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BG107

Hair Algae Over running live rock

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BG107

Would it be a good idea to take out all the live rock and then remove all the algae. I am planning on doing this tomorrow but would like feedback if this is a good idea or not. Thank you in advance, 

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Tired

Need more info to know the best course of action. It's probably more snails and some scrubbing. 

 

How old is the tank, and how did you cycle it? What are your nitrates and phosphates? How big is it, and what livestock do you have? 

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BG107

Its fairly new, around 2 months. 20 gallon with only a couple of nass snails for a CUC and 2 shirmp. 2 clowns a goby and tiny cardinal. My nitrates are below 1ppm , but I do not know what my phosphates are. However I do have the phosguard from seachem in my filter media. I cycled with live rock and stability by seachem. 

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Tired

Found your problems. They're pretty common ones.

 

First of all, your tank is very new. You're fully stocked, but shouldn't be yet. Don't add any more fish, period, four is enough. 

 

Second, you need to have things in your tank that eat algae. Nass snails don't. Check out ReefCleaners and pick up an algae-eating crew. 

 

Third, your nitrates (and possibly phosphates) are too low. You need them higher. Hair algae and other pest algaes thrive in low-nutrient systems with no competition, so you need them to get competition. If you have more nutrients, non-pest algaes (ones that don't multiply as fast or overwhelm other things) will multiply as well, and keep any one pest species from going too nuts. You want to have a bunch of different kinds of algae, in short, and lots of little bugs that eat the algae. 

 

Your system needs more time to get more biodiverse. Your hair algae is using up nitrates, and you don't have much to eat it. Add things that eat algae, try feeding more to get your nitrates up a bit, pull off tufts of hair algae that get long (the snails can't eat that), and wait. That should work things out for you. Since you don't have any corals for it to smother, the hair algae is harmless, so you don't have to worry about getting rid of it fast.

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Tamberav

Algae is present and healthy in every aquarium... however it doesn't look like you own anything to eat it. You will want algae eating snails (or hermits if you like those) to keep the lawn mowed so to speak. 

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BG107

Okay I will go pick up some hermit crabs to help out! Yeah I was planning to stop at 4. I went kinda fast, got to excited to fast. Would adding the copepods help with the diversity? 

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Tired

Biodiversity is diversity in the types of life you have in your tank. Anything you add to your tank that will survive in it will increase biodiversity, so, yes, copepods will help. There are probably copepods already due to your live rock being live, but more won't hurt. 

 

What did your rock look like when you got it? Lots of colors, lots of stuff living on it? Solid purple and no visible live things? 

 

You should only get a couple of hermit crabs, and rely mostly on snails for algae control. Too many hermits will fight each other, and they aren't the most efficient algae-eaters anyway. Cerith, dwarf cerith, maybe a turbo snail or two, and saltwater nerites are what you want to go for.

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banasophia

Agree with suggestions, would add more algae eating snails. 

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BG107

Okay will pick up some snails to help the problem! I have 2 hermits so ill stay at that number 

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Tired

Oh, you didn't mention those guys. They'll probably eat algae, but, IMO, are better for personal enjoyment and a bit of all-'round cleaning than for algae consuming. 

 

If you order from somewhere that has them, a chiton could make a nice addition. They're algae-eaters, a primitive snail ancestor that's a bit like a snail wearing a pillbug/rolypoly shell instead of a snail shell. They're pretty much impossible to pry off of rockwork, but make nice tank inhabitants. I like to see how many of my hitchhiker ones I can spot at night.

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mcarroll

I like to think of hermits as omnivorous scavengers...yes, they will eat algae.  But they will also eat anything they can chase down and rip apart if they are so inclined (ie. by hunger).

 

Get a crew of herbivorous snails.  Check your LFS so you can get just what you need.  Either Turbo, Trochus, Cerith, Nerite, Margarite, Periwinkle,  etc.  You might need to start with up to 6 or 8 at once if you go with the smaller varieties.  One or two of the larger ones will be OK, depending how big they are.

 

Leave the rock in the tank and hand pull the existing algae, which is probably too larger for snails to eat.  

 

Like this:

 

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