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Old 10-11-2005, 12:31 AM   #1
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Interesting hair algae observation

I'm slowly winning my battle with hair algae. Often, while gazing at my tank, I've wondered why the right side has so much more of a problem than the left.

Today, I remembered that when I set up my MH's in February, I placed a 10k bulb on the right and a 14k on the left. That's the only thing I can think of. The algae is growing better, much, under the 10k bulb.

When I replace these bulbs, I'm staying away from the 10k. I'll likely go with a pair of 20k's.
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Old 10-11-2005, 02:50 AM   #2
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I`m sure light is feeding it but so are organics in the water.
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Old 10-11-2005, 03:31 AM   #3
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Why not back down your feeding, go with a pair of 10k's and suppliment some actinic. Looks nice, and good overall growth.
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Old 10-11-2005, 07:25 AM   #4
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K rating is more for aesthetics anyways. If you like the look of the 10K better, go with those. If you like 14K, you can go with those. Do more frequent water changes, and get rid of the dissolved organics (are you planning on getting a skimmer?) in your water, and you should see it die in no time. A skimmer, along with more frequent water changes, has taken care of a lot of my problems with algae.

You could always acclimate some mollies to SW. They'll love you for it with all that hair algae.

Good luck.
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Old 10-11-2005, 11:46 AM   #5
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Like I said, I'm winning the battle. Water changes can't get anymore frequent (20% weekly). I only feed sparingly, 3x/week and I do have a skimmer. I also have 2x32w actinics and my MH's stay on for only 5 hours. The point was that the side with the 10k WAS growing significantly more than the side with the 14k.

Actually, I don't think k-rating is aesthetic only, although I've heard that often here. Maybe with regard to corals but with plants (e.g. algae) light wave frequency is a definite impact. Ask any horticulturalist. That's why "grow" lights come in specific wave bands. Algae definitely responds differently to different wave bands of light.
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Old 10-11-2005, 01:59 PM   #6
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Yes in fact it should grow more in the 10k side as you might know the best light for photosynthesis is 6500k or should I say that the natural sun spectrum is at that color temp. So being a 14k much more apart spectrum-wise than the 10k algae will grow faster but so should your corals if all your parameters are the same. IMO, if you have corals, I would stick with 10k's supplemented with actinics.
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Old 10-11-2005, 04:55 PM   #7
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I stand corrected. Thank you. K ratings aren't really important for corals, but I never thought about plants. Makes perfect sense though, guess I wasn't thinking.

Good luck with your hair algae battle! Have you thought about a molly or two?
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Old 10-11-2005, 08:18 PM   #8
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Good observation. Here's some other "weapons" for your arsenal:

It's important to keep in mind what feeds hair algae in order to control it - phosphates, nitrates, and lighting. Phosphates are in every living thing and one of the problems with testing is that we can only test for one type of phosphate. Also, if you have hair algae, you have high phosphates - no need to test. I'd research the root cause of the fuel and try your best to limit them. Some suggestions would be: be sure to use RO/DI or distilled water only, increase the amount and frequency you change water, turn up your skimmer so it produces a wet skimmate, ditch any flake or pellet food, reduce your feeding, rinse your frozen food really well with SW prior to feeding, reduce your lighting (even a few hours can make a big difference), and then as a last resort, put in a phosphpate binder.

Good luck!

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