweed_dc_1 Maybe it'll hit Japan next - Godzilla vs. The Mutant Algae ;-) <Yikes... no more blubbery monsters please! Bob F> Cheers, jf James W. Fatherree, M.Sc.

Brittle Star, freshwater/marine algae, euryhaline sea minkees Hi, Bob and experts, <<And hello to you...>> I just brought two brittle stars and I would like to know whether is it safe to keep in a DSB ? One is a Banded Serpent Star (Ophiolepis superba) and one is normal brittle star (Ophiocoma sp). Both are about 3-4 inch big. <<As long as they aren't green brittle stars [these can be predatory] you should be all set. These seastars really don't do much below the surface of the sandbed.>> 2. Just curious to know whether a fresh water algae (seaweed) is able to grow in salt water ? <<No, I don't think so... different osmotic balance required in cell walls, etc.>> 3. One last thing, I planning to keep brine shrimp. Wonder I will stay alive in saltwater? <<You mean like Sea Monkeys? No, they need true brine.>> and if yes, can I add those stuff into my reef tank after it hatched? <<You could add it like food, but I wouldn't add these as inhabitants. The resulting die-off could spell disaster.>> Thanks Regards Danny <<Cheers, J -- >>

Refugium Bob & Crew, On page 76 of your book, can you id the plants in the refugium? <In CMA, yes... likely a Rhizophora mangle (Red Mangrove) towering above all (see: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marvascplts.htm), and a mix of Penicillus, Halimeda et al. tropical West Atlantic macro-algae species submersed (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/maralgae.htm and beyond) Bob Fenner>  Thanks Mark

Your site (marine algae, succession) Hi Bob <<Actually, it's JasonC here... and how are you?>> I hope you and your crew are all well. I just want to tell you how your site has helped me in the setup of my new tank over the past couple of weeks, maybe you can comment about my uneducated conclusions if you wish. My new tank (about 140gallons) was barely cycled when it suddenly had a major breakout of "brown algae", which basically covered all surfaces in a very short period. Using your algae articles and faq's I identified this as being diatoms and Steven pro confirmed for me that this is normal for new tanks. So I cleaned the glass with a magnet and left the live rock/substrate as is and within days the brown stuff started disappearing, only to be replaced by green stuff. To me the green stuff looks almost exactly like the brown diatoms, but it might be "Cyano bacteria", which I also read about on your site. I'm not sure which one it is, but its a thin green layer again covering everything. <<Sounds like BGA [Cyanobacteria] to me.>> Every day I clean the glass and the next day it all comes back again. So I did some more reading and identified 2 possible problems which might apply to my setup - insufficient skimming and/or insufficient water movement. <<Or both!>> I was reasonably convinced that my skimmer is producing well, so I turned to water movement and this is where I believe I have found my problem. The person whom I bought all my equipment from and who helped me set up the tank never really stressed the importance of adding things like powerheads etc. so I assumed that my return pump would be sufficient for water movement at first and that I would add some powerheads later. <<A common, but poorly made assumption. There is almost no practical way to duplicate or even approximate the flows prevalent on a reef. It is almost impossible to have "too much" circulation, but it is very easy to have too little.>> After carefully investigating my "green algae" I noticed that there was one area that had absolutely no green stuff on it, a perfectly clean round area on the glass. So of course the round clean area is where the stream from my return pump is blowing and I have come to the conclusion that this is the only area where I have proper water movement - hence no diatom problems. Even though the water is not perfectly still in any spot, I am now convinced that about 3 quarters of my 2 meter tank is basically "dead" in terms of water movement, so tomorrow I am buying a box full of powerheads to experiment with ! <<While you are at it, use Google to look up the phrase "laminar flow" - is possible with fluids to get them flowing in such a way that dead spots are created.>> I might be wrong in all my conclusions but still I wouldn't have been able to do any of this troubleshooting if it wasn't for the stuff you publish on your site - so thanks a million from my side. I learned a whole lot about my skimmer, water movement and algae in the process. <<Good, good.>> What I would like to do is add the powerheads and see if the algae disappears, instead of cleaning everything first and then see if it doesn't appear again, but I'm not sure if this is how it works when you fix a problem, if water movement is my problem that is. so if you can comment on this it would be great. <<Well, it sounds to me like even if you cleaned it, the BGA would still come back. However, if you're in the experimenting mood, it is still good scientific method to let the BGA come back full bore and then proceed as planned. Your results will be more concrete.>> Thanks again for all the support. Chris <<Cheers, J -- >>

Best macro-algae ?? Hey guys, <whasssup?> Is there a type of macro-algae that causes less yellowing of the water than other types when used as a refugium filter?  <all do, but most anything is better than Caulerpa. Try Thalassia eel, turtle grass or Syringodium manatee grass> Any other tips (other than replenishing GAC) for reducing yellowing? <poly filters, protein skimming and/or ozonation of seawater> Thanks, Darrell <best regards, Anthony>

Algae ID I have the weirdest algae I have ever seen....(how many times have you heard that?) It looks like the brown diatom algae, except that it gets real thick and grows only on the sand. The weird thing is in the morning before the lights come on I notice that it's gone.  <common with bacteria that resemble algae (Cyanobacteria)> This morning I gently stirred the sand which deterred the red algae for at least a couple of days,  <that is a good way to spread almost any nuisance algae, bacteria or dinoflagellate in the long run. Please don't do that> this brown stuff is as thick as it was yesterday. I just did a water change of about 20%, maybe a week ago, and the only thing that I have done differently from the reg is that I have been feeding my corals invert food once or twice a week via an eye dropper carefully squirting it on the coral.  <indeed, this and most nuisance algae wax with increased nutrients and wane with better nutrient export processes. And Notice that I did not say with decreased feeding/nutrients to control algae, but rather "increased nutrient export processes (water changes with quality water, carbon/chemical media changed frequently and ESPECIALLY aggressive protein skimming. One can feed heavily if the residual nutrients are not allowed to linger. Now even with that said... most bottled invertebrate foods are nothing short of garbage and pollution in a bottle (unusable because their particle size is too large even in a liquid suspension). They generally serve to feed plague "algae" as you see here. Good coral offds instead include a mature, fishless refugium generating natural plankton or live plankton cultures (rotifers, phytoplankton). Again... bottled foods categorically suck.> I also tried to add an hour on my lighting time last week, but after a couple of days went back to 9 hrs.  <this problem has mostly to do with nutrients... not lights (unless your bulbs are aged <fluorescents over 10 months old> or they are crusty/dirty/dusty. Please don't stress any live rock/coral by playing with the lights... this will make the algae worse by weakening your desirable organisms into being less able to compete for said nutrients> Should I do another water change? Maybe vacuum the upper layer of sand?  <yes, if the water is not the problem (no high phosphates or nutrients/well water)... and being sure to siphon algae away and not stir/distribute> Any help would be great. thanks Kim <best regards, my friend. Anthony Calfo>

