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Old 04/19/2010, 07:53 PM   #1
BradMugs
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taming my hair algae

Ah, spring is back. Along with that my annual outbreak of hair algae. Seems the sun doesn't want to stay put and it's now shinning brightly into my tank in the mornings.

I've tried everything and the only thing that seems to work is wrapping my tank to keep the light out. Well, this year I did it, I made something to make it easy to keep the light out - yes it's a little too late, the tank is covered in hair but Next year I'm going to be prepared.

I made a wrap for my tank.

Growing up my father, due to work, slept a lot during the daylight hours and I remember my mother making curtains out of a material that blocked the light (actually she made the liner out of this material). So, I asked my wife "Wife where could I get some of this magical material" She gave me the dumb look she always saves for me and took me to the fabric store. Seems they keep stuff on hand like that for such dumb questions.

It's called Black Out Curtains - have no idea why they would call it that, it doesn't keep the black out - it keeps the light out. Anyway, I was troubled as to how much I needed. I've got the typical 55 gal tank and I determined I only needed to wrap the front and ends. Well 6 feet should do it and the stuff comes in Yards or half yards. When I got there I took one look and realized I could get by with just one yard. It was 44" wide and I really only needed a 20" by 6 foot section. So, I purchased one yard. Now brace yourself this stuff is expensive. It's $5.99 per yard BUT it was half off (my wife says they do that all the time) and she had a 20% off coupon so with the price of an inexpensive emerald crab I went home.

Next to cut it in half. I think I measured it three or four times to make sure I didn't mess it up. Now to sew it into one long strip. I smiled my best smile and my lovely wife and she pointed at the sewing machine. Now I know how to sew, I've watched both my wife and mother do it....

Anyway, my loving wife set the machine up and put it on Turtle mode (it runs slower so I don't have another accident with the needle like last time). I lined my ends up and ran a few stitches up and down the seam. Looks great if you are into geometric patterns.

So, I took my new wrap, held it up to the tank and let go - it fell to the floor. Needed to figure out some way to attach it. Back to the wife....

Velcro - did you know you can buy that stuff not attached to shoes? Amazing. We got some squares with sticky stuff on them to stick to plastic (no the cloth isn't plastic, hang in there). The material isn't all that heavy and I didn't want it to show so I added two squares just around the corner from the front on both sides. I used the fabric part so it doesn't collect lint and stuff. On the corresponding sections of the fabric I sewed the hook parts and guess what - with just the two ends in place it holds the material up.

Now the new routine will be (after I get rid of this round of algae) will be to hang the fabric on the tank before bed and take it off again when I get home from work. The lights can still work as normal there just won't be any stray sun light getting into the tank.

If I remember a year from now I'll let you know how it worked!


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Old 04/19/2010, 08:02 PM   #2
Threelittlefish
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Cliff notes anyone? OMG


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Old 04/19/2010, 09:18 PM   #3
dschnepf
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So by the sounds of it you made a cover for your aquarium to cut down on the algae growth from sunlight?


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Old 04/19/2010, 10:16 PM   #4
BradMugs
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Yep a cover - goes on and comes off in about 15 seconds but it's no fun to say it that way.


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Old 04/19/2010, 11:13 PM   #5
uncleof6
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Well, I guess that is a bit different than simply controlling your nitrates........

Jim


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Old 04/20/2010, 09:39 PM   #6
jackinfobo
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True dat homie, algae cant grow if there isnt many nitrates. It's not sunlight that causes the growth, it's the opertunity of nitrates+extra light=algae growth. Just like humans, if we dont have the nutrition we need, then cant preform our best and same with algae


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Old 04/23/2010, 11:12 AM   #7
BradMugs
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That's the problem, can't find out where the nitrates are coming from. All the test kits I use show nitrates, no phosphates, no..... Yet, every spring when the sun moves I get covered in hair.

Use RO/DI, good salt mix, light fish load and feeding and yet every spring half the tank is emerald green looks like a hobbit tank...


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Old 04/23/2010, 07:43 PM   #8
uncleof6
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Well there has to be nitrates and phosphates, or the algae will not grow. Light or no light.

