Reef Central Online Community

Home Forum Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences View New Posts View Today's Posts

Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Search Reefkeeping ...an online magazine for marine aquarists Support our sponsors and mention Reef Central

Go Back   Reef Central Online Community Archives > Special Interest Group (SIG) Forums > Nano Reefs

 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12/21/2007, 03:01 PM
razingkane razingkane is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Colorado Springs, Co
Posts: 8
Green hairy algea for 3 months now

I've got a 30 gallon reef tank that's been going for 3 years now. I've never had any problems with the tank up until about 3 months ago. Now I'm drowning in green hairy algae.

Temp is fine and I've cut the lights down to 8 hours. I'm doing 10% water changes with RO/DI water every week with water I've been buying from the same store for 3 years.

PH 8.2
Amonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0
Salinity 1.022
I've been using phosgaurd.

I've got 3 fish. At last count the cleaning crew is around 8 hermit crabs, 2 pep shrimp, and snails. It's mostly a soft coral, and leathers tank.

I try and suck out as much algae as possible when changing the water. I've been taking the rocks out and gently brushing the green algae off with a extra soft tooth brush. Some of my rocks are covered with so much green algae that I've had to resort to tossing them out.

It's getting to the point were I'm getting sick of the tank. What am I missing here?
  #2  
Old 12/21/2007, 03:19 PM
okkiedokki okkiedokki is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lewis Center, OH
Posts: 293
Send a message via Yahoo to okkiedokki
I am by far not an expert but I've been having similar issues. Have you tested the water you've been buying? I had an issue with a LFS here where I was skeptic of the RODI water I was buying from them and tested each batch I bought from them over the course of a month and the tds tested 245 on average. After I started using walmart's brand of water my algae problems in my 24g nano cube went away.

Also, how old are your lights? Just a thought...
__________________
Bryan
  #3  
Old 12/21/2007, 03:37 PM
razingkane razingkane is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Colorado Springs, Co
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally posted by okkiedokki
I am by far not an expert but I've been having similar issues. Have you tested the water you've been buying? I had an issue with a LFS here where I was skeptic of the RODI water I was buying from them and tested each batch I bought from them over the course of a month and the tds tested 245 on average. After I started using walmart's brand of water my algae problems in my 24g nano cube went away.

Also, how old are your lights? Just a thought...
I've not tested the LFS water, I guess I could. I've talked to others from the LFS and they've not had any problems. The lights were replaced late October.
  #4  
Old 12/21/2007, 04:55 PM
Daniel62 Daniel62 is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Golden Valley AZ
Posts: 195
Do you have a DSB, maybe its full and putting stuff back into your tank now.
Just a thought
__________________
Mind over matter, if you don't mind it doesn't matter
  #5  
Old 12/21/2007, 07:33 PM
razingkane razingkane is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Colorado Springs, Co
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally posted by Daniel62
Do you have a DSB, maybe its full and putting stuff back into your tank now.
Just a thought
Are you suggesting that maybe my live sand bed isn't so alive anymore? How does one check for that? I almost afraid to ask how to fix this? I'm guessing I've got to replace all the sand, or could I toss new sand on top of the old DSB.
  #6  
Old 12/21/2007, 07:43 PM
zma21 zma21 is offline
Zoa Fanatic
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 1,064
Send a message via AIM to zma21
I'm also worried about your sand bed.

Not that it's 'full' persay, but that it's leeching things back into your tank.
  #7  
Old 12/21/2007, 09:44 PM
okkiedokki okkiedokki is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lewis Center, OH
Posts: 293
Send a message via Yahoo to okkiedokki
I don't have a deep sand bed but I've read where people have partially removed their deep sand bed and waited a bit to change the rest out. But I'd like to see what someone else says on how to remove it.
__________________
Bryan
  #8  
Old 12/22/2007, 05:07 AM
razingkane razingkane is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Colorado Springs, Co
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally posted by okkiedokki
I don't have a deep sand bed but I've read where people have partially removed their deep sand bed and waited a bit to change the rest out. But I'd like to see what someone else says on how to remove it.
I'm gonna be out of town for the next week or so. When I get back I'll see what the tank looks like and I'll talk to my LFS about replacing some or all of my DSB.
  #9  
Old 12/22/2007, 11:36 AM
zma21 zma21 is offline
Zoa Fanatic
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 1,064
Send a message via AIM to zma21
You're probably going to have to move all of your stock out of your tank to do a sand swap.

It's times like this I wish more people did bare bottom.
  #10  
Old 12/22/2007, 12:15 PM
eric65 eric65 is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 34
How old are the lights?
  #11  
Old 12/22/2007, 12:57 PM
zma21 zma21 is offline
Zoa Fanatic
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 1,064
Send a message via AIM to zma21
Oooooooh good question eric.

