How To Get Rid of Hair Algae - Hair Algae Overview:

Hair algae grows on aquarium surface & it is mostly found on the bottom of aquarium which spreads like a carpet & covers gravels, & when you attempt to remove it then it pulls up your carpeting live plants too. It stops light to reach plant leaves because it covers them, & stop them from photosynthesis which is required for survival of plants, & hence it is indirectly dangerous for your plants. It is dangerous for fish too because it sometimes trap & is fatal for your fish. Hair algae is the most dangerous of all types of algae. Aquarists do not welcome algae because it hides the look of aquarium but to some extent it is tolerable.

It is not easy to recognize algae because it has so many types & they seem similar. But still you can recognize it because there are pictures available on the internet & algae looks different from other types but still need careful observation for identifying them.


How to remove hair algae from aquarium
Image Credit: aquariumbreeder.com


How to remove Hair Algae from Aquarium:

You can remove hair algae manually from aquarium. But you can’t remove them if it is in less amount, & it is difficult to remove if it’s grown on certain surfaces. If hair algae is grown on your live plants then you must take them out of aquarium to help easily remove them manually. You can use 1 hand for holding live plant & second hand to detach them from it. If you want to reduce growth of algae in aquarium, then I suggest adding live plants to aquarium. Algae usually grows in aquarium when you have too many nitrates which act as nutrients for the plants & algae. If you have live plants, then they will absorb those nutrients that help in their growth & would stop algae from growing. Also it is suggested not to overfeed your fish because it results in high levels of nitrates in aquarium.

Change water regularly to remove level of nitrates from aquarium. If your aquarium is stocked with high amount of nitrates, then you can do regular water changes to remove them.

Also you can limit algae growth if you do not leave your tank lights on for longer periods of time. Use timer to turn on & off lights every day. This can save your effort of switching lights manually & you won’t accidentally leave them on. Also do not place your aquarium in direct sunlight which will cause algae spike. Algae grows faster in tanks that are placed in direct sunlight.

You can add certain live fish that eat algae. There are fish & invertebrates that feed on some species of hair algae. I can suggest some of them that can eat unwanted hair algae in aquarium: Ameca splendens, Florida flagfish Jordanella floridae, & mollies are some of the examples. Most species of shrimp do not like to eat hair algae, but I do know that ghost shrimp often likes to eat them. Adding little Gammarus crustaceans will help you in getting rid of algae too.

Hair Algae make coats, & from them short filaments develop that are densely packed. These make layers similar to carpets which grows over live plants & surfaces.

Hair Algae develops in aquarium when it is going through cycling phase, & biological system of the aquarium is not balanced yet. Later when nutrition is settled & if you have algae eating fish or invertebrates in aquarium, then hair algae will be automatically removed. Invertebrates eat algae types that have softer filaments such as Amano shrimp & many dwarf shrimp types. Snails including famous Ramshorn snails will eat filamentous hair algae.

If your aquarium water has imbalance of nutrition or carbon dioxide, then hair algae grows in aquarium. Also you can lower phosphate & nitrates in aquarium to lower growth of hair algae.

You can use liquid carbo to stop hair algae. Hair algae does not like liquid carbo so they work best against them. Using liquid carbo daily can help you prevent against hair algae. If you want best outcome, then I recommend adding liquid carbo to regions where most of the hair algae grow.

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