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Old 01-20-2012, 04:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Green hair algae

My tank is starting to get overrun by green hair algae. I think that it might possibly be rhizo, but I'm really not sure. Hopefully you all can help me out.

Specs: 29 gallon with 96 watts T5 ho light, 6500k bulbs, CO2 at about 30-40 ppm. No fertilizers except for the past two weeks. (I've been dosing KNO3 according to the MCI)

The algae started a few months back and seems to be steadily getting worse. I added a few amano shrimp, but not nearly enough to clear all of the algae. I would like to solve the underlying problem that is causing the algae, but if I can I'll add more shrimp and fish to eat the algae. I've been manually removing the algae with a toothbrush for the past month or so. It isn't too hard to remove, but it grows back very quickly. It seems to form large bundles in the open water and now it is forming on the glass and starting to get tangled up in the plants. It has a stringy texture, not slimy, it does not hold on to the plants too tightly, but it also does not break very easily.

2 weeks ago I started the MCI, specifically the generic KNO3 protocol as described in that thread. I started out dosing a 1/2 gram of KNO3 daily. (don't know if this makes any difference, but I mix up the dose in a small container first with water and then pour the mixture in the tank) 1st week went by with no positive results. Started the second week last Saturday and upped the dosing to 1 gram of KNO3 daily. I'm at the end of another week with no positive results, in fact, the algae actually looks a bit thicker and it seems to be growing back even faster than before. It has also started to grow pretty heavily on the glass and it is started to cover my HC along with other plants.

Does anyone know what kind of algae this is and how to get rid of it? Should I just continue the generic KNO3 protocol and up the dosing to 1.5 or 2 grams daily starting tomorrow? If anyone has any suggestions or ideas, please help me out. Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-03-2012, 03:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Green hair algae

I don't have much information that can help you with this type of algae, but I have seen it at my LFS. It was all over some moneywort i bought from them and I had put it in my dirted 10 gal 36 watts of t5ho light. It didnt spread at all it just killed the plant and I then removed the plant and it never came back so it wasn't a big issue for me. Not very helpful but it's something haha
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Old 03-03-2012, 05:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Green hair algae

That is about as bad an infestation as I have ever seen! It sounds like Rhizoclonium, all right. Try manually removing as much as you can with the toothbrush. Then you might try some rosy barbs, which I have heard eat it. Maybe overdosing with excel will kill it, or, perhaps local applications of hydrogen peroxide. I am not an expert on removing hair algae it with treatments or things that eat it. I prefer to keep it out in the first place by bleach-treating all new plants. If I do get an infestation, I remove plants to a new tank by bleach-treating them and then sterilize the old tank with a prolonged bleach treatment.

Can I have your permission to use one of your pictures in the AlgaeFinder?
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Green hair algae

Green hair algae is thought to be caused by ammonia/ammonium. Where did you get your KNO3 from? Some batches of KNO3 have been found to contain ammonium impurities in them, which would result in the type of algae you have. (I've had it happen myself, unfortunately.). I would suggest using a different source of nitrogen to see if that is indeed the problem. I order my dry ferts from; Don't use Green Leaf Aquarium's KNO3.
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Old 03-10-2012, 04:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Green hair algae

You may try juvenile SAE (Siamese Algae Eater) but I think they may pose some risk to your shrimps. Adult SAE is useless for fighting algae as fish food is preferred by an adult.

In the situation of your tank, no fish or shrimp can help to clear all of the algae. You need to manually help to clean up the tank and get the fish/shrimps to control them.

What is the duration that you keep the light on? Try to minimise it to 6-8 hours. You may inroduce siesta period in between too.

If you don't have sensitive plants such as vallisneria or riccia, you may try to shoot those algae with Seachem Excel using a shringe. If you accidentally shoot too much of it onto a plant, you may kill the plants too. So use it carefully. Could be harmful to shrimps as well.
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