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Need help with hair algae problem in planted tank

1028 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  miataisalwaystheanswer
I had a BAD case of hair algae in my livebearer water tank. It made my mossimo moss balls look like chia pets (I added some pictures of the algae on two of the moss balls before they got really hairy), it was growing off of all of the leaves of my live plants, off of my fluval heater, and in patches off of the gl
ass. I got fed up last week - I found two fish had gotten stuck in it and had died.... I proceeded to throw out every plant with any sign of algae on the leaves, took a look at the gravel and scooped out all of it that had ANY green and tossed it. I'm starting from scratch, and hope for some advice on how to stop it from coming back. I am pretty much open to anything that won't kill the fish.

I do have some otos and some black mollies in the tank, but all of them tend to ignore the hair algae (or so it appears).

Maybe a U/V sterilizer? If so, what's the recommended type for the setup below. I have enough $ in the tank I don't mind getting a decent one if I need a decent one.
Less light?
Less Thrive?
Something else instead of Thrive?
Add additional iron to help the plants grow faster and outgrow the algae?

Some particulars of the tank:
  • 46g Bowfront that gets NO direct sunlight and practically zero indirect light (the onlight windows nearby are covered by curtains 100% of the time.) It does have some interior regular recessed lights pointing at it from the ceiling for 6-7 hours a day.
  • Fluval 3.0 light on every day for about 5 hours at about 60% brightness.
  • I do a 33-40% water change pretty much every 1 - 1.5 weeks.
  • I use root tabs for the live plants that are in there, and give use five squirts of Thrive all-in-one twice a week. For ease of reference, the makeup of the Thrive is at the bottom
  • Fluval 405 canister filter
  • Fluval m50 heater set at 78 degrees
  • The pH in the area tends to run about 7.6 and is fairly hard.
  • When I do water changes, I use Seachem Prime

Total Nitrogen (N) 2.5600%
2.5600% Water Soluble Nitrogen (N)
Available Phosphate (P2O5) 1.5800%
Soluble Potash (K2O) 9.7400%
Magnesium(Mg) 0.3200%
0.3200% Water Soluble Magnesium(Mg)
Calcium(Ca) 0.0200%
Sulfur(S) 0.5400%
0.5400% Combined Sulfur(S)
Boron(B) 0.0080%
Copper(Cu) 0.0002%
0.0002% Water Soluble Copper(Cu)
Iron(Fe) 0.4200%
0.4200% Water Soluble Iron(Fe)
Manganese(Mn) 0.1680%
0.1680% Water Soluble Manganese(Mn)
Molybdenum(Mo) 0.0006%
Zinc(Zn) 0.0038%
0.0038% Water Soluble Zinc(Zn)
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Less light for sure. I've had to deal with bad hair algae well. I would also get some floaters and water sprite or some other heavy feeders to try to out compete the algae for nutrients.
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