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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had my tank since september 2011. I have just started seeing hair algae showing up in my tank. I want to get it under control before it turns into a nightmare. I have heard that sally lightfoot crabs, black mollies, and turbos do a good job but idk what one to get. I heard lightfoot crabs get mean (but thats what I heard about emerald crabs and mine is well behaved.) Than I heard that someone got a few black mollies and within 30 days their hair algae was gone. I had 2 turbo snails from when I first got my tank and they were always eating algae...till they both died. They cost $4 each turbo snail and I think thats a rip off. Advice please?
 

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The best thing you can do is attack the algae's food source. Algae eaters won't solve the problem long term. What are you using for water changes? How often and how large are they? Do you run a skimmer?

If both of your snails died since September something is off - they live a long time under the proper conditions.
 

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Turbo snails are the best IMO , but they have to have algae to stay alive. So just get one, and then plan on putting algae sheets in when they eat it all.
 

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If both of your snails died since September something is off - they live a long time under the proper conditions.
Actually turbo snails die all the time of starvation. They need large amounts of algae to survive. So the only thing that was probably off was the fact that he ran out of algae. Google it....
 

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The best thing you can do is attack the algae's food source. Algae eaters won't solve the problem long term. What are you using for water changes? How often and how large are they? Do you run a skimmer?

If both of your snails died since September something is off - they live a long time under the proper conditions.
adding a clean up crew will help but I agree here. You need to find the source or figure out what practice you are doing that is causing the GHA by adding the NO3 and PO4. I wouldn't rely on a clean up crew as they likely will not keep up with the issue. I have snails that are over 5 years old and have never had any algae that is visible. I don't agree with them staving. I have never once in 15 years feed my clean up crew intentionally. Even when I had a ich outbreak and let my system go 8 months without fish I didn't feed the system once that entire time and I didn't loose any members of my CUC. I personal prefer Astraea over any other snail for polishing live rock. They don't grow as fast and stay busy and don't seem as clumsy knocking stuff over. I have thought of taking the mexican turbo out of my system on more then one occasion for knocking plugs out of the rock. Have you considered GFO?
 

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Elevated Phosphate or nitrate are the typical culprits of GHA.

Since I dose lugols I get some stubborn tufts of it in a low nutrient tank, but that's secondary condition. The benefits of the iodine outweigh the negatives.

Large turbos are the best I've seen at eating it, although they won't touch the coarse stuff and will plow over lose frags like a toddler through an unlocked toy box. Blue leg hermits will nibble at it. Emerald crab's typically prefer bubble algae and more substantial green stuff, but they'll also nibble at it.

If you don't stack lose frags around and then gripe when they get shoved around then get a single large turbo.

Black out periods also help, but it takes about 72hours of a tank being covered with a blanket to kill GHA. It does work though, and is harmless to corals.
 

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Actually turbo snails die all the time of starvation. They need large amounts of algae to survive. So the only thing that was probably off was the fact that he ran out of algae. Google it....
I have had them for years and have no visible algae. More likely culprits are improper acclimation at the pet store or on the hobbiest's end.
 

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If it ever gets really bad. I once bought a sea hare that ate all if it a couple of days. But youll need a longer term solution. Once the sea hare eats ot all.you can sell it back to the lfs and pretty much get your money back

Sent from my Samsung Smartphone using Tapatalk. When I should be doing something more productive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
well....I am going to buy another turbo snail tomorrow........or should I buy some more astrae snails.......I currently have 2? I made a protein skimmer today. =D
 

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Even if you pick up some more snails. You still need to isolate the source of the Nitrates and Phosphates feeding the algae. But, I would go with the Astrea snails. I have Turbo snails, Nerite snails and Astrea snails and the Astrea are the least of the Buldozers.
You mentioned that you made a skimmer. What exactly did this entale and how well is it working?
I didn't see it mentioned so...
Are you using RODI water or Tap for your water changes?
What is your bio load like and how often do you feed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well it seems to be pushing out bubbles.....It is not really discolored yet that I can tell....Maybe a little bit of yellow tint. I have only had it running for like 3 hours. Also, I use Tap water because it has been tested multiple times and is a great water source...... Actually what is funny is a guy tried coming to our door and selling us some type of purification system. My dad was all like go ahead test our water. He than was shocked at the tests......haha It has also been through other tests. I have even tested the chlorine in the water and we have none. I have reduced feeding to about once every 2 days.
 

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I would get a fresh water test kit and test for Nitrates and Phosphates in you tap. Also, tap water has all kinds of othe metals and additives that are put in that have no place in our reef tanks. It is likely that this is the source of your algea problem. Just becuase it is safe for us to drink does not mean it is safe to put into our reef tanks. IMO
 

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Nitrtaes and phosphates do not only come from tap water. Ro/di is really the only way to go - my tap in Toledo reads something like 114 ppm, after ro/di 0ppm. That's 114 things added to your tank, that builld up over time. Livestock waste and food are other contributors.
 

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You likely don't have a phosphate meter, so you have no idea what the phosphates levels are really at. The little kits are useless and just give a false sense of security. Similarly cheap nitrate tests are notorious for giving false negatives.
 

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What is your bio load? (aka how many fish, corals, and inverts do you have) How often and what do you feed? What is your complete set-up? (how are you filtering your tank?) What are your maintenance practices? (How often do you do water changes, how do you do them? Do you clean the rocks and any filter media?). These are very important details for us to know in order to pinpoint what your problem really is and to give you good advise on how to solve it. I know it is tedious to go over but we don't know your system at all. It is like finding a light switch in a dark room. Not that hard when you know the room but nearly impossible if you've never been in it before.
 

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Sorry couldn't finish my post before. As already stated you are dealing with a nutrient problem. Test results be damned, algae simply wont grow without nutrients, so you have some period. If possible run some GFO to pull any phosphates out of the water. GFO could make the biggest difference in anything you do about this problem.

As to solving the problem, ramp up your water changes. Go to ro/di for a water source. Cut your fish feeding in half, and don't even bother to feed corals (unless you have dendros, rhyzos, or balanos). As to critters that can eat whats there, pincushion urchins are algae eating fools. Now they are complete bulldozers, much worse than a turbo snail. And they will steal any loose frag, and they will snatch smaller snails and carry them around also. But they can mow algae, oh yeah they will tend to eat coraline algae also. I hate coraline on the glass so it suits me, but some guys love coraline.
 

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just got rid of this issue. Bought a sea hair and snails and crabs at the levels they should be. I didnt see anyone mention your light cycle. I cut my lights down to being on 8 hrs a day and it all dissapeared. I also added a urchin they eat it pretty good.
 

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just got rid of this issue. Bought a sea hair and snails and crabs at the levels they should be. I didnt see anyone mention your light cycle. I cut my lights down to being on 8 hrs a day and it all dissapeared. I also added a urchin they eat it pretty good.
What are you supplementing the sea hair with now that your algae problem is under control?
 
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