Blue algae ID

Discussion in 'Other Reef Talk' started by JVU, Dec 13, 2017.

  1. JVU

    JVU Supporting Member


    A patch of this blue filamentous algae just popped up, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before. It kind of looks and feels like green hair algae (which I also have some of right now) but it’s a striking blue color and has a bit more of a feathery pattern. It is definitely not the blue/green version of cyanobacteria. For reference the strands are up to about half an inch long at this point.

    It’s actually pretty. I’m wondering if anyone knows what algae this is, and whether or not I need to worry. I don’t generally get too worked up about algae as long as I know it’s not something super-aggressive, just manually remove once in a while.
    ashburn2k likes this.
  2. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member


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  3. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Close up of the strands please.

    Looks like bryopsis from here

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  4. JVU

    JVU Supporting Member

    I will try to get better pics, maybe I’ll have to remove some to do so.

    I’ve not had bryopsis in a tank before, but I thought it was green from seeing other people’s pics. Are there blue varieties? There is a bit of green hair algae next to it, but the algae I’m wondering about is a vibrant blue.
  5. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

    I wouldn't chance it as bryopsis is a super nuance algae that can over take your tank. Caused me to restart.

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  6. sjbro

    sjbro Supporting Member

  7. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    I just used fluconazole to nuke all the bryopsis in my tank. Worked like a charm. But there were complications arising from the major die off of bryopsis.

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  8. Ibn

    Ibn Supporting Member

    I concur. Bryopsis.
  9. JVU

    JVU Supporting Member

    Thanks everyone. I’m bummed but at least fluconazole is promising. I’ve seen too many case online of bryopsis out of control to want to take any chances even though it is only a tiny patch. I ordered it online with expedited shipping. I’m planning to use what seems to be the standard treatment of 200 mg per 10 gallons single dose.

    My plan:
    Water change right before, sucking out debris as I manually remove as much as I can of this algae and any GHA I see to limit the effects of die-off.
    Take my skimmer cup out but leave the skimmer on, at least for the first few days.
    Not run any other chemical filtration.
    Leave my socks in and change frequently.
    Leave my chaeto in.
    Closely monitor chemistry for nutrient issues.
    Otherwise business as usual and hopefully it all dies within a couple weeks.

    Any other suggestions? Seems too simple...
  10. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    That seems too simple. You listed like 10 things you’re doing. :)
    JVU likes this.
  11. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    In addition...

    Can you take the rock out and squirt vinegar on that spot without damaging other corals?
    That tends to be a pretty safe way to spot kill pests.
  12. JVU

    JVU Supporting Member

    I love my Jester6 rockscape but one of the downsides is that each piece is large and difficult to maneuver, so that would be a challenge.
  13. JVU

    JVU Supporting Member


    I dosed the fluconazole as above, single dose, with skimmer cup off, no carbon running, and no other changes, on 12/18 (12 days ago). Within 4 days the bryopsis was shrinking, within 7 days it was gone.

    At that point I put my skimmer cup back on (because I was getting a lot of foamy water in my skimmer chamber from accumulating organics) but dialed it back a bit to skim dry. Now at 12 days the bryopsis is still completely gone and the small amount of green hair algae in my tank is shrinking. Also I’ve noticed that the Cyanobacteria I had on the sand also seems to have not grown back after my last cleaning, which is strange because fluconazole supposedly doesn’t treat it at all and others have reported increases with the extra nutrients from other dying algae.

    No problems with coral/inverts/fish/clam/snails/chaeto/coralline/etc. Basically it seems like a complete win, which is pretty rare in this hobby.
    iCon and Coral reefer like this.
  14. Congrats! A fast, easy solution. That never happens in this hobby.
    JVU likes this.
  15. iCon

    iCon Supporting Member

    Wow. Awesome news. Wish this was more widely known a few years back when I scrapped an entire tank because of bryopsis.
    JVU likes this.
  16. Corallus

    Corallus BAR Sponsorship Coordinator

    That's fantastic - I really should have described what I recently did with my tank, because it's very close to what you've described. Just over a year ago, I accidentally nuked my tank trying to beat back a nasty bryopsis outbreak. So when I saw it showing up again a couple of months ago, I had painful flashbacks. Like you, I pulled out the carbon, unplugged the drain on my skimmer cup, did a decent size water change, manually removing as much of the algae as I could, did a single dose of 20 mg/gal, waited and watched. After about a week the bryopsis was basically gone. All snails, shrimp, clams 'nems and coral never looked stressed. That was about 3 weeks and one water change ago, my skimmer is back online and I have not yet seen any growing back. Like @iCon says, I wish I would have known about this earlier. Hopefully it's not just a short term fix.
    JVU likes this.
  17. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

    I had to restart due to bryopsis before I discovered this drug. Wish this info was available 3 years ago.

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