hair algea! cant get rid of them

Discussion in 'Fish and Invertebrates' started by jetblackg, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. jetblackg

    jetblackg Guest

    hi all, does anyone know a good way to get rid of hair algea? im always picking them out but they grow back really fast. i try one of those abalone and it just ended up being dinner for one of my blue legged crab. any advice guys?
  2. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Guest

    What do you have in your tank? How is you Phosphate level?
  3. VietNR1

    VietNR1 Guest

    if your parameters are good...I would say sea hare. Otherwise...phosphates (like I had) and nitrates will make hair algae grow faster then you can handle.
  4. yardartist

    yardartist Guest

    If you search 'hair algae' the first thread has some great posts. Once you get nutrients down it will just fall off. I had it for six months of pulling it by hand, and it coming back thicker, until it all just vanished, over a month or so, as I siphoned out the weekly water change. I added a refugium to use up the NO3. Then I went through six months of red algae and it too fell away. Always something.
  5. scuba71

    scuba71 Supporting Member

    +1 . Also when you are trimming the hair algae, make sure you remove all strands that are astray. Otherwise, you are back to square one, but in another location.
  6. Sfork

    Sfork Guest

    I threw some phosban in a media bag (small tank) and some black foot snails and it took care of it.
  7. SoulFish

    SoulFish Guest

    sea hare (Best HA eater)
    tuxedo urchin
    lettuce nudibrac
    foxface, tangs

    This is my cleanup crew for HA. I also got a GFO reactor from Bulk reef supply. But I did do lots of manual removal. Brok the reef apart scrubbed each rock by hand with a brush OUTSIDE the tank rinsed the rock off in saltwater. Then put the reef back together. Once hte crew and the GFO was in place the HA was not able to make a come back.
  8. newhobby

    newhobby Guest

    I feel your pain...
    Been having issue with hair algea for a while too...
    I have tried the sea hare, hermits and urchin but they can only eat what it is in there and doesn't solve the root of the problem.
    My experience with sea hare is that some love the algea and some don't even touch it. My tank is too small and I can't keep them alive for crap. They die within weeks. I guess the variance in PH or something is too high. I don't know.
    Weird thing is that HA must be the one taking up the nutrients, 'cause I test phospates and nitrates and they come as undetectable, so between HA and chaeto, they consume it all, but for some reason they don't want to die off.
    I went though a lot of big water changes lately to fix up some othe issue of low mag I was having, so there was not much nutrient in the water. Then I scrubbed the rocks. The big water changes did wonders for the HA, but some of my corals didn't like much. They didn't die or anything, but I saw some acros had some color loss, but they recovered back up after a while. I did like 3x 50% water changes within a week.
    After that, my rocks had just very small patches of HA that stayed small for about 2 or 3 weeks and I notice they started to grow slowly again. So I guess the nutrients are coming back and they started growing again, even after I added the GFO. I don't have a reactor though. They are just in a mesh inside the sump. Maybe I need more flow through it.
    Joe also said there has been some people that had results with high mag, but that would irritate your snail a bit I would think.
    So, I would say attack your nutrients and you should solve your problem.
    That's what I've been trying to do.
  9. I too have some hair algae in my tank, only on a small portion of rock which didnt get much flow, my phosphate is at 0.5 and nitrate around 15ppm, but I ran some phosphate sponge and am currently on a vodka dosing regimen and it is helping alot, I also redirected some more flow over to that area and now am seeing a decline in hair algae, also my hippo tang is enjoying eating it.

    lawnmower blennies are great little algae eaters, I had one awhile back, took out all my hair algae in a week and I passed him on to another reefer, none of the sea hare's I ever bought lasted more than 2 weeks before I found them dead on the sand bed, and they can wipe your tank out if undiscovered or behind rocks, just FYI.

    if you have the ability to do daily dosing, I would suggest looking into vodka dosing, it is very cheap and highly effective at reducing NO3/PO4.

    also, dosing kalkwasser near your skimmer input has a way of reducing nitrate and phosphate, do to some type of percipitation of the elements, I dont know too much on how exactly it works, but research and you shall find.

