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Re: inedible hair algae

> Date: Thu, 5 Aug 1999 11:07:26 EDT
> From: McDaphnia at aol_com
> I have an almost purely groundless theory, based only on some aquarium 
> observations that support yours. It seems to me that when algae and plants 
> grow in an aquarium with fish or snails, the only algae species that survive 
> are those that are too tough, too bad-tasting, or something that gives them 
> immunity to the kind of fish they are with. So I raise the hair algae in one 
> tank and feed it to the fish in another. I have two kinds of hair algae that 
> most fish eat. One is very soft and slimy to the touch if removed from the 
> water and light green. The other one is almost black, grows from a holdfast, 
> and if the current is not too strong, it has a vase-like shape. If mollies 
> won't eat an alga, I'd try to eliminate that species and find another to 
> culture in a separate tank.

The stuff I call hair algae is bright green fine threads that tend to
grow in a loose mass.  If you start pulling on it, you can almost spin it
into string.  Florida flagfish (Jordanella floridae) are quite willing
to eat this stuff, even if there is fish food being added to the tank.
I've got a small tank with a couple of these fish in it that I toss
infested plants into, and the fish clean them right up.

I've heard that rosy barbs like this stuff too.

I think the black stuff you have is the red algae Andouinella, also
called beard algae.  Check the Aquatic Plants Digest archives for more
than you've ever wanted to know about what eats it, how to control it, etc.
Some people get desperate and use bleach on infested plants.