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I want purple coralline, am I doing something wrong?


MadReefer
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I see so many systems with purple coralline and great corals. I can get pretty good corals and in some places coralline, but not everywhere. I'm wondering if I need to feed more, but I feel like I overfeed. I feed twice as much frozen as what is eaten in three minutes by fish and then add pellets and flakes from time to time daily.

I don't have any mechanical filtration and I only have a skimmer on one of my four systems. But all my systems look the same. The only thing I have in common is I wish I had money for more light on all my systems. I count on LR, LS, and algae mainly for filtration. I don't do water changes much. And my systems look dry of nutrients.

The issue is that my tanks look like a desert. Dry and without much growth. My macro in the display grows slow. My chaeto grows good but other reefers don't like it so I doubt that it is taking all the nutrients and acting as that good of a filter.

I monitor my cal, alk and mag and they are all good. I add Seachem and Kent for alk, cal, iron, trace and more. I add PhytoPheast for my clams and sometimes for all tanks. Mainly that is all I add.

I'm starting to think that there is something not tested for that is needed, or it's my lighting that causes this problem.

The last time I had the coralline growth I wanted, I was using tap water for SW and top off. Please let me know what you think. Light? Nutrients? Chemicals? Something I'm not considering? Or maybe I'm just worrying and haven't run a system long enough?

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Hmm... interesting question Jesse. I will be curious what the more experienced reefers have to say on this one. As for me, if there is one thing I have been able to grow it's coraline - I can't keep it off the sides of my tank let alone rock and snails etc. I have had good luck in a tank that had nothing but PCs and standard fluorescents for lighting as well as my current system with MH/VHO. One constant, however, is that I do typically dose with some Kent supplements like Coral Vite and Strontium/Molybdenum (as he braces for a verbal lashing) so perhaps it is a trace element issue that could also be taken care of by more frequent water changes... Curious to see what the pros say.

 

Good luck!

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Strontium/Molybdem helps, proper levels of iodine, magnesium, and calcium will help also. Next time you go to a LFS, look at a bottle of purple up and see what's in that. That will give you an idea of what you need to be adding. I think Magnesium is the biggest contributor to coraline algae growth

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Strontium/Molybdem helps' date=' proper levels of iodine, magnesium, and calcium will help also. Next time you go to a LFS, look at a bottle of purple up and see what's in that. That will give you an idea of what you need to be adding. I think Magnesium is the biggest contributor to coraline algae growth[/quote']

 

Oh yeah - I forgot to mention that I dose for Mag and Iodine as well so maybe that does have something to do with the growth rate in my system.

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Do you have sea urchins? They eat it so if you do that is part of it. I had 4 at one time and never saw purple anywhere but the little cracks they couldn't get to. Now I got rid of 2 of them and it is starting to grow again. Lowmans right on the purple up also. That stuff will usually kickstart it, and it is just a good additive when you run low on your stuff you have now.

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Drip Kalkwasser at night. Trust me...this will go a long way to produceing plenty of purple stuff. Make sure your alk cal and strontium are up to speed. Also vigorus current helps. If you want you can come to my house and scrape all you want from my glass...I get lazy and its like 2 inches all the way around my tank now.

 

Again...kalkwasser and current!

 

Jay

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I have a Seachem cal test kit. Alk and mag I think are API. Phosphates test at zero and I think they must be low because I have no problems with pest algae and my macro isn't growing as fast as it has in the past.

My alk is about 8-10, cal is about 380-420 and mag I don't test very often but it was 1280 last time I tested (at this time my cal was a little low at 360 so I started adding more cal at that point). I use Seachem's Complete Calcium because it also has mag and other stuff. I have been working on a dosing schedule for all my tanks that will hopefully keep all these at higher levels. I started low and have been working up as my tests are still sometimes on the low side. Maybe cal, alk and mag levels have been fluctuating as my dosing rose and that is why I am getting washed out color? Maybe I just need time now that I'm dosing more? Is it possible that I don't have the same type of coralline as these purple tanks I see?

