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lnk89
10-16-2017, 09:11 PM
So I have been battling bubble algae in my 10 gallon reef for a few months now. Before the summer It was bad, but under control and getting better. Then throughout the summer I got busy, wedding, vacation ect and tank maintenance slipped and the tank got over run.

Since september, I have been doing large weekly water changes sucking out as much of the bubble algae as possible and have made zero progress.

I have tried emerald crabs to try and help keep things under control with no luck.

Any advice on how I can get rid of all the bubble algae?

10 gallon tank
running little over a year
lights - LED, running for 9 hours. 8 "daylight" 1 "moonlight"
temp - 78F
salinity - 1.026
phosphate - 0
Nitrites - 0
Nitrates - 0

Skimmer Juice
10-16-2017, 09:51 PM
what all is in the tank coral/fish wise ?
is it on all your rocks ?
Can you swap rocks out for new ones ?
If you are removing the bubble algae in the aquarium and you brake any bubbles it will spread . Maybe remove the rocks and scrub in a bucket with a denture tooth brush , thats what I do normally to remove pest algae .

lnk89
10-16-2017, 10:37 PM
Tank inhabitants

1 X astrea snail

Corals
Green Plate coral
Mystery pink coral, possibly some kind of chalice
Common mystery zoas - I just don't know the name of them.
Kenya tree
Green star polyp
Hammer coral
Green candy cane coral
Red mushroom
Green hairy mushroom

Bubble algae is on the rocks, sand, heater, filter, powerhead, glass... pretty much everywhere but where the corals are.

I have been sucking the bubbles out with a fat hose so I don't break any of the bubbles, but I always find bubbles that have broken on their own. So I think I am fighting a losing battle.

Would swapping out the rocks not cause the tank to cycle again? Or just swap them out one by one?

It's getting to the point where I am thinking of just completely restarting the whole thing.

WarDog
10-17-2017, 07:51 AM
In a word.... restart.

I know exactly what you're going through.

Good luck.

lnk89
10-17-2017, 04:33 PM
Where do I start with restarting?

I don't want to lose all my corals. They are doing well.

Just so much ugly algae!

Madreefer
10-17-2017, 05:09 PM
So no fish?
More emerald crabs and no food. They're cheap
Or do muriatic acid wash on one rock at a time. But research it good. That's nasty $hit but works great.
Don't restart!!

Dt204
10-17-2017, 07:22 PM
I've read people having results using Vibrant.

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WarDog
10-17-2017, 07:29 PM
Are we talking the odd large very green bubble hear and there, or the teardrop shaped stuff that likes to grow in endless sheets all over?

kyl
10-17-2017, 08:15 PM
Vibrant caused my bubble algae to waste away into mush and it never did come back, even after stopping use. No emerald crab in the tank now either, been "clean" for ~6 months now.

Dt204
10-17-2017, 09:13 PM
My LFS used it as well in their display tank. The bubble algae was horrendous. It slowly destroyed them over a few weeks.
I do not know that much myself about it tbh

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lnk89
10-17-2017, 09:20 PM
Are we talking the odd large very green bubble hear and there, or the teardrop shaped stuff that likes to grow in endless sheets all over?

A little bit of both. Some grow in big clumps others are just big green bubbles

Vibrant caused my bubble algae to waste away into mush and it never did come back, even after stopping use. No emerald crab in the tank now either, been "clean" for ~6 months now.

My LFS used it as well in their display tank. The bubble algae was horrendous. It slowly destroyed them over a few weeks.
I do not know that much myself about it tbh


I will give vibrant a try. Know of any places to get it in Canada?

lnk89
10-17-2017, 09:21 PM
So no fish?
More emerald crabs and no food. They're cheap
Or do muriatic acid wash on one rock at a time. But research it good. That's nasty $hit but works great.
Don't restart!!

I tried emerald crabs. They barely made a dent. I had 3, maybe I should have got more?

