Selling Amphipods and Copepods at Coralmeds

Selling Amphipods and Copepods at Coralmeds

Selling Saltwater #Amphipods & #Copepods -1000 Pods – Get 2 for 1 

 

 

  • The type of copepods we have are benthic – which is great for a refugium or tank with live rock.
  • Amphipods can be distinguished from copepods as able to seen at a distance.
  • Amphipods range in size from 5-10mm, where as copepods range from 1-3mm.
  • This listing is for a variety of both.
  • Amphipods and copepods make excellent food for picky eaters like seahorses. Mandarin gobies love them.

Have a look , and you will not be disappointed, we promise!

Great Coral Food !

Great Coral Food !

We at Coralmeds are trying this new item out and the corals are reacting very well to it!

 

 

The Reef Octopus 6.5″ Calcium Reactor

The Reef Octopus 6.5″ Calcium Reactor.

The Reef Octopus 6.5″ Calcium Reactor

The Reef Octopus 6.5″ Calcium Reactor

We are actually going to give this item a thumbs up.

Does what it says, no gimmicks, and well worth the money.

 

highly recommend!

 

 

#Snails: Our Most Common Reef Tank Janitor

First of all, learn how to identify and stay away from all types of predatory shelled snails. These are stinging, venomous animals that either bore holes into their prey and rasp out their flesh, or kill their prey with venom, usually injected by means of a harpoon, and eat the prey whole. The largest and most obvious of the venomous species are all in the genus Conus, whose venom is not only lethal to other marine life, but can be exceptionally lethal to humans! Snails in the predatory category are not generally sold in fish stores, but sometimes they can ride in as hitchikers with live rock collected in the wild. The Banded Marble Cone is an example of cone shells to be avoided. If you are on the beach and spot a cone shell, it is best to take Keoki Stender’s advice: “Cone shells are well-known since they possess a powerful sting used to capture prey. Many have been fatally wounded when handling live cones, especially those that feed upon mollusks and fishes. If one must, the least dangerous method is to hold the shell at the widest point and be prepared to let go if the animal extends itself. Never place live cones in a pants pocket, wetsuit, or bag close to the body.”
Three of the most common marine snail species used for controlling algae in saltwater aquariums and reef tanks are the Astraea/Astrea, Turban/Turbo, and Trochus/Trocus, with many varieties found world wide. Let’s take a closer look at each of these groups.

According to Julian Sprung’s Reef Aquarium Manual, Volume One, Astraea sp. are the ideal snail to be placed in your aquarium as soon as ammonia and nitrite levels reach acceptable levels (less than 1 ppm). Introduced as soon as possible to a new aquarium, that has completed the cycling phase, these snails effectively limit the development of all microalgae. In other words, they are good at eating diatoms, but will consume Red Slime and Green Hair algae as well. The Astraea tecta found in Florida and Caribbean waters inhabits rocky inter tidal regions and is are said to be quite adept at removing alga films from rock surfaces.
There are numerous species of Turbans, referred to as Turbo Snails, and Trochus snails world wide that feed solely on algae, making them perfect candidates for algae control. These types of snails are less adept at dealing with irregular surfaces, so they usually divide their time between cleaning the glass and digging in the sand for detritus. The Mexican Turbo Snail is a great glass cleaner and is very popular with saltwater aquarists.
Another good glass polisher is the tiny Black Nerite (Pipipi) snail (Nerita picea) found in Hawaii. It only reaches a size of about 1.5 cm, and spends its time living along the shallow rocky and coral rubble covered inter tidal regions of the shoreline, in cohabitation with small hermit crabs of Genus Caleinus. The Left-Handed Hermit Crab is a frequent occupier of empty Pipipi snail shells and also makes a great janitor in marine aquariums. The N. picea likes to reside on the aquarium glass in search of algae to eat during night time hours, but will spend some time roaming around the aquarium. Close relatives are N. neglectus, that grows to the size of a thumbnail, and N. polita lives in the sand during daylight hours and grows to about 1-1/2 inches. These two species like to crawl out of the aquarium, therefore, they are not good choices.
When combined with Reef Tank Safe Hermit Crabs, Reef Tank Safe Snails are an excellent choice to help keep your tank clean and running well.Image

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Corals need more than just Light to Survive

To one extent or another, corals do require a certain amount of light in order to survive. Some corals, however, depend less on light than they do nutrients extracted from the water column for their nutrition.
Most soft corals, zooanthids and gorgonians depend almost exclusively on phytoplankton, (small water-borne plants or algae) for their nutritional needs as well as floating plankton, detritus and slow moving invertebrate larvae, rather than zooplankton (which can actively propel itself).

