View Full Version : Hair algae battle

01/19/2006, 08:30 AM
I have been fighting hair algae since june. I have read every post on RC that delt with HA. This is what I have done in the battle:

100+ gal system- 55 display, 50 sump 100 live rock/sand,soft corals

-Cleaned sump from detris weekly
- Keep chaeto (aprox 25 gal worth) lit 24/7
- Replaced old MH lights with new ones
- Stopped using polyfilter (heard it had po4's)
- feed less (1 per day)
- soak and rinse all food in ro water
- new ro/di filters
- phosban reactor-
- installed R.D.S.B (remote deep sand bed)
- remove any hair algae that I can
- Bigger skimmer (asm G2)

Currently, I am going to go bare bottom as opposed to the 1 inch sand bed...this has to be the problem.

As far as cooking rocks, mine are covered with corals. So it is not an option.

I appreciate any feedback... :)

01/19/2006, 09:06 AM
well you probably have nocked out your other possibilites already, so good luck on your transisition. Just make sure you have plenty of flow, and make sure you deatris gets over the overflow and into the skimmer, also make sure your rocks are stacked loosly so flow can get around and beneth them to keep deatris from building up. These are the three tricks for keeping a proper BB tank.

Good luck,

01/19/2006, 09:10 AM

Yeah my rocks are separated nicely. They are on a rack system that I made out of PVC. There is a nice big cave, so there is all kinds of flow.

01/19/2006, 09:27 AM
Hair algae is a *****. I've got it coming back in my 7 gallon again. Per Salifert kits, my nitrates and phosphates are zero. I don't feed the tank, except a small portion of DT's, maybe twice a month. Yet it continues. Goeman's book on algae says that hair can quickly become independent of nutrients, though. Whether this is correct or not, I don't know. Good luck.

01/19/2006, 09:31 AM
seems to be quite a few articles on this lately...and from what ive read...good solid cleaning crews (several types of reefsafe crabs and snails) and rabit fish seem to be getting the best results...

as a side note...the people with 'perfect setups' seem to be the guys that get HA...i find that interesting.

01/19/2006, 09:43 AM
The one thing you didn't mention is your tank params? And also, how much is your skimmer producing?
It sounds like otherwise you are doing everything right. How long since you have completed your above regimen have you waited? I went through a horrible HA problem last year, and once I had everything in line, it took a few weeks for it to starve, and then it just started to melt away. I've had a couple small tufts come back, but I don't worry about them as long as they don't continue to grow or spread. Just part of the systems balance cycle.

01/19/2006, 10:30 AM
All my tests like PO4 and PO3 are 0
Alk is 8.3
Calcium 350

I have been skimming a lot more with my new G2 skimmer. It has only been in for about 2 weeks.

01/19/2006, 11:13 AM
Before saying this I will say that this is not a fish to help rid the problem. I pruchased a Rainfodes goby and the little guy eats GHA like it is going out of style. We put him in my girlfriends seahorse tank that was starting to get some GHA. The little goby cleaned the Mangrove off and starting working on the biggest pile in the tank. Accompanied with our cleaning and water changes about three months later we have almost no large piles of GHA. The fish is small but he eats alot of algae. I am always leary of certains that are said to be algae eaters. This fish loves it and I see him eating it all the time.

01/19/2006, 11:14 AM
excuse me Rainfordes

01/19/2006, 11:28 AM
I'd say keep doing what you are doing and just have patience. Nothing good happens fast in a reef tank. I'd bet in a couple more weeks it is gone.

01/19/2006, 12:26 PM
You may want to set up a Fuge to grow macros while you're ridding your tank of HA.

Brad W
01/19/2006, 11:12 PM
Nobody mentioned water changes. I beat my hair algae problem into submission with them. My tank is only 30 gallons though. Did like 50% changes every other day for a couple of weeks. No more hair algae. Go read some of Calfo's stuff in his old forum if its still there, he has a lot to say about this.

01/19/2006, 11:25 PM
I had the same problem recently... and yes water changes, water changes, water changes! That's what is working for me. I didn't have a whole lot, but enough to scare me to death, since I had a bad time w/it, several years ago in a different tank. I change about 25 gallons out (240g.tank), about every 4 days. It's a booger, but I'm convinced it will pay off, if you stick to it. Best of luck to you! We've probably all been there!

01/20/2006, 07:46 AM
Rainfordes Goby... is that true?
I have never heard that but it is worth a try.

01/20/2006, 08:12 AM
I had a real bad HA problem that covered everything in my tank. I was just being lazy for a month or so on the tank. Anyways I started with the water changes every week and I bought a Algae pack from reeftopia with some snails and hermits crabs and a few emearld crabs. Now 3 weeks later there isnt any GHA in the tank.

01/20/2006, 09:01 AM
Prez - what is your water temp? I too have been fighting HA. Yesterday I installed a chiller as my most expensive attempt to clear it up. My temps would frequently get to 85-88 during the day with lights on. (Tank framed into a wall, in a closet, so not much air moving in there.)


01/20/2006, 09:11 AM
funny you should ask about temperature...

during the battle I discovered that my thermometer was 5 degrees off instead of 80.1 it was like 85.1. So now I use an old school glass thermometer and the temp is 80-81.

as far as your chiller goes, I would pack that thing up adn ship it back! I use an el-cheapo fan and place it blowing right on my sump water...but you would have to vent that closet. Just a thought.

01/20/2006, 10:51 AM
I've tried the fan thing. Closet+ MH lighting + Florida +humidity = hot tank without a chiller..IME, anyways. Not to mention, my evap was off the scale and leaving the closet door open gave me a 250watt MH in my face while I sat at my desk :)

Those high temps can really spawn some green stuff. Im thinking that along with a couple of water changes (removing algae), the temp drop is going to fix my problem. I'll let ya know. Its at 77 now and it had been running between 80 (no lights) and 88!

01/20/2006, 11:41 AM
I live in Ohio we hate nice warm weather :)

01/20/2006, 11:44 AM
I love our little spurts of cool weather....FREE A/C!!

01/20/2006, 12:15 PM
Yeah, those 3 weeks out of the year are pretty nice :)

Sindjin - I see computer gaming in your sig. Don't have an xbox 360, do you?