Bugger
10-17-2017, 10:45 PM
They only eat the small ones and they dont eat much. Try incredible aquarium they have it

lnk89
10-18-2017, 07:58 PM
Ordered a bottle of vibrant. Will see if it does anything when it comes.

JamRobo
10-18-2017, 08:05 PM
Have you read into fluconazole at all? It is generally used for bryopsis algae but i found it pretty much killed all the algae in my tank, leaving my rock clean. Its super safe to use and has no ill effects on any of your livestock.
I also use vibrant and it does work well with algaes also, but i have never really had a serious algae issue always been low nutrient.
Vibrant is not an instant cure for algae, it takes some time to start doing its job and works better for some tanks then others.
If the vibrant doesent work for you i would suggest trying a dosage of fluconazole.
I have both fluconazole and vibrant available.
Following this post

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lnk89
10-18-2017, 09:15 PM
I haven't looked into fluconazole. Looks like it works well for other types of algae.

If vibrant and water changes doesn't work, that will be the next thing I try.

lnk89
11-02-2017, 09:33 PM
Vibrant came on Tuesday, added some to the tank that night. Still haven't seen much difference.

Pics are of day 1https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171102/6f2febc0cd0d6eb9d3e6e1f88bfc1f96.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171102/60ce6dbabcec4fa5c2150861b106af66.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171102/361351ae1251c725ee541c9052a7650d.jpg

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Animal-Chin
11-02-2017, 11:11 PM
I'd suck out some water in to a bucket, transfer the coral and crab into it. Using a stiff brush brush off all the algae from your live rock and get it real clean. Suck or scoop out all of that sand, I don't think you'll get the algae out of it and with a 10 gallon there cant be that much. Clean the algae off the pumps and heater in the sink and get everyting clean as new and re build. Stick new sand in, get a bag of live stuff and you can put it right in. Set your rock back up and do 5 gallons of new water, 5 gallons of old. You shouldnt need to re cycle if you you use the old rock, it will have the bacteria you need on it.

A tank that small overrun that much pretty much needs a total re boot.

Just the way I see it, you can battle that for years but even the nutrient spike by the algae dying will cause your nitrates to skyrocket which in turn will create new algea.

WarDog
11-02-2017, 11:56 PM
After seeing those pics, please re-read post #4.

Good luck.

duncangweller
11-03-2017, 07:03 AM
I agree with Wardog, restart. I had the same problem once upon a time, I restarted and took much more care next time around and never saw the stuff again.

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Animal-Chin
11-03-2017, 04:14 PM
Also, if restarting, now is the perfect time to upgrade to a 20 or 30 gallon! You know you want to and really they are no more work, if not less, than a 10.

Thats what I'd do, it would make me feel better about restarting...:biggrin:

lnk89
11-03-2017, 04:59 PM
Ah. I was really hoping to not have to restart!

What is the best way to get the coral off the rocks to clean them? Like the zoa's how do I not kill those in a restart?

Also, if restarting, now is the perfect time to upgrade to a 20 or 30 gallon! You know you want to and really they are no more work, if not less, than a 10.

Thats what I'd do, it would make me feel better about restarting...:biggrin:

You know, I have been thinking of selling my 135 gallon freshwater and getting something in a 75 gallon reef or around there. Now might be the time.....

CHEAPREEF
11-03-2017, 05:21 PM
Vibrant came on Tuesday, added some to the tank that night. Still haven't seen much difference.
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It takes 4-6 weeks to work, buddy of mine used it in his Biocube. Worked great Zero BA after 6 weeks.

WarDog
11-03-2017, 05:27 PM
It takes 4-6 weeks to work, buddy of mine used it in his Biocube. Worked great Zero BA after 6 weeks.

Agreed, I would run a full course of Vibrant before restarting. You will have to be very active in removing dead algae husks to avoid nutrient spikes.

