View Full Version : Red (hairish) Algae ID

04/04/2006, 10:15 PM
I've been noticing slight growth over the past few months of this Red-Type algae. It came from a piece of LR with a hitchhiker Kenya tree from my old tank.

I thought having nutrient poor water in the new tank would eradicate it, but I guess not (levels are 0ppm po4 and .02ppm no3)

The algae is very difficult to remove, I even tried taking a toothbrush to it and still couldn't break any loose. I can pick strands away one by one basically, but that doesn't do a whole lot.



04/04/2006, 10:35 PM
Yeah, I have a patch or two of the same thing in my display. I would say it's in that aesthetically pleasing category of algaes that I don't mind, like codium, but I'm sure curious what it might be.

04/04/2006, 10:36 PM
Maybe a species of red turf algae?

04/04/2006, 10:48 PM
Is that bryopsis?

04/05/2006, 06:50 AM
IanInDC, it's not terrible looking, but I don't want it to get out of control. I'm guessing your algae patches of it have stayed failrly small.

Reses, I was leaning towards red turf but I can't find any pictures that look similiar or at least detailed enough to tell.

Hawaiianwargod... it's definately not bryopsis, I've had to deal with that beast in my old tank, it's just about gone in the new one (few little strands left on some corals)

04/05/2006, 07:12 AM
I also have this in my tank and would like to know more. It doesn't bother my corals, but I don't like the way it looks and it seems to be spreading over time.

04/05/2006, 07:17 AM
It is some sort of Gelidalean red alga. "Red turf algae" is an ecological term that describes the growth habit of a zillion red algae. An urchin would probably like to eat it.

04/05/2006, 07:25 AM

I have the same algae in my tank. If you can remove it do so. Most likely you will have to scrape it off the rock with a metal scraper like a chisel. A tooth brush is not enough you actually have to remove a small layer of the rock.

I found that once it settles in it spreads very fast. It has not caused any direct problems to my corals but it does trap dirt, which I blow off once a week with a small pump.

I've discovered that the large Mexican turbo snails do a decent job in mowing it down. Have not found anything that removes it totally at this point.

If you keep it you will learn to like it. Some days the freshly mowed turf looks rather nice.

Best of luck

04/05/2006, 08:17 AM
Thanks for the replies, I've seen some of my hermits and snails over it, but it's obviously not working

Tank is acrylic so I have to say no to any urchin. Although, if I was an urchin, that algae would look awfully good. haha

My tank is too small for large turbos, it's only 25gal display they just knock everything over. Maybe I'll build a little box around the problem area so he has no choice but to clean the algea. LOL

The main piece of rock it spread on I can try to chisel off, but the source is a nice piece of LR with all sorts of goodness on it, but I might have to take an axe to the piece if it keep spreading.

Why am I the lucky one to always get stuck with the pain in the *** algae that's impossible to cure. First tank, it was bryopsis, but that was only a 12 gal so making the water nutrient poor was fairly difficult. Now this one is a 25 with 20g sump, 10g refugium in the sump overflowing with chaeto, phosban reactor and deltec MC500 skimmer. Nutrient levels are undetectable.

04/05/2006, 08:30 AM

Looking around google I found this post on reefkeeping

She also used Large Mexican Turbos to eradicate the problem. Maybe I'll try one again for a little while to see what happens and bring it back to the lfs.

04/05/2006, 08:41 AM
I've got the same stuff in my tank. My cleanup crew basically cleans the algae but do not remove it. My parameters, like yours, are optimal as well. Tried changing temperature and duration of lighting without much help. I'm going to try some Marine SAT as recommended by LFS but don't know if it will help. As mentioned in earlier post, it's not an aesthetically displeasing algae especially with my other abundant coralline growth but it's just a little more growth than I would like.

04/05/2006, 08:45 AM
The algae in your reefkeeping link above is not the same as the one we have.

04/05/2006, 10:05 AM
From GOOGLE.......

Your search - Gelidalean red algae - did not match any documents.

04/05/2006, 11:13 AM
I got a cowry in QT. It cleaned up a different kind of algae quick. I'll throw in a piece with some of this stuff on it and see if that cleans it up.

04/05/2006, 12:09 PM
Well I took care of the problem... at least for now.

I took a stainless skewer (that you'd use for a Shish kabob) and chipped away at the main piece of rock to get as much of it off as I could. Then I took a small margarita snail and put him on it. He's been moving around the same area for about 4 hours. So it seems like he's having a good time.

Then I took the piece of LR out of the water and took a dremel sanding bit to the problem areas. I got most of it off. Pics below.

I also included a FTS so you can see what I'm working with.


You can see the kenya tree on the left side (area of detail) It's still a bit closed from the dremel.

Thanks for the help, time will tell.

04/05/2006, 12:44 PM
Glad you got it. You are going to have to keep a close eye out for more. I gave up scraping it off the rocks because it just kept popping up somewhere else. I now have so much of it that I just learned to like it. Unlike other algae plants, I believe that this algae spreads via spores because I've see it grow in places that are nowhere near the main colony.

Best of luck

04/05/2006, 01:30 PM
GiuseppeDC - When you were pulling it off, did any pieces of the algae break away into the water column. I think this may be how mine spread.

fluidimagery - Please keep us up to date to see if it works long-term. I wanted a natural solution, but sometimes you got to do what you got to do.

04/06/2006, 10:20 AM

That may be the case or small fragments may have been spread by the crabs and snails. But it sure does seem like it just appears out of now where. At this point I'm just managing the issue. Total removal of it is out of the question.

Since it is not impacting the growth of my corals I'm not to concerned about it.

Hattie B
04/06/2006, 11:28 AM
I have this too.

Although unlike others mine is not sprearing from rock to rock. I have it on one rock (for months) BUT on my snails shells.. All of them, have it.

It's like decorations for the shells.

Although, I like mine, but probably would not if it were everywhere.

04/10/2006, 08:14 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=7123513#post7123513 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by GiuseppeDC
That may be the case or small fragments may have been spread by the crabs and snails. But it sure does seem like it just appears out of now where. At this point I'm just managing the issue. Total removal of it is out of the question.

Since it is not impacting the growth of my corals I'm not to concerned about it.

That's it. I saw one of my stupid hermit crabs pulling it off the rocks and letting if float in the water column. I guess I'll just have to get some more corals to cover up the algae if it starts to bother me. :D