fighting this one for over a year...


Premium Member
and hoping someone can help!



First pic is about 5 inches from top to bottom for scale...This stuff has been overrunning my tank for over a year. Don't know what it is, can't find anything to eat it. Water quality is as perfect as I can get it (TDS 0, undetectable Nitrate, Phosphate, CALK and ALK where they should be, water temp ~79deg).

Was doing my weekly cleaning today and for the first time the thought at the end was, "I should just take the damn thing down and start over"...sooo...before I go to that extreme, can anyone help? At least an ID to start, and control/eradication suggestions after that?
Looks like Hypnea...
Maybe H. charoides but that's just a wild-a$$ed guess based on just looks.
Is it gristly or soft?

Funny, though, if it IS Hypnea, I never thought of it as a potential pest. What wussy herbivores do you have on board, anyways?

It is interesting that you keep your tank at 79 ---that's about the same as the low-ish water temp here during parts of the rainy season, when some species of Hypnea (H. pannosa for one, though that isn't what you have) take off like gangbusters, choking out even coral. The return of summer's warmer temps has it backing up some.

For a severe infestation, nothing like taking out each rock to a plastic work-basin, followed by hand removal and scraping the remnants off with a guitar pick, rinsing off with tankwater (rinsewater to be discarded) prior to return to the diplay. Some go further and give the rock a brief vinegar spray before the rinse.

scrape, rinse, repeat.

It's more rough than soft...

As for the temp, I was at around 82ish, but recently lowered it a bit in the hopes that it might help.

I've tried every herbivore conceivable. Brought some into my LFS and we tried feeding it to every fish in his store, not a single one would touch it...a few tried it, spit it out, and ignored it.

I've tried the severe scrubbing, to no avail...Not tried a vinegar spray, but most of the rocks have coral on them too, so that's not possible for me...

Thanks for the try :)
Have you ever been to florida? This stuff is everywhere its a rhodophyte actually let me look it up... You probably got some liverock from florida or some animal from the carribean with it attached. It's a floating red alga...sorry cant't find the book but definately a red alga its palagic so it's life cycle is floating and difficult to get rid off... I haven't witnessed anything that consumes it but reducing the available nutrients will help
ricksreef said:
unless we gave tampa back, i think he's been to fla. :D


Yes, it most likely came from something floridian. The kicker is, I put the damn stuff in on purpose. When I first found it, it was very self contained, put some in my fuge and it stayed nice and compact...was on a piece of coral that I bought and when I moved it to the main tank...all hell broke loose :(

As for reducing the nutrients...been doing that for quite some time...I'm fairly certain that its living off of the lighting. I feed very lightly, have a fuge and DSB, and a beefy skimmer. I took all of the lighting off of my fuge for about 2 weeks and it killed it all off, but I can't very well do that to my main tank.