Hair algae taking over

Trio123

My tank was doing great for several months now it has had an explosion of hair algae and I think my mechanical removal techniques are making the problem worse. It's a 65 gallon tank, normal stocking, it has some otto cats and a bristlenose pleco that do a good job on all the other algae. It has 2 54 watt HO T5 lights. I am only using a root fertilizer from Aqua Design Amano, no liquid fertilizers. I have pulled it off the leaves of the plants several times and it keeps coming back in a more virulent explosion. It seems the only way to stop it is to throw out all my plants and gravel and start over . Please tell me someone has a better idea. Maybe it's time for a chemical cure? I know that is not recommended but I don't know what else to do.

My fish seem perfectly fine with have a tank covered in algae, as long as I keep syphoning out the plants as the die. They are the most important so all is not lost.
 

caseyholland

How old are your lights., I know in my reef when my lights start going bad I start to get algae blooms.
 

Trio123

about 3 months, I think they last 6 months before they start to lose their correct lighting.

I guess I'm going to have to go back to fake plants or try a chemical treatment (which probably won't work)... after $400 in lights and plants, what a waste of money.

I guess no one else has this problem in a planted freshwater?
 

jrtew

Trio, I have a similar problem to yours it sounds like. I've got a 55 gal planted with 130 watts of light and have bad hair algae on all of my plants. whenever I add a new plant whithin 2 weeks it seems like it starts to suffer and is begging to get the hair algae all over it. I'm not really sure what the problem is. I just set up a DIY CO2 system yesterday so maybe that will help the plants and cut back on the algae? I really have no idea. Ill let you know if it seems to make a difference.
 

04_si

I have REALLY bad hair algae in my 35 gallon. Ottos amano shrimp and a flag fish are making any headway on it. I have 78 watts on my tank. CO2 has been set up for about a month and I have phosphate remover pads in my filter. I'm about to haul my plants out to scrub them off...
 

Trio123

well I'm glad I'm not the only one. I will tell you what has helped, reducing the light. I only have my light on for 3 hours a day now, my plants are doing fine and the algae has not grown at all (it has not died, just not grown). I was told on another forum that need to get injected CO2, that DIY system just can't handle that large of a tank. So I am investing in a tank and dual guage regulator for my Christmas present. If it works I will tell you guys. Good luck!
 

04_si

hope all goes well. I'm cutting my light time down slow I don't want to do it too fast.

Hope all goes well in your tank!
 

bert2001

Sorry to hear about your problem. There are a couple of solutions. One is to up your CO2 or cut you lighting. The other is to get an army of hungry Amano Japonica. They should make short work of it.
 

04_si

can too much co2 be bad for fish or shrimp?
 

Beeker

I've got a hair algae problem too. I just bought a Clown Pleco to deal with it. Now that he is finally comfortable in his new home, he is starting to eat it. Last time I had this problem, I used Florish Excel. That worked great. This time, I think the problem is my lights are old. When I get some more money, I will buy new lights.
 

04_si

I broke down. I did some gardening.

20:1 bleach dip with non-salvagable leaves being torn off and thrown out. Big vacuum to get as much algae off sand.

1 day later. Plants are very green and healthy looking. Algae is non-existant or grey. Fish look very happy with all the kuhlis out and about at one point tonight. First time I've seen that.

I will keep updating everyone and try to get some pics

Day 3 - uh oh. the plants look a little burnt from over bleaching.... frustrating... BUT (!!!) the good news is there is ZERO algae on them. the leaves that are still there and intact are bright green, and the algae growing on everything else (driftwood, back of tank) looks to have thinned out tremendously!
 

Trio123

Glad that it worked without killing your plants. I went ahead and got pressurized CO2 and yes it can be dangerous to your fish it you add too much. I also got dry fertilizers. I think the light threw my tank out of balance and created an opportunity for algae to grow. Apparently if your gonna add light it often means you gotta go high tech. The nice thing is it is actually easier, I don't have to keep buying tons of sugar and mixing a new bottle every week. Just count bubbles and look at the color of my drop checker Now we'll see what happens... beautiful aquatic landscape or algae fest 2009. So far so good...
 

04_si

I think my next step is pressurized co2. I have the can with sugar and yeast and it sucks. a mixture was lasting about 2-3 days, then wouldnt make ANY bubbles. So I went out, and bought the pre-made packages just add water kind of thing.... its not great either. my drop checker hasnt gone out of the 'low' zone at all.....

also, I tossed most of the plants. they looked pretty burnt. bought some new ones, and they're not doing too bad...
 

