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easyreefer

green hair algae killing my hobby :(

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Murphych
15 hours ago, mcarroll said:

Before we get to specifics, let me say you couldn't be more correct ‚Äď you have joined the club now.

 

And it can definitely be demoralizing if you don't know where in "the fight" you are.  

 

Been there.  Cursed at my tank.  LOL  (Yeah, I can laugh now.  You will too.)

 

But first thing to remember is that there is no "fight".  

 

This is just algae living and doing its thing.  

 

So...

 

Their abilities toward rapid settlement of disturbed areas is one of the most amazing things IMO.  Gotta look at it as a healing process though, since it seems to work much like a bandaid for the disturbed area in question.  
 

Green algae¬†really can pave the way for a healthy coral reef ‚Äď they crave the same habitat.

 

Unless you were overfeeding I would return to previous levels of feeding for the fish, perhaps even increasing it a little in quanity and/or frequency.  I would consider the fish feedings as your coral feedings and skip the dedicated coral feedings...which are pretty much impossible to do without overfeeding.

 

You were actually off on the right foot with manual removal.  But...

 

If that's the only cleanup crew you have, then the two mithrax crabs are your only herbivores.  Hermit crabs are more likely to eat your herbivore (if you had snails) than to eat your algae, but both are possible!

 

So it's no wonder your work seemed to have been temporary.

 

What you needed was herbivorous snails....like Turbo, Trochus, Astrea, Cerith, Nerite.  Maybe up to 2 turbos per gallon.  But most tanks don't get anywhere near that density before control is established.

 

If you see algae regrowth happening where you've hand-cleared it, that just means you need a few more snails.  Add 1-3, depending on how big your tank is and how big the snails are (gonna need more Ceriths than Turbos).

 

And remember that snails can't really eat anything that's grown large enough to see (no teeth or jaw)....once you can see it, it's more or less your job to pull it.

 

Just plan on losing that little bit of sand...no biggie.  

 

A¬†small tank like that is a benefit ‚Äď take heart it's not a 6' tank with an outbreak like that. ¬†ūüĎć

 

This is par for the course at 8 months.  Keep in mind this is normal and you're really doing mostly fine!

 

This is what's holding back any/all competitors to the algae....this will also make the post-cleaning regrowth more likely and worse.

 

I know it seems contrary at first, but you want your algae to be ‚Äď like everything else in the tank ‚Äď to be healthy and growing. ¬†This is the kind of algae that herbivores will most want to eat. ¬†Algae that is under stress tends to become less palatable to herbivores, among other self-defense moves.

 

Your tank isn't "dirty" ‚Äď your tank is just trying to come to life.

 

Not picking on you guys with this observation....cuz this is "one of those statements" that circulates in the hobby for no apparent reason.  

 

But the idea that somehow algae are making your test kit wrong is some serious inside out thinking as soon as you stop and think about it: ūüėÖ..ūü§≠..ūü§£

 

Unless your test kit is expired, or you're doing the test incorrectly, there is no problem with the readings ‚Äď the test kit is correct and¬†your water has zero of what you are testing.

 

Good because a refugium would make things worse....among other things, it would be more competition for nutrients that are already at zero.

 

You'll have to grab them one strand at a time.  If the rock is small but you want to keep it, you might have to get even more creative to chop it out of there.

 

I recommend working in small areas so that you can work in detail like this but still feel like you're making progress.  E.g. Cleaning a 1x1" patch is doable, even one strand at a time.  Be patient and work slowly.

 

Here's a good example vid on how to remove the algae AND on stocking snails.  (You don't need the other advice in the vid which would apply to a different tank than yours.)

 

It is a high-powered antibiotic.   Please don't use it on your reef tank.

 

I know it seems bad, but within a week or two it'll be nothing like the pic above.  

 

Follow the guidance here and in that vid. ¬†ūüĎć

 

 

Lol the point with testing is that there is little point spending time / cash on testing test ls when it's going to read zeros...it's senseless..  When GHA reduces then kick back on with testing...

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easyreefer
10 hours ago, Tamberav said:

What are you feeding the corals? If it is something like reef foods twice a day, then that is the cause of your excess nutrients.

 

 

currently I feed corals with Reefroids(1/4 teaspoon)+few drops of FaunaMarin MIN S. To trigger coral  I add few drops of Polylab booster few minutes before feeding.

Fishes which are two clowns and one small cardinalfish I feed 1 times per week with frozen artemia(this is their favorite) so no leftovers left after feeding. And 1-2 times per week with dry food, small amount. Also I add one small portion of live Copepods once per week before night hours, so fishes can eat them a little bit  with moon light, but this is mainly for single mandarin fish, he don't eat any frozen food. But I guess he hunt for copepods durings the day. 

