View Full Version : Hair Algae?

Robbie Capps
12-05-2014, 02:03 PM

I just added three siamese algae eaters to my 55 gallon tank. I'm currently trying to grow moss on the bottom, but when I added the moss balls, a strange plant or algae started growing on my other plants (photos attached). I'm still not sure if it's moss or what. It doesn't look like the pictures of hair algae that I've seen, but that seems closest in description. Either way, I'd like to keep it from killing my plants. Any suggestions for how to get rid of it, or at least what it is?

Thanks in advance!


12-06-2014, 10:06 AM
Looks like your probably getting too much light. You have the tank right next to a window. Natural light in most situations means LOTS of algae. Some times a proper balance of nature light and nutrients can be found but it can be very difficult.

Also I'm assuming that in addition to the light your getting from the window you are probably running artificial lighting of some kind over your tank. Depending your lighting setup usually 8-9 hours of light a day is plenty, but if your getting natural light in addition to it your going to be fighting an up hill battle.

To be honest with you from the looks of your pictures your plants are probably not going to make it. Your pretty covered in algae. You might need to start over at this point, but that might give you the option of moving your tank away from that window. If your dead set on it being there then you might not want to run artificial light for very long if at all.

Also you mentioned that your trying to grow moss on the bottom of the tank using moss balls. Moss balls are actually a type of algae. While it isn't nuisance algae like hair algae or BBA, it won't really root itself into the gravel like your expecting. It propagates by splitting off not by runners or rooting. I've seen some people do foreground with moss balls but it just looked like they broke up the moss balls and just set them on top of the substrate with no actually rooting taking place. You would have better luck trying an actually moss like Java Moss or X-Mas Moss. I've seen people using hair nets under the substrate as an anchor to loop the moss around until can "attach" itself. I say attach and not root because it really just grabs hold of the gravel with it's "stems" not any actual roots.

Micro Sword, Dwarf Hair Grass, Dwarf Baby Tears, Glossostigma, Riccia, Dwarf Sagittaria, Staurogyne Repens... are all examples of actual true fore ground plants that will root. Although lots of these true foreground plants have higher lighting and nutrient requirements as well as some needing pressurize CO2 to grow properly.

Get us some more information and we might be able to help you out more properly...

- Lighting (Type of lighting and run time)?
- Substrate?
- Nutrients?
- CO2?
- Water change/Maintenance Schedule?


12-22-2014, 07:19 AM
Looks like staghorn hydrogen peroxide will kill it. Then the SAE will eat it. If you have co2 just increase that. As to reducing the light I find it works to have 2 photo periods one in the morning and one in the evening (3 to 4 hrs each). But that is because I like to see my tanks.

I have always had my tanks in front of windows. Some people say it makes a difference but I have never noticed. If you have an imbalance the light from the window is not causing it and will likely not solve it.

01-02-2015, 07:07 PM
Just a heads up, I have definitely read about moss balls causing weird filamentous-type algae (or it showed up after moss balls were introduced). I don't have the scientific reason behind it, but there were speculations...maybe someone else knows off hand?