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Thread: Can Anyone Id Me This Algae Please?

  1. #1

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    Can Anyone Id Me This Algae Please?

    I should have got rid of it in the beginning, I know that now , but in the small patch that it was, it was quite nice looking. So this is a full tank shot from a few months ago and you will see how green it is:



    It is the only problem algae I have in my tank (except for the pesky bubble algae, hiding to nothing on that one!!!) and it is only receding a little as my ATS competes for the nutrients. The best way to describe the patch to the right, below the acro is like astroturf. It is short and stubbly like a shaving brush. In places where it has become weakend I can pull it away, but it is rooted deep within the rock.

    I have had a scrubber running for 12 monhs now and although the algae hasn't become worse, it certainly doesn't seem to be getting any better. I am removing around 450g of green every 10 days from my system, so some muck is really being pulled out.

    A bad closer up picture of the algae is:



    Using Salifert test kits, my NO3 is currently 0.2ppm and my PO4 0. The nutrients are being used up quite effectively by the scrubber and the display algae.

    I contemplated using Fauna Marin Algae-X which would have meant removing the scrubber from my system for a couple of months and relying on a good skimmer. That was my first pitfall, I only have an Oceanskim 400 (not currently in use). Claude at FM has advised against my use of the product primarily because I would continue scrubbing again afterwards, and apparently I have a high phosphate level??

    Lawnmower blenny, sea hare and tangs won't touch the stuff. True Mexican turbos have been suggested to me as a muncher, will try to source some. I would prefer a natural remdy to the problem as plucking out the individual strands isn't an option, neither is removing he rock.

    I have 4x 20w cfl at the moment until I finish my new led scrubber. When I replaced 2x 20w with 2x 45w, all it did was succeed in burning the algae and turned my existing brown to green. I am contemplating:

    a) Starving the tank of food for one week, so introducing no new nutrients to the tank.
    b) Reducing photoperiod of main tank (currently 8 hours blue & white)
    c) Complete black out of tank to encourage algae breakdown due to no photsynthesis.
    d) Combination of all the above.

    Would be a bit worried about a total blackout due to the corals in the tank.

    If anyone has any suggestions, please throw them in my direction

    Thanks

    Mark

  2. #2

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    Re: Can Anyone Id Me This Algae Please?

    How does the growth of your scrubber look?
    How much (actual) flow you have on the scrubber screen?

  3. #3

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    Re: Can Anyone Id Me This Algae Please?

    Typical algae growth (Double sided screen):



    Supplied by a 4000lph pump over the screen. Not actually physically measured as the outflow is almost impossible to access when running.

    Mark

  4. #4
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    Re: Can Anyone Id Me This Algae Please?

    Basically you want to do things to increase scrubber photosynthesis.

    Stronger scrubber increases photosynthesis.
    More nutrients in water decreases photosynthesis (due to darker scrubber growth).
    Less feeding increases photosynthesis.
    Herbivores decreases photosynthesis.
    Waterchanges increase photosynthesis.
    Lights-out in display decreases photosynthesis.
    Manual removal of nuisance algae from system increases photosynthesis.
    Manual removal of nuisance algae from from rocks without removing it from the system decreases photosynthesis.
    Chemical algae removal decreases photosynthesis.
    Skimmers increase photosynthesis

    Since your growth is maxed out, your scrubber is just not big enough. I'd double scrubber size, and cut feeding in half. By itself, this should get all the P out of the rocks in 3 to 6 months with no waterchanges or anything else.

  5. #5

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    Re: Can Anyone Id Me This Algae Please?

    Looks like cutting down on the food for a while may be the answer then, and maybe decrease my light another couple of hours. Doesn't bode well for my new scrubber if this one is maxed out, I have made it wider and shorter, but still basically the same surface area. I'll see if I have enough room to run the two together.

  6. #6

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    Re: Can Anyone Id Me This Algae Please?

    That all said. Anyone got any ideas what type of algae this nuisance stuff is please?

