Jump to content

White wispy "hairs" on glass - algae or worms?

Recommended Posts

Hello all, before I get to question, background on our tank: we have a 15 gallon planted community tank that's been around for about 6 months. Currently has 4 otos, 2 female guppies, 5 kuhli loaches, ~8 shrimp, one dwarf guorami, and one mystery snail. It's been mostly stable but lately we've had some issues... 2 out of 3 otos died (replaced now) and 2 guppies died (not replaced yet) and we still don't know why. Currently one of our Trying to figure it out. Using API kit, all parameters are within normal limits... still working on it. 

However, my question for this thread (which may be related to our overall issues?) is: what are these little white hair-like things on the side of our tank? We've noticed them lately and can't figure it out on here/reddit/google. We also have a good amount of algae on our plants, and have had a hard time figuring out why. Are the "hairs" related to the overall algae in the tank? 

Really appreciate any advice - happy to clarify anything

(apologies for bad pics - hard to capture side of tank)

IMG_2479 Large.jpeg

IMG_2480 Large.jpeg

IMG_2481 Large.jpeg

IMG_2482 Large.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most Otto's are wild caught and come in pretty bad condition it's not uncommon for them to have internal parasites parasitic infection are also very common in guppies have you notice any rapid breathing hanging out near the surface lethargy flashing erratic swimming flashing loss of appetite sunken belly @Loach_Lad_77 I agree with @KittenFishMomlooks like hydra on the glass it's usually caused by feeding to much live  food algae is usually caused by excessive nutrients or lights being for to long have long do you have your lights are you using a liquid fertilizer how often are you dosing how often are you doing water changes also what are you feeding your Otto's 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is on the grass-like plant looks like a type of hair algae. I’ve got it on some of my plants also. It roots strongly into plant leaves and cannot be brushed off with a toothbrush. The only way to get rid of it that I’ve found (on plants) is to soak the plants in seltzer water in the dark for 12 hours, with the container loosely covered by a towel. The pH and CO2 from the seltzer will benefit your plants, but not the algae, and you should even see that the plants have perked up after the treatment (see Reverse Respiration post). The plants can be returned to the tank since seltzer water leaves no residue.

The stuff on the glass: the photo is not clear enough to ID it. You may have to download and use the magnifier app or just zoom in with your phone, use a magnifying glass, etc to examine the creature and see if it looks like the claw from a coin operated toy prize machine. It it does, it is hydra. The little “claws” will close around things floating by, and that is how hydra eats. 

Here is a video of my hydra in action.

Mine are green because they had been eating algae and green Repashy powder that I swirl in the water for shrimps. In my experience, the hydra have never caught a shrimp nor bothered with them, despite the bad reputation that is emphasized in some videos about them online.


My plant with deep rooted hair algae before seltzer. The stuff was too tough for shrimps to remove.


After seltzer and allowing shrimps to pick off the dead algae:


Also something to note: I have never fed brine shrimp or live food to the tank, so my hydra did not come from those sources. However, I did start this tank with water and a sponge filter from a different tank that does get fed FROZEN foods (bloodworms, brine shrimp).

I believe this to be hair algae:


This one could be black beard algae:


Edited by Chick-In-Of-TheSea
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...