I have a ten gallon reef with one yellow fin damsel in it and all mushrooms and one new awsome yuma. I have a problem with bubble algae and every time i try to remove them they pop and make more algae.
emerald crabs are hit and missed on bubble aglae.
The best thing you can do are remove the rock then remove the bubble aglae outside of the tank then wash the rock to wash away any seed that are pop out of the bubble aglae.
You may have to remove the rock from tank a few time to do this, but it will be gone in time
You will never get rid of it by brushing it or pulling it off unless it just started growing. I control mine with Emerald Crabs plus other grazers that keep it out of plauge proportions. I don't really mind how it looks, I just don't want it everywhere...
Try the emerald crabs like everyone is saying. If you want to brush them off, it needs to be done outside of your tank so the spors don't have an oppurtunity to spread. You can place water in several buckets then use each bucket as a clean rinse before you place the rock back in your tank.
I did what Showtime said a few weeks ago. Took out each problem rock and pulled off the bubbles. Then rinsed / dipped it in another bucket of saltwater from my tank. Now it looks much better. I then took a piece of hose that I use to siphon out water for water changes and cut one end into a point. When I do water changes I use the pointed end to scrape off any bubbles that I see and if they pop the spores siphon out.
I had it in my tank, kind of like it to begin with but boy does it spread. Finally pulled the rock and pulled the bubbles, rinsed. That was about 4 months ago, no sign of it since then. The emeralds didn't work they just died.
Bubble algae is always bad news. You just can't depend on emerald crabs to eat it up cause not all emeralds will even eat it IME. I agree with Showtime, you gotta take the rocks out, "pop" off the bubbles, and then rinse off the rocks before replacing them back into the tank.