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cwcross
11-19-2004, 03:35 PM
I want to get some info on how many people who use Caulerpa algea have had problems with it. The poll should only include those that use the macroalgea in a refugium.

Also, just to make it clear. You can choose multiple answers in this poll.

Also, if you have had problems....please list them if you will.

Thanks in advance and sincerely...Collin

Elmo18
11-20-2004, 12:58 AM
I currently use and have used caulerpa in the past with NO PROBLEMS. Just regular pruning. SPS and LPS tank.

- Elmo

CarlaW
11-20-2004, 06:49 AM
Caulerpa and chaeto. Caulerpa has gone sexual twicw with no problems. Just yanked all of it out that was white and started all over again. I guess it's a tribute to my skimmer and overall stability that I haven't had any problems. I just keep knocking on wood. :D

northstaraquatics
11-20-2004, 09:06 AM
Sorry I missed the multiple choice part... Algae is out control - intertwines through around and over corals choking them out. Fish won't eat it, snails and crabs won't touch it, I can't pull it. All that's left is lighting, food and chemistry. Corals need light, fish "like" food and home test kits suck(They don't work to tell me anything or I can't afford a DR4000) so I quit using them.

Jon

szidls
11-20-2004, 09:29 AM
I have several pieces of live rock with grape calurpa in my 20 gal display tank.
It does take over to the point I have to remove the rock and clean and pick it off by hand or it will choke out corals as mentioned in previous thread response.
I used a stainless wire brush which works but algae does come back as it is embedded under rock surface. Any ideas how to eradicate it or do I have to replace the LR?
Scott

CarlaW
11-20-2004, 09:35 AM
How long is it gonna be before you get that 150 running. A tang could really help you out!! Once that stuff gets in the rocks, it is a PITA to control. Maybe a small foxface would help??

szidls
11-20-2004, 09:47 AM
Thanks Charlie,

The 150 has heat issues. It's running at 75 degrees with no lights or heater. Just the 1200 gal/hr bluline return pump and Sequence 1000 1/4 hp CL pump are running. The Sequence is quite loud and I am contacting the factory to discuss possible remedy. Looks like I am headed to a chiller sooner than I thought.
Scott

CarlaW
11-20-2004, 09:51 AM
I think that Ed has had heat issues with the Sequence also. It seems that those pumps add heat, alot of heat. Is there a chance you might trade this pump for something a little quieter with less heat issues?

szidls
11-20-2004, 11:23 AM
Charlie,

Just by chance Ed is going to stop by today, listen to my pump and bring a laser thermometer to check pump heat. I really like the flow of the sequence pump. I hope I don't have to change pumps but you never know.:|
Scott

Elmo18
11-20-2004, 12:35 PM
Hi Scott. I have a yellow tang in the 75 gallon that will eat grape caulerpa and almost anyother caulpera. Didn't at first, but the foxface really taught it...imo.

I would try foxface first (i had the one spot) or a tang as charlie mentioned.

- Elmo

szidls
11-20-2004, 12:46 PM
Elmo,

My biggest concern is adding the extra bio-load to the tank. I have 2 true perks and 3 RBTA's in the 20 long. I do have a 20 gal sump but really wonder if adding a tang is too many fish for the tank. What do ya think?
Scott

Elmo18
11-20-2004, 07:25 PM
Do not add the tang ;) Too small of a tank.

I would think you would have to exchange the rock. Even if you place new rock in there, there may still be caulerpa in the sand...and spores...etc.

- Elmo

CarlaW
11-20-2004, 07:30 PM
szidls,
That is downright scary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

aquariumdebacle
11-20-2004, 10:42 PM
I had put a 250 watt over a 29gal. I had an unusual type of Caulerpa. It was a runner with stalks. On top of the stalks the fronds would radiate out making it look like little palm trees on runners. I had a beautiful powder brown that was fed exclusively Spirulina. I had the lighting going for twelve hours per day. Then cut back the lighting to eight. For a few days evrything went allright but the algae was going through some changes. Then on the third or fourth night it totally drained the cytoplasm and was left with just clear empty stalks. The entire tank was pea soup and of course the powder brown was dead. You can use Caulerpa all you want but the original post was for a person setting up a refugium. To recommend such a volitle species to an inexperienced hobbyist is irresponsible. Anyone using it should take great care and study up on the organisms natural responses. I say just avoid it alltogether: the sooner we eradicate this dangerous algae the better off the hobby will be as a whole. leave it to the adventerous risk takers and experimentalists.

cwcross
11-22-2004, 10:23 PM
bump.......

