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Bubble algae advice


SuncrestReef
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I'm seeing more and more bubble algae show up in my tank, usually on or around the base of coral frag plugs.  I've been researching emerald crabs, but see a lot of mixed reviews on whether they're reef safe or fish safe.  I've also seen a lot of reports about using Vibrant to combat bubble algae.  Anyone have some first-hand experience?

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I have an emerald crab and got him just for the purpose of taking out bubble algae. He does a fantastic job and doesn't seem to bother any of my corals. But he only stays at the bottom and never gets any of the algae up higher in the tank. Occasionally my purple tang will nip at the stuff but it seems that he just tastes it and decides he doesn't like it.

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22 minutes ago, shaywood said:

Speaking of emerald crabs, can they get too big for a 100gal reef tank? I purchased one about 6 months ago and the crab is getting huge. Very large claw.

Might want to verify it's an emerald - do the claws have spade (flat) tips?  I have seen a few other species "sneak" in and cause some havoc.

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what mixed reviews? There is a Looong thread on r2r and I would say that 80% of the responses are utter amazement, 10% are yeah I tried one dose and nothing happened and the other 10% are from people that had no real idea what the hell they are doing.

My experience: my tank was pretty new and I was going through the normal roller coaster of nitrate and phos readings. I started to have algae problems.. lots of pictures shown to jeff and jorge.. hmmmm, looks a little like a hair/dino/slime thing with scattered bubble algae. I did water changes, siphoned, I even scrubbed the rocks with a a sonicare toothbrush. Spent $90 on massive clean up crew... not much happened. Nothing really helped.

I am a professional biologist and I am quite weary of solutions in a bottle.
After reading quite a bit about vibrant and calling them to talk about it I found out it is basically a bacteria that feeds on the proteins of algae.

Added one dose at recommended rate, day 4 or 5 I added another dose. Hmmm, it is kind of working. Added a third dose a week later. I got busy, and came back to give a good look a week later.

wow!! where did the algae go? It was A M A Z I N G. My nitrates went up a little and then dropped. Nothing too drastic to upset sps though. It did shrink my chaeto by 50% though and stalled its growth for about 2-3 weeks. I think the is where the nutrient bump came from.

My wife's freshwater puffy tank was basically a cess pool. 5 gallon with some loaches and puffer fish that eat around 10 snails each a day. I added vibrant for 2 weeks, the tank was sparkling.

I don't know what is in the bottle (I do know it is NOT carbon to increase bacteria counts) but it works. it works well actually.

Jeff had some that he was adding to some tank in the shop, ask him what he thought. But for me, it is definately, 100% an effective tool against algae outbreaks.

if you want a couple doses to try and talk fish I live in SW pdx about 10 min from cuttlefish. shoot me a pm.

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13 minutes ago, pdxmonkeyboy said:

what mixed reviews? There is a Looong thread on r2r and I would say that 80% of the responses are utter amazement, 10% are yeah I tried one dose and nothing happened and the other 10% are from people that had no real idea what the hell they are doing.

My experience: my tank was pretty new and I was going through the normal roller coaster of nitrate and phos readings. I started to have algae problems.. lots of pictures shown to jeff and jorge.. hmmmm, looks a little like a hair/dino/slime thing with scattered bubble algae. I did water changes, siphoned, I even scrubbed the rocks with a a sonicare toothbrush. Spent $90 on massive clean up crew... not much happened. Nothing really helped.

I am a professional biologist and I am quite weary of solutions in a bottle.
After reading quite a bit about vibrant and calling them to talk about it I found out it is basically a bacteria that feeds on the proteins of algae.

Added one dose at recommended rate, day 4 or 5 I added another dose. Hmmm, it is kind of working. Added a third dose a week later. I got busy, and came back to give a good look a week later.

wow!! where did the algae go? It was A M A Z I N G. My nitrates went up a little and then dropped. Nothing too drastic to upset sps though. It did shrink my chaeto by 50% though and stalled its growth for about 2-3 weeks. I think the is where the nutrient bump came from.

My wife's freshwater puffy tank was basically a cess pool. 5 gallon with some loaches and puffer fish that eat around 10 snails each a day. I added vibrant for 2 weeks, the tank was sparkling.

I don't know what is in the bottle (I do know it is NOT carbon to increase bacteria counts) but it works. it works well actually.

Jeff had some that he was adding to some tank in the shop, ask him what he thought. But for me, it is definately, 100% an effective tool against algae outbreaks.

if you want a couple doses to try and talk fish I live in SW pdx about 10 min from cuttlefish. shoot me a pm.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

Yes, I've read through a lot of the big R2R thread on Vibrant.  But I've also seen other feedback on R2R as well as other forums where people reported problems with damage or complete loss of SPS corals while using Vibrant.  I understand there are a lot of other variables that can come into play, but I usually like to get first-hand reports from local people than random people on the Internet.  

While you reported A M A Z I N G results, you didn't directly address my concern:  What percent of your tank was SPS when treating with Vibrant, and did you see any negative impact on SPS corals during treatment?  That's my only concern at this point, since my tank is 90% SPS corals.

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It is a rather tough question as my tank was newer and the sps I had in there... maybe 8 frags were there for about a month so not exactly settled in and thriving.

I did not loose a single sps, not did I see any really changes in terms of coloration or poly extension.

if you want to borrow my "bubble algae 2000 extractor" you can. it's a 1/4 rubber tube and a plastic rod with a spike tapped to it. it's fun, you start a siphon then pop algae. then the algae plugs the tube. then you pull the tube out of the tank and get water everywhere, blow the algae out and then start over.

it works best over carpeting or while wearing a dress shirt.

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3 minutes ago, pdxmonkeyboy said:

what are you N and Phos readings?

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Nitrate = 2 ppm (Red Sea test).  It had been 0 or nearly undetectable for months until last month.  I started feeding a bit more to bring it up.

Screen Shot 2018-10-02 at 11.33.54 PM.png

Phosphate is currently at 0.05 ppm (Hanna ULR test), though it got up to 0.09 last week.  It had been 0 to 0.02 ppm for months until I turned off my GFO reactor.  I was concerned it was too low.

Screen Shot 2018-10-02 at 11.33.34 PM.png

The bubble algae has been around since July, before I increased nitrates and phosphates.

 

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I did a little reading about it last night, it seems that people that had difficulty had really low nutrients. I would put your numbers in the really low category. Phos is fine but nitrates at 2, they could be cause for concern if you decide to go the vibrant route.

I never used it more than two weeks. maybe 3, would have to dig through my notes. as such, I didn't see a drop in nitrates or phos like some people do. I kind of wish that I did.



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I can vouch for vibrant in a SPS dominate tank as well. I was traveling a lot and slacked on my maintenance and had a GHA and bubble outbreak happen. I tried fluconazole along with manual removal. The fluconazole would kind of work about 2 weeks in, but the algae would come back during week 3 so I tried doing water changes every two weeks and just redosing but could never fully get rid of it. After a constant battle for a few months I did literally 2 doses of vibrant and my tank was 100% clean in a week. The advantage of vibrant is you can keep your skimmer and media running. 

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