Beeker

I just pulled out some plants and brushed and picked off the algae and dead leaves today. I replanted the freshly brushed plants and pulled out a couple handfuls of hair algae from the driftwood, substrate, and other ornaments. Then I vacuumed the gravel and did a water change. After all that, I double-dosed Florish Excel and I will cut the light to 3 hours starting tomorrow. I hope it will work. My Pleco seems to not be as interested in the hair algae as he was before. Maybe because it got so long.
 

dacrax07

siamese (not chinese) algae eaters work wonders with algae, especially hair algae. they're much more efficient than ottos but I prefer ottos over sae's since they look cooler.
 

musicman4567

SAE's work great. I had a huge hair algae problem with my 55 gal, got 4 SAE's (I like how they look. Like really long ottos) and dosed Flourish excel. My hair algae problems were over in about a week and a half. There are fairly few fish that will actually eat the hair algae. SAEs and American Flag Fish (which get aggressive as they age, so you'll probably have to get rid of them eventually). I would highly recommend SAEs
 

k19

keep your light on for less hrs a day and try keep it out if sunlight my tank did the same but I moved it out of the sun and redouced the time on my lights it work for me hope it does the same for you guys
 

wildatheart

Have been struggling with long thin green hair algae in my nano tank.
The fish are fine and the water tests zero on all parameters even nitrates
This stuff grows fast.
I totally re-did the tank but a little bit must have survived and now it's
Back in full force.
Grows on the plants and rocks, does not seem to hurt plants but it looks terrible.
Should I try less light? No light for a few days?
Been cutting it back



 

Jomolager

Did you try liquid CO2 ?
 

Dolfan

Here is a good link that explains common algae issues with photos to help id which type as well as causes and solutions....
 

Aquaphobia

According to that site^, excess iron is to blame. Would getting rid of the iron solve the problem or just slow the growth? Forgive me for butting in where I don't have any answers, I have this problem in one of my longest-established tanks but it's the only one I've ever fertilized. After doing manual removals and extra water changes, I'm curious to find out if the answer could be as simple as just not fertilizing!
 

Beeker

What other plants do you have in the tank?
When I develop a hair algae problem, it usually means that I need a new light bulb.
Once I get a fresh new light, it goes away on its own.
Unfortunately, it will never be gone for good. Once it's in your tank, even if you can't see it, it will always be there, dormant, waiting for an opportunity to start growing again.
 

wildatheart

Yeah it's not the bulb because it's a nice new LED.
I put a bunch of shrimp in there yesterday and they started eating it right away tho I'm not sure they will be able to eat it all.
I'm going to try a blackout for 3-5 days to see if it dies off.
It's very hard to remove by hand and just seems to grow right back.
ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1421284165.526582.jpg
ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1421284180.862364.jpg




I could put it on CO2 gas after the blackout. Supercharge the plants
 

Beeker

I still use fluorescent bulbs. I'm more familiar with how long the full spectrum lasts so I feel more comfortable with them.
I don't know much about LEDs. Although they are powerful, I don't like the uncertainty about the spectrum. That is important to the plants.
 

wildatheart

I peeked in the tank today. Day 3 of the blackout, the hair algae is turning yellowish so it seems to be working.

What can I do to keep it from coming back tho?

Assuming the blackout works


 

wildatheart

Blacked out for 5 days and the algae is all gone! Plants seem fine.


 

BlazeFlamer

Great

Sent from my GT-I9305 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
 

vnowlin04

What is this? And how do I get rid of it?
 

dragon10monster

probably fuzz, beard, or stag horn algae
check out this site:
 

vnowlin04

Thank you.
 

