Hydrogen Peroxide: The Nuclear Option with Nuisance Algae

Discussion in 'Algae' started by Matt Rogers, Apr 13, 2012.

to remove this notice and enjoy 3reef content with less ads. 3reef membership is free.

  1. Dingo

    Dingo Giant Squid

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Messages:
    4,767
    Location:
    New Freedom, PA
    I have done in tank applications (up to 1ml per 10g) for algae spots. I simply use a syringe and ten inject the h2o2 in and around the area of the algae. (works on bryopsis too).

    Some of the bacteria are the same. I know of one person who was conducting bacterial counts and found them to be basically the same bacteria but to have slightly different phenotypical characteristics.

    @matt- good to hear all worked well! The peroxide quickly oxidizes within minutes so if there are negative effects they will only be observed right after application. The h2o2 looses potency so quickly though that it is not usually a risk. The damage to your sps is likely done, nothing else should go wrong :)
    And the increase in ORP from the peroxide is likely what kicked your skimmer up a few notches (shh, h2o2 and KMnO4 are my little secrets when I need a little extra skimming in my tank) ;)
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Click Here!

  3. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2000
    Messages:
    13,466
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    No problem. If so then check out my update below as I have been thinking about round 2.

    Good luck haloist! :)

    Good stuff and similar to what I was hoping it all was. Thanks Dingo!




    Here is my little update... DAY 4!

    [​IMG]

    Today easily shows that most the front face of rock is bone white clean (sorry for pic quality) but there are some spots at top that I missed. My plan is to pull it out again tonight and re-apply peroxide.

    This time I think I will use some Q-TIPS along with the syringe to apply it better and across more area.

    I want to pull the small rock next to it as well that has some halimeda on it and get that too.

    But that said I am loving this for nano treatment so far and now with the info that Dingo provided I feel better about it too. I'll do an update tomorrow with the results.

    matt
     
  4. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2000
    Messages:
    13,466
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    hehe yeah you got that right. :) It is definitely burned but has live shoots so I am still holding on to that one bouncing back. Fingers crossed! I recommend not getting your SPS with it. :) That was a Homer moment. D'oh! :bucktooth:2thumbsup

    EDIT - You can see that SPS in upper right of pic above.
     
  5. amcarrig

    amcarrig Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Messages:
    9,219
    Location:
    CT
    I wonder if this would work on bryopsis?
     
  6. Jake

    Jake Sea Dragon

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Messages:
    516
    Location:
    Saskatoon
    Thanks for the write up. I thought I'd add my own observations of this method to the mix.

    While I understand that this can just be a band-aid solution to an algae problem, I also think that even at low nutrient concentrations hard to remove macro algae can subsist for a long time. My tank had very little phosphate and nitrate (undetectable), but for some reason a single rock was completely covered in a pine-needle like macro algae. All other rocks in the tank were algae free, other than coralline.

    I didn't take before and after pictures, but I tried this method out a couple of weeks ago with great success. I removed the problem rock, manually removed as much algae as I could, then sprayed it directly with 3% hydrogen peroxide, then rinsed/soaked in old tank water, and returned the rock to the tank.

    Like other people, I observed scavengers going after the dead algae right away. It took about a week for all of the algae to disappear.

    Two weeks later, while the rock is a little bleached white, coralline algae is beginning to grow on it.

    I have noticed no harm to any of my live stock, which is mostly SPS, mushrooms/rics, and xenia. No adverse effects have been obvious. I haven't noticed a decline in the health of any animal in the tank.

    I have also seen people use lighters/torches to kill problem algae. Is there an advantage to using fire instead of hydrogen peroxide?
     
  7. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2000
    Messages:
    13,466
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    Great to hear about your experience with peroxide Jake.
    As for fire - perceived advantage - pyromania fix - disadvantage: you can burn down your house. :) j/k sort of.

    Anyway, a little update, the Q-TIP method of application was a lot easier and went faster. I noticed last time it took 2 days for the areas I missed to be clear - so tonight I should see how I really did this round.

    This shows a shortcoming of this approach to algae control - you may often have to re-apply. And if you are taking the rocks out of the tank like I am, that is a bit laborious. That said, I am grateful to have this option. Between this and my Flipper Cleaner for coralline, nanos just got a lot easier.

    matt
     
  8. Click Here!

  9. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2000
    Messages:
    13,466
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    Update - it appears I got nearly all from that rock pictured now with the 2nd application. I am happy about that. Now I am eye'ing one other rock on the other side for next round. The SPS I tagged by accident looks bad. I think I still saw some polyps so still hoping it turns around. From a 5 second exposure the damage is severe. So keep this in mind. The Q-TIP method is a very accurate way of putting it on that could have avoided this I believe.

    Oh yeah I bet it would.

    On my last round I did a small rock too that had halimeda. I say 'had' because it is gone now. It turned completely white and now the urchin is camped out up there.

    matt
     
  10. Thatgrimguy

    Thatgrimguy Flying Squid

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    3,025
    Location:
    North Biloxi, MS
    So... Can you just pour the peroxide on a problem rock of it is out of the tank? Or do you just need to rub some on it? I feel like this is to simple, what am I missing?
     
  11. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2000
    Messages:
    13,466
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    You can do that. I did that to a small area. I was paranoid about putting a lot on, but it seems ok.
     
  12. Thatgrimguy

    Thatgrimguy Flying Squid

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    3,025
    Location:
    North Biloxi, MS
    Hah, I have some easy to get to rocks in my frag tank I am goin to try this with when I get home from DC