The third important source of food for corals is bacterioplankton, which consists of free-living bacteria as well as the bacteria associated with various materials in the water (mucas, dead plant material, and other particulate matter) which are commonly called detritus or reef snow. Almost all corals feed heavily on bacterioplankton. Material which includes detritus, floating eggs and other material is also known as pseudoplankton.

The fourth category of food utilized by corals is Dissolved Organic Material (DOM) which is absorbed across cell membranes directly into the coral.

Many of the corals with larger polyps (i.e. Cynarina and Catalaphyllia) are capable of capturing and eating larger food items, including the occasional small fish. Many corals (particularly Gorgonians and soft corals) may select their food based more on the size of the plankton, than its composition.

In the past, it was believed that the large polyped corals, with their more efficient tentacle formations, obtained a large portion of their nutrition from active feeding on the food that floated by, rather than from their zooxanthellae algae. It has since been discovered that many of the small polyp corals are actually more aggressive feeders than their larger cousins.

If you have live corals in your aquarium, you are probably wondering what foods your corals eat to supplement the nutrition provided by their resident zooxanthellae algae. You could just make a slurry of a variety of different foods which cover the entire spectrum (the “shotgun method” approach) and load it into your tank, allowing the corals to select what they want from the mix. The uneaten food in the mix is guaranteed to increase your nitrate levels in a short period of time. Or you can fine tune the supplement to the requirements of your specific corals and target feed them with a turkey baster.

Many corals will benefit from the food that you feed the fish and invertebrates in your tank. When meaty foods float by or land on corals, they will be consumed if the food is desired by the coral. Copepods, Amphipods, Brine Shrimp and Mysis Shrimp will also be consumed by many corals. Copepods and Amphipods are actually quite easy to cultivate in refugiums. Brine Shrimp eggs can be inexpensively hatched and grown in a simple DIY Brine Shrimp Hatchery. It is difficult to generalize the food requirements for groups (LPS, SPS or soft) of corals as there are always a few renegades in each group which have a more selective diet. We highly recommend obtaining a good book (reference source) on corals to determine what your specific corals feed on.

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Red Slime Algae (Cyanobacteria)

Red slime algae is actually not a “true” algae at all, but classified as a cyanobacteria. Often considered to be the evolutionary link between bacteria and algae, cyanobacteria are one of the oldest forms of life on earth and date back at least 3.5 billion years. These organisms produce oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis, and scientists believe that if it weren’t for this microscopic organism, there would be no blue skies on Earth.

What Makes Slime Algae Grow and Solutions For Eliminating This Problem

Lighting: The use of improper bulbs, lack of maintenance, and extended lighting hours are contributors that can lead to all sorts of algae problems. While these organisms do well in the 665 to 680 nanometer (nm) wavelength range, they are quite active bewteen the 560 and 620 nm range as well.
Solutions: Only use bulbs that are designed for aquarium use, run the lights 8 to 9 hours a day, and following the basic wattage rule of thumb, try different types of bulbs to increase the intensity and the spectral qualities of the light in the aquarium, particularly when it comes to any type of full-spectrum or color enhancing tubes being used.

Nutrients: Phosphates (PO4), DOCs (Dissolved Organic Compounds), and nitrates (NO3) are primary nutrient food sources for red and other slime algae.
Phosphates (PO 4 ) are commonly introduced into aquariums by means of using unfiltered fresh tap water, and through many aquarium products that may contain higher than normal concentrations of this element, such as sea salt mixes, activated carbon, KH buffers, foods, and many other sources. Also, for established reef tanks the long-term use of kalkwasser precipitates phosphates out of the water, and these phosphate based compounds can settle on and in the live rock and substrate.
Solutions: Use RO/DI filtered make-up water, a high quality sea salt mix, and be aware of the elements contained in other common aquarium products you may be using.

