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Massive green hair algae attack

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OnTheReef

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 1, 2003
Messages
72
Location
Santa Cruz, CA
My 55 gallon reef has suffered a *massive* green hair algae attack. I mean, I have to very gently clean my corals every day so they don't suffocate under the 3-4" forest that reforms with startling rapidity.

The situation:
Ammonia: undetectable
Nitrite: undetectable
Nitrate: undetectable
Phosphate: barely detectable
Protein skimmer: foaming at least once a day
Water source: RO/DI running 0 TDS
Water changes: 10% 2x per week
Food: very light feeding of rinsed frozen food 2x per day
Light: 2x65w 50/50 PC bulbs 8 months old
Sandbed: 1.5" 50/50 Philipine coral sand and aragonite

I am in the process of cleaning my specimens and live rocks one by one and transferring them to another tank. Should I just go ahead and completely take everything down or can I fight this off?
 

mojoreef

Reef Keeper
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Messages
7,530
Location
Sumner
That sucks onthereef. If you are getting a phosphate reading (inorganic) that would mean that your tank is saturated with organic phospates to the point where it cannot bind anymore. From the sounds of it I would guess its you cc bed. I had a much thinner bed of cc and after a year it was starting to reach the same as u. Removing the inhabitants is probibly the best you can do at this point. Take a water sample of the pore water in the bed for phosphates and let me know what it is.


Mike
 

jazznreef

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 30, 2003
Messages
219
Location
Seattle/Magnolia
bryopsis

i gotta tell ya, i thought this stuff was going to be the end of my reef keeping. i had pretty good coverage for almost two years and thought i was doing all the right things to remove it. went through the various check lists and scrubbed and scrubbed but it always came back. it really took the joy out of this hobby. after doing further research and listening to people on this board i decided to ditch the substrate. as i'm sure you know, substrate seems to be a common source of phospates. so when i moved six weeks ago i poured that expensive arragonite right into the dumpster. after the move the algae slowed down a lot. about two weeks ago i bought a rabbit fish and lawn mower blennie. i now have a bryopsis free tank and am so much more excited about keeping the tank. what you do is your call, but i hope my experience shows you there's light at the end of the tunnel and that a substrate can definately be a contributing factor. oh ya, and rabbit fish rock!
 

OnTheReef

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 1, 2003
Messages
72
Location
Santa Cruz, CA
Re: massive green hair algae attack

Fortunately, things are starting to improve. Since I started rinsing my frozen foods, scrubbing and changing water, growth has slowed noticeably, but I still have to get the stuff off about half the tank. The substrate is going to go, I have decided and I am going to change out my bulbs, even though it's a bit early on their rated life. Thanks to all for the suggestions and the moral support. :)
 

H20doctor

MMMM Tasty Children
Joined
Jul 4, 2003
Messages
55
I had massive hair algae the same kind , I had to harvest it every week, and nothing I did killed it off. It wasn't the bulbs , not the feeding , or the dosing.... what was it ? 2 key elements I didn't check and didn't do
1) I wasn't running my protein skimmer it was off for a year.... can you believe that :shock: How did my reef get air ? just kidding
2) I though my RO membranes were good for 2 years WRONG....
So bought brand new membranes, fired up the skimmer and it killed the suff it took a couple of months, but i started seeing a change after 2 weeks. SO there is how I killed it..Oh and I think I also ran a cup of Carbon
 
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