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Reeftank Log 09/98

Thursday, September 10, 1998

Reply to post on hair algae problem:

I also had a hair algae bloom in my 20-gallon tank and these are the steps I took to solve it:

1. Increased efficiency of CPR BakPak by adding limewood airstone.

2. Cleaned out CPR BakPak

3. Cut lighting down to five hours a day (two 28 watt Power Compact lights (1 6700k and 1 7100 K over soft corals)

4. Stopped adding excess trace elements.

5. Made weekly 25% water changes.

6. Introduced additional herbivores (GARF Reef Janitors).

7. Introduced Caulerpa racemosa to compete for nutrients.

8. Use of Poly Filter and SeaChem carbon.

9. Controlled addition of food to tank. Most of the time, I just feed 3 to 4 Hikari pellets to the clownfish and the neon dottyback in the tank.

10. Physically pulled out or scrubbed algae off to give small herbivores a chance to eat new growth.

11. Added a brittle star

I think the one thing that really helped was the Caulerpa racemosa. I bought a small bunch of grape Caulerpa from a local fish store and attached it to a bare piece of live rock that was close to the surface and the light. The grape Caulerpa just took off in growth and must have taken up the excess nutrients in the water the hair algae was using. I've also read of the theory that the Caulerpas may also add a growth inhibitor to the water which affects other algae, but I don't know how effective that theory is with the protein skimming and chemical filtration I have on my tank. Before I had my hair algae problem, I had some Caulerpa mexicana growing and I didn't have a hair algae problem. I took the Caulerpa mexicana out since I didn't want to prune it, but pruning caulerpa is much easier than scrubbing hair algae. Caulerpa racemosa is pretty easy to prune because of its compact growth compared to the other Caulerpas. I recently pruned my Caulerpa and it's growing back much slower than when I first had it in the tank. I believe this is due to the fact that it sucked out the nutrients in the tank that were causing the hair algae growth.

In the future, when I set up my 50-gallon reeftank, I'll probably have two rocks with Caulerpa so that I can alternate pruning.


Tuesday, September 15, 1998

My schedule of trace element additions to the tank is now as follows:

teaspoon of Reef Evolution Iodide, teaspoon of Reef Evolution Strontium, teaspoon of CombiSan every week.

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