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Old 01-25-2004, 09:29 PM   #1
bigjohn
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Best Hair Algae Eater?


Hi All,

I am in the midst of an all-out war on hair algae. I need to call in backup. I am considering getting a lawnmower blenny, foxface, or blue-legged hermit crabs. I removed the zebra hermits and pin cushion urchin from my tank about 3 months ago. This could be what caused the balance to swing in favor of the hair algae. Anyway, currently my cleanup crew consists of 20 astreas, 20 nass., 30 ceriths, a fighting conch, 2 cleaner shrimp, 2 fire shrimp, 1 CBS, and 2 peppermint shrimp.

I just added light and caluerpa to my sump 2 days ago, but haven't noticed a positive difference yet.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
john

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Old 01-25-2004, 10:21 PM   #2
cyberchef
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Foxface for fish and Lettuce nudibranchs... Personally I've had better luck with the nudibranchs.
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Old 01-25-2004, 11:30 PM   #3
bigjohn
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Thanks, cc.

I've read in other threads that the nudibranches can be short lived. How long have you managed to keep yours??

One other choice that I considered was a Kole Tang.
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Old 01-26-2004, 12:31 AM   #4
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You're going to hate this answer, sorry. I have been battling hair algae for almost a year now. I've tried it all, so I'll share with you and maybe save some money. But remember... what works in one tank, or for one reefer, may not be the same for everyone. I always say that there are no hard fast rules that apply to everyone all the time. Anyway... I had a foxface for approx 1.5 years great for bubble but never touched the hair. Blue leg hermits are good, but only when they are very small. Lawnmower blennies are good but don't really attack the long hair. They are more effective if you get control first and then they will help control it. Lettuce nudibranchs... I have three in my 125, they do stay busy, however they move very slowly and tend to go to the sump often. Not to mention power heads. The best I have found is a stiff toothbrush and about 3 hours a week. I have also tried phosphate pads, filter media, caulerpa,frequent water changes,reduced lighting, more current, less feedings, new bulbs and you can still find me on saturdays with the toothbrush. Good luck and if you have some success please post it.
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Old 01-26-2004, 02:05 AM   #5
Geoff
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sea hare. this is not a lettuce nidibranch by a differnet name. what size tank do you have? i have one that i swap out between our two systems. right now it is doing duty in my wifes system. which is a 75g with 20g refuge/tank. it eats just about any algae it comes across. eats sargassum by the stalk. also eats hair algae. the only thing that it will not eat is razor caleurpa. it may not eat other caleurpas, i do not know.

the drawbacks are, it eats a lot of algae, it can starve if you do not have enough. ours is a good 8" long now. it is one ugly critter.

the good news is it is very gentle. it does not knock things over as much as a turbo snail or urchin.

a friend of ours has since named it Mr. Squishy.

you might want to figure out first what could be supplying the phosphates that are powering your algae growth. what kind of substrate do you have?

G~
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Old 01-26-2004, 02:58 AM   #6
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Think Ill follow this thread, been spending alot of time with my toothbrush also..
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Old 01-26-2004, 04:57 AM   #7
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Geof where did you get/find the Sea Hare and which one is it specifically? Got a pic of it? Thanks
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Old 01-26-2004, 06:45 AM   #8
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They have 'em at Liveaquaria,
http://www.liveaquaria.com/default.cfm?siteid=20

under "inverts"
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Old 01-26-2004, 08:21 AM   #9
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I would do toothbrush often as possible and raise the Kdh for sure that will help If your water is not RO/DI than don't exchange the water!!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-26-2004, 09:10 AM   #10
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i have a little description of ours here.

i think i have the incorrect species listed. Jerel told me the correct one at one time and i have not been able to find that post again.

i had the LFS store order it for me.



it cost me $30. a little much. a great addition if the tank is big enough.

G~
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Old 01-26-2004, 09:19 AM   #11
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when i had hair alage my fox ate about 90% of it in a few days...
but i agree that what works for one may not work the another.. everyone's tank is a little different...

how often do you feed, how long the lights on, do you change the filter media often? what substrate do you use, if it is CC then you could actually remove the areas of major growth and just toss it out.

IMO anyway....
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Old 01-26-2004, 10:56 AM   #12
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They call them "Sea Rabbits" at my LFS. I was told they are the best for all unwanted algae. Just very ugly in my eyes.
I put in two "Banded" or "Bullit Gobies". They pick at and eat the shorter hair almost all day, which is fun to watch.
I cut down on feedings also, which I hope to keep them even hungrier. It also keeps the nutrients down which helps to keep the growth down.
I have also spent some time it the tank with both hands and a good pair of tweezers.I dropped the tweezers one day , and almost went spear fishing.
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Old 01-26-2004, 12:25 PM   #13
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WOW!

Thanks for all the replies.

The tank is a 135 gallon, 6 foot tank. The substrate is a mixture of sand and crushed coral. The tank has been setup and running for almost 4 years. The lights are 4 - 110 watt (4 foot) vhos, 2 actinic, and 2 daylight bulbs. The bulbs are about 9 months old.(?) The lights are on for about 7 hours per day. The ReefDevil 3 skimmer runs 24/7 and seems to produce foam only on the days after I feed. I feed the tank a mixture of frozen brine and mysis shrimp, Formula 2 and prime reef flakes, and seaweed selects at different times. I feed 2-3 times per week.

I have been straining my brain to try to think of a source, but nothing has died or disappeared in the last four or five months.

The hair only seems to grown on the rock. So far, the toothbrush is the only thing that works, but my teeth are starting to turn green!!!! Couldn't resist.

That sea hare looks a lot like a critter that came in on my live rock. He lived unfettered in my sump for a couple of years, but I haven't seen him for awhile.
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Old 01-26-2004, 12:30 PM   #14
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Yikes! I just read about the sea hare at liveaquaria.com. The part about them releasing dye or toxin when stressed caught my attention. Have you ever had a problem with this, Geoff?
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Old 01-26-2004, 08:21 PM   #15
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Anyone with more info about sea hares?
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algae growth , blue leg hermits , canister filter , crushed coral , fire shrimp , green algae , green hair algae , hermit crab , kole tang , lawnmower blennie , lettuce nudi , lettuce nudibranch , magnum canister filter , mower blenny , mysis shrimp , nuisance algae , peppermint shrimp , power head , prime reef flakes , sea hare , sea hares , turbo snail , zebra hermits


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