View Full Version : Macro Algae display and GHA

11/20/2016, 03:24 PM
I've had my 1000L system set up for 8 months now and for the past 6 weeks it's been a nightmare to control.

Green hair algae has covered most of the rock work and is suffocating from macro algae I have in the display. The goal was to cover all the rocks in beautiful macro algae, also mangroves instead of having a coral/reef display.

My question is; to control the GHA, do I continue with the cheato in the sumo(doubling in size every week, which I cut back) OR add an algae scrubber OR add a lot more macro algae to the display as I currently have around 5 small handfuls, mostly caulepra prolifera.

I don't run any phosphate remover and skimmer pulls out almost nothing.

The thing with adding an algae turf scrubber is the worry that in time it could out compete the macro algae in the display, which I don't want.

11/26/2016, 10:21 PM
I have the same problem. I think it is really the issue of how established your tank is. My tank was started with dry rock, and it has taken a while to establish, and still isn't all the way there. I ordered a bunch of different kinds of snails, like ceriths and astreas. The ceriths are good because they breed fast and can establish their own population. Maybe some herbivorous fish like dwarf angels or tangs might help to control it.

Right now I am just letting time pass, and I am doing water changes and removing algae consistently, and it seems to be working, but slowly. I would just continue with your chaeto in the sump to level the nutrients down so there aren't too many for the hair algae to completely take over. I would also try to remove as much hair algae as possible to lower its physical mass, so it can uptake less nutrients, leaving more for the macro. You could add some more macro, but that might just be more competition. More macro is never bad.

Michael Hoaster
11/28/2016, 10:46 AM
Skimmers, chaeto and algae scrubbers all compete with your display macros for nutrients.

Keep manually removing hair algae and add more display macros. Get rid of the chaeto, or reduce its mass to very small, and keep it small. Turn off your skimmer.

As jraker said, it just takes time, patience and determination. Soon, you'll tip the balance in favor of your macros. Sounds like a cool tank!

12/18/2016, 05:41 AM
Sea hare will mow down hair algae like no tomorrow. I highly recommend one.

01/05/2017, 04:19 PM
How's the tank going?
yup I think that is the special challenge Macro tanks have. kind of a PITA really.
I started of with 10+ macros hoping to not get the HA cycle but nope. got it anyway.

I was also thinking of an ATS to get in control. ended up just doing water changes, added an intank media basket with filter floss, carbon and phosgard. manually removed every few days. I think it just take time for the tank to mature and the macro to get established.
my tank was bad now I would say around 95% clear of HA. i'll update my build thread so you can see.

hang in there dont give up. will take a few months.

01/08/2017, 08:42 AM
I've removed 30% of the rock and pressure washed it, rendering it dead and VERY clean!

The remaining rock is in the sump as I'm going for a far more open and minimal display. Mangroves and macro algae are currently in a holding tank with the Mandarin Dragonet, that I'm trying to fatten up. This means I can keep the main tank fairly clean in terms of not over feeding and I've started dosing NOPOX.

Once NOPOX is done (I'm only buying 1 litre) I will continue with Rowaphos, Carbon, nano bubble scrubbing and skimmer

The 8 x 80W light fixture has since been lowered to 6" above water level as the mangroves are no longer in the way and this may have caused my LPS to recede (T5 tubes are over a year old too which need replacing)

Sand bed has also been removed and I have the sand soaking in RO water for a few weeks, before adding a small amount back in.

01/09/2017, 09:32 AM
I hope that works for you.

Recently I ran some chemipure elite passively and two weeks later I couldn't find any GHA in my planted tank. Didn't seem to do the macroalgae any harm.

Michael Hoaster
01/09/2017, 11:47 AM
This hobby can be brutal! It seems we all have to navigate through the algae phase. Complicating things further for us planted tank guys, is the fact that macros and micros need just about the same things to flourish!

Try to keep phosphate down, manually remove what algae you can, and add herbivores that require no additional feeding. Cerith snails and mollies are two of my favorites. Also think about what competes with micro algae - macro algae and bacteria. This is a very important time for bacteria in the maturation process of your tank. Reducing sand and rock reduces attachment sites for bacteria.

Try to think about all the basic, natural processes that are happening in your aquarium. Algae is Nature's way of reaching equilibrium with the conditions at hand. How can you work WITH nature, to get the results you want? Increase predation and competition. Decrease nutrients and light.

Ron Reefman
01/10/2017, 05:21 AM
Michael, great post! That's an attitude all reefers need to take to heart if they are going to have a good experience and keep a sustainable tank. It goes right along with the old line that nothing good happens fast in a reef tank!

01/10/2017, 01:17 PM
I've just received results from ICP test.

High calcium, passion and Lithium. Suggestions are to check salt and any bacteria supplements for contamination and perform 15% water changes for the next 4 weeks.

GHA has started to flop now. Mangroves have also started to droop, so I've moved those and macro algae to a separate tank with Mandarin Dragonet.

I also think removing the sand from the mangroves roots caused stress, but they can apparently survive almost everything!