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FAQs about Marine Macro-Algae Selection/Compatibility/Control 3

Related Articles: Marine Algae, Algae Can Be Your FriendRefugiumsAvoiding Algae Problems in Marine System, Algae Control, Marine Maintenance, Nutrient Control and Export, Marine Scavengers, Snails, Hermit Crabs, Mithrax/Emerald 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, Blue-Green "Algae"/(Cyanobacteria)Diatoms, Brown Algae

Related FAQs: Marine Macro-Algae Selection/Compatibility/Control 1, Marine Macro-Algae Sel./Comp 2, & Marine (Macro) Algae 1, Marine (Macro) Algae 2, Marine (Macro) Algae 3, Marine (Macro) Algae 4, Marine (Macro) Algae 5, Rationale, Identification, Systems, LightingNutrition, Disease/Pests/Predators, Culture Algae Use in Refugiums, Coralline Algae: Use in Marine AquariumsMarine Algae ID 1, Marine Algae ID 2, Marine Algae Control FAQs II, Marine Algaecide Use, Nutrient Limitation, Marine Algae Eaters, Culturing Macro-Algae; Controlling: BGA/Cyano, Red/Encrusting Algae, Green Algae, Brown/Diatom Algae


New eBook on Amazon: Available here 
"Marine Aquarium Algae Control"

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Update on Algae and Coral (allelopathy)    10/18/11
Hi Bob and Crew,
I've been following the daily faqs pretty much daily for some time now and always appreciate the great updates and the contributions from all the crew.
I came across this article today regarding updated research in Fiji about the chemical warfare between various forms of algae and sps corals and thought I'd pass it on.
<Thank you>
I found the similarity between the processes described in the article occurring in our reefs and what happens when we have a cyanobacteria or algae situation in our tanks very informative. I also enjoyed the description of the Rabbitfish "quivering" in anticipation of eating the noxious algae.
<'It's certainly a novel finding,' says John Bruno, a marine ecologist at the University of North Carolina, "
Nah... not novel at all. Have written and read re this phenomenon for decades>
Thanks again for being that great resource for all of us.
<Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Brown diatoms/dead snail and shrimp connection?  BGA toxicity   6/13/2011
Greetings, Gurus!
<Ohmmm, and that's not a measure of resistance>
I've been perusing your site for some time now, as it was a useful tool before establishing my first system and continues to be so today.
I've had my tank (a Biocube 29) up and running for 4 months now, though it was a used purchase so it's "established" age is older (it was more of a move than a purchase). My problem is as follows. I'm on my second diatom bloom (the first happened within three weeks of getting the tank, and was eliminated by cutting down photo-period and avoiding overfeeding), but it's much more severe than before. I have (had) two peppermint shrimp, one skunk cleaner, two Perculas, one royal gramma, a bulb-tip anemone, 10 hermits (5 scarlet legged, 5 blue), one serpent star, 3 Nassarius snails, 3 Astreas, and one jumbo turbo snail. I also have a very small (about 2.5 inches tall) Kenya tree, one red mushroom, a few small brown button polyps, and a small colony of green star coral.
Over the last two days, my largest Nassarius began acting sluggish and lethargic, refusing to burrow. A few times I found him on his back, but he responded to touch so I left him in the hopes he'd get better (the other two are acting normally). He finally stopped retracting when touched, so I removed him. The same day, I found one of my peppermint shrimp dead under a rock, and turned over everything looking for the other two shrimp to no avail. I'm running Chemipure and Purigen in the sump, a CPR SR3 skimmer, a Koralia Nano 425 in the display for extra flow, and recently did a light upgrade to LEDs (this seemed to quell the diatoms a bit). My skimmer has been producing enough skimmate to empty every other day (much more than usual), and my water parameters are as follows:
Temp: 79
pH: 8.3
Salinity: 1.024
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
Phosphate: 0
<Mmm, the chemotrophs in your system need "some" of the two above>
Calcium: 415
Out of paranoia, I pulled out my multimeter and checked for stray voltage and current, and found absolutely nothing. About a month ago, two of my smallest hermits were found shelled and partially eaten, but I figured that was aggression incurred while they were re-housing.
<My guess too>
The real mystery is my jumbo Turbo snail. I know the shrimp could easily have been eaten, but his shell is completely vacant, and I can't figure out where his body is.
<Dissolved/decomposed most likely... or eaten by the Hermits...>
Are diatoms toxic enough to affect the health of these invertebrates so significantly?
<Not usually, but possibly a contributing cause>
And how can I more effectively manage/eliminate them?
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/diatomalgcontfaq3.htm
and the linked files above... re the usual approaches... predation, competition, nutrient deprivation... Bob Fenner>
Please help!
re: Brown diatoms/dead snail and shrimp connection? Now BGA   6/14/2011

