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Hydro-Dynamic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I've got the red hair algae, and it's finally began to invade my totoka rock, which is worst case scenareo. Its' deep knobs make it virtually impossible to remove.

The 1st response I've always gotten, is " are you sure it's not cyano bacteria"? YES, as this is more like hair algae and has so far had no desire to affix to the glass. It does not grow where light is minimal. Rather it covers the bottom, and also is high up in the tank. It does not have a film like growth as does cyano, which also is readily smeared. Not this stuff.

When removed from the sand substrate, I lose alot of sand as it anchors rather well. However it returns as either roots break off, or small pcs "float" adrift through the water column and settles elsewheres.

I've recently added a lawnmower blenny, but have not witnessed him eating any of it in the last week that I've had him. My Brown Powder Tang, Emerald Green Crab, or any other part of my cleanup crew do not notice it either. My crab and tang however, are not reef safe, so either these animals go, or the reef goes, or I shut it down and sell out, not to mention the red hair algae.

Notice the damage from the crab to the Hawaiian Feather Duster tube. The duster has gone from 5-6" across, to 1/2" across, to not showing at all. Also notice the Kenya Tree coral has some whitish blunt ends where the polyps should be terciaried, (branched and fine) but are nipped off by the tang. This tang requires feeding every couple hours to maybe at minimum 4x/day. Otherwise his health takes a noticable plunge, as does the corals. My prized, and 1st coral for this tank, the Green Toadstool Leather, never extends anymore as the tang has it in check as well.
the...
Temp is constant at 79-80F.
SG is 1.0245
Ph is 7.8 - 8.0
Nitrates 10ppm /water mixing for a change
Phosphate 0ppm

My LFS recommended a Fox Face or Lawnmower Blenny
I got the Blenny since the FoxFace would clash with the tang
given the amount of swimming room (46 bow front)
I'm leary of urchins, have heard they can crash a tank when
stressed like a sea apple can, + my tang is frequently scratched up
from the close quarters, and type of rock I have, so a long "tipped"
urchin is out of the question.
 

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How are you testing for phosphates? Anything other than a photometer is pointless.
how big is your tank? LMB would be a good choice as well as a foxface or tangs along as your tank is big enough.

look for the source:
Excess nutrients. Try cranking up your skimmer and cut back on feeding and lighting for a few weeks. Double up on water changes for a while....


Other options are Pencil urchin and Mexican Zebra Turbo snails
 

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The fluffy stuff look like something I once had in my 55g reef, never did get it ID'd as I had no digicam back then. FWIW it didn't spread much and eventually disappeared on it's own.
Your tang is a pretty one but really needs more room than a 46 BF, they stress easily, and are considered among the more challenging tangs to keep. Good luck with the cotton candy
 

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+1, the tang is stressed in that sized tank, which is problem one. I am not seeing much, if any, green algae, which is what the tang prefers to eat, hence why you need to feed him so much. I'd question the nutrients in the tank as that type of algae should clear up on its own, so long as you are removing by hand and limiting feedings. Cutting the lighting cycle a little may also help.
Also, are you using RO/DI or tap water? Both the emerald crab and tang should be reef safe, in the right reef. Both require green algae to feed on, for the most part. I don't think a fox face, nor LMB will be of much use to you as they both prefer green algae as well.

Beyond that, good luck as I am not familiar with that type of algae.
 

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Hydro-Dynamic
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13,149 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well my tang does eat the red bubble algae, but not this stuff.
Being a 46 gal tank, I cannot introduce another sizeable fish like the
foxface. I can however "trade out" for one. Gamble, but the tang may
well be on his way out the door anyway given his requirents for frequent
feedings. I cannot at this time cut back on feedings with this tang in place.

I am using Red Sea Reef Master kit.

I did look to the lights as a source, meaning time to replace? I replaced the 10K HQI with a 12 or 14K 150w recently. One dual actinic 65w pc is 8 months old. The other, a 10K 65w pc is in need of replacement. I'm running a Current Outer Orbit. The single HQI for 4 hrs/day and the pc's for 12 hrs/day. I was hoping the HQI was out of PAR or color had shifted to worthless as it was a couple yrs old. The replacement HQI was sold as 12k but has a 14 written inside. I assume 14k is correct.

I am running a 100GPD RO / DI unit, with a new vertical DI chamber and fresh resin.
The Hanna hand held, reads 0ppm.
 

