Live rock question-Algae

Discussion in 'General Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by carmexx, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. carmexx

    carmexx Active Member

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    I have some large peices of live rock in a 30 gallon reef tank that are almost covered in hair algae. There are no corals on these pieces of rock. I want to clean these rocks. What is the best way and can I prevent growth of hair algae on them after I clean them? BTW I don't want to kill the snails and pods and such in the rocks when I clean them.

    Basically I am looking for the best way to rid myself of this hair algae now before I need the rock ledges to perch coral onto. I don't wanna affect my bioload so I am gonna do one rock at a time. What do you think?
     
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  2. lcstorc

    lcstorc New Member

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    That is a multi part question.
    As far as cleaning the rock, I would do it after a water change. Take the old water and put it in a container of an appropriate size. Then put the rock/s in and scrub away. A stiff toothbrush is a good option.
    You may need to do this more than once.
    Ultimately to get rid of it and prevent it is to remove the food it needs to grow. The food is excess organics. Watch what and how much you are feeding. Skim heavy and lots of water changes.
     
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  3. carmexx

    carmexx Active Member

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    Well I am in the midst of a water change now. I pulled the rock and scrubbed it . I am wondering if i should let it sit out for a couple of days and scrub it again to get all the hair algae. I've even heard of people cooking the rock to kill this stuff.
     
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  4. yungreefer2410

    yungreefer2410 Active Member

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    if you srub it and get ride of whatever its feeding on it will stop coming back, eventually. this make take a handfull of scrubs
     
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  5. Bigjacko

    Bigjacko New Member

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    This is fantastic info. I to have a bit of a GHA algae bloom and want to rid my tank of it. I did however today purchase an Emerald crab which as I type is going daft over the GHA and munching away:yup:
     
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  6. OHreefer

    OHreefer New Member

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    I have a couple emerald crabs and an anemone crab and they eat algae, but not fast enough. I recently found out that phosphates can be leached from carbon, so I'm going to try use an activated carbon that has phosphate remover mixed into it. Hopefully the hair algae will go away. It's SOOOOOOOOOOOO annoying!!!
     
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  7. carmexx

    carmexx Active Member

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    Yeah I hear ya on that one. I use Chemi pure elite which has some GFO to remove phosphates in it . Everytime I test for phosphates i come up with zero. I am still tempted to freeze the rock or cook it to kill all the algae.
     
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  8. BLAKEJOHN

    BLAKEJOHN New Member

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    You do not literally cook the rock. Just FYI
     
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  9. carmexx

    carmexx Active Member

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    Then what would one actually do?
     
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  10. Clownfish518

    Clownfish518 Razorback
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    Scrubbing the rock without addressing the cause won't fix the problem - the hair algae will keep coming back.

    What I like to do is use a refugium and grow chaeto in it to help use up excess nutrients. You might also think about planting your aquarium with macro algaes to compete with hair algae for the available nutrients - many macros are quite attractive. And if you are not setup to run a refugium, you can get one of those pod hotels from Big Jay and grow chaeto in the tank itself.

    An algae turf scrubber is another good idea

    Do you rinse your food? Unless you use a product like Rods Fish Food, the fish food on the market is very high in PO4. The preservatives in it are major contributors.

    I do planted aquariums, do no GFO at all, and have no hair algae problems.
     
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  11. carmexx

    carmexx Active Member

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    I do use Rod's food. I currently have a 5 gallon sump but not enough room in there to grow chaeto.
     
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  12. Sapphire

    Sapphire New Member

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    I certainly agree that regardless of what you have in terms of CUC etc that to get rid of the algae you need to address the actual cause (as others have said)

    In NZ we can't have crabs etc so it's much more difficult to control algae with the 'band-aid' type solutions like crabs. it really is about makng sure the algae has nothing to feed on - and that in the end that is usually about reducing feeding, increasing water change amount/frequency etc. Activated carbon is good, and you can use other products like phosguard etc.
     
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  13. l3fty999

    l3fty999 New Member

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    In addition to rinsing food or using food low in phosphates, you may want to pay very close attention to how much the other organisms in your tank are actually eating. I had a problem like that before and tried many remedies, but in the long run I found that I was just over feeding. Believe me, it doesn't take much.

    Take care
    Aaron
     
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  14. Sapphire

    Sapphire New Member

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    totally agree!
     
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  15. BLAKEJOHN

    BLAKEJOHN New Member

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    "Cooking" LR is a term used for the process of curing uncured LR. It involves placing LR into a container with vigorous circulation and aggressive skimming, allowing it to "cook" for a week or two covered with no light. Some people will do water changes during the process, some don't. It allows the dead and dyeing material to decompose outside the actual DT.
    AKA curing live rock
     
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  16. l3fty999

    l3fty999 New Member

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    Here's a thought: some have experimented with dosing vodka to encourage anaeorobic bacteria to metabolize nitrates into nitrogen gas to complete the nitrogen cycle and reduce the need for water changes. Vodka is cheaper than salt, so you can see where I'm going with this. I'm not saying by any means that it will completely eliminate water changes, but when one is "cooking" live rock, it would be nice to cut down on the expenses a little. I am currently cooking some live rock now and I will try this and then share my findings. I also do not intend for this to be a band-aid for overfeeding or other mistakes I make,(just speaking for myself here) I just want to make this hobby more cost effective so that more of us can enjoy and therefore learn from this wonderful hobby. Just think, the more there are, the more there are observing and learning...:bluenod:

    Just a thought
    Aaron
     
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  17. BLAKEJOHN

    BLAKEJOHN New Member

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    There is a ton more to vodka dosing than just adding vodka. What you are doing is also called carbon dosing. Before you even attempt to carbon dose besure you are 100% familar with what is going on at a microbial level. When carbon dosing one of the requirements is a huge skimmer.

    Now if this is something you are going to try in a separate container with only the live rock then that is fine to experiment with. But I would look into the after math when the rock goes back into the tank when the biological system in the separate container has severly crashed.
     
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  18. l3fty999

    l3fty999 New Member

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    Yep, I've already done that. I have a reef tank that has had small doses (carefully monitored) and I've seen good results. I must stress, however, that I am not currently looking to totally eliminate water changes, just reduce them. And yes, I understand that I am ultimately dosing carbon. I know that when dosing vodka (carbon) that O2 levels drop very fast... in my reef tank, when I was dosing vodka, I also hooked up an air pump and supplied O2 to make up for what wasn't there. I most certainly appreciate your concerns and if you have any more, please make them heard here so I can address them. Yes, I may lose some organisms now, (God forbid and I haven't yet) but like I said before, vodka is cheaper than a $50.00 bucket of salt. I thank you for your concerns for my tanks and I hope you follow along. I know this is a controversial subject, and I would like everyone to know that there are alternatives to dosing vodka for the carbon content. Actually, I would very much appreciate some feedback on this. Many people(including myself) joke about "dosing vodka :yummy: " but we have something that could potentially be a great tool in our hobby, just like the algae filter thread found on this site. (Works well, btw).

    Take care
    Aaron
     
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