8 hours ago, jefferythewind said:

My tank is slightly older but doing the same thing now. Im not so upset though because the corals are doing great despite the algae. As @mcarroll said the two seem to like the same things, nutrients, light, etc. Im waiting until the stores open back up to get a few more snails. There are so many things growing in my tank but the corals look great.

As you can see I don't have much gravel left, it looks like you have gravel as well in your tank.

Lucky you. In my case my two montiporas dying because they so much covered with GHA, And I can't completely remove GHA from them. Even if try peroxide, this can only speedup the process. 

 

8 hours ago, growsomething said:

This is turning into an epic gha thread!

While we are giving opinions, I agree mollies are the algae bomb but you may want to give them back to an lfs after they get rid of the gha and have the tank on the right track.  

I agree with most Mcarroll said, with the exception of fluconazole.  (Fellow medic with banasophia here) You can correct the tank parameters and still need to deal with the gha which won't go away on it's  own.  Antibiotics are generally thought to be harder on a tank than antifungals.

Mcarroll wants you to not have low phosphates and nitrates.

Pick a course of action and try it.  Keep us updated on results.

Maybe I will try mollies after I finish treatment with Razor Marine + Microbacter Clean, it's only 4th day today. I see that long bushes of GHA became softer  when I cleaned some areas today. But I don't see any bleaching or visual difference in GHA color yet. 

Also it seems like treatment caused ultra low levels of nutrients today, so in the end of the day I saw tiny layer of dinos in some areas. I'm stopping to dose NoPoX from tomorrow for this reason.

Will keep you posted ūüėČ

 

 

 

 

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A.m.P

The reef roids might be your problem, if you mostly keep lps and zoas just kill the pumps and drop a few pellets on their mouth.

Cheaper, easier, cleaner.

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Tamberav
1 hour ago, easyreefer said:

currently I feed corals with Reefroids(1/4 teaspoon)+few drops of FaunaMarin MIN S. To trigger coral  I add few drops of Polylab booster few minutes before feeding.

Fishes which are two clowns and one small cardinalfish I feed 1 times per week with frozen artemia(this is their favorite) so no leftovers left after feeding. And 1-2 times per week with dry food, small amount. Also I add one small portion of live Copepods once per week before night hours, so fishes can eat them a little bit  with moon light, but this is mainly for single mandarin fish, he don't eat any frozen food. But I guess he hunt for copepods durings the day. 

Lucky you. In my case my two montiporas dying because they so much covered with GHA, And I can't completely remove GHA from them. Even if try peroxide, this can only speedup the process. 

 

Maybe I will try mollies after I finish treatment with Razor Marine + Microbacter Clean, it's only 4th day today. I see that long bushes of GHA became softer  when I cleaned some areas today. But I don't see any bleaching or visual difference in GHA color yet. 

Also it seems like treatment caused ultra low levels of nutrients today, so in the end of the day I saw tiny layer of dinos in some areas. I'm stopping to dose NoPoX from tomorrow for this reason.

Will keep you posted ūüėČ

 

 

 

 

 

This is 100% your problem, especially reef roids. Maybe 1 pinch once a week but all of that twice a day is WAY WAY too much. I don't feed my corals at all. They eat fish poop and extra juice from the fish food. 

 

Reef Roids is VERY potent. Just feeding it to my 80 gallon tank a few times in a row had a bloom starting across the sand. I find it good for NPS and such to get them to open up big but honestly it is extremely dirty stuff. 

 

You are overfeeding and then chasing the nutrients with nopox and all this stuff. The corals don't need all of that and its going to lead to an imbalance. 

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jefferythewind

@easyreefer I have to conjecture that the algae grew on the corals because they were dying not the other way around. Of course its just a guess. 

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aclman88

Reef roids is no bueno. I’ve used it before and I agree it adds way too many nutrients to the tank much too quickly. I’m sure there are applications where it is good, but in my 20 gallon nano it proved to be too much. 

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growsomething

I'll 2nd those saying reef roids is nutritious.   I use it to add PO4 in my fishless (for now) tank because I usually have no detectable Phosphates and my zoa, xenia, and gsp start to get unhappy or shrink. Then if I over do it I get a quarter sized patch of red turf algae.

For sure it's a balancing act.

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Jungle_v_i_p

Yeah that reef roids is very potent stuff. You really have to be thoughtful in how you use it. I spot

feed once every two weeks the night before my water change. I agree that is more than likely the source of your issues. Maybe maybe not but more than likely. It’s def not necessary and you should prob not feed anything other than your fish for a long time.

