Green Hair Algae: 3 Quick Fixes & Get Rid of Them Easily

In this article, we discuss causes and solutions for hair algae in aquariums. Key factors include high phosphate and nitrate levels, excessive light, and CO2 imbalance. Solutions include manual removal, light management, algae-eating species, nutrient control, and algaecides.

You have this beautiful fish tank with nice aquarium plants and so on and then suddenly everything turns into a green carpet like surface. What is that or what is the cause of that, and how can you get rid of it? In this article we will try to answer all that questions and give some information about hair algae. We will discuss different methods that will help prevent and get rid of them. Continue reading for all that information.

There are so many different types of algae that it is very hard and sometimes even not possible to identify them. Most of you have different types of algae in your tank.

What causes Hair algae to grow?

hair algae

Hair algae can grow in aquariums due to a variety of factors. These include an imbalance of nutrients, particularly high levels of nitrate and phosphate, excessive light and carbon dioxide, excess organic waste, and low levels of oxygen. Addressing these factors is crucial to prevent and eradicate hair algae.

This type of algae belongs to Oedogonium genus. When hair algae appear in salty water in a short period of time it can cover the whole tank. And if you will not do anything to stop their development they will take over the whole tank. And this will turn your aquarium into a green jungle like place which is something that no aquarium keeper wants to see.

Also, if you notice the early appearance of algae try to get rid of it as soon as possible. As with time, it will spread more and it will be way difficult to get rid of the algae.

Hair algae survive with the help of phosphate and nitrate. Thus when the levels of phosphate and nitrates are high there is high possibility that hair algae will appear in your tank.

Usually, hair algae are formed during the cycling period of the tank when it’s still searching for a biological balance. After some time hair algae will disappear, especially with the help of algae eating tanks inhabitants.

Another cause of hair algae can be light, especially when the light in your tank is too bright then hair algae will spread even faster.

Co2 can also cause hair algae, a perfect level of CO2 in the tank should be 20-30 ml per liters.

How to prevent and get rid of hair algae?

To prevent and eliminate hair algae in aquariums, it is crucial to maintain a balanced nutrient level, control light and carbon dioxide levels, minimize organic waste, and ensure proper oxygen levels. Proper aquarium maintenance, regular water changes, and the use of algae eaters can also help combat hair-algae growth.

Getting rid of hair algae is a real pain and you need to understand that it will take some time. Also, you will probably not be able to completely get rid of hair algae at first.

One of the most obvious ways to get rid of hair algae is by ripping it. You need to literally rip off the hair algae from the rocks. Turn the filter off so the ripped parts will not move around and fall into hiding places where they can grow again. You can do it with rubber gloves or even without. Juts carefully rip all the hair algae from your tank. This way you will solve the half of the problem. After that, you have to try to maintain that achievement.

As hair algae exist when phosphate and nitrates exist in the aquarium water then it means that if you want to get rid of the hair algae you need to lower the level of phosphate and nitrates. The level of phosphate should be .05 ml per liter and the level of nitrate should be 10ml per liter.

hair algae treatment

As mentioned above light can be one of the reasons that hair algae appear. In order to prevent that, you need to lower the brightness of the light in your fish tank. Lower light will not cause green hair algae to spread in your tank.

Another efficient way that will help to get rid of algae hair is by the help of algae eaters. Buy some fish or other aquarium inhabitants that can be fed by algae hair and they will do the job for you. For example, you can buy Ameca splendens, flagfish Jordanella floridae, mollies or other algae eaters. Also, ghost shrimps are algae eaters so they can also be helpful.

The next method that can help to prevent and get rid of hair algae is water change.  If you notice that your tank has an excess of nutrients, then you need to often change the water in the aquarium to solve that issue.

Although many hobbyists think that changing tanks water too often may be beneficial for hair algae as they tend to adapt to changes faster than aquarium plants. Thus it might even be worse.

Plants can be another method to prevent hair algae appearance. First of all, you need to choose healthy plants for your tank. The way that plants can help you with algae is that the more plants there are in the tank the less space there will be for algae. Also, plants create shade in the tank which will make it harder for algae to spread around.

Also, you can try algae control products. The algaecides can be very helpful, though some people think that these products do not solve the problem and just cover the problem for some short period of time.

