Peaceful Hair Algae Eater

Deltec

WitheredMantis

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 21, 2016
Messages
41
Reaction score
17
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Hello,

I am currently battling hair algae in my 45 gallon aquarium. Does anyone know of any fish/invert that will eat the hair algae off of the tank walls?

My current tank inhabitants are:
Firefish
Percula Clown
Hi-fin Goby/Pistol Pair
Mandarin Dragonet (eats frozen Mysis)
Neon Goby
Cleaner Shrimp
Blood Shrimp
Blue CBS
Pom Pom Crab (I think, haven't seen him)
Peppermint Shrimp

I have heard that Lawnmower Blennies can be aggressive, same with Emerald Crabs, so I don't want to get those guys.

Are these good choices?:
Flame Fin Tomini Tang
Kole Tang
Sea Hare


Thanks, any help in appreciated!!
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

jeremy.gosnell

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 14, 2016
Messages
263
Reaction score
509
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Hair algae is best battled via water chemistry (which overall is pretty peaceful). However, even under good water chemistry, hair algae can be a bugger once is gets its foot in the door, or in the water. Have you checked both your nitrates and phosphates. Hair algae uses both as fertilizer. Nitrates should remain 5 ppm or less at all times and phosphate should be undetectable. My guess is that you're running some level of phosphate, as hair algae is an indicator of phosphate presence. If you're not already, I would suggest running a GFO (granular ferric oxide) reactor on the tank. There's a host of GFO available on the market and they all perform about the same. I personally use Bulk Reef Supplies' store mix as it's economical and sold in big batches. If you find that phosphates are present, I would combine GFO use with Brightwell Aquatics Phosphate-E liquid. There are a lot of liquid phosphate removers out there, but I've found this product is highly effective. You add it to a protein skimmer intake and it does cause some cloudiness. Also, be prepared for increased skim-mate.

There aren't any surgeonfish compatible with a 45-gallon tank and the additional waste will further compound your hair algae problem. A strong, mixed clean-up crew would work best. I would suggest a hair algae pre-mixed crew sized for a 90 gallon tank. Clean-up crews, fish, etc are really just band-aids for a hair algae problem, and the real trick is maintaining appropriate water chemistry. Good mechanical filtration can really aid the bio-filter and skimmer to reduce nutrients. If mechanical filtration (filter socks) have been a hassle for you, I would suggest looking into the Theiling Roller Mat. As far as I know, Bulk Reef Supply is the only American outlet offering them.

Also, a UV Sterilizer can help to reduce hair algae spores living in the water column. They get moved around as you attempt to clean the algae and chunks becomes suspended.
 

pga7602

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Messages
281
Reaction score
177
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
SOCAL
I would say Kole and a lot of Turbos depending on your tank size. You can literally watch a turbo take down hair algae before your very eyes.


It's cheap and effective. The bright side is that they will continue to thrive in your tank as long as you feed it nori when all the hair algae are gone.
 
Printed Reef - Custom Reef Accessories
OP
WitheredMantis

WitheredMantis

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 21, 2016
Messages
41
Reaction score
17
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Hair algae is best battled via water chemistry (which overall is pretty peaceful). However, even under good water chemistry, hair algae can be a bugger once is gets its foot in the door, or in the water. Have you checked both your nitrates and phosphates. Hair algae uses both as fertilizer. Nitrates should remain 5 ppm or less at all times and phosphate should be undetectable. My guess is that you're running some level of phosphate, as hair algae is an indicator of phosphate presence. If you're not already, I would suggest running a GFO (granular ferric oxide) reactor on the tank. There's a host of GFO available on the market and they all perform about the same. I personally use Bulk Reef Supplies' store mix as it's economical and sold in big batches. If you find that phosphates are present, I would combine GFO use with Brightwell Aquatics Phosphate-E liquid. There are a lot of liquid phosphate removers out there, but I've found this product is highly effective. You add it to a protein skimmer intake and it does cause some cloudiness. Also, be prepared for increased skim-mate.

There aren't any surgeonfish compatible with a 45-gallon tank and the additional waste will further compound your hair algae problem. A strong, mixed clean-up crew would work best. I would suggest a hair algae pre-mixed crew sized for a 90 gallon tank. Clean-up crews, fish, etc are really just band-aids for a hair algae problem, and the real trick is maintaining appropriate water chemistry. Good mechanical filtration can really aid the bio-filter and skimmer to reduce nutrients. If mechanical filtration (filter socks) have been a hassle for you, I would suggest looking into the Theiling Roller Mat. As far as I know, Bulk Reef Supply is the only American outlet offering them.

Also, a UV Sterilizer can help to reduce hair algae spores living in the water column. They get moved around as you attempt to clean the algae and chunks becomes suspended.
Jewel blenny, mithrax and tuxedo urchin.
Besides the above a Sea Hare works good. Used one before in my 40 gallon.

Thanks everyone! These are the stats of my tank:
Ammonia-0
Nitrate-0
Nitrite-0
Phosphate-.5-1.0

How do I get my phosphates down to zero?

I have always wanted a Blue Tuxedo Urchin, but have heard that they will eat coralline algae, and bulldoze your rock work, is that true?

Thanks!
 
OP
WitheredMantis

WitheredMantis

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 21, 2016
Messages
41
Reaction score
17
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
I would say Kole and a lot of Turbos depending on your tank size. You can literally watch a turbo take down hair algae before your very eyes.


It's cheap and effective. The bright side is that they will continue to thrive in your tank as long as you feed it nori when all the hair algae are gone.

Turbo Snail looks cool, but since they are so large, will they topple my rock-work? My tank in a 45-gallon, and someone already pointed out that surgeonfish will not live happily in my tank, so I guess I can't get a Tomini/Kole Tang :(.

