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Old 09-03-2021, 08:55 PM   #1
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Posts: 31
Help with Hair Algae please

I had a BAD case of hair algae in my livebearer water tank. It made my mossimo moss balls look like chia pets (I added some pictures of the algae on two of the moss balls before they got really hairy), it was growing off of all of the leaves of my live plants, off of my fluval heater, and in patches off of the glass. I got fed up last week - I found two fish had gotten stuck in it and had died.... I proceeded to throw out every plant with any sign of algae on the leaves, took a look at the gravel and scooped out all of it that had ANY green and tossed it. I'm starting from scratch, and hope for some advice on how to stop it from coming back. I am pretty much open to anything that won't kill the fish.

I do have some otos and some black mollies in the tank, but all of them tend to ignore the hair algae (or so it appears).

Maybe a U/V sterilizer? If so, what's the recommended type for the setup below. I have enough $ in the tank I don't mind getting a decent one if I need a decent one.
Less light?
Less Thrive?
Something else instead of Thrive?
Add additional iron to help the plants grow faster and outgrow the algae?

Some particulars of the tank:
  • 46g Bowfront that gets NO direct sunlight and practically zero indirect light (the onlight windows nearby are covered by curtains 100% of the time.) It does have some interior regular recessed lights pointing at it from the ceiling for 6-7 hours a day.
  • Fluval 3.0 light on every day for about 5 hours at about 60% brightness.
  • I do a 33-40% water change pretty much every 1 - 1.5 weeks.
  • I use root tabs for the live plants that are in there, and give use five squirts of Thrive all-in-one twice a week. For ease of reference, the makeup of the Thrive is at the bottom
  • Fluval 405 canister filter
  • Fluval m50 heater set at 78 degrees
  • The pH in the area tends to run about 7.6 and is fairly hard.
  • When I do water changes, I use Seachem Prime

Total Nitrogen (N) 2.5600%
2.5600% Water Soluble Nitrogen (N)
Available Phosphate (P2O5) 1.5800%
Soluble Potash (K2O) 9.7400%
Magnesium(Mg) 0.3200%
0.3200% Water Soluble Magnesium(Mg)
Calcium(Ca) 0.0200%
Sulfur(S) 0.5400%
0.5400% Combined Sulfur(S)
Boron(B) 0.0080%
Copper(Cu) 0.0002%
0.0002% Water Soluble Copper(Cu)
Iron(Fe) 0.4200%
0.4200% Water Soluble Iron(Fe)
Manganese(Mn) 0.1680%
0.1680% Water Soluble Manganese(Mn)
Molybdenum(Mo) 0.0006%
Zinc(Zn) 0.0038%
0.0038% Water Soluble Zinc(Zn)
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Jonatheber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2021, 06:16 PM   #2
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Put in a bunch of Amano shrimp
Tropheus_calvus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2021, 05:12 PM   #3
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Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 6,269
Help with Hair Algae please

Thats not a bad case of hair algae. Iíve seen bad cases and Iíve had worse.

The best way to remove hair algae is to manually removal it. There is no miracle cure or critter that will help here. Itís there and itís there to stay.

You can however prevent it from reoccurring once it has been removed.

You have to get the plants growing properly. Plants that are not growing are dying and dying plants bring algae. Why exactly they bring algae? Does anyone truly know? Not really, however there are many hypothetical reasons that I tend to agree with and have observational value in my own aquariums over the years.

One is dying plants leech nutrients and other signalling chemicals in to the water column that promote the growth algae.

The other is a non established biofilter.

Lastly, decaying organic matter robs the aquarium of oxygen and low oxygen levels slow down decomposition resulting in more organic wastes. That when you get biofilms on the water surface which deprives the aquarium of more oxygen and so onÖ..

My tactic would be to try and do those water changes at 50% once a week and instead of dosing 5ml of Thrive twice a week, try dosing 2ml of thrive 5 times a week during the photoperiod. You donít know how much of the 5ml if Thrive is staying in solution when you add it to the tank so dosing less daily seems like a better option. You can rest dosing at the weekends and incorporate the resting period with your water changes.

Hopefully plant growth will improve and instead of robbing the aquarium of oxygen, they will contribute oxygen not only to the water column but also to areas deep within the substrate.
Caliban07 is offline   Reply With Quote

air, algae, hair, hair algae

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