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Hair Algae

Discussion in 'Algae Removal' started by Adohan, Jun 5, 2016.

  1. Adohan

    Adohan Mostly New Member

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    I have a heavily planted 8 month old tank which is starting to get over run with hair algae.  The tank is only 15 gallons, so is too small for flying foxes.  I have issues with high Phosphate in my tap water and I live to far away from my local pet store to get water from them.  
     
    Amona 0
    Nirate 0
    Niraite 0
    PH 7.4-8
    Phosphate between 1-5 ppm
    Lights are on 12-8 each day.  It is about 1 meter away from a window and has maybe an hour of direct sunlight in the evening now due to the season.
    Dose Api Co2 boosters and tropica Plant growth
     
    I have been told washing the plants in Hydroproxcide should work but do not know the pacific details.  But does anyone have suggestion that may help with this hair algae problems and limiting the phosphate in the water before adding it to the aquarium.

     
  2. Akasha72

    Akasha72 Warning - Mad Cory Woman

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    Hi, I have the same problem. Phosphate from my tap is 1.6ppm and my tank eventually turned black ... I had BBA everywhere. I even joked it would grow on a fish if it stayed still long enough
     
    In the end I started adding a phosphate remover to my filter and I bought three Siamese Algae Eaters (Flying foxes won't eat hair algae, by-the-way. Only the SAE)
     
    I've tried many different po4 removers but the best by far is the NTlabs one. http://www.ntlabs.co.uk/browse-products/indoor/marine/phosphate-remover/  It is designed for marine but works just aswell on freshwater.
     
    Hope that helps [​IMG]
     
  3. Adohan

    Adohan Mostly New Member

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    SAE is what I ment by Flying foxes.  As the Tank is only 15 gallons and SAE grow really big, so they are not an option.
     
  4. Akasha72

    Akasha72 Warning - Mad Cory Woman

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    sorry ... I can't work in gallons so I'm not able to convert in my head. I would say though that, yes, they get REALLY BIG ... bigger than I expected and I researched the heck out them before buying. I wouldn't keep them in any less than a 4ft tank (which is what mine is). They are inherently lazy fish but when they do get up off the sand to swim they dart about quite fast and so do need the space to swim.
     
    If you are looking for something to eat it you could research shrimps as I believe there is a kind that will eat it but I can not remember which type it is. I believe mollies will also nibble on it.
     
    What I can tell you is this kind of algae emits spores so once you have a small amount it soon becomes a large amount. To get rid of it I would look to remove as much as you can away from the tank - so remove decor and clean it away from the tank. Remove any plant leaves that have hair on them and if it's on the tank glass, scrape it off with a blade and suck up with some air line tubing as it comes away.
     
    Then you can add some po4 remover to your filter to deal with the cause of the algae. If it returns then possibly consider finding something that will eat it that doesn't get big ... such as the shrimps
     
  5. Adohan

    Adohan Mostly New Member

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    It is a 40cm or 1ft 4in square, I already have ammon shrimp in the tank which I have been told will nible on it.  Not sure if this is true, mine seem not to or the algae is growing faster then they are eating.
     
  6. Akasha72

    Akasha72 Warning - Mad Cory Woman

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    well, given the fact that it's emitting spores all the time the chances are that it's growing and spreading much faster than the shrimps can eat it.
     
    If you remove it's food source though (the po4) and remove as much of the hair as you can by hand then there's a chance those shrimps will help rid you of it in time. :)
     
    If you havn't already I'd arm yourself with a po4 test and the remover and then you'll soon work out how often you'll need to change the remover. It's really trial and error as each time you water change you are adding po4 back. 
     
  7. StevenF

    StevenF Member

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    The Amano shrimp will not be able to keep up with it until you can slow its growth down.  I had a high phosphate issue but it wasn't created by the tap water.  I was using a plant fertilizer that didn't contain copper and RO water.  Without the copper plant growth was very slow.  My water parameter were just like yours but my phosphates were about 1000 when I discover they were high.  I switched to SeaChem Flourish Comprehensive which was identical to what I had been using but also had copper.  My plants were then able to lower my phosphates to about 100ppm without the need of the phosphate remover.  With phosphate remover I could get it even lower.  I eventually found that if I added Nitrate fertilizer the plants could lower it down even more.  At that point the hair algae just melted away.  I then experimented with a different nitrogen fertilizer and I was able to get it down to 1ppm, with nitate levels naturally maintaining about 10 ppm.  I suspect I am now potassium deficient in my tank.
     
    Note SeaChem Flourish Comprehensive is safe for shrimp and snails.  My Amano shrimp, nerite snails, and pest pond snials  were not affected by the copper in SeaChem.
     
    So you might be able to get your phosphate down by adding nitrogen.  I suspect your tank is nitrogen deficient which is why your plants are not able to remove all the phosphate.  Akasha's advice is good but If I recall correctly she also has nitrate levles significantly higher  with her high phosphate.  She has good plant growth but her tank for some reason her plants cannot use up the nitrogen or phosphate.  I am now thinking she might be low on potassium or some other micro nutrient.  With your tank near a window you probably have enough light so you might try lowering the light on time to see if that helps once your get your phosphates down to 1ppm.
     
