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Advice needed for keeping caulerpa

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mykhals

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2004
Messages
6
Location
Seattle
I have an established tank with fish, some inverts and an anenome. Caulerpa has been growing off one of the live rocks for about a month and a half now. It now covers roughly 1/10th of my 30 gallon tank. I really like the way it looks and I appreciate the potentially good filtration aspects of keeping it. However, I am worried about the caulerpa going "sexual" and wiping out my tank. Here are my questions, I'd appreciate any advice:

How long will it take between when the caulerpa turns white (goes sexual) and when it begins releasing the milky white toxic substances?

If I maintain constant conditions regarding lighting, nutrient levels, temperature, salinity and so on, while at the same time pruning and keeping the caulerpa from overgrowing, will that probably be enough to prevent the algae from going sexual?

Thank you.
 

Anthony Calfo

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Messages
1,183
Location
Pennsylvania
acts of vegetative fission/sexual reproduction are rapid... minutes to hours at best.

You can avoid such events partly by interrupting the life cycle (3-6 months for known species) by thinning (not pruning/cutting! Yikes... dangerous/toxic) regularly. Pull out the older fronds whole. Keeping the algae in stasis with 24/7 lighting may help too (only works on caulerpa).

There is much info in the archives here at RF on this subject too... please do take the time to do a keyword search.

My advice for most folks is to play it safe and use another,more stable (multicellular instead) algae like Chaetomorpha for nutrient export.

Anthony
 
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