Coralline Algae in a Bottle, Purple Helix ®
This is our original time-tested product with a proven track record and amazing results. Why wait 6 months to a year for coralline to show up when you can seed your tank now with multiple hardy and colorful strains of Coralline Algae.
Coralline Algae in a Bottle is the ONLY product developed in a laboratory that contains actual live algae spores. Other similar products are simply a mixture of calcium and magnesium, both of which are already contained in all salt mixes, and are rarely ever lacking in a newly setup aquarium. If your levels are not low then using these “purple algae accelerators” provides absolutely nothing and we don’t want you to fall for the marketing hype.
Coralline Algae & Nitrifying Bacteria:
- Unique 2 in 1 formula contains both live coralline algae spores and active nitrifying bacteria.
- Every bottle includes 7 separate species of coralline, this maximizes the color variations and varieties that will populate throughout your tank.
- Purple Helix blend algae strains are highly epiphytic stains that will help to outcompete other nuisance algae and diatoms.
- Effective in improving water quality by controlling ammonia and nitrite levels.
- Aids in rapidly establishing your tank’s biological filtration using fresh multi-strain bacteria bottled on the day that it is shipped.
- 100% all-natural formula. No sulfur, copper, or phosphates.
- Highest concentration of beneficial nitrifying bacteria which remove harmful nitrogenous waste.
- Establishes a natural organic balance in your aquarium.
- Helps cycle new fish tanks and eliminate new tank syndrome.
- Safe for use in all reef tanks and with all species of fish and coral.
Learn more about our coralline algae for sale here: Coralline Algae – The Ultimate Guide
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this safe for all fish and reef tanks?
Coralline Algae in a bottle is 100% safe to use in all reef tanks and marine aquariums. It is safe for use with corals, fish, and inverts. Contents of bottle are seawater and coralline algae spores, this is not a calcium and magneseium mixture, it is a live product containing tetraspores of differnt species of Coralline. If you have an urchin, please be aware that urchines do eat coralline, the product will take longer to seed your aquarium if you have an urchin.
How many bottles do I need?
1 bottle is needed for every 50 gallons of water volume (including sump). You cannot overdose with this product as our product contains only live algae spores and beneficial bacteria. We do not add calcium or magnesium so no water parameters are affected by use. If your tank is 9 gallons or less please use 1/2 to 3/4 of a bottle. If your tank is 10-50 gallons use one full bottle and 1 additional bottle for every 50 additional gallons.
If a tank is underdosed it will still seed coralline spores but it will take a significantly longer timeframe to achieve the desired results.
Can I mix both Purple Helix and Pink Fusion together?
Yes, the best results come from adding in as many different species as possible. Combining both bottles in your tank will add a total of 15 separate species. Each species has a different affinity for lighting, temperature, and water parameters. By adding them all together in 1 tank it will guarantee that the conditions of your tank will be just right for at least several species and will result in greater biodiversity.
Is this best for new tanks or mature reef tanks?
Coralline Algae in a Bottle is beneficial to use in new tanks as well as mature tanks. Our species of coralline are all carefully chosen for their hardiness, vibrant coloring, and their ability to defend against nuisance algae and diatoms. Not all species of coralline are epiphytic. We only use highly epiphytic species so once these species of coralline propagate throughout your tank, no nuisance algae can ever grow on or attach to glass and rockwork with these coralline species on them, they all utilize a chemical defense that will inhibit nuisance algae to attach, keeping your tank beautiful, health, and maintenance free.
When will my Coralline Algae product ship?
Due to the live nature of this product we only ship orders on Mondays, Wednesdays, and to select areas on Thursdays. Every order is harvested and filled on the day that it ships and we guarantee that it will arrive alive and as fresh as possible.
How Long Does it Take to See Results?
