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Old 12-08-2008, 01:52 AM   #1
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Enhance my clean-up crew?

Right now I have 15 Nassarius snails, about 15 Astrea snails, 1 BIG Mexican Turbo Snail (He's bigger than my Coral Beauty!), and 1 Emerald Mithrax Crab, but I'm still having a problem with hair algae. I'm planning on another water change soon (After I'm done with my current college assignments due soon), and also planning on taking the offending hair algae rocks into their own bucket, scrub them with a toothbrush in a bucket of tank water (Could do that with the water from the water change), but I'd like for hair algae 2.0 to not break out as bad... It's grown too large for Astrea snails to touch, and the Mexican Turbo Snail hasn't been working hard enough (Right now he's trying to eat the lime green coralline on the back wall that I've been growing, instead of hunting for food on the live rock).
I was also wanting some hermit crabs to add to my tank, and was wondering if any are better hair algae eaters than others, or if they would work any better than the snails. (I love the look of Sally Lightfoots better than Emerald Mithrax, but I've heard they're aggressive, and I'm afraid they'll go after my pacific cleaners. I doubt they'd be able to catch my firefish or hawkfish, though.)

Current fish:
1 Longnose Hawkfish, 1 Coral Beauty Angelfish, 1 Ocellaris Clownfish, 1 Firefish
Current inverts:
2 Pacific Cleaner Shrimp, 1 Emerald Mithrax Crab, 15 Astrea Turbo Snails, 15 Nassarius Snails, 1 Brittle Star
Current coral:
Galaxea Coral, Xenia Coral
Current plants:
2 Shaving Brushes (in display), Chaetomorpha (fuge), 9 Red Mangroves (fuge)
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Old 12-08-2008, 07:16 AM   #2
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Well the standard thing is to ask for water parameters. So what are yours?

Typically hair algae will become a problem from excess nutrients in the system. How much do you feed? What do you feed? How often do you feed? What kind of filtration do you have on the system? There are a lot of things that contribute to algae growth and taking care of those things rather then adding animals to eat it will serve you better in the long run. What kind of source water are you using? Are you buying RO water or do you have your own unit?

Give us a little more info about your system and we will help you pinpoint the issue and point you in the right direction.
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:31 PM   #3
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I've always bought RO water, my phosphates are currently 0 to .25 and have never gone above that. My nitrates have never gone above 5 (Now at 0), ammonia always 0, nitrites always 0, pH stays from 7.8 to 8.3 (Last checked it at 8.0). I used to feed the tank (of Previously 5, now 3, with 2 cleaner shrimp that always get what remains) a frozen cube a day (This was several months back), now I feed the tank half a cube every one to two days, and I switch between Marine Cuisine, Emerald Entree, and Angel and Butterfly cubes, though I'm thinking of trying out Formula One because I've heard that's the best for all fish. My filtration is a protein skimmer, and an overflow pouring into the refugium with chaetomorpha and 9 mangroves, as well as live rock and sand.
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:34 PM   #4
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The fact that you are getting a reading for phosphates means you have too much in the system. Your reading will go from 0 - .25 because the hair algae is eating it up. Check with your LFS and see how often they change their filters on the RO unit they have. Most LFSs make water 24/7 and wear their filters out quickly but don't always change them when they should. Also what kind of food do you feed your fish?
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Old 12-08-2008, 06:33 PM   #5
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Frozen food is loaded with phosphates. Try to rinse it out after it thaws. Here is a good link on nuisance algea.
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