nikkifro8994

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I was gone for 10 days on vacation. My mom fed all my tanks for me while I was gone. I got home and saw hair algae all over my 10 gallon community tank. It had a tiny bit before I left, but I didn't think anything of it. My other 10 gallon has a little inside the filter intake tube. These 2 tanks are right next to each other. They are by a west facing window (terrible, I know) because I don't have another place for them right now. In about a week they will move to the other side of the room.
 
But how do I get rid of the hair algae?! I don't want to add any chemicals unless I have to. The current stock is 2 platys, 1 endler, 4 neons, and a few ghost shrimp. If I have to use chemicals, I will probably move the shrimp. I could add an otto, but they like groups and that would overstock my tank, right?
 
Please help me!
 

snazy

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You need to try identifying what type of hair algae it is, but regardless, it's often caused by low ammonia levels(overfeeding, no water changes, dirty substrate, lots of organics). So I'd just clean the algae manually the best you can, clean the filter a bit, do several water changes close to each other, siphon any debris you can see, etc..
 
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nikkifro8994

nikkifro8994

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Hair algae by nikkifro8994, on Flickr
 
I siphoned the gravel really well and tried scrubbing the decor. I got some of the algae off, but not much at all. I also rinsed the filter in old tank water so I didn't kill any bacteria, but there may still be some algae spores in it. My uncle had this same stuff in his tank not too long ago. He soaked everything in bleach for a few hours and it hasn't come back. I figure I should try since it worked so well for his tank.
 
I am going to soak the decor in a bleach solution for 5-6 hours tonight. I was thinking 1/2 cup bleach and 10 cups water. That's 1:20. Then I'll rinse them very well and let them soak in water treated with prime overnight. I'll let them dry out in the morning (I have class 9:30-11) and add them to my tank tomorrow afternoon. Does this sound good? 
 
I could pull out the gravel, but I don't have a way to let it dry out. Will soaking it in bleach and prime be ok? I'll probably do 2 prime soaks on the gravel just to be safe.
 

snazy

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Do not pull out the gravel. I wouldn't because lots of beneficial bacteria is in the gravel too and you may get ammonia spikes.
If you go the bleach way, make sure that is really well washed and dechlorinate well before you dry. If you have driftwood, don't bleach it because it can absorb the bleach and release it in the tank causing harm.
 
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nikkifro8994

nikkifro8994

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The caves and plastic plants are soaking in hot bleach water in a bucket in my bathtub. I will take them out in 6 hours and rinse them extremely well. Then I'll let them soak in cool water with 4x dose of prime overnight. In the morning I'll let them air dry while I'm in class. When I get home I'll rinse them with prime and place them back in the tank. I'll be moving the tank to a better location this weekend.
 

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Don't forget the frequent water changes and debris removal :)
 

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