How do I get rid of hair algae without killing everything else?

jonatheber

I have a tank with live plants and a fluval light at 25% for about 1 1/2 hours a day ant at about 70% for about 4 hours a day. I have hair algae I keep plucking out of the tank... It even started to grow on my moss balls. I have three Ottos and guppies in the tank, and they basically ignore the stuff. Does anything actually eat it? If I turn the light way down for a few days will it go away without killing off the live plants? Other suggestions?
 

StarGirl

How big is your tank? Ive heard Mollies will eat it.
 
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jonatheber

How big is your tank? Ive heard Mollies will eat it.

I had a pair of black mollies that died off not long ago. I would try again but when they were alive I didn't notice they were particularly fond of the stuff. They spent more time picking algae off of the walls.
 
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StarGirl

I have seen videos of them eating it like cotton candy. :cool: I guess all fish are different. What about a SAE? They get big though.
 
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jonatheber

I have seen videos of them eating it like cotton candy. :cool: I guess all fish are different. What about a SAE? They get big though.
I do have a 46 gallon (forgot to reply to your question) but I'm trying to avoid something that can get that large.
 
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Mandy627

I have a tank with live plants and a fluval light at 25% for about 1 1/2 hours a day ant at about 70% for about 4 hours a day. I have hair algae I keep plucking out of the tank... It even started to grow on my moss balls. I have three Ottos and guppies in the tank, and they basically ignore the stuff. Does anything actually eat it? If I turn the light way down for a few days will it go away without killing off the live plants? Other suggestions?
Is the tank next to a window? I would cut back on your low light setting since the algea will make more use of 25% than the plants will. I would do 6-8 hours full strength light then lights off for the rest. In my experience, SAE are aggressive and can get large, I have seen them try to eat slime coats off of fish if they don't get enough algae so would have to promote algae for that species once you got him in. Usually buying fish to try and cure a tank issue doesn't always work out.
 
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StarGirl

Is the tank next to a window? I would cut back on your low light setting since the algea will make more use of 25% than the plants will. I would do 6-8 hours full strength light then lights off for the rest. In my experience, SAE are aggressive and can get large, I have seen them try to eat slime coats off of fish if they don't get enough algae so would have to promote algae for that species once you got him in. Usually buying fish to try and cure a tank issue doesn't always work out.
Thats CAE not SAE...
 
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Mandy627

Thats CAE not SAE...
I own them and they are very aggressive towards other fish, it may just be the temperament of the tank they are in...but they also chase each other all the time, which that part I do like.
 
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StarGirl

I own them and they are very aggressive towards other fish, it may just be the temperament of the tank they are in...but they also chase each other all the time, which that part I do like.
I have them also. I have never seen them chase other fish, just each other.
 
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jake37

SAE are not aggressive but they are large - probably larger than you want in a 46. guppies and mollies are excellent algae eaters - my guppies keep my tank in tip top shape. American flag fish are good algae eaters but can be aggressive (or so i hear - those i haven't owned). bn pleco is a lot of people favorite - i have several but i'm not convinced they are great algae eaters. nerite snails are good algae eaters but if you get a female you will have to live with a poka-dot tank....
--
frequently cae are sold as sae so that might be what happened in your case.
 
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jonatheber

Is the tank next to a window? I would cut back on your low light setting since the algea will make more use of 25% than the plants will. I would do 6-8 hours full strength light then lights off for the rest. In my experience, SAE are aggressive and can get large, I have seen them try to eat slime coats off of fish if they don't get enough algae so would have to promote algae for that species once you got him in. Usually buying fish to try and cure a tank issue doesn't always work out.
The tank literally gets almost no direct or indirect sunlight. Your suggestion about higher light for a while and then dark for the rest is worth trying, I suppose.
SAE are not aggressive but they are large - probably larger than you want in a 46. guppies and mollies are excellent algae eaters - my guppies keep my tank in tip top shape. American flag fish are good algae eaters but can be aggressive (or so i hear - those i haven't owned). bn pleco is a lot of people favorite - i have several but i'm not convinced they are great algae eaters. nerite snails are good algae eaters but if you get a female you will have to live with a poka-dot tank....
--
frequently cae are sold as sae so that might be what happened in your case.
I've heard a lot about bn plecos. Do they eat hair algae too? I really don't have algae problems in the tank other than the hair algae. I have some minimal growth here or there on the glass, but the Otos keep it under control.

One other idea I read about online (because the internet is ALWAYS right).... Does anyone have any idea of AlgaeFix is safe to use in this kind of tank? I also have a slight problem with a baby snail explosion - some of the plants I bought must have had some eggs I couldn't manage to clean off before putting them in the tank. If AlgaeFix kills hair algae, is ok on live plants and livebearer fish (and Otos) AND can harm snails that would be useful.
 
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ProudPapa

I've seen videos of platys eating it, but haven't kept platys myself to verify. Have you considered using a syringe to inject Seachem Excel directly on it? That seems to work pretty well for me, though I suspect it would also harm moss balls.
 
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