Can you "starve" algae?


New member
I asked Eric about this in his forum because my problem is related to zoos (I think he is the zoo freak) but I didnt get a response so maybe you can help. I have 2 small rocks that have some zoos and mushrooms on. I fragd the zoos onto the second rock but there is what seems like slime algae on the original rock and it followed the frags to the new rock. I dont have much algae in the rest of the tank, but I think my cleaners do a good job at eating it all. I really only want to save the zoos on the 2 rocks, I have all ready fragd the shrooms and the algae didnt follow them. I have tried removing the algae and scrubbing it clean but it seems to come back after a while. So can I scrub the rocks and then try to starve the remaining algae of either light, oxygen or even water? and then rinse the rock again and hopefully wash off the remaining dead algae? I dont know who could last longer without light or oxygen, zoos or algae but I dont want the algae to spread. I was thinking either put the rocks in a dark box for a day or 2 w/ or w/o water and hopefully it would die but leave the zoos behind. I hope this makes sense and thanks for your help.

Please do not stress the corals with light deprivation with the hope of controlling nuisance algae.

Most all nuisance algae can instead be controlled/eradicated by limiting nutrients in the aquarium. Scrubbing it off or killing it with light deprivation is only treating the symptom and not the problem. It will return if you don't address what grew it in the first place.

Careful feeding, more aggressive skimming, better water flow, etc., all help to control nuisance algae. Most folks do not get several full cups of dark skimmate (almost daily) from their skimmers weekly... and most folks do not have water flow approaching 20X tank volume... most folks do not discard the thawed pack juice from frozen foods, etc... and most folks have at least a little nuisance algae ;)

Best regards,

I guess you are right that most people do have a little algae. Do you know of any cleaners that will eat the slime algae? I have a good crew right now but none of them like this algae. I have emerald crabs, scarlet reef hermits, nassarious, cerith, margarita, and turbo snails. I have only been feeding my couple small fish 1 time per day but I know my anemone will increase the nutrient levels of the tank.
I really cannot fairly recommend a grazer of cyanobacteria. Few practical specimens exist for small aquaria and again it would only be treating the symptom. Just examine how you can export nutrients in your system better without cutting back on necessary feeding. Changing carbon weekly instead of monthly (1 X weekly instead of 4 x monthly...this same amount of carbon, just exchanged in smaller intervals), better water flow in the tank, better skimming and extra water changes. No worries... it can be controlled easily within weks via the above methods.

Kind regards,