NaH2O
11-24-2004, 12:20 AM
Caulerpa has gone sexual twicw with no problems.


Charlie, can you be sure there weren't problems? I would think a macro algae going sexual would have ramifications - too many nutrients and other things put into the system. Did you run carbon or do a water change after you pulled out the white?

Collin, since you have asked about other algaes causing issues, I thought I would toss in a comment on halimeda. This is another macro that has potential to be devastating to a tank. I requested some photos from tdwyatt, of his frag system. The system crashed due to halimeda going sexual - all within the time frame of under 6 hours. Tom indicated these photos were after a 90% water change: (more pics to follow)

The first photo is of the frag rack, the water is so turbid that he couldn't manually focus on the frags. (under 750 watts of Iwasaki MH)

The second photo is of some of the Euphyliids being grown for division into separate colonies

The third photo is of an experimental Faviid propagation

The fourth photo is of a purple Acro colony that was being rescued and had been doing extremely well, about 4 months into rescue.

The fifth photo shows some of the many snail and mollusk casualties, surprisingly enough, the Clams seem to have all made it without damage.

NaH2O
11-24-2004, 12:39 AM
More...

The first is the nudi caught in the current by a dead snail shell

The second: is a few plesant surprises, first, the clams, which had been clamped down so hard all you could see was the bright white of the edge of the shell, NO MANTLE, made if apparently unscathed, and a brittle star never purchased nor seen was discovered

The third is of the halimeda after the event, in the yard. All that was left of the thalli were the calcereous skeletal plates, very dense, and quite tough, no flesh at all, and quite white.

The last photo is how the prop system tank looked after about 20 hours and 2 - 90% water changes, skimming with two MR@ skimmers at a heavy wet skimmate (made 2 IO buckets of thin skimmate full of tons of suspended junk), about 3 lbs of carbon in 4 bags in the drain lines and some polyester filter floss for a day.

The trigger for this event, appeared to be critical biomass. To quote Horge



Halimeda holocarpy is often triggered by 'critical mass'. Unlike other algae where holocarpy is only an extreme reproductive recourse, what you experienced is an expected consequence of the alga colonizing and dominating an environment --with no need for minor environmental disasters as triggers.

Regular harvesting or even interspersal with competing macroalgae seems to prevent it. Harvesting of Halimeda is NOT about trimming the tops, but is simpler --you pull up a sprig in the middle of the mass and sever any rhizoidal filaments/root-runner connecting it to other sprigs.


More information on halimeda can be found in this thread: Does Halimeda Release Toxins? (http://www.reeffrontiers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2810)

Thanks, Tom, for giving me permission to post this :)

CarlaW
11-24-2004, 07:50 AM
Nikki,
Yes, I ran carbon and did water changes after both times. I guess I can't really be sure that there were no bad effects, but growth rates are telling me that nothing serious happened. I immediately pulled the affected macros. Is it possible that I caught it in time?
I run my fuge on a reverse photoperiod, should I be running a 24/7 light period? It is almost to late to change now, don't you think?

cwcross
11-24-2004, 11:39 AM
Nikki,

I run my fuge on a reverse photoperiod, should I be running a 24/7 light period? It is almost to late to change now, don't you think?

From delving into this topic, reading, asking questions, listening to people etc. It appears that the largest number of problems with algeas, Culerpas and other macro-algeas, can be classified into two groups.

The first group involves aggressive growth of the algea to crowd, overtake and/or overgrow. I don't really consider this a "problem" as much as an improper management technique and or strategy regarding the algea, i.e. putting it or allowing it to spread into unwanted areas or the main tank. Having it in the main tank, however, can increase the risk of developing problems related to the second category below.

