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Old 01-27-2004, 10:14 PM   #1
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HAIR ALGEA is taking over my tank!

I can't get rid of the hair algea! i don't know where it is coming from, my tank is a 47 gal. bowfrong, i have a filter for a 75 gal and a protein skimmer, all the level are perfect, the fish are great and more colorful then ever, but the rocks and everything are covered in the green hair algea. underneath the rocks have the purple and white colors. i've cleaned all the rocks a couple months ago and got all the hair algea i could find out, and with regular water changes it still comes back! i just cleaned it all again and i blew the heater by having it above the water, so i'm just about fed up and worried it might upset my fish! any ideas????
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Old 01-27-2004, 10:31 PM   #2
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What exactly are your water parameters? Where do you get your source water from? Tap water or RO filtered water? Hair algae is indicative of excess phosphate and/or nitrate in the water. These nutrients can come from several sources. First and foremost, try not to use tap water unless you are sure it is free of excess nutrients and harmful chemicals (copper, chloramine, lead etc.) Secondly, do not overfeed, fish foods can contain phosphates that fuel algae outbreaks when leftovers float around. If you are using tap water, I suggest doing future top offs and water changes and this should help reduce excess nutrients. Also, make sure your lighting is up to par, as lamps age their output spectrums shift and can cause algae outbreaks. First, find the cause of the outbreak, try to limit or eliminate this cause and then remove as much of the algae as possible.
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Old 01-27-2004, 10:47 PM   #3
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i use a britta on our tap water, and then put this Aqua safe water conditioner. the house i'm in does have lead pipes, so i think that is it. One more question, you said to water top offs, is that just a water change or something different. THANK YOU!!!!!!!
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Old 01-27-2004, 11:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
i use a britta on our tap water, and then put this Aqua safe water conditioner.
The Britta will filter out sediment and improve taste and smell of the water, but will not remove nitrates and phosphates.

Quote:
the house i'm in does have lead pipes, so i think that is it.
Any lead leeched out of your pipes would not promote algae growth, it would be nitrates or phosphates, pick up some test kits at your LFS for nitrate and phosphate, test your tapwater and your tank water. Phosphates in tank should be undetectable and nitrates should be less than 10ppm ideally.

Quote:
One more question, you said to water top offs, is that just a water change or something different.
Top offs are the freshwater you add to the tank to compensate for evaporation. Water changes are removing a volume of saltwater from the tank and replacing that with an equal volume of freshly mixed saltwater.

Test your tapwater for phosphates and nitrates and I think you will find the culprit. Unfortunately, the solution is to use reverse osmosis filtered water or deionized water. This water will be free of any contaminants. You can either buy RO water from one of those machines you see outside many grocery stores, or buy the filtering equipment to have at home. The filters can run up to a few hundred bucks, the machines are about 25cents/gal. If you have lead pipes, you may want to invest in the filter for your home, for your own sake. Good luck.
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Old 01-28-2004, 02:21 PM   #5
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Thank you so much for your help, I'm on my way to the fish store tomorrow, I have class the rest of the day today. My fish look great today, so does the tank! just have to fix this tap water!
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Old 01-28-2004, 05:36 PM   #6
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Here is a link to an article..some not so light reading on tap water in aquariums...

http://advancedaquarist.com/issues/jan2004/chem.htm
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