green hair algae

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green hair algae

Postby liverpool » Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:44 am

Hi I'm having problems with green hair algae spreading throughout my tank that my water changes are spent picking algae from bogwood, gravel etc.
I'm unsure how to tackle the problem or if I really have one to worry about at all.
Phosphate readings show 1ppm and 0.5 from re-fill source.
Nitrates reading show 40 ppm and same from re-fill source.

A few times I've removed all bogwood scrubbed and baked in oven just for it to regrow, the worst part of the tank is a large bushy plastic plant that is covered in the stuff.

How should I fight this guys?
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Re: green hair algae

Postby cousin it » Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:03 am

I would consider adding some tropical hornwort to the tank, and possibly some floating plants to remove the excess nutrients that are available which is feeding the algae.
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Re: green hair algae

Postby liverpool » Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:07 pm

Do I worry about my tap water being 0.5ppm and 40 nitrates or will this be OK once all the hair algae is removed??
Also my filters run carbon do you think this is a problem also...could this be why the tank phosphates are 1ppm??
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Re: green hair algae

Postby cousin it » Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:22 pm

Adding a few floating plants will remove the phosphates and most of the nitrates, on my planted tanks I have to dose extra of both as they are consumed fairly quickly.
I would not be concerned about them from your water source that is pretty much unavoidable.
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Re: green hair algae

Postby liverpool » Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:49 am

So would you recommend a good clean up of the existing algae then allow the floating plants to starve the rest??
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Re: green hair algae

Postby cousin it » Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:27 am

that would be the way I would tackle it, I would also be tempted to add a few nerite snails to the tank to help keep any regrowth to a minimum, they are great little algae eating snails that will not breed in freshwater so cannot become an issue.
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Re: green hair algae

Postby liverpool » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:51 am

The tanks looking better just a few areas I have missed during the clean. Floating plants added which as dropped nitrate levels but some of my fish love to eat them!!
My problem is the gravel, hair algae attached to individual gravel stone. Can I remove and boil the gravel or replace the lot without any major problems being caused??
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Re: green hair algae

Postby Carylnz » Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:46 am

liverpool wrote:Can I remove and boil the gravel or replace the lot without any major problems being caused??


You can do either but it would not be without a few problems. Which option would you prefer? You need to do it in a way that least disturbs the existing plants.
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Re: green hair algae

Postby liverpool » Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:57 pm

I'm happy to keep the existing gravel but wasn't sure if taking it out and boiling clean would be more of a problem than replacing. Plant wise I only have floating plants
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Re: green hair algae

Postby Carylnz » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:26 am

6 of 1 and half a dozen of the other I think :?
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Re: green hair algae

Postby liverpool » Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:02 am

Live with it then or maybe some snails??
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Re: green hair algae

Postby Carylnz » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:00 am

At the top of the plant section is a sticky about different algae types and their cures. See if any of the suggestions there are useful (or showing you the cause). If you do not fix the cause it won't matter what you do, the algae will return.
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Re: green hair algae

Postby liverpool » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:17 am

I don't know the iron contents of my tap water but the phosphates are 0.5 and nitrates 30-40. The floating plants have removed the nitrate levels in the tank to 10ish. In the tank I have 4 large pieces of bogwood andb3 pieces of slate so I'm sure this isn't the problem. The gravel as been in for 2 years now and other than surface debris is clean throughout.
Do you think my source water is full of iron or nutrients? Was hoping the frogbit and water lettuce would outcompete the small remaining parts of hair algae.
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Re: green hair algae

Postby Carylnz » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:24 am

It is possible. In my country you can ring the local council (or go online) and look up the information on what is in the water supply. I should think you can do so in the UK.
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