Do People Get Too Worked Up Over Nuisance Algae?

Would you leave the hobby because of nuisance algae?

  • I have stopped reefing because of nuisance algae

    Votes: 2 1.7%
  • I would stop reefing because of nuisance algae

    Votes: 4 3.4%
  • I would not stop reefing because of nuisance algae

    Votes: 113 95.0%

  • Total voters
    119

Maya Ybry-Yagy

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Do you think reefers tend to be too concerned over pest algae and bacteria?

Many people claim that they will leave, or have left, the hobby because of their fight with Cyanobacteria, turf algae, bubble algae, or any of those other pain-in-the-butt pests. But many of these, while unsightly, are relatively harmless, and can be managed even if not eradicated. Would you give up reefing if you struggled with nuisance algae? Or would it still be enjoyable to you?
I don’t know about harmless. I almost packed up my 220G and left after 8 months of GHA. Once algae starts covering your expensive corals and you’ve gone through a lot of money, labor, and stress trying to save your tank- it’s not a little thing. We all put so much into building our reefs and we control everything in the system. I don’t think any of us can easily ignore a problem that can get out of control and damage our reefs.
 
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ShariC

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I won't stop reefing but I would consider stopping including zoas in my reef, especially with GHA issues. They just seem to attract the GHA and it's super hard to clean up if the zoas are attached to a rock that's hard to get out of the tank. In the frag tank, it's OK because they're easy to pluck out and clean off but in a DT it's a big pain.

ETA: But, I'm new so don't really know what I'm doing yet!
 

lapin

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Do you think reefers tend to be too concerned over pest algae and bacteria?
Yes
I have all kinds of algae and even a good batch of red and green cyano.
They come and go as they want.
They seem to leave the corals alone.
If they get a bit overgrown I bob them back or in the case of cyano siphon it out.
To quote Alfred E Newman; "what me worry?"
 

Holy_makerel

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I've fought through several big issues with my 60 gal reef over the last few years. I got through a bad bout of GHA with lots of manual removal and carbon dosing. What just about pushed me out of the hobby was 8 months of slow decline of my corals despite regular water changes, testing showed that on paper my tank should be rocking along but my SPS were dying, lps were not doing well. I almost left the hobby. Had my eureka moment when we decided to remodel the basement and found that at some point in my house's history someone had taken the old black iron pipes from the gas system and installed them in the plumbing. That line happened to be where I had my filter hooked up. Something was getting through the filter and slowly poisoning my corals. After a complete plumbing redo My tank is back on track with everything looking great
 
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VKP01

VKP01

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My softie dominant reef has been up for almost five years. I battled with GHA early on by scrubbing some out and with a large CUC, including a Sea Hare. Now that the reef has filled in, there's been no problem. Although, I do have several spots that, for some strange reason, the CUC does not touch. Every month or so I manually pull the excess off but It's not really that unsightly to me. And, besides, my Mandarins love those spots because they harbor various sized pods. Maybe one day the Sea Hare may get around to those few little patches but until then, I'm not gonna worry about it.

20191007_100029.jpg
The tank looks great! I’ve not seen many full softy dominant tanks. Is the tank still producing a lot of algae and it’s being consumed by the cuc, has it backed off, or can you not really tell? Did you remove any of the cuc after the problem was under control?
 
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shred5

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Do you think reefers tend to be too concerned over pest algae and bacteria?

Many people claim that they will leave, or have left, the hobby because of their fight with Cyanobacteria, turf algae, bubble algae, or any of those other pain-in-the-butt pests. But many of these, while unsightly, are relatively harmless, and can be managed even if not eradicated. Would you give up reefing if you struggled with nuisance algae? Or would it still be enjoyable to you?

I think some people in this hobby are now afraid of their own shadow.. nuke it..
 

Rich Klein

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You just need to understand that Nuisance Algae is part of the dynamics of maturing a reef tank. I have got into most of my problems by trying to fight the Algae for the 1st 2 years. My tank now has 0 hair an other Nuisance Algae since it passed the 2 year mark. I believe that I could have got there sooner if I hadn't tried to fight it for the 1st year or so (caused Dino and other uglies).
 

Timfish

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Anyone who claims to have control over those needs to post work threads for review. Show how someone with a rampant infestation was cured on file, more than one example.


I’m highly interested in seeing the patterned works of those who can control it in others tanks because if we could invade/uninvade at will then we have the ability to stop literally tons of waste we produce as hobbyists in dead corals and started over reef tanks / clean new rocks due to myriad invasions nobody, authors and sages included, could undo.

I’m not even sure one can have a rounded opinion about aquarium algae until they practice controlling it in others tanks + able to post that work.

we all ought to spend time in the nuisance algae thread earning after pics, before voting

not from our own tanks, but the tanks of others we worked is key key in forming accurate opinions on aquarium invasion imo
+1 :D

In my maintenance business I realized a long time ago manual removal is all that's necessary. Here's two thread I've done on the local forum:


 

Scorpius

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Algae can and will kill your tank. Case in point, me. Turf algae won. I saved what I could and drained the tank, new cycled rock, etc. I wanted to sterilize the system so I ended up putting three gallons of bleach in the tank and ran that for approximately 2-3 hrs. I don't recommend everyone doing this unless you know what you're dealing with. I then ran 5 gal. of vinegar through the system to get rid of all the old coraline and to shock the system again. Please make sure all the bleach is gone before adding vinegar.
 

Timfish

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Scorpious, You've brought up a very good point! Algae can cause lots of problems with corals by the release of labile DOC that promotes pathogenic microbial processes to corals. Forest Rohwer's book "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas" is am excellent introduction (kindle version is $10). Andreas Haas and others have done further research on this subject also. Here's some links:

DOC (carbon dosing) kills corals, not nitrogen or phosphorus.

Role of elevated organic carbon levels and microbial activity in coral mortality

Indirect effects of algae on coral: algae‐mediated, microbe‐induced coral mortality
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2006.00937.x

Coral and macroalgal exudates vary in neutral sugar composition and differentially enrich reef bacterioplankton lineages
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23303369

Global microbialization of coral reefs
 
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mta_morrow

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Do people get to worked up over nuisance algae? Yes.

nuisance algae is easily controlled and defeated if that’s what someone wants.

all is takes is proper advice and a little time.
 

meatgrinder

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Feel bad for everyone that has to go through this, but reading this thread makes me feel good about my own reefkeeping skills.. I'm not an outlier.
I haven't had an issue for a while. At one point I was having some troubles.

- I happened to add a lemonpeel angel and he was like a vacuum. It wasn't even a fish that was recommended as an algae control fish. It was a great surprise.

- When I got bubble algae I started a few regular cycles of no lights... they almost all bleached and died, just had to be careful of floaties getting caught in pumps, etc. I might still try to do this on a regular schedule. I was thinking maybe at the end of every month just leave the lights off for a 24 or 48 hour cycle, my lps don't seem to mind. I've got a couple of monti's that I haven't had for too long, so I'll prob be pretty conservative due their lighting needs

- I've been pretty good about blowing off any algae that starts to attach to my sps with a turkey baster.

- I clean my glass just before doing a water change so I'm sucking out most of what's getting put into the water column.

- my water changing schedule is pretty well scheduled and regular.

... I haven't done any testing other than salinity in a long time. If you can't do stuff regularly, then it just doesn't seem worth it. Put your efforts into things that you can consistently stay on top of.
 

MichaelReefer

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Personally I don't mind a little Cyano, it's going to happen and we all have lives and cant be SUPER meticulous about our tanks, at least 24/7. If it was all over it's one thing.
 

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