hair algae from hell

>From: jet at abulafia_genmagic.com (J. Eric Townsend)
>Date: Sat, 17 Feb 1996 04:13:50 -0800
>Subject: hair algae from hell
>It appears I've got some hair algae started in my tank.  (40g octo,
>half-dozen small cats and otos, lots of plants.)
>I hate cleaning tanks (witness the oto's), so is there anything anyone
>can suggest to eat/destroy the hair algae?  will black mollies eat
>this sort of algae?
        I don't know if they'll tolerate your conditions, but I've found
that pencilfish (in particular, N. trifasciatus) do a GREAT job of eating
hair algae.  I've got a pair in my 20 gallon plant tank, and within a few
weeks they had gobbled up all the hair algae in the tank (I would have put
more of these fish in the tank, but the store only had the pair, and hasn't
had any since).
        I don't know if any other species of pencilfish would be such
voracious algae eaters...

        John Anthony

anthony at xenon_chem.ucla.edu
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry