GHA .... again !!

Discussion in 'Nuisance Algae' started by Apollo, 20 Jan 2009.

  1. Apollo

    Apollo

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    Hi Guys,

    I'm at my wits end by now.

    After having diligently scrubbed the infected rocks , executing 15% waterchanges every week , siphoning the substrate and blowing any detritus off the rocks, and even reducing the photoperiod to 8hrs a day ...... the $#%^&& GHA is back again !! :arghh:

    I am not feeding at present since there are no fish as yet.
    Only CUC sofar ( The tank is 7 weeks old now)

    I've even tried running without lights for 3 days , but to no avail. :(

    My water param's at present are :

    pH = 8.4
    KH = 14 ( Raised this in the hope of erradicating the GHA a bit)
    Nitrate = 5
    Nitrite = less than 0.02
    Ammonia = less than 0.05
    Phosphate = less than 0.05


    I've read through all articles I could find on GHA but nothing seems to work.


    Any help , suggestion or comments would be appreciated .


    This is a pic of this morning showing the GHA growth that seems to pop up everywhere on this piece of LR.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Sorry, but you are going have to cook that rock.

    If scrubbing it is not doing it, then this is your only alternative other than just keeping it.
     
  4. Apollo

    Apollo Thread Starter

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    Aaaah..... bugger.

    I was hoping you wouldn't say that Warr.

    This could mean that I would have to start from scratch again, since the GHA has spread to most of the other rocks as well . There are only small tufts of GHA on the other rocks but I presume it is going to get worse. :(
     
  5. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    I cant recall how old this tank is, but any new system is bound to have GHA, and when i say new anything under 1yr. Your nitrite and amonia readings indicate that filtration is not that effecient a reading of phos at 0.05[if correct] is still too high, try get it to the 0.02 mark. Algae will often flourish even if the readings are correct your system has to reach a balance where nutrients are exported before they become available to the algae
     
  6. Apollo

    Apollo Thread Starter

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    Thanks Alan,

    OK. The tank is a 58 liter nano. It has only been running now for 7 weeks.
    The phosphate reading of less than 0.05 is my best guestimate based on the colour chart. I am using an ELOS PO4 test kit and the lowest reading is 0.1 and then 0.

    My test sample is the same colour as the 0 reading on the chart . Obviously PO4 is never 0 but rather just undetectably small and hence my statement regarding 0.05 as a result.


    My filtration is done by means of filter floss , skimmer and Chemi-Pure Elite compound.

    At 7 weeks could it be that the tank is still in the process of stabilizing ?
     
  7. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    Very much so, anything under a year is still fairly new.
     
  8. christiaan

    christiaan

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    Loose the filter floss - and yes the tank is still stabilizing - also IMO sometime some specific rocks will have PO4 an nitrate inbedded - remove the one rock with the most crap on it and see what happens while you cook that one rock.
     
  9. Apollo

    Apollo Thread Starter

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    Loose the filter floss ??

    I'm a bit concerned about doing that . Currently the floss is being replaced every 2-3 days.

    The Boyu skimmer is absolute crap , so I depend on the filter floss to some extent to actually catch most of the larger suspended particles.


    or am I missing the point here Christiaan ?
     
  10. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    That is fine, you could even run up to a week and not have problems, it's if you keep it in for weeks at a time, you have loads of issues.

    Watch the floss, when you start introducing LS.

    Maybe keep an eye on the GHA for the next couple of weeks, and see if it gets to an equilibrium, although i feel in that size tank it will probably get very unsightly before the equilibrium.

    If it is all over the rock, then it's going be the same amount of work now as later.

    Have you tried the turkey blaster / powerhead cleaning option ?

    Made a huge difference on my Nano when I had problems.

    Basically blasted 2/3 times a day for 4 weeks and did 5% water changes 3 times a week and replaced filter floss, as soon as it got clogged.

    Eventually the water column, was "crystal" clear and minimal detritus suspended when blowing the rock. I found the algae (not GHA) subsided very quickly as the nutrient load in the tank/rock and water column was reduced.
     
  11. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

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    The fact that your tank is only 7 weeks old suggests that you need to be a bit more patient, allow your system to settle down, keep running a P04 remover and ensure your water quality is spot on, the GHA will go.
     
