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>>I just added some new plants to my tank and went off for a weeks vacation.
>>Came back to find explosive growth and a bad case of hair or beard algae
>>black long stringy stuff that is so hard to remove) . I must have brought
>>in on the new plants even though none of them have it. I have never had
>>before in any tank. Also afraid that maybe my house sitter over feed too?
I had the same algae plague from hell recently. Mine was caused by me adding
a phosphate pH stablizer. I know better now.
From your description, you have beard algae and not hair algae. The SAEs
will not touch the established beard algae (or, at least, mine didn't).
However, I would imagine that they keep it in check once you get rid of the
I bleached (19:1 ratio) the plants I could take out of the tank and severely
trimmed the other plants removing as much of the beard algae as I could. I
then did 50% daily water changes for a week and then once a week until there
were no more signs of the algae (or phosphates). I also cut back on feeding
to keep the phosphates low and to see if I could encourage the SAEs to eat
the algae instead of flake food. I have heard of reducing the amount of
light, but I didn't want to try that. I also added some H. Polysperma during
that time. I am not sure it helped, but it couldn't have hurt either.
The algae went away in about three weeks and there are no signs of it now.
Kenguin at homemail_com