Iron Supplements & Macro-Algae I have a CPR AquaFuge refugium with Grape Caulerpa growing in it and no substrate, good or bad? <What is the Caulerpa attached to? I would like to see you something, sand or even many small pieces of liverock.> I do want amphipods and copepods and such to have a home or good place to multiply, can they do this without any substrate, only detritus? <Larger pods will do better with the liverock rubble.> I keep the area lighted 24/7, and I have noticed it is growing since I have been overfeeding my main tank fishes/corals. Is this due to it thriving on the high phosphates I have probably added by over feeding? <Probably> Also I always read sites that state you should dose iron, like Kent Iron supplement for good macro-algae growth, is this totally true? <All algae need iron for growth, but you will get plenty with regular water changes.> As I run a calcium reactor and only dose iodine once weekly, and use PhosGuard and activated Carbon? <Sounds fine.> Thank you and stay safe! Paul <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Reefing Hi Bob and experts, <Anthony Calfo in your service> Today I have two questions to ask. 1) Do the corals that we newly brought need to blow off the sand, or debris from the coral rock before we put in the main tank ? <rinsing in an acclimation bucket would be nice. It is critical though at all times/stages that detritus and sediment NEVER be allowed to settle on any coral that does not receive it naturally. And when in doubt, assume it needs to be removed. Sediment on many coral is theorized to dramatically reduce the already precarious level of oxygen in the micro layer of water surrounding all coral. If that layer is suffocated by poor water flow in an aquarium or shipping vessel... or is sediment lies atop too long... then local anoxia can quickly cause tissue death/necrosis. There is also concern for a rapid development of biotic activity (bacteria... even mostly non-pathogenic ones) which consume oxygen and can mitigate the situation> 2) I intending to purchase more algae for my refugium, what are the pro and con having lots of algae in a tank :? <I just don't know where to begin with this question. It really depends on the scope of your tank and the purpose of the system (coral growth, display, actual coral farming/fragging...etc). Still... I personally see far more harm then good from Caulerpas. I prefer Seagrasses and calcareous Algaes (like Halimeda). If you will try Caulerpa... fertilize and harvest it VERY systematically... else you will be a slave to the threat of it going vegetative and causing serious problems n the system. Also sheds noxious compounds that impede coral growth especially in systems with poor/no skimming, lack of chemical media etc. A really complicated dynamic.> Thanks, Regard Danny <kindly, Anthony>

Macro-algae Nutrients Bob or Anthony Is there any written information on nutrients needed for macroalgae? I have Caulerpa, bottle brush and some coral in a small display tank with sea horses. I need to read information on the various needs of the macroalgae and the coral. The contributions from animals will be very small, since there are only a few dwarf seahorses. Anything you can send my way will be appreciated. Christine <very good question! Although I am not aware of a specific study on aquariology subjects... algae, simple and higher plants all have the same essential requirements. Some unconfirmed studies of "special" mud products for refugiums have found that marine "mud" is remarkably like good soil in nutritive comparison. It certainly stands to reason that the fundamental needs of terrestrial plant species could be similar to aquatic species. I honestly feel that the small size of your aquarium system does not warrant the risk of over fertilizing with a supplement. Incidental nutrients from feeding fishes and especially weekly small partial water changes will almost certainly satisfy most of your marine greens <smile>. Best regards, Anthony>

Feeding macroalgae > Bob > If I had a backup tank for macro algae that had no animals in it, what would I have to add to keep the macroalgae fed? There are seahorses in the display tank, and we are using Caulerpa and bottlebrush and live rock. thanks... [Christine J. Bock] <when you say backup I assume you mean that it is not plumped inline but rather a separate system. If so... regular water changes (small amount weekly) and standard plant fertilizer in small dilute quantities would be fine (in a fishless system). If you feel that you must, you can overpay for aquarium marketed plant fertilizers. Best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Die off!! Hello everyone.  <all of my many personalities/voices in my head say Hello! right back... One of them is barking "whasssuuuuuuuup?"> It's very nice to know you guys are out there, just waiting for something to go wrong, and ready with an answer! Having said that, here's my tale of woe! In the last 3 weeks or so, I have noticed the plant life in my 55 gal. reef dieing off. I didn't pay too much attention because I don't really care for the species, Brown Macroalgae (Sargassum hystrix. But then, I noticed my Brown Wafer Algae (Lobophora variegata) dieing off???? And now, my Maroon Coralline (Peyssonnelia sp.) is covered with white patches and my, Gelidium pusillum is falling apart! <salinity shock (critical threshold had been crossed in a nutrient deficiency (plants grow, but supplementation has not kept up... they demand more each day and then crash when they do not get it), or a sudden influx of freshwater, or a change in lighting (new bulbs or decidedly aged bulbs) are common culprits for such die-off> My nitrates are always a bit high,  <not likely a problem at all> and at the present they are at 80 ppm. I did a water change about 3 weeks ago, and will do another in a week. Maybe I'm just feeding too much? <even more unlikely regarding nutrients (more are generally better for the plant life) unless the feeding has degraded other components of water quality like pH (is it lower because of the heavy feeding? Below 8.1 by day could be a bit stressful, but even that is a stretch)> One more thing, please??? I just witnessed some really cool behavior. One of my Dominos just backed itself into the many clutches of my Banded coral shrimp. The shrimp seemed to be cleaning him! So cool!  < yes... a wonder of the sea> I've never seen this before however I do know it is a common happening among ocean inhabitants~ <rather common indeed, but ever so beautiful> Thanks for your time! Pam <best regards, Anthony>

