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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys!
I have a 5.5 gallon betta tank with 1 nerite snail.
The tank is moderately to heavily planted.
The plants are green and doing well.
However, I have this ugly hair algae and somewhat fuzzy brown algae on a lot of my plants.
I have tried red cherry shrimp, but my betta attacked them.
To combat the algae, I have added a nerite snail about 9 months ago.
The nerite snail does a great job at keeping the glass clean, but the nerite snail will not go on any leaves.
Do you guys have any creatures that will eat hair algae and/or brown algae?
The only creature that I know will eat hair algae is the Siamese Algae Eater, but I obviously can not put that in a 5.5 gallon aquarium.
Do you guys no any fish or inverts. that will help with my algae problem?
I do not want to resort to chemicals, but if that's the only option, do you guys know any good products that will get rid of algae but will be safe with the live plants and fish?
Thank you so much!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
BTW, I have considered Amano shrimp, because they are bigger than the Red cherry shrimp. However, I have no access to them what so ever.
Unless you guys have a REPUTABLE website you guys can recommend to me.
Thanks
 

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You should posts what lights you use, how long the lights are on, and how high they are above the substrate. Also nitrate readings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am using a 15 watt flora glo t8 light the kelvin rating is not that great, but the plants seem to be doing well, and the light is about a 1 foot and 2 inches from the substrate. At this time, I can not provide a nitrate reading.
Also, I keep the lights on about 8 hours a day
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the advice!
I am sorry but I can not post pictures as of now.
I have heard that ghost shrimp eat algae.
Is this true?
They are usually a bit bigger than RCS so would they be ok?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes that is true.
However, I would still like to get some algae eaters for 2 reasons 1: if used in conjunction with a method of turning lights off n water changes, the algae will most likely disappear faster. 2: algae eaters/other inverts are COOL
 

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Unfortunately the nerites I have had never attacked the hair algae...then I found out that nerites don't even touch hair algae...so I tried amanos. My amanos don't like hair algae either. Someone suggested that I try increasing the distance of the light/change duration of the photoperiod to help out. Currently just adjusted the light distance but may need to check my photoperiod
 

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So I agree with what is stated above about finding the source of your algae and addressing it, but being one that has suffered from algae it can be hard to sit idle and play around with your lights till you THINK you got it right and the algae SEEMS to be dying off but really is just growing slower, can be very frustrating. However there are some steps you can take to try and help figure out your problems and work towards riding yourself of your algae.

In your situation you are VERY lucky, you only have a 5.5 gallon tank, with a snail in it, it's not clear if you have a fish in there or not from your original post, nonetheless, one fish or not you are still on the very lucky end of the spectrum of things. Since your tank is of manageable size I would suggest that you move your livestock to a small bucket or large bowl with some water from you tank. Then manually remove the hair algae, it can take a little while but you can clear it out way quicker with your hand than a small shrimp can with their stomach. Once you get the majority of it out go ahead and do a 50% water change then add your livestock. At this point you can buy a UV sterilizer and let it work its magic or continue on to the following steps/suggestions.

Your next step would be to start addressing the issue, hair algae grows usually due to a few things in many cases it is not isolated to just one cause but can be many:

Too much light
Too much nutrients
Water is too cold
Not enough filtration or dirty filtration

After you clean your tank thoroughly you should take time to test your water to see what the parameters are, you should also see what the temperature of the water is. Providing you don't have cold water dependent plants or live stock I would suggest that you increase the temperature of your tank to 80 degrees, hair algae has a much harder time growing at 80 degrees and since you've removed most of it manually this will have a good effect on stunting the algae growth, and could even kill it if you don't have an excess of nutrients in your tank, if this kills the algae off you can back your heater back down to its previous setting, I usually leave mine around 76.5 to 77. During this process some people like to add salt to their tanks to further help kill off the hair algae, I'm not sure why it helps but I've seen it work first hand, and have read about it in several places, you just don't want to add too much salt, I believe something around 0.2% is what you are looking for but don't quote me on that, you'll have to research that part yourself. Another reason hair algae forms in colder water is due to the fact that the biofilter has started to quit working, some bacterias have to have a certain water temperature to stay active and thrive, once it gets colder than that in your tank your biofilter will start to break down and you will have what some people call mini-cycles, or parameter spikes. It is very important to have a healthy biofilter and maintain it!

Too many nutrients means you should feed your livestock less, if you have any, and add less fertilizers to your tank, if you are doing EI or PPs-Pro dosing you will need to recalculate how much you are adding to address your issue and possibly stop all fertilizers to the tank for a period of time while your addressing the algae growth. After you have cleaned the tank and bumped up the temperature of the tank you should see a decent reduction to the hair algae growth. At this point there are a few natural alternatives to chemical treatments that you can try if you want to go that route. I have heard positive feed back from people using Koi Clay and Barley Straw or extract and have had good results, but they don't work for everyone’s situation. The principle behind the barley straw and koi clay are they are substances that you are adding to your aquarium and they will absorb the extra nutrients and toxins that are in your water, I don't believe they kill hair algae but severely limit its growth. There are also a few chemical steps you can take at this time if you choose, before I bought my TSAE I had a breakout of hair algae and was advised to use pond chemicals in my aquarium and they worked out great, and in most instances you get a bigger bottle for less money, the two best ones are PondCare "AlgaeFix" or Tetra "Algae Control", I've had friends that have used them in 10 gallon aquariums up to 3,000 gallon ponds. This stuff will kill the hair algae quickly and will also help keep it from coming back, but treat this as a bandaid and not a FIX for the problem.

Now on to your somewhat fuzzy brown algae, I am going to take a stab in the dark and assume this is Black Beard Algae, or in your case Brown Beard. Many of the above steps will help rid you of this alga as well; your best course of action is to remove as much of the algae as you can, and if that means removing an entire plant than that is what you’ll have to do. Black Beard Algae is VERY hard to get rid of, and is easily transported from one tank to another so you can potentially get it in all your tanks if you have more than one. One of the best ways to help keep black bear algae in check is to have a very high co2 level in your tank, this can easily be done with a pressurized co2 system, or for a tank of your size with a little TLC you could get a DIY or yeast co2 system working well. If you do not want to try the co2 or DIY co2 you can get some Excel and try doing large doses of that, there are also people that have had great success on kill black beard algae by directly spraying it onto the algae itself. There are many treatments for black beard algae, but unsure if there is a cure, I’ve had it in my 75 gallon planted for a long time now, and I have a pack of six of the fattest TSAE you’ve ever seen, they keep it in check but never seems to go away completely. There are many suggestions on how to “cure” BBA so I will not go into it in detail.

I hope some of this information can help you.

AQ
 
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