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How to Get rid of this unique algae


nemonlizzy

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I have some questions concerning some algae that was diagnosed by Bob Fenner as "Peyssonnelia". I have a similar looking algae as the person on your site does here,

on 8/22/07
I have considered dinoflagellates as a possibility, however I am not all together sure.
Either way here are the things I know about;
It's first sign of existence is the whiting out and dying off of coraline algae. Then you will start noticing dead snails around the tank as they eat the algae and it kills them. Then all other algae in the system dies off as this algae will out-compete even chaeto. It is dark brown at its base and is very filamentous from its base up. It is hairy yet it encrusts. The hair on it in one of my systems is easily 1/2 inch long. I have tried killing it with a saltwater/2(HO) mix and that doesn't even kill it. The ONLY way I have found to kill this algae is through lack of light over many days, an by many I mean almost 14 days. I have attached some pictures.
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Does the hairy stuff feel like it's anchored to the rock (not dinoflagellates then, but could be calothrix or a GHA-like turf algae), or does it just blow off like powder and form into strings if the flow's off? (in which case yes, it's likely to be dinos)

 

If it IS dinoflagellates you could try turning off the pumps and using a pipette/syringe full of RO to slowly hose it down for 3-5 seconds. Namely about how much you'd normally add for a top-off in a day. Many species cannot handle even a 1-second salinity swing of .02 which is pretty easy to do in a single spot or two at a time. Or briefly drain the tank down to the level of the rock and spot treat with RO & refill.

 

Don't forget to quickly siphon out the treated mass if you can.

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Yea that would be so cool if this stuff easily came off. I have used razor blades before and it gives the razor a run for it's money. This stuff is as solid or more so than coraline algae.

 

@atrox

Urchin? I think this stuff would kill it. It poisons and kills my snails left and right. Which in turn raises the nitrates and this stuff blooms even more.

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ChickenoftheC

Ill chuck a random guess out there. I figure any suggestion is better then none right? Pfiesteria? Toxic form of dinoflagellates maybe. That would be my guess.

oh and this was the most informative page i found on it. here

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Ill chuck a random guess out there. I figure any suggestion is better then none right? Pfiesteria? Toxic form of dinoflagellates maybe. That would be my guess.

oh and this was the most informative page i found on it. here

Thanks, this was a good read. However, this is a virus which both sexually and asexually reproduces on the fish as a lesion. This is not an algae. Also, non of my fish have died yet due to this algae and non have experienced the aforementioned lesions.

 

Any other guesses?

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It's not dinos for sure - I've had dinos and they look nothing like that. It just looks like some sort of run of the mill hair-type of algae. How old is the tank and how new are the dying snails? They may be totally unrelated if the snails you were sold were temperate water snails or not drip acclimated. It doesn't look like anything special.

 

I've seen LFS not properly acclimate snails they get in and have them die in a few days even after drip acclimating them for 6 hours. Also, temperate water snails will live for a few months tops - they start nice and happy and slowly decline becoming more sluggish, eventually stopping completely for a few days then dying.

 

Dinos are the only thing I have seen actually poison snails. Literally kill off every grazer leaving only nassarius and hermits in less than a week.

 

Regular ol' hydrogen peroxide will kill off the hair like algae.

 

The white crusty stuff on the back wall is just dead coralline.

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Some people have great luck, particularly with bryopsis, by raising magnesium in their tank with Kent Tech M. If you use it (in conjunction with a good magnesium test) and keep your magnesium up at 1600-1700, it might kill off the algae for you. It's something with Tech M in particular, not just with dosing magnesium. I know that yours isn't bryopsis, but it supposedly has luck with other algae as well. It *seems*, from people's posts, that it's pretty safe, but it should probably be a last resort.

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Dinos are the only thing I have seen actually poison snails. Literally kill off every grazer leaving only nassarius and hermits in less than a week.

 

Regular ol' hydrogen peroxide will kill off the hair like algae.

 

The white crusty stuff on the back wall is just dead coralline.

 

I have only nassarius and hermits left. And every now and again a nassarius kicks the bucket from this stuff. The tank was done cycling in Nov-Dec. The snails were added then. I made a small mistake and added some things I found while diving without quarantining them first and then 2 weeks later ALL my coraline that had grown was bleached white and dying. Then these brown spots started getting larger and larger.

 

After long enough in the tank the hair starts to grow. Dead coraline is the first sign of this crap in my tanks. Haven't been able to get rid of this stuff. The sad part is, it has jumped to everyone of my tanks via shared chaeto trimmings. I had no idea I had this stuff months back when I was sharing the trimmings to start-up refugiums in my other tanks.

