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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I know it is partially my fault, but green hair algae has all but ruined my love of this hobby. My tank has looked like an Irish Chubaka since late November. I had the entire tank disassembled in late January when it was moved from Woodbury to Cottage Grove and the entire tank scrubbed and cleaned. The hair came back very soon afterwords and seems to be here to stay.

I have tried switching salts from oceanic to reef crystals, been using PhosGuard, doing water changes every 5-7 days. I am at my wits end. My bulbs are less than 6 months old, the tank has a UV sterilzer on it, running a full lifereef filter/skimmer setup.

This is basically a last call out for help before I tear the tank down and call it quits, which I would hate to do considering the money I have into it. If there is anyone in the area willing to help I am willing to barter, pay, feed, liquor up, or whatever you want in return for helping me get back on the enjoyable side of this hobby.

Tank is a 200 RR oceanic brick style. I have a air/water/ice RODI system, lifereef filtration, 250+ lbs of liverock.

The tank is at my house, just south of highway 61, off of the Jamaica exit in Cottage Grove

Like I said, PLEASE HELP ME
 

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Discussion Starter #4
ReefStock, yes I am using RO water for my changes - always have and always check TDS

Ziv,


Are you willing to post this in General Reef discission? i think you will find losts of help and company there!!!
I have no problem with that, however, I was hoping a local could physically come check out how screwed up my tank is and help me correct it. Bad thing is, I am hitting my busy part of my work season. and my schedule is tough to work around. I am willing to pay someone if they can fix my issues
 

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Discussion Starter #6
do you have a skimmer?
I am running a full lifereef system with skimmer - an LF1-200

My tank was fine for over two yrs before this all went down. My reef keeping may not be the best or most consistent, but it was working for the most part. My tank was doing what I consider very well for the 6-8 months before the hair algae started.

The algae first got hold of the tank because my main pump failed and I was running with less than optimal flow for about 6 days and my lights were a couple weeks overdue for a change. I have my main pump back up - with a back up now, and lights have been changed since.
 

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Id say its a bacteria in the rocks that settled in IMO? May try cleaning one more time and getting some new rock?
 

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I would definetly consider taking all the rock out and cooking it. It will take a month or two for all the algae to die without light, but in the end would be worth it.
You could always do it in batches too.
 

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How old is the sand bed? Do you feed with flake food? How many fish do you have? How often do you feed your fish? Have you tried skimming really wet (over-skimming)? How long have you been using a phosphate reactor for? What kind of bulbs are you using (brand, Kelvin rating, etc)? Do you ever physically pull the hair algae out of the tank?
 

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Is it possible that the UV sterilizer is contributing to the problem? Like killing the beneficial bacteria and putting the tank out of whack?
 

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I have been struggling with hair algae, and have been successful at reducing its quantitiy and growth in the tank by doing the following:

Phosphate reactor
Reduction of bio-load
pulling the algae out of the rock all the way down to its roots
stopped feeding flake food
reduced amout of feeding of both fish and corals
I have reduced the amout of hair algae by about half doing this, and the algae that is still there is not growing back and seems to be declining.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I will make a valid attempt to answer the questions:

I lost about half my fish during the move - all seemed health before the move, but moving during single digit weather is a gamble on a 200+ gallon setup

My livestock:
8" orange shoulder tang
6" D sailfin tang
2.5" pink skunk clown
4" wrasse - I think it is a flavesent (sp?)
2 cleaner shrimp
2 bubble tip anenome

I am running a maristar T5 combo - running 3 250w 1400K HQI MH and 4 T5 - don't remember the specific brands off the top of my head

I feed mostly flake, though I have been cutting back a lot. Feeding only every 2 to 3 days

I have been skimming VERY wet, though the skimmer is hard to keep consistent due to the algae clogging the overflows. I am constantly 3 times or more a day scrubbing the overflows.

I have been running phosgaurd for about 4 wks now. It is sitting in a media bag on the filter pad in the sump - changing the media every 2 wks.

I have tried pulling the algae off, but when I aggitate the algae, it seems to get worse. I have tried to pull a couple rocks out at a time to scrub, but have only found them to be covered again in 5 days or so.

The sand bed is about 3.5 yrs old. I have been trying to keep the bed as clean as possible.

Seriously if anyone wants to tackle the job I am willing to pay
 

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It is very possible that the sand bed has gone bad and is leaching excessive amounts of phosphate into the water column. Also, no more flake food. Switch to pellets or frozen foods, but make sure to wash the frozen foods good in a net or something. I wash mine in tap water really good and then clean it up some more in RO water before feeding it to the tank. Also, if you are using phosban you don't have to change it for several months as far as I know. The phosban works very slowly, sucking out phosphates over time (i.e. several months for good results, or so I have been told). Some critters are supposed to eat hair algae really well. For instance the Sea Hare will graze on it, but if it dies in you tank it may take the whole tank with it. The lettuce nudibranch is supposed to eat a lot of hair algae, too. However, this does not fix the source of the problem, which I would guess is your sand bed being too old and full of nutrients that is fueling the hair algae. If Mary comes over to your place she will know whats up.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It is very possible that the sand bed has gone bad and is leaching excessive amounts of phosphate into the water column. Also, no more flake food. Switch to pellets or frozen foods, but make sure to wash the frozen foods good in a net or something. I wash mine in tap water really good and then clean it up some more in RO water before feeding it to the tank. Also, if you are using phosban you don't have to change it for several months as far as I know. The phosban works very slowly, sucking out phosphates over time (i.e. several months for good results, or so I have been told). Some critters are supposed to eat hair algae really well. For instance the Sea Hare will graze on it, but if it dies in you tank it may take the whole tank with it. The lettuce nudibranch is supposed to eat a lot of hair algae, too. However, this does not fix the source of the problem, which I would guess is your sand bed being too old and full of nutrients that is fueling the hair algae. If Mary comes over to your place she will know whats up.
I am running Seachem PhosGaurd (Phosphate/Silicate Control). I was advised to change it out every couple weeks.

We'll see what is up when I meet up with her.
 

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Did some research on the product. It is an Aluminum oxide, which has the characteristic of absorbing phosphate very quickly. I have been told not to use that kind of a phosphate absorbent, but I can't recall why. I think most people in the club use the iron oxide based products.
 

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Here is a great article on the product which is authored by a premier chemist in the US, Randy Holmes.

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/july2003/chem.htm

Quote:
"Conclusions<?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = O /><O:p> </O:p><O:p></O:p>
Aluminum is an ion that does not get much attention, and has no clear biological use in aquaria. It can, however, have an impact on aquarium organisms if elevated sufficiently over natural levels. Phosguard has been shown to release aluminum to artificial seawater. Further, it appears that the release of aluminum could be the cause of the effects that some folks have seen in aquaria when using aluminum-based phosphate and silicate absorbing materials. However, only a larger study could definitively demonstrate that to be the case.<O:p> </O:p>
Such biological effects have not been widely reported for the iron-based phosphate removers (e.g., Rowaphos and Salifert’s Phosphate Killer). Consequently, if you are interested in using phosphate-absorbing media, those latter types might be a better choice.<O:p> </O:p>
Happy Reefing! "
 

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I'm no pro. In fact, definitely consider myself a newb but I did have a hair algae problem that I turned around by having the lights on only about 8 hours and only feeding about every third day. How long are you lights on?
 
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