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  8. BaylorPerez

    BaylorPerez Member

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    You could do a Clown pleco, rhino pleco or a Gold pleco( different species than the clown pleco ) as these wont get more than 6Inches ( if your lucky one can get about 8 ). As plecos are good with Cleaning algae, the issues with them is their feces, as it is easy to get overrunn by its ability to poop all the time >->
     
  9. Akasha72

    Akasha72 Warning - Mad Cory Woman

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    you are correct Steven, my nitrates did get high (they now sit at around 40ppm) but this was mostly because I cut down on water changes in an effort to get po4 down. It is possible that there is something lacking though in nutrients but without a test kit to prove this it's impossible to be sure.
     
    In my tank now, I'm BBA free. I still have plant leaves turning black as they age but there is no hair on them. I can't say for sure if this is because my SAE's are eating it, the only way to know that would be to remove them but with nowhere else to put such large fish they stay where they are.
     
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  10. Far_King

    Far_King Member

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    You may find as your tank and plants mature that they're absorbing the nutrients the algae needs.
     
    I've managed to halt the BBA in one of my tanks as the plants have become established.  I'm fighting algae in my new shrimp tank too, mostly hair but some blue green.  The Diatomes have gone which is a bonus.  I doubt my crystal red shrimp will eat the algae fast enough being so tiny so I'm having to manually remove until the plants can establish.  I made the mistake of going abroad for a week and the tank got out of control rapidly :(
     
  11. Akasha72

    Akasha72 Warning - Mad Cory Woman

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    I don't know what's going on Far King. I know is I still get high readings for po4 - I have been trialing a new remover but it's rubbish. It's not bringing the po4 down at all and I'm dosing more that it says I need. Once I've used it up I'll be going back to the NTLabs remover.
     
    Plant growth though is great. My swords now sit on the surface they are so tall and both have 'flowered' recently. My ozelots are also growing like crazy. The only plant not doing well is my lotus plant ... in fact I think it's dead. I had one leaf a few days ago, then it melted, and now there's nothing. Such a shame cos it was stunning. 
     
  12. Far_King

    Far_King Member

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    I used the Rowa Phosphaway in my filter and it seems to work.
     
    As for plants melting, I've had that with a few too.  I think some thrive in my water and others just aren't suited for whatever reason, so I try to stick to those I know will grow ok.
     
  13. Akasha72

    Akasha72 Warning - Mad Cory Woman

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    I think the recent pH crash has something to do with why the lotus plant has died. I'm still struggling to maintain a pH above 5 which is probably just too acidic for the lotus
     
  14. StevenF

    StevenF Member

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    Based on my own research, Amano shrimp are considered to be the best algae eating shrimp available.  However In my experience Hair algae can grow faster than the shrimp can eat it.  Some fish will eat it but some get quite large and my not be practical for all aquariums.  for algae the best course of action is to reduce the growth  rate first.  At the slower growth rate algae eaters will make progress.  In many cases once the cause is found and eliminated the algae will die back substantially and algae eaters will not be needed.  In most excess or unwanted  algae  high nutrient levels (mainly, nitrogen or phosphates , but other elements may also play a role.    
     
    PH of 5? That is very low.  What is your KH values.  I am not sure but I dont't think a PH of 5 is possible if  Your KH is at the recommended desirable levels.  Or you could have a lot of acid in the tank.  phosphates and nitrate can make acids but in most cases chemical reactions  and KH neutralize most of this acid.  Elements frequently used to raise KH are Calcium, magnesium, potassium,  and sodium.  Low calcium and magnesium will generally show in  up as dying  leaves or yellow leaves.  Sodium is not used by plants and will have no effect on the plant.  However potassium deficiency will stress the plant as it moves potassium from old tissue (where it is not need) to new growth that do needed it.  But otherwise no obvious symptoms of low potassium may be visible.   Potassium is also the strongest at raising KH.
     
    In my experience melting plant is always a symptom of sever  micro nutrient deficiency.  I use RO water in my tank. Prior to the use of micro fertilizer, every plant I put in my aquarium eventually melted.  Since I have started using fertilizer I have had no plants melt, even with Nitrogen deficiency or phosphate deficiency.  I have also significantly increased my lighting over time and at present i have not see light cause plants to melt.  If you see a plant melting I would add a micro fertilizer and if the KH is low add Potassium carbonate.
     
  15. Far_King

    Far_King Member

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    I always use fertilizer in my planted tanks - apart from my well established 200 litre, this seems to thrive without.  I have had certain plants just melt away, possibly because the conditions or lighting were not correct for that plant.
     
    Swords thrive in my tanks, so do Anubias for example.  I can't recall the particular plants I've had which just fail to establish in my water.  If I can I'll try and dig the name out.
     

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