Advice on hair algae with undetectable nutrients

fluked

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Hi guys,
I have had 0 nitrate/phos for a while now (salifert kits). It lead to a pretty messy Dino outbreak, I'm pretty sure I have now beaten the dinos through a combo of Refresh/waste away, siphoning through a filter sock, running only blue lights and HEAVY feeding. I have a 56G tank, and went from feeding 1 cube daily before dinos, to now feeding 3 times a day.
So I still have 0 nitrate/phos, and my dinos have been replaced by a pretty heavy brown hair algae outbreak. I understand that the reason I'm having 0 nitrate/phos is because the algae is up taking it before it can be measured.

My main question is, should I reduce feeding as the hair algae is consuming excess nutrients, or should I try and dose to increase my nitrate/phos into detectable levels. Ultimately I would like to have ~5ppm nitrate, 0.03 phos.

As far as anecdotal, most of my corals don't seem to mine, 2 of my hammers are splitting, riccordea is spitting out babies, acro is encrusting. Some zoas/leathers are getting annoyed as the algae is growing over them, which I try to remove each night, and a birdsnest is slowly dying as algae grows up it.

And for cuc, I have increased it recently to try and help, ~ 16/18 hermit crabs, 13 turbos, 2 trochus, a few nessys, stomatelas (unsure how much as they were a hitchhiker and seem to be breeding) and I now have a small tomini tang (tang police i know, ive already discussed with several lfs that will do a trade in when it is to big, if I haven't upgraded my tank)

Any help would be appreciated!
 
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mdb_talon

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Just me maybe but i dont try to address minor algae growth. If coral is happy and params are good(for me i target around .05-.1 phosphate and 5 to 15 nitrate) i dont mind a little algae. Occassionally if it becomes a bit patch the snails stay away from i will grab the tweezers to get the bulk of it.
 
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fluked

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Just me maybe but i dont try to address minor algae growth. If coral is happy and params are good(for me i target around .05-.1 phosphate and 5 to 15 nitrate) i dont mind a little algae. Occassionally if it becomes a bit patch the snails stay away from i will grab the tweezers to get the bulk of it.
I agree, but the algae that I'm getting now is pretty severe, It will completely cover some zoa frags in the course of a day. I'm getting in with an air line tube and siphoning into a filter sock to remove the bulk of it. it goes from the small bit left on the rock after I remove it at night, to 1inch+ pieces in a day.

Would you recommend me dosing the nutrients to up them into detectable levels? And if so, is dosing at night the best best?
 

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I think dosing nutrients is not what you want if the goal is fighting hair algae. Seems an odd situation. If it were me i would double check my test kits and assuming the numbers are legit i would leave the light out a day and cut back light schedule for several days after to see of that has an impact on the algae growth and/or nutrient level. Even better if you have a refugium you can leave lights on.
 
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What I did was just manually pull out the algae daily as a definite mode of nutrient export.

Sometimes water changes do not really work, because when one cleans the algae it just becomes nutrients reabsorbed into new algae, and so by the time the water change is done, well there is no excess nutrients to clear. Of course you can scrape off algae then do a water change immediately, but even that would not remove all the algae and again, boom reabsorbed. Cleaning filter socks daily can help, but I find that the best way is to just keep on removing huge chunks of algae until it really slows down.
 

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I definitely would not dose nitrate or phosphate if you have GHA. You are in a bit of a pickle as turning out the lights and trying to starve the GHA away will likely also have the effect of killing your coral first. Depending on how raging the GHA is and how many corals are getting smothered by it you can either attempt to starve it of white light and nutrients other posters suggest. If you want to chemically treat it I had good luck with Vibrant.....just know that any macro algae will need to be removed ahead of treatment and for a long time after. I dosed for 1 month and then noticed effects for 2 months after with all the GHA gone now.

Good luck in whatever you do.
 
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fluked

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I think dosing nutrients is not what you want if the goal is fighting hair algae. Seems an odd situation. If it were me i would double check my test kits and assuming the numbers are legit i would leave the light out a day and cut back light schedule for several days after to see of that has an impact on the algae growth and/or nutrient level. Even better if you have a refugium you can leave lights on.
That was what i was originally thinking, no point dosing if the algae will just use it. I do have a refugium, I dropped it back from 12 hours to mostly off while fighting dinos, maybe running it during the day might help. Interestingly though, there isnt too much hair algae in the fuge.
 
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fluked

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What I did was just manually pull out the algae daily as a definite mode of nutrient export.

Sometimes water changes do not really work, because when one cleans the algae it just becomes nutrients reabsorbed into new algae, and so by the time the water change is done, well there is no excess nutrients to clear. Of course you can scrape off algae then do a water change immediately, but even that would not remove all the algae and again, boom reabsorbed. Cleaning filter socks daily can help, but I find that the best way is to just keep on removing huge chunks of algae until it really slows down.
Cool, that's what i'm doing now, every night spending 30-60 minutes going over each rock removing as much as possible, so far, no slow down
 
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fluked

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I definitely would not dose nitrate or phosphate if you have GHA. You are in a bit of a pickle as turning out the lights and trying to starve the GHA away will likely also have the effect of killing your coral first. Depending on how raging the GHA is and how many corals are getting smothered by it you can either attempt to starve it of white light and nutrients other posters suggest. If you want to chemically treat it I had good luck with Vibrant.....just know that any macro algae will need to be removed ahead of treatment and for a long time after. I dosed for 1 month and then noticed effects for 2 months after with all the GHA gone now.

Good luck in whatever you do.
Thanks for the tips, i'm just running blues now, and will likely stay like that until the gha is under control. That's what I was thinking, id like to not have to go without lights to not annoy the corals that are doing okay.
I'll look into vibrant, but i'm not sure if its attainable here in aus
 
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Azedenkae

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Cool, that's what i'm doing now, every night spending 30-60 minutes going over each rock removing as much as possible, so far, no slow down
That's... a lot of time, and a lot of algae. :O Well maybe in this case my advice might not be the best then, sorry. XD

I was just basing it on my own experiences, but my manual removal was not that much, and now I don't have that much growth of algae or any similar pests/weeds despite pretty decent feedings.
 

mdb_talon

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That was what i was originally thinking, no point dosing if the algae will just use it. I do have a refugium, I dropped it back from 12 hours to mostly off while fighting dinos, maybe running it during the day might help. Interestingly though, there isnt too much hair algae in the fuge.

If you have a rock from DT with hair algae on it stick it in the fuge. Taking it out and cleaning every few days to "harvest" your nutrients until you get this under control may make the DT cleanup easier
 
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fluked

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That's... a lot of time, and a lot of algae. :O Well maybe in this case my advice might not be the best then, sorry. XD

I was just basing it on my own experiences, but my manual removal was not that much, and now I don't have that much growth of algae or any similar pests/weeds despite pretty decent feedings.
I was doing the same thing to get rid of dinos, it just suddenly became that I was removing algae instead lol. Its probably overkill, but I don't mind if it helps.
 
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fluked

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If you have a rock from DT with hair algae on it stick it in the fuge. Taking it out and cleaning every few days to "harvest" your nutrients until you get this under control may make the DT cleanup easier
I have a decent amount of rock in my fuge, and they have the same algae on it, it just doesn't grow very quickly down there is all lol
 

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A couple thoughts:
- Increase your CUC
- I've had success with Vibrant on a mature tank
- If you are still in your 1st year with the tank, this may be part of your maturing process as the nuisance algae sort of get ahold prior to the nicer competitors (coralline etc...)
 
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