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FAQs on Marine Algae Identification 3

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 4, Marine Algae ID 5, Marine Algae ID 6, Marine 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 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, Marine Algae ID, 25, 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

Is this a dreadful BGA or a delightful filamentous Red? A quick look through a microscope would tell... if no nucleus... Cyanobacteria. Hawai'i pic.

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Marine Aquarium Algae Control

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Nuisance red algae 4/5/04 Hey Anthony and Bob - I don't know if you remember me but I am from the Rocky Mountain Reef Club in Colorado and we had you guys come out and speak with us.   I also work with Barry at Aqua Medic and handle all his website development and talked with you about wetwebmedia.com. <cheers to all the Denver gang... especially that sweetie Becky at Neptune's <G>> I am having a very annoying algae bloom in my tank and I don't know what it is or what I need to put into the tank to eat it or what I need to change to stop it. Here is a picture: http://www.johnsreef.com/images/red_macroalgae.jpg Any information would help.  I would really appreciate it! Thanks! John Michael <decent picture, but just not clear/close enough to make a confident ID. Looks like it might be the dreaded red turf algae, Polysiphonia to me. Do research that name (know that there are many forms of it... stick to the hobby pics/sites.) Best regards, Anthony>

Algae and Worm Identification 3/26/04 Hello Anthony! <cheers Thanassis> Could you pls help me identify the algae in the picture? I believed it to be Dictyota, since I saw a photo in your book "Reef invertebrates", where it looks like the Gracilaria. <the photo is not clear, my friend, but it does appear to be like Dictyota> Secondly, I noticed just yesterday the very thin and black striped worms getting a part of their tentacles out of a hole in the LR. Firstly I thought they were the feet of a brittle star, but them I realized they came out from two different holes in the LF. Can you identify it? <alas, no... nothing discernable here> Sorry about the bad quality of photos. Thanks, Thanassis <kind regards, Anthony>
Macro ID I've searched and asked around to no avail. any idea? Not the best pic but should give an idea what it looks like. Thanks in advance. <Looks like a Chlorophyte of the genus Codium to me... like C. fragile, "Dead Man's Fingers" off our coast (California). Use Google or other search tools re and the genus name. Bob Fenner>

Wacky Pink Algae? Or, Is It Wacky Red Algae? Hi guys, <Hey there! Scott F. here today!> I'm hoping I can get some help identifying an algae that is doing quite well in one of my customers tanks, a 230g reef.   I've had it referred to as "the red stuff" by the owner and from a fellow fish friend who's in the know as "the pink stuff". <Well, that narrows down the color, at least!>   It's red/pink, depending on the lighting,  and grows in a fuzzy patch about a 1/2-3/4 inch thick.  It's easy to remove from the rocks but in the process disintegrates and small hair like parts get blown around in the tank only to reattach somewhere else.  So it spreads well.  Also the 'root structure' remains on the rock so when you remove it keeps growing back.  I do the toothbrush on the end of a siphon hose thing to scrape it off and take it out but it only helps to limit the spreading.  I've tried a bunch of ways to get rid of it but it's very tenacious.  And the worst part I can't get anything to eat it.  In this tank there are two hungry tangs, a yellow and a blue that go to great lengths to eat whatever they can get on the rocks...except the red stuff.  Trochus snails, Astrea snails and hermit crabs don't eat it.  'Pods love it- but for a safe house.  And although I try to keep it looking under control...it isn't, and is just getting worse,  it has been about a year now.  The aquariums water quality is good and is doing really well, no phosphates and nitrates are in the <2 range.  I've recently put in a RDP refugium which will help control this, I hope.  I've placed some of his corals that were being overrun by this in my tank that has a refugium and after a couple of months the red stuff seems to go away.  But in the meantime and so I'm better informed in the future can you identify this and can you suggest some other ways of reducing it.  Hopefully there's a red stuff eater out there somewhere <Well, without a photo, I'm really just guessing here. It could be Gelidium, which is a typical "nuisance" algae. Or, it could be something more exotic, like Halymenia or Geldiopsis. These kinds of algae are really not favored by many herbivores; you may need to utilize "harsh" grazers, such as urchins. Even they may not do the trick. Often times, manual extraction is the best bet. Happily, these algae are often self-limiting, and tend to decline on their own over time, in the presence of good husbandry habits! If you can get a pic for us, we can give a better shot at ID'ing this algae. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

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

Acro Suffering Algae II 3/1/04 Thanks Anthony, I have attached two pictures. I have yet to master this (**^$^% digital camera. <Hmmm... yes, helpful. The color and apparent texture of the algae remind me of a dinoflagellate infection instead of a diatom algae. Do check you pH and Alkalinity. Dinos like this often show up when the aforementioned are flat (under 9dKH and under 8.3 respectively). Aggressive protein skimming and daily use of Kalkwasser alone can eradicate this pest. DO let us know if it helps! Anthony>

