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Hail Algae+Valonia

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hansoloalaska

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2004
Messages
10
Location
Bothell, WA
Hello all!

Ive had a large increase in the amount of Algae in my tank. I understand the hair varieties feed on silicates? Is this true w/Valonia too?

At my place of work we have a D.I. system, I am going to start using that to do 25% water changes weekly. I only have a few hermits left and maybe 3 snails. Has anyone had luck with critters that eat hair algae? I dont want to go the crab route again, had an arrow and an emrald that were holy terrors.

Any other thoughts or ideas anyone has would be much appreciated.

All my parameters seem to be fine.

Tony
 

ahenson

Active member
Joined
Sep 19, 2004
Messages
34
Location
Covington Indiana
I think ro/di is the 1st step. Second good nutrient export via dsb,skimmer, refugium is crucial. Adding macro to refugium will outcompete algae in tank for nutrients. Dripping kalk to encourage corraline growth will also help export phosphates and keep CA & alk in check. As for removal I think you need to get your hands wet. See NAH2O's tank thread.
Good luck.
Andy
 

Ritsuko Nashida

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
146
Location
Yokohama Japan
What size is your tank? Unless its really small as in under 5 gallons, I would add a lot more clean up crew to your system. This may not stop it from growing in your tank but it would go a long ways in keeping it from getting out of hand by consuming it.
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Man, hair algae really sucks. Tell us about your system. Size of tank, amount of live rock, equipment, lighting and age of bulbs, livestock, etc. Also, could you post your water parameters? Have you tested for phosphates? Hair algae is really good at trapping detritus and feeding off of it. Blowing at it with a turkey baster or power head will help. Try to find out where your excess nutrients are coming from....how old is the tank? My hair algae is the result of my newly cured live rock (a lot of boring sponges dying off), and I also have a low alk/high Mg issue. If you do manual removal, be sure to have a siphon hose present to aid in the removing of algae that is sporing out. I eventually let my hair algae absorb as many nutrients as I could, then I would go in and pull. I also turned off the lights for a few days. Let's hear some more about your system, and we can make better suggestions based on what you have. For sure RO/DI water will be your friend. If your tap water is high in P or N, then that will fuel the algae, too.
 

hansoloalaska

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2004
Messages
10
Location
Bothell, WA
Okay, thanks for all the good ideas. Here is my tank info: 20g w/35 lbs fiji live rock, argonite sand bed maybe 1", 65w smartlite (50/50 actinic/10K), 2 smaller penguin powerheads for circulation and red sea prism hang on skimmer. Ive got 2 small clarks clowns, bubble tip, xenia, yellow polyps, asst mushrooms, a large softie named after some tree, small candy cane, banded coral shrimp, fire shrimp, and some white plate coral. Tank has been set up now for 3 yrs. Used to use all DI water from work, but tested tap water and didnt show any phosphates, so switched to that. Bringing water from work is a pain. I dose Iodide, seachem calcium and reef builder for alk. Also a little Strontium and Magnesium.

I just changed to bulb in my lights about a month ago. Noticed the hair algae really coming on about 2 weeks ago. Could be connected?

Will take some tests tonight and post them. Thanks you all for your help.
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Tony - have you had any issues with nitrates? If you aren't interested in removing crushed coral, you can step up your maintenance to help keep detritus from accumulating down there. When you perform your water changes, siphon and stir up the top layer to get the "junk" (i'm getting technical ;) ) up into the water column to either go out with the water change water, or allow your skimmer to get it. Using the RO/DI water will help. Manual removal is a pain, and be sure to siphon as you go along. I had one end of my siphon go into a filter sock in the sump (you could also put the sock into a bucket and occasionally dump the bucket back into the tank - minus the filter sock contents). By siphoning as you pull, you will be getting any straggler pieces and spores. Where is the algae growing primarily? On the rockwork, you can test for phosphates by taking the water sample from the rock. You can compare the phosphate reading to the phosphate reading of the water column, and also the phosphate reading from the substrate. Hope things are going well.
 

hansoloalaska

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2004
Messages
10
Location
Bothell, WA
Well, I changed my whole tank around. I did alot of reading and finally decided to put in a plenum with a DSB. I also got my rock stacked up in a better formation and have better water flow around it. I got most of the algae off during the change as well....hopefully it stays away. I really watching my feeding as well, and only feeding once every 3 days or so. I also plan to add some snails and hermits this weekend. For the last addition, I made a hood out of an old peice of roof gutter I had and installed another 65W PC that is 100% actinic. I will get some pictures tonight and try to post them. I really like the way the sand bed looks. I used aragonite carib sea "live" 1-2 mm. One question, does anyone with a nice established DSB want to sell a bit of sand with some good sifting creatures in it? It would be great to get mine "seeded" with the good stuff.

It was suprising to find out there is so much controversy oved DSB's. Some people really hate em, others swear by em. It seems that having the proper sand sifters and maintenance are the key.

Thanks again for all the help.

Tony
 
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