Terrible Advice Tuesdays (T.A.Tues): The Instant Nuisance Algae Fix?

Terrible Advice Tuesdays:  If you’ve got a nuisance algae problem, raise your pH and it will go away.

The rest of the story: I’m not convinced low pH causes nuisance algae problems and I’m certainly not convinced raising your tank’s pH will magically solve the problem.  If you’ve got an algae problem you’ve not a nutrient problem.  Low pH, high pH, if you’ve got nutrients you’re very likely going to have nuisance algae. Spend your time fixing the nutrient problem and forget about your pH.

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Comments for this article (20)

  • jim Croyle says:

    The high PH is really more of a way to combat certain types of dinoflagellates, the brown snotty looking mess that some people get. It is still not a miracle cure, and controlling nutrients is also a must.

  • Deevee says:

    I totally agree for all real algae.
    But raising the ph (normal range) against cyano does also work. That being said excess nutrients,low flow and old lighting also need to be fixed.
    IMO no such thing as a silver bullet in this hobby. Great job Mark

  • nick says:

    I have a serious hair algae problem I’ve tried everything to get rid of it 5 hours light cycles phosphate reactor bi-weekly water changes feeding very little once a day, and it still grows like crazy, I purchased my live rock off a guy who also had hair algae problems I’m wondering if it’s something in the rock it self. Any advise?

  • Hi Mark,
    just thought I’d give you the heads up on a new 3 part dosing system that is taking off here in the UK and Germany. It’s called Triton System and is so simple to use, you simply add the 3 separate liquids in equal parts to the tank or sump ensuring you maintain a stable Kh of around 6.5 to 7.5 Once this has been achieved you only need to monitor the kh say once a month to see that it is stable, if it drops slightly you simply up the dosage of all 3 parts until you reach your prefered Kh level.
    An algae sump is required for this system to work and if you are at all interested to find out more check out the web site Triton.de (it’s a German site but in English)
    As I say There is a massive interest here now regarding this system and thought you might be interrested.

  • Mitch Poulin says:

    Mark great advice I love terrible tuesdays. I battled hair algae and cyano for probably the better of three to four years. All I can say is NO NONSENSE GUIDE TO ALGEA WORKS. There is no better advice or explanation than what mark puts out. So all who are wondering buy the guide and follow it it works and you will be a happier less frustrated reefer.

  • Brian says:

    Hey Nick, more than likely your rock is leaching phosphates and other nutrients into the water. I recently bought 100 pounds of dry rock and cured it in one of my saltwater drums it took over a month to leach all the phosphates out of it.. Buy a kit and test your phosphates and keep up the phosphate reactor.. Look into buying a sea hare they Are awesome hair algae eaters. I hope you get your tank straightened out 🙂

  • Jerry says:

    Mr Saltwater:
    I was just reading your notes on “Nuisance Algae Fix” and found at the end of it… It’s just an ad!!
    Don’t email me info on good advice that leads me to an ad.
    I better things to do than waste time.

  • Messy missy says:

    Wow Jerry unsubscribe then!

  • donnie says:

    Agreed. Don’t like it unsubscribe.

  • Bob says:

    Jerry, he did not directly email you, the only reason for you to receive this email is that YOU chose to SUBSCRIBE. Therefore, if you do not like what you have received, the only person to blame is yourself.

  • bob yeager says:

    jerry hissyfit much

  • I think the biggest reason this confusion takes places is because there are a lot of people that still think that cyanobacteria is an algae. Since raising PH can help some forms of cyano, they end up giving advice to people on how to treat something that looks like something they would call an algae, but isn’t and usually without either the OP or advice giver knowing what it is they have.

  • nick…sounds like the rock has a lot of phosphates or other organic material in it that is causing your phosphate problems. You can get that junk out of it but it will take time…probably lots of time.

  • Steve says:

    I heard that bumping up the ph may makes phosphate Precipitate ? But will desolve back into solution when ph drops.

  • Kai says:

    How do u fix cyanobacteria I got a new skimmer what else sould i do

  • Jesse garza says:

    Hi there Mark just wondering if you are going to offer all your no-nonsense guides as a bundle on a special price I try to get it online and is shows a holiday price but when going into the checkout it shows that it’s giving me a different price just a question I would like to purchase all??

  • Jesse…where are you finding it at the holiday price?

  • Vincent Watkins says:

    I ordered your complete set of books a while back and have never received them. I am very busy guy so maybe I entered address wrong or something. can you advise.


  • I’m sending you an email Vincent so I can keep the comments on-topic.

  • decedati says:

    It’s going to be end of mine day, but before end I am reading this enormous piece of writing to increase my experience.

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