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Old 07-30-2003, 10:05 PM   #1
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Hermits & algae

Hey,
I have a 30 long tank. I have in there a algae blenny, bi color blenny, flame angel, purple firefish. I just got about 7 red scarlet reef hermits. I got the hermits to fight the Hair Algae that constantly keeps growing and growing. The hermits don't really move that much. They just sit there and move about an inch every 5 hours or so. Is this normal??? Can they handel the hair algae problem or should i do something else to get rid of it? Also on some of my live rocks along with the hair algae there is some purple stuff growing along with it. Its not purple coralline its like purple fuzz or hair that is easily removable. I tried to touch it and it just came off...What is it? Is it bad too? If its bad can the hermits take care of it??? We'll tell me what you guys think...Thanks for the help in advance...
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Old 07-30-2003, 11:37 PM   #2
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Re: Hermits & algae

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.5150
I just got about 7 red scarlet reef hermits. I got the hermits to fight the Hair Algae that constantly keeps growing and growing. The hermits don't really move that much. They just sit there and move about an inch every 5 hours or so. Is this normal???
Very normal for hermits. Once they find a nice patch of "consumables" they'll sit it out until they're done. Personally I find scarlet hermits somewhat lacking when it comes to hair algae control. They are much better with detritus and other types of macro algaes.

Quote:
Can they handel the hair algae problem or should i do something else to get rid of it?
Two things I would suggest. Get some lefthanded/zebra hermits. About 15 would do it. These guys are amazing with hair algae. You must however help them out. No hermit or snail will touch hair algae if too long. It must be cropped as short a spossible and then they should do the rest and keep it under control. I would also suggest a few different types of snails if they are not there already. As well as a few extra empty shells to avoid snail predatation by the hermits.

Have you tested the tank for PO4? It is one of the major contributors to these kinds of problems. It can be introduced via impure water sources as well as frozen meaty foods.

Quote:
Also on some of my live rocks along with the hair algae there is some purple stuff growing along with it. Its not purple coralline its like purple fuzz or hair that is easily removable. I tried to touch it and it just came off...What is it?
Sounds like you hair algae has some cyanobacteria hitching a ride. This would also suggest you may not have enough water flow in the tank. Could also be feeding issues or light types. Cyano loves old lights but hates light in the 420 nm range.

If you can post a general rundown of the tank set up and some additional water parameters it would be easier to nail this down

Cheers
Steve
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Old 07-31-2003, 02:49 PM   #3
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Hey...Thanks for the help advice...This is how i have my tank set up:
I have 30 long....
-Whipser power filter
-PowerCompact SmartLite Strip (CustomSeaLife Smart Lamp(s) (half 10,000K Ultra-Daylight and half Ultra-Actinic).
-SeaClone Protein Skimmer
-Rio Aqua Powerhead on right side of tank
-Fluval Plus internal filter on left side of tank (used for water movement)

-I use only RO water from a local pure water store...i also use denitrate in the filter.

The purple stuff along the hair algae is purple and film, slimy some are purple hairs too...Is this cyano? I always thought that cyano was brown or something...It can easily be removed by hand...Should i go ahead and do that? The LFS does not sell zebra hermits. Should i just remove the rocks and try to brush and pull off as much of the cyano and hair algae as possible then put it back in the tank and let the hermits deal with the rest??? I don't really know....tell me what you guys think...THANKS!
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Old 07-31-2003, 03:26 PM   #4
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I ordered my zebra hermits from live aquaria.com. They had great service. What do you recommend to decrease p04 levels? I am too having a problem with hair algae. I drastically reduced my lighting until I can figure this out. I have not tested my p04 yet, but I am trying to stay a step ahead.
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Old 07-31-2003, 05:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.5150
-I use only RO water from a local pure water store...i also use denitrate in the filter.
If the flow is about 300+ GPH without the skimmer then that should be fine.

RO water is always a good choice but when using LFS purchased water you should still double check the levels yourself once in awhile. You never really know how often they change the membranes.

Is the denitrator a granual or a slow flow coil? The granuals could be part off the problem.

Quote:
The purple stuff along the hair algae is purple and film, slimy some are purple hairs too...Is this cyano? I always thought that cyano was brown or something...It can easily be removed by hand...Should i go ahead and do that?
Cyano actually comes in a few different colors but primarily red/purplish in marine tanks. It si easily removed and feels slimey to the touch. Cropping the hair and syphoning out as much cyano as possible will help. The hermits will have much better luck with it.

Still no mention of snails

Quote:
The LFS does not sell zebra hermits. Should i just remove the rocks and try to brush and pull off as much of the cyano and hair algae as possible then put it back in the tank and let the hermits deal with the rest??
I would try the online vendors for the hermits as suggested, but I would not really recommend scrubbing the rock. If the hair algae is kept short enough, the crabs should do the rest.

Cutting back on feedings, increasing the "crew" population, checking the source water and also monitoring the alkalinity would be the best solution at this stage.

Cheers
Steve
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