Bubble Algae - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 12-28-2007, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Bubble Algae

125 Gallon saltwater. Lots of live rock, Leather corals, pulsing xenias, star polyps, mushrooms, anemones.

Tomato clown, Maroon clown, 2 damsils, snowflake eel, Brittle Star, Sea Urchin, Cucumber.

Lots of snails and crabs.

I have had the tank for just over a year. I bought the tank from someone who had it for 3 years. The tank had a few bubble algae when I bought the tank, but nowhere near the number I have today. Since I bought the aquarium, I've added about 50 pounds of live rock and lots of snails and crabs. Due to the tank being upstairs (heat rising) and in the same room as a 65 inch TV, I have a chiller which keeps the water at 80. The lights stay on for 12 hours. I have an Octopus Skimmer - just bought it last month. I have a wavemaster with 4 pumps. I never test the water - only because the previous owner never did and said he never had any problems. Should I test the water for something to determine the cause of the bubble algae?

I feed the snowflake eel and anemones: frozen krill - 2 pieces every 2-3 days. I feed the fish: one piece of frozen brine shrimp and one piece of frozen blood worms - every 2-3 days.

Problem: Increasing number of bubble algae. I try to remove these green bubbles very carefully so as to not pop them in the water. I remove about 100 every month.

What is the cause for this? Is there a way to rid my tank of these?

Thanks for any input.
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post #2 of 3 Old 12-29-2007, 11:17 AM
High phosphates from the high metabolism of the fish you keep contribute to the problems. Try feeding your anemone mysis shrimp. Anemones tend to spit krill and fish back out late in the evenings, this was shown at MACNA 2006, mysis is something they will keep down.

Once bubble algae starts it is near impossible to rid. I've heard that emerald crabs tend to eat the stuff as it's growing, once formed they leave it alone. The best results I've read come from "cooking" the live rock. Basically you remove it from the tank for about 4-6 weeks and place it in trash cans with no light. Do frequent water changes with fresh mixed salt water, some people even just use freshwater to make sure it dies, When there are no signs of algae they then place it back into the tank. Freshwater kills almost everything that was beneficial to the system.
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post #3 of 3 Old 01-07-2008, 01:46 PM
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Another food option for the eel and anemones is frozen formula 1 food. It's a lot less messy and plenty healthy for both eel and anemones. The added benefit is that the other animals will eat any scraps that may get loose into the tank, and its good for them. It's also solid enough that it becomes much easier to size your portions appropriately. I've been using that as a basic diet for anemones and eels for years, and always had good results. Even once the eel gets over 2 ft, you can offer it to them and most will take it, those who don't you simply stuff the silversides and offer those. Lots of nutritional beneft that way.

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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