Green Hair Algae!


I just bought a 55 gallon salt-tank which I donated in my Fathers name to a counseling center for kids. It has a THICK layer of green hair algae covering all the live rock. Can I take out the live rock and scrub it off? Or how can I start fresh with this tank? I have upgraded the lighting and looking into a protein skimmer (BUT unfortunetley they only left 3 1/4 clearance behind the tank? Is there any skimmer that thin? Thanks to anyone who can help me out!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANKS! Sherry
You might Google using peroxide. I'm no expert, but it seems like I've seen that suggested on forums. Maybe someone who knows will answer soon, but maybe that'll start you off in the right direction.
Oh, and is there any fish or invertebrates in the tank right now? I'm not sure if the peroxide will also kill things living in the rock. If it does kill the stuff living in the rock, it's possible it could cause a cycle in the tank.


Well-Known Member
I wouldn't wash my live rock with peroxide for all the tea in China. I'm pretty sure it kill EVERYTHING on and in the rock, including the live critters we want, and why we pay so much for "LIVE" rock.
You can indeed scrub live rock, but only in saltwater...also you would need two or three different buckets to rinse the now cleaned rock, since once you rub on the rock you release hair algae spores all over it.
Tap water, and natural sunlight are the usual causes of HA. The tank must have a butt load of phosphates too. Without phosphates, the HA will die. Daily water changes until the HA is gone is the cure. A UV sterilizer will help to kill off the HA spores.


If the rocks are really that bad, I'd just get rid of them and start new.
If that isn't possible, take the rocks out, scrub in peroxide, rinse in RO water and then let them dry out in the sun. **Note: I use peroxide as a last resort most of the time. However, I have dosed my tank with it with moderate success for a moderate hair algae bloom.
You could also toss in a sea hare. However, if the tank is really in a state if disrepair, you might want to break it down and start fresh.
As for the protein skimmer: if you keep a light fish load, feed lightly and do proper water changes, you can get away without one. You could also get a hang on the back and just hang it on one side if its really necessary.
Good luck!