How to use hydrogen peroxide to get rid of all this hair algae? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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How to use hydrogen peroxide to get rid of all this hair algae?

Hey guys, i've got a 5.6 gallon fluval spec and brown hair algae keeps growing on my fluval stratum and driftwood and it's slowing spreading to the plants on the bottom. There is also green hair algae growing on the glass.

I used to have the lights on for 7 hrs, put it down to 5 hrs. I do 50% water changes a week. I stopped dosing a small amount of ferts for a few weeks but I started again with no difference.

I have java fern, anubias, crypts, hydrocotyle tripartita, staurogyne repens that is covered in algae, and rotala rotundifolia in the back that grew well when the tank was first set up but now it's not growing. There are new roots I can see in the dirt, along with new plants growing out of the dirt but the taller plants are not growing or dying.

I was wondering how I can use hydrogen peroxide to kill it as having it growing on the stratum is a little ridiculous.. could anyone help with how I should do it? I have just a betta in there.

Thank you
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 05:02 PM
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I know that hydrogen peroxide will kill cyanobacteria (blue/green algae), but don't know whether it would be effective getting rid of hair algae,

You could do a trial run like this to see if it has any effect:

- Lower your water level somewhat to enable you to more easily access the affected areas at close range.

- Turn off your filtration & any other water flow, and leave it off while you're dosing the H202, and for at least another 1/2 hour or so after you're done.

- Using a plastic syringe or test kit pipette, dose the full strength H202 at close range unto a couple/few of the worst affected areas, and let it sit for a while undisturbed until you resume filtration.

- Leave things as is overnight and see if it has had any effect by the following day doing away with the hair algae on those areas you dosed the day before.

If not, well at least you tried.
If so, dose a few more areas each day until you're satisfied with the results.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by discuspaul View Post
I know that hydrogen peroxide will kill cyanobacteria (blue/green algae), but don't know whether it would be effective getting rid of hair algae,

You could do a trial run like this to see if it has any effect:

- Lower your water level somewhat to enable you to more easily access the affected areas at close range.

- Turn off your filtration & any other water flow, and leave it off while you're dosing the H202, and for at least another 1/2 hour or so after you're done.

- Using a plastic syringe or test kit pipette, dose the full strength H202 at close range unto a couple/few of the worst affected areas, and let it sit for a while undisturbed until you resume filtration.

- Leave things as is overnight and see if it has had any effect by the following day doing away with the hair algae on those areas you dosed the day before.

If not, well at least you tried.
If so, dose a few more areas each day until you're satisfied with the results.
Thank you for the reply. I picked up some hydrogen peroxide but need to find a syringe somewhere else. I will try this and see what happens.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-06-2019, 07:46 AM
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I've used a spray bottle before which worked quite well.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-06-2019, 04:14 PM
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I've used a spray bottle before which worked quite well.

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Good Idea.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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I found a 1ml syringe and dosed it onto the substrate at the front and the worst on the driftwood. Will see what it looks like today!
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 12:20 PM
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I've used hydrogen peroxide to kill BBA, it didn't remove it but turned it a dark red colour and prevented further growth. After a few days it came loose and the filter sucked it up.

I didn't drain the tank just injected directly onto the algae, tank had 8 discus in it and a bunch of other inhabitants and they didn't react at all.

Would be interested to see if it works on hair algae, I always just used a chopstick to tangle it up like a spaghetti and manually removed it all. Let us know if it works and post some pictures if it does!
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Does anyone know if it will turn a certain color if the hair algae is dead? I can't tell if it made a difference since last night.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 03:19 PM
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Does anyone know if it will turn a certain color if the hair algae is dead? I can't tell if it made a difference since last night.
Normally turns red and the from what I remember white,

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 05:41 PM
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For now just get a toothbrush and ravel it up.

You need to figure out what the cause is before trying to treat it.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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For now just get a toothbrush and ravel it up.

You need to figure out what the cause is before trying to treat it.
That's the problem... I don't know how to figure out what the cause of the algae is. I only have 2 "fast growing" plants, which are the rotala and hydrocotyle tripartita that are not growing. I also can't ravel it up as it's not long enough..

I'm starting to get BBA on the rotala and the hydrogen peroxide seems to have killed the hair algae with just one dose. I don't really know what to do... nothing is growing or dying but i'm still getting algae.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 01:47 PM
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I get BBA when I have high levels of waste be it decomposing plants, fish waste, excess food. Try using a gravel cleaner twice a week and 50% water changes and see if makes a difference. I'm only a novice but have had success using this method

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 02:16 PM
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I get that same brown hair algae in my Spec too. Not sure why. The only one of my tanks that ever happens in. Even managing things well and with the light on for relatively short periods. Gets in some really nice moss that I have growing in that tank and it's near impossible to do anything with it short of just cutting it out. I hate it! lol
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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I get that same brown hair algae in my Spec too. Not sure why. The only one of my tanks that ever happens in. Even managing things well and with the light on for relatively short periods. Gets in some really nice moss that I have growing in that tank and it's near impossible to do anything with it short of just cutting it out. I hate it! lol
So annoying! You can't see it's brown in the tank but when you suck it up into a bucket you can see that it's brown. I really don't want to use Excel but I might try it out for a short time. I definitely don't want to use it long term.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fallon View Post
I get BBA when I have high levels of waste be it decomposing plants, fish waste, excess food. Try using a gravel cleaner twice a week and 50% water changes and see if makes a difference. I'm only a novice but have had success using this method

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
None of the plants are melting and I make sure my Betta eats all of the pellets I give him because he's almost blind and I have to wait. I have fluval stratum so I try not to disturb it too much :/
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 06:06 PM
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So annoying! You can't see it's brown in the tank but when you suck it up into a bucket you can see that it's brown. I really don't want to use Excel but I might try it out for a short time. I definitely don't want to use it long term.
Even when you kill it, most of it's still there. It will break up some but for the most part you just end up with dead stringy stuff that looks about the same either way. At least for longer than I want to leave it in there. Does help slow down the spread at least. Fortunately in my case the moss is just in huge bunches not attached to anything that I can pull out fairly easily and run under a strong faucet to rinse a lot of it out.

Key with the Excel is to keep the concentration up for for about a week. I double-dose it but that may depend on what else you have in the tank. And/or peroxide the same thing. You need to keep at it every day over a period of time. Just occasional treatments don't seem to have much effect. I'm tempted to try a low dose of AlgaeFix that I use sometimes in my pond in early Spring when string algae can take off before the plants start growing. Pretty sure that will knock it out easily but don't know what effect on other things. And still doesn't address why it keeps coming back. Not sure in my case. Tank is very clean and well maintained. Plenty of plant mass in the tank. Light is down to only about 6 hours split into two periods now and I have floating plants blocking a lot of it. Only correlation that I see is that it always seems to start in the same places up higher in the tank and closer to the light.
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