While many people report seeing results in 2-4 weeks, the average time for coralline spots to show up is in 8 weeks for tanks that run at a temperature of 78-81 degrees. If you are running your tank at a lower temperature than 78 or higher than 81 the spots can take a few additional weeks to show up. We recommend a PH between 8.1 and 8.4. If your PH is at 7.8 it can also take longer for the spots to show up. In order to achieve the desired PH range, we recommend using BRS 2 part mixture with Soda Ash. Kalkwasser or a calcium reactor also work but are not suitable for beginners. Using 2 part will also be required if you choose to grow corals. Having a stable tank is important in successfully growing coralline.
Coralline is one fickle beast! It is one of the least studied algae due to its tendencies to grow when and how it wants to. We state that it takes 8 weeks for the spots to show up. In our extensive testing, 84% of our beta testers were successful during this period of time. Some testers had growth in 2 weeks and others in 4 months. We state 8 weeks because this is the average time that our spores need to settle and then uptake the minerals needed for growth. Coralline spores use a similar mechanism as mushrooms in a forest, they are from the same evolutionary tree. They pop up all at once, overnight when environmental conditions are just right. All our tests were conducted in isolated tanks where nothing else was introduced, and still, nearly 98.4% of tanks had growth after the 4-month mark. If there were swings in parameters of alkalinity, PH, Ammonia, or Salinity, this would retard the growth of coralline cells from splitting, and large swings lead to the death of the spores. Light intensity also plays a role. Medium intensity has the fastest results, low-intensity lighting the next, and high-intensity lighting had the slowest results and the least species that thrive in those areas of the tank. Other things definitely affect the results also, adequate flow to ensure the spores can pull enough calcium and magnesium from the water column, the flow of water should hit the top of the water column, breaking the surface tension to ensure proper off-gassing.
Salt mixes also played a role, certain salt mixes have higher PHs than others so we recommend never changing more than 20% at any one time until your coralline takes hold. We also recommend that you test your water at least 1x weekly. In 95% of cases when coralline doesn’t grow the water chemistry was off and the tank owner was under the assumption that their water parameters were all perfect.
Filling your tank with RODI water or premade water from your local Fish Store will help to prevent nuisance algae and diatom blooms, both of which can slow coralline algae growth. Tap water contains higher levels of silicates which diatoms use in order to grow.
Lastly, phosphate levels also have a direct correlation to the speed of growth as well. We recommend using GFO, Phosban, Phosgaurd, or Rowaphos. They can be used in a media bag for canister filters but we recommend using a separate media reactor such as Bulk Reef’s Deluxe Media Reactor and using a mixture of 1/2 High Capacity GFO and 1/2 ROX 0.8 Carbon. Mixing the 2 helps to prevent the GFO from clumping over time. Regardless of what the directions state, we always recommend replacing the GFO once a month when doing your monthly tank maintenance.
What's the difference between this and coralline algae accelorators?
Coralline algae in a bottle is an all new and innovative product that uses live coralline algae spores in order to introduce the right species of coralline to your tank. Coralline will not grow on it’s own or simple show up, it must be introduced into a tank. All other products are called coralline algae accelerators. These products are simply mixtures of calcium and magnesium. We do recommend dosing calcium, magnesium, and alkalinity by purchasing these mixes separately. Bulk Reef Supply carries these supplements and offer excellent dosing guidelines that are safer and much more controlled then using an all in one product. Algae accelerators will NOT grow coralline on their own and their use can even inhibit coralline growth if those products are used without testing your water parameters.
Jason B. Aaron –
Worked exactly as expected. Had coralline algae growing in my tank in a couple of weeks instead of a few months. Very impressed, will definitely recommend.
Becky Stateman –
Fan-Tas-Tic!! Being looking for something like this for a long time, results were more than I even expected.
David Levy –
6 Months of reporting and I have to say it worked really great. Was part of a beta testing group that received the product for free when I purchased dry rocks from them 6 months ago. I had to report once a week on growth and of coralline algae in my tank and I was only allowed to add fish, no other rock or inverts. I’m super happy with the colors on my once dry rock. It doesn’t happen overnight but their product really works amazing. Great company too and we had quite a few laughs with my reports. Thanks again and glad I could be of help, I hope my experiences and feedback with your product has helped shape it into what it is now.
