Major hair algae starting

Discussion in 'T5 Aquarium Lighting' started by Midnight_Madman, Jul 1, 2015.

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  1. Todd_Sails

    Todd_Sails Giant Squid

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    AND, I'd look into building (easy to do), or buying an ATS!

    Took care of all the GHA in my DT, etc.
     
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  3. Midnight_Madman

    Midnight_Madman Montipora Digitata

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    Thanks, what is a ATS?
     
  4. DSC reef

    DSC reef Giant Squid

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    Algae turf scrubber. The algae grows on it instead of in the display tank.
     
  5. Eco Marine Reef

    Eco Marine Reef Astrea Snail

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    If you are having a large hair algae problem and now a cyano problem on top of that, I would be inclined to believe that you have a nutrient problem. As stated before, your test kits will not do much good in this instance because the hair algae, and to some extent the cyano, is uptaking the phosphates and nitrates for their own success. The algae issue is much easier to deal with than the cyano outbreak you are describing. Cyanobacteria are among the very few groups that can perform oxygenic photosynthesis and respiration simultaneously. Additionally, many cyanobacterial species are able to fix nitrogen. This makes them very successful in a wide range of environmental conditions.

    My suggestions would be...

    1) The first step in dealing with this problem is finding the source. Unfortunately, that is always easier said than done. A hair algae problem is usually associated with a nutrient problem, but a cyano problem can be attributed to a variety of factors (such as the new light you installed).

    2) To start I would do a large water changes ~30%. During this water change, I would physically remove as much cyano and hair algae as possible. If you can remove the rocks and scrub them outside the tank that would make your life much easier. I know this may not be feasible, but still you're going to need to do a little bit of hard work to get your tank back in order. Also, I would think about cleaning and/or replacing all your mechanical filtration (socks, sponges, pads, etc.). The mechanical filters can be a major source for trapping nutrients. Replace your carbon and your GFO. Clean your skimmer. On a side note, if you have a lot of detritus built up in your sump or overflow areas, remove it. The more nutrients you can physically remove the better.

    3) You may want to reduce your lights or even try turning them off for 2-3 days. This blackout method has varied success, but will definitely help with your hair algae problem. If you choose the blackout method, I would encourage you to watch your tank temperature and oxygen levels. Additionally, as the hair algae die off your skimmer will begin to work overtime, so be sure to keep a watchful eye on it. The blackout period may help with the cyano, but it is unlikely you will completely kill off the cyano in this matter as many species of cyano can live a lot longer without light than any of our in reef habitants.

    4) After the blackout period, do another large water change (~30%) and go through physically removing the rest of the algae and cyano. Again clean or replace all your mechanical filtration. Replace your carbon and GFO. Clean your skimmer.

    5) After the blackout period, slowly increase your lighting to your original intensity and originally lighting schedule over the next week or two. More than likely you will have cleared most of the hair algae and cyano (well the visible mat formation of cyano) from your aquarium. At this point, keep on top of your general husbandry and perform weekly maintenance. A few large water changes with removing most of the nutrients (hair algae, cyano, detritus, etc.) goes a long way and will help dramatically improve your display tank.

    During this entire process remember to limit your feeding, as this may be a possible source of nutrients. If you are feeding your coral, I would highly recommend you do not feed your coral until you have these issues under control. Feed your fish, but pay close attention and try to not over feed.

    Best of luck and keep us posted on what works for you.
     
  6. Midnight_Madman

    Midnight_Madman Montipora Digitata

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    Thanks. I have been doing what you said above, and it has definitely slowed a LOT. I just have these little patches that keep popping up in the same area..
    I added two more hydors and I have the flow pretty covered. It is very limited now but still not gone.
    I have a plastic light defuser under the sand bed and the GHA will grow on it anywhere it is exposed... (could the actual plastic be causing something?)
     
  7. Todd_Sails

    Todd_Sails Giant Squid

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    I think the EggCrates grow algae the best.

    One of my next steps is to get rid of the few pieces I have in my FT, and replace with acrylic with holes cut in them. I hear they really don't grow GHA.

    And yes, an ATS = Algae Turf Scrubber.
    I had heard about it yours ago, built one recently- and after the results my system is having-
    I'm sorry I didn't build it years ago. You can buy them too.
    IMO- A must have- forget the GFO, and you'd rarely need to use any GAC,
     
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  9. Midnight_Madman

    Midnight_Madman Montipora Digitata

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    So you agree that I'm not crazy, the plastic egg crate is promoting Gha ?
    I hate the thoughts of trying to remove it with all the live rock I have
    Is it worth it?
     
  10. Midnight_Madman

    Midnight_Madman Montipora Digitata

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  11. Anldyxp

    Anldyxp Skunk Shrimp

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    That's funny. I got a sea urchin to help with GHA as well. The urchin did a great job and the GHA is mostly gone. Ironically, some of the GHA got a hold of the urchin's spines and is growing all over it. So the only GHA in my tank is on the urchin. :lol:
     
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  12. cody3819

    cody3819 Bubble Tip Anemone

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    Wow, that's crazy can't make that up.. Lol
     
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