When it comes to keeping your tank clean and in top condition, it can be a very frustrating process if you have any live material that is destroyed by cleaning products for your tank.
You can spend time, money and energy curating your perfect saltwater tank only for it to be ruined in a short period of time by chemicals.
So, here we will talk about macroalgae, why you should consider adding it to your reef tank, and whether or not Vibrant Aquarium Cleaner will be harmful to it.
What is macroalgae?
Macroalgae is more commonly known as seaweed. It is a broad category of marine algae that large aquatic plants relying on photosynthesis for food.
There are four main categories of macroalgae:
- blue-green (e.g. river blooms)
- green (e.g. sea lettuce)
- brown (e.g. large kelp)
- red (the most diverse category)
Macroalgae are always found attached to the substrate where they are firmly anchored. If they are removed from this root then they will only live for a few hours maximum.
Why is macroalgae good for a reef tank?
Algae, of any sort, is a great addition to a home aquarium. Not only do the plants provide an attractive spot of color within your tank but they also serve as a fantastic source of nutrients and food for the creatures in your tank.
Your fish, shrimp, and other creatures in your home reef tank will keep the macroalgae in check, ensuring that it does not grow out of control by continuously nibbling on the macroalgae. Not only will this serve to prune the macroalgae but it will also keep your fish nice and healthy.
Another great advantage of having macroalgae in your home tank is that it helps to regulate the levels in your water. In particular, it helps to control phosphate and nitrate levels.
Is Vibrant Aquarium Cleaner safe to use in my saltwater tank?
If you have chosen the type of macroalgae that you want for your tank, spent your time choosing the perfect place for it and it is helping your tank by providing nutrients to your fish and filtering the water of phosphate and nitrate, the last thing that you are going to want to do is to accidentally kill it.
So, you should be very careful when it comes to choosing the right cleaning products to use in your home reef tank.
Vibrant aquarium cleaner is a very popular brand of a cleaning product – but is it safe for macroalgae?
Whilst Vibrant is perfectly safe for use with all fish, invertebrates, and coral it is, unfortunately, dangerous for macroalgae.
This means that although Vibrant can be a very handy tool for ridding your tank of unwanted algae, such as hair algae which can very quickly become a pest and take over your entire tank, it will also cause damage to the desired forms of algae such as seaweed.
Does Vibrant kill algae?
Just like using Vibrant Aquarium Cleaner in your reef tank will kill any macroalgae, so too will it kill any form of algae. If you have an algae problem then this can be a very quick and easy solution to your problem.
However, if you also have macroalgae in your tank that you would like to keep then it is best to avoid using Vibrant as it will kill both forms of algae.
You should also always only use Vibrant according to the dosage stated on the bottle as anything more than the correct dose can be very dangerous to the corals and fish in your aquarium.
What are good alternative aquarium cleaners?
If you want to make sure that your macroalgae is as safe as possible then it is worth looking into a more natural solution. Obviously, it depends on what the problem is in your home aquarium. But, one of the most common problems is pest algae.
A great natural solution to this problem is to add various creatures into your tank whose entire daily routine is to eat algae constantly. For example, adding Hermit crabs or turbo snails can quickly and efficiently help with this problem.
These little creatures are great algae eaters, meaning that they will have your tank looking in great condition in almost no time at all. However, they too are not without their own challenges. You should first consider what other creatures you have in your home tank before adding either of these options.
For example, Hermit crabs can quickly become a snack for a tank full of larger fish. So, although they may do a good job of cleaning up for the first few days they may quickly be eaten. So, always consider how they will interact with your existing creatures.
Mexican turbo snails will also do a great job of keeping your tank clean, but they will reproduce rapidly and so their population should be kept in check. This can very quickly become a big task that is very time-consuming.
When it comes to keeping your home reef tank clean there are plenty of options, both natural and chemical. Which method works best for you depends entirely on what it is you are wanting to remove from your tank and also what other plants and creatures you have in your aquarium.
The chemical product Vibrant can be a great solution to removing stubborn and unwanted algae from your home tank, such as hair algae, but should only be used according to the stated dose on the bottle. This way you can be sure that it will not be toxic to anything else in your tank.
Because the product removes all algae it will also kill macroalgae. So, a better option is to introduce creatures that eat algae. This way you can keep your tank clean at all times without the use of chemicals. This will allow your macroalgae to flourish in your tank as well as allowing you not to worry about getting the Vibrant dosage exact.
- The Role of Macroalgae in the Ecosystem https://sharkresearch.rsmas.miami.edu/the-role-of-macroalgae-in-the-ecosystem/
- The Nature of Macroalgae and Their Interactions on Reefs https://repository.si.edu/bitstream/handle/10088/21633/SCMS39_Lang_15.pdf?isAllowed=y&sequence=1