Jose Corria –
Worked well for me. Searched everywhere for coralline algae for sale, is good stuff
WOW is all I can say! It’s been several years since I set up a saltwater tank. I knew that it was important to start a tank with a good base of bacteria in order to accelerate the cycling of the tank. Rather than just sitting back and waiting for the process to slowly complete, I did a little research and stumbled upon this product… and I am SOOOOO GLAD that I did! The nitrifying bacteria helped accelerate the cycling process in a big way. I expected to wait a month before the tank would cycle but it completed within just a couple of weeks. Not only that, but there is CORALLINE ALGAE already growing on my rocks! Light pink, dark pink/red, bright green… I’m really impressed with how well my tank is thriving so early on. I visited a friend yesterday whose tank has been running for over a year with Kessell lights and an impressive sump/refugium. My tank is much simpler and is showing more coralline growth than theirs is! From prior experience with salt tanks, I KNOW this is not just a coincidence. I will definitely use ARC Reef’s Coralline Algae in a bottle for all future tank setups. Can’t wait to see what other products they produce, I’m a fan for life!
This stuff is the real deal! In the past I have used Purple up to help push along the coralline on new tanks. It works, but not very well. This product is a totally new approach and it really, really works. My tank has been up and running for about 2 months. I added this stuff and now I have an explosion of purple and pink coralline throughout the tank. I was skeptical at first but I have purchased live rock from ARC in the past and was very pleased with its quality so I decided to give this a try. I am so happy with the results that I purchased 2 more bottles today that I will be seeding to a 50 gallon reef I just setup. If you want coralline on your rock quickly. Use this product.
Eric Smith –
We had ordered the algae in a bottle during the month of January and the bottle we had recieved did not work. Tom in customer service was able to address my issue and said it may have frozen during shipment. He took care of me promptly and sent me 2 replacement bottles packed up as to not freeze again! Because of their excellent service I will use these guys again for all of my reef needs!
John Ellis (verified owner) –
I’ll be honest, I thought it was going to be snake oil. I probably even did it wrong BUT:
I set up my 150g Fish only with dead rock (Marcos) which was as white as the driven snow, No fish. Right off I put in 3 bottles of this stuff and followed the instructions, turned only the blue LEDs on continuously for 2 weeks. Then I did a fishless cycle with Dr Tims One and Only which took about 3 weeks. Still nothing purple anywhere. I just knew I probably killed whatever spores were there by not cycling first. Over the next couple of weeks I added a couple of fish and I looked down from above during a feeding And saw a bunch of dark purplish spots starting to form on parts of the rock. I thought oh crap here comes the cyano. But it wouldnt rub off, so I knew I was onto something. Every day now the spots are more prevalent and getting bigger, some now the size of half a dime. The only thing living that I added were the fish, no live rock, nothing that had been in water in the last several hundred years. At the current growth rate it will be substantially covered in a couple of months. So unless Dr Tims one and only has coralline spores (Im sure this isnt the case) then there is only one source, the Coralline in a Bottle. I would never have believed it, But IT WORKS!! I have two Current USA 96W LED fixtures, used perfect RO water, skimmer, UV sterilizer and filter socks. Water tests at 0 nitrates and 0 phosphates about 6-7 weeks after the first fill. I highly recommend this to anyone.
James Wallace (verified owner) –
Snake oil. I purchased a bottle of purple helix nearly 2 months ago and I have zero coralline growing in my 175 gal reefer. Tank parameters are perfect, including calcium alk nitrate and phosphate. Wrote arcreef for any suggestions they may have and no response whatsoever. You’d be better off going to your LFS and asking them to scrape some live rock from a (safe) DT tank so you can introduce it to yours.
We are sorry to hear that you did not achieve the intended results in your particular setup, please be advised that you do need 1 bottle per 50 gallons of tank volume (including sump). You would need an additional 3 bottles for your 175 gallon tank. Our product will still work if under-dosed but it will require a considerable amount more time in your very large tank to achieve the same results. The time frame given on the bottle is stated based on dosing 1 bottle per 50 gallons. We do value all feedback and we assure you that we are working daily on adding additional species of coralline algae that have faster growth rates. We thank you for your feedback and are willing to bet that in the very near future will see your coralline spots show up. Each bottle contains 6 separate strains so you will see different colors also. Good luck and Happy Reefing!
