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View Full Version : Grape caulerpa has completley taken over algae scrubber


Jyetman
09/25/2017, 09:13 PM
Not one string of hair algae can be found on my scrubber screen! This macro is so invasive it out grew the hair algae now what do I do? I cleaned it off the screen bare and look at it now a month later. Will this still be as effective as the hair algae? The run away growth has been slowed down in my display tank but its still growing. With a yellow tang, foxface and water change after water change after water change this stuff is relentless. Guy who gave me some years ago said it be great in a refugium, you'll love it he said, it be great he said, ahhhh horse feathers to that!!! Any suggestions be good.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/svi4ezmtiqyo2r4/scrubberalgae.JPG?dl=0

Flanders
09/25/2017, 09:22 PM
I finally got rid of it by essentially starving the tank, using tons of GFO, dimming the lights, diligent manual removal every few days and a bunch of emerald crabs - they will eat it, slowly. You're already way ahead of me if your tank is big enough for a foxface and zebrasoma.

Relentless, yeah, that's the right word. I'd probably call the scrubber a failure, pull it offline, sterilize and start it over again after you get it out of the display tank which I can assure you is possible. Water changes won't do anything. Maybe grow some chaeto to get you over this hurdle.

Jyetman
09/25/2017, 09:50 PM
Not sure taking the algae scrubber off line is the answer. If its growing like wildfire on the scrubber screen that means less growth in the display tank.

karimwassef
09/26/2017, 08:51 AM
What kind of scrubber? Waterfall? Updraft? Vertical fuge?

I had the same and just had to manually remove until it diminished

<a href="http://s1062.photobucket.com/user/karimwassef/media/2A545162-48B3-4563-88F2-CD032417BBE9_zps8vwh6bje.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1062.photobucket.com/albums/t496/karimwassef/2A545162-48B3-4563-88F2-CD032417BBE9_zps8vwh6bje.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 2A545162-48B3-4563-88F2-CD032417BBE9_zps8vwh6bje.jpg"></a>

<a href="http://s1062.photobucket.com/user/karimwassef/media/037261AD-4FE6-4545-86F9-022DBC69B5A4_zpspxfvdhv4.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1062.photobucket.com/albums/t496/karimwassef/037261AD-4FE6-4545-86F9-022DBC69B5A4_zpspxfvdhv4.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 037261AD-4FE6-4545-86F9-022DBC69B5A4_zpspxfvdhv4.jpg"></a>

<a href="http://s1062.photobucket.com/user/karimwassef/media/45DCE672-0763-423C-B055-43724B7E7292_zps6gnvylzb.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1062.photobucket.com/albums/t496/karimwassef/45DCE672-0763-423C-B055-43724B7E7292_zps6gnvylzb.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 45DCE672-0763-423C-B055-43724B7E7292_zps6gnvylzb.jpg"></a>

<a href="http://s1062.photobucket.com/user/karimwassef/media/8962ACDB-FA5B-4D9F-9E9F-202C3F3E5149_zpssn1p9jrw.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1062.photobucket.com/albums/t496/karimwassef/8962ACDB-FA5B-4D9F-9E9F-202C3F3E5149_zpssn1p9jrw.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 8962ACDB-FA5B-4D9F-9E9F-202C3F3E5149_zpssn1p9jrw.jpg"></a>

<a href="http://s1062.photobucket.com/user/karimwassef/media/8F11F9AA-EBB0-4F52-951A-5EEAD82D6DC4_zpsd1jzxng9.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1062.photobucket.com/albums/t496/karimwassef/8F11F9AA-EBB0-4F52-951A-5EEAD82D6DC4_zpsd1jzxng9.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 8F11F9AA-EBB0-4F52-951A-5EEAD82D6DC4_zpsd1jzxng9.jpg"></a>

I also fed some back to my tank

<a href="http://s1062.photobucket.com/user/karimwassef/media/321859D8-58E9-4671-937C-2955FE3E629C_zpsponblpwd.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1062.photobucket.com/albums/t496/karimwassef/321859D8-58E9-4671-937C-2955FE3E629C_zpsponblpwd.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 321859D8-58E9-4671-937C-2955FE3E629C_zpsponblpwd.jpg"></a>

Wally.B
09/26/2017, 09:11 AM
I don't see any issue, if it's growing outside of tank and in your scrubber.

Algae is algae and if it grows it removes Nitrate and Phosphates.
I read opinions that Hair Algae is fastest growing, and will outcompete other Algae's. But if your Caulerpa is growing good then even better.

