Green Hair Algae control

Discussion in 'Algae' started by Anldyxp, Mar 20, 2012.

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  1. Anldyxp

    Anldyxp Skunk Shrimp

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    Hi everyone. I'm experiencing some green hair algae outbreak in my tank. The tanks been up for 2 years with occasional cyano/diatom outbreaks but this is the first time for the hair algae.

    It's a 20 gallon high, so 16" tall and I have 2 Par30 LED's that are about 3" above the top rim of the tank. The lights run 8 hours a day and the corals seem to like it. Parameters are 0-0-0 and I don't have means of testing for phosphates but I do run Chemipure elite which contains GFO. I tried manually removing the hair algae but it just keeps growing back because I can't get rid of it completely.

    Any suggestions? Or would a Lawnmower blenny be a good way of controlling it?

    Current livestock is 2 clowns, 2 peppermint shrimp, 1 cleaner shrimp, 1 watchman goby and pistol shrimp. Thank you!

    Also I use RO water that I buy from the machine down at the local Stater Bros.
     
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  3. Mr. Bill

    Mr. Bill Native Floridian

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    Do you at least have a TDS meter so you can check the water before using?

    RO alone leaves a lot in the water, including nitrates, phosphates, and bacteriums that will die in SW and create nitrates. You really need DI.

    You usually will read zero on nitrates and phosphates with a hobby-grade test kit if you have algae that's feeding on them.

    I would not recommend trusting water from a machine. You have no clue what their maintenance schedule is for the filters. You'd do much better with distilled bottled water from Wal-Mart until you get a RO/DI filter.
     
  4. ReefBruh

    ReefBruh Giant Squid

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    +1 to that. Plus I would watch your feedings also. How often are you feeding anyway? You could cut the light source down to half also or do a total blackout for 3 - 4 days to help aid in getting rid of the HA.
     
  5. Anldyxp

    Anldyxp Skunk Shrimp

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    Ok, thanks guys. No I don't have the TDS meter and I'm feeding about once a day. Too much? Would a 3-4 day black out hurt the corals much?
     
  6. Mr. Bill

    Mr. Bill Native Floridian

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    No, the blackout won't harm the corals; however, you need to find the source of your nutrients and address that issue first. Otherwise, the algae will come right back.
     
  7. wallstdrifter

    wallstdrifter Flamingo Tongue

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    This is an expensive hobby. You'll need a Hanna Ultra Low Phosphate colorometer, a prmium salt mix (M.E. or equivilant, and RO water from a local fish store.)
     
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  9. yvr

    yvr Skunk Shrimp

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    Algae problems are usually caused by aquarium water with excess nutrients like phosphate, nitrates etc. You can try and siphon out what you can to remove the algae in the short term. In the long term you may have to examine how you care for your tank. There are some commercial dry foods also contain excess nutrients and other undesirable things like nitrates, phosphates etc so I strain/rinse my fresh/frozen foods before feeding my tank. You may want to consider feeding your fish less often. Also, changing your photo period, light bulbs more flow, using RO/DI water and a high quality salt with little if any NO3, phosphates etc like Tropic Marin may help too. Adding a phosphate remover and increasing flow in your tank may help too.
     
  10. Anldyxp

    Anldyxp Skunk Shrimp

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    Hi everyone. So it looks like the hair algae is here to stay =/. It's not going away but I'm trying to keep it in check by removing most of it by hand. My water parameters are stable and consistently 0-0-0. So I think it may be phosphate levels.

    I recently got my buddy into saltwater tanks and I helped him set up his new 40 gallon last weekend and he bought the API reefmaster test kit. So I'm going to pick up the phosphate test from him tomorrow so I can finally test for the stuff. I've heard that API products aren't the most accurate but I will use what I can. Any suggestions for lowering phosphates? I'm currently running Chemipure elite in a AC 30 on my fuge. Do you guys suggest I replace the chemipure with GFO in a media bag?
     
  11. yvr

    yvr Skunk Shrimp

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    You can try and manually removing the long strands and siphoning too. But keeping excess nutrients out of the aquarium water is one key element in eliminating your hair algae. There are many things that can add excess nutrients into your tank like some commercial foods which may contain undesirable things like nitrates, phosphates etc and overfeeding the tank is also another factor. Using a phosphate remover, RO/DI water, a good tank clean up crew ie. hermit crabs and snails and a high quality salt with no NO3, phosphates etc like Tropic Marin or similar good quality salt should really help bring the algae under control.
     
  12. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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    + 1 on everything thus far on this thread

    just wanted to add, manual removal combined with GFO in addition to better control of nutrient inputs have been the way I dealt with GHA on many occasions

    with GHA if you can remove a rock, put it in a bucket of saltwater from the tank
    clean that rock, rinse it well to remove any lose strands , then throw away that saltwater and replace rock in the tank - it is better IME than trying to remove the GHA whilst the rock is still in DT as bits float off here, there, and everywhere and your fighting an uphill battle at the start