Animal-Chin
11-03-2017, 05:50 PM
The pictures look like there is as much hair algae as bubble. If your zoa's are on rocks, I'd take the rock out and in a bowl of tank water start brushing the algae off with a toothbrush or some other small brush. Once you have removed as much as possible I'd give the zoa's a bath in hydrogen peroxide. If you use 3 parts water, 1 part peroxide the zoa's will be totally fine. They'll close up for a day or two but no harm to them at all. The peroxide will only kill the remaining algae. I've done it a few times.

I'm just being honest and I'm sure others have opinions but in my experience, once hair algae gets in your sand bed its almost impossible to get it out. Removing the sand and replacing it is sometimes the only solution but I've never used vibrant, maybe it does wonders?

lnk89
11-03-2017, 08:40 PM
The pictures look like there is as much hair algae as bubble. If your zoa's are on rocks, I'd take the rock out and in a bowl of tank water start brushing the algae off with a toothbrush or some other small brush. Once you have removed as much as possible I'd give the zoa's a bath in hydrogen peroxide. If you use 3 parts water, 1 part peroxide the zoa's will be totally fine. They'll close up for a day or two but no harm to them at all. The peroxide will only kill the remaining algae. I've done it a few times.

I'm just being honest and I'm sure others have opinions but in my experience, once hair algae gets in your sand bed its almost impossible to get it out. Removing the sand and replacing it is sometimes the only solution but I've never used vibrant, maybe it does wonders?

The hair algae is only in a couple spots. There is a lot of hair algae on my one snail though. No matter how many times I scrub it off.

I will try the vibrant for 4-6 weeks. Hopefully with large weekly water changes it will help. If after 4 weeks, im not getting any results then I will start the tear down process.

Changing out the sand is a good idea. I have struggled with algae in the sand for quite awhile. I think I just made too many mistakes with this tank. Hopefully attempt number 2 goes better!

kyl
11-03-2017, 08:44 PM
With my experience on Vibrant & bubble algae, it took about four weeks of slightly heavier dosing than written. The bubble algae started to lose colour, and was no longer a hard round ball but more like a mushy pea, very easy to manually remove.

I still have not seen a trace of it return, and I took the emerald crab out. It's probably been 8 months so far.

patpare
11-03-2017, 08:44 PM
Where did you order Vibrant from?
Thanks and good luck with the battle!

lnk89
11-03-2017, 10:37 PM
With my experience on Vibrant & bubble algae, it took about four weeks of slightly heavier dosing than written. The bubble algae started to lose colour, and was no longer a hard round ball but more like a mushy pea, very easy to manually remove.

I still have not seen a trace of it return, and I took the emerald crab out. It's probably been 8 months so far.

Good to know. How much is slightly heavier dosing? I have done 2 doses of 2.5ml this week. Just because that was the lowest measurement in the little measurement cup.

Where did you order Vibrant from?
Thanks and good luck with the battle!

I ordered it from incredible aquarium. Took awhile to come to me though.

kyl
11-04-2017, 05:05 AM
Good to know. How much is slightly heavier dosing? I have done 2 doses of 2.5ml this week. Just because that was the lowest measurement in the little measurement cup.

I believe I was doing the standard dose, but more often.

lnk89
11-06-2017, 07:54 PM
Some photo updates after the first week of vibrant. Dosing twice a week, a little more than the recommended amount.

Doing large weekly water changes.

I have been trying to remove as much of the bubble algae as I can manually, but it has been hard to do that without breaking them.https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171106/b3a13391e175a98a18748fa7ee9fc0d5.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171106/be3af988e003086e45051052dd06403e.jpg

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lnk89
11-16-2017, 05:03 PM
Been a few weeks now. Still not seeing much progress on any of the algae.

The red algae to the left of the zoa's is spreading and still seeing new bubble algae popping up. I have also been getting lots of red algae covering parts of the sand. Not sure what it is, but I have been removing it as it comes up.

Corals don't seem to like the vibrant dosing. Hammer coral has closed up and looks like it's dying and I am seeing some melting at the ends of my gsp. The candy cane coral also doesn't seem to be opening as much as it used to.

