A Simple Guide To Common Problematic Algae And The Means To Control It..

Discussion in 'Algae (including nuisance algae and bacteria)' started by Steven R, May 24, 2012.

  1. kyla bidwell

    kyla bidwell Well-Known Member

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    Im not sure if this is ok or not, if not please delete my post. But I have an algea that ive never seen and thought if someone could help me, this question could also help others in the future. So..... its a hard brown algea growing in the form of a cap. It almost looks like coraline but its brown. Its growing over my zoas and my encrusting montipora. I freaked out whem I saw it smothering my coral amd I scrapped it off immediately. I wish I had gotten a photo first! When it regrows ill get a photo though. It was NOT east to scrub off. It really reminds me if coraline. But coraline usually wont overgrow coral so I dont think thats it.

    I have bewn battling cyanobacteria lately. Ive almost completely beat the cyano! I still have traces of it. But this is different than cyano, as its hard to scrub off.

    Any help is appreciated and if I need to post this somewhere else please let me know! Thanks reef2reef!
     

  2. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    need pics can you post a full tank shot
     
  3. kyla bidwell

    kyla bidwell Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but the algea in question hasnt grown back yet. Ill upload some pics of my tank now
     
  4. kyla bidwell

    kyla bidwell Well-Known Member

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    Ok here aee a few pics. My sand is about 3 inches deep at its deepest part. Most of its less than 2 inches though. pics of full tank with white only, and a full tank shot with the light the way I usually run it (100% blue and probably about 75% white) and a picture of the frag plug that the zoa frag was on. I scraped it off the plug trying to scrape the algea off. The brows stuff on the plug is what was left of the algea after I scraped the "caps" off.

    I hope these can help some. I have a Samsung galaxy s3 that im taking photos with so they arent the best of photos, but there the best I can get lol.

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    tmp_12187-20151214_101751-691314733.jpg
     
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  5. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    nice setup

    yours and my sb looks the same. aged, not really wasteful at all, and some n2 bubbles nice going that's rather rare among dsbs, whats more common is black depositing and serious waste issues. nice fish balance, not overly stocked and nice corals.

    I cant see what kind of algae is on the frag though so sorry ill keep checking for updates but can tell this tank has a good balance so far, can you macro detail the frag pic in any way?
     
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  6. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    if it doesn't remove easily then its not cyano, and if its a form of crustose coralline then we have to focus on frag feeding so they'll outcompete. many lps and sps will exist just fine, slower growing, without direct feeding among a tank of fish. but if encroachment threatens, or competing calcification, the number one way you increase that for frags to add mass like a bodybuilder is to simply increase heterotrophic feeding and sustain two mos before evaluating the condition.

    export has to increase too so algae wont set in.

    if there is light patchy green growth on the rocks, common as well, then it can either be starved w gfo, setup an ATS scrubber, or spot treated w peroxide as well, outside the tank.
     
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  7. tristanfish

    tristanfish IG- Brooklynchemisttheory R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award

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    Great stuff Steven, thanks for this. Definitely one of the biggest battles of our beloved hobby.
     
  8. kyla bidwell

    kyla bidwell Well-Known Member

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    Thank you that really means a lot! Its only been set up around 10 months so it is still pretty new. So the n2 bubbles in the sand are good? Sometimes I will very lightly poke the sandbed a little bit trying to make the sand thats up against the glass look cleaner. Is that bad to do? I dont fully understand the sandbed thing yet. I know with a deep samd bed you arent supposed to stir. But mine isnt deep. But now you saod I have the bubbles so im worried that my poking it might cause problems.

    Do I have the black depositing that you mentioned?

    Ill try to get a better more detailed photo of the algea on the plug for you. I dont ha e high hopes though lol.

    I feed my coral. I actually feed my sps more than anything. I feed oyster feast and Roti feast.

    I skim about 12 hours a day. Usually at night. My coralife super skimmer produce
     
  9. kyla bidwell

    kyla bidwell Well-Known Member

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    My skimmer produces lots of micro bubbles so I dont run it constantly. I Normally run gfo but havent in the past 2 minths or so. I will get some tomorrow though. whats another good export method? I do watxh changes biweekly 25%.
     
  10. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    no this looks to be in fine balance so far, check out my deep sand bed. its only more colorful because it was 6 ish yrs old in this pic, but the same bubbles are there:

    [​IMG]



    stirring is a controversy like so much we do (and like having a reef in a vase lol) so many ways. On my old sandbeds I do something very consistent with them, so they do not have black pocketing which is a sign of bad. it will literally have black patches if there is too much waste in the bed.

    rules on sandbed contact/waste incorporation:

    1/ stirring a brand new sandbed can't harm anything, there's no waste.
    2. stirring as a matter of early design, so that waste is kicked up into the water to be filtered or siphoned out, is again safe because its a frequent task that is kicking up waste before it rots, consistently.
    3. having a hands off bed that stores up waste a long time, then stirring it, can be bad.
     
  11. kyla bidwell

    kyla bidwell Well-Known Member

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    How do you keep low nutrients in your "reef in a vase"? Ive been intrigued on this before. But cant find much info online about it. Maybe im not wording it right or something.
     
