Algae, not necessarily a bad thing as it is natural to have algae in your aquarium. The problem arises as it begins to take over your tank giving it a greenish and unhealthy look.
If algae begins to grow in excess and starts to take over your tank, it is not at all good for your aquarium. They will prove to be unhealthy for your plants and fishes.
So its not a good idea to let the algae stick around for a long time. They won’t take a lot of time to take over your tank completely and don’t require any help for it.
The plants, decors and glass planes everything will be covered with algae.
This makes algae something which should not be overlooked and taken care of at the very first stages of its spread.
What Influences the Growth of Algae in an Aquarium?
There are a lot of aspects which influence the growth of algae in an aquarium. Before moving on to the modus operandi of controlling algae, lets have a look upon the its growth catalysts.
First and foremost comes light.
Light has a great hand in the growth and spread of algae. If you happen to have kept your aquarium near a window, the sunlight will greatly increase the growth of algae in your aquarium.
A light is needed in an aquarium for the plants but if you are providing with excess light, algae will begin to grow and spread.
The levels of phosphate in your water column plays a vital role in algae growth. Phosphates hugely speed up the growth of algae.
Phosphates usually get generated and suspended into the water column by the leftover food. The more the leftover food the greater the levels of phosphates will be in your aquarium.
If you are providing your aquarium plants with excess nutrients the algae will spread extensively. The plants will absorb the required amount and then the rest is taken in by the algae which leads to overgrowth of algae. Algae absorb the nutrients which only lead to their excess levels.
If you are skipping on water changes then this will also lead to algae growth.
Controlling Algae in Aquarium
Now that you are aware of the triggers or influences of growth of algae in an aquarium, the next step would be to control them.
If you ignore it, then your tank will resemble a green cloud in a matter of days.
1. Control Lighting in your Fish Tank
Lets start with light. Light plays a huge role in algae growth, but without algae your plants wont be able to survive. It is essential that every aquarium must have a light but the amount of time that you expose your aquarium to light must be controlled.
Plants usually require about 10 to 12 hours of light. Use a timer to turn off the light when the amount of time is reached.
Also move away your aquarium from near windows or any place where it gets exposed to sunlight. Algae love sunlight and it will always help it grow and spread.
2. Control Feeding
Feeding your fish the right amount of food is one habit that you want to develop. Feeding them more than what they need will create leftover food and is not a good thing when accumulated too much.
The leftover food will give rise to phosphates which gradually help algae to proliferate in the tank.
Start feeding your fish in a controlled manner to not let the phosphate levels rise in your aquarium. Keeping the source under control will be a huge help to you reduce algae.
3. Algae eaters in your Aquarium
The easiest way to control algae under control in your tank is algae eating fishes. Introducing algae eaters to your tank is sure to keep algae under control.
Siamese and Chinese algae eater, cherry shrimp, catfish are among the best algae eaters that you can bring into your aquarium.
It’s a child’s play for them to munch on algae and therefore algae in your tank will remain under control.
Also Read: Top 10 Best Algae Eater Fishes For Your Aquarium
4. Check water chemical composition of your Fish Tank
As there are many substances such as nitrates, phosphates, and many more that contribute to the growth of algae in an aquarium.
If your aquarium is going through an algae outburst, it is wise that you test your water. By testing your water you will be able to know what is leading to the abnormal spread of algae. Mainly you will have to test for phosphates and nitrates, as those two are the main culprits of it.
If the phosphates and nitrates are suspended greatly in your aquarium then it is crucial that you use chemicals to remove them.
Such chemicals are available in any aquarium store. If you wish to keep the algae under control then it is best if you reduce the amount of phosphates and nitrates.
5. Do Water changes Regularly
Doing water changes contributes to controlling algae in your tank as well. Do a water change of about 20 percent every week. This helps a lot in keeping algae levels low for with water changes the excess nutrients leave the aquarium.
As algae rely on nutrients for their growth and with the absence of it the algae wont have a chance. Water changes will reduce the levels of nitrates on your aquarium as well.
Although you must remember to run the water through dichlorination before adding to your tank.
6. Remove algae manually
If large amounts of algae have accumulated in your tank, you can resort to scraping them off manually as well.
Algae will mostly cover up the glass panes, plants and rocks in your aquarium. If you see any of these covered with algae you can remove the algae manually by cleaning them.
Remove the algae infested rocks and plants from the aquarium and give them a thorough clean. Scrape the glass to get rid of the algae.
When cleaning to get rid of algae remember to remove all the algae and not leave a sliver behind.
Why you wouldn’t want algae in your aquarium?
As it is already mentioned a small amount of algae is not harmful for your aquarium. But if it accumulates too much in you aquarium then it proves to be a hazard.
Too much of algae is not good for your fish. The most detrimental effect that it brings upon is to the plants. The algae will most definitely cover your plants not giving them any chance to thrive. They will cover the plant hence not giving them a chance to get sunlight and will take up all the nutrients needed by the plants.
Following all the steps mentioned here is sure to help you in controlling algae growth in your aquarium. But remember that you must remain consistent with all these as if you do it only once algae has higher chance of spreading again.
Be mindful of any kind of source of algae in your aquarium. If you find one source then it is better to take care of it immediately. It is not that hard and complicated to control the growth of algae, you just have to get up and do it.