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Old 01/08/2008, 01:58 PM   #1
MikeP3
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Green Hair Algae

I have a continuing hair algae problem that I can't get rid of and am out of ideas. I have a 125 g tank (started up in Sept 07) with a fuge, skimmer, UV Sterilizer, just added a 2nd power head so now I have 2 power heads @1,200gph ea and my return pump is a 1200 gph but probably at 700gph at that head. PC lighting on the DT (actinics on about 10hrs/day and 10K on 7hrs/day, actinics come on first and last and 10K in the middle). T5 in the fuge that is on 24hrs/day. Don't have the hair algae in the fuge but it is all over my live rock and sand in the DT. I have about 105 lbs of live rock (only about 30lbs is really good rock from my old tank and the remaining 75 lbs is newer) and 60lbs of live sand. Currently I only have fish (juvi blue angel, 2 clowns, lawnmower blenny and fox face in QT soon to be in DT) but someday would like to have some corals. PH=8.5 Ammonia=0 Nitrites=0 Nitrates=0 and Phosphates=0. I mix my own water and was concernted about TDS so I bought a TDS meter from Air, water Ice and got it yesterday. The TDS of the water that I mix is at 1ppm. Now I am out of ideas and have done everything I can think of to get rid of the hair algae. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


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Old 01/08/2008, 02:09 PM   #2
stingythingy45
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Ditch the UV sterilizer for a phos-reactor.
You obviously have a lot of phosphate probably leaching from the new rock.You could check it but a lot of time the HA has already used up the available phos and it measures 0.
BTW,why are you running T5s over your fuge 24 hrs a day?
You should be running that on an opposite light cycle from the display.


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Old 01/08/2008, 02:17 PM   #3
Aquarist007
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Quote:
Originally posted by stingythingy45
Ditch the UV sterilizer for a phos-reactor.
You obviously have a lot of phosphate probably leaching from the new rock.You could check it but a lot of time the HA has already used up the available phos and it measures 0.
I agree--if you have hair algae then you have phosphates and nitrates. the hair algae is probably consuming them as fast as they are being produced so you don't see a measurement of them when you test

I ditched my uv sterilzer along time ago and replaced it with to phosban reactors-- one for running carbon and the other for phosban--they do a wonderful job

You need to find the source of the food for the hair algae:

feeding habits---feed less but more often
rinse all frozen food esp mysis cubes with r/o water before using--they can contain phosphates and nitrates from the tanks where they were raised.

make sure the flow rate is 20-40 times the tank volume within your tank. Make sure all areas of the tank are receiving some flow esp across the substrate---this gets dissolved substances back into the water column where they can be filtered off

make sure the flow rate through the sump matches the gph of your skimmer otherwise unskimmed water is being return to your tank---and usually to the lower areas of the water where it has to rise all over again to the overflow.

Just remember moss don't grow on a rolling stone--the flow rate in the tank is the key


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Old 01/08/2008, 02:24 PM   #4
marinoob
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i have same problem hopefully the phosban reactor fixes it


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Old 01/08/2008, 02:26 PM   #5
MikeP3
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Yes, my phosphates measure 0 so the HA must be using it up. If it is coming from the LR why wouldn't it be in the fuge also and some of my old LR (1.5yrs old) shouldn't be leaching phosphates still (shoudl it?) but also has HA.
Why run the lights opposite cycle? There is no macro algae in the DT so if you run the fuge light opposite cycle what will be filtering during the day?
I will have to look into the Phos reactor but I would imagine it is another expensive purchase. Would a phosphate sponge work for the mean time?
Thanks for your help, please keep it coming.


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Old 01/08/2008, 02:31 PM   #6
MikeP3
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I'm definitely not overfeeding and I do rinse my mysis shrimp/frozen food. Flow is at 25x but it sounds like I should point my power heads down to the substrate, right? I'll check the flow rate vs the skimmer. Thanks for all of the help.


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Old 01/08/2008, 02:36 PM   #7
marinoob
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phosban reactors arent that much just go to marine depot and look them up mine will be here tomarrow i cant wait..... look out hair algae here i come :-)


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Old 01/08/2008, 02:59 PM   #8
seapug
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yes, PhosBan reactors and GFO are a miracle cure for hair algae woes. 8 weeks and one media change solved my problem completely. Even got rid of the bryopsis.


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Old 01/08/2008, 03:09 PM   #9
AlexB650
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i have been fighting the same thing for a couple months now, and i've tried/been doing it all--chaeto, phosban reactor, aggressive skimming, light feeding, rinsing food, increased flow, etc. what seems to have been working (in addition to the aforementioned) is a series of large water changes; i've been doing 20% or so.


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Old 01/08/2008, 09:44 PM   #10
Aquarist007
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Quote:
Originally posted by MikeP3
Yes, my phosphates measure 0 so the HA must be using it up. If it is coming from the LR why wouldn't it be in the fuge also and some of my old LR (1.5yrs old) shouldn't be leaching phosphates still (shoudl it?) but also has HA.
Why run the lights opposite cycle? There is no macro algae in the DT so if you run the fuge light opposite cycle what will be filtering during the day?
I will have to look into the Phos reactor but I would imagine it is another expensive purchase. Would a phosphate sponge work for the mean time?
Thanks for your help, please keep it coming.
running the lights in the refug opposite to the main tank is more for regulating the nocturnal shift in pH. During the light carbon dioxide is used up by photosynthesis--the opposite in the dark.
So running the light at night in the fuge will continue photosynthesis by the chaeto, lower the co2 and raise the pH


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Old 01/08/2008, 09:46 PM   #11
Aquarist007
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Mike---are you harvesting the cheato in the fuge on a regular basis--it is the only way to remove phosphates and nitrates from the water column permanently


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Old 01/08/2008, 09:50 PM   #12
Aquarist007
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Quote:
Originally posted by seapug
yes, PhosBan reactors and GFO are a miracle cure for hair algae woes. 8 weeks and one media change solved my problem completely. Even got rid of the bryopsis.
I agree I have had great results too--but there is not one magic bullet to cure algae---rather it is a consistent application of all the suggestions that have been mentioned.

Alex--great point on the water changes---I do 20 per cent every two weeks.


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