Freshwater and salt water algae why does algae grow faster in fresh water then saltwater? <it is an artifact of aquariology and not necessarily a physiological difference or fact. Freshwater aquarium systems do not have the biological diversity of organisms to compete with algae for available nutrients (nutrient export processes). In marine aquaria, you have live rock, live sand, natural plankton, many kinds of bacteria, diatoms, plants and competitive alga to give the typical green nuisance algae a hard time to grow. We even have protein skimmers that work in saltwater only that can starve out algae by skimming dissolved organics out that could be algae "food". In freshwater fish tanks, there is no live rock or live substrate to speak of and so man-made filtration works to convert dissolved organics to nitrogenous by-products (and a lot of it) which serves as fertilizer. So whaddya say? Sound believable <wink>? Anthony Calfo>

Confused about Algae Hello to the WetWebMedia team! <Steven Pro this morning.> I have a little problem. I recently noticed that I have some green spot on my skeleton coral in my only fish tank. Do you have an idea what could that possibly be? <Sounds like some sort of algae.> Its only green tiny spot about 1/8 in of diameter every where on corals. And I was wandering if its possible that something on my tank is releasing silicate (like the sand, for example) <Possible, particularly if using a silica based sand versus aragonite.> because I have a terrible problem with diatoms from the beginning (about 6 months ago) and I'm bleaching all my white corals and do 10% water changes every week or so with RO water... also using a Coralife silicate remover but I'm a little bit skeptical about that. Anyways, nothing seems to work for the diatoms and now green spot too? HELP ME!! hehe <It is unnatural for dead corals to remain bare. On the reef, something else would come in to grow on the surface. You will continually have to work to keep your corals white.> And, is it possible to mix a flame angel with a powder blue tang in a 55 gal? Charles <Yes, possible but both require specialized diets and the powder blues have even more requirements; very brisk water movement, liverock for grazing, etc. Please archive the WWM site for additional information. -Steven Pro>

Macroalgae source Bob Can you give me a source for macroalgae. I went to the WetWebMedia site and have spent a lot of time trying to find a source, by clicking here and there. The web page has too much information. Can you give me one or two company names? We are setting up a tank for dwarf seahorses. Thanks. CB <Inland Aquatics, Flying Fish Express. Bob Fenner>

Algal succession hi again! pest ain't I? just wanted to ask I used to have red algae in my 100 gal fish only tank now am getting a lot of bright green algae on rocks on my sand bed to starts of a brown colour then turns into a bright green is this good or bad sign thanks Craig brown <not at all, my friend. Although aesthetically displeasing to some, algae turning from brown to green in aquaria is a normal and healthy progress of algal succession. Brown algae that returns or never leaves is a somewhat "bad" sign (excess nutrients, most likely). Sounds like your on the right track. Kindly, Anthony Calfo>

Macro Algae/Sump ?????? Dear Mr. Fenner, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I have read much of your WWM information and FAQ's and am still unclear on a couple issues. I am converting a wet/dry with bio - balls to a sump and would like to add sand, live rock and macro algae. My first question is regarding grape Caulerpa algae. I have acquired some live rock with this on it  <which is the best way to transfer (on live rock)> along with a handful of this from the LFS. I was hoping to put some in the main tank which is a 125 gallon dual overflow AGA. I am hoping this will help reduce some nitrates and add some color.  <don't count on the nitrate reduction without due diligence with maintenance (feeding, pruning, harvesting, etc) on your part. Too tedious for me. I prefer DSB for nitrate control...more reliable and less work> I am a bit worried regarding this Caulerpa going into sexual production.  <common and dreadful> I have read this will produce a lot of gametes that can overwhelm a system. Is this a concern with a larger tank (125g + sump)?  <yes...still a concern. Do run two skimmers on this system to temper the risk> It is scary......sounds like a time bomb waiting to happen when you leave on vacation for a couple days.  <exactly...Murphy's law> I am also wondering since this algae contains these gametes etc., what if your tangs eat this algae during this stage? Is this dangerous to be consumed? <no, but the algae not only releases gametes, but all of the noxious compounds that it absorbed in growth for days/weeks prior...however it is done so all at once. Can be disastrous if you are culturing a large enough quantity for nitrate control and not just a little for color> My second question is somewhat related. I would like to add macro algae to the sump (previously wet/dry filter). My problem is there is really no way to have lighting over head. A difficult retro-fit for side lighting which may cause other problems?  <possibly... at least inconvenient> I have heard of a "dark sump" What is this?  <not something that you can grow Caulerpa in ...hehe. Sponges, yes> If I just added a deep sand bed and live rock without any lighting in the sump would this be very beneficial?  <now you are talking! Yes, please do...minimum 3"...I prefer 5+> Do you have any suggestions regarding what to put in a sump for a FOWLR and possibly mushrooms tank? <you really don't need anything...run it dark and use it primarily for denitrification. Otherwise the options are numerous depending on your personal preference (seagrass bed, Aiptasia scrubber, coral culture raceway, etc> Thank you very much for your time and consideration. Sincerely, Mike McCarthy <<kindly, Anthony Calfo>

What's "good" algae for sump/refugium Gentlemen: <I just might be that, since I don't really work for a living <wink>> I am familiar with Caulerpa "going sexual" or dying back and releasing organics back into the water.  <dreadful...one of the many reasons to be wary of it in garden reef tanks> Is there another type of algae that is better suited for use in a sump/refugium??  <definately...Seagrass: Syringodium sp. for big refugia, and Thalassia sp. for medium refugia. Calcareous plants (like Halimeda) for small refugia> If not, do you recommend any particular species of Caulerpa over the others?? By the way, I'm in Ohio so I don't have to worry about being a criminal algae culturist as it usually takes the Left or Right Coast Fads about 10 years to get here. Thanks for any help you can provide. Stan <yes, those folks from Cali are just crazy <wink> Anthony>

Algae Hi, I'm sure you are inundated with tons of email, but I'm stuck. I know that I have an algae problem, but I don't know what kind of algae it is. It is a brownish/reddish algae that smells horrible and gives the my saltwater tank a hazy appearance. It started when I upgraded my lights on my tank. Can you please help me identify this algae so I can find a solution. <Can't identify from your description... but you could get "it" down to Division (the botanical taxonomic equivalent of zoology's phylum) with a simple microscopic examination... And in any length, the approaches to its control are similar whichever group of algae this is. Please read through the many algae, control sections posted on WWM, perhaps starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/algaeconMar.htm and reading outward on the links as they occur, lead you. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Sander

