Could Start My Own Barber Shop

Discussion in 'Algae' started by andysgirl8800, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. andysgirl8800

    andysgirl8800 Blenny Badlands

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    Honestly. I know this is not a new problem, and I have been combing through all the related posts and articles on the subject. But I'm really hoping someone has some other ideas on how to erradicate this stupid hair algae! Sorry for the upcoming long post. Here is what I have tried so far...

    ...plucking,
    sucking,
    weeding,
    scraping,
    scooping,
    prying,
    brushing,
    wiping,
    scrubbing,
    blasting ...

    ....as much as I can off every surface of the tank, rocks, powerheads, cords, returns, sand, and snail shells as I can possibly access with tweezers, hands, brushes, basters, siphons, nets, and blades. I've also attempted natural control with:

    ...starry blenny (died)
    lawnmower blenny (2 died)
    red legged hermits (don't touch it)
    mexican turbo snails (only 3 left)
    one spot foxface (doesn't touch it)
    diamond goby (really helps the sand)
    dragon goby (really tries, but can't grab much)
    extra chaeto in the fuge (well lit and trimmed weekly)
    15-20% weekly water changes (RO/DI only, 0 TDS)
    decreased lighting schedule (8hrs actinics/4hrs MH in the middle, 8hrs total lighting)....

    ....but the algae seems to come back with a flourish, almost within hours. It has gotten very frustrating and time consuming to manually remove the stuff every three days and the poor little critters really can't keep up with it. I know the solution lies with identifying the actual souce of the algae, but nitrates are testing below 10, phosphates don't register on my tests (which I know can result from the algae consuming it almost as soon as it is produced). Here is what I am considering trying:

    ...pincushion urchin (not crazy about nibbled coral or falling rocks)
    sea hare (don't like the inky toxin thing)
    more turbos
    more hermits
    emerald crab (can't help with the glass)
    lettuce nudi
    raising magnesium (not currently testing for it)
    adding phosban (don't like chemicals if I can avoid it)
    changing all my bulbs (3x175w MH/1xVHO white/1xVHO blue, 6mo old)
    complete lighting outtage (temporary fix)...

    Does anyone have any success with the above mentioned methods? My LFS suggested that I empty my fuge, replace the DSB with Miracle Mud and ceramic, remove the chaeto, and add bio balls. I'd really prefer to keep my tank as natural as possible, and those all sound like artificial filtration methods. But.....I am almost willing to try anything to remove this stuff once and for all. :death:

    Temp ranges between 76-80*, all other params testing normal. I have had some turbos die, plus 2 blennies that I could not get out of the tank, so there are some nutrient contributions there. I feed mysis and emerald entree sparingly every 3 days and supplement with bits of seaweed sheets for my tang and foxface. It has been getting really bad over the last month or so, even crowding in on some of my corals. Today, we took out as much rock as possible, scrubbed every surface with various sized brushes, put them all back in, and did a 30% w/c right after. My skimmer, pump, return lines, and PHs were thuroughly scrubbed also. I adjusted the water flow away from the areas where the algae grew very thick, because I read that hair algae likes high flow areas. Broke one of my pipe organ corals in the process. :frustrat:

    Please...is there ANYTHING else I can be doing to close the salon doors for good in this tank?? I'm sorry for the rant, I'm just getting very frustrated.
     
    andysgirl8800, Oct 20, 2009
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  2. andysgirl8800

    Melosu58

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    Melosu58, Oct 20, 2009
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  3. andysgirl8800

    dcantucson

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    How long has this battle been going on?
     
    dcantucson, Oct 20, 2009
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  4. andysgirl8800

    d2mini VIP Member

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    I'm currently trying the "raise magnesium" solution for my hair algae. Only been dosing for a few days so far. I heard Kent Marine Tech M is the one to use so that's what i got.
     
    d2mini, Oct 20, 2009
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  5. andysgirl8800

    andysgirl8800 Blenny Badlands

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    Have been "battling" since about August, when I started to notice it sprouting up.
     
    andysgirl8800, Oct 20, 2009
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  6. andysgirl8800

    Ted Living one day at a time

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  7. andysgirl8800

    winyfrog Yep!

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    Your tank is 6 months old? its still a fairly new tank. Your filtration is good, has it been on the tank the whole time.

    What is your water source? have you tested the TDS?

    What kind of algae is it? are you sure its hair algae or could it be briopsis?
    When it showed up had you added anything new or made any changes to the tank?

    sorry with the questions but I need more information. As Mike mentioned adding the animals are just a temporary fix we need to find out what is causing the growth. also everytime you brush the algae, pull it etc. you release more spores into the tank therefore causing it to sread more.
    It seems that I remember that you are going to be moving your tank or did move your tank? are your bulbs old is that why you are changing them?
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009
    winyfrog, Oct 20, 2009
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  8. andysgirl8800

    andysgirl8800 Blenny Badlands

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    Thanks for replying. My tank is 6 months old and the sump/fuge has been on it since the beginning. My water source is RO/DI with 0 TDS reading. I made the common mistake of starting my 125 with treated tap water and seem to be reaping the benefits of that slip up.

