How to Make Live Rock Grow Algae Quickly

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Certain types of algae, such as coralline algae are good for the quality of your saltwater aquarium.
Certain types of algae, such as coralline algae are good for the quality of your saltwater aquarium. (Image: Coral image by AJT from Fotolia.com)

Live rock gets its name from the marine growth that accumulates on the surface and inside the rock. Made of calcium carbonate of dead coral and calcareous microorganisms, live rock attracts coralline algae and other bacteria that help the overall quality of your aquarium. The coralline algae will prevent other algae from occurring in your tank. Boosting the calcium levels in your tank and adding Triton 40 watt bulbs to light your tank will increase the growth of algae on your live rock.

Things You'll Need

  • Seachem Reef Builder (or equivalent)
  • Protein skimmer
  • 40 watt Triton aquarium bulbs

Raise the calcium levels in your tank. Use a product like Seachem Reef Builder or Reef Advantage (or equivalents) to raise the carbonate alkalinity in your tank. This just means it will raise the calcium and carbonates in the water without changing the PH balance of the water. Use a 1/2 tsp. of Seachem Reef Builder or Reef Advantage for every 40 gallons of water in your tank (or follow other manufacturer's directions). Add this supplement twice a week.

Replace the lights in your tank with Triton 40 watt bulbs or other bright fluorescent bulbs for aquariums that are designed for plant growth.

Use a protein skimmer to reduce the amount if phosphates in your tank. Phosphate buildup occurs when organic compounds break down into nitrogenous waste, preventing healthy growth of coralline algae. Hang the protein skimmer on the side of the tank, making sure the filter is submerged in the water. Plug the power cord into an electrical outlet to turn on the protein skimmer.

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