Poll: Caulerpa Sporulation?

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by dbl, Feb 20, 2018.

?
  1. Yes (please share story in thread)

    28 vote(s)
    6.7%
  2. No

    100 vote(s)
    23.9%
  3. I've never used Caulerpa

    290 vote(s)
    69.4%
  1. dbl

    dbl It Takes Less Energy to be Nice Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    Yesterday's poll looked at preferred macro algae and chaeto was the overwhelming preference of those that participated. In second place, albeit a distant second place, was Caulerpa. The one negative thing I've always read about Caulerpa was the potential for sporulation (going sexual) and how invasive it can become - both in the refugium and in the display if it makes its way there.

    So I'm curious if those that have used/tried Caulerpa have had an experience with Sporulation. If so, which species was it? Share your story for those considering using the macro algae as part of their nutrient control.
     
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  2. Crabs Mcjones

    Crabs Mcjones Millepora Maniac Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    I don't use caulerpa anymore, but when I had it, it never gave me any issues of going sexual or making its way into the display tank :) I was using Caulerpa Prolifera.
     
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  3. Mccool

    Mccool Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I've used caulerpa taxifolia in the past. It did indeed go sexual and made its way into my display tank.

    Honestly though, I think the problem was always way over stated. It wasn't hard to remove from the display. It also grew like crazy, way better than cheato ever has for me.
     
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  4. mort

    mort Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    I've had it happen a few times but it varies with species. For me prolifera has never been a problem, you get the odd leaf become translucent but not had a total wipe out.
    The one I won't go near is racemosa. This have gone sexual several times for me at various sizes and densities. It's such a risk I won't keep it. I've never lost anything to it but it's a pain to clear the water and remove the mush.

    I've read in the past that caulerpa species have different lifespans, so some species prove more troublesome than others. Density and water flow also seem to be an aspect of these events.

    I will say I don't run 24/7 lighting as I've never seen proof this actually prevents the issue at all.
     
  5. tastyfish

    tastyfish Active Member UK Reef Club Member

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    Yes, but only one species and only in a particularly extreme event. I had allowed Caulerpa racemosa to dominate my refugium. I had a cryptocaryon/oodinium infection wipe out my stock bar two fish. This instantly deprived the algae of NO3 or PO4 and caused it sporate.

    I have never had an issue with C.taxifolia, C.serrata, C.brachypus or C.profilera.

    Personally I would avoid C.racemosa or carefully limit its percentage of the refugium. My filtration was significant, with an overrated skimmer and a lot of live rock. However it did not cause a tank crash. It has not returned since, however all the other species of algae in the refugium have thrived.
     
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  6. ReefTeacher

    ReefTeacher Active Member

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    About 15 years ago I had a 40 gal tank where I just let the grape caulerpa run wild. I didn't have many fish in that tank at the time, I think only one huma trigger. I was looking at the tank midday and I watched it happen: it looked like smoke coming off the clusters. It happened so fast and there was nothing I could do. I did not realize how taxing it would be; I lost the trigger because I was dumb. I think it only happened because the tank was so packed with the algae. No doubt the nutrients dropped too rapidly.
     
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  7. ca1ore

    ca1ore Valuable Member R2R Supporter CTARS Member R2R Excellence Award R2R TV Featured Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    I used caulerpa (a few different species, though racemosa is the worst ) years ago - in the 1990s actually. I moved away from it because it would frequently die off and release all its nutrients back to the tank. I also found it to be quite invasive in the display. If you let it get a good foothold, as I did, it becomes almost impossible to fully remove.
     
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  8. madweazl

    madweazl Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I've had prolifera, sertularioides, and paspaloids in my refugium for the past 20 months without issue. Right now it is dominated by paspaloids and cheato; not sure how much prolifera and sertularioides is left but at various points over the past 20 months, one has always been more dominant. Initially, is was prolifera.
     
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  9. Greybeard

    Greybeard Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Many years ago, I had C. Racemosa in my ref. Worked very well as a nutrient export, along with a 6" 'southdown' DSB, it was one of the more successful tanks I've ever owned. My wife's father fell ill, she ended up virtually living at the hospital with him for several months, my girls were young... and my tank was severely neglected, for like 4 months. When thing finally settled down enough to want to pick up the pieces, I found the following: Caulerpa had died out in the sump, and was growing from every rock in the display. A small patch of Watermelon mushrooms decided the really liked the poor, nutrient rich water conditions, and exploded... covering every piece of coral that hadn't been killed off by the caulerpa. Even killed my Deresa clam... I'd grown it from an inch and a half, to nearly the size of a football... gone.

