Best algae eater for hair algae on leaves

Amartin14655

What would be the best algae eater/snail/shrimp to deal with hair algae on the leaves of my stem plants? My tank isn’t big enough for a SAE, and I’ve read that Otocinclus don’t eat hair algae? Is that true.

And before anyone says it, because I’ve seen this on almost every post about hair algae, I am fixing the source of the problem. Right now I’m trying to figure out where the right balance of light and fertilizer is, and I’d really like to put something in the tank to take care of the hair algae until I do.
 

kallililly1973

What size tank? Sometimes the best remedy is manual removal till you get the lighting and fert schedule balanced out. Amano shrimp may help but it depends what other inhabitants you have in there.
 

Amartin14655

It’s 10 gallons. And the reason I’m asking about algae eaters is because I just spent like three hours trying to get the hair algae off and it didn’t work at all. All I really managed to do was uproot a few plants. I have 1 otto, 6 ghost shrimp, and 3 glow light tetras. I was going to get a couple more ottos but I’ve read they don’t eat hair algae?
 

leftswerve

Hello, there's just not much that will be able to keep up with hair algea. In a small system like that, removal and nutrient control are the best options. The less nutrients in the water, the less the amount and kind of light poses a threat.
 

Dennis57

I had black beard algae attack 1 of my tanks ( never had it ) it was a 55, I put in 2 SAE and 6 nerite snails. I actually sat and was amazed how fast they started to attack it.
Within 3-4 days it was gone. I had quite a bit of it.
I understand SAE can get up to 6" but that rarely happens. The 2 in my 55 I had going on 3+ years are only like 2-1/2" long.
 

Amartin14655

Where can you get Amano shrimp from?
 

kallililly1973

Some chain stores carry them. Most LFS carry them and if your in a decent climate this time of year ordering them online is also an option. How did u try to remove the hair algae? I’ve never had it but I heard if you get a new toothbrush and swirl it around the algae the bristles will pull some off. May be time consuming but could also be effective. How long do you leave your lights on for and what ferts are you dosing. Do you have a pic of your set up? Leaving the lights off for a week may help as well as getting a syringe and spot dosing with hydrogen peroxide or Flourish Excel.
 

Chanyi

Reduce lighting to 5 hours per day max.
Begin dosing Flourish Excel at the "after water change rate" daily
Ensure you are dosing fertilizers accurately. What is your current fertilizing program?
Increase both water change frequency and increase the amount of water changed per week.
Clean filter media out with each and every water change, into old water.
Gravel vacuum and remove all decaying organic material, remove all dying plant tissue, and remove all algae you can during every water change.
Nerite snails, amano shrimp and oto cats are good options for biological control.
Consider spot treating or plant dipping badly infested plants / areas. (H2O2, bleach, Flourish Excel or Metricide 14 can be used, look up each compound and judge for yourself).

Too much light, too long of a photoperiod and too many organics in the system are the largest contributes to algae. Everyone is quick to jumping on fertilizing / nutrients being the cause, but in reality they are farther down the line. Light and organic waste are the largest.
 

Gatewaylabs

What would be the best algae eater/snail/shrimp to deal with hair algae on the leaves of my stem plants? My tank isn’t big enough for a SAE, and I’ve read that Otocinclus don’t eat hair algae? Is that true.

I want to know as well - I heard Siamese Algae Eater but haven’t tried one yet
 

MissNoodle

Nirite snails may be a good option. If the plants are small leaved, buy the smallest ones to start with.
 

Amartin14655

Some chain stores carry them. Most LFS carry them and if your in a decent climate this time of year ordering them online is also an option. How did u try to remove the hair algae? I’ve never had it but I heard if you get a new toothbrush and swirl it around the algae the bristles will pull some off. May be time consuming but could also be effective. How long do you leave your lights on for and what ferts are you dosing. Do you have a pic of your set up? Leaving the lights off for a week may help as well as getting a syringe and spot dosing with hydrogen peroxide or Flourish Excel.
That’s exactly what I did. And then when the toothbrush didn’t really work I started to just rub/wipe them off with my fingers. And then after I rubbed/wiped them some I would stick my vacuum on them for a min. I went back and forth doing that for awhile. Just really hard to do without breaking leaves or accidentally uprooting the plant. One of the ones I accidentally uprooted I took over to the sink and rinsed, that worked pretty good but I didn’t want to uproot all my plants.


