FAQs on Marine Algae Identification
Related Articles: Avoiding Algae Problems in Marine System,
Control, Marine Maintenance,
Nutrient Control and Export,
Marine Scavengers, Snails, Hermit
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"/(Cyanobacteria), Diatoms, Brown
Related FAQs: Algae ID Visual
Guide, Marine Algae ID 1,
Marine Algae ID 2, Marine Algae ID 3, 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 21, Marine Algae ID 23, Marine Algae ID 24, Marine Algae ID 25, SW Algae ID 26, SW Algae ID 27, SW Algae ID 28, SW Algae ID 29, SW Algae ID 30, SW Algae ID 31, SW Algae ID 32, SW Algae ID 33, SW Algae ID 34,
SW Algae ID 35, SW
Algae ID 36, SW Algae ID 37, SW
Algae ID 38, SW 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,
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Marine Aquarium Algae Control
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Algae? Yep 12/31/09
I am here again looking for your great knowledge. I'm just
curious what this growth would be(in picture)? It is
"rubbery" in texture. It started growing out of
<Mmm, almost assuredly a Phaeophyte, genus Lobophora. Please
and the linked files above possibly, re control. Bob
Red Veins, and not licorice 11/20/09
Hello Crew. I have started seeing these red vein looking things
Growing on my glass the past week and at first I was thinking it
was some kind of worm.
As the week went on they did not move or seem to grow in size but
I would see new ones show up every day. Today I found one on one
of my coral frags and am now concerned. The Frag ( Pic included )
is about 1" x 1" and it has the largest of the vein
growths on it. I have searched all week since I noticed them and
I have only seen one forum that refers to the same thing but they
never found out what it was.
My Tank is 125gal with 55gal Refugium. My levels all test good
phosphate .04 Ammonia 0, Nitrate 0, Nitrite 0, PH 8.4, Salinity
1.024, temp 80F.
Is it something I need to get rid of or is it nothing to worry
Please Help I am at a loss as what to do.
Thank You Ed
<Is either an algae (my first guess) or possibly a type of
sponge (second)... but would need better pix (more acuity,
resolution) and maybe a microscopic exam to be more sure. I
wouldn't do anything to "remove" at
this point. May well "just cycle" out on its own. Check
WWM for nutrient limitation... competition for same. And
we'll be chatting, Bob Fenner>
Blue Green Algae/Cyanobacteria... Mmm, nope
I have looked through the archives for identification of an algae
that I am having a problem with in my tank. I do believe it is
Cyanobacteria but, would like a confirmation (see
<A nice pic!>
It's not slimy like other Cyanobacteria I have encountered
before. It's slow growing and rather hard to remove from
rock. Could this be anything other than Cyanobacteria?
Tank parameters: ph-8.3, nitrate-20ppm, phosphate->.02ppm,
salinity-1.025. Currently running activated carbon and a skimmer
24-7 in addition to weekly water changes to help combat the
problem. This tank has been established for two years. Thanks in
advance for your time and knowledge.
<Glad to share. Am almost certain this is Lobophora variegata,
a "brown"/Phaeophyte. Please see here:
and above for input on control, etc.. Bob Fenner>
Algae problem help 11/3/09
<Hello Alex, sorry for the slow response.>
I'm having a problem getting this algae under control. I also
hope you can give me an id on what it exactly is also, but
anyways my tank has been running for approx 2 years without any
problems until now.
<Likely a form of Cyano.>
Problems started about two months ago and have yet to show any
signs of slowing down. I have a 40 br and I use ro/di water and
phosphates/nitrates/nitrites/ammonia/silicates all test out as
<Can be used up as produced. 0 really means nothing so long as
the algae it there.>
I have a flame Hawkfish, a yellow wrasse, and a blackcap Basslet
as fish, various soft/LPSs/sps corals and 6 or so Astrea snails,
6 Cerith snails, 8 margarita snails, 10 or so blue leg hermits,
and 5 Nassarius snails, I
recently added 4 turbo snails to help combat this algae as
<Too much for a 40, the tang especially.>
On Thursday I actually set up an Aquaclear 70 and set it up as a
fuge with Chaeto to help get this thing under control.
I have a red sea max Prizm skimmer/ ac 70/ and Rena xp2 canister
filter as my protein skimmer/ filtration and I have sort of run
out of ideas on what I can do to further combat this algae.
<How often is the canister cleaned? Can be a big source of
I tried a sea hare but it died within a few days so that idea is
Also my bulbs are only about 3 months old, I have a current nova
extreme pro and I don't think the age of my bulbs would be an
Thanks for all your help and insight!
p.s. Sorry! i forgot to attach the picture on the last email!
<No problem, do see:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm and the linked
files above. All you need to know it there! Welcome, Scott
Nuisance Algae ID Help -- 11/03/09
I'm hoping you guys can help me ID this algae and most
importantly tell me how to get rid of it. We've literally
tried everything and nothing seems to eat it either. We've
tried Sea Hares, Multiple species of urchins, different tangs and
Rabbitfish as well. It is coarse and grows quickly. It covers
rock and corals within a matter of days. We've been removing
it mechanically to save the corals but it always comes back.
<Mmm, well... need to look at a bit under a 'scope to tell
to Division... this looks like a Phaeophyte macroscopically, and
there are some that are unpalatable to most tropical marines... I
would go the route of competition, nutrient limitation myself
here. Please read here:
and the linked files above... Do you have a refugium? A DSB?