When bulbs get old, they sometimes fall into a different spectrum that promotes algea growth.
  #12  
Old 12/22/2007, 04:17 PM
okkiedokki okkiedokki is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lewis Center, OH
Posts: 293
Send a message via Yahoo to okkiedokki
Quote:
Originally posted by eric65
How old are the lights?
He said earlier that the lights were replaced late october.
__________________
Bryan
  #13  
Old 12/22/2007, 10:43 PM
joesmoe517 joesmoe517 is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Gainesville
Posts: 44
Send a message via AIM to joesmoe517
you dont have to replace your sand, how about you start doing a gravel vac with your water changes to get the junk out instead? I do this about once every 4 water changes as a preventative. Some people think disturbing the anoxic area at the bottom of the sandbed is bad but i feel like having clean sand is key to keeping nitrates and phosphates from building up.
I would def check the water source with a tds meter and continue the frequent water changes until the problem is better.
  #14  
Old 01/03/2008, 09:52 AM
razingkane razingkane is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Colorado Springs, Co
Posts: 8
Back from my vacation and my green algae is back as well. It's not quite as bad as it usually is. I'm off to the LFS to see what they have to say about replacing the live sand.
  #15  
Old 01/03/2008, 12:23 PM
thrillreefer thrillreefer is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boston
Posts: 282
A couple of generic suggestions. With any sandbed, it is important to keep it from getting compacted, but the best method is also the easiest: sand sifters. Adding some live sand periodically will help to replenish and diversify the small macroscopic sifters, like bristle worms and small brittle stars, etc. Sand sifting fish such as engineer gobies, watchmen and others can move a lot of sand, but with a DSB they may disturb anaerobic bottom layers more than is beneficial. There are plenty of others out there as well: tiger tail cucumbers, sand sifting stars (though there is some controversy over these), nassarius snails, and more. Try adding some of these to keep the sandbed a bit more open and reduce pockets where detritus and nitrates can build up.

The second suggestion is to make sure you don't have excess phosphate. Testing your tank can help, but often the phosphate is utilized by algae as soon as it becomes available, so the test will likely not reflect the amount of phosphate actually cycling in the tank. TEst the water you are getting from the store for phosphates (and silicates, if possible). They may even test it for you at the shop when you pick it up. Or you could get yourself an RODI unit. There are good ones for under $200. (I got mine at airwaterice.com) Then you can be sure that the filters are in good condition and be confident about make up water quality. The last thing to do is consider adding protein skimmer. In the Reef Aquarium Vol. 3 (Delbeek and Sprung), they cite a spectrographic test that shows that skimmate contains a sizeable proportion of phosphate. This is possibly because many lipids contain one or more phosphate groups at one end. Since the lipid is nonpolar and the phosphate group is polar/charged, these compounds are quite stable at the air/water interface on the surface of a bubble.

AS a last note, I've found that taking out afflicted rocks and scrubbing them clean with a stainless steel wire brush (rinse in a bucket of saltwater before returning to the tank) can really help to get algae under control. Sometimes you are doing everything to limit it's growth but it takes a round or two of physical removal to get it to the point where scavengers can keep it in check.

Also, though I've never tried it, some people report success with turning off the tank lights for 2-3 days to weaken or kill the algae. You could try searching for that method if you get desperate.
__________________
click the house for my tank thread!
  #16  
Old 01/03/2008, 12:28 PM
gregrocks79 gregrocks79 is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Woodland Hills, CA
Posts: 122
my blue tuxedo urchin took care of my hairy algea problem, and quite fast too!
__________________
Whatever comes our way, whatever battle we have raging inside us, we always have a choice.
  #17  
Old 01/03/2008, 04:02 PM
tcilmo tcilmo is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 56
My recomendation to help with the hairy stuff is a Sailfin/Algae Blenny. I had one and it took care of all that I had in my tank. More info :

The Sailfin/Algae Blenny is also referred to as Jewelled Rockskipper or the Lawnmower, Jeweled Blenny, or Rock Blenny. Its body is a mottled tan with blue dots and it shows tons of personality.
A well-established 30 gallon or larger aquarium with multiple swimming levels and plenty of rock is a suitable environment. It is not usually aggressive unless the tank mates appear to have a similar shape as it does. It is best to house singly unless kept in a larger tank and the two are a mated pair. It tends to perch and hop from rock to rock looking for microalgae to graze on. It is known to nip at small-polyped stony coral and clam mantles.

The Sailfin/Algae Blenny does best in well-established aquariums with large amounts of natural algae to feed on. The diet can be supplemented with vegetable matter, Spirulina, and herbivore preparations.