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Hydro-Dynamic
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13,149 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I actually have a 100 gal Tenecor, 60" tank, to house the tang. I am however considering, selling the tank, unused, and custom built. I haven't built the stand yet
and have been weighing whether to set it up or not. If I can't / don't have the time, and ability to please keep the tank 100% silent, including all periphials, I don't have a happy wife, who has to shut my skimer off every night because the Blueline 40X pump that drives it, sounds like a turbine to her.

I don't believe the down time of the skimmer, is a problem though. It is a Lifereef 36" rated for like 350-400g system. The 02 and ph may fluctuate more though. My sump is too small to add proper sized pump inside. The skimmer box inside tank hooks to an overflow box on the outside, unlike the 100 acrylic, which has this centrally bulit in. But if it makes the most slightest of noise, a drip at any rate, will not suffice and be a lost cause setting up the new tank. So I paid $900 for a tank that sits in my computer room collecting dust.
 

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Hydro-Dynamic
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13,149 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I agree chuck on the water changes. The holidays take a toll + I'm remodeling part of our kitchen. BTW, how long can a batch of fresh sea water mix? Is 2 wks too long? I use a Penguin 660 powerhead, 200-300w heater, and either a 20g tote or 6g bucket well airated.
 

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Hydro-Dynamic
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13,149 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
+1, the tang is stressed in that sized tank, which is problem one. I am not seeing much, if any, green algae, which is what the tang prefers to eat, hence why you need to feed him so much. I'd question the nutrients in the tank as that type of algae should clear up on its own, so long as you are removing by hand and limiting feedings. Cutting the lighting cycle a little may also help.
Also, are you using RO/DI or tap water? Both the emerald crab and tang should be reef safe, in the right reef. Both require green algae to feed on, for the most part. I don't think a fox face, nor LMB will be of much use to you as they both prefer green algae as well.

Beyond that, good luck as I am not familiar with that type of algae.
You're correct, there is little green algae in this tank. There is alot of small pink sponge, and teeny tiny little tube worms are plentiful. At this point I have so much pink calcareous algea on my glass front and this red algea throughout that I wont take a full blown picture of the tank. A lot of scraping and some manual removal of the red algae, and it's fine. But you can get a picture of my system under my profile, and 46g build. The bubble algae seems to be gone now. It was concentrated to the "moon" or base rock from my cichlid tank for some leaching reason. It was removed and thrown out after my tang proved an appetite twards it in quarentine tank.
 

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please keep the tank 100% silent, including all periphials, I don't have a happy wife
haha, you and me are in the same boat, I think i'm gunna trade the wife in for a new tank....

but ya, my tank is about 14in away from our headboard in our room, It took weeks of "Why is that piece of CENSORED so loud" but i installed sound board, and all kinds of little things to get the overflows and pumps completely silent. In fact it was so quiet she started hearing the crickets outside, and wanted to hear a little trickle of water so she didn't have to hear them...

Just today i was talking to her about me getting an anemone, and why i needed the $40 one instead of the $6 condy..... but i still have a few months to work that one out....
 

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Hydro-Dynamic
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13,149 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well nate, mines in a lg living room, and 20' away, the tv doesn't cover up her bionic ears. I find the tank 97-99% silent. I have good ears twards higher pitches, better than hers. But the slightest trickle in the skimmer box...gimme a break. Oh, & she loves the sound of louder fountains...go figure.
 

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Hydro-Dynamic
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13,149 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Love my turbos!!!

After 3 days, and alot of physical removal, the Mexican Turbos have
made a nice dent in the red hair. The other cuc only want green algae, including the astrae snails, brown pwdr tang, shrimp, hermits, and green emerald crab!

This is most excellent news given the depth of the knobs on my totoka rock where physical removal was impossible.​
 

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Hydro-Dynamic
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13,149 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
After 4 days, the mess is all but gone. The turbos even cleaned the prefilter of the powerheads that had collected some drifters.

10 turbos is way too many for a long term setting as they wil starve.
But for a quick fix, I'm impressed.
 

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Hey, sorry to but in on my first post - but I've been dealing with this #$%^ing same algae for about 8 months.

I also had mexican turbos do a number on it, only for them to starve and the algae grow back within a few weeks. One remains, but he is unable to keep up on his own, and I cant just keep buying mexican turbos. They knock stuff over!

