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 run a very large square (14x14") of cheato in the fuge that I pull handfulls out every so often...

    I do won't do caulerpa (after having it in a tank about 10 years ago go sexual), and the gracileria I was growing was either being eaten in the fuge or was outcompeted by the cheato, so I don't grow it anymore.

    It seems like the sea hare might turn those nutrients into energy... what I would like to have is a system where all imported nutrients are exhausted by the tanks inhabitants... though maybe that isn't possible...
     
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  3. amcarrig

    amcarrig Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I would suggest against the grape calurpa and other fast growing macros unless you put something in the tank with it that eats it. That stuff grows like mad. I was pulling it out by the handful every week when I had it in my seahorse tank and God forbid that it goes sexual on you. :)
     
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  4. gabbagabbawill

    gabbagabbawill Pajama Cardinal

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    see my previous post (must've been typing at the same time) :)
     
  5. amcarrig

    amcarrig Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I hate it when that happens :D
     
  6. blackraven1425

    blackraven1425 Giant Squid

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    The nutrients mostly won't become energy for the hare; they'll become the building blocks for proteins and DNA for new cells as the animals get bigger, and a bit will become waste products from some of the chemical reactions from the use of the actual energy.

    The energy from the algae would really be carbon, oxygen and hydrogen that the algae bond up into carbohydrates (and the tiniest bit of fats) as part of their growth. The waste from energy use would be mostly CO2 and water. The small amount of proteins that get released as waste will mostly be skimmed, if you run it wet.

    The net loss of nutrients will be there, but it won't be an outright elimination, it'll be a process that happens to produce a relatively small amount of free proteins, some of which get skimmed out. What the hare will definitely do (assuming they eat hair algae, I'm not familiar with them lol) is make it so that less algae is all over the place though, so it may be a good option.
     
  7. tigermike74

    tigermike74 Panda Puffer

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    Along with all the great suggestions listed before me, I had success ridding my GHA problem in my 20G tank by raising my Mg levels to 1800+. I kept all my other parameters in balance while I did that too. My alk was at 14dKH and Ca was at 520. After it died off, I gradually lowered my levels back to 1500, 12 and 480 respectively.
     
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  9. acemow

    acemow Purple Spiny Lobster

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    Is there any direct sunlight hitting the tank? Do you have lights under 7" off water surface? Is temp. fluctuating 2 degrees or more in less than 24 hours? I had HA when I first got my setup over 18 months ago. My solution, the Sea Hare made a significant difference, went to reefcleaners.org for a snail cuc, lifted MH 150w 14k light kit to 8" off water surface, removed lid of canopy and put small $7 fan from Walmart on side of tank to blow across surface (can't afford chiller yet) use only RO/Di water, Chemi-Pure Elite in TLF phosban reactor, sump/fuge, chaeto, I did make a DIY jump guard so top can be open, and I do 20% WC every 14 days. I don't know why, but after the sea hare ate the algae, I've not had a problem since. Good luck to ya, hang in there!
     
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  10. gabbagabbawill

    gabbagabbawill Pajama Cardinal

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    Thanks to everyone so far!!!

    Well, I stopped by the LFS on the way home from work today and picked up a Sea Hare... it's already in my tank and mowing down algae... his name is Bugs... ehhh what's up doc?

    Anyway, thanks for all the great suggestions... acemow, you really came through with some atypical stuff... I do have a slight amount of sunlight hitting the tank for an hour or two in the morning... I have considered it as a possibility, but it doesn't explain why it just happened all of a sudden, since the tank has been set up for nearly a year now.

    The lights are about 8" above the water... can't raise them without removing the canopy, which I'd prefer not to do.

    I wonder why you mention the temperature swing, though, because my temperature sometimes goes between 79-81 in a 24 hour period... especially since I added the new T5 light fixture... I have considered putting a fan on the tank, but I am worried about excess evaporation... if it would help, I'd put it on.

    I haven't heard of temp affecting or rather causing algae to grow, though... what is the mechanism at work here?
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
  11. gabbagabbawill

    gabbagabbawill Pajama Cardinal

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    I can't recommend a sea hare to everybody, but man I love this guy! I have a place that will take him if he runs out of algae to feed on... though I'm considering keeping him in my fuge to let him eat macros there once he runs out (and at the rate he's going it may not be long).

    I will keep you all updated, especially on the changes I make to the system to try to combat this algae.

    I'm not relying on the sea hare alone to solve the problem, but I do feel like the sea hare will help get me going in the right direction.

    I believe that one reason GHA is so bad is I have witnessed looking at it under a microscope, and there are hundreds of its gametes to be found in a small (1 mL) sample. If you're scraping the glass, or picking out the algae, you are probably releasing thousands and thousands of these gametes all over the tank, which readily start new algae growth on anything with a porous surface that gets light. When it starts to clog the the pores of live rock, think about what this does to filtration as well!!!

    It seems that this algae has found the perfect method of proliferation in the reef- all it needs is porous rock with lots of light and nutrients. As it clogs the pores of the rock, bacteria is able to convert less nutrients, which becomes food for the algae!

    It's like nuisance algae becomes a catch-22 situation that requires MANY solutions, not just one or a few.

    As long as there is algae in the tank, there are trapped nutrients, and there are thousands of its gametes, ready to start new growth. I think this is why so many people can't starve it out that easily. The solution to eradication is not a simple equation, it must be dealt with from many angles of attack.
     
  12. reefmonkey

    reefmonkey Giant Squid

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    Have you ever considered adding ulva to the fuge? Excellent nutrient exporter and low risk (I believe). But on the other hand if you have inhabitants that ate gracileria they'd probably love the ulva as well. Just a thought.