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I'm not sure just using excel is going to solve your hair algae problem.

I've tried it with some success but until I got the ferts, lights and water circulation under control it continued to come back.

26 watts is not a lot of light over a 10 gallon. You may want to consider leaving them on for a longer period of time. I've found that because my lighting is marginal on most of my tanks that following the general instructions to cut back light when algae would break out actually made the problem worse.
 

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Hair algae is a funny thing when it comes to getting rid of it. I had a 5.5 el natural tank in the garage for a long time and I would only get hair algae in one spot. Right at the base of a watersprite plant.

I really don't think it is being caused by too much light. You may want to consider not enough nitrates as being a contributing factor. There again a lot of people will tell you to throw in some really fast growing stems and if your nitrates are bottoming out you make the problem worse by sucking up what's left of the nutrients.

Then the plants suffer and the hair algae picks up again.

Do you dose the tank at all?

Steven
 

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Yeah algae advice is somewhat similar to having a backache, you get more advice than what you need.

I understand what everyone is saying about lights and all but I have found that usually hair algae is a nutrient issue. I think that true for most every algae.

In instances where I have had algae problems in tanks with low light cutting the photo period and adding stems to outcompete the algae has only made things worse. That seems to be the standard advice.

My recent tank I put ferns from a neglected tank coverd in beard algae started an EI dosing routine and kept the light on 24 hours a day for about three weeks. The plants got stronger from the ferts and I believe the lights being on helped the plants more than the algae.

I don't believe that will work in a tank with high light though I've never tried it. The reason I decided to try it was because most of the algae fixes from high light tank keepers fall into the, add CO2 and ferts which I believe is just putting the plants in a postion to grow like crazy and healthy plants most of the time mean little algae. I don't have high light or CO2 so that's why I recomend extending the photo period along with the ferts. It's worked for me.
 

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I disagree with the duration on low light tanks only because my experience with them suggests that 10-12 hours of lower light levels will not necessarily produce algae over time if the tank is properly fed and cared for.

I think most of the advice out there is from people using high light overdriven tank setups. In that case I would agree the 8 hours would be fine.

In a low light/low tech tank with plants that aren't that demanding I just don't think that is enough sometimes to keep the plants healthy enough.
 

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It is helpful for me. Now I know different ways people are trying to control the algae. There are many factors to consider, just try different ways to see which one work best. :) That doesn't mean other methods doens't work, it just doens't work for this specific setting.
Awesome that's the same conclusion I came to when I first starting reading all of this stuff. There are a ton of things to consider and I have had nothing but fun even on the worst tanks I've put together I always seem to learn something.
 
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