My Biggest Problem Ever - Red Turf Algae

Discussion in 'Algae' started by sen5241b, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. sen5241b

    sen5241b

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    I have what is called Red Turf Algae. (Yote, your guess was right). It grows in low nutrient reefs and is impossible to scrub off. You can pick up a big rock by grabbing this algae. Diadema Urchins will eat it (but they cause problems in reef tanks) and Trochus snails if they have nothing else to eat. Tangs generally will not eat it.

    I found a long and involved thread that included extensive comment by Eric Bourneman (one of the top experts in our hobby) and their basic conclusion was that the best, but not only, way to deal with this algae is to pick the rock out of the tank and take a blow-torch to it --seriously!! --> Red Turf Algae

    Yesterday, I put some of my rock in a 5G bucket with heat, flow, and air pump BUT NO LIGHT. I'm going to try wrapping the rest of the algae in sheets of black plastic. I already tried wrapping it in 2 layers of trash bag plastic for a week and there was only a tiny bit of die-off. I'm also going to get some trochus snails.

    [​IMG]



    I started with this issue in: https://www.livingreefs.com/weird-red-algae-t26091.html
     
    sen5241b, Jul 28, 2010
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  2. sen5241b

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    I have had to deal with red turf algae as well. That stuff is as tough as a steel wool pad.
     
    Bifferwine, Jul 28, 2010
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  3. sen5241b

    dcantucson

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    Me too, but I only had a patch of it about the size of a quarter. It went away for some unknown reason. Like a fool, I thought it was pretty neat while it lasted.
     
    dcantucson, Jul 28, 2010
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  4. sen5241b

    Hiker4twenty

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    I'm pretty sure this is the same algae that's covering all the LR I bought with the 75g tank. I have it in a separate rubbermaid tote in a total blackout. I'm going to keep it there for a month and see what happens. I'll actually be giving the LR a scrubbing this weekend which will be 2 weeks into the blackout. Hope it all goes away. Good luck with your quest to rid your tank of it as well.
     
    Hiker4twenty, Jul 28, 2010
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  5. sen5241b

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Diadema Urchins are your best bet when dealing with Red Turf.Its their preferred food source.And I've never had the first problem with my Diademas.
    I've given up on getting rid of the turf and started concentrating on controlling it.
     
    yote, Jul 29, 2010
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  6. sen5241b

    sen5241b

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    I hear people complain about problems with urchins all the time. What problems? Do the urchins kill stuff or just knock over things?
     
    sen5241b, Jul 29, 2010
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  7. sen5241b

    parrotchute DUSTOFF MEDEVAC

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    They generally knock stuff over, that type isn't known to eat corals.
    I've got one, and he barely causes any damage.
     
    parrotchute, Jul 29, 2010
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  8. sen5241b

    Solarfall Totally Gnar

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    I've got this stuff all over the place. Hasn't really posed any threat and a lot of corals are actually growing over it.
     
    Solarfall, Jul 29, 2010
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  9. sen5241b

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    They are just clumsy. Very rarely you hear about one eating corals, but that's definitely not common.
     
    Bifferwine, Jul 29, 2010
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  10. sen5241b

    sen5241b

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    I've heard people say that it does over-grow corals. It is spreading in my tank in thick patches where you can't even see the rock. It seems to thrive in high flow areas. There are a gazilliion red algae and discussion of them often lead to confusion over the type. You sure you have the same thing I do?
     
    sen5241b, Jul 29, 2010
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  11. sen5241b

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    This was not my experience either. The red turf algae I had smothered out corals.

    Is yours kinda smooth and velvety?
     
    Bifferwine, Jul 29, 2010
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  12. sen5241b

    Solarfall Totally Gnar

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    I don't have my camera to specifically take a pic of the algae but you can see it here
    [​IMG]

    Also you can see a monti cap growing over it here

    [​IMG]
     
    Solarfall, Jul 29, 2010
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  13. sen5241b

    sen5241b

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    Yeah. Its like a dark red wine color too. I had a post some time back about using plastic to cut out all light. It takes a about 4 layers of black trash bag plastic to cut out the light. The problem is that the red macro-algae seems to go a long time without needing light.

    Do red algae have chlorophyll? If so wouldn't they be green?
     
    sen5241b, Jul 29, 2010
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  14. sen5241b

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Duncan,Take a macro shot of your algae.Yours may be a type of branching coralline.
     
    yote, Jul 29, 2010
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  15. sen5241b

    Ulta REEFER

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    Whats wrong with the blow torch?

    Just take rock out, scorch the algae quick and put it back in water. I'm sure if your careful little harm would even come to the rock or any life on it overall.

    Did you try it?
     
    Ulta, Jul 29, 2010
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  16. sen5241b

    Solarfall Totally Gnar

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    Won't have my camera til tomorrow but wouldn't coralline be like crunchy and just fall apart when I touched it?

    This stuff feels a lot like chaeto and I'd need a wire brush to even attempt to get it off.
     
    Solarfall, Jul 30, 2010
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  17. sen5241b

    sen5241b

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    I tried a blow torch last night. And the whole room stank like burning hair. I had to hold the torch on a 1-inch spot for a good 20 seconds to completely char the algae! I then scrubbed it off under tap water but did not rinse the whole rock.

    My plan is to burn off the big patches and then just get a small diadema urchin and live with any problems he causes.

    My advice to anyone who sees this demon algae in their tank: deal with it immediately before it gets out of control! Although it is slow growing, it does grow exponentially and eventually it will become much harder to deal with.

    When you have to attack algae with a blow torch --MAN IT'S BAD!
     
    sen5241b, Jul 30, 2010
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  18. sen5241b

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Does it look like this?
    [​IMG]

    That stuffs does feel a lot like chaeto.But I doubt you could get it off without using a hammer and chisel.
     
    yote, Jul 30, 2010
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  19. sen5241b

    Solarfall Totally Gnar

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    Nah it's a much darker red. That's kinda cool looking though.
     
    Solarfall, Jul 30, 2010
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  20. sen5241b

    sen5241b

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    What I have is what Solarfall has. Yote has something different. BTW, there are brown, green and red algae and red has the most species. Its very easy to confuse the different types.

    I tried blow torching rock in a 5G bucket last night. The bucket had used change out water and the rock in there was out of the water for only a couple minutes. I rinsed the rock well put it back in. Today the bucket stinks of charred something and there is a nasty spike of nitrites and nitrates both. I did not check ammonia. I think I may back off on the blow torch plan. Maybe a steel brush and rinse the rock in used change out water.
     
    sen5241b, Jul 31, 2010
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