I've gotten a green hair algae invasion after buying some plants, and I want to kill it all, before my plants die. Will turning the lights off for 24 hours, for a couple of days work? Or will it kill my plants too? Plants are: Rotola Colorata, Moss, and dwarf sag.
I tried this method once for about 2-weeks (not of complete darkness but just w/o the aquarium lights on). The tank still had ambient light from the room and a nearby window, but it was almost complete darkness inside the tank. It does kill almost all of the algae...good enough that I could take care of the rest by manual removal.
From my experience, just turn the lights off for 2 or 3 days and most of it will be stuck on your filter intake and really easy to grab off of it. When I had hair algae pretty bad I would just leave the lights off 1 day a week and if the outbreak isn't super bad all the little pieces of it would get sucked into the intake of my filter. If the plants are healthy already it's pretty much see if the plant can outlast the algae w/o light
turning off the lights WILL NOT solve the problem. You may kill the algae, but it will be back.
If you want it completely gone, you NEED proper co2 levels. This means a DIY, pressurized system or Excel.
The more and healthier the plants are, the LESS algae you will have. The plants will out complete the algae for light and other resources.
Well... I previously was invaded by BBA a couple months ago, then I decided to take as much as I can off, then I put the moss in my guppy tank which I don't turn on the light much. The moss is all bright green now! I'm hoping that I'll have success with this green hair algae too. I've just put the moss into the breeder net, I'll update in a couple of days.