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RE: Subject: Hair Algae

Date: Sat, 01 May 1999 00:10:34 -0700
From: Jeremy Adams <adamsjer at ucs_orst.edu>
>Subject: Hair Algae

>Are there any quick fixes for eliminating Hair Algae from an established
>tank? It is mixed in with lots of plants so it is not possible to pick
>it all out. I was considering using the lights out method. How long does
>this usually take and what is the success rate of this method. Any good
>success stories out there?


I battled for some weeks with this problem and have come to the conclusion
that it was caused by an overdose of an iron enriched supplement. All my
tests showed no excess phosphates, nitrates etc. My iron test kit did not
even register the iron content so I went from regular Flourish to Flourish
with iron, kept adding more as people said my yellow new leaves were caused
by a lack of iron. Boom, hair algae/bba within a week had covered everything
with strands up to 6" long and impossible to remove. I had to resort to
tossing most of the plants out. Hair algae remained in clumps on bits of
gravel (actually it only grew from the Flourite gravel I had added 6 months
earlier, before knowing 1 bag in a 55 gal. was not the recommended amount).
After replanting, I got two Rosy Barbs (actually Rosy Neons), didn't add any
supplements for 2 weeks and kept doing large water changes of about 50%
every other day to flush the excess iron from my tank. Within 2 weeks every
bit of remaining hair and bba was gone! The Rosy Barbs were constantly
picking at all the algae they could find. The results of my persistence can
be seen at the address below!
Bob Buettner
In sunny, too dry, northwestern CT
Visit my new Freshwater Aquarium site