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FAQs on Marine Algae Identification 23

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: 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 8, 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 18Marine Algae ID 19, Marine Algae ID 20, Marine Algae ID 21, Marine Algae ID 22, Marine Algae ID 24, Marine Algae ID, 25, 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! FAQ, ID Visual Guide


Dusting on my sandbed BGA? 7/17/08 Morning crew, <Hello.> I have a question regarding a dusting that has started appearing on my sandbed. When I first saw it I thought it may be red slime algae aka Cyanobacteria (not sure of spelling). Anyhow, I performed some tests to see where my params where. Nitrates 0-5ppm Salinity 1.023sg Ammonia 0 Nitrites 0 Alkalinity 7dh Ph 8 My parameters looked fine so I figured maybe it was a flow issue but I have a 90 gallon tank with 2 1200gph powerheads not to mention the return pump from the sump that adds even more flow per hour on top of the powerheads. <Your water tests can be deceiving if the BGA is using up nutrients keeping your tested levels low. I would raise your salinity to 1.025 and possibly the KH a degree or two to give the competing algae (coralline) an helping hand. In regards to flow, it sounds like you have plenty, just be sure it is directed in a way to prevent dead spots that become detritus sinks.> In the past, I have seen red slime algae and it looked like a maroon color. Today I saw red slime algae in a friends tank at it's beginning stages an it was bright red (never seen that before) and my tank most definitely didn't go thru any of that. The dusting on my sandbed is a deep purple similar to that of coral line but different. <BGA has many forms and colors.> From my experience I have never seen coral line grow on a sandbed so this is why I thought red algae but this doesn't have the colors of red algae. I have also started to get a nice coral lone algae spurt growing all over my overflow box and powerheads. <Good, in time this should take over the rest of the tank too.> Any idea what this could be on my sanded? Is it red slime and if so what can be causing it? <It does sound like BGA. Feeding, dirty filtration, source water, sandbed, incorrect flow, all the usual suspects: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm > Thanks in advance <Welcome, Scott V.>

Macro Algae ID 7/11/08 Hello, <Jen> I love your website -- but I finally have a question it doesn't answer, at least as far as I can tell: what type of macro algae this is? I can't find anything like it online. It's shaped kind of like Padina, but it doesn't have any ridges, and it's red with a pretty yellow-orange pattern along the edge. It's about the size of a quarter, or a little larger. What is it, and is it likely to become a "pest"? Thank you! Jen <Mmm, it may be a type/form of Padina... though it appears more "Red" than Brown in color... Can you send along a larger, more resolved image for a closer look/see? Only a pest if it is growing too much, displacing other life, or mal-affecting water quality. Bob Fenner>

Algae ID 07/07/08 Hi guys -- just wondering what sort of algae this is (foreground, at the right). It looks calcareous but not quite like the scroll algae I found in your algae ID FAQs. Any ideas? <Hmm, looks like Lobophora sp. (or maybe Padina sp.). http://www.wetwebmedia.com/trialalgaeid.htm Thanks!
<De Sara M.>

Algae ID   7/5/08 (2 photos attached) Hey gang. I trust you all had a good 4th (assuming you celebrated it). <Ah, no... not really. Not into this type of rah rah so-called patriotism. A real patriot would be out doing what they could to bring about the overthrow of the current regimes at the fed., some State levels.> I'm sorry to bother you kind folks again, but I'm having trouble identifying some type of brown algae that has taken a foothold in my tank. Here are the tank spec's: 65 gallon tank, ~70 pounds of live rock, 20 gallon sump and 6XT5 lighting. Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate all 0, specific gravity 1.025. Top off done daily with 0 TDS RO/DI water and 10% water changes every weekend (is it Saturday already?!). It also enjoys candlelit dinners and long walks on the beach. Wait, that's a different questionnaire. Never mind....... Anyway, I'm sure just as the same with all algae's, excess nutrients are feeding it, but I have yet to find this type on your website. I'm sure it's there somewhere, but I've looked over countless pages the past week and haven't found a photo that resembles it. Any thoughts? Thanks for your time. -wuf <Very likely this mulm is mostly a BGA... If you look under a scope of moderate power you'll be able to see... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/bgaidfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Algae ID 7/6/08 Thanks for the response Mr. Fenner. <Welcome... wuf!> I don't think this is BGA (Cyanobacteria). It doesn't come off the rock easily at all, and isn't THAT fast of a grower. <Mmm, neither of which are salient characteristics...> Attached is a link to an animated gif that shows 8 weeks of growth on a frag, and you can see the algae starting to grow during that 8 week period. http://samwolfe.com/photos/acro.gif <Interesting> Sorry to be a bother. -wuf <Not a bother. Do know that it is impossible to ID Thallophytes, Cyanophytes by simple macro-viewing... Again, a simple look/see will reveal whether much of this life lacks nuclei... a definitive difference twixt. Please do read where you were referred to. BobF>

