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Old 04-15-2006, 11:31 AM   #1
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Any additional advice...algae out of control

I've read many posts on this forum and others re: green hair algae... harvest tons of this stuff every other week, and do about 35g water changes WEEKLY. My last big attempt at change was the introduction of a DI - I already had an RO system, but based on advice in this forum I added the DI filter about 5 weeks ago- no improvement at all.

Sorry about the long post but I wanted to provide all of the information that I can...

I have a 90g tank, with approx 60g of a refugium and return tanks in the basement. My water parameters are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrate, 0 nitrite and usually 8.2 pH. Phosphate seems to be a constant 0.05 mg/l (which I think some people just call ppm). My source RO/DI water is also 0.05 mg/L btw.

I use pellet food, occasionally flake - I feed only twice a week usually.

I have about 8 mexican turbo snails, about 3-4 other miscellaneous smaller snails, a blue tang, yellow tang, 3 chromis, and a clown. I also have one cleaner ship and one coral banded shrimp. Green star polyp, three tiny btas, and a finger leather coral.

In the fuge (basement) I have a large volume of chaeto algae that I need to prune every other week, and about 4" DSB - I see pods and little worms in the fuge all the time.. .main tank is BB but I have a "fake" epoxy/sand mix that has hair algae growing on it that I try to prune off weekly but it is impossible to keep up- anywhere the ground is exposed to lights it is more like a nice front yard with algae growing on the floor.

Some rocks have zero algae on them - they look great! But I have several very large rocks just entirely covered in it.

BTW I also have a Suntek T5 light hood (4x54w) with two Aquablue and two BluePlus bulbs. I have tried total lights out for 2-3 days at a time to no avail.

Do I need to take the covered rocks out to "bake" them? I'm at my wits end; my wife wants me to pull the plug because of the hassle involved in cleaning the algae.

I'll try to get pics so you can all see how terrible this all looks.
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Old 04-15-2006, 12:45 PM   #2
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Are the turbo snails helping at all? Mine went to town on the hair algae I had and now it's unnoticeable. A change of bulbs and cutback of lighting for a couple of weeks also helped.

What is your source for RO/DI water? Do have a filter or are you buying it at the LFS or local store? Does your tap water also have .05 mg/L of PO4?
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Old 04-15-2006, 02:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmor1701d
Are the turbo snails helping at all? Mine went to town on the hair algae I had and now it's unnoticeable. A change of bulbs and cutback of lighting for a couple of weeks also helped.

What is your source for RO/DI water? Do have a filter or are you buying it at the LFS or local store? Does your tap water also have .05 mg/L of PO4?
Yes I think the snails are helping - and I will be getting more...but honestly I don't think they can munch through the volume that I have... The bulbs I have in the T5 are about mos old, the prior ones were about 6 mos. old..but that was a prior recommendation that I implemented.

Source of RO/DI water is tap - and yes it also has 0.05 mg/L of PO4.

One note..prior to this tank I had a 37g FOWLR for about 1.5-2 yrs, same water source minus the DI and never had any algae problems. New tank is in the same position as the old tank. One diff is definately the move up to the T5s - I had 65w PCs in the old tank.

Maybe I just need to get a ton of new snails? Coupled with harvesting and maybe baking one or two of the covered LR that I have now?

BTW..not sure if this matters..but I have good corralline algae growth in the fuge in the basement, where I have a floodlight for the chaeto that goes on every night.. but the corraline in the main tank seems to be thriving in indirectly lighted areas, but there are growths of what I think are corraline on the glass but they are all bleached out (all white). Don't know if this has any relationship with the algae problem but thought I'd mention it.

--- MORE INFO ---

More info - pics... they are ugly...

Note that on the left side of the tank, on one hair algae infested rock, sits a star polyp...after keeping the lights off for 3 days it has not come out after 1 day of light...




One more note - I have two modified MaxiJet 700s (I think) to move around water, and a Mag18 pushing water back up from the basement sump (I think the Mag18 alone is around 850 gph).
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Old 04-15-2006, 11:04 PM   #4
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I would add a lot more to your cleanup crew. More snails of different types and maybe a crab that is reef safe and hermit crabs as well. They will all help put a dent in that algea. Check out some online stores to get an idea of how many creatures you should have in your cleaning crew. I have heard sea hares work wonders on hair algea but have no experience with them. HTH.
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Old 04-16-2006, 12:53 AM   #5
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I would add a lot more to your cleanup crew. More snails of different types and maybe a crab that is reef safe and hermit crabs as well. They will all help put a dent in that algea. Check out some online stores to get an idea of how many creatures you should have in your cleaning crew. I have heard sea hares work wonders on hair algea but have no experience with them. HTH.
I have had some snails and hermitz, but for some reason they didn't last very long... but anyway I did look at some on-line stores and my clean-up crew is woefully inadequate - by perhaps 100-150 snails/hermits. I have some more spending to do...hope this is able to control my algae situation. I'll check out a sea hare too.. Thanks!
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Old 04-16-2006, 01:00 PM   #6
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WOW, that's a LOT of algae. Mine was never near that bad. Get more turbo graazers. Also, have you considered a PhosBan reactor? You need to eliminate that PO4.
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Old 04-16-2006, 01:30 PM   #7
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WOW, that's a LOT of algae. Mine was never near that bad. Get more turbo graazers. Also, have you considered a PhosBan reactor? You need to eliminate that PO4.
Yeah tell me about it..I'm almost embarassed to post those pictures. And the pictures you see mind you are a day after a huge harvest!

I'll definately get more turbos... I was hoping the DI would eliminate the PO4 but it seems to have done nothing... i was considering a phosban reactor as well, yes.. what amazes me is that the mere 0.05 mg/L is enough for this algae to thrive like that.
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Old 04-16-2006, 02:00 PM   #8
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http://www.fantasyreef.com/viewtopic.php?p=2816#2816

a couple things come to mind from your posts. Manual removal should be done daily until you have this under control. I also don't see a protein skimmer mentioned. I would recommend the lights out for a week, not just a few days.
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Old 04-16-2006, 07:49 PM   #9
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http://www.fantasyreef.com/viewtopic.php?p=2816#2816

a couple things come to mind from your posts. Manual removal should be done daily until you have this under control. I also don't see a protein skimmer mentioned. I would recommend the lights out for a week, not just a few days.
Yep I've read that link a few times... Sorry I forgot to mention - in one of my tanks in the basement I have a corallife superskimmer that produces some pretty good skimmate...I used to empty it and clean it once a week, now I have it draining to a big bucket but still clean weekly. Recently the skimmate hasn't been as thick and smelly as it used to be, despite my adjustment attempts...it is fairly set skimmate.

I will switch to daily removal...but we'll be out of town for a few days this week so that is going to be tough.

As far as light out for a week - will it hurt my green star polyp, three little BTAs, toadstool or leather coral?
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Old 04-16-2006, 09:13 PM   #10
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it wont hurt the corals, the anemone I am not postitive about. My rose anemone lived through a week without power but I couldnt say for sure yours would.
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