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Wintertime Green Hair Algae Bloom

Over this winter I’ve had a bit of green hair algae show up with one spot of cyanobacteria.  Since then I’ve continued the use of Phosphate Pads (backed off using them over the summer) and turned my skimmer up a little (wetter skim) in hopes to better my water quality. Picking out all the hair algae I could grab with tweezers and every other tool I’ve got has helped. I’ve also started to open the windows for 20 minutes a day to get some fresh air in, possibly lowering the CO2 levels in the house. I’ve always wondered if having the doors & windows closed during the winter has increased the CO2 levels in the house, which then enter the tank and promote algae growth… Lots of tanks I’ve seen over the past few months have had an algae bloom of some sort. Or, maybe it’s just a yearly cycle that we can do nothing about. Recently I’ve see where some folks are drawing their skimmer’s air from outside with indoor CO2 levels in mind.

Dolabella Sea Hares are good at eating hair algae!

Got Cyanobacteria (red slime algae)?

Red Slime Algae (Cyanobacteria)

Over the past few months I have been battling a cyanobacteria (red slime algae) bloom throughout my display tank.  It seems that every year at about this time my tank’s pH falls a little and the red slime starts to show its ugly face. I finally got fed up with it and decided to dose my tank with Boyd Chemi-Clean with the intentions of saving the corals in the “danger zone”. I have good new to report, it did the trick for me. I’m very happy with the results. I did have to turn my skimmer way down for the past 4 days to keep it from over filling the collection cup (happened in minutes). Today I’ve placed my skimmer back to its original settings and hope to not see any red slime for a while! I do have to say that some of my corals, an encrusting rainbow montiporta and my pink birdsnest (Seriatopora Hystrix), haven’t quite regained full polyp extension or color but my other corals (orange birdsnest, millipora, green & blue stylophora and montipora caps) have.

1/2/2012 Update:  Just wanted to let everyone know that all of my corals fully recovered. I have not used any products to rid cyanobacteria from the tank since (Although I would if I had a large breakout).  Every once and a while I see it peek out from behind a rock or coral but it doesn’t seem to last very long. It’s just a part of an ongoing cycle.  The goal to life, in my honest opinion, is water quality. Keeping water quality up and consistent is what keeps a reef tank happy! I’ve learned to step back and try and treat what started the problem and let the system bring itself back on its own.

Red Slime Algae (Cyanobacteria)

Red Slime Algae (Cyanobacteria)

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