I did have an urchin (traded it to a LFS) and when it was in there it seemed like the coralline grew better, except where it liked to graze. Maybe the urchin helped release stuff from the rock into the water?

My corals are growing and look happy and my clams are putting on quite a lot of shell rather quickly so I thought the coralline would also grow well.

I'm starting to wonder if I just have different types of coralline then those very purple tanks. If that is not it I'm sure it has to be that I'm missing something that my dosing is lacking. I'll go get a picture of one place that is growing well. It is not in the light but it grows nicely slightly in the shade.

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Again...kalkwasser and current!

 

Jay

 

I gotta agree with this. Coralline came in first for me in high flow areas, like right near the powerhead output, then spread out more to other places. The strangest part was that while I had some on the rocks, etc., I had very little on the tank walls for a long time (about a year) and then BAM, my tank walls all got covered in about a month. I did not change dosing, lighting, current, feeding habits, or anything significant in my tank around that time. I blame it on my tank "maturing" to the point that conditions got just right.

 

HTH.

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Yeah Purple Up will act as a jump-starter, just ask JManrow.

 

I think it is a combination of good flow, good water quality, and good lighting. A mature tank is a + also.

 

I do know that when I had my acrylic tank and needed to scrap it off it seemed to grow back even quicker. Which makes me think that it is "letting off spores" to attach elsewhere. Kinda like how corals spawn or when a macro algae goes asexual and ends up growing every where a spores settles.

 

So maybe you should get some coraline algae from another tank and bring it home and break it up in your tank.

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I agree on the kalk and flow.

 

Another point, that no one mentioned yet is ....diversity. You have some nice coralline algae. There are different species. Some are more purple than others. Some are red, green, even blue. Ane option is to find a fellow reefer and collect scrapngs from their tank. That will add diversity.

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Be careful what you ask for. You just may get it. Coraline can turn into more of a pain than it is worth.

 

I have to scrape it off my glass every month or so. Otherwise it will completely cover every surface in the tank.

 

Coraline is also not a strong light lover. I will grow best where there is just a little bit of light. If it is blasted by intense light, then it will bleach out and die.

 

dsoz

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Be careful what you ask for. You just may get it. Coraline can turn into more of a pain than it is worth.

 

I have to scrape it off my glass every month or so. Otherwise it will completely cover every surface in the tank.

 

Coraline is also not a strong light lover. I will grow best where there is just a little bit of light. If it is blasted by intense light, then it will bleach out and die.

 

dsoz

 

Good to know

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I add kalk to my topoff and do weekly water changes, i have corraline growing like crazy. Its gotten to be a hassel, i have to scrape the sides weekly, and it grows so fast in areas that it grows over zoanthid polyps. So i have to take those out and use tweezers to break apart the corraline.

 

I have a QT tank right next to my display. It is a 29gal with a 70w MH on one side and 2-24" CF on the other side. I do weekly WCs on it with water from my display, and corraline is growing on the bottom of the tank and all over the eggcrate i use to hold the corals.

 

I don't do anything special besides the kalk and WCs. Its just one of those things, once it gets a foothold off it goes.

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Be careful what you ask for. You just may get it. Coraline can turn into more of a pain than it is worth.

 

I have to scrape it off my glass every month or so. Otherwise it will completely cover every surface in the tank.

 

Coraline is also not a strong light lover. I will grow best where there is just a little bit of light. If it is blasted by intense light, then it will bleach out and die.

 

dsoz

 

IME coraline has grown where there is more/intense lighting not less.

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Ummm, maybe I must be doing something right 'cause my tank is only a month and a half old and I got spots of coralline growing all over my back wall and my loc-line return. (scratch) I'm not doing anything special. I have cf's for lighting and pretty good all-around flow. From day one, all of my params have tested zero, or at least where they should be. I don't test for anything but the standards and I haven't added any supplements. All of the rock I got for my startup was from established systems and had lots of coralline already growing. Hopefully it keeps up.

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