 

2(HO) did not kill this stuff. Nor did a 3 day black out kill it either. I covered my tank for 3 days it was total darkness.

 

I'll try that stuff Steve, Kent Tech M huh.

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I have only nassarius and hermits left. And every now and again a nassarius kicks the bucket from this stuff. The tank was done cycling in Nov-Dec. The snails were added then. I made a small mistake and added some things I found while diving without quarantining them first and then 2 weeks later ALL my coraline that had grown was bleached white and dying. Then these brown spots started getting larger and larger.

 

After long enough in the tank the hair starts to grow. Dead coraline is the first sign of this crap in my tanks. Haven't been able to get rid of this stuff. The sad part is, it has jumped to everyone of my tanks via shared chaeto trimmings. I had no idea I had this stuff months back when I was sharing the trimmings to start-up refugiums in my other tanks.

 

2(HO) did not kill this stuff. Nor did a 3 day black out kill it either. I covered my tank for 3 days it was total darkness.

 

I'll try that stuff Steve, Kent Tech M huh.

 

What are your paramters at and how are you measuring them? Do you have a log of your parameters? I really doubt it is the algae that is killing the snails since it isn't dinos. Most people don't realize how sensitive snails are to changes in paramters - this is why your CUC should be drip acclimated for hours. If you had an ammonia spike from die off, a temperature spike, or some other parameter swing, that is the most likely culprit for the snails dying.

 

Also, if it were the algae poisonoing the snails, your nassarius wouldn't be dying since they are detritavores and don't graze algae like Astreas, Turbos, Trochus, Cerith, etc. do.

 

The hair algae definitely isn't bryopsis so I doubt Kent Tech M is going to do anything. You need to figure out the underlying problem before throwing random solutions at it.

Coralline is pretty tough to kill and it normally requires a significant event to do so and algae isn't going to just nuke your coralline.

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Also, if it were the algae poisonoing the snails, your nassarius wouldn't be dying since they are detritavores and don't graze algae like Astreas, Turbos, Trochus, Cerith, etc. do.

 

The hair algae definitely isn't bryopsis so I doubt Kent Tech M is going to do anything. You need to figure out the underlying problem before throwing random solutions at it.

Coralline is pretty tough to kill and it normally requires a significant event to do so and algae isn't going to just nuke your coralline.

 

I am not sure how long you have been in his hobby, but you obviously have not experienced this algae before.

 

If you read in my post, I have written, "I have only nassarius and hermits left". Soooo my nassarius aren't dying, like I said. The ceriths, and astreas are all dead. My parameters are spot on, 0 Nitrates, 0 Nitrites, and 0 Ammonium. I'll put it this way, I have Acropora, Birdsnest, Montipora, and Squamosa Clams, all were growing before this algae bloom and during it. This algae, like I stated before, chokes out ALL other algae. ALL my snails were in the tank for at least 2 months before this algae bloom started up, then they all die in about a week, together. Would not "drip acclimating" them do this?

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How about isolating a rock or a sample of the algae in another container with tank water and then raising Mg with Tech M? This sounds like some really nasty stuff.

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I too have found that blackouts do not kill it, snails do not eat it,and it kills any hard corals or coralline in its path. Horrible stuff.

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If you read in my post, I have written, "I have only nassarius and hermits left". Soooo my nassarius aren't dying, like I said.

Hello there followup post, meet original post:

And every now and again a nassarius kicks the bucket from this stuff.

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when you peroxide it should be straight peroxide and out of the water. if you cant take it out of the water, totally smother it with kalk paste in a syringe with the pumps off and that should do it in. let it sit or a couple hours then turn the pumps back on - don't let the kalk touch corals and if it does, blow it off.

 

the kalk will stick to the hair.

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ChickenoftheC

Sorry if i missed it in another post here but im curious as to what lights you have on your tank? And also if you blacked out this tank before taking these pictures?

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For sure peroxide can beat it

 

There's already an example before and after of this whitish algae in the pest algae challenge thread don't remember which of the sixty pages its on

 

Simple external treatment on test rock as stated above using 3% has a 90% chance of wiping it clean. Emersed treatment method, test rock. If you have amazing algae and 3% doesn't kill it, make a simple 10% it dang sure will. You can buy peroxide so powerful at health food stores it will burn your skin 3rd degree if left on long enough...just carefully dilute it

 

One may ask why in the world would anyone do that amount of work...and I'd say dont, unless you have to. The chaps and gals in the thread had to...they had to employ some element of peroxide work as it was their last resort. Only some types of algae can be had with an in tank method, this may not be one.

