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Spotted Green Algae & Hair Algae

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Hey Gang,

As the title says i'm dealing with some Spotted Green Algae & Hair Algae. I cleaned the tank last week and within a week its back. My 20gal tank currently has 2 nerite snails (wanting to add a 3rd), 6 Glowfish, 2 Amazon swords, and newly added 1 java moss & 1 week old dwarf lily bulb. Lighting is the fluval 3.0 set on auto from 6am to 6pm. How best should i go about reducing this algae? I've thought about adding a Reticulated Hillstream Loach but my LFS does not carry them. I also don't think they would eat the hair algae, just the spotted green? 

Thank you,


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All of my tanks have about 8 hours of light.  If you have a light that has blue night light or anything, make sure not to use that as in my experience it's like algae fertilizer.

That said, your situation doesn't look that bad, I would kind of ride it out, I think.  The above advice is good, you can certainly use some more plants (if that's what you want to do).  Just the light period being shunk up quite a bit will probably help a lot.  My issue is that I'm up early in the morning then at work all day and by the time I get home, the lighting period is over.  So on most of my tanks I either don't have them turn on until like 11 or 12 (noon) and off at 7:30 or 8:30.  On the ones capable of doing so, I have them on at 5-9 and then 4-8.

If that happens to be part of the reason you have the light on so long, consider investing in a little smart plug.  I really like the Kasa smart plugs (or smart strips).  They're really a great product, I haven't had a single issue with them after setting them up.  I use them to turn pumps on/off and to kill filters in my discus tank if I'm feeding flake so it doesn't just all get sucked into the HOB, I can turn it off and set a timer to turn it back on in 20 minutes.

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I'll second the advice to divide up your light period into two shorter sessions if possible. My lights are on 6:30 AM to 11:30 Am and then 4 PM to 9:30 pm and I do feel this helped reduce algae considerably while still providing enough light for plant growth.

Also, I covered the blue dots on my Finnex Stingray light with tape to reduce the amount of blue light the tanks gets, as recommended by another forum user back when I was struggling with hair and black beard algae. Not sure that I still need them covered as there are a lot more plants in the tank now and it's matured since the hair algae days, but I've not gotten quite brave enough to remove the tape and test it. Yet!

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On 1/27/2023 at 8:59 PM, Ryan1988 said:

Is it weird that i'm not seeing any roots on my Dwarf lily after a week, I see only leaves. or what I was told was leaves. 

Maybe. Those bulb plants are sometimes duds. Any change in the almost-week since you wrote this? Does the bulb feel sort of squishy if you gently squeeze it? It might also be upside down, so if you've still had no luck and it still feels firm, you could try rotating it 180 degrees.

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 I was having a dreadful time with green dust algae and staghorn algae.  For the staghorn I turned of the HOB filter, and squirted Seachem Flourish Excel directly on the algae with a syringe, being careful to not exceed daily dosage limits.  Filter would go back on 10 minutes later.  For the green dust I'd scrape it off then do a water change. Then started adding Easy Carbon every day and Easy Green weekly.  These together worked beautifully. Got the aquarium plants growing nicely and starved out the algae.   I had way to much algae for my snails or Hillsteam loaches to get rid of.

My dwarf lilies took much longer to sprout than I expected.  They were worth the wait but had me skeptical for a bit.

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