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Old 10-17-2005, 07:19 PM   #1
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Scrape Hair Algae?

I'm getting my phosphates under control with RO/DI water, phosban, and frequent water changes - and have been trying to keep the sides of my tank clean of algae. I am going to add more snails this week - my lawnmower blenny doesn't seem to be touching the hair algae.

Anyway, while scraping the film off the glass I accidentally scraped off a very large amount of hair algae that I had intended on removing. I tried to get some of it with my net, floating around in the water...but, I'm assuming I just made things worse by scraping a huge amount of hair algae into the water flow. No?

This stuff is killing me.
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Old 10-17-2005, 08:34 PM   #2
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I dont think it will hurt a thing.... Try yanking it out by hand, i know a gew guys who had HA bad and the would yank it out all the time by hand,
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Old 10-17-2005, 08:41 PM   #3
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I'm doing all that I can. I've got the PO4 down from 1.5-2.0ppm to 0.2. My nitrates are a little high at 20ppm but I'm doing frequent water changes to drop them. I'm also adding chaeto this week to my fuge.

If I can scrape it it'd be much easy to get in back of the rock - I was just always under the impression that if you scrape it off into the water, it makes matters worse. Can anyone clarify?
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Old 10-17-2005, 09:08 PM   #4
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Do you mean having it free floating in the water making it worse or spreading it? Honestly, I don't really see how it matters. Just keep on doing what you are doing by lowering your nutrients and in time it will take care of itself.
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Old 10-18-2005, 06:01 PM   #5
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It's not the end of the world. However, you want to avoid this as much as possible. Algaes are sessile so they can't exactly get up and run away when an herbivore is attacking it. Some algaes release toxins when they are grazed, some incorporate calcium to make it harder to graze, and others sporulate or fragment when grazed. Hair algae would be a type that purposely fragments when grazed so that the fragments can re-establish elsewhere. It's really nothing more than ensuring that the plant survives.

That's why I don't recommend pulling it in the tank unless you can't get the rock out. In fact, I usually recommend saving dirty waterchange water and put the rock in there to manually pull HA. Then rinse well with saltwater and replace in the tank. Another option that I've used with success is to start a siphon, putting a micron filter bag in the sump, and use the siphon to catch any fragments that try to float off.
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Old 10-18-2005, 07:04 PM   #6
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If your pulling it out by hand you want to get it out of the tank not let it float around. If some gets away its not the end of the world either. I guess i should have been more clear, pulling/cutting it out will help control it but you also want to siphon out the loose HA after your done pruning it. I would prune it when your doing a water change, cut/pull then suck out the free floating HA.
You are doing a good job reducing the PO4 and using ro/di water is great. As you know HA is a tough battle and it takes time. I had 1 rock get it bad when I set up my tank so I got the large Mexican Turbo snails and the mowed it down in about a month. I would put them back on the rock all the time to keep them in my target area.
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Old 10-19-2005, 12:24 AM   #7
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Thank you for your responses - I'll continue to try and pluck it as it grows until it is under control. It has definitely gotten worse since I first posted, and my readings have gotten better, so it's going to be a tough fight. Good suggestion about the snails, but I've had bad luck with the larger turbos. I got 3 of them and I just couldn't keep up with them falling and flipping over. All 3 were eventually eaten on the sand by hermits after falling from a rock or the glass.
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Old 10-20-2005, 12:01 PM   #8
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The large Mexican turbos can flip themselves back over so I wonder what happened. These are golf ball size snails, not to be confused with the Astreas that can't flip over. Its a tough fight which can be won
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