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Old 07-10-2005, 05:36 PM   #1
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Hair algae

How do I get rid of hair algae?

125g sw
lr ls
no fish (all died)
phosphates are less than .5 ppm but i still have hair growing everywhere?

TIA
Jason
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Old 07-10-2005, 05:41 PM   #2
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in my 45 gal i had it bad too then i got 20 turbo snails and a yellow tang and it was ALL gone in a week
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Old 07-10-2005, 05:41 PM   #3
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Get yourself a couple of tangs. that really works
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Old 07-10-2005, 06:07 PM   #4
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Getting a couple of snails or tangs is only going to put a bandaid on the problem. The reason you have hair algae is because your phosphates are elevated. Hair algae, or any algae for that matter, feeds on excess nutrients in the water...primarily phosphate and nitrate (algae will also consume ammonia and nitrite). A phosphate level of .5 ppm is not terribly high but it is elevated. Most reefers will try to keep phosphates undetectable.
You must find out why your phosphates are elevated and work to lower them. Monitor your feeding and conduct a few water changes with aged saltwater. Make sure your protein skimmer is working properly, as heavy skimming should greatly reduce the amount of phosphates that accumulate. You could also try a phosphate adsorbing media, such as Phosban or RowaPhos. HTH
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Old 07-10-2005, 06:43 PM   #5
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I agree a tang is not the answer and I think it's irresponsible to suggest a tang to fix an algae problem. This tank happens to be big enough to house one but many others aren't, long term. Finding the source of the problem and dealing with it there is the best route. You could also try adding some macro algaes to help eat up the excess nutrients that the hair algae is thriving on. JMO
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Old 07-10-2005, 07:41 PM   #6
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What type of water are you using? test your top off water for nitrates and phosphates.
If you can detect .5 my guess there is a lot more, the algae is using it to live and spread. Turbo snails work well and sea hairs, like the others said work on finding the cause of the problem.
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Old 07-11-2005, 06:21 PM   #7
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I have used a combo of po4 remover (PhosBan reactor), UV and skimming. Skimming is probably the most under rated solution for PO4 issues. Cutting down feedings is not likely to produce much relief unless you are very seriously over feeding. Having a skimmer that is producing about a cup of 'green tea' colored skimmate a day is a good start. If you find the skimmate is lighter in color, you can back off a bit. If you find it is darker then you need to increase skimming. With out going into some super long post, PO4 removers (filter pads, media, etc) can be a real tool as po4 can become sort of embedded in the live rock/substrate over time. You end up battling not only what is adding to the problem, but also having to rid the 'embedded' po4 first. (Sort of like getting to the root of the issue..) I have found from personal experience keeping the glass free of coraline algea will help too. So many times I see hair algea taking root in the coraline algea, so scrap away and suck out as much you can. If you don't think your skimmer is up to snuff, consider a couple water changes / month. Checking your RO/DI or top/mix water is good too. While most salts introduce some level of po4, starting off with a high level (.25ppm or more) will only exacerbate the problem. As a note, it takes quite a while to get the algea under control much less get rid of it. Getting some turbos or tangs is fine, as long as you are addressing the root cause. (And are willing to house the tang as it grows, etc)
GL!
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Old 07-11-2005, 09:50 PM   #8
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as po4 can become sort of embedded in the live rock/substrate over time
first...how does it get imbedded and how do you get rid of it?
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Old 07-12-2005, 12:21 AM   #9
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have found from personal experience keeping the glass free of coraline algea will help too
I have found the opposite. The more coralline, the less nusiance algae. And on the same note, if there is a problem with high phosphates, I doubt that coralline will be growing at a fast rate. Phosphate inhibits the growth of all calcifiers (including coralline algae).
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:10 AM   #10
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Test PO4 in your source water first. Testing PO4 in the main during an algae outbreak is going to give you false readings. The PO4 level will likely be higher then the test will find due to the fact that the aglae is consuming some fo the PO4. This would also explain why nuisance algae can grow in tanks with no "detectable" PO4. It is imperative your source water be 100% free of PO4. Next, turn your attention to your food. PO4 gets into the tank during feeding time. thaw and rinse all frozen food in RO/DI water before adding it to the tank. To get rid of the hair algae, manual remove is the best method. Snails, hermits and emerald crabs may also help but they will not attack large algae outbreaks.
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