Allowing excess DOCs to accumulate in an aquarium in turn gives rise to nitrate (NO3) problems. However, nitrates can also be introduced in the same manner as phosphates, and because it is the final byproduct produced in the nitrogen cycling process, it can naturally build to high levels due the lack of proper aquarium maintenance care. Another contributor to DOC/nitrate problems is when new live rock is introduced, as the curing process can add nutrients when some organisms on the rock dies off.
Solutions: Practice good aquarium maintenance care routines! This includes keeping the substrate clean, cutting back on feedings, regularly rinsing, rejuvenating or changing any type of filtering or adsorbing materials (such as filter flosses, cartridges, bio wheels, sponges and carbon), performing regular partial water changes, and for DOCs in particular, adding a protein skimmer (read reviews & compare prices). For those with systems that have been running for some time and use wet/dry trickle type filters, the bio media in them, especially bio balls, are real nitrate factories, and therefore should be carefully rinsed and cleaned periodically.
While most hermit crab and snails won’t eat this type of algae, the Left-Handed or Dwarf Zebra Hermit Crab has been known to peck away at it in an aquarium. To help keep the aquarium bottom clean and tidy add some tank friendly algae/detritus eating hermit crabs, one or two true crabs, shrimps, or other good substrate sifting tank janitors, or a fish. Scott Michael recommends the Orange-Spotted Sleeper Goby (Valenciennia puellaris) as being the best.
When adding live rock, take the time to cure it properly.
Important Note: If your tank is still cycling, DO NOT add any new animals, do ANY water changes, or perform ANY MAJOR substrate or filter cleaning tasks, other than to change dirty pre-filtering materials and/or to QUICK siphon stuff off the bottom, until the tank has COMPLETELY FINISHED cycling. Because this type of algae does not attach well, it can easily be peeled off and removed by light siphoning, with larger floating pieces being removed with a net, or turkey baster.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2): Low water flow or movement throughout the aquarium produces carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), which algae consume.
Solutions: Depending on the size of the aquarium add a powerhead or two (Read Reviews & Compare Prices), install a wavemaker or surge device (Read Reviews & Compare Prices), and/or increase the flow rate or efficiency of the filtration system.
While cleaning up the tank and following proper maintenance care routines won’t give immediate results, you can use one of a number of additives which you can find in Top Red Slime Algae Removers to cure the problem quickly (within a day or 2). However, many of these types of treatments appear to only solve the symptom (the slime algae), not the underlying problem(s). Cyanobacteria are a form of bacteria, and many of the additives currently in use are antibiotics, which are medications that can weaken or totally wipe out the biological filter base of an aquarium. Use these types of treatments cautiously!
By putting into action any of these solutions, as the growth sources are being eliminated you should see a gradual decrease in the growth of the slime algae. In the meantime, while you determine and correct the actual cause underlying the problem, the unsightly algae can manually be removed as mentioned above.

One final interesting note is that because slime algae consume nitrates, often when aquarists perform nitrate tests, the readings come up as normal. Don’t be deceived. If you were to remove the algae temporarily before putting into action any of the above solutions, in all likelihood you will see a rise in the nitrate levels in the aquarium. It’s like a Catch 22. The nitrates have actually been there all along, but unreadable as the algae is feeding on it, therefore the nitrates appear to be in check. This applies to many other forms of algae as well!

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Happy 25th Birthday, Margaret!

coralmeds:

Happy birthday!

Originally posted on National Aquarium - WATERblog:

National Aquarium is celebrating a very special birthday today: Margaret, our blue hyacinth macaw, is turning 25!

With the help of our Animal Programs staff, Margaret started her day off with a special enrichment surprise:

national aquarium hyacinth macaw

Hyacinth macaws are one of the largest species of parrot – they are typically 40 inches in length and can have a wingspan of up to 5 feet! They’re on of the few species of parrot that can even mimic human speech. Margaret can say “Hello” (and she loves to say it a lot!) and is learning to say her name!

national aquarium hyacinth macaw

Did you know? Hyacinth macaws have beaks specially designed for cracking the hardest nuts in the world, the Brazil nut!

In addition to a powerful beak, Margaret has some pretty powerful and nimble feet that help her climb trees, hold food and even play with toys (or in today’s case, rip through a present…

View original 87 more words

What is Live Sand and how to use it

Live sand, or LS is natural reef coral sand that is collected live from the ocean, or non-living coral sand that is cultured to make it live. What makes it live is the microscopic biological bacteria that grows on it, and the many tiny crustaceans and other micro and macro-organisms that reside in it. Live sand can serve as the main base for biological filtration in a saltwater aquarium, while the organisms help consume organic matter in the sand bed. Some of the organisms provide a natural food source for many aquarium inhabitants as well.
What Type to Use

There are many types of sand to choose from on the market, but sand of coral origin, such as coral sand, reef sand, crushed coral, or aragonite are best. One top choice of many expert aquarists is Aragonite by CaribSea. Some sand sources other than aragonite types may have silicates in them, which is something you do not want in your aquarium. Silicates cause algae problems, and once introduced are next to impossible to remove.
There a three basic choices for starting an aquarium with live sand:

