Jump to content


Photo

Getting rid of red and green hair algae


  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1
Fluffeh

Fluffeh

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 1,905 posts
  • Joined 02 Nov 2010

Hi, what is the best way I can get rid of my red hair algae (and some green) that has infested some of my live rock? I have 2 clowns, a starfish, and a bunch of snails/crabs, tanks been running for about 1.5 months now. Can someone direct me on how to do this?

does this sound good...
remove the live rock into a saltwater mix bucket
use a toothbrush and scrub away the algae
yank out any algae left
rinse off in freshwater
put back into tank

am i missing something here (i really DO NOT want the algae to spread)? is it okay to just pull the snails off the rocks when i take the LR out?

thank you!

#2
1fishmonger

1fishmonger

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 2,072 posts
  • Joined 08 Sep 2010
Yes, you can pull snails off but be careful not to hurt them - They can hold on pretty tightly. As far as hair algae, if it's on your rocks, it'll most likely come back with your current course of action

#3
Dani3d

Dani3d

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 1,610 posts
  • Joined 08 Jan 2010
It depend, if it is a hairy pink cotton like algae then you should avoid spreading it and if you use a brush you must make sure you get it all the way to the roots. Sometime it is difficult. Mexican turbo snails eat the hair algae.

Problem with the pink or red hair algae is that if the slightest bit take off it will anchor itself and spread like crazy even faster. It is very important not to spread it. Freshwater will probably not even kill it, just slow it down and it will probably kill your good bacterias in your liverock so you will have dead rock.

I would pull it out of the tank, put it in some saltwater, try to scrub off as much as possible and then rinse it well in saltware and then add a few mexican or pacific turbo snails.

The turbo snails eat it like there is no tomorrow and they eat it all the way to the root so when they get a patch, it's not going to come back at that spot unless another bit anchor itself at that spot.

It's a VERY TOUGH algae to get rid of and constant control is required and best done with something eating it away.

does this sound good...
remove the live rock into a saltwater mix bucket
use a toothbrush and scrub away the algae
yank out any algae left
rinse off in freshwater
put back into tank



#4
AndyK47

AndyK47

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 142 posts
  • Joined 29 Jun 2004
just my 2 cents here.... it's coming from somewhere, either bad water quality (not using RO filter) or not enough water changes etc....could be possibly getting too much food. i know for the past 3-4 months i've been using rod's food and if you use too much it will spread green hair algae and cyano like there is no tomorrow... As far as the snails go, they DO eat hair algae, but if you're feeding the tank too much they will go right past the hair algae for something tastier, like left over foods or diatoms... Not all snails will eat the hair algae, but if you cut the feeding down a large amount then the snails will be forced to eat the hair algae... kind of like if you were at home, just because you can eat dried tasteless oatmeal, doesn't mean you're going to if there's a box of cupcakes or fresh cooked steaks on the counter. it's about availability, snails are going to take the easiest, best tasting meal they can find.... Also....the hair algae CAN be controlled with proper care, the most important factor here is not letting it get out of hand too fast.... do you what you're planning, but stay on top of water quality, keep your CUC up to par, and cut down on your feeding and the algae will stay in check...regardless though, it is impossible to totally eradicate hair algae, it will come around is some form or another, but if you have a good CUC you'll never see it get any larger than a BB.

#5
Fluffeh

Fluffeh

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 1,905 posts
  • Joined 02 Nov 2010
thanks guys

#6
Vyker

Vyker

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 233 posts
  • Joined 21 Sep 2010
Specifically, in my experience, florida ceriths, astrea, turbo snails and emerald crabs are the best at devouring that kind of algae. Emerald crabs are probably the most effective, but they can potentially eat coraline algae too. There are some larger options like sea hares and some fish if you have a larger tank with a bigger hair algae problem.

#7
seldin

seldin

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 171 posts
  • Joined 16 Dec 2009
I did not realize that the bull dozers (LOL), turbo snails eat green hair algae. Learn something every day..

#8
jbannick18

jbannick18

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 432 posts
  • Joined 12 Sep 2010
little old but I have 1 emerald and 2 mexican turbos in my 15 gallon and they haven't touched my gha :(, was thinking about doing the same thing as op said as far as scrubbing it off in a WC bucket.

#9
plantman1028

plantman1028

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 240 posts
  • Joined 04 Aug 2004
  • National Park, NJ 08063
If you can find a chiton they eat algae like crazy! I think one of the sponsors on this site sells them. I had 1 in my 55g and he was like a Zamboni on my rocks and glass!
Whether you like it or don't like it...Learn to love it!

#10
Vyker

Vyker

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 233 posts
  • Joined 21 Sep 2010

little old but I have 1 emerald and 2 mexican turbos in my 15 gallon and they haven't touched my gha :(, was thinking about doing the same thing as op said as far as scrubbing it off in a WC bucket.


Make sure what you have is GHA and not byropsis. In my tank, those critters destroy GHA but have very little interest in byropsis. Both algaes can look similar until you get up close.