Seems like I am fighting everything right now...

lnk89
11-27-2017, 11:42 PM
Into week 5 of vibrant

Still seeing some melting on the tips of my gsp. Hammer coral continues to go down hill. fuzzy mushroom, red mushroom and now my candy cane coral aren't opening and look unhappy.

Continue to dose vibrant twice a week, with large water change once a week as well.

I'm not noticing any new bubble algae forming, but I also don't see any of it disappearing except for what I can suck out during water changes. All other algae doesn't appear to be spreading, but isn't getting better.

I am dealing with a lot of red algae.. or I think is algae. Sand is almost completely red no matter how much I suck out. Starting to spread to the rocks as well.

Tested my water on the weekend. Everything checked out. Nothing out of whack. So im guessing something I don't have a test kit for is the cause for the coral unhappiness.

Really tempted to call it and just restart the entire thing.

Frogger
11-28-2017, 06:49 AM
The red could be cyno bacteria. Over load of nutrients. I had a major outbreak when I was fighting byopsis with Fluconazole, got rid of the bryopsis got cyno, got rid of the cyno got dinoflagellates. Some times seems like a never ending cycle.

syncro
11-28-2017, 07:04 AM
Algae turf scrubber?

I've had good luck with a simple upflow ATS (http://algaescrubber.net/forums/showthread.php?65-ALGAE-SCRUBBER-FAQ) to beat hair algae and cyano.

Instead of trying to kill it, grow something to out-compete it.

I have a friend with a 5g tank that put a a small submersible led light with some fabric in a back compartment that worked for him.

Myka
11-28-2017, 03:00 PM
Looking at the photos of your tank it's obvious that you have too much nutrients in the tank, and not enough flow.

I think the "daylight" LEDs probably aren't helping you much either - they are too yellow/white. You need to add more blue light, and less white light. If you don't have the funds to do that you can buy some blue cellophane to cover up some of the white LEDs to make them blue. If you go to somewhere like Staples you'll find something useful such as the colored plastic sleeves used to hold papers in binders. Do you know what I mean? Any kind of clear blue plastic will work as long as it isn't much thicker than a typical paper sheet.

Why are there so much nutrients in the tank? You said no fish, right? Were there fish before? Are you feeding the corals? What are you adding to the tank besides salt?

You also said you only have 1 Astraea Snail. You need to beef up your clean up crew. If you can find a small Tuxedo Urchin that will help a lot. Add a couple Turbos or Trochus, and maybe 3-4 Scarlet Hermits (not other type of hermits).

I'd also add 2-3 large male Emerald Crabs. The big males eat Bubble Algae WAY better than small ones, and way better than females. Don't worry about popping the bubbles, only the mature bubbles will have mature spores in them, so the ones that pop on their own are the bad ones - the hard ones you pop don't matter.

When you do a water change, blow the rocks and nooks and crannies out with a turkey baster first, and then siphon all the junk out. Use the siphon hose to suck all the detritus out. Vacuum the sand to its full depth with a gravel vacuum (pinch the hose to get the sand to fall out).

What size is that powerhead? Do you have any other filtration or pumps? You may need to upgrade that powerhead to one size bigger. Too much gunk is settling out in the tank. If you don't have any filtration on the tank (I don't see anything listed), I'd suggest you get a hang on filter. Use bulk filter pads (not sponges) that you cut to size yourself. Throw them out (don't reuse) once a week. Also use some carbon to adsorb some dissolved organics.

It will be a long road, but if you do all these things well you will be able to save the tank. I own a marine aquarium service company - I've cleaned up tanks like yours many times.

lnk89
11-28-2017, 09:26 PM
Algae turf scrubber?

I've had good luck with a simple upflow ATS (http://algaescrubber.net/forums/showthread.php?65-ALGAE-SCRUBBER-FAQ) to beat hair algae and cyano.

Instead of trying to kill it, grow something to out-compete it.

