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Old 09-06-2005, 04:40 PM   #1
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hair algae is really fun

So for the past month or so I have had pretty bad hair algae problems. I added tons of snail and hermits but no great impact has occurred. So I was thinking of getting a sea hare. Any better ideas? All of my levels are good. I think my MH bulb might be getting old also so changing that might help (?) Any new critters out there that can attack this problem?

40 gal reef
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Old 09-06-2005, 04:53 PM   #2
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changing the ligh, doing alot of water changes, (make sure your water is ro water), reduce lighting and manual removal with fingers or tweezers are the best bet. there are other options, but none I would consider for a tank your size. I cannot comment on the feasability of the sea hare as I have never had one.

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Old 09-06-2005, 05:02 PM   #3
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Do you have Astrea snails? They did great on the hair algae for me. My Yellow Tang also does a wonderful job on any macro algae. If this is your 40 gal listed in your signature then I guess a tang isn't an option. If you haven't tried astrea snails, I recommend giving that a shot. They really mowed through it for me.
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Old 09-06-2005, 10:21 PM   #4
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We bought a sea urchin to eat the hair algae. He did a great job and is now a resident in our sump as he was getting destructive (kept wanting to wear a particular coral as a hat).
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Old 09-07-2005, 01:59 AM   #5
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I don't think you'll solve the problem with a sea hare. I have a large sea hare in my 33 g and although he DOES eat algae, he is not as effective as I hoped. I added it almost a month ago and the algae is starting to recide but I've also starting feeding about 50% as much, also added a emerald green crab (he IS eating all my bubble algae) and the algae is all starting to reduce noticably. I hope another month or two and it will be pretymuch gone.

Also check your temp, don't let it get over 82degC as some algae seem to explode above that temp. That really helped prevent mine from spreading as my temp was going WAY to high by the evening after 10-12hrs of light.

The sea hare is like a giant dumb bulldozer in a small tank. It WILL knock stuff over so keep that in mind. One thing he is very good for is sifting my sand as he burries about 2 inches into the sand every morning and has a 5-6 hr nap completely out of site except his buttholes. That's right, I said buttholes... Stange critter that is for sure. Its the ugliest thing but I seem to watch it more than anything else...

Good luck.

Equipment: 33G SW Reef tank (pic), 192W Coralife PC lighting, PHs for H2O circulation, Red Sea Berlin Classic Skimmer
Aquascaping: 3" DSB, 50lb live rock (~35 lbs home made Cement Base Rock)
Clean Up Crew: Blue Leg hermits, Cerith snails, Astrea Snails, Stomatella snails, Brittlestar, banded brittles.
Critters: Hawaiian feather duster, Coral Banded Shrimp, Emerald Crab
Corals: Open Brain Coral, Cabbage coral, 4 RBTAs, Melon mushrooms, green Zoos, yellow polyps, finger Leather, orange Zoos, Brown Zoos, Chocolate Zoos, Xenia, GSP, Kenya Tree Coral, 2 acropora SPS, blue sponge, candy cane
Fish/Inverts: Maroon Clownfish, Scooter Blenny, Coral Beauty dwarf angel, Sea Hare
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Old 09-07-2005, 04:19 AM   #6
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yeah I have tons of astrea, lots of hermits, and I live in san francisco so the tank os always at a cool temp. Im just gonna get some more algea eaters and new bulbs I guess.
40 gal reef
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Old 09-07-2005, 07:50 AM   #7
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Adding animals as a way of controlling algae is a hit or miss shot. The algae is getting a foothold due to excess nutrients in your tank. Nitrates and phosphates. Are you using tap or RO/DI water? If using tap, have you tested your tap water for nitrates and phosphates? Doing some extra waterchanges using RO/DI water to mix your sw should help. Also, if your bulbs are old, replacing them would help as well.
Just a bit on the sea hare. In case your not aware, these slug can get up to 12" long. That's a big slug. They love to eat caulerpa algae and if that isnt' available, they should be supplemented with some nori or something simular. Also, seahares if frightened or startled can release a toxin into the water so be sure to have good chemical filtration on your tank.
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Old 09-07-2005, 08:05 AM   #8
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I have had a hair algae problem for about 2 months now. I added some more snails and hermits, and like you, mrpope, I did not see any impact. For the past week and a half I have done water changes just about every 2 days and I have seen a significant decrease in the hair algae that I have. Granted I only have a 12 gallon nano but that has worked the best for me.

Generally I manually remove as much as possible before doing the water change. This has worked well for me.

Good Luck and keep us posted on what works best for you.
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Old 09-10-2005, 02:28 AM   #9
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I use RO/DI for water top offs and changes, I think its gotta be the lights which are on the way. I went with the aqualine 10,0000 as a repacement.
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Old 09-10-2005, 09:08 AM   #10
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Turbo grazers are working wonders for my hair algae problem. I'm still trying to figure out my source problem as I only use RO/DI for both changes and makeup water. I feed only every 2-3 days (other than nori). I cut my photo period down to 6 hours/day. And I have macro algae in the sump (lit 24/7). I also have skimmer turned up so it needs to be emptied 2x/week. Now that I'm ready to release my new lawnmower blenny from QT I can start making up 30gal water changes again. Between the blenny and 2x/water changes I'm hoping to finally beat the algae problem.
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Old 09-10-2005, 10:06 AM   #11
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I solved mine with a phosphate remover and some emerald crabs and a lettuce slug..they all keep it down...

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algae, hair, hair algae

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