Karen Gifford –
Wow!!! They say the results won’t happen overnight, but for me they did! Less than 24 hours after adding to my tank I saw purple pox forming! My guess is that my tank was well cycled and stable (up and running for 3 months), and I just needed to introduce the spores to seed the tank. It has been 48 hours now… eagerly watching the transformation.
Brent (verified owner) –
All I can say is that this stuff is incredible. I saw the purple spots less than 24 hours after adding it to my tank. About a month later, I am getting incredibly fast growth on my dry rock. Most of the tops of the rocks are covered in a nice purple carpet already, with the sides and bottoms of the rock also seeing some growth. I recommend this product to everyone I talk to about my tank, and will continue to do so forever. Keep on making an amazing product, ARC!
Frank (verified owner) –
This isn’t a magic potion that instantly turns your tank purple. Like anything in this hobby good things happen to those that wait. I’m probably 5 months into 3 bottles in a 150 gallon and the colors of purple are awesome.
Will be ordering more in a few months
Tom (verified owner) –
…works great! I’d post a picture if i could. Put in a one month old tank 5 months ago…REALLY starting come alive with deep purple. As with ALL things in this hobby…takes a little time.
James Wallace (verified owner) –
This is to redact my previous review. I believe the first issue I had was with my RO/DI water. I couldn’t get any growth out of my corals and my invertebrates were struggling with the cheap unit I bought. So I decided to purchase a 7 stage RO/DI from BRS and everything started growing in my tank very quickly, including coralline algae! ARC Reef was very helpful with my second order and I will be purchasing more soon for another system I’m setting up. Don’t make my mistake, order enough for the size of tank (1 bottle per 50 gal) and take every step necessary to assure that your water conditions (specifically your source water) are adequate to get it to grow.
Elijah Estep (verified owner) –
I was very skeptical it wouldn’t work but it’s only been 4 weeks and I have small patches of purple growing on my rocks in a few places also have pink patches as well! Very exciting to see so quickly!
Sam Corallo (verified owner) –
I bought a bottle of the purple and the pink for my aquarium and turned everything but the lights and pumps off for three days. This is a new tank 125 gallon, and I used dry reef rock. It has now been a week and small tan spots showing up on the rock and on the resin bubble unit in the tank. The spots started showing up 2 days ago and have gotten bigger each day. My tank is going through the cycling process. It has no fish. Today I added 3 pieces of live rock to help the other rock seed. There were a few hitch hikers on the three pieces of rock..2 bumblebee snails, 2 coral polyps, and a brittle starfish that was inside a cave in one of the rocks. All are doing well so far. Based upon what I have read, the coralline spots will continue to multiply and the purple/pink colors will begin to show up. The product is great. I look forward to seeing the growth continue!
Carl Price –
Received my bottle of Pink coralline algae today. The “bottled on” date is 02/07/2019, but the ship date was 02/06/2019. Can’t help but wonder how long the product sat on the shelf before being shipped.
Hi Carl, thank you for reaching out to us. We pre-print out a certain amount of labels for our bottles each week for each of our shipping days. We must’ve ran out of bottles for on the 6th and reached into the bottles for the next day in order to ship out your product as fast as possible. Be assured that every single order is filled only on the day that it ships. We usually ship out from 3pm to 6pm so your order without a doubt was filled fresh between those hours on the day that it shipped. No bottle is ever left on any shelf they are filled seconds before placing it in shipping envelope. Thank you for contacting us and happy reefing.
Joe Coppola –
It is a working product. I under fed my 180 gallon tank 2 bottles about 4 months ago and played the waiting game. I made the rock myself so it was pure white, Most, if not all of the rocks and now covered with purple, pinks and even bright green, I really can not believe the results from this product….with I could post a pic of the rock so you could all see the proof!!!
