Coralline algae - Does it reduce Live Rock filtration capacity?

Matt

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I've been reading a bit about coralline algae (Family Corallinaceae of the order Corallinales) and I wonder if it reduces the efficiency of filtration of live rock. Now in theory people say it reduces the filtration capacity of live rock because it is an encrusting algae with a calcareous skeleton that covers the surface of the live rock, covering the "pores" in the rock so water doesn't enter it a effectively and get filtered. What are your opinions on the topic?



I must say i've seen some nano's with nothing but purple rocks, and they're thriving (Even though the filtration capacity of the LR could be lower?). Important to remember many nano's are run purely on LR and charcoal etc. without skimmers.

Also what do people think about products like CaribSea's Purple up?
"Purple-Up™ is a new pink and purple coralline algae accelerator. Since Purple-Up™ is not a fertilizer, it does not promote the growth of nuisance algae. How does it work? Purple-Up™ uses a unique dual method approach to coralline algae acceleration. It contains ionic calcium which immediately raises dissolved calcium levels in your aquarium water. At the same time Super Sea Calcium™ (a 10 micron aragonite powder derived from natural seawater) targets the live rock surface. Super Sea Calcium™ dissolves in situ; delivering calcium, strontium, magnesium, and carbonate right where it’s needed. Purple-Up™ also replenishes iodine; an essential element for coralline algae tissues that quickly becomes depleted in closed systems. Purple-Up™ is an excellent addition to any aquarium with stony corals too! One bottle of Purple-Up™ replaces the typical multi product recipe for successful coralline algae growth favored by advanced aquarists."


Link: Coralline algae - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

Rory

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Yes...

Purple Up definitely works, whether or not you need it though is a different story. It does supplement ca/alk nicely but if you do that anyway you probably wont need it.
 

Warr7207

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Does reduce, but does stop filtration. Can become a on mechanical devices - powerheads and skimmers etc.

Urchins are the way to keep it under control
 

neilharris

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While it does give a bit more colour to a tank, yes it does impact filtration capacity of the lr. It also eats up a lot of elements from the water, in particular the ca amd mg.
If you want the stuff to grow faster, scrape some off the glass of a friends tank and crush it up. Throw it in your tank and it will seed all over the place....
 

Matt

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My live rock is slowly becoming covered with coralline so not necessarily want to use purple up or any other products. I however don't fully understand the consequence of LR covered in coralline on the capacity of filtration? I run a nano with a small skimmer, hence LR is my main form of filtration. I need it to be as efficient as it can be!
 

Warr7207

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My live rock is slowly becoming covered with coralline so not necessarily want to use purple up or any other products. I however don't fully understand the consequence of LR covered in coralline on the capacity of filtration? I run a nano with a small skimmer, hence LR is my main form of filtration. I need it to be as efficient as it can be!
Thats the punishment for running such a clean tank :whistling:
 

Matt

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Warr: haha. doesn't feel clean right now, diatoms covering the back wall and some of the sand. aaargh doing my nut man!
 

Warr7207

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Warr: haha. doesn't feel clean right now, diatoms covering the back wall and some of the sand. aaargh doing my nut man!
Oh how my snails would love that. They have to keep raiding my tang and angels nori supply :whistling:
 

jacquesb

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Matt - I cannot quote official sources at the moment, BUT - take the following into account.

The purple / pink form of Corralline algae you mostly see, grows in the lighted areas of the tank and on the top of the live rock where the light shines. There are other forms/colorations of corralline algae (I don't know all of them by heart - but I have seen the colorations), like wine red, and fluorescent orange.

The wine red form also grows in the lighted areas on live rock.

Where as the fluorescent orange form, only grows in the dark areas (ie, at the bottom of the rock).

Now - I can only assume that the live rocks are definitely impacted adversely, but the corralline algae covering the rock. The more corralline algae, the more the specific piece of live is impacted.
Think of an air-filter of a car. Or even the old sponge filters you got (forget about them being nitrate factories for now). The more covered and clogged up they become, the less effective is their filtration.

BUT, that said - MOST pieces of live rock have areas which are NOT lighted (bottom, sides, sections where other pieces touch, of where the piece of live rock touches the side of the tank). These areas would/should still be capable of filtration.
 

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