Bubble algae may look pretty in a saltwater aquarium, but it’s important to bite the bullet and make efforts to eliminate them from the tank anyway. This type of algae can multiply before you know it, essentially ruining your beautiful aquarium and endangering the fish and other wildlife.
What is Bubble Algae?
Bubble algae look a little like boba that you might add to bubble tea or self-serve frozen yogurt, only larger.
They’re actually called Valonia Ventricosa and are a species of algae found in oceans in tropical and subtropical regions. They are most often green, but they may appear silver, teal, or black. The surface of the cell is shiny, and the diameter of each one ranges from less than half-inch to as much as 2 inches.
What Would Happen if This Type of Algae Got into a Saltwater Aquarium?
Bubble algae are considered undesirable pests. They cling to objects in the aquarium, and they reproduce quickly. They’re most often found on live rock and coral.
Anytime you have too much algae in a fish tank, the algae could suck oxygen away from fish and plants, as well as muck up the water to the point that you can no longer control it efficiently. Ultimately, it would endanger the health of your fish and other livestock.
Unfortunately, even well-maintained saltwater tanks may get a bubble alga or two. If you spot them and remove them quickly, you can stop the growth before it becomes a problem.
How Do You Remove Bubble Algae from a Saltwater Fish Tank?
Because bubble algae are like the ticks of the underwater world, removing them can be tricky. If you find one or two, manually removing them is best. However, you must ensure that you also remove the anchoring structures, or they will grow back. You also must be careful not to pop them, or they’ll multiply.
If possible, remove the object that the algae is on – such as perhaps a plant or live rock – from the tank prior to trying to manually remove the algae. This would help to prevent any of these complications. Afterward, leave the object in the sun for a few days, which will dry remaining algae. After a few days, use RODI water to rinse off the object before returning it to the aquarium.
Other ways to remove or keep bubble algae out of the saltwater fish tank include:
• Adding algae eaters to your tank. Blennies and saltwater tangs are good options. Emerald crabs and foxface rabbitfish may be effective as well.
• Using a siphon to clean the gravel, and have a professional saltwater aquarium maintenance technician clean your tank regularly.
• Avoiding overfeeding fish in your tank, which will have a negative domino effect on the overall habitat.
• Keeping your filters working properly.
• Considering using a safe solution that helps to control algae growth, such as API Marine AlgaeFix or a similar product.