String or Thread algae? 55 Gallon Tank

  1. JennDFK

    JennDFK Member Member

    I had some string or thread algae hitch a ride into our tank on some java moss... and it is kind of taking over the tank. It grows off rocks, driftwood and plants... we even have some growing out of our filter. We pull it off frequently... but it grows pretty fast and seems to be choking out some of our other plants.

    Any suggestions for a fish that eats this type of algae... my rubber lipped pleco seems to ignore it. I believe our red tailed shark ate a bit of it... because since she died :'( it has gotten worse...but is there something that will do better? I've heard that sailfin mollies and Siamese algea eaters like it... but I wasn't really sure which would be best.


  2. Nate McFin

    Nate McFin Well Known Member Member

    Without a pic and certain ID its hard to say for sure. Here is a link with pictures for ID as well as treatments for each type. Scroll to the bottom.

  3. Aquarist

    Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member

  4. S

    Steve420 Member Member

    I had a slight run in with a Green Hair algea in my 55 too. I have absolutely no clue as to why it just up and appeared on day, but it was a pain in the butt to deal with. The only reasoning I could come up with was a lack of CO2 in my tank. Its pretty heavily planted, so I guess that makes sense.

    My Angles nibble on it a oto's won't touch it at all....and my snails like hanging out in it, but don't appear to actually eat it.

    The only solution I found to get rid of it was daily Excel dosing x2 (or x3..depending on the amount). After about a week it pretty much went away. However, you need to be consistant with dosing EVERY day. If not, you are just feeding the algea and encouraging it to grow more. I started with 3x the amount (for the first week) and eventually went down to 2x. The only headache is you kinda have to keep up with it even after it all goes away. I thought that I could stop after it all went away and within 2 days I could see it starting to come back. At this time, I'm dosing 2x Excel every other day and that seems to work for me.

    Hope this helps....
  5. OP

    JennDFK Member Member

    Well after looking at the photos I can't really say for sure which type it is... it isn't really consistant totally with any of the descriptions.

    It is probably closest to Cladophora algae but it certainly spreads fast... it looks most like hair algea... but my pleco isn't eating it. I'll try and post a photo later.
  6. OP

    JennDFK Member Member

    We brought a sample to two different fish stores and got 2 different answers. One told us that it was cyanobacteria and that we needed to medicate... and the other called it hair algae and suggested sailfin mollys. Here are some photos... any ideas?

  7. Nate McFin

    Nate McFin Well Known Member Member

    definately NOT cyano.
    Steves method looks best to me. I dont see why adding more fish would be the answer here myself.
  8. S

    Steve420 Member Member

    Thats pretty much what mine looked like. Mine is/was a darker green color, but it could be the photo. I'd def give the Excel route a try.

    And Nate - From what I read, it seems like a Sailfin Molly is one of the very few fish that will eat a hair algea. I've never kept Mollies, so I can't say how true that really is.
    But, if JennDFK has the room in her tank, it might be worth it to try. It would def be cheaper in the long run (Excel = $$$)
  9. Aquarist

    Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member

    Aquarium Algae Control
    Hello Jenn. I agree that it isn't Cyanobacteria. See if the above link helps you any.
    Best of luck
  10. OP

    JennDFK Member Member

    Thanks all...I didn't think that it was Cyanobacteria... it isn't slimy... and it didn't really fit any of the descriptions. I'm not even all that sure it is hair algae... it doesn't really fit that description either.

    We took out all the rocks and scrubbed the algae off. We also did a heavy vacuum and good sized water change. I think we are going to keep plucking away at it (literally)... and try the molly route first and maybe add some other algae eating fish. If I don't have to use an expensive product I would prefer not to... at least not until after the holiday season... and mollies are cute and would make a good addition to my hex tank if they don't work where they are. We will see if we can get it under control with a big tank clean up. The water is in good shape 0-0-10... but it could use a little more plant/decor maintainence. After Christmas if we still seem to have algae problems we will try something more drastic (expensive).
  11. h

    humboldtfishfreak Initiate Member