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Old 05-21-2003, 01:15 AM   #1
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Problems with Green and Hair algae

Hey,
I have been having a problem with hair algae latley. They seem to be growing constantly on my live rocks, gradually over entire rocks. I have tried to get rid of the hair algae before with my hands by plucking and ripping them off. They still seem to grow back. I think the hair algae is the reason why my front glass is always covered with green algae. Every week i find myself scubbing the front glass to rid it of the green algae so i can see into the tank clearly. Is the green algae normal??? What is a good way to remove the hair algae??? Can i use a toothbrush to scrub it off??? It is starting to grow over my purple and slowly making my rocks look messy.

Also on my front glass along with the green algae there seems to be little spots of brown that are harder to scrub off the glass than the algae. There are patches of brown spots along the front of the glass. What is that??? I scub it off sometimes but it seems to just reappear. How can i get rid of that as well???
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Old 05-21-2003, 01:35 AM   #2
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Can you give us a detailed description of how your tank is set up?
1) How old is the tank?
2) What size tank is it?
3) What kind of water are you using (RO/DI, distilled, tap)?
4) What kind of lighting do you have?
5) How much flow do you have (total)?
6) Are you using a protien skimmer?
7) What livestock do you have including crabs and snails?
Sorry to answer your question with more questions, but we will need more info to make an accurate diagnosis of the problem. Algae problems in reef tanks typically stem from excess nutrients in the water, but not always. The brown spots you mentioned...are they kind of crusty? If so, it may be a type of coraline which is good. Not on the front glass, but good anywhere else in the tank.
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Old 05-21-2003, 02:29 PM   #3
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Hey,
Thanks for the help...

1) The tanks is roughly 8 months old.. and it is acrylic
2) The tank is i belive 29L
3) I use RO water from a pure water store
4) I have a powercompact smartlight with a CustomSeaLife Smart Lamp(s) (half 10,000°K Ultra-Daylight and half Ultra-Actinic).
5) I dont know about how much flow i have though...I do know that i have a rio aqua pump/powerhead and an internal filter. Both help out with water flow/movement. I have the powerhead on the right side and the internal filter on the left.
6)Yes i have a protein skimmer i use one of those seaclone protein skimmers
7) The live stock i have are: Valentini puffer, purple firefish, bicolor bleeny, algae bleeny, and 1 banded trochus snail.

I think i need more snails ... also the brown stuff on the glass is crusty and thus why it is harder to clean off than the green algae. I think you are right about it being coralline because from time to time purple grows on the glass as well and it is also crusty. The hair algae is all over the rocks and even growing on my live sand. What can i do the get rid of the annoying green and hair algae that keeps on growing???

Also i was thinking about trading my puffer for a flame angel...Can you guys recommend some good species for a 29L tank???

Thanks in advance for anyone who helps me out with my problems, your knowledge is greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!
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Old 05-21-2003, 04:57 PM   #4
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OK, first I need to clear up what size tank you have. You posted that it was a 29 liter which works out to about 7 1/2 US gallons. If this is the case, you have way too much bio load in there. If it's a 29 gallon, then you are probably OK there. If it's a 29 gal, you need a minimum of 290 gph flow. I would probably get rid of the puffer if it was me. He will, when he grows some, eat any shrimp you add and may also dine on smaller snails. Where I think your problem may be is the internal filter you mentioned. If you are running media in it, it's a nitrate factory. Nitrate=algae. I would remove any media from the filter and use it for circulation only. I would check the nitrate levels in the tank. How much light do you have? # of bulbs and wattage? If the nitrates are high, I would get them under control before adding any more snails or other inverts as many of them are sensitive to nitrates.
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Old 05-22-2003, 12:42 AM   #5
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I think its a 29Gallon but the sticker says 29L. I was also thinking of removing the puffer anyway before he gets big. Also the snail in my tank has been there for a long time and he moves everywhere all over the tank. I don't know how much nitrate is in there though. I agree maybe i should do something for the intermal filter. It has high flow of water though.
What do you think i should do with my live rocks to stop the hair algae??? Whats the best solution for it to stop growing???
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Old 05-22-2003, 03:45 AM   #6
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Take the media out of the internal filter and use it like a powerhead. You can still run it. Buy a nitrate test and check the nitrate level in the tank. Or, take a water sample to the LFS and get them to check it for you. You need a clean up crew in there. More snails and a few hermit crabs. Some people have trouble with hermits killing their snails, but I have never had a problem with them...get only blue legs or scarlet reef hermits. I also like sally lightfoot crabs and emerald crabs. If the hair algae is really bad, you may need to take the rock out and scrub it with a brush. Clean it in tank water...good time for a large water change too. Also, IMO, you need more light. If you like the Smartlite, I'd get another one just like it. That'll put you just over 4 wpg with two 65w bulbs. You'll have to get the nutrient levels in the water down before you can stop the hair algae. BTW, do you have a deep sand bed in this tank (DSB)?
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Old 05-22-2003, 01:36 PM   #7
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Yea i figured i need a clean up crew. My sand be is around an inch thick. Are there any fishes that can do a good job cleaning my tank??? I plan on scrubbing the rocks and changing the water today. Maybe that might help.
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Old 05-22-2003, 10:13 PM   #8
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I like the lawnmower and sailfin blennies. They are sometimes sold as "algae blennies". There are varying opinions as to whether they actually eat algae or not. I put one (a sailfin) in my coral prop tanks and most of the hair algae disappeared in a few days. Whether this was due to the fish eating it or the tank maturing I don't know. In any event, they are so hideously ugly that you can't help but like them.
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