View Full Version : Hair Algae Question

03-10-2009, 11:27 PM
I have a hair algae issue, and unfortunately my tank is in a very well lit location. I've read that introducing live plants will take some of the nutrients away from the algae (ironically, I believe the algae infestation came from live plants). Any suggestions on what plants would help with this? Also, would changing from a rock substrate to sand help? The algae attaches itself to the pea sized rocks, my thought is it would not attach to sand.

Finally, I'm looking for a BN pleco to help control the algae to some extent.

03-11-2009, 02:31 AM
This shows the tank getting light from the kitchen ceiling lights. Does that affect the growth? Can I plant something along the back wall of the tank?


Close-up of the growth on a rock


03-11-2009, 02:40 AM
All of that is hair algae? Woah. :ssuprised:

I'm not sure if those lights would affect algae growth, unless they're fluorescent or whatever. Does the tank get direct sunlight from any windows or whatnot? That would cause algae growth before a ceiling light would, I think.

I'm not sure if a BN would take care of hair algae, but somebody else could help you with that better.

You may want to take the rock out and scrub it with an clean, unused toothbrush in order to break the base of the algae off of the rock. You surely do have a lot!

03-11-2009, 02:41 AM
Holy cow! And I thought my algae problem was bad...

03-11-2009, 02:56 AM
The ceiling lights are fluorescent, which I'm sure contributes to the problem... I've just grown (no pun intended) used to the mess in my tank.

My Clown Loach hides in the rock, so removing it has been challenging. Any thoughts?

03-11-2009, 11:05 PM
Holy Cow!That is some healthy growth.It amost looks like java moss.That is all way beyond the scope of algae eating fish to remove.You will have to manually remove that ,leave a bit for a BN plec to start eating on but he wont get rid of all that.

03-13-2009, 03:29 AM
Fast growing plants will soak up the nutrients better than slower ones. Get some anacharis or hornwort since they are easy to grow and hardy. My anacharis grows about 4" a week. If you want an easy leafy plant I have a brazilian sword that grows quite fast as well.

tim k
03-14-2009, 02:27 PM
Try removing as much as possible manually.
Then reduce feeding to as little as possible.
Start doing water changes two or three times a week to starve the algae and try changing your carbon as well.

Your algae is getting to much food starve it and it will die off.
I highly doubt that your kitchen light is the root of the problem

My 55g plant tank started to have an algae problem a couple weeks ago ,I bumped up the water changes , changed the carbon and reduced feeding and it is almost cleared completely.

Tim K

03-25-2009, 07:54 PM
i've got the same problem in my tank, but it's heavily planted and the algea was starving the plants of the nutrients! I've started putting in some liquid carbon (flourish excel) which is supposed to increase the oxygen the plants absorb and therefor increase their nutrient intake. if you go with plants also pick up the carbon. you could also try a pleco or some snails, in warm water snails do a number on algea! (i <3 snails)

03-25-2009, 07:55 PM
oh ya the problem could also be from over feeding, that was also my problem but now I feed them every other day once a day and with the carbon it seams to be getting under control

Commodore 64
03-25-2009, 08:35 PM
I think that algae looks pretty cool. You should embrace it. Love it.

Then there's no algae problem.

03-26-2009, 02:46 AM
I agree with comodore it looks pretty amazing. The hair algea I get it way way longer and grows everywhere

03-29-2009, 08:13 PM
They've got a great point going here. Algae is just another aquatic plant, and it's only a weed if you don't want it there. I have really enjoyed some of the types of algae

If you indeed don't want it there, your really going to have to take some drastic steps. There is always a power struggle for light and nutrients when setting up a new planted tank. Reducing feeding and doing water changes will help to reduce the phoshates and nitrates that the algae feeds on. If you don't get it under control, new plants won't stand a chance. The algae will cover their leaves and block light and nutrients while they are still growing roots and trying to get established. To keep the algale in check, you need to minimize phosphates until the plants have their roots in place and start showing leaf growth (usually 1 to 3 weeks). At this point, they will start using the phosphates and that will keep the algae in check. I often use a phoshate absorbing resin in my fitration for the first month or so on a new planted tank. Also, CO2 injection is a great help. With more CO2 available, the plants can utilize more of the available light and nutrients. This gives them an edge over the algae. You could also try to cut back on light to kill back some algae prior to planting, but nutrients is really a biger issue, and you want to provide the fish enough light to stay healthy.

Also the American Flag Fish, a type of killifish native to The Florida Everglades, is an excellant algae eater, and will eat hair algae throughout thier life. It's the only type of fish I personally have seen wipe out black beard algae.