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Old 09-16-2007, 11:39 AM   #1
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hello,
i just got my new 125watt 14.000k Hqi light bulb thinking that may have been my problem with my hairalage growing in my tank. i dont belive it was that. my hairalage is now growing faster and faster. i have changed the water 2 times 10% PWC and cut my feeding back to 3 times per week. i do not run carbon in my tank should i buy a small pouch of it and see if that helps? what can i do to get rid of this stuff? should i take the rock out and give them a good hard scrub? if so. what should i use and how should i do it?
thanks so much
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Old 09-16-2007, 01:16 PM   #2
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That's called...get some more reef hermits and cerith snails...lol. Look around to see if you have any bubble algae...I'm curious to know. When bubble algae breaks open, it releases spores that grow into hair algae. If bubble algae is present, then get some emerald crabs too.

What are the water parameters? Please list the basic ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH, but do also check phosphate levels.

If you are going to run carbon in a reef tank, use reef grade (Kent Marine has) and filter the tank with it for a week once a month. It's not advised to use carbon in a reef 24/7, because it absorbs important trace minerals. A week once a month seems to be effective without robbing the tank of what it needs.

How many hours of light per day is the tank exposed to? Do you have a set of actinics?

The strength of lights and the length of time the system is exposed to light does contribute to algae growth. A typical cycle for a reef is 10 to 12 hours of total light. Having a set of actinics on an independent switch can help cut back on up to four hours of the day cycle by replicating a two hour sunrise and a two hour sunset (on by themselves without the daylights). This only leaves 6 to 8 hours for full daylight rather than 10 to 12, thus less light to contribute to algae growth.

Where is your tank located? Is it near a window? Is there any light that glares on the tank from sunlight (including indirect sunlight)? You may want to try and block off some of the sunlight that beams into the tank.

Scrubbing rocks should be a last resort and best to avoid doing so if possible. This will certainly disrupt the bio filtration. If push comes to shove and the tank is hurting from the algae growth, then take steps to protect the fish and inverts from ammonia spikes....even if it means setting up temporary housing in a spare tank for a couple of weeks until the system re-establishes a cycle.

Also note: water changes also promotes algae growth!! This is because of any phosphates in the water, nitrates in the system and the source of water and also silicates...so don't be too quick with the PWC. Stick to a simple basic schedule to maintain the water. 10% once a week is sufficient so long as you don't overfeed or overcrowd and nitrates are controlled.
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Old 09-16-2007, 02:08 PM   #3
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Here are 10 good steps to getting rid on nuisance algea.

http://www.fantasyreef.com/database/...d=11&item_id=5
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Old 09-16-2007, 03:57 PM   #4
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thanks,
all water Stats are good
the nitrates are about 5ppms. and everything else is at 0ppms.

as for my lighting? i have a sunpac 150wattt HQI light.
it does not have any other type of light except 6 moon lights.

as for hermits and snails? i have alot of baby snails but i dont have as many hermits.

as for how many hrs a day do i have lighting on.. its on from 10-8pm i can cut that back slowly to mabey 9hrs.

just a little info..
all the coral in my tank is looking great. the toadstool mushroom i have is growing so big its getting to large for the tank it self.
my clam is doing nice. at least i belive so. i have so many mushrooms and ployps everywhere. i also have a plusing exzina thats doing very good also.

as for fish
i have 1 O.Clown
1 Six line walrus

is this ok or should i do somthing different?
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Old 09-16-2007, 04:44 PM   #5
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did you check for phosphates? what kind of water do you use for pwc and top off? RO/DI or tap?

You might want a couple more hermits to eat it.

And you mean sixline wrasse right?
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Old 09-16-2007, 04:52 PM   #6
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ANY nitrates are fuel for nuisance algae. Your 10% water changes are not anywhere near enough to do any good. Do a few substantial water changes of about 25% with RO/DI water.

You can cut that lighting back to about 5 hours a day with no harm to the corals. Carbon is not going to do anything to fix an algae problem.
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Old 09-16-2007, 05:48 PM   #7
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5ppm on the nitrates is good. Enough for the coral and plants to eat without compromising their health with too much. The clam is good for a hand in managing that low nitrate level.

Do test for phosphates. Sometimes, it could end up being the primary source for excessive algae growth.

It would be beneficial for the entire system to get a set of actinics to similate dusk and dawn as well as helping to cut back on full daylight time. Six moon lights? How big is your tank? That must look awesome!! I love moonlights.
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Old 09-16-2007, 05:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
5ppm on the nitrates is good
It is acceptable if your tank is not having issues. If it is already having issues, it is a fuel source for the algae.
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Old 09-16-2007, 08:20 PM   #9
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I have yet to find any animal that will effectively cure a hair algae problem. Your best defense is manual removal and diligent maintenance. Test PO4 in the tank and source water. NO3 is also an issue. ANY reading, while it may not be harmful to corals, will serve as a nutrient source for algae.
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Old 09-16-2007, 08:30 PM   #10
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Nitrates is also a fuel source for clams and coral and it's only 5ppm. It's amazing to see tanks with nitrates that low. All tanks should have low nitrates like that.

