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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the past week my 15g has developed hair algae! i have 7 amano shrimp in the tank but they dont seem to eat it. do otocinclus eat this kind of algae? are there any other small aisan fish that will eat this? these are the plants.

jave fern and moss
rotala indica
crypt wendtii bronze
crypt petchii
nymphaea stellata rubra
hygrophila corymbosa

the rotala and bronze wendtii seem to be getting it the most and the java ferns. i have diy co2 and dose flourish and leafzone weekly under 55w. could this be a nutrient imbalance? i would like to wait and see if it goes away on its own but i fear it will spread even more. sorry for the long post but any help would be great thanks!
 

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Hair algae usually appears due to iron excess in the water (a consequence of over fertilizing or usage of well water).
You can lower your iron fert. for few days.
Fish that will eat this are SAE, Tiger Barb & FFF (Florida Flag Fish).
 

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Welcome Doug,

IME/O hair algae is not due as much to an excess of Fe as it is due to good growth conditions that are a littl eout of balance. Generally I have found that when my CO2 was not consistant, or the levels drop to low, then the algae can get a foothold. Make sure that your CO2 is positivle in the 20-30 range, 30 is better. This might be hard to do but you just may need to run 2 generators and switch them in alternat weeks, figure out abetter way of saturating the water, etc. Look to your CO2 first, then make sure your P/NO3 levels are good. DIY CO2 and high light is asking for trouble if your CO2 gets low.

I know Amano shrimp will eat the stuff. I put 5 in my 10 gallon and it was clean in a week. I never really saw them doing anything but everytime I looked, there was less:) Are you sure you have hair algae and not BBA. Can you post a pic.

Also, try to use the "I need help template". I really is helpful, the more info you give, the easier it is to be helpful:)
 

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My hair/thread algae was caused (I believe) by the addition of Substrate Gold to regular (read "large") aquarium gravel. The tank had been running for about 5 years when I converted it to a plant tank.

The S.G. seeped into the water column and gave my water an orange, cloudy tint for about 6 weeks and lots of thread/hair algae. I tried using a micron filter on it but the filter would clog in a matter of hours. I finally gave up and switched out the substrate to Eco Complete and continued "harvesting" the algae with a toothbrush every day. I also added SAE's and Amano shrimp.

The above fish/shrimp are not a "miracle" cure, in my opinion, and don't seem to touch the longer strands of algae. It is best to manually remove the long stuff and let the critters get the smaller stuff.

I also have well water, but have had no repeat hair/thread algae outbreaks since removing the old substrate/Substrate Gold. I have also removed the SAE's and the Amanos seem to keep things in check.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks everyone.
its not really long strands it looks more like spider webs.
i think i do dose too much iron i dont have a test for it.
i use the hagen co2 system so the co2 probably is inconsistent.
where can you find sae"s? scientific name? thanks
 

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Personally I find that Rosy Barbs, like PK already alluded too, will eat all forms of filamentous algae. They are "busy" fish but are not fin nippers as can be the case with American-Flag fish (Florida Flag Fish for those that prefer that name). While the American-Flag fish is a voracious hair algae eater I prefer adding Rosy Barbs instead due to the more aggressive nippy nature of the AFF's. Obviously as already stated by others, adding the algae eating crew is just a small part of algae control. Making certain that your CO2, macro and trace nutrients are in proper ranges is far more critical for longterm successful algae control.
 

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Rosey Barbs are a miracle!!!..
got a 75g badly infested with hair algae..got 5 juvenile barbs and once I dropped them in the tank, they did not even like tried to hide or anything, they started munching on the algae. 2 days later.. 5 fat barbs and hair algae gone...not bad for 1 USD for 5 juveniles...best dollar I spent in this hobby...

if I can oly find a fish that eats green water...clams ?
 

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Hi Doug,

I think that both SAE's and Rosy Barb's would be too large and busy for a 15 gallon tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
yeah i think so too. i added 3 otocinclus and they hae cleared alot of it. all my crypts petchii leaves are clean now and almost all the tropica are also. they seem to be doing ok theyre always fat. i dont think i will add any more fish to this tank. 3 otos and 7 shrimp.
 

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Use long fin rosey barbs then, they are "slow" due to those long fins.
Still attack algae.

But you will not solve the algae issue alone by a fish except in mild cases.
You can black the tank out for 4-5 days, this might do something to this particular algae. Cherry barbs also are not bad.

I do not have any fish or algae eaters in a tank and I can add 10mls of Flourish everyother day on a 20 gal without any algae issues.
Clearly that's excess iron to the water column. So if Fe causes algae, why don't I have algae? Others have gone hog wild with their trace dosing. I've suggested this level for some years. No one's come back and said they had any thread algae issues. They might have had a CO2 issue, a lack of NO3, PO4, not enough traces....

So Fe, PO4 etc, in and of themselves do not cause algae, it's most often CO2 or NO3 that are the problem.
Generally not enough of something.

NH4 is the only real exception, less is better.

Just go down the line starting with CO2=> NO3=>GH=> K=>PO4=>Traces

There are other factors like biomass of the plants in the tank(sparsely or heavily planted etc), cleaning and pruning routines, water changes etc but those will take care of the main issues with fertilizers.

With exception to CO2, these other nutrients can be added/dosed so that none run out and a frequent large water change can prevent them from building up.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Tom,

I have seen youmention Gh and dosing EQ, lately and was wondering, where does this come from and when would it be considered necessary to start adjusting your Gh?

Lately I have read it alluded to that plants seem to need more Mg than they can often get through the hardness itself. Would I, with a Gh of 9(alteast last time I checked it a montha go) have to think about Mg suplementation? I know that depending on where you live your water is made up of different ratios of Ca:Mg. If it helps, I'm in New England.

Just curious.
 
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