Thanks!
 

ngvu1

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,251
Reaction score
1,044
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Orange County, CA, USA
No one says Yellow tangs? :) too much of a small tank I guess. The yellow tangs are great for keeping hairy algae in check. However, for that tank side, maybe an turf algae scrubber is not a bad idea if you have room in the sump or even in the DT.....
 

jeremy.gosnell

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 14, 2016
Messages
263
Reaction score
509
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
No one says Yellow tangs? :) too much of a small tank I guess. The yellow tangs are great for keeping hairy algae in check. However, for that tank side, maybe an turf algae scrubber is not a bad idea if you have room in the sump or even in the DT.....
Yes, 45 gallons is too small for a yellow tang, or any surgeonfish species. The phosphate reading of 1.0 ppm is pretty high and likely a source of hair algae growth. As I mentioned above, I would install a GFO reactor and pair that with Brightwell Aquatics Phosphate-e liquid. Turbo snails would work to consume what's growing in your tank and they can at times topple rock work. However, it's not all that common. More commonly they will topple corals that aren't glued or secured to rock. You may want to consider an algae scrubber or cheato reactor as a long term management solution, however the GFO is a good place to start and may take care of it entirely. Also, are you using a RODI (Reverse Osmosis De-ionizing) unit to make freshwater for water changes and top-offs? If not, I would suggest starting as soon as possible. What is your water change schedule? For a tank that small, one 15-20% change per week isn't unreasonable.

Urchins do consume all sorts of algae, though I find them worse than turbo snails when it comes to knocking rocks and coral.
 
REEFTIDE
OP
WitheredMantis

WitheredMantis

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 21, 2016
Messages
41
Reaction score
17
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Yes, 45 gallons is too small for a yellow tang, or any surgeonfish species. The phosphate reading of 1.0 ppm is pretty high and likely a source of hair algae growth. As I mentioned above, I would install a GFO reactor and pair that with Brightwell Aquatics Phosphate-e liquid. Turbo snails would work to consume what's growing in your tank and they can at times topple rock work. However, it's not all that common. More commonly they will topple corals that aren't glued or secured to rock. You may want to consider an algae scrubber or cheato reactor as a long term management solution, however the GFO is a good place to start and may take care of it entirely. Also, are you using a RODI (Reverse Osmosis De-ionizing) unit to make freshwater for water changes and top-offs? If not, I would suggest starting as soon as possible. What is your water change schedule? For a tank that small, one 15-20% change per week isn't unreasonable.

Urchins do consume all sorts of algae, though I find them worse than turbo snails when it comes to knocking rocks and coral.

My water change schedule is 20% every other week. I usually buy saltwater straight from my LFS, and they usually give me water that is straight from the ocean, so the next time I go I will ask id they have RODI water, and I usually use spring water for top-offs. I do not have any corals in my 45-gallon, only fish and inverts, so if I were to get a tuxedo urchin, would it cause trouble? I will buy a couple of turbo's this week.

Thanks!
 

Rob's Reef

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 27, 2015
Messages
632
Reaction score
372
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
All my Turbos ended up dying because they would fall off rocks and end up upside down and they can't flip themselves back over...

Sometimes I would see them in time to flip them over but eventually they all died like that... :/
 

sidneyreefer

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 29, 2016
Messages
20
Reaction score
16
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
I really think you need to address water quality husbandry first before you add livestock. Your nitrates at more reading 0 which is deceptive. You assume you are doing everything perfect but it is just trapped in the algae. Just my two cents
 

pga7602

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Messages
281
Reaction score
177
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
SOCAL
Turbo Snail looks cool, but since they are so large, will they topple my rock-work? My tank in a 45-gallon, and someone already pointed out that surgeonfish will not live happily in my tank, so I guess I can't get a Tomini/Kole Tang :(.

Thanks!
No really. As long as you glue all your frags down they just move right over. Some of these other suggestions would move your rockwork a lot more lol
 
OP
WitheredMantis

WitheredMantis

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 21, 2016
Messages
41
Reaction score
17
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
I really think you need to address water quality husbandry first before you add livestock. Your nitrates at more reading 0 which is deceptive. You assume you are doing everything perfect but it is just trapped in the algae. Just my two cents
Oh, ok, sorry, how should I remove my phosphates?
 
Avast

domination2580

Reef-a-nator
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 16, 2015
Messages
5,463
Reaction score
2,802
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Mitchell SD
Oh, ok, sorry, how should I remove my phosphates?
Any gfo (granular feric oxide). I use phosban but there are others out there. Now when using this your either going to do one of two ways. One is a media reactor chamber. Or you could go buy some leggings, put the gfo inside, tie the top and place in a high flow area. If you have like a terra filter i placed a stocking of phosbam in that after the filter. But make sure you start off slow so you dont strip the nutrients out of the tank to fast because it could ckear the water up to fast and cause to much light to penetrate the tank and bleach out the coral.
 

Don S

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 17, 2015
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
If it were me I'd try using Kents Tech M - works great and quickly to get rid of bryopsis. Raise your mg by about 90 ppm per day until it gets to 1600 - 1800 ppm, then keep it there for 2-4 weeks if necessary. But for me my bryopsis was gone in 4-6 days. A miracle! My tank is 165 gals and I had no negative side effects at all. Seems like it's worth trying on your hair algae.
 
REEFTIDE
Deltec

How close to perfect, for you, is your reef aquarium?

  • IT'S PERFECT NOW

    Votes: 2 1.7%
  • It's getting close

    Votes: 19 15.7%
  • It's about half way there

    Votes: 19 15.7%
  • It's slow but progressing

    Votes: 41 33.9%
  • It's not even close

    Votes: 36 29.8%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 4 3.3%
noopsyche K7 V3 REEF LIGHTING only 169
Top