    Thanks

    Mark

  7. #7

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    Re: Can Anyone Id Me This Algae Please?

    orry, should have added. Would it be worthwhile me running Rowaphos alongside too in an attempt to remove more phiosphate from the rocks? Wouldn't know when to change it though as the readings are alread 0 :?

    Mark

  8. #8
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    Re: Can Anyone Id Me This Algae Please?

    Reduced light is not good; it increases nutrients in the water which makes your scrubber grow less (darker). You have to keep nutrients locked up and out of the water, unless your scrubber were growing bright yellow, which is lack of nutrients.

    Rowaphos will remove nutrients (P), but will slow your scrubber down. I'm not sure if it will help the overall situation. It might.

    The nuisance algae looks like briopsys.

  9. #9

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    Re: Can Anyone Id Me This Algae Please?

    Interesting to see that skimmers increase photosynthesis. I could put mine back in the system for a while as it has not been in for 12 months now.

    I realise algae dieing off in the main tank will increase nutrient levels in the water, but would the scrubber not use those nutrients to fuel more growth? The same with herbivores. If they eat the algae, they produce nutrients in their waste, that the scrubber would take care of?

    I thought I now understood scrubbers, maybe not :?

    I have Googled briopsis until my eyes bled It seems that briopsis has feathery fronds wich this stuff doesn't. It was suggested I go for a lettuce slug, but I don't want to starve it if it isn't the right food source.

    Mark

  10. #10

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    Re: Can Anyone Id Me This Algae Please?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marksfish
    Interesting to see that skimmers increase photosynthesis. I could put mine back in the system for a while as it has not been in for 12 months now.

    I realise algae dieing off in the main tank will increase nutrient levels in the water, but would the scrubber not use those nutrients to fuel more growth? The same with herbivores. If they eat the algae, they produce nutrients in their waste, that the scrubber would take care of?

    I thought I now understood scrubbers, maybe not :?

    I have Googled briopsis until my eyes bled It seems that briopsis has feathery fronds wich this stuff doesn't. It was suggested I go for a lettuce slug, but I don't want to starve it if it isn't the right food source.

    Mark
    I am almost 100% that is bryopsis... sorry for your loss.
    Still dealing/struggling with the fact that I have to take down the tank for the same reason. By the looks of your picture it wont be long before it starts killing your corals. If you look closely you can actually start to see little dark green calcified roots growing into SPS, softies and zoas if its gotten close enough. read about bryopsis... From your pictures I would say you just pruned it down a bunch. There is no way to rid the tank of bryopsis once its reached that stage. Also pruning the algae releases thousands of spores into the water. Once those little dark green roots calcify into the rock... it can and always will grow back (excluding acid or other extreme means). Depending on the available resources it may take a little longer, may not be able to regrow its true form as it did when it first infested the tank, but it will regrow... even if it looks beaten to hell like it does in your picture.

    Some have had luck with a method come to be known as "Kent Tech M treatment" but I believe the only reason this works works in SOME cases... is by altering the magnesium balance. NSW has a 10 to 1 ratio of magnesium sulfate to magnesium chloride. Randy Homes said on a RC post that changing the ratio from 10:1 down to 4:1 was actually the real trick. Then from through my own research I came to the conclusion that "Tech M" must have more chloride than sulfate (or that at least it was closer 4:1 then 10:1) little more research about dosing magnesium and I discovered that sulfate is actually provided though many different additives as well, and that many aquariums become chloride defiant. (probably why kent puts more in their product)... all that and here is the ringer!!!... there are no less then 15 or so species of bryopsis itself!!! AND its come to a general consensus that not all bryopsis dies when M-sulfate to M-chloride ratio is altered....

    One of the reasons seasoned reef keepers QT all additions before being added to DT... it only takes getting burned like this once to learn the lesson. But as I said do some reading on Bryopsis, its one of like 20 or so types of algae that are more like pests and are extremely invasive.

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