Re: Algae ID... time, past, for a scope  -- 07/08/08 Ok, I have spent every night since my last emails going through the bgaidfaq's on your website, and I still can't tell what I am dealing with. <... didn't we chat re this? A simple compound microscope...> Upon closer inspection, there is actually what looks like a clear hair growing on the brown spots. I don't know if I have a major hydroid infestation (a guess made simply because to the clear color) <Umm, no> or if this an algae. <Is likely Cyanobacteria> Judging by the fact it is only growing on the top of the rock and not underneath in the shaded areas, I am guessing algae. I just have never seen one that looks like it has clear fur. Also, it will NOT come off the rocks, even with vigorous scrubbing with a toothbrush. The closest thing I could relate it to is a fuzzy brown coralline. <No my friend...> Attached is a close up of the fur, if it might help to identify it. -w <Not really possible to ID algae from macroscopic images... A leading question... How slimy does it feel? B>

Algae ID ... are they dangerous?   6/23/08 Dear WetWebMedia Crew -- Thank for all your help in the past. First the stats and then  a few quick questions. <Ok> We have a 55gal FOWLR tank with 2 Dartfish, 1 fairy wrasse, 1 sand goby, and what used to be *lots* of hair algae. We added a small one-spot fox-face Rabbitfish last week and he is plowing through our hair algae. (Oh and a couple of peppermint shrimp and the usual live-rock sponges, etc.) All of our numbers are good, but our KH is a little low (8 dKH) as is our calcium (340 ppm). Last week (on advice from you and others), we've started trying to increase our KH and calcium [slowly!]. (KH is now 9, calcium is still 350.) <Good> Since our Rabbitfish started in on our hair algae, we've noticed a few new things and wanted to know if they are dangerous. (1) Some red discoloration on our protein skimmer. (See picture.) Is this red slime? <Does appear so> We had a red slime problem when our tank was new (almost a year ago), but haven't had an issue since then (we cured it with an anti-red-slime treatment suggested by our LFS). If it's not red slime, is it dangerous? <Mmm, I'd scrub this contact chamber, rinse with hot freshwater> (2) New brown circles have started appearing on our back wall. (See picture.) Are these diatoms? <No... a Phaeophyte, brown algae> If so, are they dangerous? <No> If not, are they something else? We also have a small spot in a hard to reach (ok water flow, just can't get my hand in there to scrape it off) on the front wall. (Picture included if that helps.) The spot on the front wall is clearly the same as the spot on the back. (2a) Also, you can see lots of white circles in the picture from our back wall. That's the remnants of purple coralline algae that turned white when our hair algae started appearing. We've seen some new purple coralline algae appearing at another location. Should we leave the white remnants or should we remove them? <I would not> (3) Finally, some white flowers have started appearing on one of our rocks. At first I thought it was a form of algae. They sometimes have green stalks and white tops. (See picture.) Any idea what this is? <Perhaps a Hydrozoan, maybe a Clavulariid "recruit"> Thanks again for all your help Dave and Laura <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Green Algae Mat 6/5/08 Hi Guys, <Hello> I have some type of green mat on one of my rocks. I think it's a form of algae, but its not one I've seen before. <Not a true algae, is Cyanobacteria.> I've looked at pictures on your site and Google and couldn't find a close match. There are no strands or "hair" coming from it, despite how it looks in the picture, it's just a large green mat and its "squishy" like a sponge. Any ideas on what this is or if it will spread to my other rocks? <Will spread if allowed, control nutrients and you will control its growth. See here for more. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm > <Chris>

Can't identify this growth -- Likely Coralline -- 05/27/08 I can't find anyone that can identify this. The tank is a 75g reef that has been up almost 3 years. I thought at first it was some type of Cyano so I use red slime remover. It didn't faze it. <Even if it was, it's better to treat the disease, not the symptoms.> The growth is more of a dark reddish purple, almost the color of burgundy wine. It is soft to the touch but not hairy. It can't be blown off nor syphoned like regular Cyano. The only way to get it off is by scraping. It is only on a few pieces of my LR and turbo snails. It isn't getting onto my corals just the LR. I am stumped as to what this could be. Thanks for the help ! <Only microscope or chemical examinations will ultimately tell you what it is. Probably a softer, darker type of coralline algae with weaker ability to bind Calcium. I probably got this one on some rocks, too. More light and good Calcium and Magnesium concentrations and it will be replaced by lighter varieties with time. Cheers, Marco.>

Looks like BGA to RMF.

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