CO2 and plants question Hi Bob, We have a debate brewing on seahorse.org regarding plants Expiring CO2 in the evening, as a reciprocal process to photosynthesis. Is this true?  <Sort of. The vast majority of plants, algae, other photosynthetic life do produce more carbon dioxide during "lights out" (the so-called dark reaction/s) than oxygen production> Do plants actually give off CO2 when the lights go out.  <Yes> I have never heard of this, and the people purporting it are basing the info on the fact that pH changes in the evening (we are talking about marine environments here, but I do not think that matters). I was always under the impression that the pH shifted in the evening because the carbonic acid released during photosynthesis was no longer being produced. <Mmm, no> What is the truth of this issue?? Cheers, Christopher Burns Curator seahorse.org <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Re: CO2 and plants question Interesting! Is there some botanical term for the "dark reactions"? This is very illuminating, no pun intended! :> <Ah, do think, use the term "dark reaction/s of photosynthesis" myself. See here: http://esg-www.mit.edu:8001/esgbio/ps/dark.html Bob Fenner> Cheers, Chris

White moss? Hi Robert, <Hello> This is a great website! I do have a question for you. My dad has a 75 gal. Aquarium. He is having a real problem with a white moss that keeps growing on the substrate level, mostly on one side of his tank. I have never seen anything like this before. One thing I can think of that may be a cause is in the afternoon, sunlight is stronger on that side of the tank.? <Perhaps... a good hypothesis> Anyway, the question is, do you know how to get rid of it? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time. <Please read through the many "algae", "algae control" articles posted on our site, WetWebMedia.com starting in the "index" that pertains to your fathers type system (fresh, marine...). Be chatting. Bob Fenner> Mike

Comment on "planted" marine tanks Mr. Fenner, I have been researching your articles on Wetwebmedia.com for a 3.5 gallon (Eclipse) marine tank that I have recently set up. Your articles have been a great help! Just wanted to let you know. <Very glad they have been of service to you> My plan is to actually created a "planted" marine tank. My exp has been in fw planted aquaria, thus the attraction. I would like to maintain the standard filtration and lighting over this tank. So, I am looking for species of "corals" or plants/algae that I can maintain in such an environment. <There are many choices> I used live water/live sand/live rock frags, so my tank was more or less "pre-packaged". I didn't have to wait to cycle it which was nice. I've already got some cup Caulerpa, "turtle grass", and Gracilaria (?)  <Gracilaria> to start off with. If you have any comments or suggestions concerning other species (or if you can comment on the above - esp the Gracilaria and turtle grass re. propagation) I would be more than interested. <The Turtle Grass (likely a Thalassia sp.) is not easily kept in such a small system... and the consequences of its loss would/will be troubling... I would continue to seek out other true algae and leave off with embryophytes like Turtle Grass. You have seen the macrophyte articles posted on WWM? Bob Fenner> Thanks so much again, Joe Anderson, a new convert to salt, Joe's Aquatic Lounge www.aquaticlounge.aquariumplants.cx Oklahoma City Aquarium Association www.okcaa.aquariumsociety.com <Be chatting>

Marine Plants I recently purchased a juvenile emperor angelfish. Right now it is in a 29 gallon aquarium for quarantine. I feed it some flake food, angel formula, brine shrimp and some algae sheets. I would like for it to have some live plants and live algae for it to browse on when it moves into it's permanent home. What kind would be the best and what is the best lighting for the algae to thrive on. Thank you very much for your help in advance it's much appreciated. <Please see the WetWebMedia.com site here... would add live rock, Caulerpas and possibly Gracilaria, other Reds. Bob Fenner> Nick 

Tiny bubbles... (algae trapped gas) Dear Bob, We just put in power compact lights (had regular fluorescents before this) and noticed that our green algae growing on the side of our tank is producing bubbles--not bubble-algae but gaseous bubbles. Is this good or bad?  <Neither... but natural, to be expected... boosted photosynthesis, with the oxygen gas produced trapped below the outer cells/colonies of algae. Bob Fenner> It looks like it's growing faster with more light. I did a search for bubbles and algae and had trouble finding an answer. Thanks, Allyson

Re: tiny bubbles... Do you ever sleep? <Yes my friend. Bob Fenner, groggily> Thanks. Allyson

Request (for algae references) Dear Madame/Sir, I am postgraduate student from university of Ruhuna - Sri Lanka I would be very grateful if you can send me any further information you may have on the following: ?Identification Keys for marine algae, ?Any papers related to the influence of ocean on the distribution pattern of algae. ?Preservation technique for marine algae whereby original colours are also preserved, If you can send these copies by post to the following address, it would be a grate help to me. Thank you for your kind assistance. Upali M. A. Upali Mallikarachchi, Department of Botany, University of Ruhuna, Matara, Sri Lanka. <What little I have in print on such matters is included in an algae preservation article and as bibliographic material on algae husbandry pieces on our principal site: www.WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>

Request (lit. search on marine algae questions) Dear Sir, I am postgraduate student from university of Ruhuna - Sri Lanka. I would be very grateful if you can send me any information you may have on the following: ?Identification Keys for marine algae, ?Any papers related to the influence of ocean on the distribution pattern of algae. If you can send these copies by post to the following address, it would be a grate helps to our university and me. Thank you for your kind assistance. M. A. U. Mallikarachchi, Department of Botany, University of Ruhuna, Matara, Sri Lanka. <What little I have to grant you is posted on WetWebMedia.com along with the bibliographies there. You are doubtless capable/aware of doing computer searches of extant literature: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/litsrchart.htm Please feel free to contact me if you have specific questions (ornamental aquatics related) that you feel I may be able to assist you with. Bob Fenner>

