suggestions for algae removal on rocks?

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suggestions for algae removal on rocks?

Postby nasanek on Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:51 pm

Howdy all,
I inherited some nice "seasoned" rock from another reefer here, and I love the rock, but it has a perpetual algae problem. I'm tried scrubbing it, but it just always comes back. I even kept it in the dark for a couple months before putting it in the tank, but this algae is tough. I have lots of snails and a decent number of hermits. I also have a blue-tuxedo urchin, but nothing seems to put much of a dent in this algae. I could probably have cleaner water (RO/DI unit is getting old), so I wouldn't be surprised if the PO4 is higher than it should be, but everyone in the tank seems pretty happy (corals and fish that is). Any suggestions for something that would mow this down? I have an eyelash blenny that doesn't seem interested in picking anything from the rocks.

Should I try a rainford goby? Maybe a mithrax crab? Maybe try to loan out a sea hare? Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated!

Thanks,
Nick

ps, here are some sexy algae pics:
Image
Image
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Re: suggestions for algae removal on rocks?

Postby Socratic Monologue on Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:00 pm

You run PO4 media, right?

What's all the debris in the water?

Is the algae just on the new rock, or on the old rock as well?
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Re: suggestions for algae removal on rocks?

Postby nasanek on Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:10 am

I actually do NOT run PO4 media, but I probably have some stowed away in all the crap I've accumulated. That's a great idea. The debris-looking stuff is just algae on the acrylic tank wall, it needs a better scrub.

So the rock in the tank consists of LR I inherited, and dry rock I had laying around. The algae is growing only on the LR and stays away from what was previously dry. It'll likely spread to everywhere if I let it, but I'll try the PO4 media and see how that goes.

Thanks!
Life is a comedy for those who think... and a tragedy for those who feel.
~Horace Walpole
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Re: suggestions for algae removal on rocks?

Postby Socratic Monologue on Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:28 am

I think that is the place to start, anyway. Rumor has it that PO4 (in its various organic forms...) can bind to CaCO3 over time. Then that PO4 can be a nutrient source for algae without the PO4 ever really getting back into the water column. If that's what's gone on with the LR you acquired, then you might be in for a long period of algae growth, regardless of what you do at this point. If the algae grows only on the new rock and not the dry rock you already had, that would support this hypothesis.

IMO, PO4 media (or other PO4 removal schemes such as carbon dosing or lanthanum use) is a necessary component of all reef filtration methods, mostly because of the CaCO3 binding issue. I know LR is a renewable resource, but we use a lot of fuel and effort getting it around the world; we should take as good care of it as we do fish and corals.

How big is this tank? Some folks might have fish recommendations that only work in larger tanks (e.g. favorite tangs).

Good luck!
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Re: suggestions for algae removal on rocks?

Postby nasanek on Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:35 pm

The tank is pretty little (something like 20 gallons, not sure exactly how big), so I'd be very limited on livestock options...heh, that sounds like a funny fringe benefit. Instead of stock options, livestock options...wow that's lame.

Anyway, I wouldn't be surprised if your theory on the PO4 getting trapped by the CaCO3 is correct, I know the rock had algae on it in it's old home, and that algae seems quite resistant. That's okay, I don't mind a nice fuzzy appearance to the tank...

Thanks for the insight, I'll always plan on running PO4 media/removal methods from now on. Seems like a great way to take care of LR.

Thanks,
Nick
Life is a comedy for those who think... and a tragedy for those who feel.
~Horace Walpole
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Re: suggestions for algae removal on rocks?

Postby Jeromi on Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:58 pm

You could also try elysia crispata they are cool and eat what you don't want. When they are out of algae you can feed them nori to keep them alive.

Jeromi
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Re: suggestions for algae removal on rocks?

Postby nooch1019 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:35 pm

Emerald Crabs, they are always grazing and would put a dent in your problem. However, I would not only look into what you can get to graze on the algae, but look into fixing the underlying issue of higher nutrient values of your tank.
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Re: suggestions for algae removal on rocks?

Postby nasanek on Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:01 pm

Jeromi wrote:You could also try elysia crispata they are cool and eat what you don't want. When they are out of algae you can feed them nori to keep them alive.

Jeromi


Have you been able to keep one of these alive for an extended time? From what I've read they pretty much only eat bryopsis, and maybe some eat caulerpa. I actually had one of these a long time ago and it just slowly shrank and disappeared...kinda sad.


nooch1019 wrote:Emerald Crabs, they are always grazing and would put a dent in your problem. However, I would not only look into what you can get to graze on the algae, but look into fixing the underlying issue of higher nutrient values of your tank.


I couldn't agree more, I'll be getting a crab at some point to help out. I put in PO4 media, I'm improving the circulation a bit, trying to keep the tank a little cleaner, and attempting to be a little more responsible (limiting) in the feedings. I'll keep my fingers crossed. Thankfully it's not much of a problem, more of a slight eyesore.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone :D
Life is a comedy for those who think... and a tragedy for those who feel.
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Re: suggestions for algae removal on rocks?

Postby MM on Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:46 pm

I use either a small group of tangs, three to five
a xtra large sea hare ~ 20$ if you can find one. Just ask a LFS for one of the large ugly ones
and I like to keep a lawn mover bleny in each tank but one of these will not fix your problem.


If your tank is small, a nano, scratch the sea hare, 1" blue or yello tangs like four are expensive and delicate but if you can keep them healthy they rock and look cool, and when you post a pic on RC the tang police lose their bloody minds, always a good thing. Oh yeah, and yes if they do will you will have to swap them back out for smaller in ones eventually.

Most of my tanks have three to five medium tangs in them. My 125 has a very Healthy purple a mars member basically gave me, a large blue I rescued from the LFS with hole in the head, and a scopas tang. My 90 Gal Frag tanks have three to four tangs each. They are my front line of defense on a larger tank to keep the occasional algae growth from ever becoming even noticable. Some of my fortys have the sea hare but they do better in a large tank with lots of rock

These things work for me, I hope they help - Mark
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Re: suggestions for algae removal on rocks?

Postby creik on Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:07 pm

So, would I get shot by MARS members et al if I put a blue tang in my 12 gal cube?
IF YOU'RE NOT LIVING ON THE EDGE, YOU'RE TAKING UP TOO MUCH SPACE....
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Re: suggestions for algae removal on rocks?

Postby Socratic Monologue on Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:10 pm

creik wrote:So, would I get shot by MARS members et al if I put a blue tang in my 12 gal cube?


Yes. They are schooling fish, so only one wouldn't do well. Odd numbers in a school, so 3 or 5. :lol:
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