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  #1  
Old 12/29/2007, 04:53 PM
layer3guru layer3guru is offline
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Location: Ohio
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Green Hair Algae

I know this has been discussed many times here. I have used the search engine as well as google to search but I am feeling really defeated at this time. I have brownish/green hair algae which seems to be taking over. I turn off all the pumps and scrape the walls and change the water about 20 gallons. I have even taken some rock out and scrubbed them with a tooth brush in a 5 gallon bucket of salt water but it continues to come back. For the last 3 weeks I have been changing 20 gallons of water a week. Normal routine was changing about 10 gallons a week which for years seemed to keep my parameters in check. I have a special made acrylic tank that is 100gallons with a 20 gallon sump built in. I have not added anything but hermits as part of my clean up crew. This tank has been up for 3 years now. I have about 90 pounds of live rock in the main tank and small pieces of live rock in the sump. I do have a DSB but I would think if things were going south with it that some of my parameters should be out of whack - correct? I feed frozen cube mysis, brine, cyclopeeze, I mix this up but just one cube a day. The corals are doing great no signs of stress, the fish show no signs of stress either. For fish I have a tomato clown, 2 green chromis, gold spotted goby.

I don't dose anything but a product called PurpleUp to keep my calcium right and thats not very often. I do have a 120gallon RODI unit and a inline TDS meter and the filters are about 2 months old. Water into the TdS meter 226ppm the output of the RO/DI 0 ppm.

I am just out of ideas as to what might be the culprit any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Hardware
Coral life Super Skimmer 220 I know not the best but seems to be doing its job
2 250W MH 13K Hamilton Bulbs 5 months old
2 55W Blue Actinic 5 months old
Return Pump Rio 26 Hyper Flow 1590gph but 1290gph with about 3 feet of head space
Hydor Pump 850gph

Salt I have been using is Red Sea Coral Pro Salt
Test Parameters this morning before the 20 gallon water change
1.025 Salinity
430 Calcium
ph8.2 at night 8.0 with lights.
Nitrate 0
Ammonia 0
Phosphate 0
Nitrite 0
Copper 0
  #2  
Old 12/29/2007, 06:39 PM
otiso777 otiso777 is offline
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IME, snails do a better job of cleaning up algae than hermits do. I'd get a few different types of snails and see if they help at all.

Also be sure to drain the pack juice from the thawed frozen food. This is a source of phosphate. Your phosphate reading might be zero because the algae is using all of it up.
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  #3  
Old 12/29/2007, 07:15 PM
layer3guru layer3guru is offline
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Took some water out to have it tested with a different test kit. Everything came out the same except for the ph being 7.8. There was a discussion about my lights possibly getting old but I know friends that run their MH for up to a year. I have been changing mine out at 8 months.

How much algae would I need to have in the tank to cause my reading of phosphate to be off?
  #4  
Old 12/29/2007, 07:37 PM
otiso777 otiso777 is offline
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The reading isn't off. There really is no phosphate in the water because the algae is using it as soon as it's released from wherever the phosphate source is. Even a small amount of algae could cause this if it's growing fast.
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  #5  
Old 12/29/2007, 07:49 PM
Laddy Laddy is offline
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layer3guru, algae can be a real problem and one which is frustrating when you've tried a lot of things to remedy it. I don't believe myself to be an expert, but I however get the occasional algae breakouts in my tanks and have come up with a small To Do list.

1. Increase circulation in the tank, especially at the water level line where O2/Co2 exchange occurs.

2. Decrease photo period by half--the amount is up to you, however, I find that decreasing by half gradually (i.e. drop photo period by one hour every third day) works for my tanks. My normal photo period is ten hours, so I get that down to 5 hrs in about a week and a half, or so. Leave the photo period set at half for a week or two.

3. Cut food in half, just b/c you don't test and nitrate levels d/n mean that your system is pure--most hobby kits are inaccurate the lower the reading is

and #4 is my recommendation for your tank: don't add purple up. Purple up is basically calcium with trace elements added--these trace elements could be causing your algae concerns.

The good thing about algae is that the problem is usually something you are doing, and can be cured with a modification of your routine.

IHMO, good luck.
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  #6  
Old 12/29/2007, 08:21 PM
layer3guru layer3guru is offline
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Picture

As you can see the corals are out and seem to be thriving. This is not the greatest picture I tried to get a close up of the algae. Do you think maybe I should try some rowaphos? I will start thawing the food and straining it through a fish net in trying to cut back on adding any phos to the tank.

  #7  
Old 12/29/2007, 09:56 PM
Craig Lambert Craig Lambert is offline
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You did not list list your alkalinity, which is the most important parameter. Low alkalinity is an algae enabler, and since you don't drip kalk or add a daily two part solution, I'll bet money that you have low alk. I would also add a phosban reactor, and give serious consideration to upgrading your skimmer.

You have a phosphate problem from excess nutrients. Phosphate tests (most of them anyway) are worthless because they only measure inorganic and not organic phosphates.
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  #8  
Old 12/30/2007, 04:12 AM
Laddy Laddy is offline
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....and also, are you using RO/DI water for your topoff?
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  #9  
Old 12/30/2007, 09:02 AM
NeuroLarry NeuroLarry is offline
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There have been some posts recommending pushing Mg up to 1500 to deal with hair algae. Haven't tried it myself but if you have hair algae you have PO4 issues
  #10  
Old 12/30/2007, 10:00 AM
layer3guru layer3guru is offline
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I use RO/Di for everything.
  #11  
Old 12/30/2007, 10:13 AM
tcilmo tcilmo is offline
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I had a flair up of green hair once, I did waters changes and stuff like then with little to no luck. Got some phosbuster and and algae benny aka lawn mower blenny and that took care of everything. Good luck.
  #12  
Old 12/30/2007, 10:29 AM
Sk8r Sk8r is offline
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A refugium of adequate size would solve your problem, even if you had to set a spare tank in the floor for a few months. They can set beside, above, or below your tank, and, lit 24/7, will outcompete tank algae for nutrients [phosphate, some nitrate] and kill it off. No more scraping, no more scrubbing. You can run one in the cheapest possible tank of about 20 gallons. RUn a closed loop either to your sump or display.
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  #13  
Old 12/30/2007, 10:45 AM
layer3guru layer3guru is offline
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I thought about the refugium but no place to really put it. Was leaning towards a phosphate reactor. Would it be a waste for me to invest in one? Good idea or bad?
  #14  
Old 01/01/2008, 09:53 AM
layer3guru layer3guru is offline
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WOW do I feel like bone head. Sometimes it is the simple things, Thats a quote from the wife. Just as an update the wife did not think the hair algae was all that bad she says I was in panic mode, but I just hate to see it. Well she has been preacing to me for almost a month that it was time to add some more clean up crew. So just on Saturday she went to a local store and purchased 6 of the big bulldozer mexian turba snails. There is not a piece of algae in sight now 4 days later. As part of my log book now I am also going to keep track of when we refresh or make additions to our clean up crew. My salifert phosphate kit still shows zero just and waiting on my new alkalinity test to arrive. Trying to keep my ph a little more stable now as was recommended by a friend. I know it will fluctuate some but he made it seems like his does not fluctuate at all.

Thanks for the help.
 

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