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I need help ASAP!!! (Hair Algea)

3423 Views 31 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  mikeb210
Ive read alot of post in this section on Hair Algea. Ive serached it and read everything I can find. Ive tried vac. it out while changing 30-40% of the water a few times and also reduced the photo. periord of my tank. The HAIR ALGEA still wont go away... Please help... I also got 5 Otto cats to try and help reduce the problem and currently cant find an SAE in my area. Several sites online Ive checked are also out of SAE's. Im wondering if my actinic blues could be aiding it in its grow. I have the blues come on for 3 hours before and after my photo. period. Please help me figure this out as its really ugle and starting to kill my plants... Thanks in advance for the advice. I also can not afford to do CO2 and have not found a nice enough DIY that I wanted to try and do. Thanks again!!!
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I just finished (hopefully) battling with this stuff, it really is a pain.

On a 46gal, which I have, you should really look at pressurized co2, but here is a very good informative thread for DiY co2 growing difficult plants

Back to the algae.....

This is a very good site for different types of algae

If its the Rhizoclonium, which is what Im pretty sure I had, you should try to do a bleach dip on the plants, inrease bio filtration, and double dose excel for at least two weeks daily and hopefully it will go away

What are the specs on your lighting? K rating and how long is the photoperiod? The actinics really dont do anything at all for plants.

Here is a link to my 46bow

Good luck
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I only have the actinics for viewing the tank and to replicate a day/night cycle.

I have 2 blues on for 3 hours then 2 39watt 6700K which should give me 1.7 watts per gallon and then the blues untill the moon lights. I have two other 6700K but I will not use them untill I get CO2 or just use then as replacements.

Im reading the links know I just wanted to get back to you with the specs.. Thanks

Oh and best place to get Excel and how do I dose it???
How long are your 67ks on for a day? Maybe you could shorten the time that the actinics are on and see if that helps? The daylights dont need to be on more then 10hours a day

Seachem makes the excel product, so anywhere you can pick that sort of stuff up at....your local fish store, or off the web?

The directions on the bottle say 1 capful (5ml) per 50gal daily or every other day

I dose two capfuls daily, along with pressurized co2

1.7wpg is pretty decent, and that shouldnt really be the cause of your algae problems

what media is in your fluval?

Hope the links help you
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sorry I forgot to mention that I started out at 8 and am down to 6
I have the standard media that came with it. The tank is about a month old. I think its just the spounge, rings, and cardon... Should I change the media??
Ok, I would guess part of your problem is the 3 hours of actinics

How is your fish load and feeding habits? I know im a heavy feeder, with discus, and I use a rena xp3 with two boxes of ceramic rings and the black stars that rena makes for the filter media, and it seems to be helping out nicely

here is a link for the rings

and here is a link for the stars

Im sure fluval has something similar to this on the market, but you can use any brand....just try to stuff a lot of that in the filter

Your tank is relatively new, and the algae could go away if you do the bleach dip, excel dosing, and do something different with the actinics

I was writing you as you posted your last comment

Maybe try to do away with the actinics and the bleach dip on the plants, and then just dose with excel. CO2 is a majorly important factor with growing plants. They need a lot of it, and that is why pressurized co2 is usually recommended.

Good luck....hopefully others will chime in on your situation soon also!:icon_smil
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I have 10 White cloud Minows and 5 otto cats so far. I feed every other day usually. I like to give them brine shrimp. I usually only feed them what they can eat in about 2 min. I would rather keep hungry fish than over feed.

I do have the rings and will look into the stars.
The fish load and feeding sounds good. You could try to remove the carbon from your filter, and put a good bit of zeolite in

Even once its not "active" its still a good biological filtration media. Its very useful in new setups. I still use this in my cannister.

I really think your problem is the actinics and the fact that the setup is new, and you dont have a source of co2.

I would shut the actinics off, add some more biological filtration, and get on the excel dosing

What kind of plants are you keeping atm?