    I am fairly sure it is hair algae. It is a greenish brown color, grows like a carpet over everything with a long hair-like growth. When I pull it off with my fingers, I can barely feel it in my hand. I'd take some pictures, but as I said, I just took a bunch of the rocks out this morning to scrub them off.

    Currently, I am not chemically treating my system with anything.
     
    andysgirl8800, Oct 21, 2009
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  9. andysgirl8800

    winyfrog Yep!

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    look close at the hair algae while its in the water, bryopsis has feather shaped tips. At first look it will look almost identical to regular hair algae. it will require a bit different control.

    I would suggest that you use a phosphate binder or sponge to help you get it under control. I know that you didn't want to use any chemicals I am the same way, I only go there for the last resort.

    If its bryopsis your only choices are going to be herbivores and/or manual removal the problem with the herbivores is that most of them hate the taste. I had bryopsis in my 850 awhile back and I literally had to stop feeding my tank so that my foxface and rabbit would finally eat it.
     
    winyfrog, Oct 21, 2009
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  10. andysgirl8800

    andysgirl8800 Blenny Badlands

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    Thanks for the tips. I looked at the remaining algae very closely. Nothing resembling a feather shape at all. Just long and stringy. My foxface does nip at the rocks, but it's very hard to see what she's actually eating. My one salvation at this point is my lovely diamond goby. Doing a helluva job keeping the algae out of the substrate. Nice white sand, ugly hairy rocks and walls. GRRRR
     
    andysgirl8800, Oct 21, 2009
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  11. andysgirl8800

    Ted Living one day at a time

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    did you look at the algae scrubber link I posted? I havent done it yet but its all over every forum that it is they way to get rid of hair algae. Santa monica (the poster) says not to touch the hair algae you just watch it go away in your tank it take about 8 weeks but if it works then worth it. Also since you are running a sump already I would think it would be a fairly easy install for you. As soon as I can figure out a way I can run a sump on my tank I am going to have one of these.
     
    Ted, Oct 21, 2009
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  12. andysgirl8800

    andysgirl8800 Blenny Badlands

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    :shock::shock::shock:
    Wow that is a LONG post! I will have to try to figure out how to rig a scrubber to fit my system. Hmm. Maybe.....
     
    andysgirl8800, Oct 21, 2009
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  13. andysgirl8800

    JAG107

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    Have you tried a sea hare? If you can find one (usually less than $20), they make lawnmower blennies look like they're trimming the grass with first aid kit scissors while they're on an industrial riding mower. They're awesome, but quickly starve to death once the algae's gone.
     
    JAG107, Oct 21, 2009
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  14. andysgirl8800

    Ted Living one day at a time

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    The only issue with sea hares (besides they die after eating all the algae) the algae will come back because you havent fixed why you had the algae in the first place.
     
    Ted, Oct 21, 2009
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  15. andysgirl8800

    JAG107

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    Right you are, Ted. Only good for a short term solution. You need to get those phosphates under control to keep the HA from returning.
     
    JAG107, Oct 21, 2009
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  16. andysgirl8800

    andysgirl8800 Blenny Badlands

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    Think I might attempt this algae scrubber thingy.....just need to figure out how to fit it into my sump and which design might work best in my situation.
     
    andysgirl8800, Oct 21, 2009
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  17. andysgirl8800

    andysgirl8800 Blenny Badlands

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    Then again, if the idea is to grow more algae where you WANT it, why can't I just add more to my refugium, like, more chaeto? Or even, move over a few of my much smaller, algae infested rocks to the fuge and cultivate it there?
     
    andysgirl8800, Oct 21, 2009
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  18. andysgirl8800

    Ted Living one day at a time

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    That is a option. Give it a try if it doesnt work then you can build a scrubber. Either way it will take time to clear up the HA
     
    Ted, Oct 21, 2009
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  19. andysgirl8800

    parrotchute DUSTOFF MEDEVAC

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    One thing that hasn't been suggested: Try raising your pH a bit. How well balanced is it & what is it stable at?

    The scrubber basically is doing the same thing as you mentioned with growing it in a fuge. You're creating a more ideal environment, and all the nutrients migrate there. I think a scubber is a bit more efficient at it, though.

    I'm surprised your foxface doesn't eat it. Mine is an algae eating machine.
     
    parrotchute, Oct 21, 2009
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  20. andysgirl8800

    d2mini VIP Member

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    My fox won't touch it either.
    I hung some extra chaeto in the tank and he won't eat that. He will eat nori though.
     
    d2mini, Oct 21, 2009
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