Unidentifiable Red Turf Algae - 2/28/04 Hey Paul, Sorry but I didn't do a good enough job describing the algae. <No worries> The algae is fuzzy almost like cotton balls not diatoms or slime algae. <Yeah. I know what type of algae you are talking about but I do not have any  species ID yet. We have this algae in our holding and reproduction tanks at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I have not taken the time to ID it yet. Will do so soon though.> I did have some green hair algae that appeared about the same time but was able to get rid of that very quickly. <Great.> The tank is 2 years old and had no algae problems except the usual diatoms and Cyano on break in. <Good of you to note. I have been preaching that new tank "break in" has a major algae cycle> This algae was introduced when I got more Caulerpa to add some variety to the sump. I use ro/di and am diligent with filter changes. The algae is brownish red- more red than brown. <Yep. Same as what we have I think> As I mentioned before I am diligent with water changes and have limited all known nutrients. <This is a very hard algae to rid yourself of> I stopped feeding the tank all together for weeks to the point that we lost a couple of Chromis for lack of food and the Caulerpa stopped growing and almost started the dreaded die off. <Yikes. No need to go that extreme> I'm up for suggestions on different husbandry techniques if I am missing the boat somewhere but I feel like I almost went to far. <We just pick it off manually. I do have some info from someone in the trenches.  Check out this link and let me know if this is not only the algae you have but if her suggestions do any good: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-12/nftt/ > During this period of starving the fish and Caulerpa the fuzzy red stuff kept growing I tried siphoning it off and longer stuff came off easy but grew back quickly. <Oh yeah. Preaching to the choir> The free floating stuff did good at replanting itself elsewhere. I have looked at the articles and nothing described seems to match what I am seeing. <We don't have much on this algae> This stuff is like hair algae but is red not green, it doesn't get long and stringy it stays closer to the rocks like little tufts of cotton. It is out competing the Caulerpa in the sump and choking it out even after cleaning most of it out on several occasions trying to give the Caulerpa a head start. With limiting the nutrients I put into the tank the Caulerpa doesn't grow all that fast and the fuzzy red headed monster just keeps choking it out. <Try some of the suggestions in the link above> I apologize if I have missed the articles on identifying this particular algae but I don't find a match. If it is Bryopsis <It is almost like a Chlorodesmis but not> I thought that species was brown not red. <Bryopsis is more brown and Chlorodesmis is green> I guess I am out of ideas as far as husbandry but am up for suggestions I thought if I could identify the beast I might find something to eat it. <I need to identify it soon. Maybe I will add an article to the site once I have more info and identity> All else coral-wise in the tank seems to be doing great so I am stumped. <Except when the stuff grows on the coral, right? That is the problem we seem to be having> Thanks for your time.  <Thanks for bringing this algae to the forefront. Send pictures. As many as you can to me and I will work on an article and ID. High resolution but small size pictures if you can. Thanks ~Paul>

More on Red Turf Algae - 2/28/04 Here you go Barb: Gelidium pusillum http://www.globaldialog.com/~jrice/algae_page/redturf.htm Is this it? (Albeit of juvenile growth)

Red Turf Algae follow-up - 2/29/04 That's the stuff. <Awesome> I'm almost certain by the looks of it and it sounds like it behaves the same too or should I say misbehaves. I can not tell you how thankful I am for your efforts. <No worries. Educational for me too. I have been putting it off at the Aquarium for some time> I will get the snails as soon as possible. Is there a species name or is Mexican Turbo good enough.<I think Mexican Turbo should be enough but maybe try this name: (Turbo fluctuosa)> Sometimes at the LFS a turbo snail is a turbo snail no matter what they look like if you know what I mean. <I do. Take a look at a few online sites that sell the (Turbo fluctuosa) so to get a good idea of what they look like> I don't have a digital camera yet but I can find one to borrow and take pictures it just might be awhile Thanks again. <No worries. ~Paul>

Red Turf Algae ID - 2/29/04 This does not quite look like it < http://www.globaldialog.com/~jrice/algae_page/redturf.htm> but if you go down to the U of Ohio resource Go to the alga images click Rhodophyta and then Audouinella. <You're right, that does look like it. Will do more research and keep you in the loop. If you don't hear from me by next Monday then send me an email> This looks like it could be it although I realize there might be several that can look similar especially in pics. <Absolutely. There are probably several morphs in the Gelidium alone.> Thanks again for all your help <No problem. ~Paulo>

Slime/algae identification Hello All      In my 29 gallon reef tank I have had a bloom of a green substance that I cant identify. This substance is overtaking all the surfaces in the tank. At first I thought it was just a green algae, but my turbo snails, lawn mower blenny scarlet, blue and emerald crabs don't seem to touch it. I have attached a couple of photos to see if you could identify it and give me some pointers on ridding myself of it. This tank is appr two years old now and the problem has been present for around four months. the latest water tests revealed the following: Temp - 78f Sg - 1.023 Ph - 8.3 DKH - "high" w/ red sea marine test kit Ca - 350 NH3/NH4 - 0 NO2 - 0 NO3 - 0 PO4 - 0 I hope you can help dean <Can. You have almost a "text book" example of LR succession in this system. Please read here re Live Rock replenishment: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lrfaq6.htm The third FAQ down... and consider adding, switching some of your LR out. Oh, this is BGA, aka Cyanobacteria. Bob Fenner>

