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Old 08-16-2003, 11:12 PM   #1
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Hair algae problem

I know this is an old subject, but just wanted to know what advice is out there for a hair algae problem. Phosphates measure between 0 and .1 ppm, nitrates measure about 2.5 ppm. Iron doesn't measure at all (I plan to increase). Ammonia and nitrite are -0-. Lighting consists of two 55w daylight PC's and 1 40w daylight flour.

I don't have a silicate test kit, but I've heard that silicates are fairly high in our tap water. I bought some Phosguard (removes phosphates and silicates) but haven't added to tank.

I've been removing hair algae by hand, but it continues to grow. It grows more on plants than anything else. Anacharis is covered. Also, amazon sword has quite a bit. Hornwart and moneywart has considerably less.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-17-2003, 08:44 AM   #2
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I've tried turning out the lights for a week and that helped, but now I'm planting some fast growing (disposable in my case) plants that will help get rid of it. My LFS suggested cabomba or anacharis. I may keep them in the tanks when it's gone if it looks good there.
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Old 08-17-2003, 05:59 PM   #3
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Actually, the hair algae is growing all over the anacharis. It grows less on the hornwart.
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Old 08-18-2003, 03:08 PM   #4
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What size is your tank, and what fish do you have? You have quite a lot of light there. Are you running CO2? If not, that may help your plants considerably in terms of utilizing the nutrients present in the water. Your nitrates are low so sometimes folks have to actually add that, or even increase their fishy load. My problem with hair algae went away very quickly when I added CO2 to a tank with higher-end WPG. Another solution to the problem is shrimp, but I assume that you, like me, want to solve the problem creating the algae in the first place. It is all a question of nutrient balance. (BTW, this may be a post for the planted tank forum, so if you are not getting additional responses here I plan to move it )
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Old 08-20-2003, 03:02 PM   #5
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My tank is a standard 75 gal with a 15 gal sump/wed-dry. The water is slightly brackish. I use about 1 teaspoon of salt per 2 gal water. Also, I run the lights about 10 - 10.5 hours/day.

The bioload is currently fairly low and I do approx. 8-9% water changes weekly, so I'm not surprised that the nitrates are farily low. I don't add CO2. I tried to have my lighting such that I wouldn't have to add CO2. If I add, is there a simple, relatively inexpensive way to add? I have expereience with calcium reactors in reef tanks. They are neither simple nor inexpensive (at least not very simple initially).

FYI - I'm currently trying to raise the level of micro nutrients (Fe and such). It appears that hair algae growth has slowed, but it still exists.
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Old 08-20-2003, 04:14 PM   #6
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I have moved this over to the planted tank forum, as I think you will get a lot of good advice regarding CO2 as well as dealing with algae. CO2 can be done very satisfactorily and cheaply with a DIY system, but sometimes those can be a pain and leak. Check out the DIY forum and you will get lots of advice on setting that up for cheap. I personally think that will be your best bet, as even with lower light situations CO2 helps considerably with plant growth.
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Old 08-21-2003, 10:10 PM   #7
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I've seen these little CO2 "things" for approx. $30 - $40. There is no CO2 tank that I can see (if there is, it has to be tiny). Do they work?

My Ca reactor had a 10lb canister, regulator and solenoid valve. I'm not really interested in getting another canister, regulator and solenoid valve to add CO2. However, I would welcome a smaller, simpler, cheaper method. I'll check out the DIY site as you recommended.
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