Best way to deal with hair algae? - The Planted Tank Forum

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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Best way to deal with hair algae?

I have hair algae on my vals, my sword, my wisteria, my driftwood, my filter....everywhere!

My tank has some rasboras, rams, livebearers, livebearer fry, cories and otos.

What is the best way to get rid of this hair algae?
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 11:21 PM
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Get your nutrients balanced.

How about some info on the tank, size, light, CO2, ect
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 12:33 AM
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i have found an association with hair algae and high iron. im not sure if it was just a coincidence though.

add SAE, hair algae is their favorite food.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 02:11 AM
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CO2 should help to get rid of some of the hair algae. The main cause of it is high nitrates. Test them, and keep up with water changes. I had hair algae in my tank for months and months, and I just kept up with regular water changes and after a while, it started to go away.
In terms of fish, true SAE's will help some, Rosy Barbs will help, and so will American Flag Fish. I'd probably try the SAE's out first. Make sure to get the true Siamese Algae Eaters. They have a silver body, with a black line going through it. The true ones will have that black line extend right thru their tail, whereas the fake ones will have it stop before it.
Also, be careful when adding fish and plants to your tank, as the algae can also transfer in the water from the bag or on the plants. Don't choose plants from LFS' tanks that have signs of hair algae and be sure not to add water from the bag into your tank, regardless of if there is any hair algae in the LFS' tank or not.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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It is a small 10g tank, and I have no CO2 injection.

My nitrates go between 10-20ppm depending on the time of week.
I do 35% water changes twice weekly.

The lighting is two 5100K 13 watt bulbs, for a total 2.6 wpg.

I used to dose with flourish but I stopped a month ago and now Flourish Tabs are my only source of fert.

I've heard ghost shrimp can eat hair algae. Is this true?

Oh, and the tank also has some livebearer fry scattered through the tank.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 03:15 PM
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Flourish Excel and a 3 day blackout will get rid of it. Tom Barr had a great thread about it: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/al...-opinions.html

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 03:37 PM
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So you dont really dose anything then? No PO4 or K? That is your problem. Excel and a blackout may help for the time being, but if you dont correct the cause it will return
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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So you dont really dose anything then? No PO4 or K? That is your problem. Excel and a blackout may help for the time being, but if you dont correct the cause it will return
How is that my problem? I thought that those things caused hair algae?

Can you explain?

And what exactly would I have to do for the "Full Excel Treatment"
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 10:04 PM
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How is that my problem? I thought that those things caused hair algae?

Can you explain?
It's a common misunderstanding that nitrates and phosphates cause algae; they do not. It is the imbalance of nutrients such as nitrate and phosphates which leads to algae. I believe Tom Barr has shown that phosphate levels as high as 3-4 ppm do not lead to algae, as long as the other nutrients are present.

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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 10:23 PM
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It's a common misunderstanding that nitrates and phosphates cause algae; they do not. It is the imbalance of nutrients such as nitrate and phosphates which leads to algae. I believe Tom Barr has shown that phosphate levels as high as 3-4 ppm do not lead to algae, as long as the other nutrients are present.
yep, my tanks are proof of that. my tap has high phosphates but with my bioload the plants have all the nitrogen they need and i does pottasium. getting the nutrients to balance is trial and error for me though, so i cant help much with that.


[quote=Characins;603672]It is a small 10g tankquote]

not to be mean or annoying, but how can it be a small 10gal? 10 gallons is 10 gallons. sorry, couldnt help pointing that out.
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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not to be mean or annoying, but how can it be a small 10gal? 10 gallons is 10 gallons. sorry, couldnt help pointing that out.
Compared to other tanks, 10g's are small. Just like they have small people and small houses and small cars and small fish. And speaking of small, I couldn't help but see your sig. You have a pair of clowns in a 6g? Not to be rude or anything but a clown pair should have at least triple that.

I sort of see what you are saying with the balancing. What kind of balance should I be aiming for?
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 10:48 PM
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hah, lol! my dad takes care of it and i just help out rarely, it had 1 clown, but then i came home one day and i saw another. its not good for the reef, but the clowns are doing just fine. actually the one we got initially has shown great improvement since we got her a mate (the first one seems to be the dominant but it could still change). and the conditions are temporary, by december we plan to get a 20 gallons or more tank for them.

i cant really give you the ppms one should be according to the other. like i said for me it was trial and error, for others it was EI (though if you ask me its not much better then guessing).
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 11:50 PM
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-19-2008, 11:54 PM
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yeah, me too; but a 10 gallon is too small unless they are to be transfered to a bigger tank in a few monthes (their growth is heavily affected by the food availability so they grow fastest in tank with algae blooms).
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 12:11 AM
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SAE grow far to large for a 10 gallon.
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