Hair Algae

tazzmanian123

Premium Member
Well, after 10 months of trying just about everything to get rid of my Hair algae problem, I might have stumbled upon a solution for my particular problem.

I have bought 3 different kinds of snails, emerald crab, peppermint shrimp, Chaeto, Phosphate reactor, new lights, more flow consisting of just under tornado strength system pump, 4 koralia ph's, lowered lighting cycle, boosted Mg to 1600ppm, 4 different test kits, ro/di, etc. etc. etc.

I'm not giving up, but I was, & maybe still are at an end as to what to do to get this under control.

Here's an idea that a friend came up with today concerning my particular situation.

I asked what I should do to get rid of the detrius collecting on top of sand. I stated that I could not add anymore ph's without creating a dust storm in my 46g tank.

Click.....That's where the phosphates might be coming from.

With me not adding any nutrients to the tank, the phosphates can only be coming from 2 sources. Lr, or sand bed.

I thought when I started tank, I needed a lot of Lr/Ls. So my 46g bowfront has 80-90lbs Lr., & a 3 1/2" deep sand bed. According to my fellow reefer, I have too much sand, & detrius is collecting around where it can, & because the sand bed cannot break it down fast enough, the detrius is feeding the hair algae.

So, I thought I would ask you all what you think about this?

Also, how to go about lowering sand bed down, & not causing my tank to crash & killing what life I have in it atm, besides the algae?
 

smatter

New member
I just did water changes and vacuumed out some of the sandbed each time. The process took about a week. That did not solve my algae problem though. I came to the conclusion that my rock was the problem. It has been in darkness for a month now and all my critters are at a friend's for a while. I do WCs every week and in the process remove the rock, dunk and swish it in the buckets and put it back in the tank. I know it sounds like a total PITA but each time I see less detritus. When it stops shedding it should be ready.

I didn't see any mention of a skimmer, you do have one don't you?
 

tazzmanian123

Premium Member
Aye, have Octopus skimmer. It has been doing a great job.

If lowering sand bed doesn't work, I will prob. resort to your approach as well.

Although I will not give up, Its a shame that a little algae can be such a pita, & make a years worth of effort & alot of money wasted.

But if that's what it takes, so be it.
 

smatter

New member
This is the first time I have had a serious algae issue in my 20 years as a reefist and I attribute it to poor quality "live" rock. I believe the rock was allowed to dry out as it looked like it was collected in a parking lot when I received it. The only consolation is that it is very light weight and interestingly shaped. That porosity I believe is what is holding all the fuel for the algae.

It is quite frustrating when one believes he is doing everything right and is nearly beaten by this green foe. I run a six stage RO/DI, a waaaay oversized skimmer, massive flow, kalkwasser via a Nilsen reactor, and a proportionate amount of algae-eating invertebrates. I have also been carbon dosing with modest amounts of vodka, an additive which has assisted me through these frustrating times as well. I will persevere.
 

jmicky41

Registered Member
I battled a massive hair algae breakout for about a year. All the usual didn't work: rabbitfish, tangs, snails,rock scrubbing, increased flow, new bulbs, water changes, hermits, ect.

What did work for me was removing most of the sand ( I only had a shallow sand bed). Behind and under the rocks was a ton of crud - the bucket I sucked the sand into turned almost black.

Also, before I was only using RO water. I added a DI and with a few 25% water changes the hair algae started to die and hasn't been seen since.
 

ljosh

New member
If you cycle the rock with sand in the tank there is a lot of debris trapped under the rocks in the sand.
 

TeamPlayer

New member
I recently went a few rounds with some hair algae, and am happy to report victory. The key to my success was my three pronged attack:
1) cut feeding in half to reduce nutrient build up
2) stepped up my protein skimmer and conducted fequent of filter cleanings
3) added a crack team of Mexican turbo snail mercenaries and a Kole Yellow eye tang
 

Ah-lim

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11648292#post11648292 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by TeamPlayer
I recently went a few rounds with some hair algae, and am happy to report victory. The key to my success was my three pronged attack:
1) cut feeding in half to reduce nutrient build up
2) stepped up my protein skimmer and conducted fequent of filter cleanings
3) added a crack team of Mexican turbo snail mercenaries and a Kole Yellow eye tang

Dude, good advice.

Juz curious,do you physically remove the hair algae as well?

My yellow and purple tang clean up those algae easily.
 

shootist

New member
A buddy of mine had it really bad,tried all of the usual recourses mentioned here. He wound up getting a sea hare,I think all they eat is hair algae and that thing really cleaned it up. He still has it and we both believe(from reading) that it will sarve to death without HA so he may have to take it back to LFS or possibly loan him out. I think phosphates are generally from your water source though...
 

Davidb6

New member
This hair algae problem sounds very familiar. Until I took my water to a lab for testing I didn't know my silica, phosphate and nitrate were elevated. Three different home test kits did not provide the level of detail needed to see that slight increase.

Before you do anything major (like remove your rock) I would have the water tested by a professional to see what they find.

As a side note - 1 to 1.5 lbs of lr per gal is good. Other than displacing a lot of water maybe someone can comment if more is bad.
 

smatter

New member
The only reason more rock in the display is undesirable is that it impedes water flow significantly. It also takes up needed space for coral growth.
 

allenpantino

New member
the rock was my problem too i had to take it all out and scub the crap out of it and did several water changes each week until it was clear.
 

tazzmanian123

Premium Member
Come to think of it...Newb still.....when I first put Lr in tank in Mar. 07, I barely scrubbed it. Thinking at the time was that my tank needed to cure anyway. At 2nd month interval with 10x the amount of algae bloom than I currently have, I removed rocks from tank & scrubbed them pretty good.

Now reading from your responses, I realize the crap on my sand bed is from the rocks still shedding.

<<<< Dreading taking 90+lbs of LR out of tank & scrubbing the s..t out of it. I finally got aquascape just right, took me 6 hours of messing with to get that way. AAARRRRRRRR.........

Also worry about killing peppermint shrimp & emerald crab, snails/hermits getting buried, & or crushed.

<<<<<Ponders........
 
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