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  1. #1
    Senior Member Zookeeper's Avatar
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    Man it's quiet around here.....lets talk about hair algea

    OK, so my home tank is now one year old. Ever since my trip to Greece in late May I've been fighting hair algea.

    It all started (I figure) with the fact that I allowed the tank caregiver (my mother in law) to use tap water to do top-ups since she couldn't lift the 5 gallon water jug with RO/DI.

    Now I can't get on top of this stuff. I've been in this hobby for over a decade and had outbreaks of this before, but never this persistant.

    No nitrates, no phospates (yes I know, the phosphates are there, they are just bound up in the algae).

    For a water volume of 150 gallons, cleaner crew stands at: 200 hermit crabs, 250 varius snails (astrea, turbo, etc.), 4 urchins, 4 brittle stars, 3 cleaner shimp.

    I have two fish to control this problem. 1 lawnmower blennie and one foxface rabbitfish.

    Skimmer is clean and is pulling out a good quantity of crap daily.

    Middle chamber in 30 gallon sump is fulll of Cheato.

    I'm down to feeding a tiny amount of food one a day.

    Lights are one from 4:00 PM to 11:00 PM and have been for over a month.

    Running a phsban reactor 24/7.

    Yet still this !@#!@!@#$%#$ stuff grows!

    Today's new addition....a Sea Hare.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ThisGeekyChick's Avatar
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    Hey Zookeeper.. sorry to hear about your battle..
    What kind of salt are you using? Also, how old are your lights?
    Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated!

  3. #3
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    Wow!
    How awful and slightly convenient for us. Lets def. talk about this !

    We are in the same boat but ours is ONLY 75gl.
    We(thisisthepart) and I have been having the same problem for slightly over a month now. We are getting pretty discouraged....It's ugly!
    So far we have done one 40% water change and two 20%. We even bought a brand new cleaning crew( Emerald crab, Red hermit crab,10 blue hermits, 10 snails) We even started pulling it out by hand cuz we were getting so frustrated with its growth. Finally by Monday we got soo impatient we went to lfs to pick up some Algone and after some chatting and browsing we also bought a Sea haire. The silver lining.......
    The sea haire went strait to work. He's been cleaning since we let him lose on our tank. Since the sea haire will only have a limmited food supply we even have found him a home as one of our friends (igotit86) Told us he had some starting on his substrate. How is your sea haire doing?

    Any one else?

  4. #4
    Former Moderator a4twenty's Avatar
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    hi, i'm a4twenty and i have a problem..............


    ugggggg, i have started having a problem too. i think it had to do with a combination of new salt, new bulb / brand and a crapped out TDS meter. luckily it is so far limited to the back and front glass but i need to get on it now before it worsens.

    the fix.....

    no tap water, 0 TDS RODI water
    remove as much as you can by hand, every chance you can.
    run phosphate remover
    decrease the photoperiod
    cut back on feeding
    `

    120S RR tank with 60G basement sump / fuge

    Return Pump: Little Giant 4-MDQX SC
    Water Movement: MP40W, Seio 1500, (2) Hydor K4's
    Lighting: 400W SE MH with 10K Venture
    Skimmer: Euro-Reef RS250 with gate valve
    Other: RODI, RDSB, PO4/AC reactor


    My Gallery

  5. #5
    Senior Member Zookeeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YukonChick View Post
    Hey Zookeeper.. sorry to hear about your battle..
    What kind of salt are you using? Also, how old are your lights?
    Istant Ocean salt. The VHO lights are coming up on 1 year in Sep. and the MH were purchased in Jan. 2008.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Zookeeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReefMama View Post
    Wow!
    How awful and slightly convenient for us. Lets def. talk about this !