#11
jbannick18

jbannick18

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 432 posts
  • Joined 12 Sep 2010
Posted Image


This is what I have, its only in that small patch right now but I can see its starting to creep more and more up the rock. GHA ?

#12
Vyker

Vyker

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 233 posts
  • Joined 21 Sep 2010
Embeded images are blocked at my work. Upload image as attachment or wait for someone else to chime in.

#13
jbannick18

jbannick18

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 432 posts
  • Joined 12 Sep 2010
http://smg.photobuck...nt=IMAG0282.jpg

#14
Vyker

Vyker

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 233 posts
  • Joined 21 Sep 2010
Lolz, I work for the government, of course photobucket is blocked. Like I said, attach the image or wait. I can check it out at home later.

#15
jfarabaugh

jfarabaugh

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 1,147 posts
  • Joined 09 Oct 2009
  • PA

I did not realize that the bull dozers (LOL), turbo snails eat green hair algae. Learn something every day..



I really wish folks would stop saying that different snails and crabs eat GHA. No snail/crab that I know of will eat GHA for sure. It is all hit and miss with snails and crabs and just because it worked for one person doesnt mean it will for others. If you want something that will eat GHA for sure get a sea hare. Not trying to be an a$$ just reminding everyone.

You can easily get a smaller sea hare in your BC29. Just make sure to get them out when the GHA is gone.

The pic is not great but I am going to say GHA.

Now for my standard reply.
copy and paste from numerous other post on this site

my .02 as I tried every type of cleanup crew snail, crabs, etc and they are all very hit and miss. If GHA a sea hare will wipe it out in a week.

Both will take time to eliminate. Check the age of you light bulbs.

if GHA
up the water changes using DI water
cut down of feeding
GFO in a reactor. BRS reactor for the win
Manual removal
Sea Hare for natural removal. dont let them starve though

If bryopsis
up the water changes using DI water
cut down of feeding
GFO in a reactor. BRS reactor for the win
up the Mag using Kent Tech M to between 1800-2000
Manual removal
lettuce nudibranch for natural removal dont let them starve though

Edited by jfarabaugh, 02 December 2010 - 10:15 AM.


#16
lohitha

lohitha

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 305 posts
  • Joined 19 Apr 2010
  • Michigan
My suggestion is to do a 2-3 day blackout. Let the ambient light flow into the tank. Feed as usual. But, turn of lighting for 2-3 days. And keep the fuge light on and let Chaeto or some macro algae absorb all the nutrients. It worked for me. If you are worried, just do 2 day blackout.

I have a BC14 with the middle chamber as a fuge. I have a 3W cheap led spot light shining from the back (paint scraped off). My chaeto grows like mad. No hair algae for me.

Edited by lohitha, 02 December 2010 - 10:18 AM.


#17
Vyker

Vyker

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 233 posts
  • Joined 21 Sep 2010

I really wish folks would stop saying that different snails and crabs eat GHA. No snail/crab that I know of will eat GHA for sure. It is all hit and miss with snails and crabs and just because it worked for one person doesnt mean it will for others. If you want something that will eat GHA for sure get a sea hare. Not trying to be an a$$ just reminding everyone.

You can easily get a smaller sea hare in your BC29. Just make sure to get them out when the GHA is gone.

The pic is not great but I am going to say GHA.

Now for my standard reply.
copy and paste from numerous other post on this site

my .02 as I tried every type of cleanup crew snail, crabs, etc and they are all very hit and miss. If GHA a sea hare will wipe it out in a week.

Both will take time to eliminate. Check the age of you light bulbs.

if GHA
up the water changes using DI water
cut down of feeding
GFO in a reactor. BRS reactor for the win
Manual removal
Sea Hare for natural removal. dont let them starve though

If bryopsis
up the water changes using DI water
cut down of feeding
GFO in a reactor. BRS reactor for the win
up the Mag using Kent Tech M to between 1800-2000
Manual removal
lettuce nudibranch for natural removal dont let them starve though


My post clearly states "in my experience". I have seen them do it in my tank directly, as in eat hair algae off the glass. Does that mean someone else may not? Sure. I know mine eat it for sure.

Chill.

Sea hares are too big for smaller aquariums. I am not sure a temporary biological answer is better than a permanent likely solution like the algae eaters listed. Even if not 100%, adding snails that you can keep is better than adding something you know you will have to remove or see it starve to death. However, if you think its worth it, its definitely a more guaranteed solution.

#18
jfarabaugh

jfarabaugh

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 1,147 posts
  • Joined 09 Oct 2009
  • PA

My post clearly states "in my experience". I have seen them do it in my tank directly, as in eat hair algae off the glass. Does that mean someone else may not? Sure. I know mine eat it for sure.

Chill.

Sea hares are too big for smaller aquariums. I am not sure a temporary biological answer is better than a permanent likely solution like the algae eaters listed. Even if not 100%, adding snails that you can keep is better than adding something you know you will have to remove or see it starve to death. However, if you think its worth it, its definitely a more guaranteed solution.