Thanks and good luck:thumbsup:
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I have java firns, Flame moss, HC and what I think is an amazon sword. The moss and HC unfortunetly require more light. I did not do the proper reserch before I got them but so far they seem ok. The moss looks to be dying though because the hair algae is covering it which makes it hard for it to get light. The HC looks the same as when I got it. Im looking into different types of media as I write this... Thanks for your help. Do you really think the actinics can cause algae to grow??? I like to view the tank with them on....But I will cut them off completly for know... Thanks again!
Is it bad to be doing 20 percent water changes every two or three days. Ive been doing this for a week now as I was vac. the hair algae out. Im planning on pulling the HC up tonight and cleanning that and replanting it all. Im also going to really vac. the flame moss as that seems to be getting it the worst. Thanks again for all your help!!!
Well those are mostly low light plants, and they should do ok. Im still learning and trying to grow HC, so im not too familiar with the requirements of the plant. I do have some of it in a 3gal nano with only a 13watt light over it, but i just did that recently, so to early to tell.

You want to give the plants all they need to be happy, and outcompete the algae for nutrients. The actinics may contribute to algae growth because they are not helping the plants grow. Doing water changes more often wont hurt anything at all, in fact, in new setups it will prolly help things along more. What is fertilizer routine? What kind of plants do you want to keep? High light, or low light?

If you like to view the tank with the actinics on, maybe try to only do one hour in the am and one hour in the pm, but not three hours?

I hope you can find some zeolite, and excel, that would help.

Good luck:smile:
So far ERK has great advice. You need to get CO2 going with that much light. Once you do that, add some fast growing weeds to your tank. Stuff it. Keep the filters and bottom of the tank clean. Try not to uproot or make a big mess when planting your fast growing nutrient suckers. Don't forget the ferts! Swap out the actiics for some 6700k bulbs. Sounds like you have a fight on your hands;-)
I’m fighting as hard as I can. Last night I did another cleaning. I had to pull all the HC rinse it and replant it. I lost some in the process. I also cut the actinic completely. I might eventually go to a 1 hour mode just to view. I’m still searching high and low for excel and may end up ordering some online tonight. I have the two 39 watt 6700Ks on for 6 hours and am hoping to see very little hair algae tonight when I get home. I gave the whole tank a good cleaning last night. What other nutrient sucking plants should I get? I’m planning on staying low light (1.7 watts per gal.) for a bit. I’m also in search of a great DIY CO2 setup if you guys have any to recommend… Thanks again for the advice…. Keeps it coming!!!!
Im not sure if the green hair algae will go away on its own, with only water changes, you are going to have to spot treat with excel when you get it, or pull the plants and soak them in a bleach dip solution if the algae is bad enough. You are going to have to get rid of it, fix whatever caused it, and then you can try things again and hopefully it wont come back

Some nutrient sponge plants include wysteria, hygros, cabomba green, and you could float riccia in the tank

Look back at the link I sent about the diy co2, it has all the info a good diy co2 in it, if not, maybe you could post your question in there?

Good luck:thumbsup:
My hair algae is actually brown. It satrts as a strand that looks white but as it grows longer you can see it is brown. Is that the same as the Green???
Take a look at that link regarding algae, and try to figure out which one it is

If its brown, it could be diatoms, which from my understanding is fairly common in a new setup, and in that case, you just wanna hit the water changes, dose excel, and use the zeolite (ammonia remover) and hopefully that will go away

Good luck:)
One thing I have learned is that you have to find a balance for any tank/light/CO2 combo. If you over/under it on one, then the evil algae monster will visit. Like revving up your engine, with an empty tank! I have done the bleach dip in the past, and its definately two steps back. Hair algea is pretty easy to remove, so If you have a bad infected area, just remove it. Try not to disturb the gravel to much. Once everything is in balance it wil go away. Excel will help a bit, but will not solve the fundamental problems. I started a tank once with to much light, and no CO2, boy was that a mistake. Also, make sure you have enough water movement in the tank. I like to direct a lot of flow down, and along the back, with at least a little rippleing along top.

Good luck
I just ordered a drop checker from that post ERK and am going to buld that set up tonight. Evergreen would you recommend a power head. I currently have only the flow from the fluval 305. I had debated adding one of my maxi jet 900's i have lying around. What do you think????
Might help some, but mainly just to keep CO2 mixed well. I think I would add it, but it could cause the little CO2 in the tank to outgas faster. Just keep the light down, tank clean, till you get CO2. maybe 30% water changeever other day.

When you get your CO2 you can start using all those watts/water movement. As long as your doing ferts. It might go against every bone in your body to add fertlizer. But you want those plants out competing the algae!

Also, have you tested for ammonia? Is this tank under three months old?
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