I seem to have got control of the green hair algae but the bubble algae is still there and growing. I tried to pull them off the rocks but for every 3 bubbles I get one bursts. The main group of these bubbles seem to be on one rock. Can I take this rock out, scrub them off the rock and then return the rock to the tank?
specific gravity: 1.023
nitrate: 20 ppm
Started adding RO salt water and live rock January 08, 2010.
45 gallon tank
53lbs fully cured live rock
60lbs of live sand
Aquaclear 70 Filter
3 Power heads
Current Nova Extreme Pro Light (6 – T5 Bulbs, 4 white & 2 blue)
(1) Three headed pink tipped coral
(1) Two headed frog spawn
(1) Bubble Coral
(1) Brain Coral
(4) Neon Green Mushroom Coral
(1) Spotted Yellow Wrasse
(1) Coral Banded Shrimp
Emerald crabs do a pretty good job of controlling bubble algae, and from what I see of your tank inhabitants, they should work into your population well.
I would strongly suggest avoiding pulling the bubbles out. Each time a bubble breaks, new spores are released into the water, which will only serve to spread and repopulate the bubbles.
You can attempt to move the rocks out, remove the bubbles and soak the rock in some heated saltwater, but I would be sure to put a light over the container so that you don't lose important growth on the rock. If you have a quarantine tank to use, that would be a better route than a bucket, but the same thing applies with the spores... if they are released into the water, it will only serve to repopulate the bubble algae.
My best control technique over the yrs has always come from emerald crabs.
Thank you! I have taken the rock with most of the bubbles on it and scrubbed it well. I now have it in a separate bin of salt water with a heater but I don't have another light so I'll have hope that things come back to life once I put it back in the aquarium. I've already seen one of the Emerald crabs eat a bubble but it looked like he broke the bubble with his claw and then continually put pieces in his mouth. Should I not be worried about him breaking the bubbles?
Don't be too concerned with the crab breaking the bubbles. It actually has a lot to do with how they go about breaking it, vs us just trying to pull them off. If you really watch closely when the crab starts on a new bubble, it will first eat things off of the surface, and slowly advance its way through to eating the bubble... but when it punctures the bubble it "slices" into it, vs pulling it off the rock where the spores inside are then free in the tank. This allows fewer of the spores to actually circulate in the tank because the slice in the bubble is able to seal itself off again repeatedly until there isn't enough tissue in that area to do so. The crab will then proceed to eat what is inside of the bubble as well. That is why the emerald crabs do such a good job at controlling it, if there are enough crabs in the tank to do the job, and we aren't "helping" them by trying to remove some of the bubbles ourselves.
I hope this helps explain better.
As for the rock in the bucket without light... the only thing to watch for is die off on the rock. Small regular water changes of the water in the bucket will help to avoid any large amounts of waste build up, and once back into the tank the rock should begin to show new growth quick enough if the tank is otherwise healthy.
Best of luck to you, if you need more help please post.
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