I usually don't reply but just to clarify…..

The user asking the question took your post as they eat GHA hands down. Hence why I was responding to his post and not yours. So I am "chilled" and was not going after you or I would have quoted you. Keep in mind that verbal tone (in writing) is very hard to determine. Basically I was reiterating your “in my experience” to the user and I am sorry that you took offense.

You can absolutely keep smaller to medium size sea hares in a BC29 (A small sea hare isn’t much bigger then a large size turbo). I kept one for 3 months with absolutely no issues in my BC29. Once he got through my GHA in about 1.5 weeks I feed him seaweed sheets attached to a rock. I kept him longer than the 1.5 weeks because I find them to be very interesting. I took him back to the LFS only because I was going to be out of town repeatedly and would have been unable to feed him. I know my local reef club and some of my LFS pass sea hares around in order to clean up GHA quickly. But other housekeeping measures need to be put in place or it will come right back. See the rest of my previos post.

Yes a proper CUC will keep the tank clear of debris, waste, uneaten food, etc which can lead to algae issues if left in the tank. But if a person goes out and buys a dozen different snails and crabs with the hopes that they eat the algae outbreak and they don't it will only increase the bioload in the tank and may cause more algae. So if you are going to get something to eat it you should try and get something that you KNOW will eat it.

At the end of the day this hobby is the most opinionated hobbies I have ever been involved with so take all suggestions with a grain of salt.

-Justin

Edited by jfarabaugh, 02 December 2010 - 12:39 PM.


#19
Vyker

Vyker

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 233 posts
  • Joined 21 Sep 2010
looks like gha to me. what you are looking for with byropsis is fern-frond like branches. I don't see any, but the photo is a little low res to be sure.

#20
jbannick18

jbannick18

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 432 posts
  • Joined 12 Sep 2010
Yea def not byprosis I've seen that one. I am going to scrub the rock tonight, leave it dark for two days and see how it goes from there. I can't really cut the feedings anymore then I do, only feed every 3 days.

#21
yaridong

yaridong

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 70 posts
  • Joined 18 Nov 2010
i have a 24g and i was sick and tired of my hair algae. so i got a sea hare today. As soon as i put him in (5 min ago) he went straight to the algae, and is eating it away. the sea hare is pretty light so i am a bit worried he will get stuck in the power head...but we will see...

i dont think it will take him more than a week to eat all the hair algae growing on my back wall.

EASILY the best thing i have ever bought to eat hair algae.

let me add, that i used to have a emerald green crab, and he was attacking my fish. so no more crabs in my tank.

#22
jfarabaugh

jfarabaugh

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 1,147 posts
  • Joined 09 Oct 2009
  • PA

i have a 24g and i was sick and tired of my hair algae. so i got a sea hare today. As soon as i put him in (5 min ago) he went straight to the algae, and is eating it away. the sea hare is pretty light so i am a bit worried he will get stuck in the power head...but we will see...

i dont think it will take him more than a week to eat all the hair algae growing on my back wall.

EASILY the best thing i have ever bought to eat hair algae.

let me add, that i used to have a emerald green crab, and he was attacking my fish. so no more crabs in my tank.


:D
Just kep an eye on the little guy as the GHA gets less and less they can starve pretty quick. They are an eating and pooping machine as you will soon find out.
You will find that they are also a joy to watch.

#23
yaridong

yaridong

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 70 posts
  • Joined 18 Nov 2010

:D
Just kep an eye on the little guy as the GHA gets less and less they can starve pretty quick. They are an eating and pooping machine as you will soon find out.
You will find that they are also a joy to watch.

does the poop look like white small round cylinders ...kinda like eraser leftovers? i see it floating around with my tank and the fish take turns eating and then spitting it back out.

Edited by yaridong, 24 January 2011 - 11:54 PM.


#24
CoralWhisperer

CoralWhisperer

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 610 posts
  • Joined 28 Dec 2010
  • DownTown916
Of course it is imperative that you limit the nutrients the hair algae is feeding on . . .

I havent read thru all the replies, but Im sure its all the standard stuff . . .

Just wanted to show you that snails(mainly turbos) WILL help the situation as far as getting whats already there out . . .

Here is a patch on a rock at the top of my tank, its roughly 6x6".
Its looking brown because Im starving it thru WCs and chemipure elite.
But, you can definately see where the turbos have been chomping . . .
Its been about 36 hours now since I put the turbos directly onto the rock, and 2 of them havent left it.


Posted Image

Edited by CoralWhisperer, 25 January 2011 - 12:42 AM.

god you cali guys suck so bad with your overabundance of awesome corals. damn you!! lol


#25
TinyGiant

TinyGiant

    Stocking my 55g In Wall!

  • Members
  • 3,227 posts
  • Joined 18 Apr 2010
  • Rochester, NH
i hear peroxide does wonders getting rid of the hair algae .. it oxidizes it and doesnt harm the rock or corals that are on it :) ( just do it outside of the tank and give it a quick rinse before sticking it back in the tank)

a good working snail is always a plus though