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Algea, zoas and frag plugs....what to do???


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  1. #1
    Sir Patrick - Reefkeeper A2 Club Coordinator
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    Default Algea, zoas and frag plugs....what to do???

    I have/had have terrible issues with algea growing on my zoa frags plugs. Always choking them out.

    What do you guys do to control this issue??? Looking for options.

  2. #2
    kev2me - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    What kind of frag plugs do you use?

  3. #3
    Sir Patrick - Reefkeeper A2 Club Coordinator
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    I cant recall the brand- but pretty much all the plugs, discs, ect. Have given me this issue, weather it be bubble algea, hair algea among just a few.

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    ReeferRob - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Many will argue it's not the plugs that are the problem it is the water quality in the tank.

    I for one think, in fact I know from personal experience that yes water quality is the major contributing factor to this, but also that some plugs rather materials are more prone to algae growth.

    As far as controlling the algae, well ofcourse you start with water quality and nutrient export. Also some claim to have success with filamentous algae and Coral Rx treatments. I've attempted this course of action, but not with enough regularity to notice it working.
    "We shouldn't think of an environment where livestock can survive, we should ensure an environment where livestock can thrive."-Rabidgoose
    "If it's gonna be that kinda party, Ima stick my ........ in the mashed potatoes!"-Beastie Boys

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    kev2me - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    What are your phosphates testing at? Are you running any GFO or bio pellets?

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    Wy Renegade - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Algae on plugs seems to be a pretty common issue from what I've seen - both on my own plugs, as well as those I've had shipped in. Hermit crabs are always my first go to solution, but I've also hand picked the algae off the blasted things as well.

    I've been hearing a lot of good things about purigen on another site, has anybody here used it?
    I collect PEs, and I'm always looking to trade for ones I don't have yet.

  7. #7
    ReeferRob - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    On the other hand, I don't know others experiences but if you want to grow nothing at all. Not coral and not algae other than coraline, go with the Chief......hate'em.

    Right now my favorites are the micro plugs from Alternative Reef. I've got about 50 in the sump. I find these are less likely to grow algae than ones right from the bag dry.
    "We shouldn't think of an environment where livestock can survive, we should ensure an environment where livestock can thrive."-Rabidgoose
    "If it's gonna be that kinda party, Ima stick my ........ in the mashed potatoes!"-Beastie Boys

  8. #8
    Sir Patrick - Reefkeeper A2 Club Coordinator
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    Just checked out purigen- Think I will give it a try.

    Hermits? Blue legged, red legged? Does it matter?

    I am thinking about re refragging these frags off of frag plugs, and glueing them strait to live rock. Bet no more algea grows after that! Still looking for suggestions though.

    Running pro-biotics, brightwell method. I am sure I have some po4 in the tank, but its minute enough to where I cant get a reading. My Cheato refuses to grow too- and I feed heavily.

  9. #9
    Wy Renegade - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    My preference is the blue-legged, they are typically smaller and not as aggresive as the red-legged ones.

    Also I've seen suggestions that frag plugs should be daily cleared using a turkey baster to prevent the retention of debris between the polyps.
    I collect PEs, and I'm always looking to trade for ones I don't have yet.

  10. #10
    MUCHO REEF - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Sorry to hear about your issue SP.

    Me personally, I strongly oppose any external additives/chemicals, to fix a fixable issue.

    I agree 100% with ReeferBob. Nuisance algae is usually a 99% water column issue.

    1. High Phosphates & Silicates, usually from poor water top off source or tap.

    2. Excessive heat can also be a contributor in conjunction with other factors listed here.

    3. Excessive feeding which leads food decomposition from uneaten food.

    4. Every system will have some algae growth which is normal. Clean up crews are a must to control this.
    A combination of crabs, snails and an algae blenny will more than suffice. Pods, slugs, snails, limpets, chitons, crabs, urchins will all help, but all aren't needed.


    5. Old/aged bulbs can also be a contributing factor to excessive algae blooms.

    6. Check your nitrate levels.

    7. If feeding with frozen foods, be sure to thaw first in a cup of tank water, then strain/drain off all the water, then add just enough without over feeding to your tank. This liquid is often nutrient rich and you don't want it in your tank.

    8. If you have a protein skimmer, then crank it up as it is the most natural and effective means of nutrient export which is what you need right now. If you think about the frothy foam from the ocean, which is nothing more than what your skimmer is doing, is a natural means of nutrient export. So using the skimmer right now is a must I think and empty the cup daily and clean it with warm water and a dedicated tooth brush. The down side is that you will be removing food for your filter feeding inverts, but there is adequate amounts that you won't starve them and your greater concern I think is knocking down the algae.

    9. Though polyps thrive in nutrient rich water, excessive nutrients is the line that's hard not to cross without remaining proactive. If you have any current mechanical filters, they must be cleaned and rinsed frequently as they will also accumulate nutrient rich gunk which will contribute to your problem. Even skimmers should be cleaned including the collection cups to prevent re-entry of what you have removed already. You can try using poly pads/filters, but again, you have to rinse and keep them clean.

    10. Carbon is a must, run a high grade granulated activated carbon and only enough based on the size of your tank. It is great in the removal of organics in your system. You can use it in a media bag but be sure to keep the bag cleaned and rinsed. Rinse the bag weekly and discard/replace carbon every 2 or 3 weeks.

    11. Using a phosphate removal pad or media will work well also aid in the rememdy. There's much debate over whether to use Ferric hydroxide based or aluminum oxide based pads or media. You will have to decide which is best or maybe someone else can weigh in since I haven't used it in many years.

    Hopefully someone else can chime in with more.


    Mucho Reef
    Last edited by MUCHO REEF; 11-16-2010 at 11:15 AM.
    Please stop fragging your frags.......you'll eventually do more damage than good. Just let them grow.

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