Chad Paolucci (verified owner) –
Had my reef tank up.and running for about 6 months with some coraline already in tank from live rocks and such. I wanted some more especially on the base rock and on rock with not so much. Within 4 weeks i started seeing results of this product working after 8 weeks i had visibly new algae growth on glass filters powerheads rocks even on a section of sand .amazing product definitely recomend the use of this for new or established tanks whom want more coraline
Bryan DeGregoria (verified owner) –
Unfortunately, the product does not seem to work. I’ve seeded tanks with rocks with coralline but wanted to try this on a brand new 75 gallon tank. The tank was set up with all dry rock and no sources of coralline to give it a real test. Tank is about 79 degrees with appropriate calcium/alkalinity levels along with other parameters. I followed the instructions to the letter but it has now been about 14 weeks and not a sign of coralline at all. There were no rocks in the bottles, just looked like water. Shook the bottles and filled multiple times per instructions as well.
I reached out to the company via email and instagram but it took 2 weeks to get a response. I finally got a response on Instagram acknowledging that they had a new source tank and now include rock pieces and a brush with each bottle. I was informed mine must have been bottled before the change but they apologized saying they would send me new bottles with the new formula and packaging. I was very happy with the response and was told the would get it done by the next few days. That was on June 24th. It is now August 2nd with no response at all. I’ve sent numerous emails and private messages on Instagram as well but nothing. Unfortunately, the product didn’t work or maybe the new bottling might. I’ll never know because there is no response at all from the company. The customer support has been non existent.
Shawn Gomes (verified owner) –
This product absolutely works. One thing to remember is your tank’s conditions must be correct before adding this product.
I started with dry rock and dry sand and no other sources of coralline. Within a month or so of adding the product, I have tiny 1/16″ to 1/8″ size spots of coralline all over the dry rock! I’m very happy with the results.
Marian Clemons –
Added pink & purple to my 47 gallon & 10 gallon tanks almost a month ago . My 47 gallon every sail shell is covered also every nook & cranny in the rocks are tinted pink & purple. 10 gal still none may be the lighting on quarantine tank inadequate for proper growth.
David Bomia –
5 stars all day long…….. I ordered 45lbs. of rock and got a bottle of purple helix for a new tank set up. Everything arrived as promissed and packaged nicely. By the 8th week little red raspberry spores all over all the rocks. Just followed the directions given. Kept blue light on through the night and used limited white light during day. Very happy with results and would highly recommend when setting up new tank.
Paul Taft (verified owner) –
works great gave me all sorts of beautiful algae red and purples If this didn’t work for you something is wrong maybe bottle exposed to long to elements or check your parameters
Weston Prince (verified owner) –
Brand new to reef keeping, watched every YouTube review and will probably do one as well to share my experience. 3 months into the hobby and focusing in on water parameters and figured if I could grow acros with 1 month of the tank running I should try for coralline. You’ll see old timers refer to this stuff as “snake oil” or some fake magic potion. Dropped this stuff in the tank on the month 2 mark and now 1 month after seeding, I now have the “chicken pox” and couldn’t be happier! Growth has started everywhere and am super stoked!
How cold can this get without killing
Chris (verified owner) –
After a break from reef keeping, I decided to relaunch my hobby. For the first time, I used dry rock instead of live. I decided to try purple helix with the idea in mind that if it didn’t work, I would only be out $20. The instructions indicate that it could take like two months before coraline algae appears. In my case it was two and a half weeks before I started to see beautiful spots of purple. I’m beyond impressed. Purple Helix will now be a go-to when I start a new tank. I may even buy the pink version to boost species diversity. Though I was very skeptical about using Purple Helix before trying it in myself, I have to admit, this stuff works. Home run product. Adding this is a no brainer. Go for it.
ncromancer (verified owner) –
After adding this to my 55G reef tank, I will say that it’s been spot-on awesome! I’m hitting up ARC for another go-round for my new 75G….the instructions are straight-forward and will not steer you wrong. This is great stuff….my dry rock is looking amazing! can’t wait to see it do the same for my new 75G reef setup. Thanks ARC!