How To Get Rid Of Hair Moss Without Hurting Plants


I currently have a 36 gallon planted tank where I had some marimo moss balls and I found Jaír Algiers on the rocks which I suspect might have came from the marimo moss balls( which I already removed) I also have some java moss that’s appear to have hair moss growing on it. I don’t want to kill my plants and I also have fish. I clean the rocks today but there’s still some on the gravel and the java moss. I already put a cover on the tank so no light can come thru. How many days do I need to keep it dark so the hair algae dies off but my plants don’t die or what else can I do??


Hair moss is a pain in the neck. Ottos do not eat it nor do mystery snails. Amano shrimp might. SeaChem Excel can help. You can spot treat or dose the whole aquarium. But understand that moss balls (really algae) and several other plants can not survive Excel.

Jocelyn Adelman

You can use a toothbrush (I prefer a “mascara wand”) to twist it out and remove it. Likely it didn’t come from the Marimo balls, if you still have them you can do the same cleaning and add them back to the tank.

Correcting the imbalance that created it will stop If from continuing to grow, along with the manual removal. Excel and hydrogen peroxide can be used to spot treat.


I can attest that I have had hair algae come from moss balls on several occasions. Granted my cherry shrimp love it (three generations of babies in a 3 gallon currently) but I do have to remove the excess every now and then.

My solution? Soft bristled toothbrush and a comb.

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