This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Unfortunately for Photobucket users, things have changed in a big way as of June 26th they are rolling out a $399 per year subscription fee for those who want to hotlink images from Photobucket’s servers to display elsewhere.
    This does not mean it only affects this site, It now means that billions of images across the Web now display an error message instead of the image in question. :(
    https://barrreport.com/threads/attention-photobucket-users.14377/
    Dismiss Notice

How to get rid of hair algae and keep it away

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by Tom Barr, Jan 29, 2005.

  1. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,443
    Likes Received:
    302
    Hair algae tends to bug folks more than others, good nutrients alone often cannot eradicate it. But good nutrients can prevent it from infesting your tank. The problem: how to get rid of what's there.

    Prevention:
    Sterile techinque: Dip everything in H2O2/Bleach etc, prevent any water, fish waste from allowing any spores into the tank.Thuis can work if you do not plan on adding, removing plant species from this or other sterile tanks. All it takes is one forgetful moment. This has some benefits, but also has trade offs, most fail in this apporach over time.

    Once the algae does make it past this line of defense:

    Rapid response:
    This is where many fail, they hope it'll just go away. Seldom does that occur. Many think it'll be taken care 5 days from now when they do a water change, that typically works. But if you see algae, that means something else is wrong, something that affects plant growth. Algae will respond first to these changes, so it's wise to check things when see the algae and do the water change later that week. This is my main method.

    Negelected tank with bad infestation:
    Okay, so you have slacked off, now you have a nice infestation. Hair algae that infest gravel pieces: rotate the gravel's top 1" under, no light, no growth, bury the algae alive(think cheesy horror film). This is fairly easy.

    You can do sections of the gravel each week if the tank is large and spread out the work and disturbance to the tank.

    Plants: prune the stuff off, pick and preen. If this is bothersome, remember the rapid response next time, it's easier to deal with a small patch rather than ignoring a problem and hoping it goes away. Uproots the plants and give them a good inspection, work each section of the tank, perhaps 1/4 to 1/2 of the bottom surface at a time each week, after a couple of three weeks, algae will be gone. Adding good nutrients during that time will select for the plants even further.

    Ebnd result from this: the plants have good healthy growth and leaves/roots/stems etc left, no so so looking plant leaves, the tank looks well groomed!

    Now no herbicide or snake oil will ever do this for you, the end result looks better and you target ONLY the algae and decay on the plants, no herbicide will ever do that either 100%.

    Pull up everything from each section(say do 1/2 or 1/3 sections) of the tank at each water change-always prune first then do the water change at the end.

    This stresses the algae that's there, then they produce spores in 1-4 hours and then these spores can be removed before having a chance to settle and attach to a plant. Also a good idea to run a UV the first 24 hours after a water change/pruning. Also clean glass top to bottom, this will prevent glass scratches and is the way you clean your home (hopefully:)

    Clean the filter, net out any dead leaves, fluff the plants, and any dirt that's around the tank after you are done trimming. Get everything out of there. Use a fine brine shrimp net to get things out. Clean your equipment,driftwood and rocks. Bleach and H2O2 are good for this. H2O2 on wood, the rest: bleach. Add some Amano shrimps etc.

    Now if you remove all the algae or most of it, then you add good nutrients, after a few repeats of this, algae will not do very well no matter what.
    You have totally reduce the biomass fo algae, increased the ability of the plants to grow and be healthy, removed the algae from surfaces, only young wimpy zoospores are left looking to grow on surfaces. They take a while to grow up into harder to eradicate adults, so by the next 3-4 days or week, you hit them again, they will die off and only very resistent seasonal spores will remain. These spores are not like the zoospores, they need a large change in the conditions to thrive and bloom/activate their growth.

    Generally things like a decline in CO2 or O2 levels, increased light(with no increase in CO2/nutrients etc), NH4 and temperature.
    Of course neglect helps these things occur in our tanks.

    If you keep up on it, then things go well, if you do not want to keep up on it or find you don't... even if you want to, try less light, then if that's still not enough, go non CO2.

    Hair algae is much like duckweed or other plant like weeds. Cladophora is a lot like a plant and is in Plantae: this species possesses: Chl a and b, starch as a storgae product, same chloroplast type as vascular plants and pigments. Green spot algae and Chara are both green algae that are highly evolved and do well in most plant tanks. Hair algae is not far behind. Now what does ahir do to smaller algae that can live on less nutrients? It blocks the light below, same deal with plants, they out compete algae for light, so at lower lighting, the plants do very well. Rather than breaking the light cycle up, it's a question of competing for the light itself.

    You can run a UV after a good pruning/cleaning, you can run a diatom, you can add Excel, you can add H2O2, you can add copper at lower doses(just like H2O2).
    Once you get things settled and do this the following week, these are not needed. I don't need them and simply don't use them any longer. I know the tank will balabce out and in favor of the plants.

