Got a nuisance hair algae problem that you just can’t seem to shake? Well, here are a few steps we took and they might be helpful for your situation. You can uses any and/or all of these steps, and it doesn’t really matter in what order you do them, though the list below is in somewhat of a logical order.
- Determine the type of algae you have and think about what may be causing it (sometimes neither of these is all that obvious)
- Check equipment to make sure everything is operating as it should
- Test for things like phosphate and nitrate, as they usually fuel algae growth (note that neither may test high due to either poor test kits or test execution, or the fact that there is no free nitrate/phosphate left in the water column)
- Try manual removal of the algae
- Perform regular large water changes using clean source water (e.g. RODI unit with fresh filters) and quality salt
- Try to cut back the amount of food you put into the aquarium
- If problems persist, look at the items you are dosing, as they may contain substances that fuel algae growth as well
- If none of the above works, try raising magnesium levels to over 1300ppm (will require testing)
- If magnesium doesn’t help, try a lights out period, coupled with all of the steps above
- Lastly, if all else fails, break down the aquarium and remove the algae by whatever means necessary (let it sit dry, blast it with a power washer, soak the rock in acid, etc.)
These steps get progressively extreme from the top to the bottom of the list. One tip may solve all your problems, or you may have to implement multiple tips at once.