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Old 12-14-2014, 04:20 PM   #1
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Major green hair algae problem

I have been battling green hair algae for several months now and have tried almost everything to get rid of it. I pull it out with every water change turn the rocks upside down, have seachem phosguard in a container where all the tank water is pumped through but it still keeps on growing back with a vengeance. If I can't get rid of it soon I'm closing the tank as it is starting to kill off corals and looks horrible. Does anyone have any advice to help get rid of this? I don't want to turn off the lights as I have a lot of corals sps and Lps. I know that phosphate can be inside live rock and leach out into the tank but surly if this is the case there is only a limited amount of phosphate and will run out eventually. I'm careful with feeding and make sure I only feed little so there is no excess food after. I have read up about cooking the rocks to remove the phosphate but won't that kill the bacteria as well?

My params are

1.024
Ammonia - 0
Nitrate - 0
Phosphate - 0.6
Alk - 9
Ph - 8.2



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Old 12-14-2014, 04:47 PM   #2
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Well, the phosphates still being in that range are pointing at a big issue. Make sure you are using ro/di water with your water changes, continue to pull the stuff out during them as well. You are on the right track, algae is a long battle you just need to keep at it.
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Old 12-14-2014, 05:57 PM   #3
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No trolling intended, but everything you said you did should have done it. I use RO/DI when mixing my saltwater and I was beginning to have coralline and green algae. I pulled as much as I could by hand and turned some rocks upside down into the sand, I added phos guard, and did a 50% WC and boom! does not come back. How often do you do WCs? and how big?
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Old 12-14-2014, 07:30 PM   #4
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To be fair I have only had the phosguard for a few weeks the phosphate was at 0.16 before and has only just started to to come down 0.08. Also I'm not sure I trust the test kits entirely I'm using a Red Sea comparator. I normally do water changes every 1 to 2 weeks and about 20% water change i have an r/o unit maybe need to change the pre filters but think the membrane is fine as the tds is 1ppm. Do you think I am on to a winning battle. I done a water change and week ago and pulled out masses of algae but slowly and surly it is growing back again with the phosphates at 0.08. I also have an algae blenny and a tang that is munching through it I know is dosent remove the phosphate tho. Would adding a uv filter help? Would lowering the brightness of the LEDs help? Also a friend told me that raising the alkalinity to 12 will stop it but am reluctant to try this as have not read any evidence of this being true and could cause more harm than good I the tank.


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Old 12-14-2014, 07:35 PM   #5
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Also I got the phosphate wrong in the params i put 0.6 it's supposed to be 0.08


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Old 12-14-2014, 08:20 PM   #6
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Well, it might be that this is more of a stocking issue. Big fish in too small of a tank. What is the tank size and livestock?
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Old 12-15-2014, 03:43 AM   #7
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I have 1 small goldrush tang, 3 chromies. 2 Picasso clowns and a stary blenny. Two cleaner shrimp star fish several snails. This algea has always been an issue tho even when the tank had like only 3 fish in. I was careful and worked to the rule of 2 inch of fish per 5 gallon of water


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Old 12-15-2014, 05:10 PM   #8
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I had a hair algae boom with phosphates at 2ppm and I used rowaphos in a cartridge filter which dropped it to 0.25 overnight. I have heard different outcomes of uv sterilisers killing phosphate? Not sure how accurate this is though


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Old 12-16-2014, 05:18 PM   #9
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Mix yourself a big batch of new saltwater. Set a couple of hours a side. In a bucket, suck out a bunch of water from your tank, just the water. Then start removing coral and putting it in the bucket. How much is up to you but start clearing off rock. Then fill another bucket with tank water, maybe 3/4s full. Start pulling out your agae covered rocks one at a time and scrub them clean in the bucket. You can probably do 3 or 4 in a bucket before the water is too soupy. Put those newly cleaned and scrubed rocks back in the tank and do it again until you've removed and scrubbed all the rocks. Now you'll still have some algae on the rock but it will be minimal. This is when your fish and snails will come in handy. They wont clean big tufts but they'll clean surface algae off. Fill the tank up with your new fresh water and replace the coral when your temp has leveled out. Its agressive and time consuming but once you get a good handle on the issue the reduced phosphates and new clean water should really help. Then for a few weeks agressively change water. Do a bit every day if you have to...

This is how I won the battle a while ago. Plus, its a great time to re aquascape if you want...
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