Macro Algae Selection Hi Bob, Once again Bob I call for your advice, thanks in advance. I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful. My question is on the feasibility of live plantings in my display tank. I currently run a CPR refugium with four inches of LS, LR and three species of Caulerpa. I believe them to be C. prole<i>fera, C. racemosa and C. taxa<i>fola. It is doing fabulous under a 6500 K 50/50 bulb running 24 hours. I also run a full time dark sump which is a converted AMiracle wet dry using LR and LS as filter media. I also run a Knop calcium reactor and a protein skimmer in the dark sump. The display tank is illuminated by twin 55 watt power compacts with the standard actinic/day glow combination. The display tank is 45 gallon tall. <Sounds very nice> What can I expect in terms of problems if I introduce Sea Lettuce or Sea Cabbage to the tank? <Mmm, don't think it/they will be able to compete with the established Caulerpaceans> I'm looking at those because it's my understanding that my Yellow Tang will leave them alone.  <No... the Order Ulvales are delicious to Zebrasoma> The tank is also full of very healthy stony and soft corals as well as LR and three to four inches of LS. The other plants <Algae> I can choose from are Sea Pansy (Udotea sp.) <Udotea>, Pine Cone Brush (rhipocephalus P.) or Toadstool (Pencillus). I know the latter will end up as food, but if they pose no other detriment to the tank, then that's OK. My primary concern some of the problems that other readers have posted with Caulerpa under display lighting cycle, releasing a reproductive plume in the tank. Is this a possibility with these plants mentioned? <Sure> Will I also run the risk of the plants taking up to many beneficial nutrients out of the water and thereby damaging the other livestock?  <This is a possibility... if conditions favor them... but you can monitor by testing the water, reduce the algal crop> My other area of concern is lighting. I would like to upgrade the light system to a pair of 96 watt power compacts. I have just enough clearance. These will be added to my current twin 55's. Is this to much? <Not too much... but don't turn all on at once... grade into over a months time> Can you have to much light?  <Yes> Will this adequately penetrate a 45 gallon tall?  <IMO yes> I was planning on running the 55's for 12 hours with the 96's coming on for 6-8 hours mid cycle. Good, bad or just wrong? <Fine> Thanks again Bob, your advice saves a lot of money in mistakes and most importantly, livestock. When it doesn't have to be replaced, it doesn't need to be harvested in excess. Brett- <Agreed, indeed. Bob Fenner>

Re: nitrates high! Dear Bob, OK now I'm REALLY confused. I quote you from the site you referred us to: "by using a typical wet-dry you will find a surplus of nitrates produced... and need to find ways to rid the system of the same... Instead, more "balanced" filtration approaches like using live rock, macroalgae, a mud sump... won't." Where do you describe the "mud sump"?  <Oh... let's see... do need to write a complete "piece" about these... How about here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mudfiltrfaqs.htm Please read through these FAQs and use the Google search feature on our site (WetWebMedia) with the words "mud", "sump", refugium, Leng Sy...> Isn't our crushed coral what they call a deep sand bed that has denitrifying bacteria? <If deep enough, not too-circulated, depending on grade, composition...> Would rustling through it disrupt this even if there is detritus in it? <Yes, to some degree> Everything I read said the trickle, while expensive, was the safest way to go (aside from a totally LR system).  <The "safest" way to go about what? Live aquatic closed-system filtration? Depends on many qualifying criteria, but not the "safest".> If we remove the BioBale, how will the ammonia be broken down?  <By nitrifiers elsewhere in the system... once going (cycled) there are plenty> How will LR do anything different from the BioBale? What's the best course to transition? <All this posted on our site... Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/liverock1.htm  and beyond in the "Curing LR" FAQs sections> Last night, we vacuumed out a huge amount of black gunk under the bio-bale. Hopefully we did not kill any helpful bacteria (or that gunk wasn't anaerobic bacteria). Nitrates are still sky high. I'm reluctant to change much more water since it's now approaching 50% in 3 days. <Not clear to me here... what is approaching fifty percent?> If we go out and buy lots of cured LR, won't a lot of that die in the transition and make matters worse? <Some die off, but likely no problem.> Then, we REALLY need a protein skimmer, right? Even, then, isn't that too traumatic? <Do you not have a skimmer currently? You very likely would/will benefit from ones use> In answer to your light question, our light is 4x20 watts (2 actinic, 2 full spectrum). Can LR survive OK on that? <Yes> We planned to be fish only (except our hermit and cleaner shrimp). It gets hot and we did not want to go metal halide/chiller. <Do try at least "some" live rock... you will not be disappointed I assure you> I can't seem to find a place that sells macroalgae. Where do you get that stuff. I've been hearing about some Caulerpa ban??? Regardless, I'm sure our little tang would love to snack on it. <Do check with the e-tailers posted on the WWM Links Pages> You just can't win. Sorry to always be so discouraged. Even if our system crashes, it has be 8 months of happiness (in between the crises). Thanks, Allyson <Ah my friend. You are on the brink of clarity. Do keep your eyes on the prize and study. Bob Fenner>

Coral (algae?) ID i got this on some Gulf live rock I bought. Can you ID it for me... i am just curious... i hope you can make out the pic.... <Ah, the upper material is some sort of Halimeda species (a common genus of suitable Green (Chlorophyte) Algae, the lower bit... a filamentous green plus some other forms likely... Bob Fenner> thanks in advance, Chris

Algae id on little info. I am having a problem with an alga that looks like feather Caulerpa but it is blue and a lot smaller. What is it called and what suggestions do you have for exterminating this alga. Thank You, Mike Williams  <Please read through, check out the images of marine algae posted on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com re this issue. Do you have access to a microscope? You might be able to discern what Division this algae is in... Bob Fenner>

Marine algae: Isochrysis galbana and Dicrateria inornata Hello, I am a graduate student in the Biology Department at York University in Toronto, Canada. I would like to know if you have any images/pictures of Isochrysis galbana and Dicrateria inornata? It is very difficult to find images of these species. If so, I would like to use these images for a presentation with your permission of course. If you have any suggestions in finding images of these marine algae, I would greatly appreciate that. Hope to hear from you. Thanks for taking the time to read this email. Sincerely, Shabana Bhatti <Sorry for the late reply... have been out of the country. Don't have images of these algae on hand unfortunately... perhaps keep looking on the Net for same... if they're in culture, it might be simpler to ask for some, and make your own images (the Intel/Mattel PC Microscope would do here). Bob Fenner>

Plants for marine systems? I have currently 5 fish, royal Gramma, raccoon butterfly, domino damsel, yellow tail damsel, common clown, live rock, pc of coral & fake coral in a 28 gallon tank. Is it a good idea to add live plants for food. ALL IS DOING WELL <Lorenzo Gonzalez, responding for Bob-in-Indonesia. That raccoon will eventually be waaaaaay too big for that 28 gallon tank. None of those fish you listed eat algae. But most of them would eat the little crustaceans that would come/grow/breed with a healthy batch of Caulerpa in your system... regards, Lorenzo>

Keeping sand bed clean cont. Hey Bob, Just wanted to tell you that I did get a sand bed activator kit from IPSF about 3 days ago. So far its been working pretty nicely and hopefully I have my hair algae under control now. I just had a quick question for you. I got the Tang heaven red, green, and yellow in my kit and I have it sitting in an eclipse 6 gallon tank in my stand. I added a small amount of fluid from my skimmer up about to weeks ago and hope to keep the nitrates high so I can grow this stuff for food (and maybe for some decoration and nitrate processing later). My question is about how long I should keep my lights on? Since its in my aquarium cabinet I have been keeping them on 24 hours a day but am not sure if they should have a dark period. What do you think? Thank You, Jonathan Pac <Some dark reaction time is likely a good idea here... maybe four to six regular hours per day. Bob Fenner>

