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Caulerpa Problems Poll

Help Support Reef Frontiers:

Have you used a magro algea in a Refugium and either had problems or had no problems?

  • Have you used Caulerpa Algea in your fuge?

    Votes: 34 77.3%
  • Have you had problems known to be caused by Caulerpa?

    Votes: 13 29.5%
  • Have you used other algeas in your fuge?

    Votes: 23 52.3%
  • Have you had problems known to be caused by the other algea?

    Votes: 5 11.4%

  • Total voters
    44

cwcross

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2004
Messages
250
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

Clownfish
Joined
Aug 5, 2003
Messages
2,662
Location
Seattle
I currently use and have used caulerpa in the past with NO PROBLEMS. Just regular pruning. SPS and LPS tank.

- Elmo
 

CarlaW

Scarlet Begonias
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
7,670
Location
Columbia Falls, MT.
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

The Lone Reefer
Joined
Jun 30, 2003
Messages
232
Location
Bellingham, Wa
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

Gaitor Wrestler
Joined
Nov 27, 2003
Messages
794
Location
Lynnwood
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

Scarlet Begonias
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
7,670
Location
Columbia Falls, MT.
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

Gaitor Wrestler
Joined
Nov 27, 2003
Messages
794
Location
Lynnwood
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

Scarlet Begonias
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
7,670
Location
Columbia Falls, MT.
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

Gaitor Wrestler
Joined
Nov 27, 2003
Messages
794
Location
Lynnwood
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

Clownfish
Joined
Aug 5, 2003
Messages
2,662
Location
Seattle
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

Gaitor Wrestler
Joined
Nov 27, 2003
Messages
794
Location
Lynnwood
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

Clownfish
Joined
Aug 5, 2003
Messages
2,662
Location
Seattle
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
 

aquariumdebacle

electrolyte addict
Joined
Jul 4, 2003
Messages
613
Location
Seattle
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.
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
charlie said:
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

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
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

horge said:
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?

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

CarlaW

Scarlet Begonias
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
7,670
Location
Columbia Falls, MT.
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

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2004
Messages
250
charlie said:
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

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
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.
 
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