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Thread: Setting up new tank, old tank had hair algae, should I use my old rock, sand, fuge?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    01-22-2003
    Location
    San Antonio
    Posts
    446

    Default Setting up new tank, old tank had hair algae, should I use my old rock, sand, fuge?

    I know this sounds like a ridiculous question because my gut answer is that I never want to risk introducing hair algae into a new system. I have about a 12 month old 35 gal or so tank that I'm hoping/planning to move into a new 50 gallon tank pretty soon, would be using the same sump, fuge, pumps, powerheads, plumbing, GFO reactor, etc. I've been battling green hair algae for 3-4 months, and it's about 98% gone after two flucanozole antibiotic treatments. There are still some little tiny pieces here and there. I'm convinced that it's impossible to completely rid a system of GHA. I think there will always be a chance of it to return. It was in my refugium as well but it looks to be gone.

    My inclination is that I should totally start fresh but in doing that I basically have to throw away everything in my refugium and sterilize my sump, get rid of all my sand, live rock, and basically sterilize all my equipment and plumbing before I set up this tank which would be going in the same location, use the same sump and equipment that I listed earlier. I'd have to start the entire cycling process over. If I do that then my corals, frags, snails, and anything that had or might have a piece of GHA on it can't be moved over. Also since it would be a totally new system, I'd have to do something with my fish (only two at this time).

    I figure I could go to a lot of trouble of starting completely over and still get some hair algae from somewhere else in the future. The first time I saw it in my current tank was just a little fuzz on the return nozzle, then it slowly spread. I don't know where it came from originally. I was able to keep it under control, and it's nearly gone but I know there will be a little bit somewhere if I re-use my liverock and the contents in my sump's refugium. Any advice would be appreciated.

    How much trouble would you guys go to setting up a new tank to avoid hair algae, or is it just unavoidable no matter what?
    Last edited by adamRS80; Wed, 3rd Jan 2018 at 12:23 PM.

  2. #2

    Default

    If you start over it means you will start over with the new tank syndrome including diatoms. Ways to control hair algae are a GFO reactor, or a couple small urchins. My way to control Phosphates is with soft corals - GSP and Kenyan Trees. Troy Valentine uses Xenia in his fuge to control Nutrients. If you are getting it under control it will be a matter of time before you have it whipped, but no use throwing out the baby with the bath water. (Yes I am Old)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    10-25-2002
    Location
    NW San Antonio
    Posts
    692

    Default

    That's good advice Alton! I'm old too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    01-22-2003
    Location
    San Antonio
    Posts
    446

    Default

    Thanks guys, old = wise. I'm glad for your advice. I was thinking about putting in a tiny/small Tomini Tang or something similar, hoping to actually have a fish pick at and eat algae. My tail spot blenny would bite at the rocks and glass but never really seemed to eat much. I do have a bulk reef supply GFO reactor and a well lit refugium, also using the red sea No3po4x.

    Have you guys ever messed with hydrogen peroxide to spot treat for hair algae?

  5. #5

    Default

    I have only dipped LR to rid it of unwanted pest. Getting rid of hair algae takes time, I have LR that is 20 years old and has had hair algae a time or two

  6. #6

    Default

    HA is gonna get into the system one way or the other eventually. I'd re-use all the old stuff and just control nutrients. I've never seen a HA problem that wasn't nutrient based.

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