So far I have yet to find a good solution. I also have zero nitrates and phosphates, use phosban, have NO fish, feed rotifers 1x per week, and do water changes every other week, blow out detritus every week, change filter floss DAILY, and have an oversized skimmer that produces a not surprisingly small amount of waste - because there is almost nothing going into the tank except light and kalkwasser, and a slow drip from my Ca reactor. Oh yeah, also, I drip kalk, further limiting phosphates... and I run an RO/DI with 2 DI chambers in series, and it reads 0 on the TDS meter. Flow wise the tank runs on an RKL running koralias on a wavemaker pattern totalling about 20x turnover per hour, and that doesn't even include the return pump, which turns over the tank 10x per hour. I run a refugium with chaeto - the chaeto hasn't grown in many many months because there is nothing to grow on.

Sooooooo frustrating! I have a beautiful SPS tank, or did, until this garbage took over. This algae seems to just grow whether you have great water quality or not. Who knows, maybe I should let me tank get really dirty, then maybe it will die? 14 years of reefing and I'm about 2 weeks from calling it quits.

Someone needs to genetically engineer some kind of pathogen to kill this specific algae.
 

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Hydro-Dynamic
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OMG YIKES! Thanx for the not so good news. Bummer, and sps are such a pretty coral.

I took 6 of the 10 turbos back. LFS gave me credit for less than 50% cost, but at least they won't starve in my system. I'll drop an algea wafer in at night for them from time to time. (4 left)

I've heard that the algae can uptake the PO4 making the test result inaccurate. + another told me a PO4 photometer is the only accurate way to test. So I took a sample to my LFS, measured 0ppm. But...my calcium was 500 and my dkh was like 7.5, and well that meant my ph was off a little 8.0 it was. They didn't tell me, but I assume my magnesium is too low, which can cause the "off" readings I got.

Are you using RO/DI and testing it for TDS? Any TDS above 2 or 3 ppm, can feed nusient algae. I did a large physical removal, added the turbos and blenny, and changed out the PO4 sponge, and replaced old halide, which I only run about 4 hrs/day anyway to help keep algae in check. I'm running one pc that needs replacing too. Both my pcs run about 12 hrs/day. Starvation is best method after initial control. Hopefully that is
underway.

Your rock can leach PO4 if cured improperly at some point back or way back down the road. When cycling a tank or curing rock, it is highly reccomended to run phos remover, and skim heavily. I had heard not to skim during cycle. At any rate, maybe even before you got your rock, it may've absorbed PO4, that you don't catch on a test. Good luck and do revist and update if you figure out what's going on, or find a good "tool"
for this crap. I got mine from a friend giving me some substrate with pods and other bugs.
 

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Hydro-Dynamic
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
"I also had mexican turbos do a number on it, only for them to starve and the algae grow back within a few weeks. One remains, but he is unable to keep up on his own, and I cant just keep buying mexican turbos"

How many turbos did you have in what size tank n rock # ?
Your starved snails may've well been a new source of decomposing matter to feed the algae.
I guess the right ratio will have to be found on trial n error. Not enough snails, too much algae to starve out. Too many, and here we go again.
 

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I do use RO/DI (in fact, I run 2 DI units in series after the RO stage to scavenge any remaining impurities. I also run GFO(phosban) and bio pellets.

Tank is 28g with about 25 lbs of liverock. And before you ask, yes, this is a 28g JBJ with a kalk reactor, a calcium reactor, ATO, needle wheel skimmer, RKL controller, media reactors, etc, etc, etc, etc...I'm big into automation because I run an aquarium service company and need to test things before I install them on my customers tanks. My customers tanks do not have this problem lol.

Dead snail carcasses were removed within 24-48 hrs of death... There were three snails, and two of them died. One is still going, but is unable to control it by himeself/herself.
 

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Hydro-Dynamic
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm concerned about setting up my new system, as all my old rock, and most of the sand will be used, and bring the same issue.

DI resin only has about a 12 mo. shelf life if kept sealed, free of O2, and prefferably in the back of the fridge. Works best in vertical bottom fed
canister(s). I was using a pair of horizontal DI cartridges, and the ability to remove TDS after 2 or 3 months was less than anyone would want. Poor at best. I went to jbaquatics and ordered their add on DI loaded and in plug n play rediness for $40, and their nuclear grade colour changing resin, and a new 150 gpd 98% rejection membrane. After 6 mos I'm still at
0ppm TDS, and colour is about 75% changed. A huge tune up for under $100. You may already be running a similar setup or better, just a FWIW.

