Hair Algae that just won't go away

Discussion in 'Algae' started by glblguy, Sep 3, 2009.

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  1. glblguy

    glblguy Spaghetti Worm

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    Hi all, hoping some of you can help...

    First off, it's been a long time since I've posted in here...life just got real busy on me this past year so very sorry about that. But plan to be much more active from here on out...

    Next...I've had a really bad Hair Algae problem for about 18 months now. We moved about a year ago, I re-setup my tank and it was pretty much hair algae free for a month or two...then it slowly started to reappear. Due to me being really busy, I let it get a little out of control (ok...maybe more than a little).

    Over the past 4-6 weeks though I've been really refocusing on my tank and trying to get it back on track. I've definitely made a dent in it, but it's still growing.

    Here's what I've done recently:

    * Purchased a Vortech MP40W to get some serious flow in the tank.
    * Clean out my skimmer cup every other day, full or not.
    * Added a phosphate reactor loaded up with Phosban.
    * Checked all of my parms. The only thing that was a little out of whack was my dKH. It was 5. I added some Arm & Hammer washing soda to get it up. Checked it this morning, it was 7dKH, and added some more.
    * Really watching my feeding and making sure most if not all of the food is getting eaten by the fish to reduce waste.
    * Replaced all of my lights about 3 months ago. I run 14k halides for about 6 hours a day, Actinics about 10 hours, and nothing at night unless I want it to look pretty for picturs of visitors...then I run my moonlights.
    * Daily or every other day as needed I manually pull the hair algae out as much as I can

    Tank parms are as follows:

    Ca: 500
    Mg: 1500
    dKH: 7
    Ph: 8.3
    NO3: 0
    Salinity: 1.024
    Phosphate: 0 (It's always been zero though...but I've read since the algae is "eating" it this isn't unusual)

    Test kits I use are Elos and Salifert.

    Fish and corals are all very healthy, water smells clean and salty as it should.

    I'm at a loss. I'm honestly not sure what else to do and would appreciate any and all suggestions. Tired of my tank looking like a bog.

    - larry
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
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  3. glblguy

    glblguy Spaghetti Worm

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    Some additional info after I read some other posts on here...

    I checked my RO/DI Water, TDS meter read 4 which I know isn't as good as 0, but under 5 which I hear is just fine.

    I also did a phosphate and NO3 test on my RO/DI water as well:

    Phosphate: .05
    NO3: 0

    So looks like I am fueling the tank with Phosphates. Anything I can do to control phosphate coming in from my RO/DI water??

    One other note: I've only had the phosphate reactor running for a few days. Is that enough time to expect to see results? Thinking maybe it isn't...
     
  4. AeLecocq

    AeLecocq Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    maybe consider getting a sea hare?
     
  5. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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    glblguy

    sounds to me like your on the right path and IMO your suspicion that the recent introduction of the Phosphate remover will not as yet have a drastic effect reflects my own expereiences with this in the past

    problem we have is Algae consumes Phosphates - so reading is 0
    GFO does not change colour reflecting when its absorbed it capacity

    the 2 above factors led me to change my GFO every week for 4 weeks when I had severe
    GHA some years ago
    could not trust my test kit, the algae surviving told me there was nutrients for them

    so my advice is run GFO and change it often coupled with manual removal until you have erradicated this nuisance

    then continue use, and only discard and replace if your test kits tell you there is PO4
    or GHA seems to be making a comeback

    thats my experience with it ( my present set up included GFO right from the start, never gave it a chance to get through the door, never mind make itself at home)

    may seem extravagent - but it solved the problem for me

    Steve
     
  6. unclejed

    unclejed Whip-Lash Squid

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    Hi Guy, you say; "One other note: I've only had the phosphate reactor running for a few days. Is that enough time to expect to see results? Thinking maybe it isn't... " You are correct it is not. Be patient. I had a horrific GHA outbreak after flipping my old 55 gal. to the new one with corner overflow and sump. After exhausting what I thought was every solution I finally heeded advice from a LFS buddy and bought the reactor. It took 3-4 weeks to totally eradicate the hair. Now, I did notice you say you "loaded up" the reactor with phosban, that may impede its' functionality. You should only double the recommended dose. Over filling with media will impede the flow and contact time. We all at times think "some is good...more is better" but as the saying goes in bowling (I am a coach) and for that matter many sports; "Less is more".
     
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  7. glblguy

    glblguy Spaghetti Worm

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    Thanks for all of the feedback everyone. Sounds like I just need to keep doing what I'm doing. I'll keep you posted on how things go. Sure hope this stuff goes away soon.
     
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  9. pgoodsell

    pgoodsell Horrid Stonefish

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    Also maybe change out the di cartridge. You really should have 0 phosphates after ro/di. I can't run an ro unit. In Nevada being a desert and all, the waste is just to much. I do run it threw a DI resign, and it comes out 0 for everything. unfortunately it does go threw the di cartridges pretty fast. :(
     
  10. drew3

    drew3 Blue Ringed Angel

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    yes and once you get your algae problem gone a good way to keep it away is to set up a refugium and add some macro algae to it and that should absorb alot if not all nitrates and phosphates in your tank and if you stock it with copepods you can get some cool fish such as mandarin dragonnet
     
  11. glblguy

    glblguy Spaghetti Worm

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    Pgoodsell: I agree, probably a really good idea. I haven't changed any of those filters in a long time.

    drew3: Agreed, on my list of things to buy/set-up. I'm tired of having all of my stuff in the actual aquarium anyway.
     
  12. Russter

    Russter Flamingo Tongue

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    You could also try to add a tang to help out. I had hair algae "problem". Not too bad but bad enough. I just bought a Half-Black Mimic Tang, and in a couple of days completely remove all the hair algae (it was about 1/4" long) from the powerheads and inlets and he is now working over the back glass. Pretty neat to watch him rip and tear at it.