More on the Tang, Nori, and Cyano I got the small (now) Sailfin Tang for my forty gallon breeder. I fear at the rate he is growing, he/she won't remain small long!! So anybody who wants a very fine Tang... So my question is about this. I am afraid that to accommodate my Tang's ravenous appetite I have succeeded in overfeeding my tank. As, and this is strange, I have some Cyano in the front of the tank (at least I think it is Cyano) but none in the back. <... okay> I added a largish Maxi jet (1000) on one side, so I doubt it is circulation. You also thought this was sufficient. So I am thinking it must be I am overfeeding. <Perhaps... and more likely a "true" Green Algae than Cyanobacteria...> The trouble is they always say don't overfeed, but how much exactly do I feed? <Try Nori... not much potential for pollution... and frequent partial water changes... monitor some aspect of nutrient/metabolite accumulation like nitrate concentration... and let this be your guide> The trouble came, I think, when I tried to add some Nori to the tank with a clip and later to just rubber band it to a piece of rock. The stuff was blowing around all over. When the tang would bite a piece off it left more to sail around the tank. Yikes. <Cut in smaller strips, fold and pinch in the clip> Anyway, I stopped feeding the Nori (somebody suggested there were differences in Nori but I don't know what brand to buy). Also anything to make it less scraggly? Right now I am feeding Spirulina flake, ON flake, and frozen brine supplemented with vitamins and some of Ecosystems garlic elixir Also with vitamins and iodine). I am looking at my watch and giving him about two minutes worth, if you get my drift. But how often a day?  <Two, three times...> I have heard that they graze constantly, and I now don't think I have enough algae on the rock to satisfy him/her. (Btw he/she does look very good and the colors have come out a bit since I bought it). So I must be doing something right. I just don't want the Cyano. I hope this isn't too much to ask. :-) (I have an Ecosystems tank and i think the algae in the sump has just starved off the other Algaes perhaps? But not the Cyano. I know it's not really algae and i did read and reread your articles and FAQ.) <Yes, possibly> Also could it be something else? Like coralline? It is actually pretty and doesn't seem slimy. It is even growing in the sand and on the backs of some snails. I am scrapping it off with a credit card, but it seems too maroon for coralline. It isn't dusty like diatoms. Sorry if this is going on and on. I hope not incoherently. :-} Thanks again. --Jane <No worries. Bob Fenner who sees you with a larger system, soon.>

Question (about algae taxonomic terminology) I am not sure if you can help me, but I might as well ask. What are the differences between the Chlorophyta, Phaeophyta, and Rhodophyta classes of algae, versus higher terrestrial plants? I have looked on the net without success, and any information you may have would be a big help. Thank you so much for your time. Kacie <These are major taxonomic designations (Divisions in plant systematics are about the equivalent of Phyla (singular Phylum) in zoology... for the Green, Brown and Red Algae (common names) respectively. These thallophytes (true algae) are classed/differentiated on the basis of such characteristics as storage foods, life cycles, sexual modes... And separately from the "true" or "vascular" plants on the basis of the former's transport mechanisms for water, nutrients (xylem, phloem) content of lignin in cell walls... and in the "higher plants" the production of embryos (they're called Embryophytes...), i.e. seeds, which the algae lack... This is a simplistic picture... and much more can definitely be found on the Net under search terms like "Plant Taxonomy" "Plant Classification"... Your local libraries will have several reference works on these issues... assuredly. Bob Fenner>

What algae is this?? Hi Bob, <Hello> I have asked this question in a couple different forums and haven't gotten any answer, so I know "you be the man" as they say around here. I mean "you be the FISH man". :-) <One of many> The predominant algae I have right now, I have been looking in your algae pages and so forth and can't find it. So I am wondering what I have here. (Definitely not Bryopsis or Derbesia, unless Bryopsis could be very short.) <Yes, can be...> It is very green especially on the top of the tank. It is definitely not slime or slick in any way. It isn't hairy (I have that too though). I can't really see any structure to it (like leaves). Someone did suggest coralline, but I didn't know it got so green. Perhaps mossy is the best description, maybe 1/8 in high or less. <Okay...> It looks very delicious like the tang I will get in a couple weeks may really like this (yes I wrote you about that). Btw it is actually very pretty, especially with the purple. I just don't think I want it taking over. Too bad I can't send you a picture. But I don't have a camera that would be able to get close enough. <Hmm, have many "sort of" images of this sort of algae...> Any idea what I am describing?? <Not really... did take three college classes in "Phycology/algology"... a survey, seminar and culture one respectively... enough to know that I don't know much of what is already known, and that this is paltry compared with what is to be discovered further... sigh. But do know somewhat about how one might proceed at this point... take a sample to a college, water quality board where these is someone trained in algae identification... they or even you with the dichotomous keys listed on the survey pieces on the algae groups on the WWM site can key out this organism at least to genus... Otherwise, we/you'll see if the tang will consume or even sample this algae... I do suspect it is some member of Bryopsis or Derbesia... Bob Fenner> If you are ever in the Chicago area, you can come over. I'll serve you dinner and you can answer all my zillions of questions. (I don't think this is a very good deal for you btw :-)). BTW, NOT a pick up line!!!! <Thank you for the kind offer... I very often cook for friends (one of my principal hobbies) and will gladly take you up on your meal plan. No plans for the Windy City as yet this year, but "you never know".>  Curious Jane <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Re: What algae is this?? Hi Bob, Can I edit the comments I sent you?? <Certainly you may> I looked at the algae very carefully and don't think it's bright green (could be because I just added 18 lbs of sand ?) but it looks more greenish grey. Other descriptions apply. <Still not able to discern what this might be any better... there are actually thousands of algae in a few Divisions (the equivalent of zoological Phyla in botanical taxonomy) that fit these general characteristics... Do take a look at the "old" (I used them in school!) works by E. (lmer) Yale Dawson... on the more common algae... there's a bunch to wade through... Bob Fenner> --Jane