The second category is potentially more serious and in my opinion is a true "problem" rather than a nuisance as it can lead to an immediate and potentially devastating consequence. This category regards the macro-algea going "sexual" as shown in the halimeda pictures Nikki so kindly posted. From the responses and conversations with people, an algea going sexual seems to be most commonly caused by one of four triggering events.

1.) rapid changes in lighting. Lighting should therefore be changed slowly, not immediately, like going from 12 hours to 8 hours under strong lighting in one whack. Plants usually use the duration of light changes to (days getting shorter going into winter) to trigger reproductive behaviors. In a regugium, it is quite probable that continuos 24/7 lighting with a backup bulb ready can reduce the risk from this sort of effect.

2.) Nutrient fluxes. Rapid changes in the amounts of nutrients in the water can lead to rapid growth which can lead to overcrowding or shielding lower stratas of algea from receiving proper light. For numerous reasons we should keep nutrient fluxes to a miniumum by proper tank maintenance and light feeding.

3.) Overcrowding. Overcrowding by overgrowth can lead to some of the problems above or below. Algeas should be thinned regularly and maintained to proper levels in a tank. They should not be allowed to grow unchecked at any time. Light should be able to penetrate to all levels of leaves by a reasonable amount. Also, the algea should have available space to grow.

4.) Competition with other algeas. While competition with other algeas is good if managed, letting multiple species of algeas grow around and between one another unchecked can lead to problems. Again, the algeas should be thinned regularly and provided room to grow with adequate light penetration.

It is likely that if these rules are followed, risk of a catestrophic event can be minimized. However, as has been pointed out by several case histories, in this thread and others, we need to be aware of the "risk" and be proactive towards it in some fashion to be determined by the user.

Sincerely...Collin

NaH2O
11-24-2004, 12:25 PM
Collin - I agree, and I think this shows the importance of a husbandry routine, as well as, an understanding of methods used. If a hobbyist decides on using a macro algae....then check out the pros and cons and decide what is the best route to go. Have an understanding of what they are and how they work will help to deal with any issues and/or signs to look for.

Curtswearing
11-24-2004, 05:16 PM
I voted for all four.

I have used Caulerpa, Halimeda (was in display tank and not in fuge), Chaeto, Gracilaria, and even Ulva. If you have a number of different algaes in your fuge, it is definately a game of, "Survival of the Fittest". In my case, the Caulerpa won. The Chaeto and Ulva didn't grow at all as long as the Caulerpa was in there. The Gracilaria was the only macro that my yellow tang would eat. Since it was being out-competed or was being poisoned...I don't know...and was receding, I fed it to my yellow tang. As a result, I don't have a whole lot of experience with it. BTW...normally you shouldn't take macro's out of your fuge to feed your fish. Instead of exporting nutrients, you would be re-introducing them.

At one time, I didn't have a timer for my lights. If you have Halimeda in your display tank, at least with my experience, that is not a good plan. One weekend, I turned on my lights hours later than normal and my Halimeda was white and there was coral slime all over the tank. (Thankfully not as bad as the pictures above because I didn't have as much Halimeda as Tom did).


Light should be able to penetrate to all levels of leaves by a reasonable amount. Also, the algea should have available space to grow. Among many excellent points in your post, I wanted to reitterate this one. I cannot tell you how many refugiums I've seen that had a huge thick mat of algae on top and white "sexual" macroalgae's on the bottom. Talk about taking one step forward and two steps back. People say they grow macro's to export nutrients but never bother to export (prune). Basically, a fuge that is doing this is merely re-cycling nutrients.

FragPacks.com
11-24-2004, 05:32 PM
We have a 60 gallon barebottom refug fill of Caulerpa that has been running for almost 2 years now without incident, even after a couple of large moves. We use regular pruning and a 24 hour light cycle to combat the chance of it going sexual.

Stircrazy
11-26-2004, 08:31 PM
I had Grape Caulerpa in my tank and was having to harvest it every month or it would choke out everything. I started to notice a pattern on the 3rd month that a couple days after I pulled about 2 gall out of the tank the fish would seem lethargic and I would lose one or two every time. I ended up taking the rock out and removing the weed and haven't had a problem since. Oh and my yellow tang and my fox face would not eat it either.