1) You can use 100% LS, which can be very costly.
2)You can use a 50/50 combination of LS (bought or used from an already established aquarium) with non-living sand. By mixing the two together (seeding) you save money, and the LS will convert the non-living portion of the sand into LS over a shortened period of time as the biological bacteria and the living organisms multiply and populate it.
3)You can use nothing but non-living sand, as all sand eventually becomes live over time. However, starting from scratch does take much longer for the cylcing process to complete its task.
Whether you have a new aquarium just starting through the biological cycling process, or one still in the process of completing its cycle, the seeding method can be used to kick start or aid in the speeding up of this transition. For an aquarium that has been running for some time, seeding can also enhance the strength of its existing biological filter base.

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Types of Algae (and Cyanobacteria) in a Saltwater Aquarium

Nuisance Algae ID Guide

Unless you have a nuisance macro algae that is unusual, (or something I don’t consider a pest because I am partial to algae), we hopefully got you covered. We need photos to continue the guide so send them in if you have a question. We can probably identify the nuisance algae you are facing.

This guide is a tool for aquarium hobbyists, and is not a scientific resource. Often cyanobacteria rears its ugly head even though it is not an algae. But since most people look for a red slime algae when they want to find “cyano” (we use hobby terms as well), it makes sense to include them in an “Algae Guide”. Same for a lot of other things, “cyano” only refers to a certain set of species of cyanobacteria that seem to appear in every tank, but in reality there are thousands of species of cyanobacteria etc….

Diatoms

Almost sure to appear in a new system, diatoms are some of the most abundant organisms on earth. They usually surface in the aquarium as a brown powdery like substance, within a week or so after a tank finishes its cycle. Diatoms feed on available silicates in your system and will run their course in time. Similarly, because they feed on silicates, anytime you add new sand, rock or something plastic they can pop up.

Manual Removal – Diatoms are easily wiped from the glass with a mag float, a turkey baster or a toothbrush can access other areas of the tank. Be prepared for them to re-establish themselves quickly, they are likely to be able to resettle and have amazingly fast growth rates.

Clean Up Crew- Ceriths, Nerites and Chitons are effective at removing diatoms as well as the algae species that usually replace them as the silicates in your system are depleted.

Red Slime, Cyano, Cyanobacteria

“Cyano” as it is commonly referred to is one or more species of cyanobatceria. It occurs commonly in almost every reef tank at some point, and is caused or encouraged by a number of reasons including:

Available nutrients – Especially phosphates and iron in this case.
Low flow/Dead Zone – Cyano prefers growing in low flow areas.
Warmer Water – Cyano tends to grow faster in warmer water than in cooler water
Low Alkalinity- While not a cause, higher alkalinity tends to discourage cyano growth.
Possible “contaminated” water source like tap water, that has nutrients fueling the outbreak
Manual Removal: Wipe glass with mag float, light toothbrush hardier corals and the rocks. Cyano on the sand can sometimes be pulled off as a mat and discarded. You should use a net or a siphon to remove the cyano dislodged by the toothbrush. Don’t be discouraged if it comes right back, cyano grows fast and is extremely efficient at consuming nutrients.On the bright side, it should die off once nutrients are managed.

Increase water changes to 30% a week with a high quality water source, such as distilled or RO/DI water. Be aggressive about removing any rotting organics in your tank that may be contributing to its growth.

Starving it out : Use a phosban reactor, or granulated ferric oxide to remove excess phosphates in the system. Check to make sure you are not feeding any foods that are particularly phosphate rich. Almost all foods when converted by animals will add to the tank’s phosphates levels, but prepared foods like seasoned nori, liquified foods, gels and low quality fish meals tend to be higher in phosphates than other foods. Such feedings should be suspended or stopped if possible until the outbreak is under control.

Chaeto and other macroalgae will help maintain parameters to keep cyano from forming, but because cyano is an epiphyte, (can grow on other life forms), it may starve your desirable algae from light. During an outbreak make sure to keep you macro clean so it can receive light and survive the ordeal.Chemical products exist to remove it, make sure to take into account for possible hypoxia issues.

Green Film Algae, Film Algae

This green powdery film, or cloudiness is caused by a variety of species of microalgae. It is fairly common in tanks of all ages, and tends to be present in some degree at all times. It is only when a bloom occurs that the microalgae becomes so dense as to become noticable.

Clean Up Crew- Ceriths, Nerites, Astraea spp., most limpets and chitons. Many different species of copepods, amphipods and isopods will feed on film algae as well. Hermit crabs pick at it but are rarely effective against film algae.