Jim


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Old 04/25/2010, 05:10 PM   #9
BradMugs
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OK, kept the wrapping on for about a week while I was out of town, algae is about 90% gone. So, light is big in the equation but I agree other items are probably also needed. How does one go about tracing down where these can be coming from if the test kits all show zero?


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Old 02/14/2011, 08:54 PM   #10
Jay and Cee
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@Threelittlefish...you are funny...lol....i don't even know you but i can see your face...lol


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Old 02/14/2011, 09:33 PM   #11
NanoReefWanabe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BradMugs View Post
OK, kept the wrapping on for about a week while I was out of town, algae is about 90% gone. So, light is big in the equation but I agree other items are probably also needed. How does one go about tracing down where these can be coming from if the test kits all show zero?
the kits show zero cause the algae is consuming anything that is available...

as for the source...it could be your rock it, could be your sand, it could be your fish food


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Old 02/15/2011, 08:53 AM   #12
hllywd
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My tank gets some sun through the summer, and I try to keep the shades open to gain any benefit from it I can. The point of our high intensity lighting is to replicate sunlight, why keep the real thing out (unless heat is a problem)???

Sunlight isn't your problem. Find out what's causing your water quality issues and you won't need the shade. Do you do any regular water changes? That might be a start to improve the water quality. You may also try a media reactor with some GFO for phosphates, I've had some bubble algae issues and that seems to have helped tremendously. Nitrates and phosphates will build up over time and you need to export them somehow.
Tim


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Old 02/15/2011, 09:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BradMugs View Post
OK, kept the wrapping on for about a week while I was out of town, algae is about 90% gone. So, light is big in the equation but I agree other items are probably also needed. How does one go about tracing down where these can be coming from if the test kits all show zero?

Do you have a refugium on the system? That and a nice over sized skimmer should work. A phosphate reactor can't hurt either and are pretty cheap.


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Old 02/27/2011, 09:14 PM   #14
jshoota
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Green hair algae remedy that worked for me.

Yeah, Yeah, we all know the optimum way to control pollution and hair algae is constant water changes. But, who really wants to do that? Honestly, I had my 120 gallon tank for 5 years now (pretty broken in) and everyone is healthy. Got Green carpet anemone since I put it up the tank. I have 4 clowns, 1 (big) royal gramma, 1 pigmy angel...blah blah blah, pretty much 15 fish, 2 cleaner shrimp, and cleanup crew, no fancy protein skimmer, Aquaclear filter and couple power heads....
The point is, was starting to get green hair algae problem that I saw coming but didn't get in control quickly enough. YES, I procrastinated.
Okay Okay, I have bio-overload. BUT, things are happy, corals are flourishing, fish are beautiful, corals are flourishing and spreading! JUST THE DAMN GREEN HAIR ALGAE!
I'm talkin' clumps, in which i let grow on purpose, so it was easier to pull off.
Tried phosphate pads and special "beady type" reducers, nitrate reducers, toothbrushed the damn stuff, bought, fox-face(BIG DEAL), tang (SO WHAT), and NOTHING! I have read and tried what others said worked, and got nothing.
Started to do water changes (WHAT?!) and couldn't change often enough to control nitrate and/or phosphate levels. (you don't want to know the levels either).
Sooo, I noticed I was lacking some cleanup crew.
I Bought 10 large turbo snails and 10 small blue legged hermits.
TA-DAH!! PROBLEM SOLVED. TURBO SNAILS SUCKED THAT THICK, CLUMPY, (THAT THE SO CALLED ALGAE EATING FISH WOULDN'T TOUCH). I KID YOU NOT. I WISH HAD BEFORE AND AFTER PIX.
Purple coralline algae flourishing all over rocks like crazy!
I'm not saying to be lazy like me, but I'm a big believer on the saying, "Don't fix what's not broke". If my fish and other inhabitants were showing problems I would have done other drastic measures.
So, in short summary, LARGE TURBO SNAILS are the miracle workers (for me).:notworthy: I would give the small hermits credit, but I specifically put 1 Large snail on a specific, large, jagged, tough looking rock to clean. BOOM! PRESTO! and clean, in a week or two.


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