Good luck, some people say it goes away on its' own. My aggressive calurpa did just that. One day it started turning gray, and dying off faster than it was growing. Which had been no less than 1"/day. In fact, that may've been around the time I upgraded my RO unit. Just don't give anybody anything from your system.
+2 on the GFO and bio pellets. Crank up the skimmer. I find it peculiar to have this issue with no fish, and all the perifials you have, with maybe no feeding habbit problems. There's a source of food somewhere, either in water source or chemicals from salt mix to essential elements. Salt mix is a very real source of ... how do I say it...problems. I'm on my 3rd brand of salt mix, and quite frankly, cannot tell you one works better than the other, or induces problems over the other. But there is independant test results out there that breaks down how much PO4 and boron, calcium ect is in the mixes. The Coralfie had the lowest PO4 and at a good price. I am using that now. Last bucket was Red Sea Coral Pro, made to work with RO water. That's what I was using at the time I introduced this red algae to my system, from someone elses substrate. Before that I was using Instant Ocean. Years ago was using Reef Crystals. They all have bad and good stuff in them. Just in different measurable quantities. After reading the lengthy results, I switched to Coralife. I'll look for that link today in my TRT log.
 

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I'm concerned about setting up my new system, as all my old rock, and most of the sand will be used, and bring the same issue.

DI resin only has about a 12 mo. shelf life if kept sealed, free of O2, and prefferably in the back of the fridge. Works best in vertical bottom fed
canister(s). I was using a pair of horizontal DI cartridges, and the ability to remove TDS after 2 or 3 months was less than anyone would want. Poor at best. I went to jbaquatics and ordered their add on DI loaded and in plug n play rediness for $40, and their nuclear grade colour changing resin, and a new 150 gpd 98% rejection membrane. After 6 mos I'm still at
0ppm TDS, and colour is about 75% changed. A huge tune up for under $100. You may already be running a similar setup or better, just a FWIW.

Good luck, some people say it goes away on its' own. My aggressive calurpa did just that. One day it started turning gray, and dying off faster than it was growing. Which had been no less than 1"/day. In fact, that may've been around the time I upgraded my RO unit. Just don't give anybody anything from your system.
+2 on the GFO and bio pellets. Crank up the skimmer. I find it peculiar to have this issue with no fish, and all the perifials you have, with maybe no feeding habbit problems. There's a source of food somewhere, either in water source or chemicals from salt mix to essential elements. Salt mix is a very real source of ... how do I say it...problems. I'm on my 3rd brand of salt mix, and quite frankly, cannot tell you one works better than the other, or induces problems over the other. But there is independant test results out there that breaks down how much PO4 and boron, calcium ect is in the mixes. The Coralfie had the lowest PO4 and at a good price. I am using that now. Last bucket was Red Sea Coral Pro, made to work with RO water. That's what I was using at the time I introduced this red algae to my system, from someone elses substrate. Before that I was using Instant Ocean. Years ago was using Reef Crystals. They all have bad and good stuff in them. Just in different measurable quantities. After reading the lengthy results, I switched to Coralife. I'll look for that link today in my TRT log.
My DI is definately working; I have a handheld tds meter properly calibrated. Tap reads about 190TDS, RO reads about 7, and DI reads zilch. Only the first resin has started to change color, which leads me to beleive that there is literally nothing in the water coming from my purification system. My RO is brand new, and its an AquaFX; I was frustrated with the algae and thought maybe my RO was somehow not up to snuff so i replaced it. It has helped somewhat, but this stuff is TOUGH stuff.

I'm surprised that you've landed on Coralife as your salt; I consider that whole brand to be...not ideal..lol but obv you have your reasons. I use IO, and have been for 14 years. Do you have links to the salt information? I can always sell my un-used IO buckets to a customer with a fish only tank and grab some new salt for basically nothing. KH and calcium levels of a salt are un-important to me; those I can easily bump up; my tank is so small that my Ca reactor and kalk stirrer can easily compensate for any deficiency in those. Phos & nitrate though...far more difficult to deal with in a salt mix.

One more thing I forgot to add; I had been using some free sample reef trace element additives. I didn't recognize the brand name, but figured hey, what the heck. I can't remember what the name of the company was, it came in a two-bottle A and B format, similar to a two part cal/alk additive. I threw them out last week just on a hunch that maybe, just MAYBE they were causing the problem...so...we'll see I guess? I'll see if I can remember the name of the company, I think I still have the bottles, just not the liquid inside.
 
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