    Folks that have done reworks and teried this know things will be okay and you do not need to use other things other than pruning, water changes, good nutriernt levels. It's the same old thing 1000 times.

    If the issue is bad or you are motivated, do this routine every 3-4 days and you can knock out about any algae issue inside a 2 week peroid and have a very nice looking tank quickly.

    Keep up this effort for 8 weeks, and you can have an Amano tank.


    Enjoy

    Tom Barr

    subscribe@BarrReport.com Get connected
    www.BarrReport.com Get the information
     
  2. jerime

    jerime Expired Subscriber

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: How to get rid of hair algae and keep it away

    Great stuff Tom.
    What is your reaction to the fact that hair algae starts blooming on fast growers first. How can that be?
     
  3. Wö£fëñxXx

    Wö£fëñxXx Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: How to get rid of hair algae and keep it away

    Bravo!
    That was an excellent read sitting next to the fire, sipping a coca
    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
     
  4. Bill

    Bill Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: How to get rid of hair algae and keep it away

    Thanks Tom,

    This is great reference material to have on hand when you really need it.

    When you say H2O2 at low doses, how much does that mean?

    What does Excel do and how much would you suggest adding?

    Bill VanHorn
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,443
    Likes Received:
    302
    Re: How to get rid of hair algae and keep it away

    Depends on what you are calling the fast growers and which specific plants you speak of.

    Some might not be considered fast growers, eg, Aunbias roots often become infested. Any type of fine needled plant also entangles algae and moss etc is classic.

    Also type of hair algae plays a role, short hair algae will grow on some leaves if the tank is out of balance with NO3/CO2 etc.

    Hair algae does not grow on plants well if things are set correctly.

    One could argue however, that the faster growing plants leech out more nutrients to the algae, but if the water column has plenty of nutrients already............... this no longer makes any difference........

    So........not much of any arguement.

    I do not find that the hair algaes grow on the faster growers first personally, just the plants that can easily catch and retain the filaments......

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,443
    Likes Received:
    302
    Re: How to get rid of hair algae and keep it away

    I mean try everything else 3x first(CO2, Nutrients, then maybe.........)

    H2O2 still has some issues to work through, I found low dosages killed Egeria and Lagorsiphon madagascarensis and Hydrilla and did nothing for the algae.

    It is good for spot cleaning things you do not want to remove.
    It will and has killed fish to about each post that is placed on the web, someone over doses it.

    Seems to occur often.
    Excel seems less on an issue. The Initial dosing rate done 3-4 x a week might be plenty to do the job, I've done it with no effects on a Tiger pleco. Those are tough animals though. Other species maybe much more sensitive.

    Excel will add some buffer if you have trouble with CO2.
    Fix the CO2, then the BBA is gone.

    I have not found any green algae alagae response to Excel to date.
    It's still growing after 3 weeks of dosing.

    These are not miracle cures either..............

    Stop looking for them. Go in and prune the sucker, add nutrients routinely, make sure the CO2 is good enough to have high pearling rates.

    Prune is plant and algae specific and does no harm to the things you WANT to grow well.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. baruch mor

    baruch mor Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: How to get rid of hair algae and keep it away

    what about long n curly thread algae? same treatment as hair algae? where do they came from? can they penetrate my tank thru another infected tank? how the f**k do i get rid of it? i clean it every few days and the water parameters are fine (ph 6.6-6.8, kh 5, no3 20-30, po4 1 ) but they keep returning my tank.
    must add that most of the tank are difficult/delicate stem plants and most of them are growing well but not as fast as rotala rutendifolia or hygrophila polisperma - im not going to take a chance to h2o2 them
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,443
    Likes Received:
    302
    Re: How to get rid of hair algae and keep it away

    Sounds like Spirogyra to me.

    You need to pick it out, it's very much like bladderwort (U gibba).
    It's very much like higher plants. Toothbrush and removing the fine needled plants that it always gets entangled in.

    Take them out and trim them and preen them. I've not tried a blackout, my guess it would take 4-5 day and plants don;t like 5 or more days in most cases(the species you have).

    There's a couple of other options.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. Gill Man

    Gill Man Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: How to get rid of hair algae and keep it away

    Along this line of thought, I ran out of CO2 on Friday and had to wait until Monday morning to replace it. I had just dosed my tank the day before and I have 300W HQI pendant lighting, so.... I turned off my lights for 3 days.

    I had been having problems with this nuisance algae; short, green velvet type, carpeting leaves and the inside panes of the tank. I had just started with the EI and had just gotten all my dry chems for fertilization. When I turned on the lights again, the plants started pearling a few hours later, but all the algae was dead. Like you mentioned, the algae probably produced spores in response to the stress. But due to the plants' ability to store nutrients and due to their vast vascular network, they came out of the blackout with little stress or none at all. They even grew, about an inch, (internode elongation) during this time. I then performed a good water change, some light vacuuming, some pruning and started the fertilization regimen once again.

