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Old 02-10-2013, 01:00 AM   #1
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Default Beard or Hair Algae

In fresh water tanks, not bad personal hygiene.

We've got it bad in our 55. It's mostly a tetra tank. Gravel bottom. Planted with water sprite, anubias and another plant that looks like it but isn't. There's some petrified wood and ceramic tile in there too.

We've a Chinese algae eater because we like the fish. They do nothing to beard or hair algae.

It's not heavily planted, due to the algae choking out the plants, but there's more plants than I want to yank out and wash. We've also got the water pretty damn stable.

I've taken it out by hand and net. I keep the intake and filters clean to get all I can that way.

Any suggestions other than drain, wash and refill? I've considered saving most of the water to refill with and just risk reintroducing a little algae and go from there.

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Old 02-10-2013, 01:29 AM   #2
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Zebra snail or some amano shrimp. Both love eating algae and will leave plants alone
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neritina_natalensis
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caridina_multidentata

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Old 02-10-2013, 02:16 AM   #3
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Snails. I should have mentioned, we have 3 Yoyo loaches. They're voracious snail eaters and that's why we got them.

We got a few Rams Horn and Malaysian Trumpet snails as hitchhikers on our first plants. We didn't think much of them. Just a few snails. Ha! In a few months, the tank bottom looked absolutely alive, writhing with snails. When we turned the lights out, it was like a freak show with all the snails emerging from the gravel. They were mostly Malays. I will say, we had no algae. We also could hardly keep any plants. They destroyed a beautiful Red Tiger Lotus we grew from a bulb. It was time to do something. We got the 3 Yoyos and they commenced to slaughtering. Decimating. It was a full on snail genocide. In just a week, we saw a reduction in snail population. In a month or so, they were nearly extinct.

The shrimp look interesting. We had a crawfish for a while. It was from a sack we got to boil. It ate algae and didn't mess with the other fish or plants. I think what kept it form trying to eat them was it had some algae and we'd put in a piece of wet cat food now and then. It was well fed enough it didn't care munch plants or to hunt fish. No way I'm paying the hobby price for a dang ole crawfish though.

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Old 02-10-2013, 02:33 AM   #4
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With loaches the snails definitely would not last long. I would try the shrimp or even a bristlenose pleco .

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Old 02-10-2013, 02:35 AM   #5
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If your lights are on a timer, turn down the amount they are on each day. In fact, just turn them off most of the day except when you feed the fish. Not permanently, but to get rid of the algae for now.

Measure your Nitrites/Nitrates/Ammonia. You might be feeding too much. Consider doing some water changes, then nitrate sponge (chemicals to absorb some of those nitrates).

Don't bother with things to eat the algae, attack the source of the problem, which is too much nutrients in the water.

I have a large saltwater tank, so my advice might not be relevant for freshwater. Good luck.

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Old 02-10-2013, 03:05 AM   #6
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I agree it sounds like he is feeding to much.The snails multiplying like that was a dead giveaway. My thought was that the shrimp when done eating the algae would clean up any extra food that is being fed. the plants would then take any extra nitrate and nitrite outof the water. Turning the lights off would help get rid of the algae, but could have a negative effect on the plants as well.

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Old 02-10-2013, 09:37 PM   #7
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I hear yall. An explosion of snails followed by an explosion of algae once the snails are all gone. It does point to over feeding. I'll try half a pinch instead of a pinch a day. They are only little tetras, mostly.

I tested my water again today. API Master Kit.

I think that ammonia is a tinge more green than flat 0, but not near 0.25. Color cards are open to eyeball interpretation like that.

These results are a rock steady representation of the past 12 months easy. I stopped logging them long ago since they were never changing from week to week. Ammonia included.

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Old 02-10-2013, 10:39 PM   #8
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Your levels look fine there.

You might also check phosphates. This this is the element that has been removed from dishwasher detergent, residential fertilizer, etc, because it results in algae blooms in rivers and lakes. Our previously-clear freshwater springs down here are full of algae because of phosphate runoff, primarily.

Don't try to fix anything too quickly. In reef tanks, looking for a quick fix usually ushers in more problems than solutions.

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Old 02-11-2013, 05:08 PM   #9
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+1 on phosphates, also try cutting back your feeding a bit with the light cycle. Get a decent clean up crew as well. Like Passed_dawn I used to be heavily into SW aquariums before brewing. After a large tank crash and losing thousands in livestock, decided I was done. Good luck with the algae!

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