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Old 03-03-2015, 03:04 PM   #1
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GHA out of control

Ive been battleing greenhair for a good 6 months. Ive researched and tried every method out there to get rid of it. Bought ro unit, did a couple 50% wc, does nopox, cut chinese led intensity to 30% white 70 % blue with 6 hours per day. I have no live stock exept corals for the past 6 months. My corals are doing good

I noticed that my corals are always already opened when the lights turn on due to the daylight. Eventhough no direct sun ray are on the tank, could the daylight cause the gha to persist? Heres a shot of the tank before the lights turn onClick image for larger version

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Old 03-03-2015, 04:15 PM   #2
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Are you using tap water?
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Old 03-03-2015, 04:16 PM   #3
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There are two links to algae battling in my signature, but this is going to be a long one.
Plain and simple, you have a nutrient issue in your water column. Nitrates and phosphates. This comes from feeding way too much. I feed my reef tank every 3 days, sparingly.
Do water changes and top offs with ro/di water. This way there will be nothing in the water that can feed the algae. Large water changes with ro/di and manually removing the hair algae as you are doing the water changes.
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Old 03-03-2015, 04:19 PM   #4
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You are going to hate me but here is my advice.

You have to go big here. Like fill a bin with tank water and start taking out your coral one by one. Scrub all algae off them until they are clean and clear of it (in a bucket or something, not the bin you'll store them in). Store the coral in a tupperware bin that is heated and water circulating then hang your LED over it. This can be their new home for a while. Then gut that tank. remove the live rock and scrub the algae off of it. Clean all the algae out of the tank including the walls and any pumps its attached too. If your sand is old, replace it. If its not too bad try to clean it up. Then fill the tank with new RO and salt. Put the rock back in and get everyting up and running with the lights off. I'd put in some really big turbo snails to eat any algae left over. If you do it all quick and the good bacteria doesn't die off of your rock you shouldn't see much of a cycle. Maybe test for amonia for a week or so then start putting the coral back in. While it's empty it may be time to find a an area with less sunshine?
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Old 03-03-2015, 06:02 PM   #5
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I went through a long battle with GHA myself. And I've heard all the reasons people say I suffered. The first and most common reason was excess nutrients. Well, I had 0 nitrates and 0 phosphates (Hanna Checker) throughout my battle. Its all being consumed by the algae they said, but I was feeding about 1-2 times a week (I lost over half my fish and all my shrimp due to starvation), so that wasn't it either. Too much light was the next excuse, so I moved all my corals to a separate tank with the light, shut all the lights off in my DT and wrapped it in a blanket to keep out ambient light. Guess what, algae did just fine. Next I put the corals back in the DT and removed most of my rocks (the ones with the worst algae) and put those into a Brute can with a heater, circ pump and an airstone (to keep water oxygenated) then covered it with the lid. after 4 months in total darkness, only opening up the lid to do weekly water changes and a trial H2O2 daily dosing ritual, the algae was as green as ever. Reducing the lighting will not kill algae, but it may help prevent new growth. BTW, hydrogen peroxide does work on a VERY target specific scale, and is NOT worth the effort in a DT.


So after a year of many tests, trials and tribulations, I discovered there is only 1 efficient way to remove algae. Manually. Fortunately a very robust CUC consisting of specific types of hermits and snails will do all the manual labour (converting all the green grass proteins into poopy ammonia). You simply need to remove the ammonia. And I found an algae turf scrubber (ATS) to be better even than a skimmer. My skimmer and phosguard reactor have been sidelined into storage as the ATS is sufficient.


So, keep you feeding schedule as is (assuming 0 times per week for a coral only tank),
keep the whites reduced for now (to prevent new algae growth)
get a healthy amount of hermits (Dwarf Blue legged, Electric orange/Yellow/Blue, Scarlet), Turbo snails etc. Maybe even an urchin and/or Lettuce Sea Slug.


Good Luck. I won my battle after I tried everyone else's suggestions although the tank did suffer in the meantime. Watch your Alk/Calc levels too, so the corals don't suffer extra.
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Old 03-03-2015, 06:20 PM   #6
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Ingy, did you manually pull out as much as possible first? Manual removal was my only defense. Then I got those HUGE trubo snails from J&L. They are like golf balls. They mowed through the fine stuff but don't touch long algae at all.
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Old 03-03-2015, 07:40 PM   #7
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Thanks i wanted to escape this but looks like i have no choice to put my tank apart... I have tried once to solve the problem with cuc but they all died of starvation i think. As said above, they didnt touche dense algue.

If im to break the tank apart, would it be less risky to dump the live rock to make sure no green hair goes back in the display once cleaned. Last thing i want is to break it up and see it persisting.Thanks for your time. I was waiting to solve this before adding more fish but i might buy one that would eat the algue. Heres a tank pic with lights openClick image for larger version

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Old 03-03-2015, 07:53 PM   #8
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Don't buy or even count on livestock to solve this issue. Your issue is way past such help and adding another creature that eats and poops only adds to the issue. Your issues are your parameters and we have lined out a great battle plan for you to overcome this issue.
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Old 03-04-2015, 02:01 AM   #9
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GHA out of control

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniperhank View Post
Don't buy or even count on livestock to solve this issue. Your issue is way past such help and adding another creature that eats and poops only adds to the issue. Your issues are your parameters and we have lined out a great battle plan for you to overcome this issue.

Adding something you need to FEED I agree would simply compound the problem. But adding something that does not need to be fed additional food is biologically neutral. The crabs would simply convert the algae into ammonia, in other words covert the end stage nitrogens back into the starting nitrogens. Then a skimmer or other methods can remove the ammonia and poop.

As for the question about "did I manually remove my algae", not really. It was too much work in my 31" deep tank, so I just added over 60 hermits. They went to work right away and my algae problems are gone. And to top it all off I have gone from 1-2 feedings per week to every other day.

One thing I did wrong during the outbreak was concentrate so much on feeding reductions and light starving that I let my calcium and Alk levels drop. I believe that was why I lost some of my snails and hermits at the start of the outbreak. I corrected that issue before I added more.

Look, I'm not going to tell you what your doing wrong, or blame some parameter that is lying to you. I'm just telling you what I saw in my outbreak, what I did that finally worked for me. I have a thread about my GHA you can read from last year.


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Old 03-04-2015, 11:30 AM   #10
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Hmmm what a bad case !!!!!!

Use toothbrush to remove what you can... Also lettuce slug (nudi?) will help you so much.

Reduce the lighting time, also your tank seems to be exposed to sun... That's bad.
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