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Old 11-13-2006, 08:12 PM   #1
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green hair algae

The past few days some rocks have the green hair algae growing. What causes this? Too much pwc? The lights have been on a set schedule for 6 weeks now. I have 75g and do pwc once a weeek which consists of 15g (20%)
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Old 11-13-2006, 08:35 PM   #2
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Several reasons could contribute. Do you have any water checks that you can post. Excessive nutrients like nitrates and phosphates fuel bad algeas. Overfeeding, Too long lighting schedule,
Your source water and something dead in your tank are just a few. One thing for sure is it is not your PWC`s unless your source water has it in it before you mix. Post your water parameters and let us see
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Old 11-13-2006, 08:48 PM   #3
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green hair algae

Lighting schedule is as follows mon-fri 7am-12pm then 3-9pm, weekends 9-2pm then 5pm-10pm. So 11 hours a day. I will have to do water parameters. I just did water change so I don't know how accurate it will be. I haven't seen one of my peppermints for about 1-2 weeks so if he is dead could that cause it?

I just check my parameters nitites 0, ammonia 0, nitrate 0, ph 8.4. I did phosphate but can't find card to match up level. The water in tube is almost clear, so I don't know what that level would be? I use ro/di water. Should I get more snails? I only have 10 of them and about 10 crabs. I did just notice that I have purple algae on my glass. I heard that is good?
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Old 11-13-2006, 09:29 PM   #4
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This is just a theory, but I think hair algae seems to be a normal part of the tank aging process. Seems just about everyone has issues with it, then it goes away. You could definitley try cutting your light back to something like 8 hours a day. That may help.

The purple algae is likely coraline, which is only as good or bad as your opinion of it. Most would day good though, yes. It thrives in tanks with higher calcium, alk, etc.

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Old 11-13-2006, 09:31 PM   #5
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I run my lights for 8 hours. How much/what/often do you feed?
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Old 11-13-2006, 09:36 PM   #6
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I feed every other day and it is a cube of frozen food (I thaw it then soak it in garlic). Although, I have to admit, the fish look at me like they are starving so I give them pinch of flake food here and there. I know I might be overfeeding, but my nitrates are staying at zero.
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Old 11-13-2006, 09:46 PM   #7
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Hmm, that's not a bad feeding cycle, are there leftovers? I would look to the lighting, reduce that, do some PWCs and you should be good. Like DT said, it seems to be a common occurance...Oh yeah, try pointing a ph a it.
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Old 11-14-2006, 10:32 AM   #8
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Your lighting schedule is fine and with proper nutrient levels shouldn't cause your algae breakout. I'd still reduce your lighting to 6-8 hours until you see the algae start to recede. Have them come on from 2pm-9pm instead of the morning. The ambient light from the room will be enough for your fish to "wake up" and swim around. I light mine from 10am to 8 pm

You don't list any fish in your "my info" so until we know their sizes it's hard to say if you are over feeding or not. You list 2 clowns, a 6 line wrasse, & a citron goby in this post but we still don't know how big they are. I feed one cube to my 4 small fish every other day and cut the cube in half to feed in the morning and when I get home. My tang gets a 2"X3" clip of nori everyday though.

Fish always act like they are starving and will generally eat aggressively even if you just fed them 30 minutes ago. Overfeeding fish not only adds excess nutrients to your tank but also will shorten their life. A lot of us feed every other day but small multiple daily feedings are fine also IMO. I wouldn't feed a whole cube once a day personally since there is a greater chance for it to be wasted.

An overfed or starved fish isn't too hard to spot. Overfed fish usually have puffiness near the eyes and their stomaches are sticking out. Underfed fish have a more sunken in eyes and their stomaches are concaved slightly.

If your fish look "normal" then I'd reduce feedings slightly. My personal rule of thumb is that if the fish consume all the food in less then 30 seconds I'll give them slightly more. If it takes longer then 2 minutes then slightly less until all food is generally consumed within 1-2 minutes. I'd also reduce flake feedings as much as possible because they are usually more wasted and will drive your po4 up.

A clear reading on the po4 test usually means it's "testing" at 0 but that could mean your algae is just absorbing it.

As Devilishturtles mentioned a lot of newer tanks go through small algae breakouts even if you do use ro/di and sparsely feed. Reducing excess nutrients is the easiest way to "starve" the algae so it doesn't have anything to feed on.

The way you reduce your nutrients is by reducing feedings and frequently running your skimmer. How often do you run your skimmer? Are you getting good skimmate? (one cup a week or more)

Your clean up crew of 10 snails and 10 hermits is fine for now. Peppermint shrimp will often hide for days or even weeks if they molt. Even if one did die it shouldn't have any affect on your tank. If multiple snails die it can foul a tank though but if your nh3/no2/no3 are still 0 then it's unlikely.
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Old 11-14-2006, 01:51 PM   #9
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That's a wealth of information. My skimmer is putting out a good amount. I clean it twice a week. I was hoping the algea wasn't a big deal. Also, when I saw the coraline on the glass, I was happy about that because I know my tank is maturing.
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Old 11-14-2006, 02:02 PM   #10
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Algea can get out of hand quickly but usually small amounts are not to troublesome. You could remove it manually but that's a pain IME and starving it by reducing the lighting and feedings does work but takes a little while.

The coralline algae is a love/hate relationship. It's great until it really takes off wikipedia.org has a good write up on it.
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