Hair Algae takes over refugium

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MichaelReefer

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So this is an issue I've posted about a few times but haven't really gotten a clear cut answer.

I have a Reefer 525XL, and every time I try to get the refugium going i get a massive explosion of green hair algae in my sump. So much so that it smothers the Chaeto and gives nothing any chance to grow, except the hair algae. I understand that Hair Algae is still an export of nutrients, but its a mess, gets everywhere and is a pain to clean out of my biological media, pumps, and etc.

I tried snails, didn't work. My next thought was to try moving my Pincusion urchin down there, but then I guess I risk him eating my Chaeto?

Does anyone have any advice or ideas?
 
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MichaelReefer

MichaelReefer

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Use it to your benefit. You could attach plastic mesh for it to grow on, making a really cheap turf scrubber.

It just looks terrible and is terrible to clean because it gets in every crack and crevice.

Any opinions on the pin cushion?
 

JayinToronto

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I had the same problem and just accepted it. Lined the bottom of my fuge with rocks (used 6 Marco rocks) and have it lighted with 2 AI prime fuge lights. Takes bout 6-7 days for the rock to be completely covered in GHA and start to snot off the algae. I take 2 rocks out every other day and scrub them down with a wire brush. Definitely labor intensive but it works. Sometimes its easier to just roll with what your tank gives you.
 

JayinToronto

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Also, I keep 3 turbo snails in there to clean the glass for me, but I still have to scrape and scoop the algae off the glass on a fairly regular basis. Once in a while I will put one of the rocks in the main display tank. My tangs and rabbit fish go bananas over the stuff.
 

mindme

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My fuge is just a big nasty mess of algae, but it works. I tried cheato and other stuff, it dies off but the other algaes take off. So I embrassed it, turned my light spectrum to bloom and now I just grow a bunch of hair algae and others in there. I have 3 urchins in there that eat most of it, but the skimmer section of my sump overlows into the fug which is at a lower water level. So that glass they don't really get too.

I'm thinking about making something with canvas like they do with algae scrubbers and hanging it off baffle. Then I can just pick those off, scrap them just like an algae scrubber.
 

Garf

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My fuge is just a big nasty mess of algae, but it works. I tried cheato and other stuff, it dies off but the other algaes take off. So I embrassed it, turned my light spectrum to bloom and now I just grow a bunch of hair algae and others in there. I have 3 urchins in there that eat most of it, but the skimmer section of my sump overlows into the fug which is at a lower water level. So that glass they don't really get too.

I'm thinking about making something with canvas like they do with algae scrubbers and hanging it off baffle. Then I can just pick those off, scrap them just like an algae scrubber.
Hair algae attaches really well to ceramic tiles due to its porosity, if that helps. Its also very cheap. It’s also unbelievable easy to clean it off with a credit card. And cheap, I don’t think I mentioned how cheap it is to setup. Ceramics are heavy also, so they stay where you put them.
 
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DrMMI

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I grow my chaeto in between two pieces of egg crate, like a sandwich, and just flip it every week. This way it pretty much completely covers my refugium section and shades everything underneath. I only get some gha growing on the side glass, which makes it easy to scrap off.
 

Alex Cataldo

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I think I have the solution. What is happening is I think there might not be enough chaeto to suck up the nutrients. Because the rate of nutrient consumpion of the chaeto is less than the rate of nutrient consumption of the GHA, the hair algae outcompetes it. So, there just needs to be more chaeto at least initially.
 
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