Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater Reef Aquaria
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
Old 10-05-2004, 09:38 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice FINatic
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Lancaster, PA
Posts: 869
Send a message via ICQ to jackdp
Hair algae arrgghhhh!!!

I've been fighting a hair algae outbreak in my 20 long for a couple of months now and I seem to be losing. It all started back in July when we went on a cruise for 10 days. I left an automatic feeder set to the lowest setting with flake food. Well, upon return the tank soon developed a nasty case of hair algae. I do weekly 3 gallon water changes with RO water and use kent or reef crystals salt. The pH is around 8.0-8.3, Ca is usually at 400-430ppm and alk sits around 9-11dkh. I use a Prizm skimmer with a surface skimmer and GAC and phosguard in the media basket. I've recently started removing the LR and removing as much of the stuff as possible with a toothbrush but it seems to grow back. For cleaners I've got about 10 hermits, 10 snails and a Sally Lightfoot crab. What am I missing?????? The lighting is 1x175 watt 10k MH and 2x55 watt PC actinics both with 6mos or less old bulbs. HELP!!!!

Brad C.
jackdp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2004, 09:46 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice FINatic
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Richmond, Va
Posts: 804
Have you tested for nitrates? Are you sure you are not still overfeeding? Have you been changing the RO cartridges? Astrea snails do a great job on hair algae.

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.
phases99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2004, 11:02 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Freak
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 261
Lawnmower Blenny .....
55g Reef
(3) Maxi-Jet 1200's, Wavemaker Pro
AquaC Remora Skimmer
100lbs Live Rock
20g Refugium
(1) Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp
(1) Peppermint Shrimp
(2) False Percs
(1) Orchid Dottyback
(1) Lawnmower Blenny
(1) Flame Angel
(1) Spotted Mandarin
(1) Red Brittle Star
(1) Banded Serpent Star

"But then again, fish do tend to eat one another. I often wonder ... if fish get awfully tired of seafood? What are your thoughts Hobson?"
gear-head is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2004, 09:00 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
lando's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Savage, MN
Posts: 7,889
Have you tested for phosphates? That could be the source of the extra nutrients in the water causing the algea to grow.
lando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2004, 01:21 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice FINatic
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Lancaster, PA
Posts: 869
Send a message via ICQ to jackdp
The RO water is store bought, so no cartridges to change. Nitrates always test 0 mg/L and phoshpates are present, thus the phosguard. I do have some astrea snails, would a lawnmower blenny outgrow a 20 gallon tank? I'm almost to the point of adding a sump/fuge and buying a better skimmer. Its driving me nuts!!!!
Brad C.
jackdp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2004, 11:28 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Montreal,Canada
Posts: 41
I had an outbreak of hair algae a little time back. What I did was water changes every couple of days(2 -3 days), toothbrush scrubbing and running a diatom filter during the process. I found running the diatom worked really well because it collected all those hair particles I scrubbed off the glass. Diatom is expensive though. Raising the PH to 8.4 and keeping it there also helped. Now I'm hair free! That's algae, not my head!
Be persistent. Nothing comes easy when you deal with saltwater and everybody knows that it's all worth it.
Hope this helps
tundar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2004, 11:36 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: philadelphia. PA.
Posts: 2,679
I think you may need to buy an RO/DI filter. Have you tested the store bought RO for a TDS reading? Have you tried a few large water changes like 35-50% a few days apart? I've never used or read about phosguard but, IMO, lowering the phosphates going into the tank, rather than relying on this product, can only help. Adding a lawn mower blenny would be like putting a band-aid on a broken leg, the problem is still there. Good Luck
MT79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2004, 10:11 AM   #8
Posts: n/a
I am actually suprised there is no cyano problems as well. Flake foods are probabley one of the biggest contributors to algae issues if overfed. With the feeder doing the feedings, you may have ended up with much more than desired. The main problem will most likely be organic PO4 which is not detectable by your test kits. It is also much harder to get rid of. Eliminating the cause is one thing but with PO4, it must also be removed from the system or it will incorporate itself into a chemical "lifecycle" so to speak.

Animals will most often ignore this type of algae due to it's size. If kept cropped as close to the rock as possible, the hermits will be alot more effective but 10 is not a very large number when dealing with a problem like this. Personally I would leave the population as it is though even if you added another 10-20, they would help with the problem and then starve from lack of food when it's gone.

Hair algae like cyano is pretty much the same as far as getting rid of it though. When using the PO4 sponge, it is very important not to use too much at each addition but it is quite important to change it regularly. For your size tank I would use about ½-¾ cup of the sponge in a high flow area and change it every second day for new. It can be a little labour intensive and exspensive but it does eventually work. Sometimes as long as a week or more. The manual removal will help greatly as well. Once the algae is removed, the nutrient will go with it.

Be very very careful using Seachem's phosguard and the method I described above if you have any corals or anemones. The Aluminum oxide will be released in the system and will cause corals to stress and slowly expell zooxanthellae.

  Reply With Quote

algae, hair, hair algae

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hair Algae :'( Yellow Eye Tang Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 3 06-24-2009 10:21 PM
Fuzz Algae? Not Hair Algae! FSEMTB2 Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 12 08-14-2007 11:55 AM
hair algae ewelch Saltwater Reef Aquaria 8 09-27-2006 02:58 PM
Hair Algae hardparts2 Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 4 05-08-2006 11:50 AM
siamese algae eater/hair algae nitrous Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 2 04-29-2006 03:57 PM

» Photo Contest Winners

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:26 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.