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Old 01-03-2011, 03:10 PM   #1
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Angry New Member Needing Help w/hair algae

I am a new member as of today and I am having a problem with hair algae. My info on the 55 gallon tank is on my profile and the tank has been up and running for a year now. The HA is all over my live plants algae on the glass my decor its just a nasty mess. I have no clue what to do. I have tried using mass quantity's of shrimp/cray fish and my algae eater is just flat out lazy. Is there an easy way to defeat this losing battle?
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:36 PM   #2
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Moved to Fresh Water forum so you can get more views and help hopefully.

Welcome to AA OscarPlus12!!
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:06 PM   #3
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Hair algae can be tough, especially if it gets out of control. As far as a cleanup crew, Amano Shrimp and SAEs will eat it.

An effective method to killing it is to spot treat the bad areas with a syringe full of flourish excel. It can also be manually removed without too much trouble by twirling a toothbrush around it, pulling it off the plants. I would say do as much manual removal as possible, then maybe do some excel treatment (unless you have plants that are not compatible with excel).

The key to keeping it in check is to figure out what is causing the outbreak in the first place though. How long are you lighting the tank, and with how much light? Are you dosing any ferts?
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:13 PM   #4
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I was lighting the tank for 12 to 14hrs a day but i have not had the light on since 4am this morn when i went to bed. Its only a 40watt florescent bulb. I was using ferts up untill about 3 months ago i thought that was the prob but then i thought over feeding was the prob also. Fed twice daily about 40 pellets each feeding and i was planing on doing a full clean up of the tank today.
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:19 PM   #5
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ok... sounds like a few areas that might help:

1. The lights... what kind of florescent bulb? If it is just a standard T8 or T12 it could be really good for growing algae, and not so great for plants. How are the plants growing in the tank? Good? Not much? Is there new growth? What kind of plants are they?

2. Lighting for 12-14 hrs a day is most likely a major contributing factor to your algae. I would cut it to about half that.... maybe 8 hrs a day max, especially while you are having algae issues.

3. Overfeeding can cause a lot of excess N and P in the water, which would in turn contribute to algae growth. I would only feed once per day... 40 pellets sounds like a lot of food. Only feed what the fish can consume in about 3-5 minutes of feeding.

4. Are you doing regular partial water changes in the tank?
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:30 PM   #6
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I did have a T12 yesterday but it burnt out so i replaced it with a T8. As for the plants they are Amazon Swords and have stopped growing there only about 6 in. tall and each plant has 6 or more leafs on them. No new growth for the past 2 months. I do monthly water changes 30 to 50% per water change. I just have no clue what i am doing wrong. if you need more info i have posted everything on my profile for the 55 gal tank. i really applicate your help alot Fort.
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:34 PM   #7
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Alright... so it is a 55 gal tank with only a 40W T12 over it. That is probably at least a big part of the issue. Less than 1 WPG (watt per gallon) of standard T12 lighting is probably not enough to grow swords, but it would be enough to grow some great algae.

The T8 is going to be a little better, but still probably insufficient to grow plants. You need some stronger lighting with a shorter lighting interval to start, if you want to keep the live plants but nix the algae.
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:34 PM   #8
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I just added 4 pics of the battle i am fighting.
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:37 PM   #9
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ugh... looks like more than hair algae. It looks like you may have some BBA well (hard to tell exactly from the photos), which is much more difficult to contend with.

I would say your main problem is lighting duration and strength, and over feeding is contributing to the problem. You may want to do a black out for a few days (wrap the tank in some garbage bags so no light gets in) and then do as much manual removal of algae as possible to get back to a good starting point. But, if you don't look at different lighting solutions, it will grow right back in a few weeks.
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:37 PM   #10
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Ok so bigger wattage for the bulb 1 to 3 wpg? Also could the moss on the decor in my tank contribute to the hair algae?
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