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Lights out for hair algae - opinions

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Lights out for hair algae - opinions

Postby Howie1207 » Sat 03 Feb, 2018 10:09 am

Hey all,

I have an 11 year old 4x2x2 with a deep sand bed in the display. Its going awesome, however..... for about 2 years I have had a hair algae problem. The only think that kills it is peroxide.

The weed is on my back wall, on some of the rocks and in my refugium.

Over Christmas y I accidentally left the light off my refugium for about a week. All the hair algae died and now the weed in there is pristine. After 4 weeks, there is still no GHA

I'm thinking of turning the lights off the display and covering the tank with something to block out all the light - tarp, doona..... Likley for 5-7 days.

Has anyone tried this? thought out opinions are appreciated.
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Re: Lights out for hair algae - opinions

Postby oceanarium » Mon 05 Feb, 2018 10:13 am

No that works with cyno and dino's not hair algae.

Read up on the fluconazole treatment, very effective.
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Re: Lights out for hair algae - opinions

Postby SantaMonica » Fri 09 Feb, 2018 12:25 am

It will "work" eventually. But the nutrients just go back into the water. This might help:

Nutrient Export

What do all algae (and cyano too) need to survive? Nutrients. What are nutrients? Ammonia/ammonium, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate and urea are the major ones. Which ones cause most of the algae in your tank? These same ones. Why can't you just remove these nutrients and eliminate all the algae in your tank? Because these nutrients are the result of the animals you keep.

So how do your animals "make" these nutrients? Well a large part the nutrients comes from pee (urea). Pee is very high in urea and ammonia, and these are a favorite food of algae and some bacteria. This is why your glass will always need cleaning; because the pee hits the glass before anything else, and algae on the glass consume the ammonia and urea immediately (using photosynthesis) and grow more. In the ocean and lakes, phytoplankton consume the ammonia and urea in open water, and seaweed consume it in shallow areas, but in a tank you don't have enough space or water volume for this, and, your other filters or animals often remove or kill the phytoplankton or seaweed anyway. So, the nutrients stay in your tank.

Then, the ammonia/ammonium hits your rocks, and the periphyton on the rocks consumes more ammonia and urea. Periphyton is both algae and animals, and is the reason your rocks change color after a few weeks from when they were new. Then the ammonia goes inside the rock, or hits your sand, and bacteria there convert it into nitrite and nitrate. However, the nutrients are still in your tank.

Also let's not forget phosphate, which comes from solid organic food particles. When these particles are eaten by microbes and clean up crews, the organic phosphorus in them is converted into phosphate. However, the nutrients are still in your tank.

So whenever you have algae or cyano "problems", you simply have not exported enough nutrients out of your tank compared to how much you have been feeding (note: live rock can absorb phosphate for up to a year, making it seem like there was never a problem. Then after a year, there is a problem).

So just increase your nutrient exports. You could also reduce feeding, and this has the same effect, but it's certainly not fun when you want to feed your animals :)
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Re: Lights out for hair algae - opinions

Postby shrimpman » Tue 27 Feb, 2018 10:42 pm

Don't you mention what your Nitrates or phosphates are?

Whilst i had and issue with alage a little while ago i'm sitting at zero nitrate and phosphate and algae is having a very hard time.
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Lights out for hair algae opinions

Postby Charlesfag » Tue 03 Sep, 2019 7:29 am

Im doing a fishless cycle and some brown hair like algae is forming on rocks and drift wood. What is this and how can I control it?

Lights are on 8.5 hours a day. Tank is planted.

Test numbers

Ammonia - .5
Nitrate - 5
Nitrite - .5
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