Re: Hair algae

>From: bryantl at emh03_PANAMA.ARMY.MIL (Lem Bryant DSN 313-285-4860)
>Date: Fri, 29 Dec 95 05:41:58 EST
>Subject: Re: Dark period and thread algae
>You stated that you developed a '5% liquid bleach treatment'
>to fight algae.
>I have a problem with a type of algae that forms a mat and is
>white to red in color.  I have not been able to identify it.
>The only way I have been able to control the algae is to
>physically remove it.
>It doesn't seem to bother the fish and none of them seem to
>eat it.
>Any suggestions that you or any one else might have would be
>greatly appreciated.
>Lem Bryant (bryantl at panama_army.mil)
Hi, Lem,

I had bad infestations of quite a few varieties of hair algae, and I got
rid of them all permanently using 5% liquid bleach. That is 1 part liquid
bleach such as Clorox, Purex, or whatever, plus 19 parts water.  I treated
the plants for two to three minutes in the bleach solution with gentle
agitation, and then put them in gallon jars or small aquariums that I had
set up previously that were free of hair algae.  These containers had some
soil on the bottom and some snails and  Daphnia to keep green water and
soft single celled attached algae under control.  The bleach treatment gets
rid of hair algae, but it doesn't get rid of green water algae or bluegreen
algae, or a variety of other single celled attached algae.  Fortunately,
Daphnia and snails keep all these forms under control.  It is important to
have a place set up previously with good growing conditions to put the
plants after they have been treated, because they can go down hill and die
if they are left to float in a pan in dim light for a week or two.  If they
are put in a newly set-up tank soft attached algae or green water can take
over and make recovery difficult for them.  It is best to have a tank where
snails and Daphnia have become established and have algae under control.
Soluble iron additions also help the treated plants recover.

I got rid of hair algae 25 years ago, and I have never had any problems
with it coming back.  All I do is treat any new plants and put any new fish
in an unplanted tank for several days before transferring them to a planted

Best of luck, and please let us know, if you try the bleach treatment, how
it worked.

Paul Krombholz                  Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, MS  39174