View Full Version : algae eater (sea hare?) wanted

03/19/2009, 04:39 AM
Anyone know how to get a good algae eater around here? My green hair algae is getting ugly. My water seems good, I use good store bought sea water w/ no nitrates on testing. I only use a little brita filtered tap water occasionally to replace minimal evaporation. I haven't checked phosphate, though. I have florescent lights on 10.5 hrs a day. Not sure why it grows so much. I heard sea hares can eat it up quickly. I have a blenny that eats so much he's going to burst I think. Thanks for any ideas.

03/19/2009, 05:00 AM
There are lots of animals out in the tidepools that will eat various kinds of macro algae such as hair algae. I have found that many of the snails and sea urchins will do a good job.

I think this is just treating the symptom and not the problem. Usually hair algae is one of the first signs of bad water quality. It is considered a menace to the aquarium and will grow in the toilet if you get enough light. First of all, the Brita filter will do nothing to your water. I installed an RO system, and it's been a great idea. My wife gets water cleaner than we can get at the store and I have an endless supply of water for the aquarium. The system will run about $200, but if you are going to be on the island for a couple of years, this will be a drop in the bucket if you try to buy water.

Having your lights on for 10.5 hours a day will make your aquarium macro algae grow like mad. But it also depends on your lighting. What kind of lights are you putting on your aquarium?

03/19/2009, 05:03 AM
You could add a sea hare.....I have messed with and had opportunity to catch many....but even when you just pick them up they release their toxic ink. It would devastate your tank and likely kill all you have. A better suggestion is to go down to the exposed reef at low tide and look for zebra hermits.....make sure they are zebras. They will have one left claw that is white tipped and larger than the other. There are quite a few different types here so you really need to look them up to make sure you get the right kind. Add 4 to 5 of them per gallon. Yes that sounds like a lot, but that is what you will need. They will likely knock it all back in about a week or two. They did for me. Once you have it under control, you can return some of the hermits. Hope that helps.

03/20/2009, 12:39 AM
I agree with ditching the brita filter. I used one for a year and had a MAJOR hair algae issue (Sango-chu will tell yah!).
I bout a cheap RO/DI system and use it, plus salt water from ACO.

03/20/2009, 07:55 AM
if you want you can mod a toothbrush with a airpump line attached thru the bristles and attached with a rubberband. I did this when i had hair algae. When i started using ro/di water and a denitrator i had no issues with hair algae at all. I suggest getting into a routine in doing weekly water changes no more than 10 percent a week. Then to use ro/di water. I buy salt and make my own b/c i want to have pristine water since i have a sps reef tank.

03/22/2009, 08:13 AM
Thank you all for the good ideas. I guess I should get an ro/di system, anyone have one or know where to get one? I like the zebra hermit idea, but that does sound like a lot. About lighting, I have T5's and blue actinic, with an anenome and a few corals. How short can I make the photo period w/o harming them? Where do you find those sea hares? Anyone else w/ experience w/ them in a tank? Thanks again for the nice responses.

03/22/2009, 02:15 PM
both myself and bethnjeremy got our RO systems through these guys and they are cheap.

03/23/2009, 07:49 AM
the 60 hermit crabs I put in today are totally cleaning house. I have my tank covered and a cooling problem, to go w/ the algae. Maybe I should take off the lids, especially if I get pure water to replace it w/ the ro. Anyone keep their tanks covered?

03/23/2009, 10:08 AM
It is always best...for the tank at least....to keep it uncovered. This serves to prevent light filtering and allows for evaporation (via latent heat of evaporization) to cool the tank. If you cover the tank, these things cannot be overcome to an appreciable degree. I have gone to always keeping my tanks uncovered. The drawback of course is the added amount of makeup water needed. I have been able to avoid chiller use, both here and back home since uncovering the tanks.

03/23/2009, 05:57 PM
be careful with the hermit crabs... they will clean house in the algae but they will eat all your snails then start eating coral and attacking livestock. ESP clams!
another critter great for cleaning algae is the sea erchin, only problem is that the buggers knock everything over and will also chew on the electrical cords.

Luis will tell you... if anyone has experience with algae and swamps its me. lol.

so you live in the sea wall area? electrical bill must kill you.

ETA: another thing... who the @#$% is charging you for NSW? go to ACO (any of us can take you) and you can get good NSW taken from a 35ft deep well for free!

03/24/2009, 01:49 AM
Some hermit crabs will cause some issues. The zebras will not.....except for the snail thing....they all wil do that.....how do you think they get their homes.

03/25/2009, 12:13 AM
ebay? :D