Steve

The Apprentice
11-26-2004, 09:16 PM
Caulerpa and chaeto. Caulerpa has gone sexual twicw with no problems. Just yanked all of it out that was white and started all over again. I guess it's a tribute to my skimmer and overall stability that I haven't had any problems. I just keep knocking on wood. :D

I started my tank with Chaeto And then added Caulerpa I then found out about the Caulerpa so i have kept my lights on all the time untill i was able to remove all of my Caulerpa I have mainly just Chaeto now but i am still tring to remove pesky remnants of Caulerpa that seems to show up from no ware :mad:
I also posted a picture when i set up my brand new Miracle MudĀ® Reefugium 200M model It has been a great Reefugium :D

kylem
11-26-2004, 09:33 PM
Hi,
I have tried to use the bubble Caulerpa and the razor Caulerpa twice. Both times I had the same results of the hard corals and anenomes dieing or parts of them dieing in the whole tank. I had less drastic results with the bubble Caulerpa but dramatic die off results withe the razor Caulerpa. I read in some books the the long hair algae on a rock is the best and does not take much light to get it to grow. I have yet to try it because I am afraid of it getting into the main tank. Halameda is also out of the question because its toxins have an even greater effect. The first time I added Caulerpa to the refugium I did not have passive charcoal. The second time I used passive charcoal. The end results were the same but slower to be recognized. I tested these 4 months apart to make sure that this is what was causing the problems.
What have you been using in your tank? Do you have corals? Hard or soft?

northstaraquatics
11-27-2004, 01:13 AM
I hate to say it, but the words "allowing it spread into unwanted areas" is entirely ignoring the devestation some species can inflict upon corals. Since this is an ignored aspect, how do I simply not allow them to grow in the tank? I have two schools of thought concerning algae:

1) Do not pull it. Reduce nutrient input. Pulling it and not getting it all causes it to break off into different tangents and allows the release of "juice" from the broken ends.

2) Yank everything out of the tank, scrub it 'till the rock is devoid of life, throw it in a bucket for 6 months in the dark to make sure it's really dead.

Which of these two possiblities works for anyone out there? None work for me, because it doesn't work(1) and I refuse to do it(2). I guess I need to add pictures for this to make sense to anyone but me, but I don't have an erradication choice (except for option 2, which I refuse to do).

Jon


From delving into this topic, reading, asking questions, listening to people etc. It appears that the largest number of problems with algeas, Culerpas and other macro-algeas, can be classified into two groups.

The first group involves aggressive growth of the algea to crowd, overtake and/or overgrow. I don't really consider this a "problem" as much as an improper management technique and or strategy regarding the algea, i.e. putting it or allowing it to spread into unwanted areas or the main tank. Having it in the main tank, however, can increase the risk of developing problems related to the second category below.


Sincerely...Collin

mojoreef
11-27-2004, 10:16 AM
What kind do you have Jon?? I used to grow razor a long time ago and I guess on one of the harvestings a small peice must have wondered back into the tank. Man...once that happened it went nuts. Attaching to every thing and overwhelming everything. I found that when with in close proximity of SPS colonies the colony just stopped growing, in some cases the growth began covering the corals, in both cases I began to see spots of tissue loss, not sure if toxin or if irratation.
I pulled all the rock and a bunch of began pulling the weed, dug out roots, scraped even took a tiger torch to areas I couldnt get. Put the rock into dark drums for 2 months. Then back into the tank. Took all of 3 weeks for it to begin to grow once more.....real bummmer. Added the Vlamingii tang three years ago as a show fish, fist thing he did was to eat everything green in the tank I havent seen a speck of it since.

Mike

cwcross
11-27-2004, 06:29 PM
I hate to say it, but the words "allowing it spread into unwanted areas" is entirely ignoring the devestation some species can inflict upon corals. Since this is an ignored aspect, how do I simply not allow them to grow in the tank? I have two schools of thought concerning algae:

Jon

Yes, I did not mean to belittle this problem. I realize now that my statement makes it seem this way. I am sorry for not making that very clear.

What I meant to say is that although having overgrowth and aggressive spread, is a problem, it is not directly related to the problems of going sexual and exhibiting toxicity, which is what I was focused on and is typically associated with caulerpas. Of course if a toxic algea spreads all over your corals, then this is bad, and will possibly lead to a greater risk of having the other problems as well.

