Anyone ever win the fight against bubble algae?

Discussion in 'Algae' started by SaltyClown, Apr 22, 2015.

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  1. SaltyClown

    SaltyClown Sea Dragon

    Feb 21, 2011

    Any of you out there who have won the fight against bubble algae? If so, how did you go about winning and how long did it take you?

    I've got bubble algae and I've been battling it for about 6 months. I do siphon it out. It hasn't taken over, but I want it gone.

    Thank you
  2. Click Here!

  3. chris adams

    chris adams Purple Tang

    Oct 4, 2008
    Port Charlotte, FL
    Red or Green?
    Red is a damn nightmare and good luck. Only way I beat it was by starting a new tank with all new rock etc.

    The green seems to be more manageable as my wife had some popping up and we just did due diligence of removing them when ever we saw them. Removed by taking rock out of tank and popping off and doing quick ro wash. Also some we worked together where I scrapped and she siphoned when on rock not removable from tank. Also I had bought a couple emerald crabs. Can I say for sure the crabs helped no.

    Either way the green we were able to remove completely over time.

    Good luck I feel for you.
  4. SaltyClown

    SaltyClown Sea Dragon

    Feb 21, 2011
    Thank you! I have green bubbles. I can't help but call bubble algae, rock herpes. I'll keep at it!

    Thanks again.
  5. mdbostwick

    mdbostwick Vlamingii Tang

    Feb 21, 2013
    Canton OH
    My first tank got completely overrun. Don't buy emerald crabs unless you really like to be disappointed.

    I am using the same rock as i did before but it did completely dry out for some time.

    Are you able to remove the rock(s) it is on for a while?

    If i find bubble algae on my rock, my plan of action is to remove the rock immediately, break off the bubbles and rinse the crap out of it. If i can do without the rock for a while i will let it soak in RODI for a week or 2 then dry it for another week or 2 then cure it and add it back.

    I won't be playing around with it again because I couldn't agree more with the name rock herpes.

    Bubble algae free for more than a year now.
  6. Slassco

    Slassco Flamingo Tongue

    Sep 16, 2011
    Charlotte MC
    I actually had great success with 2 emerald crabs in my 90 years ago. 2 crabs cleaned all the green bubble algea in a few week. I did not do anything else but let them do their job.
    I used that rock and put it in my 180. It's been at least 7 years and none has returned. Can't hurt to try. I did loose the crabs after the algea was gone as they would not eat anything else I fed.
  7. Servillius

    Servillius Montipora Digitata

    Feb 7, 2011
    Houston, Texas.
    I got my emerald crabs from John at Reefcleaners. First few weeks I figured they were useless and was plotting my next move. All of a sudden though, bubble algae started disappearing. Now it remains nonexistent a year later. I wouldn't buy any old emeralds. Go to Reefcleaners.
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  9. zesty

    zesty Sailfin Tang

    Apr 23, 2013
    Greenfield, WI
    yeah... I've never had problems with emeralds. That's just me
  10. SantaMonicaHelp

    SantaMonicaHelp Astrea Snail

    Dec 30, 2011
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Bubble algae is one of the toughest. But to get ride of algae we have to understand what it is,

    Nutrient Export

    What do all algae (and cyano too) need to survive? Nutrients. What are nutrients? Ammonia/ammonium, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate and urea are the major ones. Which ones cause most of the algae in your tank? These same ones. Why can't you just remove these nutrients and eliminate all the algae in your tank? Because these nutrients are the result of the animals you keep.

    So how do your animals "make" these nutrients? Well a large part the nutrients comes from pee (urea). Pee is very high in urea and ammonia, and these are a favorite food of algae and some bacteria. This is why your glass will always need cleaning; because the pee hits the glass before anything else, and algae on the glass consume the ammonia and urea immediately (using photosynthesis) and grow more. In the ocean and lakes, phytoplankton consume the ammonia and urea in open water, and seaweed consume it in shallow areas, but in a tank you don't have enough space or water volume for this, and, your other filters or animals often remove or kill the phytoplankton or seaweed anyway. So, the nutrients stay in your tank.

    Then, the ammonia/ammonium hits your rocks, and the periphyton on the rocks consumes more ammonia and urea. Periphyton is both algae and animals, and is the reason your rocks change color after a few weeks from when they were new. Then the ammonia goes inside the rock, or hits your sand, and bacteria there convert it into nitrite and nitrate. However, the nutrients are still in your tank.

    Also let's not forget phosphate, which comes from solid organic food particles. When these particles are eaten by microbes and clean up crews, the organic phosphorus in them is converted into phosphate. However, the nutrients are still in your tank.

    So whenever you have algae or cyano "problems", you simply have not exported enough nutrients out of your tank compared to how much you have been feeding (note: live rock can absorb phosphate for up to a year, making it seem like there was never a problem. Then after a year, there is a problem).

    So just increase your nutrient exports. You could also reduce feeding, and this has the same effect, but it's certainly not fun when you want to feed your animals :)

    Also, you can check out this thread to see the natural way to prevent algae :)

    zesty, Mr. Bill, Billme and 1 other person like this.
  11. Vinnyboombatz

    Vinnyboombatz Giant Squid

    Oct 24, 2010
    Dunnellon, Florida
  12. ingtar_shinowa

    ingtar_shinowa Giant Squid

    Jun 13, 2009
    Billings Montana
    My black tang ate all mine.