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Bubble Algae

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Cameron, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. Cameron

    72
    Urbandale, IA
    Ratings:
    +17 / 0 / -0
    Any advice on getting rid of bubble algae. I'm currently pulling my rocks and scraping, but it is definitely winning. Other than nitrates, which are at zero, are there other parameters that's driving this? I've got two emerald crabs, but they don't seem interested. I dosing Vibrant 1ml/wk into my 14g tank, but to no avail.

    I'm open to any treatments ranging from benign to lethal reset.

    Thanks.
     
  2. jeffmr4 GIRS Member

    216
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Ratings:
    +38 / 0 / -0
    Hi Cameron,
    Another possibility is that your phosphates are high. You can test for them but sometimes test kits won't register high phosphate levels because whatever someone is battling is consuming them faster than they can be tested for.
    I have a 10 gallon tank and had been fighting some brown sludge that was on everything for a long time. I removed the rock and replaced it with new dry rock and then, at someone's suggestion, dosed Phosphate Rx (only 3 drops for the tank). In a matter of hours my four clownfish had died. My snails and other invertabretes were ok. (No corals though) . The brown sludge hasn't come back and I've done a few tank resets.
    To keep the phosphate levels low I am using carbon, purigen, phosguard and a filter pad.
    I would say, after testing for phosphates, try this but do so at your own risk.

    You could also try carbon, a filter pad, a phosphate remover (I don't recommend GFO) and some other means of organic material extraction (optional) and then try the Phosphate Rx if those don't work.

    Good luck!
     
  3. beckerj3 Expert Reefkeeper Board of Directors Leadership Team GIRS Member

    West Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +392 / 2 / -0
    Many years ago when I had a bubble algae problem I used a product called Algae Fix Marine, made by API. Worked great. Not an overnight cure, but within a matter of a couple weeks it was all gone. So its a good fix, IMO.

    However as Jeff mentioned, you need to find the root of the problem - and making surethat phosphate is not an issue. I use the Hanna checker for phosphate testing.
     
  4. aussie Well-Known ReefKeeper Board of Directors Leadership Team GIRS Member

    678
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Ratings:
    +169 / 1 / -0
    Emerald crab could help you keep it in check
     
  5. Cameron

    72
    Urbandale, IA
    Ratings:
    +17 / 0 / -0
    Thanks for the advice. I think the plan will be to put in some new phosguard and keep running the vibrant. If that fails, then onto the Algae Fix. Last resort will be to Phosphate Rx. As most of my rocks don't have any corals on them, is there any reasonably benign solution that I can dip them into that will kill tiny or hidden bubble algae?
     
  6. Reef Medic Clay Well-Known ReefKeeper Leadership Team

    478
    Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +111 / 0 / -0


    I found this video to be really helpful in the past. I've always had good luck shutting everything off, then scraping it off while running a siphon next to it to catch any spores. Try not to pop any of the bubbles with any type of flow going, as itll spread spores like wild!
     
  7. Cameron

    72
    Urbandale, IA
    Ratings:
    +17 / 0 / -0
    I was at Iowa Pet supply and just picked up another emerald crab. They had a huge one, which I almost got. Its shell must have been 1 1/4 across, with the big fiddler crab like claw. It would probably mow through the bubble algae, but eat up my other lazy emerald crabs in the process (not that they don't deserve it).
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  8. Cameron

    72
    Urbandale, IA
    Ratings:
    +17 / 0 / -0
    Thanks for the video. I'll give it a try after cull the latest couple of cups of algae. Good advice on shutting off my pumps.
     
  9. Cameron

    72
    Urbandale, IA
    Ratings:
    +17 / 0 / -0
    Huzzzah! The bubble algae is gone. After a lot of scraping, dipping in hydrogen peroxide, coral killing dose of Vibrant and new emerald crab the scourge has been defeated. Huzzah!
     
  10. M2R GIRS Member

    49
    Charles City
    Ratings:
    +7 / 0 / -0
    but at what cost?
     
  11. Cameron

    72
    Urbandale, IA
    Ratings:
    +17 / 0 / -0
    Sigh, at significant cost. Honestly, the constant battle was starting to make the tank a chore, which has got to be a primary reason for leaving the hobby. In a sense, I'm restarting with a FOWLR, which is OK with me as I can pull all the rock and clean them up as needed. Maybe at next spring fest, I might start to add some easy to keep LPS, but for now I just want the tank to run smoothly so I can focus on a planted black water tetra tank that I'm building.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
  12. M2R GIRS Member

    49
    Charles City
    Ratings:
    +7 / 0 / -0
    Yeah, I hesitate to weight in but I often have dozens of tanks running. Bubble algae shows up in most of the tanks now and then and I just remove the pieces that I see. Occasionally it explodes in a tank. I make changes to maintenance schedules and animals until it gets under control or goes away. I never let it bother me. Currently I know it is in the systems somewhere but I have not seen a piece in quite a while. Its too late to really weigh in I know but I don't do drastic things for any of the problems I see people going to extremes over. There are usually better solutions though I don't really know exactly what allows it to take off in some tanks and never take off in another. I would guess that it is the right combination of other competing plants and animals and water parameters. I only weigh in because I don't think the extreme response are worth it.
     
  13. Cameron

    72
    Urbandale, IA
    Ratings:
    +17 / 0 / -0
    Hi - I wish I had the experience to know when things are just going to play out and the problem will resolve itself with a few tweaks. Part of my rationale, was inexperience and getting plumb worn out from the battle.

    My thoughts for GIRS is that perhaps we might want to consider some sort of volunteer on-site to help members when things really get out of control. This would provide experience, but also support like the labor needed to pull a systems apart, the test kits/gear/chemicals that newbie's might not have, opportunity to take livestock and corals offsite for temp storage in quarantine tanks, and what other sorts of support a reefer down on their luck need. This is obviously asking a lot, but I think that if we worked through the mechanics we could pull this off. Well as I said just a though, but it would have been very appreciated if I had this sort of support and likely would have saved a lot of my corals.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019

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