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easyreefer
10 hours ago, A.m.P said:

The reef roids might be your problem, if you mostly keep lps and zoas just kill the pumps and drop a few pellets on their mouth.

Cheaper, easier, cleaner.

Maybe, I will temporary stop feeding with reef roids. 

But I only did this 1-2 times per week. Also I normally did corals feeding the day I did water change, yes, it's only 10-15%, so probably no that much extra nutrients removed during it.

I'm only follow the common recommendation that even photosynthetic corals will have better coloration from feeding...

 

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A.m.P

It's a common recommendation, but not a guarantee. As was mentioned, twice a week with reef roids is actually allot, especially if you use their own guidelines which are ludicrously high.

 

If you want to do controlled feedings of corals with visible mouths; chalice, frogspawn, zoanthids, blastos, favia, scoly, lobo, duncan, acans, basically any LPS or polyp then I would personally recommend just turning off the pumps and placing one or two 0.5-1mm pellets of fish food on their mouths (they'll eat it).

 

If you're concerned about other animals needing broadcast feeding then you can probably still go for it every other week, in limited quantities, while trying to really "aim for" the corals in question.

 

Small water volumes make it much harder to get away with broadcast feeding nutrient rich foods.

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mcarroll
On 2/8/2021 at 5:41 AM, easyreefer said:

As I understand it's difficult to "overdose" cleaning CUCs, I will try to buy more snails.

It's a little bit TOO EASY to overstock on cleanup crew.  If you do, they usually end up starving to death en masse....not good at all.

 

So I recommend only adding a few at a time.  1-3 or so, depending on the size of snail you're adding.  E.g. 1 Turbo snail might do it, whereas it could take 3-4 Cerith snails to "be the equivalent".  Then continue the hand-pulling as-needed and continue to monitor the snails' performance for a month.  Again, if you notice your cleared areas regrowing, add a few more snails again.  Etc.

 

On 2/8/2021 at 5:41 AM, easyreefer said:

Why you recommend to  return to normal fish feeding schedule ? My goal is limit amount of nutrients at least for the time of battle with GHA.

High Nutrient Levels ‚Ȇ GHA

 

Lack of CUC + Light + Space + Nutrients = GHA

 

However...

 

Light + Space + Nutrients = Happy Corals

 

Your can see that corals need 3 of the 4 things that you're also giving algae, so your options are actually clear.  Don't mess with the 3, apply pressure to the remaining 1.

 

So you and your snails have work to do.  But that will do the trick.  

 

Coralline algae (and corals hopefully!) usually takes over the open spaces from the hair algae, and the snails end up doing the legwork to keep it that way.

 

On 2/8/2021 at 5:41 AM, easyreefer said:

You also suggested to stop dosing NoPoX, but I see that when I stop dosing it No3 can go to even to level 30ppm after some time. So it works.

On 2/8/2021 at 5:41 AM, easyreefer said:

natural methods first(manual removal, CUCs, bacteria)

I know what you mean by natural here ‚Äď ie. not¬†a filter or chemical going into the water.

 

BUT consider that there's nothing very natural about dosing a reef with foreign organic carbon sources.

 

Foreign organic carbon sources are one of the main causes, if not the main cause, of coral disease in the wild.

 

Check out Global microbialization of coral reefs.

 

Then also consider the ‚Ȇ equation noted earlier. ¬† GHA is not about the presence of, or specific levels of, nutrients in the water. ¬†(It is very adept at competing for nutrients at all levels that will support coral growth. ¬†You don't want levels lower than that.)¬†¬† GHA is about lack of CUC.

 

On 2/8/2021 at 5:41 AM, easyreefer said:

BTW, is it good idea to add more corals like LPS so they in theory can complete with GHA for nutrients dissolved in the water ?

Don't exceed your experience/comfort level, but yes....anything that (at least) takes potential growing space away from the hair algae will help.

 

P.S.  Anti fungals are a subset of antibiotics...actually of antimicrobials if we're being technical.  The antimicrobial in question is a super-powerful synthetic antifungal, but importantly this is one that can actually be used effectively on humans.  Most are too toxic for human use.  Abuse of unique meds like this, such as using it on fish tanks against algae blooms, undermines this drug's legitimate uses.   (This is not unique to this drug or this situation.  Link, link, link.)

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mcarroll
4 hours ago, easyreefer said:

I'm only follow the common recommendation that even photosynthetic corals will have better coloration from feeding...

