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contemplating hair algae
I have had a recent outburst of dark hair algae in my
75gal tank. For the second time in its history. I
thought I would share some ideas.
The first time it occurred, I obtained a couple of
american flag fish, and that seemed to do the trick.
A couple months later, after two weeks of neglect
during Christmas vacation, I pruned out literally a
huge bucket of plants. Afterwards, green hair algae
ran amuck. Amano shrimp seemed to cure the contagion.
Most recently , I pulled out a huge stand of
telanthera. Afterwards, I had a return of the dark
hair algae. But I still had my SAEs and my 2 flag
fish in the tank, along with some amano shrimp. The
algae was not deterred.
It seems that upsetting the balance of a tank is what
causes algae to occur, in a tank previously free from
algae. Whether that be an increase in fish
load/waste, a change in dosing, change in water change
schedule, adding lights, or removal of plant biomass.
This imbalance eventually reaches an equilibrium, and
the the plants outcompete the algae. It just takes
time. My guess is that a lot of what we do to "cure"
algae doesn't do much. It's much like the history of
medicine. Most people with common illnesses get
better without intervention. The fallacy occurs when
we attribute a cure to an intervention when in fact
there was no connection. Doctors practiced what had
worked "in their experience" and these logical
fallacies were passed from one generation to the next.
So maybe adding the flag fish was not the miracle
cure I thought it was. The algae was going to go
away, flag fish or not.
Most recently I have added a trio of ameca splendens
to my tank. The algae has abated a bit, and I have
noticed the fish nibbling on the algae. But this
time, I am not ready to attribute a decline in algae
to adding three small fish to my tank. But in my
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