Thank you, crew, for your answers!
However, after writing you and showing the outbreak to some folks at my LFS, the consensus there seemed to be that it was Cyano and not diatoms.
<Oh! Much more likely to be toxic... as you/'ll know>
As I had to move the tank last night, I took this opportunity to use a new nylon brush to scrub all of the live rock and skim as much of the gunk out as possible (as I was told that physically removing the Cyano was the most effective method for dealing with it).
<Mmm, no>
Are there any other steps I should take to quell the outbreak?
<Yes. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm
and the linked files above re BGA control. BobF>

Codium, Mermaid's Fan, and Shaving Brush in same tank?    6/8/11
I've had several tall Codium in my DT for several months, and they are extremely healthy and growing well.
I've had a Mermaid's fan (Udotea) and Shaving brush plant in quarantine for 5 weeks, and they are also doing well.
So today I moved them to my DT. Then, as I was researching proper placement, I ran into a statement on WetWebMedia that macroalgae should not be mixed in the same tank. I never hear this before. Will these three items do well together, or should I remove something? Thanks!
<Mmm, well, this mutually-exclusive statement is too broad... There are some types/species of such algae that are known to be allelopathogenic (competing chemically) toward others, but the three you list should be compatible... have seen all together in close proximity in the wild. Bob Fenner>

Best Macroalgae   2/9/10
Hey Guys (and Gals!),
I am in the process of starting a 55 gal, refugium. It will have water that comes in, filters thru about 8 lbs of live rock, flows into about a 2 foot stretch of live sand (1-2 inch deep) with a few chunks of live rock and a T5 light, goes over a baffle then under, over a half wall into the pump area. This is a refugium for a 90 gal tank above with a flow rate (at the pump) of 700 gph. I was wanting to get some good macroalgae and am having a hard time tracking down the types that would be good for this setup. I know Chaeto is all the rave, but I am concerned it would just end up in the pump area.
<There are ways to curtail/avoid this...>
I have read thru several pages of FAQs about macroalgae, and have even tried to do some research on it, but what I have found seems to be much more technical than I can understand lol. :) I was wondering if you guys would mind pushing me in the right direction, and to get your opinions.
Here are some of the things I am looking for..1.) Is not calciferous, 2.) will grow to make a refugium worthy of display, 3.) will not cause problems, 3.) has good nutrient absorption, and 4.) will work well with my setup,( i.e. not needing tumbling). Any input you have is much appreciated!
I would prefer different colors, not just green if possible.
Joshua Lucero
<Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/refugalgfaq2.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Would it be beneficial to feed a Potter's Angel Chaeto?  10/5/09
<Hey Korrine! JustinN here to assist!>
Since they are constantly grazing, would it be nutritionally beneficial to feed a Potter's Angel Chaeto? Basically keep adding it to the tank as it grazed it down?? Or they generally it not eat it? I don't have a fuge yet, but could probably buy some Chaeto and start one.
<Well -- it would likely be beneficial to them if they ate it -- Chaeto holds a good deal of nutrients all-around.. Unfortunately, its largely unpalatable, even to the most unrelenting algae consumers appetite. Don't
let this hinder you from starting a 'fuge though! A Refugium provides so many more health benefits than just a quick source of leafy food -- read more here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/refugium.htm and its related
sublinks. Ciao! -JustinN>
Thank you,
Korrine from South Dakota

Macro causing high nitrates? 7/24/09
Hello wonderful answer-ers!
<Hello April.>
I am totally confused about the idea of placing live macro algae in the main tank, could someone please clarify the best place to put it?
On the one hand I read that is is a great natural food for herbivores like mine to graze on, then again, I have read here in your FAQ's that someone did that and the thing went all "sexual" on the tank, and the nitrites went way up because of the plant trying to regenerate itself after feeling picked and nibbled by the fish.
<Hmmm, the only way this would happen is with improper care and maintenance. Macro will only increase nitrate when it dies off.>
Yet, placing it in the refugium helps to reduce nitrates, and pruning it back does an even better job of keeping the nitrites in check.
<To a point.>
But pruning is the same as a fish picking and nibbling at it in the main tank, yet the plant doesn't go sexual in the 'fuge. How come?
<It can.>
And between the main tank and the 'fuge, which place is better to put it to help control nitrites?
<Generally the refugium is the place to put it. Controlling the growth in the display can be tough, and considered unsightly by many. Do distinguish between the different macros. Using Chaetomorpha rather than Caulerpa will avoid the issues you describe above.>
Thanks as always for your valuable insight,
<Welcome, Scott V.>

Algae for Display 3/10/08 Hi, this question is for Scott V no real reason, he's just answered a lot of my questions so I've come to trust him. <Hello, here with you.> I do not have a refugium but would still like to keep various macro algae in my display tank and I was just wondering if there were any kinds I could keep under my pc bulbs without it getting out of control? Thanks Scott! <Some algae grow slower than others, but all will likely need to be controlled by periodically harvesting from your tank; with Halimeda varieties being my personal favorites for use in the display. More info on particular pros and cons can be found here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/maralgae.htm and in the related articles/FAQ'S. Welcome, Scott V.>  

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