I have a friend with a 5g tank that put a a small submersible led light with some fabric in a back compartment that worked for him.

Ah I never thought of that. I will look into that. Maybe I can do something with my HOB that I have on the tank.

Looking at the photos of your tank it's obvious that you have too much nutrients in the tank, and not enough flow.

I think the "daylight" LEDs probably aren't helping you much either - they are too yellow/white. You need to add more blue light, and less white light. If you don't have the funds to do that you can buy some blue cellophane to cover up some of the white LEDs to make them blue. If you go to somewhere like Staples you'll find something useful such as the colored plastic sleeves used to hold papers in binders. Do you know what I mean? Any kind of clear blue plastic will work as long as it isn't much thicker than a typical paper sheet.

Why are there so much nutrients in the tank? You said no fish, right? Were there fish before? Are you feeding the corals? What are you adding to the tank besides salt?

You also said you only have 1 Astraea Snail. You need to beef up your clean up crew. If you can find a small Tuxedo Urchin that will help a lot. Add a couple Turbos or Trochus, and maybe 3-4 Scarlet Hermits (not other type of hermits).

I'd also add 2-3 large male Emerald Crabs. The big males eat Bubble Algae WAY better than small ones, and way better than females. Don't worry about popping the bubbles, only the mature bubbles will have mature spores in them, so the ones that pop on their own are the bad ones - the hard ones you pop don't matter.

When you do a water change, blow the rocks and nooks and crannies out with a turkey baster first, and then siphon all the junk out. Use the siphon hose to suck all the detritus out. Vacuum the sand to its full depth with a gravel vacuum (pinch the hose to get the sand to fall out).

What size is that powerhead? Do you have any other filtration or pumps? You may need to upgrade that powerhead to one size bigger. Too much gunk is settling out in the tank. If you don't have any filtration on the tank (I don't see anything listed), I'd suggest you get a hang on filter. Use bulk filter pads (not sponges) that you cut to size yourself. Throw them out (don't reuse) once a week. Also use some carbon to adsorb some dissolved organics.

It will be a long road, but if you do all these things well you will be able to save the tank. I own a marine aquarium service company - I've cleaned up tanks like yours many times.

I had no idea about the light. I believe the light I have, I can control the lights to make them more/less blue or white. How much more blue do I want?

I have no idea why there are so many nutrients in the tank. I have no fish and 1 snail. I only do water changes don't feed anything. Maybe it's the water I am getting, but I have tested the water before hand and nitrates,nitrites and phosphate was all 0.

I will try adding some more cleanup crew. I have tried the emerald crab with no luck on the bubble algae. Maybe I didn't get a male. I have had bad luck with snails and crabs. The one lone snail I have was the first thing I added to the tank(first marine animal purchase) and it's the largest and the only one that has survived.

I have a powerhead and a HOB filter. The powerhead is a hydor koralia 240 and the HOB is aquaclear 50. The HOB has a sponge and the little ceramic rings. I clean the sponge and rings in tank water every other week or so. I guess I should remove the sponge.

henri2009
12-08-2017, 04:08 PM
I recently cycled my first tank (IM Nuvo 20) about 4 months ago and I was having constant algae issues (green slime and bubble algae) as well, it was everywhere and no matter how much I cleaned the substrate, scrubbed the rock, decreased the light duration and water changes, the algae was back within a few days.

In terms of media, I was using Chemipure Blue but after some research I thought it would be best to try a combination of Aquaforest Carbon and Phosphate Minus (GFO) instead of an all-in-one media like Chemipure Blue. I got rid of as much algae as I could, did a water change, cleaned out my media baskets then inserted the new media. It has only been about a 1 1/2 weeks and the algae is well under control. The Phosphate Minus is the key player in getting rid of my algae. I am not using a reactor for the Phosphate Minus, only placed in a media bag.

I am also using Aquaforest Pro Bio S and NP Pro to help my skimmer work more efficiently which in the end, removes more of the nutrients algae need to survive.