take care of Valonia Bubble Algae | Reef Builders


Bubble algae is among the most persistent pests of mature reef aquaria, overgrowing corals, weir combs, and wave pumps if left unchecked. Newbies typically report shock once they first discover the small, bottle inexperienced, glassy balls because it’s one thing else that’s new and has appeared, that wasn’t there earlier than. However it will probably severely scale back the circulate of wave makers when connected to the inlets and retailers, can block weirs, and even trigger floods. It is available in with corals, will thrive in any saltwater situations, and may plague reef aquaria. Bubble algae must be removed. 

Valonia ventricosa is among the largest identified single-celled organisms.


The simplest technique to take away Valonia is by prizing it away along with your fingertips. If you happen to’re fortunate, giant chunks will be eliminated at a time and disposed of. For these tucked away attempt tweezers, or a metallic tooth scraper, then take away the free-floating bubbles ideally by the use of a siphon, or a fish-catching web. Flip wave pumps off whilst you’re doing it because the bubbles will solely float round and fasten to the pump cage. Don’t fear about popping the bubbles as you take away them. They’re unicellular algae cells, however popping them doesn’t launch “spores” which go on to supply thousands and thousands extra. Scrub the rocks with a toothbrush if any burst remnants stay. 

The Emerald crab, Mithrax sculptus, is probably the most prescribed for Valonia.

Pure management

Emerald crabs, Mithrax sculptus, are probably the most generally prescribed remedy for bubble algae and we now have used them and offered them over greater than twenty years. Identical to with hermits used for algae and Peppermint shrimp for Aiptasia nevertheless, a well-fed Emerald crab is much less more likely to wish to eat Valonia versus the reef tank’s smorgasbord of omnivorous eating alternatives, so run a clear tank, and don’t overfeed your fish in an try to get the crabs to do what you bought them to do and eat it.

Emerald crabs do eat Valonia and we now have watched it up shut ourselves many occasions. Mithrax have spoon-shaped claw ideas however with razor edges, and as a substitute of popping the valonia bubbles they seize and tear them. The extra crabs you add, and the less different feeding alternatives you give them, the higher they are going to be, and though they typically disappear, the crabs simply conceal out and dine at night time when nobody is trying. Crabs are opportunists, nevertheless, and contributors on this platform have observed the odd-cheeky emerald grabbing at fish and turning on Zoas. Place a Valonia-covered rock into an Emerald crab-filled tank and they’ll assault it with gusto, however the larger the tank, the less the crabs, and the larger the chance for some Valonia to at all times go unchecked.

The Foxface, Siganus vulpinis, will sort out Valonia you probably have the house.

Foxface for large tanks

In case your tank is 5 toes lengthy and holds 100 gallons or extra, many reefkeepers report profitable bubble algae management by the use of the Foxface, Siganus vulpinis, and once more, run a clear, tidy tank from day one with loads of fish and invert grazers, use a toothbrush and a siphon, and Bubble algae outbreaks ought to be a lot much less of an issue and much simpler to regulate.      

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