Be careful with Caulerpa

Discussion in 'Algae' started by beazalbob69, Feb 19, 2010.

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  1. beazalbob69

    beazalbob69 Astrea Snail

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    Just a word of caution.

    I originally started my refugium with caulerpa and it was doing a great job for almost a year never had any algea in my DT even if my trates were a little high. Then all of a sudden I started to get bad outbreaks of cyano and couldnt for the life of me figure out why. While this was happening I noticed the caulerpa was dying. It would turn brown and then clear then just melt away. It happened slowly so I didnt really put 2 and 2 together for months. What was happening was the caulerpa was floating to the top of the fuge and being burned by the PC spot light I had on there causing it to die and release all the nutrients back into the water causing the cyano outbreak.

    I ended up doing a very large cleaning of the tank sucking out all of the cyano and other detrius that had collected in the LR/LS to get the tank clean. I pulled out most of what was left of the caulerpa and replaced it with cheato. I reduced the photoperiod in the DT and increased it in the fuge to give the cheato a head start and so it wouldnt have to compete with the cyano for phosphates/nitrates.

    Result? cyano almost completly gone! Nitrates/Phosphates steadily being reduced. Coraline algae growing back again especially on glass. Corals, fish and BTA's looking much more happy! Cheato is growing at a good rate prune weekly. Even the cyano in the fuge is starting to be overtaken with some kind of green algae.

    I hope this story might help someone with similar problems. Simple and inexpensive cant beat that!
     
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  3. amcarrig

    amcarrig Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Are you sure that it was the lights causing this and not the algae going sexual?
     
  4. marlinman

    marlinman Zoanthid

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    This is interesting because there is merit to the burning issue but how would we know if algae has gone sexual?
     
  5. amcarrig

    amcarrig Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It would turn brown, then clear, then melt away :)
     
  6. marlinman

    marlinman Zoanthid

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    What your saying is the calerpa is in fact algae? I have cheato so I'm not familiar with calerpa but I've got a similar situation and I'm going to see if the flood light is getting closer to the cheato which could burn the cheato or if it needs replacing.
     

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  7. amcarrig

    amcarrig Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Calupra is a macro algae, yes. There are many species available in the hobby, unless you live in California, where it's illegal.
     
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  9. Tangster

    Tangster 3reef Sponsor

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    LOL you know I still use off shoots of caulerpa's from a refugium I set up in late 70's or 1980 and have given tons of it away to LFS and friend all Feather and Grape caulerpa and Its never ever gone sexual or died off , Or caused any harm to my cprals and its been in the systems from the fisrt coral I ever started to keep like the old mushroom and those damn Zoos everyone raves about now days . to the LPS and SPS and never has it cause any coral reaction or damage .

    And I have friends who have ran fuges for more yrs then many here have lived and they never have had any bad reactions or issues with algae I gave them to this day. But theylike myself and those who im have tried to help here I don't think have had any problem either unless they caused the problem ?

    I started to see the first issues and bad information in the mid 90's when the new guys all jumped in and wanting t be the first to do somthing better and different went to all kind of lighting and flow extremes .. And then Caulerpa started to get the blame .. Now I expect to see same things with Cheado aother grasses , These are sopposed to be a slow flow warm water swamp and Isolated for the main sump I have a heater in my 15 gal fuge a 200 watter and I run about 10 GPH through it water enters bottom left and exits top right into the sump . And the temps is about 81F in there when the 175 M/H is not on the heater goes to work .
     
  10. beazalbob69

    beazalbob69 Astrea Snail

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    Pretty sure it didnt go sexual. Never saw anything that looked like it. Almost 100% sure I dried and burned it.
     
  11. beazalbob69

    beazalbob69 Astrea Snail

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    I totally agree with you Tangster nothing wrong with calurpa it grows really fast and works really well. I had switched to a PC floodlight from a regular PC bulb and I think it was just too much light too close to the calurpa that did it. Unfortunatly I didnt notice my error soon enough.

    I still have some in the fuge that rooted into the sand and it looks fine. Its also further from the light.
     
  12. beazalbob69

    beazalbob69 Astrea Snail

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    I have almost the same setup minus the heater. Comes in on bottom left exits top right into sump. Almost zero flow. Built it myself out of acrylic mabey 7 gallons. Has a DSB of about 5". Looks really nasty in there cant even see through the acrylic anymore have to look in through the top.;D