Something that does help on the nutrient end is to put macroalgae in the tank. They dominate hair algae over nutrients, thus lessening exploitable food sources available for hair algae. Perhaps another clam too. It gives an excuse to buy another...LOL...
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Old 09-16-2007, 08:35 PM   #11
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I agree that the use of marco is a good option for nutrient export. However, saying that clams and some corals require NO3 may be bit of stretch. I have read that clams can process NO3 (they do have a lot in the lagoons of their natural habbitate). But I would not call NO3 benefical or a fuel sorce to these animals by any means.
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Old 09-16-2007, 08:35 PM   #12
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I have yet to find any animal that will effectively cure a hair algae problem.
Very true, which is why you need several different types of animals to do the task...and good maintenance on water quality and light control. As single units, none of these methods will control any algae, but collectively can be very effective.

There'll never be a single solution.
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Old 09-16-2007, 09:30 PM   #13
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Clams utilize it more than coral, but both utilize nitrates as a food source. Variations of natural nutrients is always beneficial. Also, if it's something it eats in the wild, it should be something they have available to them in captivity. Whether there's significant differences in biological processes with or without nitrates, I don't know, but it's my train of thought to try to provide as much of what nature would provide.

It's understandable why people tend to panic over any trace amounts of nitrates when it comes to algae...it is a PITA to deal with...but in several years of observation, 5ppm is enough without having to go haywire on the tank. A handful of reef hermits, snails and if one doesn't care about coralline algae being eaten, urchins and starfish can do a very effective job in maintaining the growth. I'd only worry about nitrates in a reef it were 10ppm or more.

If there is a problem with algae in a low nitrate system, then there's another source to the problem and that's the source that should be emphasized on, because it's that source there's too much of. Cutting ideally low levels of nitrates when it's something else, only leads to still needing to deal with the source of the problem rather than ridding or controlling the problem.

I just see worrying over 5ppm of nitrates as an extra step that can be done away without.
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Old 09-16-2007, 09:46 PM   #14
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If you have NO3 and algae problems, I'll bet money you also have excessive PO4 levels. PO4 and NO3 are the two primary sources of fuel for nuisance algae's. PO4 over 0.03 meg/l is too high and will cause issues such as you are seeing. Some people need to use two DI units after their RO b/c one will not always remove all the PO4 from the tap water. So in that case, if not using two DI units, every PWC adds more fuel to the problem and is counter productive.

1)Buy a quality PO4 test such as Salifert brand. Many others don't go low enough on the scale to be of any use to SW aquarist who need to be able to detect even minute amounts.
2)Test your tank AND source water for PO4. Levels above 0.03 meg/l are unacceptable (even more so if your already having algae issues). If levels are too high take steps to correct it such as large PWC's using PO4 free water and use a PO4 reducer such as Rowaphos or Phosban. A reactor utilizing either media would be a wise investment for you IMO, though you can just place it in a bag in a high flow area and receive some benfit.
3)Don't overstock or overfeed(or add any new animals, esp. fish, for that matter until things clear up). Feed sparingly until the algae is gone.
4)Keep water flow and tank turnover high. Algae will grow faster in low PH tanks and areas.
5) Manually remove as much algae as possible. Giving the rock a good scrubbing and rinsing them in clean SW will help provide a "fresh" start.
6)READ. Search the forums and the web. You will literally find thousands of posts on this subject w/ tons of ideas and info.
HTH and good luck
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Old 09-17-2007, 07:13 AM   #15
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nice,
so much info! i thank all of you for your help. to answer a few of you guys question..

water source.. i live in a small apt. i can not have a rodi unit in my place.. land lords old and funny like that..hehe.. i have a 30g if that makes a difference. for water i have to use food lion distilled water (red jug) i do 5g every other week. for salt i bough a huge tube of it from my local fish store reef crystals i have had this tub since i started this 30g// its a 250g mix and its getting low but i think i might have enough for a few more changes.

adding more lighting to top of tank... is is going to be impossible.. my current light i have on there now is taking up 2/3 of the top of the tank as it is now. coupled with my protein skimmer there is just no more room for any type of lighting.

as for checking po4 i can do that too i dont have a test on me but i can take to local fish store and see if they can.

today when i get out of class i am going to try to remove as much as i can and do another water change. i cant buy hermits right now cause i dont trust my LFS when it comes to fish and inverts i have never had any luck with their fish living longer then 2 weeks.

later on today i am going to take a picture of a few tthings i am also concerned about. i will post on forms later today.

i hope this helps and i will get back to you on the feed back i get from the test results.
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