Blue Green Cyanobacteria with a side order of Aiptasia, please - 2/27/04 Hi, i have a question for you <OK.... I hope I have an answer for you> what is this purply brown stuff on my sand is it algae? <Yes> is it good or bad <Not good or bad but a nuisance. Could become a detriment to your corals if you have any as it may outcompete for light and cover them in time> what is it caused by also do you have any other information on it ??? <More info can be found here on causes, possible cure, etc: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/algaeconMar.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/avoidingalgaeproblesm.htm Use the links at the top of the page for replies to previous questions on the subject> what is this thing growing on my live rock? <Looks like an Aiptasia anemone: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm Sounds like you might have nutrient control issues. More maintenance of your tank might be needed. Read through the FAQs for answers. Thanks for being part of it all ~Paul > thanks

Macroalgae 2/24/04 ID Hey guys, I've tried to figure this guy out and posted on bulletin boards but to no avail. The tank is about 1-1/2 months old now and my hair algae is finally starting to diminish and I'm trying to sort out what's what. The "thing" is about the size of a large marble. It's somewhere between medium-soft and hard. <it is clearly a macroalgae. Too small to determine the genus. As it grows, do compare it to pics on algaebase.org and/or references by the Littlers> It started on one piece of LR and seems to have spread to about a dozen spots now, fairly slow growing. I'm guessing it's an algae, but was curious. <correct> The picture shows the "thing" on a slightly smaller than a baseball nub of rock and the "thing" like I said just a little bigger than a marble. Thanks in advance, Yarsrevenge - Lonnie Maxwell <best regards, Anthony>

Macroalgae ID  II 2/24/04 Anthony (and or WWM crew), "<it is clearly a macroalgae. Too small to determine the genus. As it grows, do compare it to pics on algaebase.org and/or references by the Littlers>" As you said it's difficult to discern at this point, but you feel as though this algae is beneficial enough to not remove it manually from the aquarium? <most macros are easily limited/controlled by controlling nutrient levels in the tank> As I couldn't identify it at Algae.org. But one thing I'm now sure of it will be all over the display soon enough as a piece was sticking in the intake of my Stream pump this morning half-mangled and spreading little ones I bet. hehe! Thanks a bunch! <no worries.. it will only become a nuisance if the nutrients flare... all within your control (skimming, water changes, etc) P.s. My Reef Inverts book has come completely out of it's binding, (page by page) have you guys had any issues from other folks like this? <yes, my friend. We did replace a few (less than one dozen). Out of 8,000 copies printed, it really is a good QC track record. Some flaws are inevitable. Please allow me to replace this copy for you. E-mail me back with your mailing address> Love the book though. When's the next vol. coming anyway????? <Bob and I hope to have it ready for release this year. We are working on it presently :) Anthony>

Liverock hitch-hiker I.D III 2/27/04 Anthony, thanks a lot for the quick replies. As for the algae it should be coming into my control soon, I hope?!? <dunno... yes, if you are dogging your nutrient export vehicles (heavy daily skimming, weekly water changes, improved water flow, etc)> I've been doing small 5g water changes and during these I'm using one hand with a toothbrush and siphon. <good> No animals in the tank except a few Astraea snails so not much in the way of added D.O.C.'s. <do reconsider the reality/likelihood fo that last statement. Your algae growth is evidence other wise ;)> I've been running carbon every other week for three days and remove. I use only RO/DI and run a test meter indicating  ppm of anything. I have been using ROWAphos for about 1 week now. Tank is now 1-1/2 months so I understand a lot of this is the maturing of the system/rock. <correct... algal succession in a nutrient spiked new tank> But would like to make sure nuisance algae is kept well at bay. Oh yeah the Euro-Reef CS8-2 works well, my girlfriend actually leaves this end of the house during empty and cleaning!!! <ha! too funny. Good to hear (the skimmer part... not the girlfriend being offended part)> Thank-you for your time, Lonnie P.S. -I added a couple pictures of how bad the Reef Invert's book de-bound (is that a word?). I would be very grateful for a new copy and I can officially say too, that I read the book right out of its' cover! hehe <will do my friend... thanks kindly. Anthony>

What is it?  Red algae ID 2/25/04 WWM Crew, I have this probable red algae growing in one of my tanks. Do you know what it is? First picture was taken today. the other picture in Sept. 03. Mitch <Hi Mitch.  I am not sure of the ID of the first algae that sort of looks like a bunch of curlicues.  The second algae that is sort of feathery looking, looks like Gracilaria.  Both are beautiful and nice finds!  Best Regards.  Adam>

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Marine Aquarium Algae Control

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

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