Sincerely...Collin

northstaraquatics
11-28-2004, 03:41 AM
See photo below - on left is xenia for size reference.

I have a stringy type of runner that intertwines itself into a mat. it has small cups that sprout here and there every couple of inches along the runners. I can't find a good ID anywhere. - macrodisca var. ? Definitaly not racemosa or razor type. I'll see if I can get a picture on Sunday.

Jon

northstaraquatics
11-29-2004, 11:24 PM
The other thought for total tank loss is O2 depletion rather than toxic poisoning. Any thoughts or comments I missed earlier?

Jon

cwcross
11-30-2004, 08:42 AM
Yes, I did briefly mention that point earlier. Too much of any algea is bad and as has been pointed out is not to be found in a healthy reef. I think the only place for algea is in the refugium. Some believe it is not even appropriate there. Some like it in the thier tank though. I have a little halimeda in my main tank, isolated on the substrate in some yellow polyps. I couple stalks went sexual once and turned white. I took them out. I am considering taking out all of it. However, it is nice looking though. It is also easy to manage where I have it.

Sincerely...Collin

mojoreef
11-30-2004, 11:12 AM
Collin if you like the look of some vegitation in the tank, take a peek at some of the sea grasses that are available, they are a little more hardy, enjoy the intence light in a reef tank, have small root systems, which can help with pulling nutrients out of your bed and really kinda look nice.

just some thoughts


Mike

northstaraquatics
11-30-2004, 11:22 PM
I hate to say that picture is in my main tank.... We won't look at one side of the sump(worse). The other side of the side is algae free, and the 75 gal perched on top of that sump has no caulerpa, just roses(anemones that is). I've always had trouble keeping halimeda and haven't seen seagrass for sale.

Mike, you mentioned Naso tangs earlier (or I saw it on another site). You have some you recommend? I put a large Purple tang in the sump and it did remove some softer algae is a small area. I don't know much about compatibility with Nasos...

Jon

piercho
12-05-2004, 12:25 AM
I've mucked about with 3 specie of Caulerpa. IME, all of these were undesirable for the display tank. One, racemosa var peltata, is especially difficult to control in the display. I like plants and purposely keep several in the display, but I just can't recommend any caulerpa that I've encountered for that purpose.

For a vegetative filter, in a separate tank, its so-so IMO. Several specie have high N:P consumption ratios, which makes it undesirable right off the bat in my thinking. Its reputed to be leaky as well, although I'm not sure how how much noxious stuff it really leaks in comparison to other graze-resistant macros. IME its production rate is less than Chaetomorpha under identical conditions, and comparable to a Sargassum and Halimeda specie I keep.

I've never experienced any of mine that were established "going sexual" in mass. Also, it is resistant to filamentous overgrowth, IME.

piercho
12-05-2004, 12:55 AM
By Northstarquatics: "I can't find a good ID anywhere. - macrodisca var. ? " I've been calling THAT one racemosa var peltata (page 46 "Marine Plants of the Caribbean"), but I really have no clue. All I know is that its a bastard. And I don't even know how it got in the tank, it just showed up one day. I can say that IME a Diadema urchin avoided established mats, as well as Siganus lo.

By Mojoreef: "Collin if you like the look of some vegitation in the tank, take a peek at some of the sea grasses that are available, they are a little more hardy, enjoy the intence light in a reef tank, have small root systems, which can help with pulling nutrients out of your bed and really kinda look nice." Penicillus (shaving brush) and Udotea (mermaids fan) are two green calcerous algaes that are attractive, slow spreading, and stay in the sandbed. A Halimeda I have stays mostly associated with the sandbed, but occasionally makes excursions onto rock, and is generally too productive for the main tank. I've tried 4 seagrasses, and of those I found Syringodium (manatee grass) has established itself and resisted grazing the best. Its also more attractive than Thalassia, IMO: thin, tubular, bright green blades.

mojoreef
12-05-2004, 09:08 AM
Jon I got lucky with the vlamingii tang. its eats everything green. It is a very friendly fish and bothers no one. But it is also a big fish and grows rapidly and needs a very large tank. I think I saw one for sale in the livestock forum.


Mike