GHA Outbreak/Introduction

HI Everyone,

My name is Kyle and I just joined the reef club about a week ago. I am having a serious Green Hair Algae issue that i could really use some help with. I currently am running a 75g mixed reef (mostly softies and LPS) with a 20g sump. I started by trying to physically remove as much as i could followed by a 50-60% water change. I added a separate GFO reactor and upped my dosing of No3- Po-x to 14 ml a day. I had been running fuge lights about 22/7 for the past few weeks but that didn’t seem to do much for the Nitrates. I’m open to any suggestion at this point as the problem does not seem to be resolving with anything i do. I appreciate the feedback in advance!

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what is your stock list? The nutrients are coming from somewhere - fishfood or source water. Are you using tap?

reefFlux will kill the algae, but you need to find your source so it doesnt come back. Are you running a skimmer? Do you have test kits? I am a fan of salifert for the price its a great option

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Thank you for the quick response! Yes, I am running a reef octopus 150 INT for my skimmer and I use a 3 stage RO/DI unit for my new water. I’ve been getting mixed readings on my nitrates, I have a Mastertronic that reads only 16 ppm, my LFS says it’s more around 50-60, and I get around 30ish when I test manually with the salifert test. I am pretty decently stocked:
1- six line wrasse
1- yellow tang
1 -hippo tang
1- black spot trigger
1- Clarkii clown
1- scrawled cow/box fish

I was running an auto feeder for about a min a day with a mix of reef jerkey, pellets, algae pellets, and reef roids but have turned that off and have been feeding 1 marine cuisine cube every other day.

I wouldn’t feed the Reef Roids until you get your nutrients under control. Your corals should get enough to eat from that stock list. Manual removal of the green hair algae along with control feeding is probably your best approach.

What’s stopping you from buying a whole bunch of fish inverts that eat gha?

I’m not opposed to that, I just have found that they’re not the most efficient solution. I added a blue spot sea hare about a week ago and I haven’t seen him since I put him in the tank and the gha has gotten worse since I got him. What would you recommend in terms of inverts? The tangs won’t touch it and I really don’t have room for a fox face. I’m open to add anything else though if you have any suggestions. I appreciate it

Time. Give it time. An algae blenny. You can add snails emerald crabs. They will not eat it over night. Well in the case of the inverts they are generally nocturnal and will eat it at night.

Nothing happens overnight in this hobby. Slow down. Feed small amounts once a day. Be patient. Remeber, stability is key.

Hi Kyle! Welcome to the club! I had a big problem in my nano with GHA. I stopped reef roids, added PhosGuard, manually removed GHA weekly, dipped what the frags I could in hydrogen peroxide, and used flux rx. I was very pleased with the results of flux rx. The whole process took about 5 months and I still had patches here and there on particular rocks.

Thank you all for your suggestions and help! I’m going to try a combo of what a few people said. I’ll keep you all posted. Thanks!

Look up images of Bryopsis macro algae and try to make sure that isn’t what you are fighting. It will not matter how low you get your nutrients if that is what you have.

In most cases I wouldn’t recommend messing with tank chemistry if you aren’t testing. You mentioned GFO (which is usually used for lowering Phosphates) were you testing phosphates?

Do not let Nitrate testing drive you nuts. Different kits will give you different results most of the time.

Is your RODI pushing out 0ppm TDS water? I have met a number of hobbyist who have never checked it and some that didn’t even realize there were filters that needed to be replaced on them.

I am getting pretty frustrated with this algae… I’ve tried just about every tip everyone gave me. I know it has only been a month and I’m not expecting results overnight but it seems as though it’s getting worse actually. In the last few weeks I’ve tried the following:

-Ripping it out by hand

  • Increased amount of CUC specifically targeting GHA
  • Dosed full course of fluconazole
  • Performed a 40% wc and a 30% weekly since the fluconazole
  • turned my lighting intensity and color down
  • cut down fish feedings to once a week
  • tested ro/di water multiple times with 2 different tds meters and got 0 on both.

My corals are getting choked out now and I’m desperate. Seriously thinking about tearing the tank down. Would anyone be willing to come over and check it out themselves before I pull the plug?

Don’t give up yet!
I have been through this problem before. It definitely can wear out you patience. Some clean up animals will target the smaller /shorter patches of algae before going to the longer strands. Asterea snails will eat hair algae, pincushion or tuxedo urchins will eat large quantities faster (my experience). Lawnmower blended will also continuously pick at the shorter patches.
If you have cut back feeding some and cut back the intensity of the light try also shortening the photo period by a couple hours. Do consistent water changes every week it doesn’t have to be large changes just consistent changes. Once you have these changes in should start to recede. You need to realize that although animals are eating the algae the nutrients contained in the algae are staying in the tank/being put back into the water column by animal waste the only way to be rid of the nutrients is by removing it through water changes and or by locking it up in macro algae growth (calerpa, cheato, or other), also by removing skimate with a protein skimmer
The nutrients aren’t leaving the tank unless you physically remove them.
My experience has been, the hair algae shows up and grows faster than it goes away. It may take a couple months to resolve but slow and steady wins the race in our hobby.
Good luck!
Where are you located? I would be willing to stop by and give you some “coaching” if you are not to far

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Thank you! I think the hair on my head is coming out faster than this hair algae! I really appreciate it… it is SUPER frustrating but yeah I think having somebody with a little bit more experience putting actual eyes on it/ my equipment setup may give us a better idea. I live in pike creek near kirkwood highway heading towards newark. Hope that’s close enough for you. Let me know! And thanks again!

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Super close to me, I am in Klair estates on Rt 7
Between Kirkwood hwy and Stanton

Lol you’re right around the corner! I live in village of Lindell across from Dickinson. My numbers 302-593-8981. Give me a call/text when you’re available and we can set something up.

Find a small black long spine urchin…that could help. I personally had a severe hair algae issue in my 150 that i used h2o2 dosing to eliminate. If you use the higher concentrated food grade stuff and use a pipette and spray it directly on the algae it will dissolve in front of your eyes. I learned something a long time ago and it is something i believe every reefer should do. Buy a microscope so you can properly identify the problem you are facing. Using a bullet instead off a handgrenade to hit the target.

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Welcome to the club sorry so late to the party!

Dont tear your tank down. I’ve been there done that and its not worth stsrting completely over. Ive had great success battling hair algae using tiger cowries or sea hairs in the past. Almost too good. They ate it all and ran out of food. It sounds like everything else your doing is good though. I also just stsrted running a gfo/carbon reactor which seems to be keeping my nuisance algae down and my water crystal clear (for what that’s worth). You could also try adding macro algae to outcompete the hair algae for nutrients. You’ll get control of it, just stay the course! Never give up!

Welcome Kyle. Hey don’t give up there are plenty of us that have gone through this. We will get you straightened out.