• How to get rid of Green Hair Algae

    Hair algae grows where there's light and nutrients. Our reef tanks are full of both. Reducing the light is unlikely, since the corals need it. Reducing feedings... this is a touchy subject with me. I tend to eat at least three times a day. Fish in nature forage all day long, so offering them one meal a day (or even less often) seems unkind. My reef gets food three times a day: twice with an autofeeder, and then the frozen fare every night. Plus a half-sheet of nori. And occasionally a pinch of flake food or some banana if I'm so inclined. My reef doesn't starve, that's for sure. Nor should it. Hence with food comes waste, which can turn into phosphate and nitrate. Algae food, basically. When you look at my reef tank, what you'll notice are the fish and corals - you don't see algae thanks to my clean-up crew.

    This video discusses removing hair algae effectively, and adding a clean up crew to keep it away. Also included is my tip to weakening it in the first place. What concerns me is that I often see people offer advise taking a solution for an entirely different problem and applying it to a current one as if it is the effective option when it isn't. This video is about derbesia, green hair algae - not bryopsis, not cyano, nor bubble algae. My ongoing goal is to help people solve one specific problem with good information.

    As stated in the video, I intentionally allowed this algae to grow in the tank for about six weeks for the purpose of demonstrating how it can be easily removed and not spread it elsewhere in the tank. I've never thought scrubbing rock was a good solution, either in-tank or out of it since you'll end up with loose tendrils of algae blowing about and taking hold elsewhere. Pinching off a clump and removing it from the tank is the most effective method, rinsing off your fingers in a bowl of water after every pinch. It'll take some time, but the effort is very much worth it. How long did it take for the green hair algae to grow in your tank, left unchecked to grow out of control? Reaching into a reef tank to pull out algae may not be easy depending on the setup as well as working around delicate corals, but once you've put a major dent in it, new hungry snails can take over the rest of the task.

    While pulling algae from your tank, it may be wise to take a quick break and dump out the bowl every so often into the sink, refilling it with more clean water. Accidentally toppling the bowlful back into the tank would be a small disaster, right? Clean fresh water will make it easier to rinse off your fingers, and allow you stretch your back for a few minutes.

    Additional reading
    Getting rid of GHA: http://www.melevsreef.com/gha.html
    This article was originally published in blog: How to get rid of Green Hair Algae started by melev