Measures of ORP? Read re and we'll chat further. Bob
Red rock - 10/25/09
Short question about a possible algae problem.
RIGHT: live rock that was all red when I bought it. The red
<Looks to be an encrusting Red... coralline>
LEFT: live rock had some red when I bought it which turned to a
<Likely a type of BGA/Cyano>
LEFT: live rock appears to have some 'brighter' red
matching the rock to the right (in addition to some coralline
<Mmm, can't tell>
The one on the left was purchased when the tank was setup. The
one on the right was purchased 1 month later. All my levels are
delicious, however I overfed my fish for a good two months.
Doesn't seem to match any of the long-haired algae I found-
because there is no long hair. The closest image I saw was on
Is it cyanobacteria and should I panic?
<Likely the softer, slimy bit is... and no>
Was it a mistake to buy a 10lb rock
covered in it?
Thanks in advance,
<Only time can/will tell... best to read re Cyano control...
work towards its management. Bob Fenner>
Cyano Bacteria -- 10/20/09
I have a 75 gallon salt water tank 3 power heads different levels
protein skimmer etc.
Healthy live rock and 2 anemones and a bubble coral. Several tangs and
<Whoa, several tangs is way to much fish for a 75 gallon tank, in
the long run it will be bad for the tangs, in the short run though
these messy eaters will likely over extend the filtration capabilities
of your tank.>
Anyway I noticed some darker almost maroon likens forming on the rock
within a couple of days there was a furry algae and then my Naso tang
went from totally healthy to not eating one day and dead the next.
<It does sound like Cyano bacteria, often caused by a combination of
nutrients and or low flow.>
Local aquarium said he thinks I have Cyano bacteria and I should get a
product called Chemi Clean?
<No, I would not recommend Chemi Clean, it is basically an
antibiotic that will kill the Cyano bacteria and potentially also the
denitrifying bacteria that keeps your tank running. Please read up on
Cyano Bacteria, and address the causes rather than the symptoms.
What do you think?
<All posted above.>
<You're welcome, keep reading,
Help with... Is this coralline or regular algae?
First off I would like to thank everyone at WWM for their
knowledge, experience and guidance for aquarium hobby/enthusiast.
The website is incredible and dare I say a " Bible" to
<I won't disagree with the connotations; am hopeful not to
offend other's sensibilities though>
Now for my question. I cruised the boards and FAQ`s about
coralline algae but could not find an accurate answer for my
question. I currently have a 2 year mature 55 gal fish and
anemone setup with a 20 gal sump. I recently upgraded my lighting
(4 months ago) to 4 65watt pc Actinics with 2 175watt MH 10k.
This made a big difference in health for anemones and keeping
away nuisance red and brown algae. I have been trying to help my
small samples of purple coralline spread throughout the tank and
<High, consistent alkalinity, proportional Ca and Mg? You may
not have the "seed" (spores) or said Rhodophytes
This has not been successful and what I have now is a Fluorescent
green color coating my LR.
<I see this>
This is not slimy or hairy, it is not calcareous like the hard
purple and red corallines but appears to be spreading all over. I
have also noticed that where the purple coralline dies off the
green moves right in. The lighter the LR the brighter the green
<Yes... conditions are favoring it over the
I would like some feed back regarding this. I have been told
coralline is only red, purple and sometimes brown, not green.
<Red to pink, purple...>
Will the MH bleach out the coralline, the areas that red and
purple seem to do better is out of the light and kind of in the
shaded spots of the tank.
I have attached an image and would like some expert feedback if
at all possible. I am grateful for your website and look forward
to your shared knowledge
<There are encrusting greens (Chlorophytes)... this may even
be a Cyanophyte mostly... But as long as you're fine with the
appearance, your livestock are healthy... Bob Fenner>
Turf, alg. ID, control 10/8/09
Hi, I am fairly adept at reef keeping and know what causes algae
and the various remedies for that problem, however, my 55 gal.
has developed what I believe is Turf algae. I don't over feed
and have a phosphate reactor. This just recently seemed to appear
coinciding with adding Oyster feast for my LPS. Here is a pic of
what I have and any suggestions on eradicating it are
<Ummm, need more information to give a more specific
response... but, this looks like it could be a
Cyanobacteria/BGA... rather than a "green"
(Chlorophyte) "turf algae"... Read through here:
and the linked files embedded and above... for ideas on what you
might do, the sorts of data we're looking for. Bob
Re: Turf ... read please
Hi Bob, your response puzzled me. The pic is real clear showing
short, bristle like hair that can not be scrubbed off, I have
tried. With all due respect, I know what Cyano bacteria is and
this is not.
<Mmm... I assure you, I "took" three college courses
in Phycology (gen., culture and seminar)... and have done a bunch
of algae articles, presentations... NOT to mention who knows how
many hours fighting
Thallophytes and the Monerans that are BGA over the years...
There ARE blue-greens that indeed look just like this... The only
way to discern the various Divisions (eq. to animal Phyla) is via
microscopic examination... and to lesser extents, storage food
and other analyses...>
You say you need more info but didn't say what info. If you
tell me what you want to know I will send it
<... Do please peruse where you were referred to. B>
New Print and
eBook on Amazon
Marine Aquarium Algae Control
by Robert (Bob) Fenner