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Old 02-14-2004, 03:28 PM   #1
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Hair algae on live rock

What will happen if I wash the hair algae off my live rock under freshwater? Maybe a stupid question but I'm tired of battling the hair algae.
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Old 02-14-2004, 03:58 PM   #2
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You will end up killing a fair amount of fauna and coralline that way. Depending on the crew in your tank, the easiest way to deal with hair algae is manual removal and greatly reduced nutrient. The main culprit will be PO4 in most cases so I would suggest getting that tested and ensure you only use a pure water source like RO for top off and water changes.

Once you eliminate the cause, the algae will usually go with it. A good way to remove it is with a toothbrush. It's a bit labour intensive but very effective. Once trimmed down a kept short, the animals will have a better opportunity to control it. If too long, most snails and hermits will simpley ignore it.

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Old 02-14-2004, 04:46 PM   #3
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I have to take it out and scrub it about each time I do a water change. I have a phosphate test kit and it tests good, I also use RO water for changes and top offs. I feed once a day and try to limit the amount I give them. Any other ideas??
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Old 02-14-2004, 06:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by cathyjane
I have a phosphate test kit and it tests good,
Good would mean undetectable. Any amount of measurable inorganic phosphate would mean the presence of high organic phosphates that would continue a nasty cycle allowing it to fuel the algae problem...

Your routine seems fine except for the need to remove the rock. How's the tank set up/age, animal load including mobile inverts and what is the main food you use?

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Old 02-14-2004, 09:38 PM   #5
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Try some Emerald Crabs, they love hair algae.
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Old 02-15-2004, 03:25 PM   #6
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My profile lists my tank set up. I did a po4 test yesterday and it was 0. I mostly feed flake food and occassionally toss in a little frozen brine shrimp. I also put in some phytoplankton for the scallop occassionally.
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Old 02-15-2004, 09:53 PM   #7
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Cutting back on the flakes will help. They can be a great addition to a feeding routine but should not be used too heavily. They are loaded in organic and inorganic phosphates and will continue to fuel the algae problem.

If the only fish is the tomato clown, I would just use some mysis soaked and drained to remove excess PO4 and then add a few drops of Zoe to fortify it. You should notice a difference in about a week. An added benefit would be using a PO4 granular sponge for a day or two to help reduce the organic phosphates. I realize you have said the test reads zero for inorganic phosphates but if the tank had no PO4, you would have no algae problem...

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Old 02-15-2004, 09:55 PM   #8
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Sorry missed the fish at the end of the profile . They will be fine with the mysis as well.

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Old 02-16-2004, 01:37 PM   #9
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What is mysis and zoe and will my LFS carry it? I live in a pretty small market.
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Old 02-16-2004, 04:29 PM   #10
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mysis shrimp also availabe at many other on line stores.

Zoe or Selcon are nutrient enrichers (vitamins) for fish.
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