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Algae weeds in the marine aquarium
Generally speaking, algae (from the Latin Algae) are plant organisms with thallus and chlorophyll that live in the water. They can be: autotrophic, unicellular or multicellular, but in any case they produce chemical energy by photosynthesis and generate oxygen.
The size of the algae varies from microscopic (unicellular phytoplankton) to multicellular (Kelp). During the process of chlorophyll photosynthesis, algae assimilate ammonia, nitrates, phosphates and heavy metals; they also fix nitrogen and release organic substances useful for fish and invertebrates.
They are mainly preyed on by some fishes, among which the Acanturids stand out, while in this regard the invertebrates are widely used by sea urchins (Mespilia Globulus and Diadema) and Snails, called Turbo Mexicane. The main causes that generate the growth and survival of algae in our aquariums are: high amounts of nutrients, bright light, excrement and excess feed. Some of the above causes are caused by irregular or low percentages of the liters used for the completion of the partial change of the water present in our aquariums.
The aforementioned maintenance activity favors the stability of the PH (in the range 8.2 / 8.4) and to reduce the values of phosphates, nitrates, as well as the accumulation of toxic substances. Regarding weed algae, genus Derbesia and Bryopsis, I highly recommend reading the article dedicated to the use of the drug Fluconazole. The use of excellent sea salt blends significantly participates in mitigating algal growth. It should be noted that the best blends contain balanced quantities of calcium, alkalinity and are almost free of nitrates and phosphates, the main causes of algae growth.
In any case (personal opinion and belief) live rocks do an excellent job in absorbing nitrates and phosphates, while the so-called "sand film" causes accumulation. Therefore, I remain firmly convinced that an aquarium should be managed in Berlin mode (without sand) or equipped with a DSB (layer of about 11 cm of aragonite sand). Tips to mitigate the growth of weed algae in the aquarium:
Use of osmosis water (for partial changes and topping up) free of dissolved salts and silicates; equipped with a high-performance and oversized skimmer compared to the volume of the tank; insertion, for preventive purposes, of about four Turbo snails, each liter of the tank; values close to zero for Nitrates (NO3) and Phosphates (PO4); use, only in extreme cases, specific absorbents (resins) to reduce the levels of phosphates; use an algae reactor to reduce Nitrate values or acquire a Refugium; use of high quality hyper active carbons; siphoning and manual removal of filamentous algae. Ciro Murino.
Article written by: Ciro Murino