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Sorry if i missed it in another post here but im curious as to what lights you have on your tank? And also if you blacked out this tank before taking these pictures?

Didn't miss it, I'm using my own custom designed 100 Watt LED Light. You can find some of them in some posts I've made if you go to my profile. They are a mix of Cree Royal Blue, Cree XP-G2 Cool White, and Total Spectrum UV 400nm-420nm from Rapid.

 

 

when you peroxide it should be straight peroxide and out of the water. if you cant take it out of the water, totally smother it with kalk paste in a syringe with the pumps off and that should do it in. let it sit or a couple hours then turn the pumps back on - don't let the kalk touch corals and if it does, blow it off.

 

the kalk will stick to the hair.

Wont that much kalk in my aquarium really throw off the levels? Potentially do a pH spike? I have never messed with Kalkwasser but am doing some reading on it for future use. I'm guessing the paste you speak of is simply the powder mixed with a small amount of water?

 

 

Hello there followup post, meet original post:

Both are true, I had astrea, nassarius, and hermits in the tank. Now all that's left are the nassarius, the astrea ate it a long time back when the algae just started. NOW every now and again a nassarius eats the algae, or too much of it and it's done. The hermits will eat large quantities of the hair part of it and they'll be floating around the tank within 2 days, dead.

 

 

I too have found that blackouts do not kill it, snails do not eat it,and it kills any hard corals or coralline in its path. Horrible stuff.

IT LOVES FRAG PLUGS, I have no idea why, but this junk is crazy for frag plugs, soon as it gets near ANY coral, coral immediately stops growing. I hate it, I have amazing growth in my 65, soon as this stuff got it, BAM, ALL growth stopped.

 

Reef Keeping can be TRULY disheartening sometimes when you have this stuff. I'm really close to taking ALL my corals to the LFS, selling them off and starting over with a whole new clean 65 system.

 

 

Did anybody see my post about Tech M?

Yes, I read it. There seemed to be some truth to the fact that my system could use a Mg+ bump, but I don't have the extra cash to spend right now... kinda sad I know, it's only like $9.99.

 

For sure peroxide can beat it

 

There's already an example before and after of this whitish algae in the pest algae challenge thread don't remember which of the sixty pages its on

 

Simple external treatment on test rock as stated above using 3% has a 90% chance of wiping it clean. Emersed treatment method, test rock. If you have amazing algae and 3% doesn't kill it, make a simple 10% it dang sure will. You can buy peroxide so powerful at health food stores it will burn your skin 3rd degree if left on long enough...just carefully dilute it

 

One may ask why in the world would anyone do that amount of work...and I'd say dont, unless you have to. The chaps and gals in the thread had to...they had to employ some element of peroxide work as it was their last resort. Only some types of algae can be had with an in tank method, this may not be one.

This is definitely the algae from HELL. I would take a cyano, gha, and bubble algae combo over this stuff ANY DAY!!! If I can get through this I can get through anything. I will look into the 10% 2(HO). I know the zoas don't appreciate it when their frag gets dipped.

 

I am wondering if at this point a GFO reactor will do any good.

 

This is the structure of it. It is not dinoflagellates. It's algae.

 

Where did you get these pics? I have a microscope at home, thank God for being home schooled, but I haven't taken the time to put some of this stuff under it. Is this what you did?

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I have some questions concerning some algae that was diagnosed by Bob Fenner as "Peyssonnelia". I have a similar looking algae as the person on your site does here,

http://www.wetwebmedia.com/redalgcompfaqs.htm'>http://www.wetwebmed...algcompfaqs.htm

on 8/22/07

 

Peyssonnelia is a flat algae that looks like a mushroom and it isn't what you have in your tank. You have normal turf algae. It's brownish/red because your phosphates are low, but not low enough to kill it quite yet. It's typically white in areas that don't get enough light.

 

Your snails and hermits are dying from something else. My guess is salinity swings, but it could be any number of things. However, it's unrelated to your algae because snails that won't touch algae are dying.

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I know it was stated that the Nitrates, Nitrites and Ammonia are all zero, but what about your other parameters, specifically Alk, Ca, and Mg? How stable have these been for the last few months? Also, you stated you collected items while diving? Where did you dive? Have you tried researching the alga of that area? I have noticed in my own tank that when alk is low, coralline dies and dies quick. It is replaced slowly by brown microalgae that forms spots. Once I raise alk back up and keep it and Ca steady, everything gets back in line. I recently got my parameters back in line after doing the over dose of Mg, to kill bryopsis and hair algae, and micro alga are at a min and coralline is returning. Also, my stony corals are rebounding. They stopped growing, all my SPS frags eventually died and some of my LPS died. The main reason hair and bryopsis started growing in my tank was due to the low Mg content and extra phosphates. I'm finding that simply keeping alk, Ca, and Mg in order and STABLE is what it takes to operate a successful reef tank. Yes there are other factors, but without stability in the main three, the tank crashes.

