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Discussion Starter #1
My questions:
1. What, specifically, is this? Category, e.g. "hair" and type, e.g. spirogyra, cladophora, etc.
2. Describe a method to eradicate/control it that is objectively repeatable and reliable.

Here are a couple of pics of the "algae horror" I experienced about a half a year ago. I've gone through several of the usual suspects, almost all on my first tank, and met with success in seeing them disappear, with the exception of some occasional green spot on Anubias and green dust on the glass of my non-CO2 tank.

This was different. Nutrient tweaking got rid of algae for me, regular maintenance worked, just time worked, but nothing worked on this stuff. It came in on a plant, and I didn't actually notice it until about a month after introduction. It did not much for a few months, then just exploded, and effectively trashed two of my tanks. Finally, after trying everything in my bag of tricks, I solved the problem by the most radical use of the bleach protocol, bleaching everything in the tank but the fish. Several plant species did not survive this harsh treatment, but after all was set back up, this stuff was gone, and it stayed gone. I didn't change my maintenance or dosing routine, which is nothing more than a slightly modified version of the estimative index.

I'd like to know, as close as possible, what this stuff is, and if ANYONE can claim a consistent method of dealing with it effectively short of Paul's answer. I received plants recently that had either the same thing on it, or something in the family, as it looked the same. I'm not ever, ever wanting to go through what I went through to eradicate it again, so I'm intently listening to whatever answers I might get on this.
 

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The first one looks like hair algae. I get this when I "Overdose" with ferts, or when I have excess nitrates.
The second looks like staghorn. Never had this one so I'm not sure how to treat or what causes it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
OK. Here's one more pic of the inauspicious beginnings of the hair algae. BTW, the second algae just seemed to be taking advantage of the poor conditions, only showing up after the infestation of hair became outrageous.
 

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I have it come in etc but no issues with it.

You have to be somewhat agressive, it's like Cladophora balls etc.
But the tank will balance out after some work.

You need to replant and turn over that infested gravel.

Pick out the stuff in between the fine plants where it gets trapped.
It does not attach except perhaps to gravel.

After you beat it down, you can use shrimp, SAE's, Rosey barbs etc.
I've never had to in several tanks though.

You will want to replant the tank often till it's all removed and harassed down to a low level.

Takes about 2-3 weeks.

Tank looks good afterwards from the work also.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Tell me about the cladaphora balls, I know what they are but not what characteristic you are referring to. I'm asking because I bought shrimp last night that are kept on them in the LFS. I'm sure some filaments of it were in the net when I released them... :shock:

When this was going on, I tried to fert balance and that only gave the stuff the time it needed to really take over. This was a really aggressive infestation, and hard to eradicate as it was content to stay at root level and infest where it was hard to see in my seriously overgrown tank. I would find wads of it deep in the center of Java ferns and big Bolbitis, and it attached to the plant itself. The texture was rough. The only way to search it out was to unplant the entire tank, and examine everything under a strong light. Even then, filaments would be floating in the water, and that was what I could see.

That's why I resorted to bleach. I can take it that you don't control this by balancing or fertilization methods, only aggressive mechanical removal. I would have had nothing left if I had done mechanical removal. On the other hand, the pic of the glosso was the very first I saw of it, and if I had known what a scourge it was, I would have eliminated that immediately.
 
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