Why it happened – Available nutrients and you get a bloom. Don’t get too worried, it is pretty common to get some spots every now and again. You may notice some tank cloudiness too, same thing (micro algae). Chronic problems are another thing, get your phosphate or nitrates down, with a refugium that grows macroalgae, a DSB, a GFO (Granular Ferric Oxide)reactor etc…

Starving it out – Starving it out : Use a phosban reactor, or granulated ferric oxide to remove excess phosphates in the system. Check to make sure you are not feeding any foods that are particularly phosphate rich, or are feeding too much.

Manual Removal – This algae is pretty much the reason they invented the Mag-Float. Time to break it out. A toothbrush will work on the rocks. Change the water, after blasting the rocks with a turkey baster to stir up sediment that may be decaying and adding to nutrients.

Tip – Pods seem to thrive on it and it recharges the microfauna in the system which will actively feed on the small algae. Extended or large blooms are another story, as it can begin to limit light penetration.

Green Hair Algae

Green Hair Algae or “GHA” is really a broad term that covers hundreds of species of green simple filamentous algae. These species tend to be simple, fine in texture, and have few distinguishable features. True species level identification requires a microscope.

Distinguishing it from look-a-likes:GHA is not coarse or wiry, it should break apart easily when pulled, and should lose form quickly when removed from water. If you can make out a root structure, or a stiff branching structure it is probably not GHA.

Manual Removal – Green hair algae can be pulled out easily, and tooth brushed or scrubbed off the rock work. This is easier to do if the rock is outside of the tank. If it is growing from the sand sift it out with a net.

Clean Up Crew- Assorted Hermits, Blue Legs, Florida Ceriths, Chitons, Turbograzers, Sea Hares, Conchs, Emerald Crabs, Urchins and a few others. It is readily accepted by many herbivores, but because it grows quickly it may persist even in a tank with a fair amount of cleaners.

Why it Happened – An excess of available nutrients, particular the majors like phosphates and nitrates. Keep an eye on possible iron and potassium sources which may also help fuel hair algae. Hair algae spores and fragments are so abundant that keeping it out of the tank via quarantine is unlikely to be successful. Your best bet to preventing this algae from taking hold is to maintain a weekly water change regimen, maintain your filtration and perform manual/natural algae removal as it forms. Proper magnesium and alkalinity levels are thought to discourage the growth of many species of GHA.

Starving it out – Use a phosban reactor or a macroalgae like chaeto to reduce nutrients. Increase the frequency of your water change routine, taking the opportunity to siphon out as much hair algae as you can each time. Older light bulbs tend to drift towards the red spectrum, and fuel the growth of hair algae so considered replacing them if need be.

Green Turf Algae

What is known as “Green Turf Algae” in the hobby is really a generic name given to hundreds of different species of macroalgae that describe certain similar characteristics. They are coarse, wiry, and generally have thicker wider blades than Green Hair Algae. They may or may not have a mat like root structure, sometimes they just seem to sprout from the rock.

Turf algae that sprouts directly from the rock can be a pain to control, as it is difficult if not impossible to pluck it all. Once discovered it should be treated outside of the aquarium, perhaps by dipping the affected rock or frag in water treated with an algaecide.Turf algae that grows with a “root” mat can be peeled by pushing down on the algae as you scrape your thumb against the rock dislodging it in one swoop. Let it get big enough so you have leverage. The 3reef member who removed this piece did it perfectly.

Clean up Crew members that will eat Green Turf Algae include inverts with considerable cutting power like urchins, chitons, and emerald crabs.

Bryopsis pennata and B. plumosa

Some of the hardest to remove common species of macroalgae encountered in the hobby are B. pennata and B. plumosa. These two species have noticeable discernible midribs (center portion of the algae), that are wider than their branches. They also form a mat like root system on the rocks.

B. pennata (pictured on the left) has irregular and more sparse branching than its closely related cousin B. plumosa which has more symmetrical and fuller branching. (picture coming)There are many, many species of Green Hair Algae that have feathery branching, and are not necessarily members od the Bryopsis genus, nevermind B. pennata and B. plumosa. Simply because the hair algae in your system has branches does not mean it is one of these algae species.

The reason hobbyists despise finding this algae in their tank is because cleaner crews rarely finish it off when they snack on it. Sea hares, nudibranchs, urchins, emerald crabs, chitons, and even the larger Astrae tuber will nip at both of these species, but rarely consume it with any effectiveness.

