I have neglected my live rock and now its all covered in that long(10mm or so) coarse hairy green allege. what can I do now with it, any chance I could save it?
Mine has about 5" of that stuff on it. I thought lfs had a fish safe, coral safe chemical for that. Also couldn't you just pull it off? (Not a expert on algae)
I did get a Lawn Mower Blennie to try and keep the live rock clean but I also have a Luna wrasse which killed him during the 1st 24hrs.
That stuff is bad, get a toothbrush and brush it off. If possible do it out side the tank.
As Mike said, if you can remove the rock from the tank remove as much algae by hand as possible. In the tank you have problems. Removing it in the tank spreads the algae faster.
Your tank has an issue that needs to be addressed first.
Hair algae is a sure sign of excess nutrient and or bad bulbs.
I'll explain the bulbs first as it is easiest. Your bulbs lose their spectrum over time. Algae grows best at the 6,500K or lower spectrum. Bulbs fade at about the one year mark. At this point algae grows faster than anything else in the tank. This reduces usable nutrient for coral and or fish. They feed less and grow slower. This frees up the nutrients for the algae to grow in and now have the perfect light spectrum to flourish. Under powering can do this as well. If you don't have enough light any coral or photosynthetic organisms will not grow, this stagnated life form leads to the same as above, excess nutrients and perfect conditions for algae.
Next you have either way to high a bioload, feed way to much, don't have proper flow or filtration.
1. physically remove rock from water and scrub clean. Quick rinse in clean salt water in another bucket. After each rinse, replace this water so as not to contaminate rocks dipped later.
2. add more flow to the main tank. Algae tends to grow slower in high flow situations.
3. get a better skimmer.
4. feed less.
5. turn off lights for 3 days out of each week until algae recedes. You must do a significant water change when turning the lights back on. This removes the phosphates and nitrates created from the algae that died. Other wise you just end up feeding the remaining algae.
6. significant water changes every few days. You must remove the algaes food source. This is generally measured as phosphate. Nitrates can add to the problem.
7. run lots of carbon. replace weekly.
8. set up a phosban reactor and follow directions. When treating for existing problem you must toss out the media weekly until the problem clears up.
9. A uv sterilizer will not clear up the problem but will help prevent the spread of algae any further while attempts are made to clear away the problem.
10. more clean up critters. Some of the smaller hermits (such as blue legged hermits), snails (such as turbo snails), and sea hares will mow right through algae. I'd recommend you get your hands on a lot of turbos, maybe about 3 per gallon if possible. Use them to eat the algae and then resell them when the problem recedes.
Buy a phosphate test kit. Preferably a Tunze brand kit. They are the most accurate that are easy to get ahold of. The ones they sell at most every LFS or super center just are not accurate enough to figure out when the phos is under control. Most read as 0,2,4, etc.. The Tunze read from 0.01, 0.02, 0.03 etc...
Well there goes my weekend...just kidding lol
this info is awesome, I thing I do need to corect in my tank about All your points. My bulbs are 12 months old. Clean-up critters, I only got a Key hole Angel and a Scopas Tang and two small Damsalfish that all pick at the Algae.
here's my sump set-up, I have a 2000 Otto for return to tank and another/ same pump that goes through a UV an then through the 2 fluidise beds, then back into the sump
the above pic is now and the bottom pic was in December...
That looks like a ProClear 75 or 150 sump. Is it? I love ProClear!
not sure but I don't think so.
also are Nudibranchs classed as clean-up critters, like will they clean the LR?
ok, just been up to my local and got 2 new bulbs, Turbo snail and a hermit crab so this should help abit.
he local tested my water and said that it was fine but my salinity was 1.025 and ph was 8.1, nitrate was 20pp? not what I was testing @80plus.
so either my kit is old or I didn't shake the bottle enough before adding the drops...I'm thinking the latter.
I'll start loading up on clean-up critters, I'll go for a dive tomorrow and see what I can get.
Nudi's are a large unknown.. Most people in the field of study can't actually figure out what most of them actually eat, hence their short lived lives in captivity. The lettuce nudi is reported to eat small amounts of algae.
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