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Old 10-22-2004, 01:57 AM   #1
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Big Algae problem - need advice

Hi All,
Been quite a while since I was active on this board - been busy planning and surviving my wedding Anyway, over the past few months my tank has been suffering from an Algae problem. See the pics below. I don't know what type of algae this is but it's very aggressive and has spread all over the tank. The images you see are after I manually removed a whole lot of the stuff.

I could use your advice on how to get rid of it now that I finally have some time to spare again. I realized that my PC bulbs (2x65W Ultra Actinic 460nm and 2x65W 10,000k ) were about 8 months old so I recently replaced them with Actinic 03 and 10,000k from Current USA. I read here that old bulbs can cause an algae outbreak although I'd love to hear an explanation why ! Will the new bulbs help reverse the outbreak ?

I've been using homemade RO/DI water since shortly after I set up the tank in January '04. The TDS meter I got with the Kent RO/DI unit tells me that the TDS are at 0 so I doubt that is a source of any nutrients. I just replaced the pre-filter cartridges just in case ....

I have not tested the water recently but will do so tomorrow. Don't think I have a PO4 test kit in my arsenal right now but based on a lot of other posts that may be a possible cause ? If so - any recommendations on a good PO4 test kit ?

Any advice you can offer will be greatly appreciated. Thanks gang !

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Old 10-22-2004, 05:08 AM   #2
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That might be hair algae. The pic was a bit blurry on my dial up. If you keep it trimmed short enough, snails and hermits should take care of it. I have heard salifert highly reccomended on this site for most tests.

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Old 10-22-2004, 08:39 AM   #3
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that looks like the stuff i had. mine was like a membrain with the weedy roots through it. it was black and grew quite agressively.

the way i got rid of it was to manually remove it, and get a draon wrasse which kicks it all up for me. i also have this pink / purple stuff as well which the wrasse sifts up a bit but i think he is only masking the problem.

i'd love to know what causes it and how to properly fix it.
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Old 10-22-2004, 08:47 AM   #4
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Agree with the salifert kits being the best... If it is hair algae then reducing PO4 & maybe a lawnmover benny or Lettuce nudi will help?

Cheers Shelton.
30gal tank, 20kgs Fiji + 4kgs Madagascan LR, bare bottom, 2 x Maxijets 900, AquaC Remora skimmer, 10W D&D UV using a spraybar on surface for return,Maxijet 600 + spraybar behind LR, Ecco 2234 running RowaPhos/GAC, 150w visitherm.
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Old 10-22-2004, 12:28 PM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions thus far folks. Here's a better photo which may help with the ID.
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Old 10-22-2004, 07:24 PM   #6
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So I tested the water and got nothing bad.

All zero results for the following :


PH is 8.2/8.3 Temp is 81 SG is 1.025

Any other ideas ?

Right now I do not have any hermits in there. Are they known to help with algae such as this ? Are they any danger to soft corals such as Xenia, Shrooms, Ricordia, Star Polyps ?

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Old 10-23-2004, 10:19 AM   #7
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The algae can grow over corals harming them over time.
Can you get a water sample near the problem area at the bottom of the tank and see if the level is higher in that area?
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Old 10-23-2004, 06:57 PM   #8
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Unfortunately the problem area is the entire tank, top to bottom, wall to wall

I put in some hermits yesterday and will be putting a lawnmower blenny into QT in a couple of days.

It's been a while since I did a water change since the chems have been very good. Could trace element depletion be a culprit for an Algae outbreak like this ? I'm mixing a 10G changeout right now and plan to do similar changes every couple of weeks for a while to get all elements back up to good levels. Will that help ?
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Old 10-24-2004, 02:56 PM   #9
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Good water readings or not, my water change is done every 2 weeks.
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Old 10-24-2004, 05:41 PM   #10
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I've got some of the same stuff. Red, gold, green and brown. It seems to do a good job of absorbing nutrients so I pulled most of it out and put it in my refugium. Your water will test perfect as it will absorb any nutrients before you can test for them. Mine came on some LR and I have yet to find anything that eats it.

46g SW, 65 lbs Fiji LR, 4" Aragamax DSB, Coralife 2X96w CF, CPR Bakpak II, CPR Aquafuge 12 w/ 2x9 Coralife Mini Aqualight, 4 Maxijet 600's, PCI 200W Titanium Heater, 2 Blue Green Chromis, 1 Gold Bar Maroon Clown, 1 Purple-Stripe Dottyback, Finger Leather, Trumpets, Rose Coral Open-Brain, Pagoda Cup, Xenia, Star Polyps, Yellow Polyps, Various Mushrooms, Toadstool Leather, 12 Astraea, 10 Nassarius, 4 Bumble Bee, 6 Cerith Snails, 12 Red Tip Hermits.
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