If you do confirm you have Bryopsis:

1. Try to get on it quickly. If it is only on one rock remove the rock, remove algae, starve of light in a QT.
2. Manual Removal – If that doesn’t work or get it all, remove all you can by hand. People will tell you not to do this because it will spread. Let me assure you, left untreated bryopsis will spread. Just be careful about it, and if you can pull the rock out to remove it all the better. If takes hold in the sand sift it out with a net. If you don’t remove the base of bryopsis you are wasting your time.
3. Starve it out – As always if you can get down nutrients nuisance algae has a harder time taking hold, or coming back after manual removal.
4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 aggressively.
5. If that doesn’t work try raising your magnesium to very high levels. I don’t want to be blamed if this causes losses in your tank, many people have done this with great success and minimal stress, but still….please do your research and don’t blame me if something goes wrong. I say QT.

Bubble Algae, Valonia

Usually a member of the Valonia genus, this fast spreading algae can go from just a few “plants” to covering the tank in a short amount of time. Because of this you will want to treat it quickly, before the algae has the opportunity to send spores throughout your system.

Manual Removal – Don’t be clumsy and spread this one. Get them small, cover them with a baster, scrape the baster along the rock, and when the Valonia comes off release the plunger and suck it up. Discard and repeat. If you have a lot to do, by the time you are done you will be ready to add new mixed water to complete the water change. Be aggressive with your manual removal.

Clean Up Crew – Emerald and Ruby Crabs will eat it, as well as certain Rabbitfish. Juvenile Emeralds are better for the task, the smaller the better. Get one per handful amount of bubble algae.

It is fairly easy to keep this species out of the aquarium by inspecting rock and frags added to your tank.

Lobophora

Brown semi rigid but slippery macro algae. Often confused with plating coralline, the slippery rubbery feel is a give away if you don’t want to use scientific methods to determine the id. Can be highly varibale both in color and in formation. Can be red or yellow, and can grow in saucer like shapes, (pictured to the left), or in a ruffled ribbon formation.

Manual Removal – Difficult. Qting the rock in an extended dark cycle is the best way. Good thing it doesn’t spread rock to rock too fast. A chisel or a flexible knife like a putty blade works, but you got to get it all, and take some of the rock just to be sure.

Clean Up Crew- Emerald Crabs (best bet here), Sea Hares, some Turbos, Chitons, Limpets, Tangs, Urchins, will pick at it, but it is likely to persist, but at least it will be controlled.

Why it happened – You didn’t quarantine, and you have available nutrients for it.

Blue Green Cyano

Forms a slimy mat of green goop for lack of a better term. Usually dark green despite name.

While it should be treated like regular cyano, this stuff is generally more difficult to get rid of because most clean up crew species are uninterested in it. Chitons, limpets, and nerites can eat it, but dont expect them to do the whole job for you.

Manual Removal: Wipe glass with mag float, light toothbrush hardier corals and the rocks. Cyano on the sand can sometimes be pulled off as a mat and discarded. You should use a net or a siphon to remove the cyano dislodged by the toothbrush. Don’t be discouraged if it comes right back, cyano grows fast and is extremely efficient at consuming nutrients. To make matters worse, species under this heading seem better at handling nutrient lulls than other forms of nuisance algae.

Starving it out : Use a phosban reactor, or granulated ferric oxide to remove excess phosphates in the system. Check to make sure you are not feeding any foods that are particularly phosphate rich. Almost all foods when converted by animals will add to the tank’s phosphates levels, but prepared foods like seasoned nori and low quality fish meals tend to be higher in phosphates than other foods. Liquefied foods tend to have more waste than others, plankton cultures that haven’t matured can lead to blooms as well. Such feedings should be suspended or stopped if possible until the outbreak is under control.

Chaeto and other macroalgae will help maintain parameters to keep cyano from forming, but because cyano is an epiphyte, (can grow on other life forms), it may starve your desirable algae from light. During an outbreak make sure to keep you macro clean so it can receive light and survive the ordeal.Chemical products exist to remove it, make sure to take into account for possible hypoxia issues. This can usually be done by heavy surface agitation to ensure oxygen levels remain adequate.

Dinoflagellates

This light brownish menace feels like snot growing up from the rock or sand, with trapped air bubbles in it. Not to be confused with algae that has an air bubble that has landed on it, dinos make them. Not all species of dinos are bad the one pictured is though, and has caused many aquarists to tear down their tanks. Also, it is questionable as to whether “dinos” arent really just a cyanobacteria species, but that is how the hobby goes and this isnt a scientific resource.

