Please help me solve my GHA problem for K+

Discussion in 'Algae' started by gabbagabbawill, Apr 1, 2010.

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  1. gabbagabbawill

    gabbagabbawill Pajama Cardinal

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    I am someone who has read so many GHA horror stories that I have done everything I could not to get it.

    Well, over the past 3 weeks, I have had a pretty bad case of GHA. I'm going to detail my post here as much as possible to answer questions up front, but if I'm missing something, please let me know.

    The GHA actually started the day after I added about 10 lbs of live rock and some GSP that never opened in my tank. I have other corals that do fine, and I took the GSP back to the LFS after it didn't open for a week.

    So, I tested my water, and tested some more. Things haven't deviated so much, and this is where things are at right now and pretty much have been for 3 weeks, except for my mag level, which I've been slowly increasing.

    Ammonia -0
    Nitrite - 0
    Nitrate - undetectable
    Phosphate - undetectable
    Alk - 9 dkH
    Calcium - 450ppm
    Magnesium 1400-1600 (where I started to where it is now)
    Salinity - 1.026
    Temp - 80F

    My nitrates on a low range test kit were .10 three weeks ago, but now are undetectable.

    I run an oversized skimmer, I run cheato in a fuge, DSB, 70 lbs of live rock, and limit my feedings to one cube per day.

    My fish stock list:
    1 Dwarf False Lemonpeel angel
    1 Sixline
    1 Mandarin Dragonet
    2 bar gobies
    1 dart goby
    1 firefish goby
    1 yellow watchman goby
    1 yellow clown goby

    I have about 40 small blue legged hermits, 10 or so scarlet reef hermits, and four emerald crabs. I have a few stomatella and other critters that showed up on the LR.


    I have scraped as much GHA off the walls as possible, and do this just before changing about 15 gallons of water that I wet skim over about a several hour period and replace with salt water that is mixed with a power head for 12+ hours using measured 0 TDS RO water. I change at least 10% a week.

    I have opened an outside door near the tank to let in oxygen and CO2 out.

    I have a Magdrive 18B return pump agitating the surface of my water. I also run two Koralia K4 powerheads for flow.

    My lighting is 6 x 54W T5's. I have all but one new bulb and I'm waiting on my LFS to get bulbs in. I run my blue bulbs for 10 hours and my daylights for 8 hours.

    Now, this is my theory about GHA:

    GHA has trapped nutrients in it that will remain in the tank until all of the GHA is removed. It is not easily starved out as long as some of it is there, as it dies off, it just allows for more to grow.

    I have noticed some die off, but as soon as it looks like the coast is clear, it comes back in full force.

    I am starting to think about getting a sea hare to eat it all then trading/ giving the sea hare back to my lfs or someone who can support it.

    Any other ideas?

    THANKS!
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
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  3. Ultraner

    Ultraner Purple Spiny Lobster

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    Just a thought, you said you have 2 k4's in the tank for flow. I have 2 k4's as well in a 90 gallon and have since added a k2 for additional flow as I didn't think the 4's were sufficient and am still on the fence about the flow lol. Maybe adding a few additional ph to increase flow in the areas where you are having the most gha problems would help.
     
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  4. gabbagabbawill

    gabbagabbawill Pajama Cardinal

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    Thanks for the suggestion... it really seems like a lot of flow already. Especially with the magdrive 18 as my return. My LPS are somewhat stressed by the flow that's there already, and I would rather not add more until I have more LR. Also, the GHA is blowing in the flow pretty good, so I don't think it's a flow issue.
     
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  5. amcarrig

    amcarrig Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Have you tested your top off/water change water for phosphates and nitrates?
     
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  6. gabbagabbawill

    gabbagabbawill Pajama Cardinal

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    No, but I guess I should. It is 0 TDS, so shouldn't that be an indicator that it would have none?
     
  7. amcarrig

    amcarrig Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't know if phosphates and nitrates are a "solid"? Either way, I would test just for giggles.
     
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  9. gabbagabbawill

    gabbagabbawill Pajama Cardinal

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  10. reefmonkey

    reefmonkey Giant Squid

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    Do you rinse you frozen food b4 feeding? Gels and binders are rocket fuel for algae. Also might consider cutting back to everyother day.
     
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  11. gabbagabbawill

    gabbagabbawill Pajama Cardinal

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    I use Rod's Food and SF Bay Marine Cuisine... which, AFAIK, has no gel binder. That's why I don't like Formula 1/2 type foods. BTW, I was feeding 2-3 times a day for months, up until the GHA happened. I also believe in feeding a decent amount of food, following the examples of eric borneman.
     
  12. crank2211

    crank2211 Purple Spiny Lobster

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    I've been battling GHA for a little while now and int he past week or two am beginning notice a significant amount of it turn brown and die away. In my case, I believe I caused the outbreak by adding too much GFO too quickly to fight a bit of bubble algae. The bubble went away, and GHA and cyano came on full force.

    After awhile I cut the amount of GFO I ran in a BRS dual reactor in 1/2 and every 2 weeks I would replace it and add a bit more until I got to the recommended amount per BRS. I also noticed a huge difference in the GHA's health after I swapped out my year old T5 bulbs with my LED's. I'm not saying LED's will kill GHA, but rather that year old T5's, in my case, promoted algae growth. This holds true for 2 problem spots of cyano also. Additionally, I started rinsing frozen food as per some suggestions here.

    Recap:
    - Replace bulbs
    - Slowly ramp up GFO use.
    - Rinse frozen food
    - 0TDS out of RODI
    - Prune when possible.

    The above method is working for me now. I was beginning to get discouraged since it took awhile for it to actually show good results at the time. Looking back on it though, I realized it would first inhibit new growth of algae in different spots of the tank. And then after a month or so it would severely stunt growth rate of existing algae in the tank, but it would still be there. Now it all seems to dying away at once. For me it was and still is a slow process. I'd say the x-factor for me was getting rid of old bulbs though. As soon as that happened a noticeable difference occurred within a couple days.
     
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