coraline algae growth recipe

Hi everyone,
I've had my tank for about a year now. I hardly see any coraline algae growth. I've been trying everything that my LFS has recommended, so I decided to forget what the LFS had to say and do my own research.
I was wondering if anyone out there had there own recipe on how to grow coraline algae quicker.
It seems like calcium additives are the mose important, but are there any other additives that will quicken coraline algae growth?


Active Member
Many people find that getting the water chemistry right, combined with decent lighting will promote coralline algae growth.
Coralline algae being an encrusting calcareous red algae, uses both calcium and bicarbonate/carbonate as it builds it's calcium carbonate structure.
So ... you really need to test for and do something to supplement both calcium and alkalinity.
A very general rule of thumb is to try and maintain your pH around 8.2, and the other two water parameters ranges as;
Alkalinity meq/L ___ Alkalinity dKH_____ Calcium ppm
3.50____________ 9.80______________430
Plus you must have a good source of coralline algae to begin with.
A few nice piece of live rock that are covered in the pink stuff, placed in areas of high water flow/circulation will help it to spread to other areas of the tank.
Lighting, while important, will play a role as well.
Then it's just a matter of time.
Have you been using any additives ?
What's your lighting and tank size ?
What has your LFS been telling you will work ?


If you have any coralline try taking a NEW soft toothbrush and brushing it and the pores will spread:D

sinner's girl

adding Kent Kalkwasser Mix worked best for us.
I'll have to try the toothbrush thing, we just added a bunch of lr from the 75gl and it's all white, looks funny when the rest of the lr is covered in purple and pink.


i think it was kipass who mentioned one time about magnesium also and i checked mine and it was low. ever since bringing it up and maitaining the other levels mentioned that my coraline has started to take off. the toothbrush thing seems to work for me also. hth

bang guy

Coralline chips definately help. That's why I believe Urchins and other messy coralline munchers actually promote the growth.


Active Member
After making sure your chemistry is in line as Broomer5 stated, you could go to your lfs and get some "reef rubble" that is coralline covered and place it on the rocks around the tank. I've done that and the toothbrush thing once it starts up. HTH
Thanks for the advice everyone,
but I'm interested in finding out: what are coraline chips?
Is it a correct guess to assume that it's bits and particles of live rock?
And by the way why am I a pepperment shrimp all the time?


In tanks that grow coralline really really well, it will tend to cover the glass. Many times it will cover the entire sides and back of the aquarium. A couple of times posters have scraped this off and given it to others for a small shipping and handling fee.
So it is just scrapings from the glass.

bang guy


Originally posted by nolofinwe
hey bang guy,
are you saying that with an urchin, the growth of corraline in a conducive (for corraline growth, ie: calcium, low nutrients, no phos, etc.) tank will outpace the rate at which the urchin eats it?
how big of a tank are we talking?

Yep, that's what I'm saying. I would think it would be true in anything larger than a 55.


Active Member
Originally posted by tired_boy_mike
Is it a correct guess to assume that it's bits and particles of live rock?
Reef rubble is bits and parts of live rock. It's small pieces that are nugget to about golf ball size pieces in different shapes.


I have coralline out the wazoo.
It came on my first LR. I don't have any special lighting just 4 PC on a 180. My snails are covered. ALL rock is covered. I have it growing on some plants. Not so much on the glass though there is some. All I add is seachem reef complete and I struggle to keep my calcium at 400. I really don't get it.
I find it likes high flow areas like powerhead intakes.
The one thing I am doing right even though I don't know what I am doing!