Manual Removal – Remove the rock and place it in a large saucepan. Add water enough to cover the rock. Boil the tar out of it. Rinse and repeat with scrubbing in between. Let dry for 3 days in sun. Okay maybe not that far, but…. it is hard to remove. Scrub it as best you can.
Clean Up Crew – Don’t bother.

Starving it out – Increase skimming, use a phosban reactor, or a macro like chaeto to take down nutrients. Some people have had success treating “dinos” by raising their ph and alk, but if you do so, do it with caution.

Calothrix

These species of cyano often appear as a light slimy yet hairy/fuzzy nastiness that loosely attaches to your rock work. Air bubbles are usually trapped while eascaping the “algae”, just like in the picture to the left. Calothrix is a type of blue green algae that looks very similar to Dinos. We have them next to each other in the guide to help you distinguish the difference between the two.

Manual Removal – Remove the rock and scrub, and then fine tune with a toothbrush. Let the cleaners get the rest. It helps to use a net to collect the debris that will occur as a result of the toothbrushing.

Clean Up Crew – Chitons, Nerites and we are looking into others.

Starving it out – Use a phosban reactor or a macro like chaeto to take down phosphate. If you have a nitrate problem too, you can add more live rock or rubble to the tank, do some more wcs, add macro, add dsb, etc…

Gelidium, Red Wiry Turf Algae

Many species of short creeping red algae exist so the hobby generally lumps all of them under the heading “Gelidium”, (the genus that is home to many of those species), and the common name Red Turf Algae, or Red Wiry Algae.

Manual Removal – Difficult. Macros that have fragile runners and creep along the rock are the hardest to manually remove. Do the best you can. Use a dental pick to do the most damage, DO NOT BRUSH. You will dislodge it and spread it. Yeah I know, it is boring as can be, but if you do it once surgically with a dental pick the problem goes away for good. If you can take the rock out, all the better.

Clean Up Crew- Emerald Crabs, urchins, sea hares, and large turbos.

Tip – Don’t pass on frags with this stuff, don’t put one in your tank. This algae has become extremely common on traded/aquacultured frags. So my advice is every time you add a coral or a rock look for it from now on.

Lyngbya

Often a reddish brown, Lyngbya spp. are a type of cyanobacteria. Even though it looks just like hair algae and is filamentous rather than slimy. It dislodges easily from the rock, has no discernible root or mat structure and grows fast. Lyngbya species seem to grow very fast in warmer tanks, and spread quickly once attached to a powerhead, suggesting they can replicate by fragmentation easily. Nevertheless aggressive manual removal over time can be effective.

Manual Removal -Toothbrush off the rock and glass capture floating mass in nets.

Clean Up Crew- Nerites, Ceriths, Chitons, Blue legs and Ragged Sea Hares all eat it as well as others

Tip – For the most part treat it as you would red slime algae type cyano.

You can find the Lyngbya cleaners we have in stock here.

Cladophoropsis, Green Wiry Algae

Species in this genus, and related ones, cling to the rock, and spread from a runner. The branches do not get tall, and they are often found with hobbyist frags or on live rock.

Manual Removal – Difficult. Macros that have fragile runners and creep along the rock are the hardest to manually remove. Do the best you can. Get a dental pick and get it all the first time and be done with it.

Clean Up Crew- Rock Boring Urchins, Emerald Crabs, Turbos, and Sea Hares occasionally pick on it, but it dont seem particularly interested in it.

Starving it out – It seems to be particularly good at adapting to nutrient lulls, and it is unlikely that a small amount of the algae here and there will be starved out of your tank.

Fortunately these algae species tend to grow slowly, and aren’t particularly common.

We distinguish this from Green Turf Algae by keeping this heading limited to green algae that creep along the rockwork, rather than grow up from it.

Cotton Candy Algae

Algae under this heading usually appear as a light pink fuzz. Closer examination will show it is made up of many branches with even more branchlets. The plants are very small, lose form out of the water and sway in the current. Each plant forms from a single holdfast. Callithamnion species and the sporophyte stage of Asparagopsis taxiformis are usual suspects. The pictured specimen is quite good looking, they usually dont have such an aesthetic appeal, and are a dull red or reddish brown.

Manual Removal is easy if it hasn’t taken hold in places your fingers won’t fit. Scrape your thumb on the surface it is attached too while holding the algae like a pencil as you remove it. This helps you get the small holdfast.

Clean Up Crew members include urchins, sea hares, large turbos, emerald crabs and most hermit crabs.

This algae isn’t particularly common, but has the ability to grow rapidly from fragments.