Anything is possible, but corals seem to do really well with coloration¬†even with almost no intentional¬†feeding at all. ¬†However you view it, wait until the system is much more established and stabilized (and full of corals) before you start coral-specific¬†feeding again. ūüĎć

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easyreefer
1 hour ago, mcarroll said:

It's a little bit TOO EASY to overstock on cleanup crew.  If you do, they usually end up starving to death en masse....not good at all.

 

So I recommend only adding a few at a time.  1-3 or so, depending on the size of snail you're adding.  E.g. 1 Turbo snail might do it, whereas it could take 3-4 Cerith snails to "be the equivalent".  Then continue the hand-pulling as-needed and continue to monitor the snails' performance for a month.  Again, if you notice your cleared areas regrowing, add a few more snails again.  Etc.

Thank you for the tip. Just returned from the local store with 5 small/medium size Turbos. There are no other snails in stock right now.

1 hour ago, mcarroll said:

High Nutrient Levels ‚Ȇ GHA

Lack of CUC + Light + Space + Nutrients = GHA

However...

Light + Space + Nutrients = Happy Corals

Your can see that corals need 3 of the 4 things that you're also giving algae, so your options are actually clear.  Don't mess with the 3, apply pressure to the remaining 1.

Should I add little bit more corals at current stage ? As they going to complete about nutrients with GHA, right ? Or better to wait?

 

1 hour ago, mcarroll said:

Coralline algae (and corals hopefully!) usually takes over the open spaces from the hair algae, and the snails end up doing the legwork to keep it that way.

Coralline algae started spreading mainly on my back glass few month ago, so I feel my tank on the right way.

 

1 hour ago, mcarroll said:

I know what you mean by natural here ‚Äď ie. not¬†a filter or chemical going into the water.

BUT consider that there's nothing very natural about dosing a reef with foreign organic carbon sources.

Foreign organic carbon sources are one of the main causes, if not the main cause, of coral disease in the wild.

Check out Global microbialization of coral reefs.

 Now I see what big mistake I made in the beginning. I've dosed Ca,KH, MG daily according recommendations from Red Sea recipe wizard. But then I've found that amount of coral I have do not used that much amount of elements, weekly water changes is enough. For example my Ca is never lower 440 and Mg never lower 1400, and this is without dosing, only water changes.  

 

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mcarroll
1 hour ago, easyreefer said:

Should I add little bit more corals at current stage ? As they going to complete about nutrients with GHA, right ? Or better to wait?

Depends on your comfort level with growing corals, but yes one or two would probably be a good contribution.

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Tigahboy
3 hours ago, mcarroll said:

High Nutrient Levels ‚Ȇ GHA

 

Lack of CUC + Light + Space + Nutrients = GHA

Perfectly stated. ūüĎŹ

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Superdave

I had an epic battle myself and most people here have had one as well.  I set up my tank in 2003 (yes, as in 17ish years ago) and the GHA invasion started about 5 years ago I think as I have actually lost track.  Took me MONTHS to get it under control but it has NEVER returned.  

 

I pulled, scraped, cut and removed as much of it as often as I could.  I even pitched a small rock or two that didn't have corals on them.  

 

I got an emerald crab.  They WILL eat the GHA for sure.  You do need to watch them carefully as many people here have had them eat corals.  In my mind this was worth the risk as it is a natural solution to the problem as opposed to using chemicals/additives.  You can always replace select corals once you get it under control.  You could always build a little plastic container to "isolate" corals/rocks from the emerald crab.  But in my experience with them, they will go for the GHA first.  One emerald really did wonders I will say.  

 

I also took my tank dark for several days.  I think I posted exactly what I did somewhere before.  You can search for it if you want or I can later if I remember/have the time.  The corals will make it without any light at all for a few days.  It really did slow down the GHA enough to get ahead of it in the long run.  

 

Do lots of regular, but small water changes.  Don't get so aggressive in attacking the algae that you through stuff off, parameter.  It's been said 100,000 times here, but regular, small water changes do amazing wonders.  

 

I also cut back on food.  Go to a flake if you can as the richer/frozen foods can add way to many nutrients.  

 

I promise you if you are willing to put in the time, take it slow, accept the GHA as a thing for a while, you will get ahead of it.  I have never seen it return, not one bit in my tank.  It is just part of the process and anyone who has had a tank up anytime at all will tell you the same.  You will learn so much about how things actually work (and don't) when you have these sorts of challenges.  

 

The hobby and your tank will mean a ton more to you once you battle this and get to the other side.  

 

Good luck!!

 

After the GHA was under control, I did take the emerald crab back to the LFS.  Mine was totally fine with it.  If they don't want to take it back, you can for sure find someone with a sump who will take it!

