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Old 03-01-2010, 06:30 PM   #1
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Adding base rock to existing reef and getting rid of hair algae

Some of you have seen in my 38g build thread that I have a long standing problem with hair algae. Well I have been battling this for some time through water changes, feeding less, cleaning vigorously, cutting down on the lights, and so on...

I have been switching out some pieces of live rock that are covered in hair algae for pieces of base rock that I have on hand. I feel like I cannot get rid of the hair algae by scrubbing in the tank and if I take the rocks out to scrub them, its not going to be live anyways.

I would like to buy more base rock and slowly switch out the algae covered rocks in my tank for new rocks. I don't want to disrupt my cycled tank though, so I thought about exchanging maybe 1 rock a week when I do the water change.

Would this work? Should I take it slower?

I feel like if I can get cleaner rocks, I won't have to worry about it spreading from those rocks to the glass and sand. Then I can focus on getting it off the glass and the sand.

Any thoughts or suggestions?
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:54 PM   #2
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Base rock will be OK. It will turn live over time. Have you ever read this check list on nuisance algea.

FantasyReef Databases-Viewing item "10 Step Plan for Nuisance Algae Control"
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:58 PM   #3
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Make sure you cure your rock first, then you won't have to worry about disrupting your cycle. Buy 10 or however many pieces and cure it all together, then you can swap it out however slow or fast you're comfortable with.
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:41 PM   #4
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Have you figured out what is causing the hair algae?
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:57 PM   #5
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You really need to find the cause of the HA, overfeeding, PO4 in the top off/pwc water, old bulbs, too much light (sunshine hitting it all?), etc.

You can try cooking your rocks. That is NOT putting them in the oven. It is moving them from the tank to a covered container with a heater and powerhead. You need a few of these cotainers so you can move it from one to the next each week (shake the rock of debris before moving it) and change the water competly in the first containter. You are always moving rock to a container with fresh sw each week.

The process is supposed to clean older LR that is saturated. It' supposed to recharge the LR. I may try it, once I buy some new rock.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melosu58 View Post
Base rock will be OK. It will turn live over time. Have you ever read this check list on nuisance algea.

FantasyReef Databases-Viewing item "10 Step Plan for Nuisance Algae Control"

Thanks for the link Mike. I have read that and I have done most of the things on that list with no reduction in the algae. The things I haven't done is add a refugium (I don't have a sump) and increase the cleaning crew (plan on doing that at some point, but i want it warm up so i can buy online).

I haven't increased the frequency of water changes, but I have increased the amount of water I take out, thus allowing me to remove more algae. This is recent, so maybe doing this a few weeks will help. I can't do more than 1 water change a week as I don't have the time or the energy.

I do want to add a hang on tank refugium...I will probably turn my aquaclear 70 into a fuge and stuff it with chaeto. I have read that the benefit of using something as small as an AC 70 is questionable, but I figure it can't hurt....and I don't want chaeto in the main tank.

Thanks for the tip Neilan, I didn't think about curing the rock, but I will consider that.

And bavass, I haven't figured out what is causing the hair algae. I would like to though, as I'm tired of it. I know it won't go away until I pinpoint the cause, but at this point I really have no idea why it is continuing.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:03 PM   #7
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what are your phosphates and nitrates reading?
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmor1701d View Post
You really need to find the cause of the HA, overfeeding, PO4 in the top off/pwc water, old bulbs, too much light (sunshine hitting it all?), etc.

You can try cooking your rocks. That is NOT putting them in the oven. It is moving them from the tank to a covered container with a heater and powerhead. You need a few of these cotainers so you can move it from one to the next each week (shake the rock of debris before moving it) and change the water competly in the first containter. You are always moving rock to a container with fresh sw each week.

The process is supposed to clean older LR that is saturated. It' supposed to recharge the LR. I may try it, once I buy some new rock.
Yeah, I know I need to figure out the cause. I use ro/di water and Oceanic salt to make my sw. I do have alot of light (6x39w T5HO over a 38g), but I have cut down the time that all 6 bulbs are on to about 3 hours with 2 actinics and a 10K on for 2 hours before and after the full 6. I have had my fixture maybe 6 months...or less, so I don't think my bulbs are old, but I have thought about replacing them, just to see what happens. I only have 2 fish right now....2 small Clowns. I feed mysis and brine, alternating every 3-4 days...making sure I rinse in ro/di before I feed. I occasionally feed Coral Frenzy or DTs to the corals.

The room the tank is in has no windows, so no sunshine. :/

I will consider recharging the live rock. Atleast then I wouldn't have to buy new rock...just some new containers to cook it in.

Thanks for the suggestions and if you need any more info about the tank, just ask. I really want to rid my tank of this stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bavass
what are your phosphates and nitrates reading?
They are showing up 0 for both, but I wonder if the algae is sucking them up.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:26 PM   #9
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I had a huge Nitrate problem 160ppm. I started doing 2 20g water changes a week. I removed my canister filter, had 60lbs of live rock in a 55g added 45lbs reef rock slowly, increased my water movement with 2 Hydor Korlia 2's, bought a new clean up crew from www.reefcleaners.org my Nitrates are staying below 10ppm and algae is pretty much gone now. Still a little coating on a few of my rocks but that is the result of my tap water purifier I was using now using a RO/DI so that will be gone soon. I also added a few macroalgaes and some red mangroves to my display tank. Its a tough battle but the key I found was stay on top of it. O something else I did was I replaced all my hoses and soaked my skimmer, pumps, and powerheads in EZ Cleaner from www.marinedepot.com I have heard that vinegar works too but have not tried that.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:40 PM   #10
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Glad to see you are getting control of your algae. It gives me some hope. I will look into that EZ cleaner too. My skimmer definitely has some algae in it...I just haven't taken it off to clean it yet.

I have 2 Koralia 1 powerheads in the tank...but I feel like I may need more flow. I just wonder if a Koralia 2 might been too strong.

My project this week is the AC70 refugium. I have a friend that will send me some chaeto, so as soon as I have the fuge up, I'll throw in some rubble and get that chaeto in.

I love reefcleaners.org. I have thought about ordering some snails from their again. My original cleanup crew came from there. Bluezooaquatics has another type of snail I want though...Margaritas. I'm not sure if they'd be any better or the same as the ones I have now (Nassarius, Nerites, and dwarf cerinths), but I'd like to have some variety. I just can't justify paying $40 to ship snails. So I'll either buy from reefcleaners or wait until warmer weather to order the wrasse I want from BlueZoo (and the snails).
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