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· Nemo's Chamber Boy
4,543 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
a fellow reefer on another board posted a call for help, and after reading his thread i am truly stumped, and i was hoping that some of you here might be able to make some sort of suggestions on what might be going on in his tank. basically he has one of the worst outbreaks of hair algae i have ever seen, and his water perameters seem to be unable to support this bloom, so i was left wondering where all the algae is coming from. i will paste in his first post in the thread, in subsequent posts he answerd questions including yes, he did remove the dead fish and snails, and also that he has only ever used ro water in his tank.

any ideas folks?

his post below

First off I would like to say thank you all for your help in the other entire posting I have submitted. This recent issue of mine could be the end of my saltwater hobby. I am at wit’s end and don’t know what else to try. This alga has taken over my tank for the last month and every thing I have tried dose not help. When this algae first showed up I tried to combat it with turbo snail I add other 10 to my already 70. I also purchased an emerald crab and a lawn mower blenny. With in a week all my snails the crab and the lawn mower where deceased. Since then I have add no algae eating animals. I reduced my light timer down to 10 hours scrubbed the rocks with saltwater and increased my water changes to 5 gallons twice a week. I removed all my bio balls and sponges and turned my skimmer to full power. I have been changing my carbon once a week. Recently I add 4 turbo and a red lip blenny. I felt like maybe the issue cleared up but today the blenny is very thin and the snail have not moved in two days. Can some one please help me before I give up on this hobby and pursue a different one? I love this hobby but I can’t continue like this.
72 Gallon Bow front
AMiracle sump
3 penguin 1140 power heads
Mag 750 return
AMiracle Skimmer driven by a Rio 2100
130pound LR
50 Pound LS
Refuge 8-pound LR Miracle Mud and Grow Light.
110 PC
40 W Actinic
Water Specs
PH 8.3
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 20
Cal 410
Phosphates 0


· Registered
667 Posts
That's weird that his blenny is thin... I don't have anywhere near that much hair algae and mine's fat as a pig...
I wonder if there's something going on in the water chemistry that he isn't able to test for.
Buzz is right though... the nitrate levels could be really high but the hair algae is using it up as fast as it's made... and it won't show up on a test kit.
I've also heard that you can cut the lights way back for a few days and wrap the tank in a blanket so that no light enters the tank... this could help thwart the growth.

· Banggai Mommy
2,637 Posts
We fought it for 18 months... and it went away one week out of the blue. Don't know what happened, but it finally resolved itself - maybe burned itself out. I don't know what to suggest other than cutting the lights back and feeding a lot less, though.


· Registered
903 Posts
a sea hare would be perfect critter to take care of that problem. i would start off with a 50% water change, and continue to large water changes until the nitrate reading was at 0. sea hares rule!

· Summer and Alyssa's Daddy
2,687 Posts
First of all, Ask him what kind of water is he using. It sure does seem that something is killing off his fish, and according to his chemistry his water seems fine. However, I would double check my readings with another kit, LFS or another hobbiest. Something is definatly wrong. The hair algae shouldn't be wiping out live stock like that. Also look at a grounding probe. I am not sure why but once I added one to my sump, it sure seem to make a difference with my fish.
Take Salinity readings with a refractometer. A LFS should have one, if it is a good one. Also another thing about water, when I was keeping freshwater tanks, I used treated tap water. I had two or three tanks crash out of the blue and I learned that during Harvest times and heavy rainfall, pesticides and other chemicals get into the water and our test kits do not detect them. Copper is a biggie. Probably the principal reason why I bought a RO/DI Unit.


· Nemo's Chamber Boy
4,543 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
he said he has been using walmart ro water, but someone pointed out that in some places walmart water can contain phosphates.

his immediate course of action based on feedback is going to be to cut his lighting to about 6 hours a day, and he will be cutting back his feedings to every other day to try to limit nitruents entering his tank.

i resommended he take some water in to his lfs to get tested, and am hoping he has the ability to do that.

i hadnt thought about other additives in the water. i assumed ro processes took care of that, but that could definately be a source of problems for his livestock. one thing i find curious is that the rest of his fish arent seemingly effected by the outbreak, it was just the algae eating types.

a massive water chance is a good idea, i think he has been doing like 10% changes each week, but he should definately step up and do some larger changes i agree.

thanks again for all the help. hopefully he will be able to tame this lawn he is growing in his tank shortly.

· Ughhh.. Dinoflagelettes..
1,340 Posts
ya know..... I use straight tap water and I can honestly say that I have never come CLOSE to an algae problem like that...

Then again, this tank would make for one hell of a refugium.... :funny:

· Registered
40 Posts
We all know about phosphate being known as PO4 and can test for this. there is another type of phosphate called PO3. Usually the lfs can test for this. I had this problem as well, (algae) and found that using garlic exztreme put a huge amout of PO3 in my tank and I didn't know it because I couldn't test for it. Keep using a phosphate sponge even if your PO4 test shows 0.0. I would cut back on the lights as much as possible to help as well. Also, macro algae competes for food with micoalgae, possible put some of that in there.

As to the inverts this a new tank? was copper ever put into the tank and may be leaching from the silicone seals?? Anyone spray cleaning stuff or air freshner in the room??

Just some thoughts, good luck.

· Premium Member
34,741 Posts
man, i missed this one on vacation!! that is some rockin hair algae. if your nitrates are resonable i would secound the sea hare suggestion. i have one and it did an amazing job of eating all of my hair algae. i actually need to find some more to suplement it.

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