View Full Version : Hair algae?

10-03-2008, 09:56 PM
I've been trying to do my research but I'm really, really stumped right now. I have a 2.5 gallon tank with driftwood, java ferns, and a couple moss balls. I do 40-50% water changes every 5-6 days. For the past couple weeks I've been having some really nasty algae and within days of cleaning the tank everything is super slimy again. I did a big water change/scrub down of everything on Tuesday. Here's how it looks today:


Only one leaf on my big java fern is affected. Is this hair algae of some sort? I don't have any algae issues in my other 2.5 gallon tank that is also in the same room as this one. There are no issues in the 23 gallon in the living room either. Could it be the driftwood causing it? I boiled it for hours and hours, then boiled it some more before putting it in the tank, the tannins seem to be almost compeltely gone. Also, my nitrates are at or less than 5ppm. I have a 10watt CF bulb that I've tried leaving off for a week, it didn't help (there is no direct sunlight either, I keep my shades down in my bedroom.) I've never dealt with an algae issue like this before!

Insane Teen
10-03-2008, 10:05 PM
Well, "invadertoast", I'm not really sure, but recently I got these wipes that came along in a package, when I bought my tank. It just comes in a tiny package and it says "Eliminates, and Delays Algae Re-Growth", so that might be helpful. The product is called "StayClean (no space) Aquarium wipes.

Anyways if it works out, let me know, I never actually use this stuff myself. Good Luck!

10-03-2008, 10:07 PM
what lightings on that tank?

10-03-2008, 10:09 PM
what lightings on that tank?

It's a 10 watt screw in compact fluorescent from Wal-Mart's pet section.

10-03-2008, 10:11 PM
Any fertilizer use? How long has the tank been set up?

10-03-2008, 10:15 PM
lightings alright, are you dosing anything? does your tapwater have high phosphates?

at pet stores, you can get a phosphate pad that you stick in your filter, im sure it will get rid of your algae and its only a couple of bucks

10-03-2008, 11:16 PM
Tank has been set up since the beginning of May (holy cow! It still seems like I only did it a month ago!) and the driftwood and live plants have been in there since the beginning of August. I'm not dosing with anything.

I'll look into a phospate pad tomorrow, but I'm not sure that's the issue because none of my other tanks really have a ton of algae, the 23 gets little bits that are eaten by the otos, and sometimes my other 2.5 grows green algae but it doesn't happen as quickly as this mystery brown stuff does.

10-03-2008, 11:33 PM
'slimy' indicates cyanobacteria. Is the algae firmly attached to surfaces or loosely attached? If loosely, it's indeed cyanobacteria, if not, it's brush algae, Audouinella species. How to get rid of both is in my primer.


10-03-2008, 11:41 PM
Thank you Dave! I read through your primer but wasn't sure what type of algae I was dealing with. It's loose and very easy to remove when I do water changes, and grows back very quickly. I should add more light/run mine longer? Any idea what causes it?

10-03-2008, 11:46 PM
It's rather a mystery why it shows up in some tanks and not in others, but I suspect your low light has something to do about it. But like I said in my primer, light it up and suck it up. Run your lights at least 14 hours a day, as I doubt your hood has room for more lighting. And just keep siphoning it out and do your partial water changes as usual. Could take weeks to eliminate it totally, but you can beat it.


10-04-2008, 12:02 AM
Okay, will do! The fixture and bulb in that hood actually only take up about half the space, I could fit another fixture and bulb under there, but I don't really want to drill holes and have a bunch of cords and switches coming out of there. Would a desk lamp pointed into the tank help at all?

10-04-2008, 12:43 AM
I believe they are called Ott Lamps. They come with a compact florescent bulb that's in the sunlight range, like 6700K. That would work. You could put the lamp beside the tank and point it toward the cyanobacteria.
Hmm, I was right about the name. The site: http://www.ott-lite.com/Cms/home.aspx


10-04-2008, 12:58 AM
Awesome - I actually think I saw some of those on the clearance rack at my local craft store, never would have thought of that!