How to get rid of hair, staghorn, string, and other filamentous algae

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Filamentous algae refers to the many types of algae that look like wet hair when you take them out of the aquarium (e.g., hair algae, staghorn algae, string algae, and thread algae). These algae can be problematic because they grow so rapidly or are hard to get rid of. They’re generally caused by an excess of certain nutrients (such as iron), too much light, or not enough nutrients (to match the long lighting period). Therefore, try decreasing your lighting period, increasing fertilization, or decreasing iron. Siamese algae eaters, amano shrimp, molly fish, and Florida flagfish are good candidates to use as clean-up crew. You can also help them by manually removing large clumps using a toothbrush.

For more information, read our full article on how to fight algae in your fish tank.