Who is that?  Hi Bob,  I hope you can help me identify two organisms that presumably entered my tank on live rock. The first on looks like a tiny sea hare (Aplysiacea?)  <Maybe> It is bright green and well under 2mm long. It really moves around.  <You have good vision, and no to this being a Sea Hare... don't move that fast... slugs, marine snails of a sort...> I tried to catch it once but my fingers are too big and it squirted out a little white cloud.  <Better to not do this... might be a toxic species of flatworm, or? If want to remove, use a small diameter siphon to suck out> The other organism is on several pieces of live rock. It is about the size and shape of a pea but it is clear. Where the occur they are singular, not in groups. Any ideas? Do they need to be removed from my tank?  Thanks,  Brian Battles <The latter one sounds like a green algae commonly called Valonia in the hobby. Do take a look at the articles on marine algae groups and FAQs stored on the www.wetwebmedia.com site... No need to panic, but you might want to selectively scrub the easier to locate colonies, maybe try a Mithrax/Emerald Green Crab to eradicate. Bob Fenner>

A Burgundy moss in my tank Robert, I have a 90gallon saltwater tank. 6 small fish, protein skimmer, 15 gallon sump. Recently, a reddish/burgundy "moss" has started growing from the bottom of the tank upward on my live rock. Is this something i need to worry about? Jeff Steffanina <Not worry per se, but do keep your eye on this growth... indicative of a type/mix of algae that aren't very palatable, opportunistically surviving on available light, nutrients, space... that with subtle shift in water make-up, predator pressures... might well disappear... If this "patch" becomes too big, bothersome... do consider first a biological effort to nibble it back... A Mithrax Crab, Atrosalarias or Salarias sp. blenny, Ctenochaetus tang... many other choices... please read over the algae, control, FAQs parts on these key terms stored on the site: www.wetwebmedia.com Bob Fenner>

Phycology Culture Text/Manuals?  Hi Bob,  Been catching up on reefkeepers and saw you mention a phycology culture  course you had to take way back when. Are there any texts available for this  subject (and can you recommend any you might know about) and would they be  applicable to the types of algae available to the hobby.  <Yes to both... several... look at the bibliographies to the algae pieces posted on the WWM site, www.wetwebmedia.com> Specifically, I've  tried some of the Rhodophyta that occasionally crop up (pun intended!) in  the LFS but have never had much luck. I haven't been able to find anyone who  knows (or will confess to know) much about the culture of tropical  macroalgae.  As you may know I was trying to find someone to speak on that topic for WMC  but even Jim Wolfe, who did his thesis (or was it dissertation?) on one of  our local macroalgae punted at that suggestion.  Dave Sheehy <I'll do so if you'd like... Bob Fenner, pls note/use new e-mail addr.>

Macroalgae Rationale In a previous response to inquiry (ref. 410) you had said that some macro-algae in my sump or system would be good for the tank. Can you explain to me what and how to go about achieving this? By the way thanks for your help on the previous inquiries. The local LFS keep wanting to sell me more chemicals and i refuse to put anything in my tanks that I'm not sure of. Less is more and natural solutions seem to work alot better. >> Live macro-algae in a sump attached to a display system is a winner on several counts. By having this algae either on an alternating light/dark cycle with the main tank, much variability in water quality (chemistry and physics) is reduced... more stable pH, dissolved oxygen, many other factors are more homeostatic. The added volume of the sump and lack of predators there also allows for incidental or intentional culture of foodstuffs for your specimens in the main system as well. For most systems, the sump is provided with some live rock, and if any "mulm" accumulates, it is also best left in place. Live macro-algae is situated in/amongst the live rock. The green algae of the genus Caulerpa can be illuminated continuously, i.e. 24 hours a day. Other forms are best put on a light/dark cycle alternating, including overlapping a few hours if you desire, with the display system's lighting. Bob Fenner, who agrees with your philosophy on aquarium management: only use tools, substances that you understand.

Algae on the LR and crushed coral looks like a small fern plant, ID I have a 75 gallon tank with 75 lbs of live rock (from FFexpress). The problem is that I have green algae growing on the LR, crushed coral substrate, glass, pumps, etc. My biggest concern is the daily build-up of film on the glass and how to prevent this ongoing nuisance. The algae on the LR and crushed coral looks like a small fern plant and others look like a spiral tube about 1/32 in diameter. Phosphates, Ammonia, Nitrites are 0, Nitrates are 2.5, pH is 8.3, SG is 1.022, temp is 77. I have a Berlin HO protein skimmer that is running full blast and clean (the cup) daily. I also have a 75 gallon clean up crew from FFexpress on the way. Will this solve my problem or do I need additional help? >> I definitely would seek "extra help" in the way of biological algae eaters in your case. Look into the Tangs/Surgeonfishes of the genera Zebrasoma (the 'Sailfins') and Ctenochaetus (the 'Bristle Mouths') for sure if they'll fit, and possibly one or two Mithrax (Emerald Green) Crabs, and my favorite genus of Lawnmower Blennies... just one of these. And let's see what these can do to help in the first wave of offense. Additionally, do look into using some form(s) of macro-algae in your system or a lighted sump tied into your system to use up the nutrients and light that the nuisance filamentous is utilizing. And, even though you state a zero concentration of phosphate, I would use some (two units maybe) of activated carbon once a month in your filter flow path to remove some of the dissolved organic compounds that are fueling the pest algae... they are soaking up the phosphates ahead of your being able to measure them. Lastly, a philosophical note re the matter of "algae control"... it's best to approach these situations with a view on long term, slow success... and not expect, or desire the fast fix. Beware of any chemical controls... as they are toxic in their own right, simply recycle the nutrients in a system... and can take out all your livestock (happens every day) by killing the algae too much too soon. Be patient, and employ the controls and techniques I have listed... You will win. Bob Fenner

Sump Algae Migration... Bob: I emailed my question last night and today just read your response on the 23rd regarding what to put in sump. I'd thought of algae but wouldn't it (pieces, spores, etc.) get fed back in the main tank to cause problem? Greg.  >> Not really a worry... such "infiltrators" will, do get into your system via the air (yes, even in the Midwest...), foods, other livestock introductions... If there are sufficient conditions (light, water, nutrient, lack of predators, competitors....) algae will grow "there"... Bob Fenner

Macro Algae, Qt... Dear Mr. Fenner, Do you recommend any dipping or quarantine procedure prior to placing macro algae in one's main aquarium to prevent introducing fish parasites from the dealers tanks? Or is simply dumping the shipping water and rinsing them with some water from the main tank sufficient? Regards, Alec >> Good question... If there is any doubt at all about the possibility of dragging an infectious or parasitic agent, I'd dip/bath the macro-algae, even quarantine it afterwards for two weeks... Bob Fenner

