Hair algae battle

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by --E--, Mar 4, 2017.

  1. --E--

    --E-- Guest

    Every month brings a new algae. I've been battling hair algae for the past month or two. Now I've got a combination of green/brown hair and diatoms. I know there's still detritus in the sandbed. I doubled my snails but they can't do everything. Putting my hands in the tank seems to just upset my corals.

    Oh yeah... Hello!

    I need advice on my next steps. 20g with a AC50. Can't add a sump. So I'm considering an additional AC30/50/70 converted as an HOB fuge, or getting an algae scrubber, or a nano skimmer. I've read bad reviews about nano skimmers. Leaning toward the HOB fuge as a way to grow macro and pods but I don't know what size to get, and could I run one without worrying about pH.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
  2. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    I agree with you that some additional nutrient export mechanism is needed, without sump/filter socks, skinner or fuge you're just counting on your rock bacteria and water changes. Are there hob algae scrubbers? I thought those were all diy thus far. I would say hob skimmer before fuge if you only had to pick one. Why would you be worrying about pH with a fuge?

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  3. --E--

    --E-- Guest

    People say you have to run opposing light cycles to avoid pH spikes at night. Not sure if it matters with surface movement.

    Planning to keep a sixline wrasse so I'd like to learn about raising pods. Seems like an obvious choice to raise pods in a diy hob fuge AND have macro for export... but I don't know if I understand how it all works.
  4. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    What are your nitrate and phosphate levels? What and how often do you feed? How often do you do water changes and how much?
  5. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    Yeah, opposing light cycle and having a stable pH sounds great, but I'm not sure whether there's any evidence to say that's important. Ph changes in the ocean too from day to night.

    A skimmer removed nutrients in the skin mate before they get broken down to nitrate and phosphate. Macro within a fuge should lower the nitrate and phosphate.

    Your six line will do fine without the additional pods from your fuge. Not saying it won't help. Pods will happen whether you have a fuge or not. You can help jump start the process by dumping some tisbe pods in now.

    Do you know what your nutrients levels are now and what is your water change schedule?

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  6. --E--

    --E-- Guest

    Was changing 25%/week. Now it's 25% every 3 days for the past two weeks.

    Was target feeding and dosing restor weekly but I stopped a month ago.

    Been trying tech m this past week. Usual parameters:
    Temp 78
    Ammonia 0
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate usually 2-5, but reading 0 with current algae outbreak
    Phosphate .04-.08
    Alk 9-10 dkh
    Mg 1100-1200
    Ca 320-350
  7. --E--

    --E-- Guest

    Tank is at work. I need to comfortably leave it unattended for 3-7 days at a time. People say autofeeders malfunction.
  8. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    Phosphate is a little high and is prolly what is feeding the GHA. Your nitrates would likely be higher too if you're overfeeding. Using RO/DI water?

    I'd suction out sand at least once a month to get rid of detritus and left over food. You could try phosban or GFO. But you really gotta find the source of phosphate.

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  9. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Are you sure you have diatoms and not Cyano. Diatoms would be unusual except on new tanks.

    What is your PH?
    Big PH swings means you have CO2 issues. An airstone will help on that.
    Also, with no sump, it is very important to have surface agitation!

    Auto feeders work fine. I have one that has been running 6 or so years.
    Simple eheim battery powered one, with some quality pellet food. Tape over the slot a bit to reduce it.
    It is better to feed a tiny bit every day.

    +1 on getting those phosphates down. Put some GFO in a sock, hang it in the back for now.

    A HOB nano skimmer sounds like a great plan.

    I ran algae scrubbers for years. They work, but have issues. I would suggest doing the simple things first.

    Consider carbon dosing?
  10. --E--

    --E-- Guest

    PH usually stable at 8.2-8.4 after I got the surface powerhead situated.

    HOB has chemipure, polyfilter pad, and phosguard.

    4 trochus, 8 ceriths. Not interested in crabs but planning to get skunk shrimp.

    Worried that removing rock to do peroxide might make things worse.
  11. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    That PH is great.
    In fact, most numbers look really good.

    You can put Macro algae in the main tank. Graciallara and others look quite nice.
  12. Franko

    Franko Guest

    Sometimes you have to take everything out and start over again. I am not saying that is where you are at right now but sometimes the hair algae becomes so entrenched that it just will not go away by tinkering around the edges.

    But before you go nuclear....cut back on the time your lights are on, stop feeding your corals, get a skimmer, try scrubbing as much algae off the rocks as you can and hope for the best!
  13. tankguy

    tankguy BOD

    When my hair algae was out of control the only product that brought it under control was Red Sea NO3:pO4-X. Pretty strong stuff but I tried so many different things and nothing seem to work
  14. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    I agree, great product that makes carbon dosing simple. But I think you need a skimmer to make it work effectively. Am I wrong on that? I think the bacteria byproducts need to get skimmed out.

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  15. --E--

    --E-- Guest

    Their website says a skimmer is essential equipment for nopo-x.

    There's space behind two rocks where I could hide some macro. I had already looked up the types I like months ago. Just need to find a seller. I'm still thinking an hob fuge could hold more... or at least help in addition to having some in the dt.
  16. tankguy

    tankguy BOD

    Yes I read the same thing. My skimmer is always on
  17. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    Reefcleaners has different types of macro for sale. If you get a skimmer you can carbon dose too.

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  18. xcaret

    xcaret Supporting Member

    A HOB would be a nice addition, more water volume and you can do a reverse light cycle if you put some macro-algae in there.
    Maybe a TLF reactor hanging-off of the back with some macro inside? and an LED light strip attached to the reactor cylinder... just ideas...
    Coral reefer likes this.
  19. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    RandyC likes this.
  20. --E--

    --E-- Guest

    Killed some corals two weeks ago after a water change. Replaced phosguard and switched from chemipure elite back to chemipure blue. Next day lost an acro and a mushroom. Palys and zoas were distressed. Removed phosguard and chemipure blue. Ran old matrix carbon for two days and they seemed relaxed. Reduced the amount of phosguard and put it back in. Zoas closed up. Removed phosguard and matrix carbon. Paly and zoas seem to be recovering with chemipure blue and polyfilter pad -- no phosguard. I don't know what happened. I've had phosguard in the tank since day one. It wasn't something new. Also lost a new trachyphyllia but it could've been poor acclamation or flow.

    As for my original post, the algae battle seems to be at a stalemate. No reduction. No growth. Hoping coralline slowly takes over.

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