Brown/Hair Algea

Discussion in 'Algae' started by david, Jul 3, 2004.

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  1. david

    david Peppermint Shrimp

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    I think it may be diatoms Matt
    It's brown and when I stir the sand it's only on like the individual grains of sand Any recommended silicate removers only? Every thing I find say it's for Phos. and this and silicates and etc. Thank you guys so much do you think this will clear up the hair algae also?
     
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  3. inwall75

    inwall75 Giant Squid

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    [quote author=DAVID MASON link=board=General;num=1088882581;start=0#13 date=07/08/04 at 10:01:06]How do you know if the brown algae is diatoms or not? In the morning there is none and then within a couple hours of light it starts to form on the sand only.
    [/quote]

    Can you put a picture up? I have never heard of a diatom going away at night and getting worse when the photoperiod starts. That's typically a sign of cyanobacteria. However, you could have an unusual strain of diatoms I've not seen before so now I'm real curious.

    Any reduction in Phosphates or Silicates is good. Usually the best way to remove hair algae is manually outside of the tank but that isn't always possible. I have known people who have started a siphon with good size tubing and pulled it while in the tank with the siphon right over where they are pulling to make sure fragments don't float away.

    Usually the location of hair algae is an indicator of where AmmoniuM and/or Phosphates are leaching or excess detritus is sitting. Usually it's doing nothing more than growing on top of some detritus or excess food that was allowed to sit too long and decompose. However, once it attaches, it feeds off the phosphates that the bacteria spit out while cleaning the live rock. This is why I tell people to turkey baste their live rock often. So the algae never gets a foothold.
     
  4. JohnO

    JohnO Moderator

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    Hi David,

    I think with Diatoms they use the silicate to build little structures around themselves. So a way of removig the silicates would be to filter the diatoms themselves.

    You may be able to get a diatom filter for your cannister or get a seperate diatom filter, just clean it often and it should relieve the silicate levels.

    I also believe the Coralife make a silicate remover but haven't tried it :)

    John
     
  5. Craig Manoukian

    Craig Manoukian Giant Squid

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    Fantastic stuff everyone, Curt you get two stars!
     
  6. david

    david Peppermint Shrimp

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    AH- HA
    A diatom filter funny how I never made the connection till now kinda pricey but I might be willing to spend the money for an algae fix.I have done that trick with a gravel siphon and a blue bonded pad for a couple weeks now it's really amazing how fast it comes back I have a sponge prefilter on my canister filter intake and I swap the sponge out every other day it turns green in two days! Thanks John and everybody for helping me to get this under control.Inwall I would post a pic but my cam is broke comp. says this device is not functioning properly?! Crappy little $50 camera any way. I need a new one I'll get it right after I get a diatom filter. Ha - ha.
    Hey will getting rid of the brown diatoms help get rid of the hair algae? and should I rip out the Halimeda thats covered with hair algae. If it dies won't it fuel even more algae growth? I'm sure if I shut the pumps off and dedicated 2 hrs. to it I could get it out with out losing to much hair algae back into the water coloum.

    Thanks to all!
     
  7. JohnO

    JohnO Moderator

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    David,

    My understanding is that a diatom filter is just a mechanical filter that filters particles of a very small size ( like diatoms ). People who I have spoken to about them say they are very good and will clear up ALL small particulate matter in the tank, but they also need to be cleaned often and clog easily.

    As for the hair algae, I have been reading about this and silicates and the consensus is, yes, some other types of algae use silicates as food too :) So getting rid of the diatoms may reduce the food source of the hair algae somehow.

    John
     
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  9. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    That should help..

    Curious about the source though.

    So David, are you getting a silicate test kit?
    I have the SeaChem 'Reef Special' kit. It has phosphate, silicate and iodine. Crap, I forgot it had iodine, I just bought a iodine kit. ::) DOH.

    Anyway, I would test that distilled water you use.
    I picked up a TDS meter recently from Air, Water & Ice for a good price. I would get one and test that water with that too.

    If either of those numbers come back high, I would get another source for water.

    When was your last water change and how much did you change?

    When was the last time you cracked open the Fluval? What do you have in it?

    What kind of sand do you have? Do you ever siphon it?


    Since inwall brought up circulation that has me wondering.

    Down the road you might want to ditch all those little filters and pumps and get a 20 long or something for a sump and put a nice skimmer and strong sump pump in it that you could hook your SCWD to. (PM does make good skimmers though, don't know much about the HOT though, do you like it?)



    matt
     
  10. JohnO

    JohnO Moderator

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    Now here is a differing view on silicates

    Many hobbyists are under the impression that using reverse osmosis water or deionized water will solve the problem, and that doing so will remove the silicates and silicic acid from that water. This is, unfortunately, not the case. Such units, even if combined, will remove silicate and silicic acid for a very short period of time only and, then, the silicate and silicic acid will get through the membrane and the resins and will start to build up in the tank.

    By a short period of time I mean in a matter of days, depending on how much silicate and silicic acid the water you are treating actually contains. Tests have shown that, when treating water with 14 ppm of silicate, the silicate and silicic acid came through the membrane and the resins used in combination with the R.O. unit, after less than 100 gallons of water had passed through the filtration set-up (lab. notes ref. 95/6/-012)


    http://www.aquarium.net/0297/0297_3.shtml#silicate

    John
     
  11. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Old man Thiel eh? Interesting I wish he gave an example of one of these silicate 'compounds' to use... wow.. more interesting he used to sell them 'X-Silicate - Thiel product for preventing diatom and red algae outbreaks.'

    Here's another one:

    Kent Marine Phosphate Sponge Phosphate & Silicate Adsorber

    From SpectraPure:

    SpectraPure® MaxPure™ Systems incorporate a high-silicate removal TFC membrane

    Makes me wonder after reading the Theil thing.

    This might help, gotta run:

    http://www.wetwebmedia.com/silicatefaqs.htm
     
  12. JohnO

    JohnO Moderator

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    ...and here is another one to munch on :)

    Having said that, however, some diatoms are apparently capable of pulling silica out of glass or quartz, and if when culturing phytoplankton in glass containers, additional silicates are usually not added to the culture medium because the algae seem to get what they need from the walls of the flask (hence to common observation that diatoms grow fastest on the walls of the aquarium). Even with the presence of lots of dissolved silicate in the tank, however you still need the other nutrients (nitrates and phosphates) to get a bloom of diatoms.

    http://www.reefs.org/library/article/r_toonen9.html

    John