Tips for getting rid of green hair algae?

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Bolen2

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Hello everyone,

I’ve been having issues with green hair algae in my system. I have a phosphate reactor and a skimmer in my sump that work fine but the green hair algae is taking over. I’ve removed it by hand several times and I’ve tried dosing it with algae remover but that doesn’t help either. It has been going on for a couple of months now. My phosphate levels are low and I shouldn’t have an excess in nutrients. I have a pretty good amount of flow throughout most of the tank but it still grows even as I take it out. Phosphates are sitting at .02 ppm. I have a good cleanup crew too but I’m thinking about investing in an algae blenny to help get it curbed. Thanks for any advice.
 
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Erin1971Texas

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Unfortunately, most blennies will only nibble around the rock... They get spoiled by regular food. How old is your tank? What are your nitrates measuring? What fish and coral are in the tank?
In my experience, sea hares are good as are Mexican turbo snails, but they won't be able to get through long strands so you'll need to keep up with manual removal while the critters do their work.
Is your tank big enough for a tang or rabbitfish?
Finally, while I've only resorted to using it for bryopsis, flucanozole is great at removing algae. Just be aware it will kill any macro you have in a refugium as well.
Good luck!
 

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I can attest to the advice above and say that reef flux (flucanozole) worked well for me as a last resort with my hair algae battle. In 2 doses it eliminated around 80% of my hair algae and a 3rd dose probably would’ve eradicated it.
 
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john92708

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how big is your tank? I have 3 Astraea turbo snail in my 14 AIO and they ate all the algae including GHA within a week. I also have a skimmer and a refugium LED growing algae in the back chamber. You could also add sea hare and tang for larger system.
 
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Bolen2

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Unfortunately, most blennies will only nibble around the rock... They get spoiled by regular food. How old is your tank? What are your nitrates measuring? What fish and coral are in the tank?
In my experience, sea hares are good as are Mexican turbo snails, but they won't be able to get through long strands so you'll need to keep up with manual removal while the critters do their work.
Is your tank big enough for a tang or rabbitfish?
Finally, while I've only resorted to using it for bryopsis, flucanozole is great at removing algae. Just be aware it will kill any macro you have in a refugium as well.
Good luck!
Unfortunately my system is not large enough for tangs or rabbit fish. I have a 55 gallon aquarium. The nitrates are measuring 0 and nitrites are barely readable so I would say probably in the 0.25 range. I’ve had the system running for about 6 months now. I have 4 clowns, a bicolor angel, and a long nose hawk. As for corals I have a toadstool, Star burst polyp, neon pineapple tree, and purple gorgonia. I have a 20 gallon sump built onto this as well.
 
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Unfortunately my system is not large enough for tangs or rabbit fish. I have a 55 gallon aquarium. The nitrates are measuring 0 and nitrites are barely readable so I would say probably in the 0.25 range. I’ve had the system running for about 6 months now. I have 4 clowns, a bicolor angel, and a long nose hawk. As for corals I have a toadstool, Star burst polyp, neon pineapple tree, and purple gorgonia. I have a 20 gallon sump built onto this as well.
Sounds like typical tank maturing process at the 6 month stage. You need nitrates at 10 and phosphate at .05 to .1ppm. I have slightly larger tank that developed GHA around 6 month mark and several months later it was a complete jungle. I had diverse cleaner crew but they could not keep up. What worked for me was adding 3 tuxedo urchins, 2 big turbos, raising magnesium to 1500 and manual removal. My tank was stripped clean og GHA in 3 weeks time.
 
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Bolen2

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I have two tuxedos that I forgot to mention in my last post. But I’ll definitely make those adjustments you suggested. Thanks everyone.
 

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Keep it simple. There are causes to be rectified and removal.
Green hair algae loves Light , inorganics and Phosphates.
What phosphate kit are you using?
Is Tank at or near a window?
Are you using RO water or tap water from the faucet?
What lights are you using ?

Dont see any pictures posted which would be helpful but pull off as much as you can by hand and have the rest taken care of by cleaners such as :

Snails: astrea-turbo-trochus- nerite-ninja star

Pencil or pin cushion urchin

8-10 carribean blue leg hermits
 

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Unfortunately my system is not large enough for tangs or rabbit fish. I have a 55 gallon aquarium. The nitrates are measuring 0 and nitrites are barely readable so I would say probably in the 0.25 range. I’ve had the system running for about 6 months now. I have 4 clowns, a bicolor angel, and a long nose hawk. As for corals I have a toadstool, Star burst polyp, neon pineapple tree, and purple gorgonia. I have a 20 gallon sump built onto this as well.
You will need to raise your nutrients and source some algae eaters to keep things back to a equilibrium. Lowering nutrients it’s never a solution wend dealing with invasive algae’s, all that you will find going that path is more problems including dinoflagellates and coral starvation if any in the tank and beneficial bacteria going dormant.
 

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I can attest to the advice above and say that reef flux (flucanozole) worked well for me as a last resort with my hair algae battle. In 2 doses it eliminated around 80% of my hair algae and a 3rd dose probably would’ve eradicated it.
Does this negatively affect anything else?

Like will it hurt natural fauna/ flora/ Amaemones/ soft corals?
 
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Bolen2

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I basically decided to expand upon my cleanup crew and add in a few more Mexican turbo snails. They cleared the setup of excess algae within a few days. It looks spotless now. I handed a couple of them over to a friend once they got the majority of it removed.
 

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I can attest to the advice above and say that reef flux (flucanozole) worked well for me as a last resort with my hair algae battle. In 2 doses it eliminated around 80% of my hair algae and a 3rd dose probably would’ve eradicated it.
Hi There, can you share spme details around dozing you used?

For a 240G DT (+40Gsump), how much medication would you apply and where/ how do you administer (dump in DT on surface or in sump or on the hair algae or how)?

After how many days do you repeat and how much can be second and third doze?

Do you remove/ extract the medication from water using carbon or something...

Are there any effects of overdosing?

Are there any negative affects to fish,Anemones (BTA and Rockflower) or Gonies and torches?
 
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Any giod articles on application/ info on reef flux (flucanozole)?

Well, there's a 300-page thread on this very forum about using it...

To answer your questions:

For dosing, follow the instructions on the bottle. If you have a heavy infestation, do multiple rounds of treatment rather than a single heavier treatment.

Usage is very similar to Chemiclean - turn off skimming for a few days, remove carbon filtration before dosing. It's a broadcast application rather than a spot treatment.

Each round of treatment last about two weeks. If I recall correctly, all you do to finish it off is turn up skimming, put back in your filtration and do a heavy water change.

It's a relatively safe treatment at the recommended dosages, most toxicity is limited to algae of the macro variety. Will kill certain species of macroalgae, doesn't seem to impact chaeto much. I don't know that anyone has ever tried to overdose it, I certainly haven't read about what happens when you do. I have heard anecdotal reports of SPS death after using fluco, but it's not common enough that I regularly see people cautioning against it. I suspect the SPS deaths were secondary to the fluco use - in other words, the fluco killed something that then released something toxic into the water, and that toxicity is what actually killed the corals.

One fairly common side effect of fluco use is that the death of so much algae tends to release nutrients into the water column, and those nutrients can fuel a follow-up infestation of cyano. So make sure you have a plan to deal with that (that isn't a water change, because once you do a water change you'll lower the concentration of fluco below efficacy).
 
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