    We are in the same boat but ours is ONLY 75gl.
    We(thisisthepart) and I have been having the same problem for slightly over a month now. We are getting pretty discouraged....It's ugly!
    So far we have done one 40% water change and two 20%. We even bought a brand new cleaning crew( Emerald crab, Red hermit crab,10 blue hermits, 10 snails) We even started pulling it out by hand cuz we were getting so frustrated with its growth. Finally by Monday we got soo impatient we went to lfs to pick up some Algone and after some chatting and browsing we also bought a Sea haire. The silver lining.......
    The sea haire went strait to work. He's been cleaning since we let him lose on our tank. Since the sea haire will only have a limmited food supply we even have found him a home as one of our friends (igotit86) Told us he had some starting on his substrate. How is your sea haire doing?

    Any one else?

    I too have been doing water changes and have been pulling it out by hand. I've even removed some of the more accessable rocks and scrubbed it off with a brush. The problem for me, is that most of my rock is Tonga Totuka (sp?) so it is really branchy with lots of hard-to-reach areas.

    I take it that Algone is some sort of chemical solution? I'm very weary about trying to solve this with chemicals. I'll rip out all of the rock work and scrub it down one piece at a time if I have to, before resorting to chemicals.

    I'm not so sure you have enough cleaning crew. Rule of thumb is one hermit crab or snail per gallon of water. I'm over 2X that.

    I acclimated the sea hare for 2 hours and put him in a sheltered low-flow area. I didn't do much that I could see before the lights went out, but I looked for him this morning with a flashlight and he was gone from his original starting place, so hopefully he is working for me.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Zookeeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a4twenty View Post
    hi, i'm a4twenty and i have a problem..............


    ugggggg, i have started having a problem too. i think it had to do with a combination of new salt, new bulb / brand and a crapped out TDS meter. luckily it is so far limited to the back and front glass but i need to get on it now before it worsens.

    the fix.....

    no tap water, 0 TDS RODI water
    remove as much as you can by hand, every chance you can.
    run phosphate remover
    decrease the photoperiod
    cut back on feeding
    Getting a TDS meter is probably a good idea. My RO/DI is coming up on one year old and I have not changed the RO membrane. I have flushed it a couple of times though.

  8. #8
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    A little off topic, but how long should I flush the RO membrane for? I have a pretty crappy looking AquaPod 24 due to LONG strands of hair on the rock. I flush the RO, but I have no idea how long it should be for.
    58 gallon display, 20 gallon sump, Octopus Recirc 110, Mag9 return. Nova Extreme lighting.
    55lbs live rock.
    Yellow Tang, 2 Clowns, Kupang Damsel, Yellow Watchmen.


    24 gallon AquaPod, 24lbs live rock.
    Valentini Toby, Coral Beauty, various snails, hermits.


    12 gallon AquaPod, 12lbs live rock, lots of mushrooms.

  9. #9
    liv
    liv is offline
    Former Moderator liv's Avatar
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    ro membrane flush = a good 30min.

    as for the hair algea.. I have some too.. sniff sniff.. but its in the sump only..I have a very low flow with lots of rocks and mangroves.. I hand pick at the hair algea from time to time.

    moving.. so temporarily out of SW :b8:
    planning next tank, possibly 60x30x20 on 2x plasma.
    updated: 2011/05/30

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zookeeper View Post
    I take it that Algone is some sort of chemical solution? I'm very weary about trying to solve this with chemicals. I'll rip out all of the rock work and scrub it down one piece at a time if I have to, before resorting to chemicals.

    I'm not so sure you have enough cleaning crew. Rule of thumb is one hermit crab or snail per gallon of water. I'm over 2X that.
    Algone is an all natural algae remover that just sits in your hang on filter. I did some research and chose NOT to use chemicals because we have alot of inverts and some coral.

    As for the cleaning crew that was a list of thing we added to out existing crew to give them a chance to get it all ! Our full crew includes 15-20 various snails, 20-25 blue hermies. We also have, 1 peppermint shrimp, 1 white striped cleaner shrimp, 1 yellow sea cucumber, 1 red leg hermie, 1 emerald crab... and a bunch of other inverts.

    Still your saying we should have alot closer to 75 snails and crabs just to maintain, since we have a 75 gl tank?

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