Bubble algae, the clinical name Ventricaria ventricosa, is also known by its usual names “sea pearl” and also “sailor’s eyeballs.” In a wild environment, the species is widespread and is often found on mangrove roots and also attached to life rock.

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This type of birds is additionally an unsightly nuisance that can uncover its means into reef and saltwater tanks whereby it swiftly spreads.

In this article, we look at how you can prevent the arrival of this pest types of birds in your tank, and also how to get rid of any type of that does find its way past her defenses.


How to get rid of bubble algae

Although having bubble birds in your reef or saltwater aquarium won’t injury your fish, too much can come to be unsightly, and you will most most likely want to remove it.

There are several techniques of removing bubble algae, which we describe below:

Manual removal

Sometimes, if you uncover bubble algae early, you deserve to remove them by hand. To execute that, friend must get rid of the finish organism, consisting of the anchoring structures, due to the fact that otherwise, the algae will simply prosper back.

A sharpened screwdriver is the finest tool for that job. Very closely grip the bubble towards its base, and pull that gently, twisting it as you perform so, to cost-free the algae from the rock. If removing the algae, be really careful that you don’t popular music the bubbles. The balloon contain spores that will flourish into more algae if lock are permitted to escape into the saltwater. The best means to prevent that from happening is to usage a siphon to suck increase the algae during the hands-on removal process.

You should remove the bubbles before they are enabled to thrive too big. Otherwise, the algae might rupture, releasing its cargo the spores into the water before you have a chance to remove them.

Any rocks that are heavily coated through bubble algae must be removed from the tank and also cleaned an ext aggressively in a separate bucket filled v saltwater. Bubble algae can thrive in how amazing shady conditions, therefore remember to examine underneath rocks and also feel behind stacks that rocks to make certain that there are no algae farming out that sight.

Denial the nutrients

It’s also possible to regulate bubble algae by denying them the nutrient that they must grow and also thrive.

Forms of desirable macroalgae need the very same nutrients as difficulty bubble birds to acquire footholds ~ above rocks, sumps, and also other surfaces in ~ the aquarium environment. So, introducing ornamental birds to your reef tanks, such together Caulerpa or Chaetomorpha, deserve to work fine in controlling break out of balloon algae. Coralline algae form a crust over surfaces in ~ the aquarium, staying clear of bubble birds from colonizing the area.


There are many marine invertebrates the would help to control bubble birds in the aquarium.

Marine nails, such as turbo snails, may be beneficial for staying clear of bubble birds from creating footholds, yet they won’t help much through an currently infestation.

Emerald crabs, Mithrax sculptus, and also some types of sea urchins will certainly gobble up bubble algae. However, this creatures would many likely also eat costly invertebrates, such as coral. Emerald crabs space not exclusively herbivorous, and you may uncover that they will certainly make a meal the end of invertebrates and even tiny fish.

Sea hares room voracious, exclusive consumers of bubble algae. But, unfortunately, when the sea hares have actually reproduced sufficient to eat every the bubble birds in your tank, they will probably starve and also die off, fouling the water.

With every these bubble birds eaters, there’s the hazard that they may tear the vesicles, releasing much more spores into the tank and including to the difficulty that you currently have.

The bottom line below is that grazing herbivores might be extremely efficient in regulating a new outbreak of bubble algae as soon as you’ve removed most of the plants. However, if her tank is currently heavily infested, the most effective an approach of removed is by hand.


Some marine fish will eat balloon algae.

Many kinds of blennies will spend numerous hours each day picking far at the rock, vacuuming up any algae they deserve to find. Tangs, angelfish, and surgeonfish all favor to eat balloon algae, and also they can be really effective in ~ keeping regulate of the nuisance expansion in her tank.

Unfortunately, many of those fish require lots of room and have the right to get really aggressive toward various other tank residents. Also, all fish the eat birds will almost certainly need much more in their diet than just that come survive, as they will eat many of the bubble birds in your aquarium pretty quickly.

Aquarium water conditions

It is thought likely that bubble algae, like most other rock birds types, need nitrates to grow. Also, algae-like phosphates because that growth. So, if you save levels the those chemistry in the water together low together possible, bubble birds should find it complicated to thrive in your aquarium.

Try to save your water v zero percent nitrates and also an undetectable level of phosphates by utilizing a phosban reactor. You’ll likewise want to bring out weekly partial water changes, utilizing reverse osmosis water, or run a protein skimmer together well. Friend will likewise want to think about running an enclosed refugium the the macroalgae Chaetomorpha will have to grow.


In this part of our guide, we answer some of the inquiries that room most commonly asked about bubble algae and how to eliminate it.

Q:What eats bubble algae?

A:There are certain fish varieties that eat bubble algae, including blennies, tangs, angelfish, and also surgeonfish. Also, part invertebrates, such together emerald crabs, sea urchins, and turbo snails, will graze on balloon algae.

Q:Will bubble birds go away?

A:No. Unfortunately, bubble birds won’t simply disappear top top its own. Girlfriend will should remove the by one of the various methods defined earlier in this guide.

Q:How carry out you kill bubble algae?

A:You can eliminate bubble birds by hand-operated removal. Also, details invertebrates and also fish eat the algae and also can help to avoid fresh outbreaks. Depriving the birds of the miscellaneous nutrients, it needs by controlling the water parameters in her tank can likewise be effective. Details other species of algae contend with bubble algae for nutrients, and also introducing this can assist to crowd-out the undesirable species.

Q:How does bubble algae spread?

A:Bubble algae spreads via spores consisted of in the bubbles. When the bubbles rupture, the spores float freely throughout the aquarium, attaching to the rocks and rapidly forming new colonies.

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In summary

Bubble birds in assorted forms prosper in saltwater, swiftly spreading throughout her tank and also attaching chin to hard surfaces choose rocks and also decorations. In ~ first, the birds looks quite attractive, but due come its habit of putting out spores and spreading, many hobbyists discover the birds too much to keep and want to get rid of it.

There space some saltwater types of invertebrates and fish that eat bubble algae, and other kinds of birds that complete for the very same nutrients and also may help to store it under control.

Always quarantine any new living rocks before including them to her existing setup, in case spores are present, even if you can’t see any kind of with the naked eye. Remove by hand any kind of obvious birds that may be cultivation on rocks currently in your tank.