I was using flourish liquid fert. But on Monday I got and started using nilocg thriveC and apI CO2 boost. I also have a new finnex 24/7 HLC, and a new sunsun canister filter coming in today. Right now I’m using a cheap nicrew, and a 130 gph power filter.

That’s the tank, and a pic of the algae after about 3 or 4 hours of trying to clean it off.
 

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LordGrim

Nirite snails is a good option if you don't mind how fast their population grow. I think the best way now is to shorten your duration of light and stop your fert dosing or at least lower your doestage. My ottos seem not interested in hair algae too but they are great with diatoms.
 

Chanyi

Nirite snails is a good option if you don't mind how fast their population grow. I think the best way now is to shorten your duration of light and stop your fert dosing or at least lower your doestage. My ottos seem not interested in hair algae too but they are great with diatoms.

Nerite snails do not reproduce in fresh water.
Stopping fertilizer dosing will make the problem worse.
Lowering fertilizer might help if, and only if, OP is dosing too much as it. But judging that OP was only dosing Flourish... that means way too little fertilizer is being used. OP indicated ThriveC which is a true all-in-one fertilizer designed for low tech use. That is a good start.
Lowering light will help dramatically.
 

leftswerve

That aquarium does not appear to be at a point to be using very much fert at all. It looks more like the tank was left to fend for itself and now the op is cleaning up.
 

Amartin14655

That aquarium does not appear to be at a point to be using very much fert at all. It looks more like the tank was left to fend for itself and now the op is cleaning up.
Why do you think that?
 

EMcT1985

You could always add some floating plants. They reduce the light and absorb nutrients, which might help with algae (floating plants helped A LOT for me). On the other hand, if you have medium light plants, then adding floating plants might prevent the ground plants from growing/getting enough light.

I have one nerite and one amano shrimp in my 10 gallon tank, and they do a nice job cleaning stuff. Amano shrimp is especially good at keeping driftwood clean.
 

Amartin14655

What kin
You could always add some floating plants. They reduce the light and absorb nutrients, which might help with algae (floating plants helped A LOT for me). On the other hand, if you have medium light plants, then adding floating plants might prevent the ground plants from growing/getting enough light.

I have one nerite and one amano shrimp in my 10 gallon tank, and they do a nice job cleaning stuff. Amano shrimp is especially good at keeping driftwood clean.
what Kind of floating plants do you have? I really like them and wanted to get some, but I thought they’d get in the way and annoying after a while. And they would block light.
 

EMcT1985

I have water lettuce (which grows up to a few inches in diameter). It grows really fast, and does block out some light. They grow without much attention, and a lot of people end up throwing out wads of it (you could also sell it to others in the area for some $$). I've never tried it, but frogbit would probably be good too. I have a red root floater (hoping that it will take over the tank eventually). The only downside about water lettuce is that the roots get pretty long and bushy (but, if you like that look, then it isn't a downside).
 

leftswerve

Why do you think that?
Some of the plants appear somewhat new. Like they either came from another aquarium that sells plants or this aquarium, either of which wasn't well maintained at some point. It is just a look that aquariums and plants get. Root systems from healthy, grown in, plants are huge (in proportion) and don't let go easily. The hornwort looking plant won't grow roots and the moss looks like it came from ebay.
Later skater
 

Guy25

So for me I was battling the same problem. My two solutions were
1. Duckweed. Floating plants dimmed intensity of light, and out-competed hair algae for nutrients.
2. Sunburst platties. I have no idea why...my wife wanted a bunch ( I took her to petco for some supplies...annnnd we walked out with THOSE...lol ) But I was amazed at how much of the stuff they ate. They literally pooped green. I didn't have as much luck with shrimp ( bettas attacked it, other fish I had not compatible but I hear they are SUPPOSED to work. ) The brief time my amano shrimp was alive, he did eat the stuff as well.
 

YellowGuppy

I'd throw a couple ramshorn snails in, personally. They treated my green hair algae like salad!
 

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