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Sexual Halmeda?

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ghofmann

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Jul 22, 2004
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37
In my 20 gallon nano I had a patch of Halmeda about the size of a baseball that I had kept in the main tank for nitrate removal. It has been in the tank for about 5 months and has been trimmed back several times. Last week it totaly bleached out with only little dark green spots left on the leaves. I believe this is a sign it went sexual. I have since removed the halmeda. I did a 50% water change and have run carbon and Kent phosphate sponge for four days, changing the phosphate sponge every 24 hours. All water parameters are fine no ammonia, nitrites and nitrates at 5ppm with no detectable phosphates, calcium at 410, ph at 8.2 and alk at 9.2 dkh.

Anyway the day after this happened I had a major hair algae outbreak, which has totaly covered the rocks on the side of the tank that the halmeda was on. Is this related to the halmeda going sexual or is it just a coincedence?
 

Curtswearing

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Nov 20, 2003
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Location
St. Louis, MO
It would have added to the Phosphate load but it doesn't mean that this was the cause. It might have been that straw that broke the camels back.

Halimeda are holocarpic. Typically there will be a mass spawning. If one plant goes sexual, all of them will go sexual. Halimeda aren't really as efficient as other macros at removing Phosphates, Nitrates, DOC's, etc. as some other macros. However, the P, Nitrates, DOCs it had absorbed got dumped into the tank at once. It's kind of like dumping a skimmer cup full of waste into your tank.

You don't read Phosphates because the bacteria and hair algae are grabbing the P out of the water column and binding it faster than you can test for it.
 
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ghofmann

Active member
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Jul 22, 2004
Messages
37
Thanks for the info, now I have to work on getting the hair algae out. I just got a sallylightfoot who has not stopped eating since being introduced. So maybe between the sally and taking the rocks out and scubbing them with a tooth brush I can get rid of this crap.
Should I keep running the phosphate sponge also?
 

Curtswearing

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Nov 20, 2003
Messages
2,203
Location
St. Louis, MO
ghofmann said:
Should I keep running the phosphate sponge also?
Most certainly. Phosphate sponges can only grab P when it is in it's inorganic state but any little bit helps. I personally prefer the Iron-based sponges over the aluminum-based sponges because they are more efficient and don't tick off leathers. However, there is a price difference as well.

I'm glad you did a big water change in a hurry. I have attached a pic of someones frag tank self-destructing after all of his Halimeda went sexual. The losses were unfortunately very large. Most of the frags that you can see sliming died.

I'm also glad you aren't scrubbing the rocks in the tank. Hair algae reproduces via fragmentation and pulling it while in the tank merely spreads the algae to other places. There is a thread that is starting to get interesting...you might want to follow it. Lets talk about algae
 

ghofmann

Active member
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Messages
37
Thanks for all the info Curt. The tank shown looks terrible. Since this tank houses my favorite fish (a maited pair of false percs) I don't want anything like that to happen. So far everything looks healthy and happy.
By iron based phoshate remover do you mean Rowaphose?
 
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