Green bubble algae problem

Discussion in 'Algae' started by vicki, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. vicki


    Aug 15, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Blenheim, New Zealand
    Valonia Problem

    I have a severe problem with an infestation of Valonia in my Reef Tank.

    Brief summary of tank:
    Approx 735 litres (200 gallons) tank with refrugium. Temp about 25 – 26 degrees C (78 F). Has a U.V. filter, protein skimmer, chiller, 2 heaters. Phosguard in the protein skimmer. Water parameters as follows: Salinity 0.0245 Nitrite 0, Ammonia 0 – 0.6 , Calcium 420- 440, pH 8.4, Nitrate 5, dKH between 7 and 10 (120-180 ppm), Mag 1200 or a bit more, phosphate reads 0.
    The heylide and T5 lights are on 8 hrs a day and blues for a couple of hrs either side of that.
    Fish: Tangs- Purple, yellow and Blue. 2 cleaner wrasse, 3 clowns, 1 flame angel, 1 cardinal, 1 foxface, 5 yellow tail damsels, 5 blue chromis, 1 royal dotty, 1 cleaner shrimp.
    There are also 2 anenomes and all sorts of corals.
    I feed a bit of flake (tsp) in the morning and about 2.5 tsp of rinsed premixed seafood in nthe evening, plus some Nori on a veggie clip.
    Fish and coals all healthy.

    It isn’t feasible to scrub the bubbles off, there are millions and millions. They are growing in and around all the corals. The live rock is set up in 3 large cemented columns, not practical for removing.

    In New Zealand, we can’t get Green Emerald crabs which I’m told will eat bubble algae.
    After trying to scrub it off etc etc, I’m at the point where I think the only way out is to break down the tank. Put the fish in a temp tank hooked up to the refugium, chip off what corals I can and scrape off any Valonis and put all of them in another tank, remove all the rock, bleach and start again, not introducing the coral until I’m sure they are clear of Valonia. I don’t know what else to do.
    Any suggestions?
    vicki, Mar 12, 2010
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  2. vicki

    AdeptMrSniffles I have a Blue Thumb

    Apr 12, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Orlando, Fl
    Well, you've set Hell loose upon your tank by scrubbing the bubbles. When you scrub, and burst, those bubbles all your doing is releasing thousands of spores in your tank. So the more you pop the more your going to have. That suck you can't get emerald crabs. Are they restricted in New Zealand? The only thing you can really do is hand PICK, not scrub, them off. :grumble:
    AdeptMrSniffles, Mar 12, 2010
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  3. vicki

    Bifferwine I am a girl

    May 13, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Lynnwood, WA and missing Tucson, AZ
    The bubbles are holding to the rocks by tendrils. If you can grab the tendrils with a pair of tweezers, you can pull the bubbles off without popping them. As Evan stated, when you pop a bubble, it releases thousands of algae spores into the water. Each one of those spores has the potential to grow into a new bubble wherever it lands. So whatever you do, you need to make all attempts to not pop the bubbles. If you have been popping the bubbles in an attempt to get rid of them, that is probably why your tank is infested.

    I can't think of anything else off-hand that will reliably eat it, except emeralds. I'll do a bit of research and post back here.
    Bifferwine, Mar 12, 2010
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