  12. Apollo

    Apollo Thread Starter

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    Thanks Warr,

    Currently I am blasting all the LR with a turkeybaster on a daily basis.
    I'll keep up with a diligent routine in this regard and increase the frequency of water changes and filter floss replacement .

    Mike, thanks for the note. Yeah, perhaps I just need to be a bit more patient. The tank is very very new, but I'll keep a watchfull eye on the GHA.


    To all that have supplied input : Thanks guys , it is appreciated. :)
     
  13. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi Apollo - sorry to say this - but you HAVE to be patient bud.

    Unfortunately, you have the following scenario's:
    - live rock leaching phosphates/nitrates
    - a LOT of light (8 hours is still a LOT)
    - still SOME nutrients in the water, due to the fish that you HAD...

    Buy some "SeaChem Stability", or alternatively, any other bacteria culture additive - and dose over the next 2 to 3 weeks or so, extra bacteria....
    This should speed up the bacteria "eating/living off" the crap in the tank.....

    Reduce the photo-period to 4 hours maximum - and leave the tank fish free for the next 4 weeks (this is JUST as good as "cooking the rocks" - this in a shorter period of time)...

    You WILL see that the hair algae starts to dissappear over this 4 week period of time. The GHA will "eat" the nutrients out of the water, and the bacteria will "eat" the detritus CAUSING the nutrients in the water...

    Don't do any water changes until the 4 week period is over - as the "new" water MIGHT contain traces of nutrients again......And - for NOW - loose the filter wool.....

    You can put the filter wool back when you are ready for fish again....

    This is MY advice, in any case...
     
  14. Bob the (reef)builder

    Bob the (reef)builder

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    Guys, we seem to always forget the fact that even on a super low nutrient laden natural reef, if you take the herbivores away you will get algae outbreaks.

    With a diverse group of herbivores, they will sort out that sort of thing pretty swiftly, you need to get them in. That said it is a very new setup and all sorts of algae are to be expected, you have very little anyway. Don't panic and cook rocks and do all sorts of outlandish things.

    Have patience, sort out your herbivores and watch it go through quite a number of cycles before it stabilizes properly.
     
  15. Apollo

    Apollo Thread Starter

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    Thanks jacques,

    I'll take note of the advice.

    Don't get me wrong : I am not impatient about the status of the tank. Just merely concerned that I am "breeding" a problem which could cause a lot of heartache at a later stage when I start adding livestock.


    Just a note though : "- still SOME nutrients in the water, due to the fish that you HAD...
    "

    There have not been any fish in the tank. Only LR and CUC that were added in week 6.
     
  16. Apollo

    Apollo Thread Starter

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    Thanks Bob,

    Do I understand you correctly in the sense that you are implying that I look at adding herbivores (fish /other inverts) ?
     
  17. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    I have/had the same probem as you Apollo. My tank had an accident while i was on holiday and i returned to a tank full of GHA. To get rid of it, i did a water change, changed phosphate media and monitored my water parameters VERY closely. At the same time i scrubbed ther rocks and picked off as much GHA as i could. As Jaquesb suggested, i also cut down the photoperiod. Once the water parameters were near where they should be, i noticed tha the algae had stopped spreading. To assist in removal of the GHA i got a bunch of herbivorous snails. They do a great job of getting rid of ALL nuisance algae but produce alot of detritus ( i have to vacuum tank every day). The battle has taken just over a month to get the GHA under control. So just be patient, listen to what the other members say and your GHA will dissappear.
     
  18. Apollo

    Apollo Thread Starter

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    Thanks 459b,

    Good to know .:)
     
  19. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    OK Cool Apollo - sincerest apologies. I sometimes confuse members ;)
     
  20. Apollo

    Apollo Thread Starter

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    No worries bud.

    I do sincerely appreciate your input and advice though .
     
  21. christiaan

    christiaan

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    If you change the wool that often then no problems - Also had a boyu - Also used chemi pure elite - great product but not that much poshate absorbsion power - I dont think they add a lot of the PO4 remover to the bag - I'd suggest trying another phos remover too - especially with the crappy skimmer - IMO remove the skimmer and the - well everything from the back- and add pumps - lots (keep the heater) Thats it.
     
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