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Wont that much kalk in my aquarium really throw off the levels? Potentially do a pH spike? I have never messed with Kalkwasser but am doing some reading on it for future use. I'm guessing the paste you speak of is simply the powder mixed with a small amount of water?

 

I used this in tanks as small as my 2g pico to kill of Aiptasia that came in on a frag plug and any rogue algae that pops up with no adverse effects and use it all the time in my 20 which is full of acro. You don't need very much at all - I use maybe 1/8 of a tsp at a time (my smallest spoon is 1/4tsp and I only partially fill it) mixed with around 1-2ml of water to make a really thick paste. Then I use a 1ml syringe with a long tapered tip (the one that comes with the Hanna Alk reagents) to smother whatever I am killing.

 

Also, before you turn the pumps back on, you can suck the paste back out of the the tank if you use a lot. For Calcium Hydroxide to break down into Alk and Ca, it needs CO2 present. When it is in a tiny amount of water all clumped together and there is no flow to disperse it, it won't be getting that CO2. I've never noticed any changes in Ca and Alk when using Kalk paste - I don't even turn of my dosers when using it.

 

If you can remove the rock, H2O2 is still better since it'll work much more quickly and you won't have to supervise the tank to make sure you didn't get kalk paste on corals.

 

For reference - in my 20g 3tsp of Kalk completely dissolved with 25ml vinegar and a 1g of RODI to create calcium acetate is enough to keep up with about 50% of my Ca/Alk need for a week - that equates to about 1/2tsp per day. If 1/2 a tsp of kalk per day only meets 50% of my dosing needs, 1/8 of a tsp for treating some algae isn't going to do anything.

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Where did you get these pics? I have a microscope at home, thank God for being home schooled, but I haven't taken the time to put some of this stuff under it. Is this what you did?

Those pics are from reef central, I forget the member's name.

 

I have noticed that raising dKH up a bit (7.5-9) has caused the algae to shrink in my aquarium. I'm not sure if it is coincidence but it did appear to help.

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You have normal turf algae. It's brownish/red because your phosphates are low, but not low enough to kill it quite yet. It's typically white in areas that don't get enough light. Your snails and hermits are dying from something else. My guess is salinity swings, but it could be any number of things. However, it's unrelated to your algae because snails that won't touch algae are dying.

Salinity is on par, I'm very happy with it, it stay almost perfectly at 1.025 ALL the time. I've tested it at 10pm and at 10am and all in between. 1.025. The only snails that are dying are the ones that eat algae. Nassarius and Astrea snails both are algae eaters.

 

I know it was stated that the Nitrates, Nitrites and Ammonia are all zero, but what about your other parameters, specifically Alk, Ca, and Mg? How stable have these been for the last few months? Also, you stated you collected items while diving? Where did you dive? Have you tried researching the alga of that area? I have noticed in my own tank that when alk is low, coralline dies and dies quick. It is replaced slowly by brown microalgae that forms spots. Once I raise alk back up and keep it and Ca steady, everything gets back in line. I recently got my parameters back in line after doing the over dose of Mg, to kill bryopsis and hair algae, and micro alga are at a min and coralline is returning. Also, my stony corals are rebounding. They stopped growing, all my SPS frags eventually died and some of my LPS died. The main reason hair and bryopsis started growing in my tank was due to the low Mg content and extra phosphates. I'm finding that simply keeping alk, Ca, and Mg in order and STABLE is what it takes to operate a successful reef tank. Yes there are other factors, but without stability in the main three, the tank crashes.

This is good, does anyone have a recommended dosing brand they prefer? I see I am going to have to get involved in dosing here soon.

 

Those pics are from reef central, I forget the member's name.

 

I have noticed that raising dKH up a bit (7.5-9) has caused the algae to shrink in my aquarium. I'm not sure if it is coincidence but it did appear to help.

The 2 part dosing mixture I bought from my LFS is HORRIBLE, the day after I dosed I had a dKH of 5 and a Ca+ of 450. Yes I followed the instructions. It was two bags of white powder in each. I'm guessing the one bag had a mixture containing mostly powdered Ca+ and the other had mostly Sodium Bicarb in it. This algae has gotten worse with the dKH issues. I have been keeping up with water changes, but I haven't been dosing until just recently and that mixture turned out pretty bad.

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