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Re: hair algae

Jeff Vamos asked about hair algae and getting rid of it. I had awesome hair 
and changed 3 things pretty much simulateously, so I am not sure which one 
did the trick:

1. 4 day blackout. Do a big water change & manually romove all you can. Turn 
off the CO2, put a thick blanket over the tank, and leave it there for 4 
days. This will not harm most plants, although some may get leggy, and 
healthy fish (not fry, obviously) are fine on a 4 day fast as well. The hair 
algae was completely gone when I took the blanket off.

2. Added 5 Jordanella floridae, Florida Flagfish (FFF). They have since all 
died except 1, and he beat the other 4 to death. I have also seen them 
mowing my ambulia, so I'm not sure I'd get them again. I now have 5 SAEs 

3. Started adding K. I currently add it in lots of different forms - KNO3, 
K2SO4, KH2PO4, and Seachem's equilibrium, so I can't tell you exactly how 
much I am adding.

After these three changes I have never had hair algae again.

The other thing is that your tank is very new, and I am starting to think 
that for us newbies, there is an algae cycle in new tanks while they mature 
& stabilize. Old pros know how to balance plants, light, CO2, and nutrients 
from the start in new tanks and don't go through this, but for newbies it's 
different. My own tank went through the following cycle: green water (did a 
blackout, then I started adding N), hair algae (did a blackout, then I 
started adding K & FFF/SAE), a brown "cotton candy" like algae on the plants 
(did a blackout, then I started adding a general fertilizer - seachem's 
Flourish - and iron and P), then brown algae on the gravel & on the glass 
near the bottom (this seems to have cleared up on its own over time), and 
now I am fighting icky green dust algae which coats the glass in a matter of 
days and went away when I did the blackout but came right back.

I hope this helps. Can an old pro comment on how long it takes an average 
tank to mature and stabilize for newbies?


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