View Full Version : Help Please

05/31/2006, 03:59 PM
Don't know what happened, but brown stringy stuff has just about taken over my tank........ I'm getting really tired of doing a 10 gallon water change every other day............ It's over most of my rock and my poor sun pollip is about covered too...

I've vaccumed the sand to remove most of it every other day but without fail it comes back........ thought it might be brown hair algae but not sure.

All tests are ok.......... don't know what to do.......

Can someone come out and see what I've got and how to suggest getting rid of it????????

Will be home Thursday night and all day Sunday......



Did I say "HELP" ?????????????HELP

05/31/2006, 04:16 PM
I would increase flow throughout the tank.

05/31/2006, 04:50 PM
Where are you getting your water from?

That might be the biggest culprit. Lighting would be next.

05/31/2006, 05:36 PM
Have your RO and tank water checked by the LFS.

If a siphon isn't strong enough to remove all of it, maybe you can try a stream of water from a powerhead to knock it loose from the rocks and into a net if your overflow doesn't get it. You may want to clean any mechanical filter media if you have it.

In the mean time, what and how much do you feed? How's the skimmer working? What are the specific water params? How long has the tank been set up? What's the bio-load?

05/31/2006, 05:37 PM
I found this on wetwebmedia.com:
Brown hair algae
I have a 72 gal bowfront w/ approx 60 lbs of live rock , a 4'dsb , a AquaC remora pro skimmer, 2 250 MH 10000 k , and CSL t4 hooked closed loop to a SCWD. also I have a chiller and Eheim 2227 wet dry.
enough about tank, recently I have had an explosion of brown hair algae growth, I don't use ro but the only thing my tap water "deep well" is high in is silicates, my tank levels run around.06 <Youch that is very high. And silicates can feed some types of algae growth.>
I have no detectable ammonia , nitrate, nitrite, or phosphate.
my sg is 1.023
chiller set at 78
I add tech cb for calcium
I ad strontium and iodine.
what is causing the sudden explosion of growth and how do I stop it,<The silicates definitely may be feeding it. I know I had to remove some sand with silicates in it for the same reason.> is a ro going to be a "silver bullet" at this , I don't have room for the ro collection drum in my home, I would love to get an ro though, <Understandable.> is there anything that will eat brown hair algae? I currently have a yellow tang and a lawnmower blenny. <I've had turbo's that would eat it but I didn't get the impression they liked it as they moved through it as fast as possible. I've also been told green Mithrax crabs will eat it.> as well as snails and hermits. I haven't done any drastic changes but just had an explosion in hair algae growth and the tang, blenny, snails wont touch the stuff. I have heard that a lettuce nudibranch will eat the hair? <They will eat Bryopsis, perhaps you need to go to algaebase.org and make sure what you have is brown hair algae?> if what will, this stuff has covered 30% of my tank in one week, I try manual remove but don't even make a dent, it is attached so hard I have to use tweezers. <I have taken a bucket of salt water and scrubbed every rock etc and then returned them to the tank before. You don't mention what your ph is. Dripping Kalk seems to help get rid of hair algae by raising and making more stable your ph.> any help would be greatly appreciated. <Let me also suggest you read through these Faq's and see what you can find there to help as well http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brownalgcontfaqs.htm Good luck, MacL>

05/31/2006, 05:39 PM
One more: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/algcontfaq2.htm

05/31/2006, 05:49 PM
Hi John! Last time I was at your place, you didnt have a sump. Not sure if thats the case still. If you still dont, you may want to consider building a sump/ fuge. You need some macro such as chaeto to absorb some of that excess nutrients. Its hard running a reef without a fuge. I dont run one but Im also on the Zeo method. Trust me, its much cheaper to have a fuge. Also, have you raise your pump on your Remora skimmer? Thats another thing about hang on the back skimmers. Unless your water level is constant at all times, it wont perform as well. A well built sump/fuge will keep the water level in your tank constant. It doesnt take much to build one. Maybe a 10g tank and a couple of acrylic sheets should do it. As far as chaeto goes, Im pretty sure someone here can harvest you some for free. If you have to buy chaeto, you dont have any reefer friends. J/K. Well, thats my 0.2c. Good luck!

05/31/2006, 05:55 PM
I have a phosban reactor if you need to borrow it. You would just need to add phosphate remover and run it for a few weeks.

05/31/2006, 06:13 PM
And I have a half a jar of Phosban that Im not using to go with Murphs reactor!

06/01/2006, 07:20 AM
Sorry to hijack, but I just a phosban reactor and Rowaphos. Do you guys like the phosban reactor? Again sorry for hijacking.

06/01/2006, 09:01 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions.

Let me explain further.

All this seemed to start when I bought 2 new Powerheads. MaxiJets 1200 and put them in my tank. I have 4 powerheads in it now which are connected to a timer to make "waves" in the tank. Since this started I took the whisper filter system out and completely cleaned it and replace all filter media. I have also taken my hang on protein skiimmer out and cleaned it. So I know I have more than enough water flow. Some have said this is probably due to the increase in water flow which has caused whatever might be under the rocks to become loose and spreading through the tank. Do I need to take all the rock out and scrub it? If so, do I just use RO water and a scrub brush? or do I need some chemicals too? I only use RO water I make at my house and the TDS meter is showing around 4 PPM so I don't think it's that since I've been using this filter system for about 8 months now without issue.



06/01/2006, 09:43 AM
10g every other day probably won't cut it. You may need to do 5 water changes over the next 1.5-2 weeks of 50% ea. While doing this you will have to lighten your bioload. Additionally, you may need to add hermits and Tubo snails. This would be step one but let me ask a few questions.

How many Turbos, Hermits, clean up critters are in there?
How many fish, and anemones do you have?
What type of skimmer do you use?
What is the total water volume including the fuge?
How long exactly has your tank been set up?

The only way to get a handle on this is to erradicate it with massive water changes, and lower your bioload.

06/01/2006, 11:28 AM
john, on the other hand can you post some pictures. I want to id it and make sure it isn't dinoflagellates. If that is the case you have a entirely different problem to deal with.

06/01/2006, 08:59 PM
Hopefully this will work.

Here's a picture of my sick tank.


06/01/2006, 09:02 PM
No pix, John!

06/01/2006, 09:03 PM
Ok, so it didn't work.. so I put in my my gallery. Please look there at "sick tank".



06/01/2006, 09:16 PM
that looks like dinoflagellates, usually comes from impurities in your RO water.

06/03/2006, 11:44 AM
If you are having troubles with your tank first start by checking the TDS of your RO water. Get yourself a TDS meter and see what it says.


06/03/2006, 11:47 AM
TDS is 4 ppm.

06/03/2006, 02:35 PM
4 ppm is probably fine. However, you said that you don't use RO. I would think about getting a RO machince (~ $80 on EBay). This way you could be sure that this isn't the problem.

What is the flow rate (Turnover) in your tank. I would recommend at least 25X turnover. This way you will not have any "Dead" spots.


06/03/2006, 05:34 PM
Yeah it looks like a dinoflagellate problem. Murf is right...ramp up the circulation here. Also look at your nutrient export system. For instance, is your macro algae growing well? What kind of skimmer are you using and how is it performing? What's your bioload like? Heavy, moderate, etc...

The problem with this is sometimes water changes only fuel the growth of this stuff, often you have to let it run its course.

Edit...just read where Russ says you don't have a fuge. Macro algae would go along way in choking in out. Algae has to grow somewhere and the best thing to do it make it grow in macro form in a remote location so you can prune it and keep it under control.


06/04/2006, 08:16 AM
exotic tropicals had a hang on fuge for sale.