Red Bubble Algae, Botryocladia

Red Bubble Algae is one of the Botryocladia species, (probably skottsbergeii or pyriformis) . Some of the Botryocladia species, like Botryocladia occidentalis, are desirable. The main difference between an invasive species of Botryocladia and a desirable one is how it grows. Desirable species grow up from branches, and invasive species creep along the rock just leaving hard to remove bubbles. Some are in between both in risk and branch development.

Manual Removal – Don’t be clumsy and spread this one. Get em small, cover them with a baster, scrape the baster along the rock, when the bubble comes off release the plunger and suck it up. Discard and repeat. If you have a lot to do, by the time you are done you will be ready to add new mixed water to complete the water change. Be aggressive with your manual removal.

Clean Up Crew- Emerald and Ruby Mithrax Crabs will eat it, as well some Rabbitfish. Juvenile Mithrax are generally best for the task, the smaller the better.

Dictyota

Brown algae that has forked branches which may have an iridescent blue hue. There are tons of species of Dictyota and w/out a microscope the best you can get it down to is a handful of different species. If it is a brown algae, with forked branches, and isn’t rigid; it is probably a Dictyota sp. Some species of Dictyota are desirable, you will be able to recognize them as they grow as one plant that branches out from one distinct holdfast. Removal would be very simple. Nuisance species of Dictyota, (pretty much all the iridescent species.) stay shorter and creep along the rock. Their branches form straight from the rock, and there is no trunk like feature to the algae, or easily discernible holdfast.

Manual Removal -Only large established patches are difficult to remove, treat incoming liverock with it in the dark, or in a separate tank before adding it to the display. If it does make it in your display dont allow it to spread, it is easy to control if it stays managed early on. Take a dental pick and scrape off every inch of holdfast you can. Get it all the first time and be done with it. At the least get it down to its minimum so the cleaners can polish it off.

Clean Up Crew- Emerald Crabs, Sea Hares, some Turbos, Chitons, Limpets, Tangs, and Urchins will eat it. Longnose Decorator Crabs will devour it, they go crazy for Dictyota.

Starving it out – While it seems to be able to survive nutrient lulls, its growth is much easier to check than cyanobacteria and many of the species we have looked at in this guide so far. Competing macroalgae can help slow the growth of Dictyota, and many can outpace its absorption of nutrients. Members of theChaetomorpha and Caulerpa family are particularly effective, once established.

Many species of Dictyota that fall under this heading are epiphytes, and can grow on other organisms, including Halimeda, and even some corals, or portions of the coral’s base.

Chondria

These and related species look like translucent red plants with cylindrical and irregular branching. They may stick to the rocks like Chondria repens, or they can brachout like the bushier Chondria minutula. The important thing in identification is look how the “branches” have smaller branchlets, usually ending in a pit.

Manual Removal – Fairly easy. While macros that have fragile runners and creep along the rock are the hardest to manually remove, this macro tends to peel better than most. Get the holdfast and attempt to peel it off the infected surface, if you miss any go back and polish it off with the tweezers or a dental pick.

Clean Up Crew – Just manually remove. If it is a too much of it, then emerald crabs, larger hermits, urchins, sea hares, turbos and other cleaning crew members with significant cutting power.

Caulerpa Racemosa, Grape Caulerpa

Caulerpa racemosa has perhaps single handedly given Caulerpa spp. a bad name. Highly variable, it can be generally described as a grape like plant that grows up from a runner, (or root system). While other species of caulerpa may appear different, their treatment is generally the same:

Manual Removal -If you are going to manually remove it, use a dental pick to make sure you get every last bit of runner removed. The thicker the runner on your variation of caulerpa the easier this will be.

Clean Up Crew- Emerald Crabs, Sea Hares, Tangs, Angels, Urchins, some Turbos, Chitons, Limpets, and the Longnose Decorator Crab will all eat it this and other species of Caulerpa.

Why it happened – You didn’t quarantine, and you have available nutrients for it. Try to keep it out of your tank, and if it happens to make its way in anyway try to get it out before it can spread.

Starving it out – Use a phosban reactor or a macro like chaeto to take down phosphate. If you have a nitrate problem too, you can add more live rock or rubble to the tank, do some more wcs, add macro, add dsb, etc…

Caulerpa racemosa in all its forms is invasive. Its runner is too fragile to practically prune and it can be a frustrating problem. If you like the look of grape caulerpa, try Caulerpa cupressoides var. lycopodium. It carries the same risks as other caulerpas, but its strong sturdy holdfast makes pruning easy.

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