    robert - eastbayreefer2010
  10. newhobby

    newhobby Guest

    Is vodka really effective?
  11. tuberider

    tuberider Guest

    Vodka is effective in bringing down PO4 and NO3, but on occasion IME hair algae can still survive in nutrient poor environments there are other factors such as bioload, quality of live rock nutrient impaction in the sand bed and the surface of the live rock etc.
  12. jetblackg

    jetblackg Guest

    i will go and try all you guys advice and see which one works but sea hare might be the last thing.. i have heard that they were quite effective but just dont like the look of it too much lol ( plus i have a feeling my hermit crab might eat that too hahaah )
  13. 177ike

    177ike Guest

    My hair algae exploded in my tank after the first week I set it up. It was growing like a lawn on literally every rock surface exposed to direct light from my lights. After two months, my hair algae is almost gone. I have done nothing but practice good husbandry and make sure everything is in check: TDS of my RO/DI water when mixing salt and topping off is zero, skimmer is working effectively, GFO is running properly, and water is as stable as the ocean (tropic reefs at least).

    I'm sure my hair algae outbreak was due to an imbalance after putting in my uncured liverock, but nonetheless any hair algae outbreak can be attributed to in imbalance in nutrients. After all, that's why the hair algae is growing. After only two months, my hair algae is almost gone and only a few browning out pieces remain stubbornly attached to parts of the live rock. Every night, it seems more and more of the algae detaches from the rock and disappears.

    IMO, I would not mess with dosing anything or adding any bottled chemicals to fight the hair algae. If your system is set up properly, it should go away on its own. Also be sure not to be overfeeding and air on the underfeeding side, at least until the problem clears up.

    Have patience and continue learning about a properly set up system. Use practical sense along with all the information/misinformation you read online about a properly set up system.

    Good Luck!

  14. jetblackg

    jetblackg Guest

    thanks for the info mike! my tank didnt have the algea problem untill like 2 years after the setup but if anything maybe over feeding might be the main issue. ill try to keep an eye on that
  15. SoulFish

    SoulFish Guest

    I also stopped daily feedings and switched to every other day while I was having a issue. I also did a 3 day blackout which REALLY seemed to help and didn't hurt any fish or corals.

    My problem was, too much light from a window and too much nutrients for the Algae.
  16. i have mayor hair algea problem,i try everything from vodka,gfo,water change,I measure zero phosphate,zero nitrate and one day i talk to Tuberider at AC and finally decided to dosed API algea fix and IT's work and doesn't effect my live stocks at all.i have clam ,lps and alot of SPS.

  17. CookieJar

    CookieJar Guest

    I tried the good husbandry, GFO, hermits and I ended up resorting to tangs or foxface and problem solved. You do need a big tank though.
  18. tuberider

    tuberider Guest

    To follow up, yes I have used Algae Fix Marine in certain desperate cases, these are usually long term problem cases where natural algae consumers are difficult to introduce due to wrasses, triggers, crabs and other obsessive predators. It is an absolte last ditch effort, similar to using EM to kill cyano, everything is in check yet the problem persists (and I mean everything).

    For those of you that have lived a little I'll let you in on a little secret, it's a quat. Yep, it's VERY similar to paraquat :exmark: according to my pop's (an ex rockstar chemical engineer who worked in horticulture), the molecule looks very specific, much more so than paraquat rendering it much less toxic and more reactive. The chemical is very short lived in aquariums, it reacts with the negative charge of the membrane surfaces of algae disrupting them and breaking them down. The details as to the product are very specific, I do not know exactly why it works, but it does.

    Would I use it on my tank? As I said to Lapsan, hell no.
  19. JRocha

    JRocha Supporting Member

    emerald crabs are a wonderful algae eater. They work really fast and are very efficient. that is what I would recommend. we were having and algae problem and added 5 emerald crabs and within 2 days the tank is algae free they even cleaned off our corals. awesome critters.
  20. seminolecpa

    seminolecpa Past President

    For the chemically chalenged. Jeremy knows quat about algae.

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