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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Fight Against Bubble Algae

I have been having an ongoing battle with bubble algae in my tank for the last couple of months.  For those of you unfamiliar bubblewith this type of algae, it spreads very quickly.  Here is a small image that I found on the net.   Anyway, it starts as a single bubble and arrives in your tank primarily from your live rock or on the rock or plug attached to any coral you acquire.  Removing it is very difficult.  You can not break the bubble itself or it will release spores that will cause its exponential growth throughout your tank.  Well, I was doing well in the beginning.  A small bubble cluster appeared and I removed.  Another group popped-up a week or so later and I removed that.  I then ignored a another cluster for a few weeks and it grew significantly.  When I decided it was time to remove it I noticed that one bubble was popped, most likely by my cleaner shrimp who is generally a nuisance.  Well, I popped another one while I was trying to remove it and BAM!, I have bubble algae in about 8 different places now and there is a particular cluster that is about 2 inches in diameter and in a place I can't easily reach.

So, I picked up an emerald crab last week.  Emerald crabs are emeraldvery cute and generally hide in the crevices of the rock work during the day and blend in rather well.  At night they wander out and eat bubble algae.  They are complete herbivores and peacefully co-exist in a reef tank. 

But, here is the issue.  In order to eat the algae, they must pop it.  That is why I avoided the purchase for so long.  They essentially create a never-ending cycle.  They break the algae and eat which releases spores and creates more algae which they break and eat, etc etc etc.

So, we'll see what happens.  But, I want to solve this problem because this piece of live rock is beautiful and will most likely be the center piece in my large tank.  So far, I have noticed a few popped bubbles. 

Remind me for an update.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

so, after almost a year, any updates?