Alphonsus

Nope, not hair algae. I had and still have hair algae and well I had to throw away most of my hornwort and java moss that I've spent months working on. Hair algae is a pain since as the name say it they are string like and just one strand on a leaf can multiply.
 

vnowlin04

Nope, not hair algae. I had and still have hair algae and well I had to throw away most of my hornwort and java moss that I've spent months working on. Hair algae is a pain since as the name say it they are string like and just one strand on a leaf can multiply.
Well that doesn't help me.. Lol
 

dragon10monster

it could be hair algae, I just googled hair algae and it sort of looks like that
I heard mollies and florida flag fish will eat it
 

vnowlin04

Yeah, don't know if I can add any fish though, it's my 10gal betta tank..
 

shadowfish

how long do you keep your lights on?
 

vnowlin04

Yes those are plants...
 

shadowfish

I would shorten the time the lights are on to 6 hours if you don't have a timer,if you have a timer set it for 4 hours on-4 hours off-4 hours on-12 hours off.
you can get timers cheap and its well worth your money,you don't have to mess with turning lights on or off and itll help with the algae.

I got a timer (set for what I told you) for my planted tank and it really cut down a lot on the amount of algae!

what light do you have?
 

vnowlin04

I have a timer.. Everyone always has a different opinion on lighting..
I have a zoomed aqua sun..
 

shadowfish

ive been having a algae battle and there's ALOT of info in my thread


also take note of post #26,that's where I got my lighting time from.
I know that a few others on here also use that time frame and like it.
 

vnowlin04

Sweet thanks!
 

MaximumRide14

Please help. I thought this algae would go away on its own, but it only seems to be growing. First it was on the plants and filter, and now I see it on the glass and gravel too. Even worse, I took and sample and put it under a microscope, and saw a bunch of bugs and worms in it too. Can a nerite get rid of this? What should I do?
 

AZrodeo92

What size tank is it? Common pleco can take are of that... but they get huge
 

MissPanda

Do you do regular syphoning of your gravel and cleaning of your glass? How long are your lights running for? I can't see the picture but you peob gotta get in there and clean by hand, wipe down the glass and syphon gravel etc. A snail does help keep down algae but won't get everything.
 

goldface

I used to have the same problem, so I bought a siamese algae eater; the problem didn’t lessen, it conpletely disappeared. Didn’t even have to lessen the lighting schedule or do more water changes either. Look them up. They’re well known for eating hair algae.

Of course, I also bought one because I liked the look of the metallic, silvery color. You don’t really see those colors in the fish hobby too often.
 

MaximumRide14

I used to have the same problem, so I bought a siamese algae eater; the problem didn’t lessen, it conpletely disappeared. Didn’t even have to lessen the lighting schedule or do more water changes either. Look them up. They’re well known for eating hair algae.

Of course, I also bought one because I liked the look of the metallic, silvery color. You don’t really see those colors in the fish hobby too often.

I wish I could get one but it’s only a 5 gallon tank.

Do you do regular syphoning of your gravel and cleaning of your glass? How long are your lights running for? I can't see the picture but you peob gotta get in there and clean by hand, wipe down the glass and syphon gravel etc. A snail does help keep down algae but won't get everything.

I siphon the gravel every week, but I don’t clean the glass. How should I use the clean it?

What size tank is it? Common pleco can take are of that... but they get huge

5 gallon. I guess plecos are out
 

Notivation

What I do when I get infested with it (like right now) is just stick my hand in there and wipe it off. My nerite snail cleans up the rest. It grows a lot on my Anubias as it's stiff and leathery. My one tank is overtaken with it, but I'm cycling it right now.
 

MissPanda

I wish I could get one but it’s only a 5 gallon tank.



I siphon the gravel every week, but I don’t clean the glass. How should I use the clean it?



5 gallon. I guess plecos are out


You can use a sponge, I use ones from the dollar store. Is yours glass or acrylic? If its glass you'll be ok using normal sponges, with acrylic it scratches easy so you have to buy specific ones for it. I use the sponge for general and then a blade for the really stuck on algae. Get a nerite snail, he will help keep the algae down alot. Are your plants live plants? If they are another trick that worked for me was using a toothbrush on the plants, it won't get it off 100% but itll get a lot of it off without having to uproot to clean them and eventually the plants get stronger and the algae will go away.
 

MaximumRide14

You can use a sponge, I use ones from the dollar store. Is yours glass or acrylic? If its glass you'll be ok using normal sponges, with acrylic it scratches easy so you have to buy specific ones for it. I use the sponge for general and then a blade for the really stuck on algae. Get a nerite snail, he will help keep the algae down alot. Are your plants live plants? If they are another trick that worked for me was using a toothbrush on the plants, it won't get it off 100% but itll get a lot of it off without having to uproot to clean them and eventually the plants get stronger and the algae will go away.

It’s glass. I can use a sponge. Thanks!
 

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