Hair Algae

Todd Mann asked about getting rid of hair algae.  Several months ago 
somebody said moonlight gouramies would eat the stuff.  I bought four of 
them and put two in a tank with very small amounts of hair algae and two 
in a tank with tons of the stuff.
After a couple of months there was no evidence of change in hair algae.  
One day while watch the fish for a little longer than usual I noticed the 
gouramies brousing on the plants.  Same behaviour from a three spot 
gourami that was with them.  And then I saw it!  The moonlight gouramie 
actually swallowed a strand of hair algae.  Further observation saw him 
nibble the end off a water sprite leaf.  
My conclussion from this is that while there are a few fish out there 
that may have been seen to eat hair algae, in no way is the consumption 
enough to control a problem.  Reminds me of deer brousing in our back 
yard.  They eat a lot of the neighbor's corn but still brouse a little on 
cedar trees.  A solid diet of cedar would not suit them and they only 
seem to eat it for trace elements.  Hair algae is to moonlights what 
cedar is to deer.
To really control hair algae you need to read the article by Paul 
Sears and Kevin Conlin.  Available on the web at http://www.cam.org/~tomlins.
Their approach is high tech but seems to work.  In a few weeks I should 
have the stuff for PMDD and will try to piggy back on their outstanding work.

--Earle Hamilton from northern Michigan where coral once grew