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dp32713

Help, nuisance macro algae that I've never seen before!

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dp32713

Hey all, I was just wondering if anyone had any expertise on nuisance macros. I recently had to tear down my last tank because this macro algae grew over absolutely everything. At first I didn't mind the look of it as it was just growing in the sand and took root there. However, it started getting on my rocks and grew in-between and over my zoas and encrusting corals. It covered up my beautiful purple rock work and left a fuzzy and ugly dark green appearance to my reef, not to mention it suffocated my coral.

 

I since took down this tank and started a new one, thoroughly scrubbed the rocks and used a liberal amount of hydrogen peroxide. I wanted to keep my cycled rock because it was about 2 years old, full of the good stuff and covered in coralline. I have started to notice a few patches of this horrible plant start to sprout out of the crevasses and I wanted to ask you guys if you've ever encountered this stuff. I know these aren't great pictures but hopefully you can get a good enough look at what I'm talking about. 

 

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Tired

Probably some sort of caulerpa. 

 

What have you tried to get to eat it? Most urchins will happily devastate macroalgaes.

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dp32713
6 minutes ago, Tired said:

Probably some sort of caulerpa. 

 

What have you tried to get to eat it? Most urchins will happily devastate macroalgaes.

I've got a juvenile kole tang, but he won't be living in this tank for much longer due to size. I haven't seen him go for it anyways. I may consider an urchin, the tuxedos are cool. Thank you! This stuff is a real pain and super resilient. 

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Tired

Tuxedo urchins may carry pieces of it around, but will probably devour it. A pencil urchin wouldn't carry anything, but they don't seem to be popular- I'm not sure if they eat coral or what. I think they may scratch acrylic slightly. 

 

What are your parameters, and have you tried a blackout? 

 

Can the corals be removed to another tank? Your coraline algae isn't going to like it, so I'd save some out of that, but you could block out as much light as possible for a week or so and see if the stuff dies. They're not technically plants, they're macroalgae (which are too simple to be considered plants), but the same principles apply. They need light to use as energy to perform their basic living-thing functions, like respiration. They WILL use up oxygen when in the dark, like all algaes and plants do, so you'd want extra oxygenation in there somewhere. You'd also want to reintroduce light gradually, so as to be gentle on your animals with eyes. But a blackout won't hurt your animals, except maybe corals if you leave 'em in.

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Clown79
13 hours ago, dp32713 said:

Hey all, I was just wondering if anyone had any expertise on nuisance macros. I recently had to tear down my last tank because this macro algae grew over absolutely everything. At first I didn't mind the look of it as it was just growing in the sand and took root there. However, it started getting on my rocks and grew in-between and over my zoas and encrusting corals. It covered up my beautiful purple rock work and left a fuzzy and ugly dark green appearance to my reef, not to mention it suffocated my coral.

 

I since took down this tank and started a new one, thoroughly scrubbed the rocks and used a liberal amount of hydrogen peroxide. I wanted to keep my cycled rock because it was about 2 years old, full of the good stuff and covered in coralline. I have started to notice a few patches of this horrible plant start to sprout out of the crevasses and I wanted to ask you guys if you've ever encountered this stuff. I know these aren't great pictures but hopefully you can get a good enough look at what I'm talking about. 

 

fullsizeoutput_18e.thumb.jpeg.bc32a77e8afed8c1d80e74269e5812bf.jpegfullsizeoutput_18f.thumb.jpeg.a9743ffdde80165b18750041e80816d5.jpegfullsizeoutput_190.thumb.jpeg.a9f23ab2a672e4ba2ca557d401d6cfc3.jpegfullsizeoutput_191.thumb.jpeg.f3c8014ce3ae4e96853be0c809dd7163.jpeg

 

 

Have you tried spot treating it with 3% peroxide?

To kill it before it becomes a problem.

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dp32713
15 hours ago, Tired said:

Tuxedo urchins may carry pieces of it around, but will probably devour it. A pencil urchin wouldn't carry anything, but they don't seem to be popular- I'm not sure if they eat coral or what. I think they may scratch acrylic slightly. 

 

What are your parameters, and have you tried a blackout? 

 

Can the corals be removed to another tank? Your coraline algae isn't going to like it, so I'd save some out of that, but you could block out as much light as possible for a week or so and see if the stuff dies. They're not technically plants, they're macroalgae (which are too simple to be considered plants), but the same principles apply. They need light to use as energy to perform their basic living-thing functions, like respiration. They WILL use up oxygen when in the dark, like all algaes and plants do, so you'd want extra oxygenation in there somewhere. You'd also want to reintroduce light gradually, so as to be gentle on your animals with eyes. But a blackout won't hurt your animals, except maybe corals if you leave 'em in.

NO3 5 ppm

PO4 0.03 ppm

dKH 11 (a little higher than I would like, initial batch of salt was a little high)

Ca 450 ppm

Mg 1170 ppm

pH 8.2

 

There is only 1 coral in the tank on a frag rack, as this is a new system utilizing old water and live rock. The tank had gone through about 7 days of total darkness and a scrub down with peroxide. I thought any of the left over was surely dead after the peroxide and black out, but I was wrong. I will manually remove what I can, I have also added a full dose of fluconazole because I had some extra from treating another tank for bryopsis despite knowing this is not known to kill macros. Fingers crossed. 

 

4 hours ago, Clown79 said:

Have you tried spot treating it with 3% peroxide?

To kill it before it becomes a problem.

 

I initially scrubbed the entire rock with peroxide and it did have an positive effect in weakening the algae. I guess I could try that again as well. Definitely don't want this to get out of control again like my last tank lol. 

 

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johnmaloney

Looks like it has a runner, so probably a Caulerpa species like Caulerpa racemosa var peltata. Mithrax crabs eat it. 

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dp32713
On 12/15/2019 at 6:27 PM, johnmaloney said:

Looks like it has a runner, so probably a Caulerpa species like Caulerpa racemosa var peltata. Mithrax crabs eat it. 

I may have to give one a try, I've heard mixed things about those crabs however. How were your experiences with them?

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johnmaloney

Scavengers often get blamed for killing an animal they are scavenging. 

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