Liquid carbo can also be helpful when fighting with hair algae. Because hair algae hate liquid carbo, thus these can be very effective. Use liquid carbo every day, this will solve the problem.  But if you want to have better results then apply the liquid carbo directly to the areas where you notice the most of the hair algae.

What Are Some Quick Fixes For Green Hair Algae?

Some quick fixes for green hair algae include manually removing the algae from the affected areas, reducing nutrient levels through water changes and cleaning, adjusting lighting durations, and using chemical treatments or algae-eating fish or invertebrates.

Dealing with Green Algae can be a pain, especially if you have a community tank with fish species that don’t deal well with the algae growth. The worst thing about green algae is that it propagates very quickly and blocks out the much-needed sunlight and the nutrients that the fish need to live a comfortable life.

What Are Some Quick Fixes For Green Hair Algae?

A quick fix is not always a possible, especially since the regrowth of green algae is recurrent. Ideally, there are a few effective ways in which you can get rid of green algae from the tank or at least keep a check on their growth.

Include some algae eating fish

A few fish species are available in pet stores that are voracious algae eaters. They don’t differentiate between the kind of algae; they just ensure that there are no unwanted algae growth in the tank. If your tank’s green algae growth is getting beyond control, add some algae eating fish to the tank. These clean-up crews include a variety of fish that are adaptable and hardy.

Opt for commercial products

If the clean-up crew or consistent cleaning isn’t working, your next best fix is to use algaecides. They do work for the time being, however, we’d recommend keeping them as the last resort since they affect the aquatic plants in the tank. Since they have very harsh chemicals, they can affect the fish’s health too.

Scrub them out

Lastly, what you can do is scrub and clean the tank down. Keep in mind that algae removal is a temporary solution, especially because their growth is recurrent. However, manually cleaning out the tank and algae growth is a lot better than the use of algaecides.

Fixing CO2 Imbalance to Get Rid of Hair Algae

Fixing CO2 imbalance is crucial to getting rid of hair algae. This can be achieved by adjusting the carbon dioxide injection rate, ensuring proper water circulation, monitoring pH levels, and providing adequate surface agitation in the aquarium.

One of the biggest contributors to the growth of green hair algae is due to the CO2 imbalance in the tank. So, your best bet is by dealing with the carbon dioxide levels in your tank. So, if you want to sort out the green hair algae growth, we’d recommend that you sort out the issue with these few measures.

Green Hair Algae in Water Tank

Start working with CO2

If your water tank lacks the optimal carbon dioxide levels, start by working with it first. The process can be a little pricey but the process can be a little intimidating. The best way to sort out with the issue is by adding some CO2 to the tank. Also, proper levels of carbon dioxide can effectively help the plants reach full potential in the tank.

Add further CO2

If the situation with the carbon dioxide is working optimally, we’d recommend that you check the regrowth of the green algae in the tank. Once the balance is reached, it becomes easier for you to regulate and manage further growth and proliferation.


How Do I Get Rid of Hair Algae?

The easiest and likely the most effective way by which you can get rid of hair algae is by ripping it out. Besides that, carbon dioxide balance is another constructive way to manage the issues.

How Do You Get Rid of Hair Algae on Plants?

If the growth of hair algae on the plants is growing incessantly, the best way to get rid of them is by ensuring the water changes. The reduction of light intensity and the carbon dioxide levels also helps manage the hair algae in the water tank. Over time, with proper cleaning, the growth will eventually subside too.

What Will Eat My Hair Algae?

If you want to get rid of the hair algae growth in the water tank, you must add some effective clean-up crew in the tank. Fish species like Amano shrimp, rosy barbs and nerite snails effectively work well. Some types of livebearers, like platies and guppies, work well.

What Causes Too Much Algae?

One of the most common reasons for excess algae growth in the water tank is excess nutrient deposition in the tank. The heightened concentration of phosphorus and nitrogen are considered possible causes behind the excess algae growth.

In summary

So, hopefully, this article will help you to get rid of that annoying algae hair. Be patient because this may take longer and it is not an easy process. But using the above mentioned methods you will eventually start seeing changes for the better. Some of the methods may be helpful for some people but may not work for others. This all can depend on many factors and one of them is water. As water is different in various parts of the world thus this methods may have different results for a certain type of water. Do not lose hope this may be very difficult but it is definitely possible to get rid of algae hair.

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