  12. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Primarily it's top down nutrient control. Whatever commands the most food in your reef is the biggest cause of nutrient issues...fish


    this very thread is about common algae ID and control, nutrients are listed in many as a key causative... anything other than a sandbed free of detritus waste is a short term move. Our entire hobby is about storing up waste in a sandbed and then doing X to the water to compensate and that actually is ok, but other ways exist too, more hands on ways that remove algae fuel and still recognize the need for a spot kill of algae as a boost anyway.




    The most relevant application to this thread is the largest nutrient store in an aquarium is a deep sand bed or any sand bed that houses waste.


    my tank is too small for fish, so I only need to feed once a week or so, for the corals, then I can do a 100% water change shortly after so the food never had a chance to get into the bed. Then occasionally I would hard pour twenty gallons of sw through it while the vase sets in a sink to mess up the bed and eject any uncaught waste

    Even though large tanks can do 100% wchanges they can still stock low on fish and keep the top layers of the sand reasonably clean as a precaution. Your tank from the pic looks to be in fine balance. When minor patches of algae grow in a tank that can be either in low nutrients or high nutrient waters, algae finds a way. Even though my tank has all these nutrient measures algae still grew, so I burnt it out with peroxide since my reef was too small for grazers too. It's just a shrimp and coral house lol
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2015
  13. ReefBuzz

    ReefBuzz Spreader of reef news R2R Supporter

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    Very nice writeup!
     
  14. Chicleg

    Chicleg Member

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    Emerald carb really works
     
  15. Robink

    Robink Well-Known Member

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    Good info, thanks!
     
  16. Drewcifer

    Drewcifer New Member

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    Thanks, that was really helpful. I just finished a year long battle w/ green hair algae. That's what happens when you go on a bunch of vacations & have the neighbors take care of the tank.
     
  17. SantaMonica

    SantaMonica Well-Known Member Toys For Kids 2016

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    This is the root of all algae:

    Nutrient Export

    What do all algae (and cyano too) need to survive? Nutrients. What are nutrients? Ammonia/ammonium, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate and urea are the major ones. Which ones cause most of the algae in your tank? These same ones. Why can't you just remove these nutrients and eliminate all the algae in your tank? Because these nutrients are the result of the animals you keep.

    So how do your animals "make" these nutrients? Well a large part the nutrients comes from pee (urea). Pee is very high in urea and ammonia, and these are a favorite food of algae and some bacteria. This is why your glass will always need cleaning; because the pee hits the glass before anything else, and algae on the glass consume the ammonia and urea immediately (using photosynthesis) and grow more. In the ocean and lakes, phytoplankton consume the ammonia and urea in open water, and seaweed consume it in shallow areas, but in a tank you don't have enough space or water volume for this, and, your other filters or animals often remove or kill the phytoplankton or seaweed anyway. So, the nutrients stay in your tank.

    Then, the ammonia/ammonium hits your rocks, and the periphyton on the rocks consumes more ammonia and urea. Periphyton is both algae and animals, and is the reason your rocks change color after a few weeks from when they were new. Then the ammonia goes inside the rock, or hits your sand, and bacteria there convert it into nitrite and nitrate. However, the nutrients are still in your tank.

    Also let's not forget phosphate, which comes from solid organic food particles. When these particles are eaten by microbes and clean up crews, the organic phosphorus in them is converted into phosphate. However, the nutrients are still in your tank.

    So whenever you have algae or cyano "problems", you simply have not exported enough nutrients out of your tank compared to how much you have been feeding (note: live rock can absorb phosphate for up to a year, making it seem like there was never a problem. Then after a year, there is a problem).

    So just increase your nutrient exports. You could also reduce feeding, and this has the same effect, but it's certainly not fun when you want to feed your animals :)
     
  18. rockstarta78

    rockstarta78 Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]


    I am new to this hobby. But not new to fish keeping. This is my very first saltwater tank.

    So I have this green algae all over my rocks. There are no hair strains. This tank has been setup for 3 months. The cycling finished in late January of this year.

    I have 4-5 snails and 2 hermit crabs. I don't feed the tank either. Nitrate is 10ppm. I don't have a Phosphate Checker. Nitrite is 0, ammonia 0.


    I am using Roaphos. Doing 10% water change every other week. I still don't get what this algae is (gha has hair but there is no hair on this one).

    Please help. I turned the lights off as well. What can I do to get rid of it? Should I add some trochus snails? Or some other snails? These were all dry rocks I started with. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  19. SantaMonica

    SantaMonica Well-Known Member Toys For Kids 2016

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    Rocks are still white. Wait a few month for periphyton to develop on them, and then you will be good.
     
  20. choff

    choff Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to say I think it's lobophora. Nasty, Nasty stuff. I have it. I will spare you the details, but I have tried just about every possible aka be "trick" in the book. Nutrients are not an issue. I have almost no visible algae of any other kind in my system. My SPS are all very well colored. The stuff just keeps spreading. Do not try to manually remove it. That will just spread it to more sites. As it matures it forms those caps and then it breaks off and starts another patch somewhere else in your tank.

    There is one hope. A blonde naso tang. I put one in and within a week it was mostly gone. A month in and I can just see a just few patches under some acro colonies he can't reach. He won't be able to totally eradicate it, but he will control it. The only other thing I've read that I didn't try is a Sally Light foot, but results really seemed to vary. Blonde naso tangs are all but guaranteed. My tank is to small for it, but the alternative was draining the tank and giving everything an acid bath. When he gets to big for my 150 I'll deal with it.

    Best of luck and feel free to pm any questions.
    Mike
     
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