    I ended up using 100lbs of Florida live rock I'd payed $8 a pound for to fill a hole in my back yard. A few weeks later, I tore the system down and sold it off, and was out of the hobby for over a decade. Loved that tank. Built into a room divider, floor to ceiling stand encasing the ends, 2x 400w halides + PC actinic, pretty well automated, by the standards of the day, Mixed reef, very mixed... My wife managed to find one really old photo of it. It's an early photo... tank got much better over time.

    Today, I'm using Caulerpa again, but it's C. Mexicana... and I'm thinking about yanking it out in favor of Chaetomorpha. Started with both, and some Gracilaria, as well, but the C. Mexicana out competed the others in fairly short order.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. vlangel

    vlangel Seahorse whisperer R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award 3RMAS Member Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    I have been using caulerpa prolifera for 20 years and never had it go sexual, probably because I have my sump lit 24/7. In my seahorse display I keep it pruned which also inhibits it from going sexual.

    Recently I just got some green grape caulerpa,(I am not sure which specie that is). Right now it is in my display where it too will be pruned but I will probably keep some in the sump as well.
     
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  11. SPotter

    SPotter Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I use caulerpa as my sole nutrient export...no skimmer and maybe a water change every 6 weeks. its never gone a sexual but I do keep my fuge light on 24/7.
     
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  12. dbl

    dbl It Takes Less Energy to be Nice Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    Very interesting. Maybe this is the secret to keeping it from going sexual. :cool:

    This poll was done a little selfishly today. I actually purchased a nice sized bag of Grape Caulerpa this weekend at my local clubs' frag auction. I thought I might add some diversity to the Chaeto that grows very well in my fuge. I got home and did a little investigating and ended up chickening out and not putting it in my system. So I figured I would get some responses here to test the waters for the next time...because we all know, there's always a next time!
     
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  13. Jbod77

    Jbod77 Member

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    Had racemosa hitchhike its way into my display. looked cool at first and i thought, hey why not? Now I know why not!
     
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  14. Greybeard

    Greybeard Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    That's the ONE species of macro algae I will never again introduce to my aquarium. C. Mexicana, C. Prolifera, C. Sertularodes... fine. C. Racemosa? Never again.

    From most of what I've read, it's _changes_ to the light cycle that seem to stress Caulerpa into going sexual.
     
  15. Xanka

    Xanka Member

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    I have caulerpa brachypus . Keep the light on at reverse mode for about 12h. Never had problems with going sexual. But yesterday something strange happened after trimming it. I had no time to throw it away and let it drain over a sieve in a bucket. This morning the water had a fucsia color. No idea what causes this. Sometimes the water colours red through the cyano in de Caulerpa but I have never seen this color.

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Greybeard

    Greybeard Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Odd... and yet pretty :) I have to say, if anything came out of my tank that color, I'd be a bit concerned about it. Any of our resident experts want to comment on this one? I'd love to hear an explanation :)
     
  17. mort

    mort Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    I'd personally stick to chaeto. People are aware that soft corals use chemical warfare to inhibits each others growth but caulerpa uses allelopathy as well so its better if you don't mix the species. Some species however do better in different situations so I tend to add a mix and stick with whatever becomes dominant in that setup. For one tank I have its chaeto but that won't grow in my other tank where caulerpa serrulata does the job.
     
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  18. rkpetersen

    rkpetersen walked the sand with the crustaceans R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019

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    Yes. With my first reef tank, which was nearly 30 years ago, at first I grew caulerpa everywhere. Grape caulerpa, in particular, I thought was very attractive, and it grew so fast, you could literally see it growing before your eyes, with tiny bubbles of oxygen all over it.

    And then, early one morning, even though nothing in the tank had apparently changed recently, I woke up to a leak alarm indicating that my skimmer had gone absolutely berserk and was flooding everything. Tank water rather milky. Caulerpa just vanished.

    I had no idea what had happened. Did we know about sporulation back then? I just figured it had all died off because of some acute nutritional deficiency in the water. Fortunately the water cleared and nothing else was harmed. I never used it again.
     
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  19. Salty.Reefer

    Salty.Reefer Well-Known Member

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    While I can not say this was for sure due to sexual reproduction. I have had a lot a lot of caulerpa make it into my display. Huge pain. It loves to grow in between my zoos which makes it really hard to remove. It could have been from small pieces making it through the return which is possible.
    IMG_4675.JPG
     
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  20. mmw64

    mmw64 Well-Known Member Partner Member 2019

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    Many years ago I had caulerpa in a hang on back refurgium. It did make its way into the display tank and caused me to eventually take the tank down. By the time I realized how invasive it was I was in a cast on my right hand and completely lost the battle. Never again.
     
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