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Old 10-24-2013, 11:15 PM   #1
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to skim or not to skim. affectivly defeating hair algae

I don't mean to be that person looking for a quick fix hair algae problem but please hear me out . I will fill you in a little on my setup and current tank husbandry. I have a 25 gallon aquarium with a 8 gallon hang on back fuge. I do weekly 20% water changes and have a fairly sizable assorted clean up crew. I feed them twice a week and I top off with RODI water only. I run a 6 on, 18 off light cycle. I also dose my system twice a week with a phosphate remover called phosphate E. My nitrites, nitrates, and phosphates are reading 0. My LFS confirmed the Nitrites and nitrates were 0. They were out of phosphate testing kits last time I was there. I believe my strips may be giving me a false negative reading.

I had this same issue earlier this year a few months after my reef was up and running. A little elbow grease by pruning/plucking algae and beefing up my CUC eventually cleaned everything up for two months. I went on vacation for two weeks and came home to a sizable amount of cyano. Eventually the hair algae made its return. My algae pruning and CUC do not appear to be doing the trick this time around. I am looking into a possible nano skimmer but I've heard mix reviews on how affective they actually are in nano systems.

Would it be beneficial for me to look into a skimmer or should I continue my current husbandry practices and tough it out.

All suggestions are appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:24 PM   #2
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As far as I know, skimmers always help and you should be using one in a nano instead of another type of filter. But I could be wrong. Strip tests are also not very accurate. The liquid tests are much more accurate. Also your tests could be reading 0 because the algae is eating any nutrients therefor its no longer in the water column.
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:33 PM   #3
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I don't mean to be that person looking for a quick fix hair algae problem but please hear me out . I will fill you in a little on my setup and current tank husbandry. I have a 25 gallon aquarium with a 8 gallon hang on back fuge. I do weekly 20% water changes and have a fairly sizable assorted clean up crew. I feed them twice a week and I top off with RODI water only. I run a 6 on, 18 off light cycle. I also dose my system twice a week with a phosphate remover called phosphate E. My nitrites, nitrates, and phosphates are reading 0. My LFS confirmed the Nitrites and nitrates were 0. They were out of phosphate testing kits last time I was there. I believe my strips may be giving me a false negative reading.

I had this same issue earlier this year a few months after my reef was up and running. A little elbow grease by pruning/plucking algae and beefing up my CUC eventually cleaned everything up for two months. I went on vacation for two weeks and came home to a sizable amount of cyano. Eventually the hair algae made its return. My algae pruning and CUC do not appear to be doing the trick this time around. I am looking into a possible nano skimmer but I've heard mix reviews on how affective they actually are in nano systems.

Would it be beneficial for me to look into a skimmer or should I continue my current husbandry practices and tough it out.

All suggestions are appreciated.

Thanks
You for sure have nitrates and phosphates, the hair algae + fuge is giving you false readings. Algae feeds off of these and will give you 0 readings when in fact you have them and the algae are just absorbing them. The Cyanobacteria can be fixed by upping the flow and siphoning it out. Hair algae is a whole other battle. A skimmer IMO will do so much more than your fuge is doing. A small fuge like that is helpful but not as much as a skimmer will be.
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:43 PM   #4
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Sounds good. The cyano I was able to get under control fairly easy. Like you said the hair algae is a whole nother story.
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:46 PM   #5
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Sounds good. The cyano I was able to get under control fairly easy. Like you said the hair algae is a whole nother story.
Yeah hair algae is a royal pita lol. The skimmer will pull out stuff before it turns into nitrates which will help and just keep pulling the stuff out. It is beatable!
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:58 PM   #6
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Yeah hair algae is a royal pita lol. The skimmer will pull out stuff before it turns into nitrates which will help and just keep pulling the stuff out. It is beatable!
Ive actually been able to convince myself into seeing the beauty that freshly siphoned, gently flowing hair algae has to offer. Its the 6 other days a week when it is covered in detritus and fish poop that disgust me. lol
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:12 AM   #7
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Ive actually been able to convince myself into seeing the beauty that freshly siphoned, gently flowing hair algae has to offer. Its the 6 other days a week when it is covered in detritus and fish poop that disgust me. lol
Idk if I have ever heard the term beauty and hair algae in the same sentence lol.
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Old 10-25-2013, 01:18 AM   #8
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Actually, the cyano and hair algae are both feeding off of the same thing...your nitrates/phosphates. It will take some time through aggressive water changes and minimizing how much you put into your tank, aka feeding, which you are doing by only feeding bi-weekly, but it might be too much. Siphon the cyano out before water changes, as it should help some...but it will be a long drawn out battle witht he hair algae until it is under control.
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