    I'm not lulling myself into thinking that the algae won't come back, but I did deal it a good blow and perhaps I've given the plants a good headstart that should only be enhanced by our good aquarium practices which includes all that has been mentioned in the above posts. Part of the Barr Report comes to mind about how algae have an advantage in nutrient poor environments due to their large surface area to volume ratio and simple nutrient transport and (and probably storage) system. This became a disadvantage and even a stress during the blackout. Even though they do have an adaptation, it gives me some satisfaction. I understand that fighting algae involves providing optimum conditions and nutrient levels for plants at all times, but I couldn't help this one and it seems, for now, that the plants have a better chance.

    Higher plants rule!
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,443
    Likes Received:
    302
    Re: How to get rid of hair algae and keep it away

    Actually algae rule, 75% of the earth, virtually all of the O2 produced etc.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. Aviel Livay

    Aviel Livay Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: How to get rid of hair algae and keep it away

    Tom, do you really recommend to dig the gravel and rotate it? Wouldn't that expose zillions of dirty pieces that shall infest my tank? I just removed my infested hair grass carpet and it seems like everything that I try to grow there gets infested. How do you recommend to play with the gravel?

    Aviel.
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,443
    Likes Received:
    302
    Re: How to get rid of hair algae and keep it away

    If you rotate it, then the pieces that are infested, will be underneath.

    If you correct the issue to begin with........ then there should not be any new growth.

    Until that is addressed, you will keep having algae grow on the gravel.
    Pruning, rotating the gravel under, blackouts, bleach, H2O2, whatever.........that simply removes it, what you need to do is focus on the plants and growing them better.

    Then once the algae is stopped growing, then removing it will help and it will not return.

    If you are still getting algae, I can tell pretty much that something is still not right environmentally, algae never lies.

    You can vacuum the gravel also, that can help and replant it a few times and use tough cheapy plants till things get more balanced then return the hairgrass back.

    Hair grass loves high CO2 FYI and KNO3.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr



    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  13. Cornhusker

    Cornhusker Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: How to get rid of hair algae and keep it away

    :) the butt uglyust fish there is,, FLORIDA FLAGFISH, no kidding. had outbreak of hair algae in 75 gal tank. someone suggested these fish,so off to the fish store i went . they happened to have gotten some by accident, so i bought.in about 10 days it was gone. B U T they also like tails that sway in the water.,like fancy guppies. they soon were history. may also have been luck. :) :) regards,cornhusker
     
  14. fishface

    fishface Guest

    Re: How to get rid of hair algae and keep it away

    here it comes again!!! getting a little frustrated here. i've just pulled apart the 55g planted tank pruned, dipped (bleach 20:1) added more plants and changed the substrate (3" flourite-1" eco-complete) and here comes thread alage again...slowly but surely. :mad:

    tank spec's
    ph 6.5
    kh 7
    no3 15-20
    po4 1-2
    co2-pressurised with controller (high @ 53ish ppm)
    lights 260 w 12/ hrs/day (tried more, tried less, tried everything)
    traces added between 3ml and 8ml /day. tried varying it, i'll try X amount for a month or so then bump it up, try for another month, then maybe down...etc. also changed traces from DIY to sera florena to see if there would be any difference...

    i seem to get a fair amount of pearling by mid afternoon but not staggeringly great growth...like i used to. rarely need to add no3 or po4 because it just is naturally high in the tank.

    i feel like i've tried everything and starting to get frustrated, tank looks good but where's the growth rate i used to have and how to keep the dreaded thread away?? can anyone help me...please. seems like i've been battling this now for about 8 months with no way of resolving it :confused:
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,443
    Likes Received:
    302
    Re: How to get rid of hair algae and keep it away

    Amano shrimp.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  16. ervis

    ervis Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: How to get rid of hair algae and keep it away

    I had the same symptoms. It began when I slacked off on adding my KN03 and KCI potion. I mixed up a batch of solution using the Chuck Gadd calculator and add it every other day. The plants burst with new healthy growth and the thread algae dissapeared. Above you list 15-20 nitrates, I assuume from fish food/waste. Try adding KNO3 anyway, which will also boost your K levels. I bet you're limited on potassium K. If you're afraid of overdosing NO3, then try just adding KCI.

    It worked for me,
    steve

    http://aquaria.info/members/ervis/
     
  17. srozell

    srozell Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: How to get rid of hair algae and keep it away

    I followed Tom's advice with this 3 times in the period of 2 weeks and the hair algae was gone for good.

    Then I went on vacation for a week and came back and I see traces of the hair algae coming back. Obviosly I wasn't dosing nutrients during that week.

    Hrmm.. I wonder if there is a connection. :D

    My suggestion is that if that if the problem persists, evaluate your dosing regime and up it a little.
     
Loading...

Share This Page