Red turfy algae running rampant


New member
Anyone have success in eradicating or controlling this type of algae? It has a stiff hairlike texture and it's pretty difficult to pull. It's starting to send runners all over the place!!

My test results
ph = 8.0 - 8.3
nitrates = .2
phosphates = 0 (at least nothing measurable)
RO TDS = 0ppm

I should note that I'm running a bare bottom, but I do have decent chaeto growth in my sump.


-- Gil



Premium Member
I have something similar, there is a thread on the SPS forums started by Zoom called "bright red algae in my BB reef"

that type of algae seem to proliferate in low nutrient systems, and there are a few fish that eat them. Supposedly it can't be completely eradicated even by rock cooking. My blue tang likes to nip at it, keeping it in check, but not at 100%

As much as I hate the way it looks, I'd rather have that than cyano or green hair algae.


In Memoriam
Folks will give you different answers, but the fact is that the Nitrates are not clearing from the display, whether from lack of flow, or insufficient water changes, or whatever. Make sure that you keep your macro cut back, so it has room to grow and suck up the nutrients. A loaded refugium is a bottleneck for exporting nitrates. Also, change water more often. You need to do a combination of the two, plus sufficient flow coverage, to keep your nitrate near 0 if possible.


New member
concept, i'll check out that thread. Unfortunately, the only tang that I can even consider in my 65g is a yellow. I wonder if they'll take a liking to this stuff.

dppitone, I have between 40-60x turnover and I siphon the little pile that forms every 3 days or so. I usually end up changing out about 5-10% per week. If that's not enuf, then I guess I'll just have to accept a big red shaggy tank. :T

Good point with the chaeto. My fuge area is about 90% full right now. I'll keep up on the trimming to see if things change for the better.

Thanks all.


In Memoriam
some emeralds eat it right up, but some dont even touch it. my foxface used to like it alot. take the rock out and scrub it with a toothbrush. its the only easy way to do it.


In Memoriam
i dont think the problem is nutrients. i believe this algae is one of the calcarious types.


New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=7498093#post7498093 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by ALTI
i believe this algae is one of the calcarious types.

calcareous? really?

i tried the toothbrush bit and it isn't really that easy. it takes cares of the long strands, but the runners are pretty damn stubborn. seeing as how this big clump is on one of my foundation rocks, i'm not relishing the idea of taking it out. in fact, i'd bet that it would probably just come right back if I went thru all that trouble. nope, no jenga for me. :hmm5:

would shading it do anything?


New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=7500480#post7500480 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by coralnut99
My sailfin loves the stuff. Keeps it right down to the rock. Virtually invisible, and never spread.

too bad he won't be happy in a 65. :(


It's Dr. Goodluck Himself
I got rid of it with a lights-out. 48 hrs light out, then on for 1hr, increasing by an hour each day up to 4hrs. Hold at 4 for a week, then increase by an hour up to your old photoperiod.

If it starts coming back, start over.

It will die and you can lift it or blow it off with a baster. I've unfortunately seen it come back a bit after 6mos but am not concerned enough (yet) to do the treatment again. It did not just come back ... hitchiked on a rock from a new coral. I didn' texpect it to take off but there you have it!

You may ask what the heck I'm doing in the NJ club forum. I'm going to Ocean City next week and took a flier on seeing if anyone is from around there. No luck on that!