Algae Help


hey I was wondering if you guys could help me with a potential algae problem. After my octo Curla died I converted my tank on to a reef. Well actually I'm in the middle of and and am just starting to stock up on coral. After I got my compact fluorescents I noticed a rapid increase of algae growth (predictable), however I'n not sure what kind it is. I was hoping that it was red coralline algae seeing as it first showed up on the LR and merely made it seem healthier, but its spreading to the sand and walls. Its rust colored and is basically a smudge, however I'm starting to see some green stuff popping up that def isn't coralline algae. So I was just wondering if the rust stuff is bad and if so how to get rid of it. Also how do I get rid of the green algae? here are some pics




Staff member
The rust colored stuff is typical brown algae. Eventually you will see less of it as the tank seasons but some tanks require weekly removal for years. Often it means high phosphates. Removing with a sponge (vs an algae scraper) and water changes are your safest and most effective actions.


How old are your bulbs? That can contribute to an algae bloom as well. Dwhatley is spot on in that phosphates are the foodsource that typically cause the algae to bloom when not kept in check. What type of clean-up crew do you have in your system now? I was wondering specifically about your snail population, hermits, sand sifters? The brown bloom is very typical when a tank matures or is going through a change - such as yours going from an octo tank to a reef. Also, if you only have PCs then you should be cautious on what you add for corals. You can add almost all softies, but when you get to LPS you are very limited and absolutely no to SPS, Anemones or clams. Hope that helps.


yes I was afraid so, its a lot better now. I heard that reef tanks go through algae cycles when are starting up, is this true? Im thinking it was just the reaction to my new light system, i went from like a 20yr old 20 gal strip light to power compacts. Anyway the purple coralline is starting to come back. :smile:


Larger Pacific Striped Octopus
Cyanobacteria should not effect your coraline, it covers everything like a sheet. Your lighting is a contributing factor, the first thiing I'd do is decrease my photo period and the next increase flow. (an extra powerhead) Manually remove it, I use a turkey baster and suck out as much as I can. Reduce feeding, if you have fish. Do a search for more tips, there is a lot of information out there, it's pretty common problem we all have at one time or another.
When you start up a tank you ususlly get a diatom bloom which is a brown but that goes away by itself.

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