Green Hair Algae; What I learnt. I hope it helps other new enthusiasts.

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If like me you are a novice and you get a GHA problem, firstly don’t worry it can be easily dealt with. This is what I learnt then applied using the advice from this forum;

If you have GHA, phosphate & nitrate readings in the water body will give you a false low reading because the algae has already sucked it up. (HK FUEY, thank you for relieving my headache of confusion by teaching me this).

Get a good phosphate reactor and protein skimmer.

I know you don’t think you are but I can almost guarantee you are over feeding.
I now only use live or frozen and I pipette /target feed tiny amounts.

Get a good clean up crew. My emerald crab, tuxedo urchin, and spiny black urchin are great fun to watch. You need all those little critters such as bristle worms to eat detritus, and they are amazing to discover in your live rock.

With your CUC check those snails daily. Many snail types cannot right themselves, they need your help. In nature there is not glass walls to fall off, and the ocean currents roll them back over. If upside down too long they will die and dump all those nitrates plus more back in the tank. Unless you have a stock of hermits that enjoy a bowl of escargot.

I found getting the light right mind boggling at first but there is a fantastic thread on it in this forum, that will tell you all you need from which lighting to how much per day. Is there any sunlight hitting the tank?

Make sure you have the correct water flow for your tank to get detritus up off the bed and into your filter.

Physically remove GHA where you can.

If the GHA is bad fluconazole will definitely demolish it! But then you need to get all the nitrate that the dying algae dumps out ASAP with increased water changes once the treatment is finished. Don’t forget to look at your fine top filter pads / socks as they will need changing quicker than usual.

You could spend hundreds and hundreds on chemicals that put things up or bring things  down.... or....do regular RO water changes with good quality salt and that will do it all for you. (Coral / anemone care is an exception).

Please be careful if you are carbon dosing and stick strictly to the instructions. I caused a bacterial bloom. My water went cloudy, my sand went grey, and my skimmer had a cardiac trying to deal with it all. I almost completely crashed my tank from an accidental overdose in one night. There will be a biological war if you get this wrong. If this ever happens though don’t panic; I did a 60% water change put activated carbon into the filter and everything went back to normal within two days. And keep an eye on your protein skimmer.
RIP my shrimps and bristle stars from that experience.

Check your nitrates regularly if they go up, do a water change. And be honest are you possibly over feeding?.... even a tiny bit?

 Finally don’t stress, enjoy the challenge. You will learn so much  from your research, and once it’s gone stick to what you learnt on your journey and it won’t come back!



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Last Edit: Sep 1, 2019 9:28:16 pm by DUSTYBOY272

HK_Fuey

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Reply #1

Glad I could help  :glad:
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A1

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Reply #2

Bang on the mark mate, good advice throughout, i recently battled back from a serious outbreak of GHA and after ignoring all the correct advice and trying to cut corners it became a relatively simplistic  process, I eventually manually removed the majority from the rock, then alongside daily dosage of Nopox alongside regular water changes and filter maintenance won the battle, Nitrates and Phosphates down, now tank benefits from regular water changes in turn preventing the return of GHA.

What I’ve found is it can all go wrong very quickly, it isn’t so quick to rectify if not dealt with promptly

Other than White Spot one of the most frustrating things to deal with imo   


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Ratvan

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Reply #3

How would you remove GHA from things such as Red Macro Algae's (Red Birds Nest, Dragon's Tongue) etc. I have removed from rockwork and CUC keeping those clean now but on my fine Macro-algae I have no idea how to remove this

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DUSTYBOY272

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Reply #4

That’s really irritating. GHA means either too much light or too much phosphate, or too much nitrate. Work on these and with time and patience as well as plenty of water changes to remove the nitrates released from the dying GHA it should resolve it, and keep it away.

If it’s still a problem after all this many users of flucanazole treatment state it did not affect other macro algae. Have a good read up on it first before you make that decision as there are always risks in every chemical intervention.


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Last Edit: Sep 9, 2019 5:11:10 pm by DUSTYBOY272

A1

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Reply #5

@Ratvan

Only obvious way to remove it from Macro algae and other delicate types is manual, a soft toothbrush may assist, then once clear increase the flow..

You will probably have improved Macro Growth once Hair Algae gone, because that is likely to be consuming the excess nutrients you originally purchased the Macro for and starving the macro in the process... effectively a vicious circle.


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Ratvan

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Reply #6

That’s really irritating. GHA means either too much light or too much phosphate, or too much nitrate. Work on these and with time and patience as well as plenty of water changes to remove the nitrates released from the dying GHA it should resolve it, and keep it away.

If it’s still a problem after all this many users of flucanazole treatment state it did not affect other macro algae. Have a good read up on it first before you make that decision as there are always risks in every chemical intervention.


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My coworkers fed the tank for 2 weeks while I was off. Fairly sure far to heavy handed. Have cut down feeding and reduced lights and increased CUC. I have manually removed from rock..... just the macros.

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DUSTYBOY272

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Reply #7

Ah yeah I’ve been following your tank posts, very cool set up!..
That will have done it ...thanks guys for looking after them (with an inner sigh). Anyway you’re back in the driving seat so will have it tip top again soon. Hope you had a great break.


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Ratvan

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Reply #8

Ah yeah I’ve been following your tank posts, very cool set up!..
That will have done it ...thanks guys for looking after them (with an inner sigh). Anyway you’re back in the driving seat so will have it tip top again soon. Hope you had a great break.


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Well it was better than the last time I went away. They got me a Blue Damsel. Royal Blue (Springerii I think). Amazing fish I was blown away and loved it so much and swapped it for a frag within 4 hours.

Yes loved the break thanks. Worried about the tank most of the time. Cant quite justify the cost of a wifi camera to remotely view for a pico.

Scrubbed and snipped the macro today, I now have a lot more smaller frags of it :( I loved that bushy look. Moved my mini powerhead (Hydor something) to lift everything off the BB and cranked up the HOB. Will turn it down again when things get back to normal. Shaded some of the fussier corals in and with glass jars

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