Approximate Purchase Size: Small: 1" to 2"; Medium: 2-1/2" to 3"; Large: 3" to 5"
  #18  
Old 01/03/2008, 05:14 PM
razingkane razingkane is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Colorado Springs, Co
Posts: 8
Thanks for all the replies. My LFS was more than happy to test the water while I was there. It's all good. They asked me to bring in some of the algea so they can look it up. The LFS mentioned some type of green algea that the cleaning crew does not like so I'll take them a sample of the algea I have tomorrow. They said I should hold off on replacing the DSB for now. I'll keep vacuuming the sand. I have 2 nassarius snails stirring things up. My blue tuxedo urchin been working overtime on the algea. He's got a long strand of green algea attached to him.
  #19  
Old 01/03/2008, 05:32 PM
tigereye37 tigereye37 is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: warwick
Posts: 61
I think your CUC is a little undersized.....
  #20  
Old 01/04/2008, 03:19 PM
razingkane razingkane is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Colorado Springs, Co
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally posted by tigereye37
I think your CUC is a little undersized.....
That was not a complete list of my CUC. I have 6 snails, 6 hermit crabs, and 2 pep shrimp. Adding to my CUC today are 3 turbo snails, 2 emerald crabs, and a handful of hermit crabs/snails.

I took a sample of the green algae to my LFS and they confirmed it's a run of the mill green hairy algae.

They also mentioned they have SAP (?) on order. It sounded like it's some sort of bacteria that I add to the water that will make the green algae come off the rocks easier......
  #21  
Old 01/04/2008, 10:01 PM
tabman2 tabman2 is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Edmonton, AB
Posts: 11
I've just had the same problem with my 29gal.

Changes I made--

1. Got myself an algea blenny.
2. Replaced the lights in my powercompact hood.
3. Water changes which included BUYING NEW SALT MIX. lol.
4. Added 10 hermit crabs, I don't use snails I'm sick of flipping them over.
5. Got a Peppermint shrimp.
6. Rearranged powerheads for what seems to be the best flow.
7. Changed my filters every 2 weeks for 2 months.
I use a Marineland 350b on my 29gal and the filter is rated for a 75gal. So thats alot of extra water movement.

Now everytime I was doing a water change I tryed to haul out as much of the algea I could. It's seriously at 1/4 of the level it was in my tank now and seems to be on the run. Anything that is left is slowly dying off. It's actually great to see some of my live rock in areas again. I consider myself winning the battle now. There's less and less everyday.
  #22  
Old 01/05/2008, 08:13 PM
Pike614 Pike614 is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 461
The short and simple solution is get something to eat the algae...I would recommend a few Jumbo Turbo Snails, and llike the other posts...a lawnmower blenny. It got its name for a reason...and they're fun to watch!
  #23  
Old 01/05/2008, 08:29 PM
kc9dre kc9dre is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Charlestown, IN
Posts: 63
Send a message via Yahoo to kc9dre
I am just getting mine under control too. It's been a few days and only thing I am getting is a buildup of some brown on the glass in the back. I am going to get a coouple more power heads to get the flow going better. So that should help. Next step I am going to take is settin up a fuge....
__________________
If all else fails read the instructions, if that dosen't work get a bigger hammer
  #24  
Old 01/06/2008, 03:00 AM
Reefmack Reefmack is offline
Genuine reef addict
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA
Posts: 2,265
Is it hair algae or Bryopsis? My lawnmower blenny never eats either. I had a sea hare once that seemed to eat every algae and even cyano, but they don't live long. After 8 months with no algae problems I started getting Bryopsis growth and it was starting to overgrow some of my corals. There's a thread in here on using elevated magnesium to kill Bryopsis. I tried it and it helped, but the biggest cure was getting a Foxface - no more Bryopsis. See if it's hair algae or Bryopsis that you have - I doubt most lfs know the difference. Bryopsis looks similar but they're not identical, and what may take care of or eat hair algae may not eat Bryopsis. A foxface is one of a few fish that'll eat the stuff. My snails wouldn't do anything, and the crabs only picked at it.
__________________
Excellence in reefkeeping is achieved by mastering the fundamentals, and learning from mistakes.
  #25  
Old 01/06/2008, 09:24 AM
conorwynne conorwynne is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 178
Hiya,

I tried a lawnmower blenny, and he never touched the HA or bryopsis -- I had both. The sea hare gobbled it all up though, along with the mag thread.
Think I had about 10 different algaes at one stage.

Here are two algae pics a week apart, only diff was the extra 10 snails. Please note that I have not scraped any algae whatsoever off the glass. It is purely down to the extra snails (added dec 30 2007)
The HA was eaten exclusively by the sea hare. Almost gone. More snails asap.



This is 6 days later -- I still need more snails as you can see. A WC would also be good, its been a while...



Q: What are your mag levels at? What about phosphate and nitrate? These influence algal growth, mag for bryposis, see that thread.

My camera doesn't take good pics, sorry lads. Better in actinic lighting. Plus I am not re-arranging my rockwork or adding much need corals until I am on top of the algae. Tank is still too new. Only 4 months old now. That's why its crap :-(

Feel free to criticise it.

regards
Conor.
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:27 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Use of this web site is subject to the terms and conditions described in the user agreement.
Reef Central Reef Central, LLC. Copyright 1999-2009