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Old 01-02-2013, 09:00 PM   #1
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Angry Hair algae, HELP PLEASE

Hi everyone. I'm new to this forum. I need help with a major hair algae problem, I have been dealing with for a few months. Some background, started tank in August it was bought from a very successful reefer and only came with the sand he used plus a about 25 gallons of water from his reef tank which appeared to have no issues. It is a 110 gallon tank with built in over flow and custom made sump underneath has a oceanic 65 protein skimmer(think that's the name/model). I originally starter with a coralife 4 bulb t-5 @ 65 watts per bulb. Switched to exotic sun 120 watt led fixtures have two of them(tank is 48" wide). I have four damsels, two clowns and a Benny so far for fish, I have a serpent star, about 20 Astraea snails, three turbos, and a mix of about 40 blue and red leg hermits, had 2 emerald crabs but one died, I have two cleaner clams and 1 peppermint shrimp. I added one price of small coral just to see how it would do. I have been dealing with hair algae for a few months now, I have taking rock out and used a toothbrush as I see it on the rock, I do a 25% WC every week and right before I do I scrub all my walls and razor off and algae off the glass plus siphon the hair off the sand as I remove water. All my parameters are where they should be. My tank will stay clear for a few days after I do a WC but the hair keeps coming back, please help any advice is helpful. Thank you.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:38 PM   #2
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Are you using tap water? How long are you leaving your lights on for?
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:40 PM   #3
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I had the same problem in my 125 gal tank before I tore it down. I tried all sorts of lighting changes (different color temp, different timing, etc) but nothing really made a difference. I'm not sure how to advise here.

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Old 01-02-2013, 10:06 PM   #4
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Are you using tap water? How long are you leaving your lights on for?
Yes I am using r/o that I make and I test it with a tds tester. So water should be good. Lights are on from 8am till 5 everyday.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:02 AM   #5
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Try dosing with UltraLife Red Slime Remover. I had hair algae on my 100 gallon tank and also redslime (cyano) and it all went away. After dosing I continued doing 20% water changes every week. And I also put two bags of chemi pure elite. If you dose with UltraLife Red Slime Remover you have to turn off your skimmer for a couple of days
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:53 AM   #6
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First off, welcome to AA ! You have to find the source of this problem, so I don't recommend using slime removers. Since you are using RO water and not RO/DI water there will be dissolved solids in the water and phosphates which is what hair algae and cyano feeds off of. Hair algae also feeds off of of nitrates. Your nitrates and phosphates probably read as zero, but it's because the algae is using it up. To solve this problem, use RO/DI water because really your water is the main source of the issue. You can also do more frequent water changes, and drain the water of frozen foods b/c some foods contain phosphates/don't overfeed. What is your water change cycle? You can also have a phosban reactor w/ GFO or a bag w/ GFO to get rid of phosphates. The algae won't disappear right away, but these are ways to get rid of it.
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:06 AM   #7
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also maybe cut down light on hour could help.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:30 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by obscurereef View Post
First off, welcome to AA ! You have to find the source of this problem, so I don't recommend using slime removers. Since you are using RO water and not RO/DI water there will be dissolved solids in the water and phosphates which is what hair algae and cyano feeds off of. Hair algae also feeds off of of nitrates. Your nitrates and phosphates probably read as zero, but it's because the algae is using it up. To solve this problem, use RO/DI water because really your water is the main source of the issue. You can also do more frequent water changes, and drain the water of frozen foods b/c some foods contain phosphates/don't overfeed. What is your water change cycle? You can also have a phosban reactor w/ GFO or a bag w/ GFO to get rid of phosphates. The algae won't disappear right away, but these are ways to get rid of it.
Thanks for the reply. I'm not sure about the slime remover, though good idea, I have used it in the past and even with shutting down all my skimmers and pumps I feel that stuff still causes extra issues, though it does take care of the issue at hand, but rips through a system like acid! I do have a ro/di sorry I was being lazy and short typing! My TDS meter has be checked and calibrated recently, my tds still reads 0 on water that I make. I do my water changes every Sunday or Monday and usually do about 20%. The only thing I don't have is a gfo. So I will get that and give it a try and follow up, oh and cut the light off an hour earlier!!! Thanks for the help
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:29 PM   #9
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Pictures

I had some extra time today figured I would post pics of my tank and the HA problem I am having. I did a water change on Monday and was able to scrub most of it off, the over flow box was covered as was the back wall and my heater. So far I have only seen a little come back or some that I missed. Figured I would put up pics and maybe you guys can identify the brown I am getting a little better than I can. Thanks
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:27 AM   #10
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That's a pretty deep sand bed to have disturbed. Could be a lot of the problem used sand could be full of waste that's feeding the algae just my 2cent
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