The OFFICIAL how I beat Hair Algae thread! How did you do it?

Hair Algae in your aquarium. Choose all that apply!

  • I've never had hair algae

    Votes: 60 8.2%
  • I Have had a little but nothing major

    Votes: 182 24.9%
  • I Have had several tough outbreaks

    Votes: 96 13.1%
  • I Have had a major outbreak that I won

    Votes: 212 29.0%
  • Have had a major outbreak that caused me to tear the tank down

    Votes: 30 4.1%
  • I am battling a little hair algae now

    Votes: 195 26.7%
  • I am battling a major outbreak right now

    Votes: 73 10.0%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 10 1.4%

  • Total voters
    731

revhtree

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So hair algae is the devil and we don't want the devil in our tank right?

There are many reasons as to why you might get an outbreak of hair algae in your tank and along with that many ways that you can also eliminate it which usually pertains to how you got hair algae in the first place. So today let's NOT talk about why you have had a hair algae outbreak but how you finally got rid of it once and for all.

What was the silver bullet, the defining decision you made (or combo of things) that finally got rid of your hair algae outbreak?

Before and After by @bwomac44
Untitled-6 copy.jpg
 

PSXerholic

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Well, I get sometimes Po4 as high as 0.35 when not paying attention, Bubble Algae, Bryopsis and all sort of algae.
Best worked so far 1 Emerald on 10Gallons of Water ;-)

That finally kept my tank and colonies free of algae without annual treatment of something in form of pills.
 
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revhtree

revhtree

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Sailingeric

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I had a little bit about a year ago in my tank, I turned my white lights down by about 10% and it slowly went away. Not sure if that was the fix, or if my tang was nibbling on the younger algae, or more nutrient in take from my corals or a little of everything but it has never been an issue.
 

SPR1968

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Just keep your phosphate locked down to less than or around 0.03ppm and that should stop any issues with GHA

My new system has been running heavy doses of rowaphos (GFO) from day one and I have zero issues and the same with my 4 year old Red Sea S650
 

Porpoise Hork

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I have had a couple bouts of hair algae and managed to beat it back entirely. It took several rounds of fluconazole, Direct exposure to hydrogen peroxide (sump) and and several varieties of tangs and a fox face. The fluconazol treatments put a good dent in it but never did knock it out entirely. The Yellow tang and one spot fox wouldn't touch it. They were getting rather large so I pulled them out. I had a small Tomini in a 20g that at one point had GHA all over the place.The Tomini had been ignoring it but I guess got hungry enough (because I wasn't feeding nori but once a week) and started going after it. Within a few days he had eaten every last strand. So after the yellow and fox were pulled out of the 75 that still had a fairly bad GHA problem and moved the Tomini to it and over to it. Over the course of a month I also added very young hippo, fox, and purple tang to it and surprisingly they all got along after the initial posturing of territory from the Tomini. Used a mirror on the side of the tank to keep the Tomini busy while the rest got acclimated. After a few days I removed the mirror and the Tomini went back to work on the GHA and ultimately taught the rest of them that it's edible and the four of them have absolutely eradicated it from the display.

For the GHA in the sump, I drained it down and pulled all the equipment out and scraped off all the algae on the sump walls. I then soaked an old rag with peroxide and liberally applied it to the entire sump and all the equipment before returning it back to operation. I tossed the old cheato and started with clean and dosed the crap out of the tank with pods as well. I also ran w/o a filter sock for a few weeks to allow any micro-fauna like amphipods the chance to make it back down into the sump. After a couple months I added a couple emerald crabs to the tank, but ultimately moved the large male to the sump, keeping the smaller female in the display.

I also tried keeping the nutrient levels very low, but kept having minor dino bloom issues so I raised the nitrate levels to 5-10 and phosphate to .1 - .2 and have kept them there. The tangs keep any nuisance algae from developing and only have to clean the glass every other day. The chaeto grows like crazy and I remove about 1/3 of the total volume every couple of months.
 
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brandon429

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how I and 500 friends beat GHA in private messages:

1. clean out your filthy sandbed feeding it all.
2. take apart your reef via surgery
3. while rocks are on counter, knife scrape all the algae off like a dentist handles filthy plaque while working around your gums.
4. apply peroxide to the former spots
5. quit storing up all this waste in your sand and rocks, clean that out more often next time.
6. dont care what your params were before, during or after, the filth was the issue, and your param issue. we fixed that.
7. reassemble the tank with no detritus in the sand, or rocks, easy skip cycle.
8. any reef too big for this process is too big for you to own, have the size reef you can control and stop 100% of invasion losses before they occur. starting over, not allowed. losing coral, not allowed. be a reef dentist and clean that filthy mouth out.
i have never asked for nor needed po4 and no3 measurements in 15 years of online algae work. measuring your params is hesitation, while leaving in filthy mud. Identifying your invader, hesitation.

steps 1-7 are antihesitation steps, its why they work so well. Do all of your ID via pics, while owning the clean condition tank you willed into place. Do not let algae sit in your tank on purpose, that’s the initial cause of your problem. Humans can dominate plants in one day given sufficient will, such as already losing a prior tank to invasion and refusing to repeat lead up steps.

* one day all your algae gardening stops, and thats when corals and coralline take over the surfaces, they'll reject algae. do not listen to the masses and allow your new reef to be fully taken over; start busy, back off in time as coralline and coral flesh allows you to back off.

never permit an uglies phase in reefing, adjust your busy levels to match the need.
 
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ReefGeezer

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I have had and still have a little hair algae in the tank. The little patches are hard to physically remove without breaking corals. The rocks are stacked so that I can't easily remove many to scrub or use peroxide. I just can't find a clean-up crew that does a great job on it without wrecking corals. I've decided that healthy tanks can have a little algae.
 

ReefGeezer

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...8. any reef too big for this process is too big for you to own...
For discussion's sake, are you suggesting that any size reef should be capable of being stripped and scrubbed? How does that not delay or inhibit the maturity process?
 

BigBoyReefer

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I just dose about 2ml of hydrogen peroxide and that kills off all my hair algae, but be careful you don’t want to kill off all the beneficial bacteria (a mistake I’ve made before)
 
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William Mumford

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Overcoming my algee outbreak right now I did a 100% water change toothbrush to all the rocks with a peroxide spray 12% not the rite aid 3% bath. The stuff that I wasnt able to brush off is turning white and going away from the peroxide killing it. My corals were mad at me for a day but they look fine and back to normal. I feel like I have a new tank.
 

Indytraveler83

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The biggest change for me involved lighting adjustments. I run almost entirely blue now. I go to 2% white during the afternoon and early evening when I'm home so I can see the fish in regular light, then back to blue of an evening.

An aggressive CuC also tends to help. In my new system, the algae issues haven't ever really started due to (I think) my lighting system and a large refugium (will never run without a fuge again)
 

The BEST equipment you have bought for your reef came from this category?

  • Filtration

    Votes: 36 11.9%
  • Testing

    Votes: 32 10.6%
  • Lighting

    Votes: 103 34.1%
  • Controlling

    Votes: 73 24.2%
  • Water Treatment

    Votes: 11 3.6%
  • Pumps

    Votes: 31 10.3%
  • Other (please explain in the thread)

    Votes: 16 5.3%

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