View Full Version : Help Needed...
02/26/2006, 01:35 PM
Ok. Something is wrong here. I have been battling Hair Algae for 6 months now. I have scrubbed the rocks twice during that time. I have Cheato Growing quickly in the upper corner of the tank. I also have Halimeda growing like mad in the tank to combat the algea. No matter what, the HA returns with a vengeance.
I do weekly water changes of 5 or 10 gallons. I run VHO's for 10 hours daily. No direct sunlight hits the tank. Not much indirect either. I feed every other day and supplement with feedings of the brain and anemone. Water params are:
Temp:78.9 day, 78.1 Night
Calcium: 380 to 420
Alk: 7.8 to 8.2
Nitrate: less than 5
Phosphate: .5 or less.
The scary thing is that I clean the Emeror filter output, then within 3 days it looks like this again:
The skimmer looks like this after one week:
The Cheato doubles in size within a week:
My Star Polyps are choking on HA that I just scrubbed a few weeks ago.
I use only RO/DI water as Topoff and mixed. SG is at around 1.024 to 1.025. What could make this algae grow so fast. Should I get rid of the Emperor? What about the skimmer? It seems like the area where the skimmer returns water to the tank gets the most algae growth. I have no idea why. Any suggestions.
I will scrub the rocks once more. I am planning a 90 gallon and would not like to bring a bunch of HA over into it.
02/26/2006, 02:14 PM
Are you running the bio wheels on the filters? When I used Emp's on fresh water tanks, they ALWAYS grew f/w hair algae in that exact place. Same when I tried them in s/w. I think Marineland should rename them the Hair Algae Inn filters.
I would go with a sump and as nice a skimmer as you can fit/afford. And, I would only transfer whatever rock has zero hair algae on it into the new 90. Any h/a rock, I would: scrub, let it dry (completely), scrub and rinse again...before using. You'll lose the bacteria, but hopefully you can kill the h/a too. Or you could go the longer rte of cooking the rock. Charlie had success with that method.
02/26/2006, 02:21 PM
How new are your bulbs? A color shift can cause it. Are the wheels still out of the emperor? Have you actually tested the quality of your source water? Did you use a TDS meter to test it? If it all tests good, then get a jug of it, mix up whatever salt you are using and then test it again. A bad bucket of salt lasts a long time and can cause a lot of trouble. The algae HAS to have a food source to grow. Find the food source and it don't stand a chance. Ever removed the Emperor and washed the insides of it? They will accumulate a lot of stuff down in the bottom of the tubs. Trust me I know how frustrating this can be. I bought an established tank. The owner thought it was "healthy" because it had a nice crop of hair algae.
02/26/2006, 02:21 PM
I just took my 29 gallon apart and scrubbed everything down due to hair algae and if I see it start to return I will just run phosphate remover in it and just turn off the light for as long as it takes.
02/26/2006, 02:44 PM
It sounds like you are doing the right things. I would also turn down the light cycle to 5 or 6 hours. Are you harvesting the hair algea? If not you should be and do not prune back the cheato. Pull as much of the HA out as possible. When I had HA problems I would take a bowl of fresh water, pull out the HA and dip it and my fingers in the water so I wouldnt put any floaters/spores back in the tank.
Another way to harvest is to pull it up when you are changing water and suck it up with the syphon hose.
Hang in there, it can be a long battle.
02/26/2006, 03:39 PM
I would test your RO water, then I would test a fresh batch of saltwater.
Did this all start after you added a particular peice of live rock etc.
By the way what type of salt do you use?
02/26/2006, 05:53 PM
This is my tank after yesterdays big clean up.
No hair in sight.(for now)
02/26/2006, 08:26 PM
Nice job Brandino. In response to the questions above. I have cleaned the Emperor inside and out. Removed the Wheels as well. Did nothing really. I have been using water mixed by Gary at ART for months now. No TDS meter but I trust that it is very low. I will order a TDS Meter just in case though.
I have been harvesting the HA. I use that same method, I call it the Melev method.
Yes, this all started after adding some LR bought from another reefer. It had HA on it and I assumed I could get rid of it. Within one month, it was everywhere.
I would gladly cook the rock and may do just that. However, there is one large rock covered in Polyps. I don't want to lose all those polyps unless I absolutely have to. I may just scrub that rock and cool most of the other infected rocks.
Will add the skimmer/sump combo for certain. I had planned on that in the 90, I may just move up the use of a sump though.
02/26/2006, 09:01 PM
How many janitors do you have???? Obviously you have some type of food source in your water column to grow hair algae. Try stripping the organics from your tank [carbon, polyfilters, purigen, phosphate remover] all at once after a good water change and rock scrub. I always recommend a balance between growth and herbivores [ususally in the volume of 1 herbivorous animal per gallon]. That all depends on bioload and filtration. No skimmer...certainly doesn't help.
02/26/2006, 09:03 PM
Just one ? now that all the HA is gone what can I feed my blenny?
02/26/2006, 09:16 PM
Feed him my HA. :) I may try removing the organics. Now, I have several different types of snails and some hermits. There are Nassarius, Lyanasa, Ceriths, Turbo's, and blue and red legged hermits. Nobody likes the HA though. Oh, I do have a skimmer. But it sucks honestly.
02/26/2006, 09:36 PM
The only critter that I know of that will mow down that HA is a sea hare. The only problem is after all the HA is gone it has nothing to eat.
02/26/2006, 10:04 PM
Most herbivores [snails, hermits] won't eat it after it gets long and wavy. I've heard because it tastes bitter [I have no clue how that hypothisis was thought of]. I would definitely scrub first. How bout lawnmower blenny, kole tang, rainfordi goby, all are excellent hair algae eaters, just to name a few. By the way, sea hares are awesome!!!! We sell them under one condition, after they have cured your problem you must return them to the store due to lack of food. Basically we rent them out, when returned a store credit is issued. Maybe someone in your neck of the woods would do the same???
02/27/2006, 05:43 AM
I Have had 2 sea hares. They do eat the HA. However, they caused more problems then the good they did. The first just died and funked up the tank. The second inked in the tank because my Huge cleaner shrimp rode it around the tank pulling it apart. :( I may just try another type. Hmm.
02/27/2006, 05:34 PM
I would say try taking the tank apart and scrubbing everything off pumps, tank, rock , etc.
02/27/2006, 10:14 PM
i know how you feel did everything you did 4 times in a 2 year period but i finally got controlof it the last time i scrubbed my rock they told me to scrub all the ha off first after it was all off told me to give it a freshwater rinse no more than 1 min did it in my backyard with the water hose after that i rinsed all my live rock in salt water rinsed twice in seperate containers and put back in my tank on 2nd day after got my water tested and told me my phosphates were high they were at 5 so i started running seachem phosguardchanged every two weeks for 2 months and also started running phosbuster pro once a month for every water change phosphates went down and haven't had ha since was like six months ago i have the emp 280 i am running phosguard and seachem matrix carbon 1 of each for every seperate section of the filter tray and 2 bags of purigen at the end befor the water exits out and have no bio wheel
02/27/2006, 10:33 PM
sorry me again but im not done i do clean my power heads skimmer and filter about every 2 months at the least also remember if you do this rock scrubbing again what ever hair algae you do miss it should'nt get out of control as long as you get your water tested every weekand every thing is at normal conditions or is starting to get normal because the ha should eventually die off just be persistent sorry this was so long but the ha almost got me out of the hobby but hung in there and enjoying the view now
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