As a matter of fact you should appreciate what you have since Macro is much easier to clean from a scrubber than Hair Algae. If any get's into your tank it's easy to see and remove.

My scrubber went thru various stages originally. Brown Slime, then Hair, then a thicker Macro like string algae. I like the thicker algae, since it's peeled off like butter off the screen, so no messy scrubbing like with GHA.


I am experimenting with my Scrubber (Modified upflow) to see what grows best. I have some Hair Algae starting and some Macro.

But for Caulerpa the only thing you need to be careful about is if nutrients do drop it can go "a-sexual" and it dies off instantly.

15 years ago, I hd a 65 Gallon Tank hooked up to my 90 Gallon DT.
Short term till I got the 65 started for a DT.
It just grew Caulerpa (Tons of it. 65 Gallon almost full), and it kept 90 Gal DT sparkling clean and Cyano/Algae Free.


But one day I came home and found my DT looking all cloudy (Couldn't see inside tank). Freaked me out..

The Macro all died instantly and released it's spores to regenerate. This is caused when there is too much and not enough nutrients.

No harm to fish or corals happened. Some carbon cleared things up in a few days.

What happened is explained here.

https://www.reefcleaners.org/macroalgae-care

But why are you having Run-away growth? Could be the spores going into your tank.
If you have your scrubber protected with screen or something, it shouldn't physically entering your tank.

I documented my stages of Algae Growth on page two of Scrubber Build Thread.
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2570553&page=2

Jyetman
09/26/2017, 12:51 PM
How do you know when to prune this stuff back? It pulls off the screen very easily in large clumps but I'm not sure if I should yank it all off at once though? When its covering the entire screen in a large mass isn't that when it does the most filtering am I correct? My tank is a 80 gallon and the scrubber bucket (Large 11 gallon square trash can) sits on top of the tank room is limited being a closed loop system.

Wally.B
09/26/2017, 01:02 PM
How do you know when to prune this stuff back? It pulls off the screen very easily in large clumps but I'm not sure if I should yank it all off at once though? When its covering the entire screen in a large mass isn't that when it does the most filtering am I correct? My tank is a 80 gallon and the scrubber bucket (Large 6 gallon square trash can) sits on top of the tank room is limited being a closed loop system.

As long as there is room, just leave it, till you need to harvest the ATS (for space, since too much growth blocks the light, depending on setup).

When harvest time comes....
As long as you leave some to start the next harvest that will be fine.

But more seeds/roots for next harvest is ideal since that is where next batch will start. More roots exposed to Light mean more growth and thus more export.

But if it removes all in one clump then you need to have a screen or container where you can hold some loose pieces. With the less clumpy Algae, I would just smear the screen with some of the Algae, (across the whole screen) to seed it for next growth.

This was a smear and it just started growing the new clump on screen.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4417/36402768923_a9fdf401fa_z.jpg

karimwassef
09/26/2017, 09:00 PM
Different algae promote different bacteria that have different coral growth effects. I don't remember if macro is better than hair

Jyetman
09/26/2017, 09:55 PM
Different algae promote different bacteria that have different coral growth effects. I don't remember if macro is better than hair

What do you mean different effects with scrubbers using macro instead? Do you have any links to some reading material? I hear many people use caulerpa to export and have great coral growth.

karimwassef
09/26/2017, 10:52 PM
I hear many people use caulerpa to export and have great coral growth.

myself included...

I have both in my scrubber. I am biased towards turf because my experience is that it promotes more life. In several threads on this site, others have brought up the bacterial community differences between turf and macro. I'm not an expert here, but since you're looking at the same question, I wanted to share it.

I haven't been able to study it (other projects take priority :D)

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0058269
http://d-nb.info/1045968099/34

Jyetman
10/11/2017, 02:16 PM
Things are starting to come together. With small water changes, GC algea scrubber and foxface rabbit fish the GC in the DT is no longer sprouting new runners. The grape clusters that are left are turning a greyish color and slowly retreating. In the Scrubber bucket the GC on the bottom and screen have runners everywhere. Its dark to bright green and a very thick matt is being formed. Harvesting it is easy to remove pulling clumps by hand. Only question I have is a slimy juice is being released when I pull hand fulls out is this bad? Should I be running carbon or a poly filter at harvesting time or at all times?

Jyetman
10/15/2017, 11:09 AM
This is from under 2 weeks of growth.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/vkxqwm4vg8t9bp4/IMG_6251.JPG?dl=0

Looks like several LFS want it too one gave me $20 credit for that bag.