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Old 10-06-2015, 07:18 PM   #1
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Purple and Green Hairy algae

This has probably been addressed so forgive me if I'm rehashing something, but I'm now getting purple hairy algae all over the sand, and green hairy algae on the live rock. We've had the tank up since the first of August and all has been well. We're not putting anything new in uless it's been quarantined and to date, have 2 chromis, 2 emerald crabs, a a handful (12-15) turbo snails and a couple of hermit crabs. Recently, the purple algae started growing like crazy on the sand/crushed coral and I've done two 5 gallon water changes in the last 2 weeks on this 74 gallon tank. How can I get rid of this stuff?
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Old 10-06-2015, 07:24 PM   #2
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Check your nitrates normally if there is a big algae bloom like that your nitrates are up in my experience you may be feeding to much or your light schedule may be to long

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Old 10-06-2015, 08:07 PM   #3
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What are your current water parameters?
This sounds like an issue with nitrates and phosphates, along with low flow, as Cyanobacteria loves nutrients and low flow.
There are two articles on my signature that discuss algae battles, but you simple aren't taking out enough nutrients as you are putting more in.
It is recommended to do 10% water changes weekly to combat growing nutrient issues. So if nitrates were 50, it would go down by 5...
You will need to make a long term battle plan to solve your issue. Increase flow, cut back on feeding minimally every 3 days, do large water changes every so many days and manually remove as much cyano and algae that you can in the process.
Remember, this won't be solved over night. It could take easily over a month to combat what is currently established.


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Old 10-06-2015, 08:12 PM   #4
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New tank syndrome with a nutrient problem I would suspect. I would definitely do more than a 5gal PWC once a week on a 74gal. Multiple 20-25% PWC might be needed separated by a couple days. Lower the feeding and cut the lights back a bit.

I'm no expert and would be interested in what other reefers think.


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Old 10-06-2015, 08:18 PM   #5
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If it is really purple hair algae and not cyanno then you need an urchin to eat it.
This will take a while to work.
Purple Hair Algae???? | Reef Sanctuary

Does it look like algae in link or is it cyanno?
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:21 PM   #6
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welcome to what we call new tank syndrome
it's a faze all of us have been through one time or another doing small water changes prove to be worthless, 50% water change will help the most at this faze than another should be done your first faze , after that 25% water changes every few days till it clears up than from there you can go back to a normal weekly water change most of the purple you are seeing is silicates which in turn causes phosphates once you get both of these under control the hardest part is over,
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:13 PM   #7
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Purple algae is Cyano, green hair algae is because of the phosphate level in the tank. Remove the phosphates, and you remove the algae.
With regards to Cyano, how much flow do you have in the tank? More flow = less cyano.
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Old 10-10-2015, 12:40 PM   #8
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They said it all but the first step is to manually remove them and after changing water just use a minimal of light to slow down algae growth. Fish just need enough light to see what they eat.
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