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KnH

I would dip your rock in a Hydrogen peroxide bath with large water changes

 

 

 

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Superdave

I went back and checked one of my previous posts and I actually turned off the lights on my tank (a 5.5 at the time) for an entire week.  I covered the tank with a black, plastic bag so literally no light could get in there at all.  I know I did not lose any corals in the process either.  I did, and now as well, only had soft corals so your situation may be slightly different.  

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Broseff
3 hours ago, easyreefer said:

Thank you for the tip. Just returned from the local store with 5 small/medium size Turbos. There are no other snails in stock right now.

Diversity in your CUC might be helpful, especially once you get rid of the GHA it should help keep other nussaince algae at bay. 

 

 

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easyreefer

HI,

 

This is how tank looks like today(comparison with old picture):

1620197121_Screenshot2021-02-21at19_03_39.thumb.png.4e8e06bdee6ec494d932f2a02572315b.png

 

I finished treatment with Razor Marine + Microbacter Clean.

Stopped feeding  corals with reefroids, did feed corals once with some small pellets.

It's definitely less GHA right now, but still a lot. Especially those with settled inside branches of SPS. 

Currently SPSes and some LPSes  not feeling very well. I though It's due to zero phosphates and nitrates. But last test shows zero phosphates and about 5ppm of nitrates. I wonder why nitrates are on this level, as this is so limited feeding. Maybe due to old GHA are dying slowly.

Also I noticed a boost of coraline algae growth. Which I think is a good sign.

 

 

 

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mcarroll
2 hours ago, easyreefer said:

Currently SPSes and some LPSes  not feeling very well. I though It's due to zero phosphates and nitrates. But last test shows zero phosphates and about 5ppm of nitrates.

On 2/7/2021 at 5:36 AM, easyreefer said:

No3 - 0.5-1.5 ppm

Phosphates not detectable

On 2/7/2021 at 6:37 PM, mcarroll said:

This is what's holding back any/all competitors to the algae....this will also make the post-cleaning regrowth more likely and worse.

 

I know it seems contrary at first, but you want your algae to be ‚Äď like everything else in the tank ‚Äď to be healthy and growing. ¬†This is the kind of algae that herbivores will most want to eat. ¬†Algae that is under stress tends to become less palatable to herbivores, among other self-defense moves.

 

The numbers really haven't changed for the better since you started the thread.

 

You've also subjected the tank and corals to a bacterial treatment that most likely took phosphates even lower than they were, which was below the detection level of your test kit.  (Bacteria can do that.)

 

IMO the state of the corals now is not surprising.

 

Back to the numbers....

 

Having phosphates at zero while nitrates are climbing is going to further upset an already-bad situation....eventually this will lead to bleaching on the corals and a dino outbreak in the tank.

 

You need nutrient levels to be consistently in the positive, especially phosphates.

 

For the algae, you need to concetrate on hand removal as suggested before.  Nothing in the tank is going to eat that standing crop of half-starved old-growth algae.

 

Focus on a small area (eg. 2x2" or less) each time you go into the tank for a cleaning so you can totally clean the whole spot, down to the rocks, in one session.  I you work over a larger area it'll seem like you aren't making progress and you also it's much harder to do a good job that way.

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Jessereef

+1 to the mollies and the turbos. Its crazy how much algae 2 mollies can eat. 

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jefferythewind

Sorry you're having a hard time with this. If I had any advice it would be to focus on the corals and just manually remove as much algae as you can. In my experience having phosphates at zero is very bad for most of my corals, especially SPS. For me dosing phosphates using NeoPhos is all I can do to get them off zero. I keep it around 0.1 ppm. Since correcting this issue many months ago all my corals have been doing well. I also do regular water changes. I have found the combination of water changes and dosing phosphates is great for the corals. Now I am getting an algae bloom like yours but the algae doesn't bother the corals. I am just thinking if your corals are healthy then the algae won't grow on them. Some corals are better at handling low phosphates than others. I know it might sound crazy to dose phosphates when you are trying to get rid of algae but I would really try it.

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growsomething

Easyreefer, wonder how it's going?  If you fet the tank parameters and routine spot on, it can still take months + for something like this to self-correct.   Here is a quick treatment someone in your case may want to try.  It won't do any good if parameters and routine aren't good, but could get you to a better place faster if you've corrected them.  Sounds like possible copepod loss may be the only negative.  Better than giving up and pitching the whole thing.

 

https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/anyone-dose-hydrogen-peroxide-daily.679886/page-8

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growsomething

That is, can you pull the whole rock, dip in a bucket for x # minutes, then place back in the tank?

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