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Old 02-13-2014, 06:12 PM   #1
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lots of water changes???

Well, finally bought a ro/di system. Guess I'm hooked now..lol. Anyway, I've been battling hair algae for a couple of months now with no success. I do 25% weekly water changes. Now that I can make my own water whenever I want, would it help with my algae problem by doing water changes daily for a while or would that be a waste of time? I feed only a couple times a week, my parameters are good but I'm sure that my nitrates and phosphates are not reading because of the algae. I've cut my lighting down to about 6 hours a day. My zoas and star polyps are starting to look sad. Any other suggestions ?
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:17 PM   #2
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other than a very stringent daily session of physical removal, the only other thing you can do is starve out the algae. id focus your efforts towards cutting the trate and phosphate levels down as low as possible. remember that frequent water changes arent always the solution to hair algae. also if its really running wild, try using macroalgae (caulerpa) to outcompete the hair algae.
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:34 PM   #3
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By Microalgae, you mean in a refugium? I don't have one...
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:45 PM   #4
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You can easily make a refugium out of a hob filter. If you have that much algae you have nutrient issues to resolve. This can be done with water changes but is only a bandaid. Reduce the amount your feeding, cut down light times (8 hours is typical) you can go full blackout provided you don't have any coral. The biggest issue is likely overfeeding, cut that down and it should help. Adding clean water only does good till you add extra food again.
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:46 PM   #5
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you can do 2 big 50% water changes back to back to cut back most of the nitrates and phosphates
lighten up on feedings and cut back lighting
than go back on your normal scheduled water changes
that should be enough to starve out algae and it should recede in a week or so you should also see improvement on how your corals look
25% weekly changes just isn't enough to bring down phosphates and nitrates if there off the chart
you just need to grab bull by horns and take control
using macro's with nitrates and phosphates are a lost cause
once you get it under control yes you can use a hob for a fuge with macro's just remember macro's in a hob should be replaced biweekly or there useless
ulva works best in a hob cheato disintegrates to fast
I'm a big fan of macro's as long as they are used correctly they can be your best friend
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:06 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info. Guess I'll get my ro unit fired up and start making some water. Another thing I've been doing is blowing the rocks off with a turkey baster. Tons of junk coming off the rocks when I do. Is this detritus? I'm sure the algae loves it if it is...
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:40 PM   #7
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how is using macro algae to battle phosphate issue a lost cause? the use of macroalgae in sw setups is a fairly common practice, therefore id say its pretty effective. as for replacing the macro every 2 weeks or so, thats unnecessary. all someone has to do is trim the macro back every few weeks. thats it.
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:47 PM   #8
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Pull as much off as possible first, with that much algae I don't know that water changes are gonna do the trick. If you can pull the rocks out of the tank do it that way. I used a bucket of water I syphoned out of my tank then I'd use a course brush to brush as much off as possible. Then when I manually removed as much as I could I would do some really big water changes and cut the lights down. I beat it but in all honesty I ended up removing a large rock that I just couldn't get it off of and then cured that rock in the dark in my garage for months before reusing it.
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:59 PM   #9
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I cut the lights off for 3 straight days. The ambient light in the house is enough light even if you have coral. I did 20% water change each day and ran phosban in my filter. That did the trick.
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:59 PM   #10
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lots of water changes???

Quote:
Originally Posted by huma-huma View Post
how is using macro algae to battle phosphate issue a lost cause? the use of macroalgae in sw setups is a fairly common practice, therefore id say its pretty effective. as for replacing the macro every 2 weeks or so, thats unnecessary. all someone has to do is trim the macro back every few weeks. thats it.



Yes, I also had problems agreeing with parts of that quote. Algae is your friend. You can use it to control nitrates and some phosphates. Harvesting it and disposing of it is a tried and true way to export organic wastes. Chaeto works very well as it's easy to corral and doesn't go asexual. Even a small ball of it tucked into the display helps. If you have zero room, then consistent water exchanges works and you might target phosphate removal with a GFO or Phosguard filter. Controlling algae by solely reducing feeding leaves you with hungry fish and that's a compromise all on its own. Remove as much nuisance algae as possible, then keep up the water exchanges with that new RO/DI system and you will be good to go. Don't expect any algae eaters to help the problem.

BTW, did you say you have a protein skimmer? Also tank size wasn't mentioned.

Some folks grow macro algaes in their reef displays that are as pretty as many corals. I'm going to start one of those soon.
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