How do I add macro-algae to my tank? First of all I would like to thank you for your help, you really are quite kind. But I do have a follow up question. How do I add micro-algae to my tank? Also, is it possible to add 2 96' power compacts to my current fluorescents? Thanks once again! K >> I take it you mean "macro" not micro (as in "scope") algae... the "little" stuff is generally undesirable ("green water"), and finds it's way into systems via tapwater, the air (yes, even inland from the seas), other organisms... foods...  Macro-algae can be bought as such (like from ffexpress.com under the name/category 'Algae', and as an "incidental" with live rock (it's an important component that comes as part of the rock... and can grow from tiny bits there)... among other types of livestock sold with a rocky base... I have a survey piece on Macro-Algae for marine aquariums stored for hobbyists' use on my site: www.wetwebmedia.com. I will check this for images, and add a few more at this prompting. Yes to the added lighting. This will be a great improvement function and looks wise. And, you're always welcome to my help, input. Bob Fenner

Brown creeping algae ID Bob I have a 75 gallon reef set up with four fish largest fish being a yellow tang various stony corals and leather corals. All parameters are fine but now I have noticed brown algae starting to creep over my live rock. The turbo snails don't eat this the blue, red and brown leg hermits don't do the job as well. Could you please help? As I would like to keep the beauty of the live rock from being taken over thanks.  >> Hmm could be a few things... together or by themselves... favoring the brown (probably a big mix of Diatoms, Blue Greens, Greens....) over the encrusting Reds... Is your alkalinity low? How about biominerals like calcium? Have any idea what your redox is? What about lighting? What sort do you have? How old are the lamps? Do you have Hermits that might be eating the corallines and leaving the undesirable forms? You might want to peruse the various Marine Algae sections stored at my site: www.wetwebmedia.com (make a large pot of coffee...) to gain better insights as to the cause(s) and options you have in prompting coralline algae "re-growth". Bob Fenner

Can you help clear up a few basic questions about algae? 1. Where does the bad algae come from? Does it spontaneously grow, and from what? Does it come in on water that comes with the fish? Does it come in on other fish? 2. Ditto for good algae. Both come in as "spores" and as "adults" (they're like the probably more familiar ferns with alternation of generations... gametophyte and sporophyte generations)... on rock, other livestock... and just "from the air" even in the middle of the U.S.... Add another item to the list of "unavoidable": death, taxes, and algae! 3. Are there some good algae that are not macro-algae? What are the algae encrusting the rock in the picture of the angel fish? Are these considered macro algae? All sorts. Most "micro" algae are either innocuous or of some benefit(s)... you just don't want too much of the stuff! Oh! The article on Petstore.com? Those are both encrusting red types (corallines) and some form(s) of greens (Chlorophyta). They're not considered macro-algae...  4. Are these algae specific to saltwater setups? Should we mention anything about algae in freshwater tanks? Is that an entirely different subject? I would think a very different subject... and dealt with in quite different ways... Please ask Ms. Barkley if she would like the piece amended... or another article... I would not discuss them together in such a short offering. I understand you're in Maui - wish I was too! Naomi I wish everyone was out here diving too! Very nice weather... lots of new pix! Bob F.

Macroalgae Sel. quandary I would like to begin to grow macroalgae in my 75-gallon reef tank to help soak up some of my high nitrates (I am currently using Siporax beads and PolyFilter, recently added a Derasa clam....). From an aesthetic viewpoint, I like the Lettuce Caulerpa and the Needle Caulerpa.  I have a yellow tang and a coral beauty angel, as well as two chocolate chip stars, which I anticipate will munch on the macroalgae. What would be the best type of algae to get that they can munch, but not deplete?  Also, I don't want the tank to be completely overrun by macroalgae.  Could you recommend a "good" algae for me? Thank you for your help! >> Of the species that are available regularly to the hobby, I would go with Caulerpa racemosa as my first choice, C. mexicana secondly... any others tertially. And if the herbivores seem to snack all these down, look to an mineralizing species in the genus Halimeda to help out. The Green Shrimp, aka "Fuller Brush (for the females' tufts on their backs) Shrimp", or "Camel Shrimp" (unfortunately not the only Shrimp with this common name), Common (because it is so familiar to the hobby), or Marble Shrimp... Saron marmoratus (family Hippolytidae, order Caridea...) is an interesting, albeit reclusive addition for invertebrate, peaceful mixed fishes, and reef systems... They're nocturnal (don't be shocked if you see it as bright red then... this is natural), and often must be fed especially when the lights go out... in order to assure that it gets its share of food... Most all that are sold are females... males have bizarre, really long front legs (longer than their bodies)... and only one to a tank... they fight... ferociously... amongst themselves. Bob Fenner 

Macrophyte Control I have a 55 gallon aquarium that has been established for about a month and a half. I used Fiji live rock to cure it and all my levels are in spec. I have a crushed coral substrate and recently had an excessive growth of algae. It is covering everything! My nitrate levels are around 15ppm and I have done a recent water change. I bought some crabs and some snails to help with the algae on the rock but I don't know what I should get for the substrate. What do you recommend? Thanks Carl Campbell >> Well, first off, congrats for taking the time to set up and let your system cure... And now, what about your system seems a little odd? Those nitrates... do you have a skimmer? I would suggest one of the many lawnmower type blennies for the tank/substrate, and to wait a bit more till you/we solve the source of the nitrates... and they settle down. This should happen in a few weeks. Patience pays big dividends. Bob Fenner

Any suggestions on a reef compatible macro algae eater? Question: I have an established reef tank with lots of Caulerpa. Various strains. I have no hair algae and just the slightest film of algae on the glass (almost imperceptible). The Caulerpa, and to a much lesser extent Halimeda, are rampant. I will harvest handfuls and toss it into my all fish tank for a snack. Any suggestions on a reef compatible macro algae eater? The Kole tang I added some time back is totally uninterested and spends most of its time kissing the glass.

Bob's Answer: I'd stick to yanking these thallophytes mano a mano. There are urchins, crabs, lots of fishes that'll lend an Aristotle's Lantern, opposing mandible and fin to keeping them in check, but don't exactly know where/when to stop... maybe you could trade your excess for other stuff?

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: