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I am looking for a tank inhabitant that would eat hair algae and would be peaceful for a 40 gallon breeder. Some of the more trusted pet stores in the area carry true Siamese Algae Eaters, Panda Garra, Whiptail Catfish, Otocinclus Catfish, Amano Shrimp, and Nerite Snails but I'm not sure which of those would go best in my tank and which would specifically eat the hair algae.

The tank is heavily planted and currently contains 1 Longfin Bristlenose Pleco, 6 False Julii Corycats, and 4 Platies. At some point I am for sure going to add some Harlequin Rasboras and a German Blue Ram as well. I'm toying with the idea of a Honey Gourami, but am not sure on that, and it may depend on the amount of current the new algae eater would be comfortable with. So the new tank mate would have to tolerate other bottom dwellers and other catfish, not be eaten or harassed by the German Blue Ram, and be gentle enough not to bother small schooling fish.

Why I am turning to an algae eater:
Because my tap water has 1 ppm Ammonia in it, I always have some algae problems in my tanks. I never had any problems until the tap water company changed from chlorine to chloramine and all this blasted Ammonia got into the water. But once they made the switch even though I do weekly water changes, don't overstock, do thorough gravel vacuuming, overfiltering, use tons of biomaterial, and live plants in my tanks there is always just going to be algae because of the source water. I use Prime as my dechlorinator, which detoxifies the Ammonia for 24 hours till the beneficial bacteria can convert it to less harmful forms, but the algae still forms. So each of my tanks has an algae eating resident that usually takes care of the problem. In all my other tanks I've had brown algae or green algae, but in my 40 gallon planted tank conditions seems to be right for the dreaded green hair algae. I have a beautiful, beloved Longfin Albino Bristlenose Pleco in there named Zeus, but she is completely uninterested in the hair algae. It's like she doesn't even see it, she ignores it so completely.

Tank specs:
The tank is a 40 gallon breeder, with a temperature in the low 70s, a pH of 7.4, a hardness of 11 dGH, a bubblewand that provides a fair amount of current, and a smooth sand substrate. The plants are Windelov Java Fern, a couple types of Anubias, Subwassertang, Mini African Water Fern, Dwarf Lily, Anacharis, Ludwigia, Water Sprite, Dwarf Sagittaria, Bacopa, Hygrophila, and Amazon Frogbit. Duckweed also hitchhiked into the tank. The hardscape consists of a large piece of aquatic Spider Wood boiled so it won't release tannins, a resin cave, and sandstone rocks. I use Flourish Comprehensive fertilizer as well as Flourish Root Tabs. It has been set up and cycled for over 6 months, has an adjustable Aquaclear 70 filter, a Beamworks DA 6500 LED light, an Aqueon Pro Heater, and quite a variety of foods.

I am looking for a tank inhabitant that would eat hair algae and would be peaceful for a 40 gallon breeder. Some of the more trusted pet stores in the area carry true Siamese Algae Eaters, Panda Garra, Whiptail Catfish, Otocinlus Catfish, Amano Shrimp, and Nerite Snails but I'm not sure which of those would go best in my tank and which would specifically eat the hair algae.



The tank is heavily planted and currently contains 1 Longfin Bristlenose Pleco, 6 False Julii Corycats, and 4 Platies. At some point I am for sure going to add some Harlequin Rasboras and a German Blue Ram as well. I'm toying with the idea of a Honey Gourami, but am not sure on that, and it may depend on the amount of current the new algae eater would be comfortable with. So the new tank mate would have to tolerate other bottom dwellers and other catfish, not be eaten or harrassed by the German Blue Ram, and be gentle enough not to bother small schooling fish.



I am looking for a tank inhabitant that would eat hair algae and would be peaceful for a 40 gallon breeder. Some of the more trusted pet stores in the area carry true Siamese Algae Eaters, Panda Garra, Whiptail Catfish, Otocinlus Catfish, Amano Shrimp, and Nerite Snails but I'm not sure which of those would go best in my tank and which would specifically eat the hair algae.



The tank is heavily planted and currently contains 1 Longfin Bristlenose Pleco, 6 False Julii Corycats, and 4 Platies. At some point I am for sure going to add some Harlequin Rasboras and a German Blue Ram as well. I'm toying with the idea of a Honey Gourami, but am not sure on that, and it may depend on the amount of current the new algae eater would be comfortable with. So the new tank mate would have to tolerate other bottom dwellers and other catfish, not be eaten or harrassed by the German Blue Ram, and be gentle enough not to bother small schooling fish.



Why I am turning to an algae eater:

Because my tap water has 1 ppm Ammonia in it, I always have some algae problems in my tanks. I never had any problems until the tap water company changed from chlorine to chloramine and all this blasted Ammonia got into the water. But once they made the switch even though I do weekly water changes, don't overstock, do thorough gravel vacuuming, overfiltering, use tons of biomaterial, and live plants in my tanks there is always just going to be algae because of the source water. I use Prime as my dechlorinator, which detoxifies the Ammonia for 24 hours till the beneficial bacteria can convert it to less harmful forms, bu the algae still forms. So each of my tanks has an algae eating resident that usually takes care of the problem. In all my other tanks I've had brown algae or green algae, but in my 40 gallon planted tank conditions seems to be right for the dreaded green hair algae. I have a beautiful, beloved Longfin Albino Bristlenose Pleco in there named Zeus, but she is completely uninterested in the hair algae. It's like she doesn't even see it, she ignores it so completely.



Tank specs:

The tank is a 40 gallon breeder, with a temperature in the low 70s, a pH of 7.4, a hardness of 11 dGH, a bubblewand that provides a fair amount of current, and a smooth sand substrate. The plants are Windelov Java Fern, a couple types of Anubias, Subwassertang, Mini African Water Fern, Dwarf Lily, Anacharis, Ludwigia, Water Sprite, Dwarf Sagittaria, Subwassertang, and Amazon Frogbit. Duckweed also hitchhiked into the tank. The hardscape consists of a large piece of aquatic Spider Wood boiled so it won't release tannins, a resin cave, and sandstone rocks. I use Flourish Comprehensive fertilizer as well as Flourish Root Tabs. It has been set up and cycled for over 6 months, has an adjustable Aquaclear 70 filter, a Beamworks DA 6500 LED light, an Aqueon Pro Heater, and quite a variety of foods
 

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The shrimp will graze on it. Ever consider using RO water? Increasing water changes might actually be adding to the issue if the tap is reading that high. Sounds like beautiful set-ups, I would go for the RO system. I would also attach a filter for your health too. Have you tried filling up a bucket of water and leaving it to sit for a few days? It might test different.
 

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Aside from adding an algae eater, you could also try giving the tank less light. I had similar issues, seemed like there was algae no matter what I did, but by cutting down the amount of lighting by just about an hour per day, it almost completely solved the issue.

I know it might seem obvious, but it wasn't to me! Also, personally when I notice some algae (especially on the live plants, since I don't want them being covered by it), the next time I do a water change I just clean it off with my hand. Not sure how much algae you have, exactly, so that might not be practical, especially in a 40 gallon.

Other than that, amano shrimp and nerite snails should both be good options, as they both graze on pretty much any vegetable matter they find. I would guess that if your plants aren't bothered by your plecos or cories, that snails/shrimp won't damage them either.

Good luck!
 

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Many aquarium owners might disagree with me, but using snails to minimize algae is actually effective. I have used it personally, and the snail has done a tremendous job of keeping my fish tank clean and free from algae.
You will need to limit the access to light in your fish tank. If you have the capability, provide a timer for the light for you to have more control in using and turning off the light. My suggestion is to turn the light on about two and a half hours in the morning then another six and a half hours late afternoon, probably from 4:00 pm to 10:30 pm.
 
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