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Old 09-26-2011, 05:01 PM   #1
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Is my new lighting causing my hair algae problem?

I have a 50 gallon tank with about 70 lbs of live rock. 2 clowns, a firefish, a rock blenny and a mandarin dragonette. I have 10 hermit crabs, 5 snails and 2 emerald crabs. For coral I have bubble coral, a small hammer head coral, a small frogspawn, a duncan and a rose anemone. I have a eheim canister filter and a red sea hang on protein skimmer.

My tank has been running for just over a year now and I started getting into coral a few months ago. As I started to get more and more coral I wanted to upgrade my lighting from my 2 T8 bulbs that I had that was giving me about 50 Watts. I went into my LFS and he was clearing out his stock of Power Compact lighting. Since I was on a budget I decided to go for a 220 Watt set that he sold me for $100.

I've had the new lighting in for about a month in a half now and ever since then, hair algae has been getting worse and worse. My LFS told me its my tank getting used to the new lighting, which may take 2-3 months. But I wonder if its because the lighting kit was sitting around for awhile and the bulbs may be old, even though they have never been used.

All of my parameters for nitrate, ammonia and phosphate are 0, I use RO/DI water and I added phosphate remover to my canister filter.

What do you guys think it could be?

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Old 09-26-2011, 05:11 PM   #2
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If your phosphates are 0 I would guess it is overfeeding or the length of time you have your lighting on. How often do you feed and what hours are the lights running?
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:15 PM   #3
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I have my lights running for 8 hours a day, from 4 pm till 12. It doesn't receive direct sunlight during the day.

I have a automatic feeder that gives a small amount of flake food once a day. I usually feed the corals and fish with a half to 3/4 of a brine shrimp fish shaped cube once a week.
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:19 PM   #4
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Hummmmm Wish I could help but I am pretty new. Afraid you are going to have wait for some of the experts to chime in on this one. Sorry I couldn't help.
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:46 PM   #5
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bulbs don't go bad sitting on a shelf, and tanks don't "get used to" new lighting...the livestock does.
i would consider something cleaner than flakes, and feed every second or third day for a while, in conjunction with water changes to remove the nutrients the algae is feeding off of.
it seems like everyone i see having algae problems claims that their water is pristine. i bet these hobby grade test kits are not nearly as accurate as we think them to be. especially the cheaper ones.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:43 PM   #6
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Is it ok to leave my lights off for a day or two per week? How about if I reduce the time the lights are on to 6 hours a day?
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_X View Post
bulbs don't go bad sitting on a shelf, and tanks don't "get used to" new lighting...the livestock does.
i would consider something cleaner than flakes, and feed every second or third day for a while, in conjunction with water changes to remove the nutrients the algae is feeding off of.
it seems like everyone i see having algae problems claims that their water is pristine. i bet these hobby grade test kits are not nearly as accurate as we think them to be. especially the cheaper ones.
What do you use to test with?
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:53 PM   #8
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I use Aquarium Pharmaceuticals test kits.
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:06 PM   #9
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What if I pick up two of these Sea Hares? Does anyone know if this is a good type of Sea Hare for hair algae?

Saltwater Aquarium Invertebrates for Marine Reef Aquariums: Sea Hare Sea Slug

It seems like LFS stores around Los Angeles don't carry Sea Hares for some reason.
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:38 PM   #10
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you know alot of people say its not a good thing to feed every day, but i give my fish a pinch of new life spectrum marine formula food every day, and i don't have any issues with polution.

i guess it all comes down to feeding in moderation and regular waterchanges, although i do a water change every few weeks now a days
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_X View Post
bulbs don't go bad sitting on a shelf, and tanks don't "get used to" new lighting...the livestock does.
i would consider something cleaner than flakes, and feed every second or third day for a while, in conjunction with water changes to remove the nutrients the algae is feeding off of.
it seems like everyone i see having algae problems claims that their water is pristine. i bet these hobby grade test kits are not nearly as accurate as we think them to be. especially the cheaper ones.
i agree with that completely along with the algae actually feeding off the phosphate and NA
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:19 AM   #12
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Alittle off topic but hows you mandarin?? Is it captive bred? Is it eating prepared?
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
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What do you use to test with?
i guess you directed that to me? i use the same as you- API for some stuff and salifert for other things.
i believe many of the API test kits to be inaccurate. especially nitrates- it seems no one has detectable nitrates, and yet they have terrible algae issues, and overfeed heavily (not pointing out anyone specific, just making a broad statement).
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:02 PM   #14
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Alittle off topic but hows you mandarin?? Is it captive bred? Is it eating prepared?
My Mandarin seems to be doing fine, I've had him for over a month now. He was captive bred and the LFS said he was eating frozen brine. However, I haven't seen him eat any of the brine shrimp that I feed the tank with. I see him picking at the live rock all the time so I'm guessing he's finding things he likes to eat in there.
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:07 PM   #15
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So I guess I am just going to reduce my feedings and light times and keep doing 10% water changes every week. I also ordered two sea hares in the meantime.

Do you guys think it could also be the supplements I am adding for the coral? I've been adding "Liquid Reef" calcium 2 times a week and Kent Marine "Coral-Vite" once a week.

Is that too much? Are those even necessary? I use Instant Ocean "Reef Crystals" salt btw.
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Old 10-02-2011, 11:58 PM   #16
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i guess you directed that to me? i use the same as you- API for some stuff and salifert for other things.
i believe many of the API test kits to be inaccurate. especially nitrates- it seems no one has detectable nitrates, and yet they have terrible algae issues, and overfeed heavily (not pointing out anyone specific, just making a broad statement).
Yes, that was directed at you. Sorry. Should have quoted you.

I'm kinda getting nervous bout when my fish go to my dt, cause there's no food in there yet lol and I have terrible algae too.
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Old 10-03-2011, 12:01 AM   #17
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So I guess I am just going to reduce my feedings and light times and keep doing 10% water changes every week. I also ordered two sea hares in the meantime.

Do you guys think it could also be the supplements I am adding for the coral? I've been adding "Liquid Reef" calcium 2 times a week and Kent Marine "Coral-Vite" once a week.

How many corals do you have in your tank? From what I understand, you shouldn't have to supplement unless you have alot. Does your tests show you need to add supplements?

Is that too much? Are those even necessary? I use Instant Ocean "Reef Crystals" salt btw.
No clue about Instant Ocean at the moment.
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Old 10-03-2011, 12:44 AM   #18
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i would not add coral vite or anything else unless you are sure your water is deficient in it. water changes and enjoy your tank.
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:05 PM   #19
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Yes, that was directed at you. Sorry. Should have quoted you.

I'm kinda getting nervous bout when my fish go to my dt, cause there's no food in there yet lol and I have terrible algae too.
Have you tested the water you are using befor adding it to the tank,are you using tap water?
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Old 10-03-2011, 06:03 PM   #20
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I have run a algae turf scrubbing system for almost 20 years now. It's purpose is to use algae to strip the water of nutrients. It takes practically undetectable amounts of nutrients to grow algae, even with a system like this. So don't be surprised if your test kit reads zero. I grow tons of algae in the scrubber, but still have to watch it as even a little over feeding will set off algae in my display tank.
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