Red Hair Algae Freshwater: Everything You Need To Know

With over 30,000 types of algae in the world, it’s no surprise that you’ll find at least a few types in your own aquarium. All aquarists, whether new or old, have their own brushes with algae in their freshwater tank.

One such type is the red hair algae. It’s commonly found in freshwater tanks. Although it’s not necessarily bad, too much of it can be troublesome in your tank, which is why you may want to remove it when it’s just starting to grow.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about red hair algae, red algae, and hair algae.

Source: ReefAquarium

Is red hair algae bad in freshwater tank?

Red algae are a type of algae that can grow in both freshwater and saltwater tanks

However, only a small percentage of red algae can grow in freshwater tanks. In fact, the number is only around 5% or less of all the red algae types. The rest can only grow in saltwater.

In general, they grow pretty slowly, so it’s actually rare to see this compared to other types of more aggressive algae. This is because they are often outcompeted for nutrients.

Although most aquarists don’t like algae in their tank, red hair algae is an exception. Due to the coloring, some aquarists try to keep this in their tanks, albeit in controlled amounts. They can serve as a treat to some aquatic animals, such as shrimps.

Is red hair algae bad for fish?

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They’re not necessarily bad, especially since they’re not really toxic. In fact, some species of aquatic animals like munching on these algae as a snack. If they’re being grown in a well-maintained and controlled manner, they can help prevent the growth of other worse types of algae.

What does red algae mean in freshwater?

Seeing red algae in your freshwater tank means two things: that you accidentally let infected fish or plants in your tank, and that your water conditions are suitable for this type of algae to grow in.

Red algae are typically introduced to the tank due to plants that have it, or even store-bought fish that may have algae on their bodies.

It can even be found in the digestive tracts of fishes, which is why quarantining your new fishes are always a must before adding them to your main tank.

How do I get rid of red algae in my freshwater aquarium?

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There are many things that you can do to get rid of red algae in your freshwater aquarium.

The easiest thing to do is to control your aquarium light. You can reduce the intensity or shorten the amount of time that you have your light turned on. For instance, if you have your light turned on for 18 hours a day, you have an almost 100% chance of developing algae. Simply put, too much light promotes algae growth, be it green algae, black algae, or red algae. By controlling your light, you’re not giving algae any chance to propagate and grow fast.

Two, you can add CO2 to your aquarium. This solution fixes most algae issues, to be honest, and that includes red algae. You can even schedule the addition of CO2 to your aquarium to make sure that you’re adding enough.

Three, you can try scraping it away manually and then using a siphon to remove it from your tank. You can even cut off plants with algae growth in them to prevent algae to spread to other plants, rocks, or woods in your tank. This is obviously harder to do, but it’s pretty straightforward.

The last step you can try is to add snails and other algae-eating critters to your tank. Snails, in particular, love eating algae, and they eat almost nonstop.

How do you prevent hair algae?

Preventing hair algae, regardless if they’re white hair algae or red hair algae, is easy if you’re willing to keep your tank well-maintained at all times.

Simply put, just make sure that you don’t use too much light, that you add CO2 and fertilizers for your plants, and that you keep your tank clean. You can even add snails ahead of time so that they can eat any algae that are just beginning to grow.

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