To J. Eric Townsend:
Most of the livebearers will attack hair algae, if they
havn't been fed too heavily.
My personal favorites are male rosy barbs as they turn so
red after feeding on algae.
I haven't consciously tried pencil fish, however I have a
tank with several in it, and no hair algae at all.
I guess the most important thing is to reduce or stop
feeding, so that your workers will do their job.
Tropical fish are not fed for periods of up to two weeks
when being shipped, whether from the Far East, South
America, or the Florida fish farms. So, you needn't
feel guilty or negligent about not feeding them for
several days, provided you have a potential source of
food for them in your aquarium.
Karl R. Schoeler