Mr. Saltwater Tank

Terrible Advice Tuesdays (T.A.Tues): No Coraline? Clearly Something Is Wrong

Terrible Advice Tuesdays (T.A.Tues): If your saltwater tank doesn’t have coraline algae growing in it, then your tank isn’t healthy.

The rest of the story: The hunt for coraline algae always makes me laugh as there are hobbyists who hate it and want it out of their tanks (*cough* Joe). Everyone else likes coraline algae and wants it to grow in their tank as soon as the tank gets wet.

The thing to keep in mind is that if coraline algae isn’t growing in your tank, that doesn’t tell you anything about your tank’s health. I’ve seen countless saltwater tanks all with perfect water parameters and there isn’t any coraline algae in the tank. I’ve also seen tanks that look like toxic waste dumps and coraline algae is happily growing all over the tank.

If you don’t have coraline algae in your tank, getting it grow could be as easy as making sure your magnesium (Mg) and calcium (Ca) levels are in check. Or your tank might not be the coraline algae type for some unknown reason.

Whatever you do, don’t freak out because coraline algae isn’t growing in your tank and certainly don’t reach for a bottle that claims to boost coraline algae growth.



Browse the Store! Questions?

Comments for this article (57)

  • Nik says:

    Oh the painful memories! Like when we fried a tank cause of that freaking worthless glass tube on the heater cracked, or losing my lionfish in 85 when the belt on my Oscar air pump broke, and I was out of town for 3 days. We used poultry grit cause it was cheap, and once a year we would scoop half of it out and replace it.

  • sanchezkk says:

    Excuse me but this thread has gotten so far off topic that Nemo won’t be able to find us.Lol

  • Nik says:

    We are easy to find
    P Sherman
    42 Wallaby Way

  • Mithun says:

    In my humble opinion a tank is healthy when everything grows at a natural pace.. its not true that u cant keep SPS unless ur tank is growing nice coraline algae.. Rather SPS might very well thrive as requirements of those two are completely different.. But But But, if you can’t grow coraline in your tank no matter what u do, then there is definitely something wrong in your tank and one should really look into the issue rather than thinking “its okay, my SPS are doing just fine”.. I have always been successful in growing nice coraline. Having a both side display 200Gal tank, its not a big issue to keep the glass clean of them, they grow when u don’t touch the glass for a very long time, say couple of months.. No issue at all.

  • It’s not like when you go diving in the sea you see Coraline algae growing everywhere. Focusing on the health of the animals should be priority one…

  • onecansay says:

    The tank that resides in my “living room” has red, pink and purple coraline growing. That is with NO light source except ambient for two years to get rid of the ‘algae’ problem one had.

    Two happy clowns.

    This fall major changes.

    New LED lighting (DIY complete). New sump with bio-reactor replacing old POS refugium (after ‘duh’ learning concept of volume).

    Turnover vs flow.

    Thanx Mark. You have given someone a better grasp on these things.

  • Lisa says:

    yeah my LFS sold me a bottle of the stuff you mention but I didn’t know it was useless until I was enlightened. I have choraline all over and I recently I bribed my 15 yr. old son to scrape it off the front of my acrylic tank. I had let it get out of hand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.