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Old 09-25-2008, 02:29 PM   #1
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Bubble algae - its unstoppable

So i have a problem with bubble algae. It has been going on for months now and i've been trying to fight it. Picking off and siphoning. In the last month i have had to leave my tank at home for my mom to take care of while i finish up my last semester at school and she doesn't have the time to constantly pick all this stuff out and its begining to get worse.

I added a sump (25gal or so) to my tank and put in a skimmer. There is also a ball of cheato that has been growing but just from the light comming into the room. They are going to get a bulb for it this weekend to help it grow a bit better. I have also been running activated carbon for 3-5 days at a time every 2-3 three weeks.

I have a clown goby that i've been having trouble with keeping fed. He is very she and i've noticed a few times that he gets skinny behind his fins where his stomich is. so to make sure he is healthy i feed small amounts (what can be eaten in about 30 sec or so) every day. I don't want to cut back on feeding more becuase i don't want him to starve but i know this is probably contributing to the bubble algae.

I know emerald crabs can eat the stuff but they have been reported as hit or miss and i don't like putting crabs in my tank anyway so that isn't really an option. Is there anything else i can do to try and get rid of this algae? I will ask my mom to take some water test this weekend since i know someone will ask. Typically my nitrates are <10 and phospates are 0.

I've also noticed that the bubble algae grows 2 or 3 times as much and spreads like mad on my sun coral? an ideas why it likes that so much?
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Old 09-25-2008, 04:11 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by pat8you View Post

I've also noticed that the bubble algae grows 2 or 3 times as much and spreads like mad on my sun coral? an ideas why it likes that so much?
Just a guess, but I'd say because of the spot feeding of the sun coral? However you feed it (assuming you do), it's seeing more food than the rest of the tank and there's probably a little micro-ecosystem of high nutrients around it.

I've come to grips with the fact that unless I want to take the pieces of rock out of the tank and completely clean them, I'm stuck with diligent manual removal of bubble algae. Not really the "you can beat it" advice you were looking for, but I HAVE noticed that the population really decreases if you get in and get rid of as much of it as you can. It takes time, but is the only thing I've found that works.
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Old 09-25-2008, 04:34 PM   #3
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'Bubble' Alage: Selected Descriptions, Controls and Comments by Horge Cortes-Jorge, Jr. - Reefkeeping.com
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Old 09-25-2008, 05:45 PM   #4
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Thanks for the link. Most of it i've picked up through other reading but its always good to have another source.

1. manual removal - can't really ask my mom to spend to much time picking it out constatly as she is already doing me a favor taking care of all the other tank maintenance.
2. non of the herbivores aside from the crabs and those slugs would be appropriate for a tank of my size. I will look into those slugs though
3. denial of resources- this is really my only option. I'm doing the best i can removing nutrients with the cheato and skimmer but this bubble algae seems to survive with even the smallest left overs in my water. I'll just have to keep up the fight and hope that once i get some proper lighting on my macro it will be enough nutrient export to overtake the bubble algae.

this stuff sucks.... its like fighting a never ending war
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