Algae are eukaryotic and photosynthetic aquatic organisms under the kingdom of Protista. Algae growth is a regular trouble in any fish tank. Many types of algae grow in the aquarium and deplete vital nutrients from the water and thus affect the growth of live plants and aquarium fishes. Growth of algae relies on light. If you see the algae with other colors than green, it indicates the water quality is deteriorated. If you see the red or brown algae in your aquarium, it designates the water with high dissolved nitrate or phosphate levels.
Types of Aquarium Algae
There are many types of algae available in the fish tanks.
Green carpet algae: It is very common algae which can grow and spread very quickly in your aquarium. Generally, it occurs on rocks, decorations, and aquarium glass walls.
Green Water: These types of algae float on the aquarium water and make the water green in color. It creates the huge trouble in the aquarium by depleting the oxygen level and preventing the penetration of artificial light to reach your aquarium inhabitants.
Brown Algae: It is also the most common type of algae which generally occurs in a new aquarium under dim-light condition on the bottom layer and side’s wall of the tank forming brown layer sheet. You can easily remove the brown algae using algae scrubber pad. Generally, this problem can improve with increasing the age of your fish tank.
Red Algae: It is the toughest type of algae which grows and spreads rapidly on driftwood or other decorations. It grows up to 3 cm in height and forms a thick green carpet grass.
Common Causes to Grow Algae in Your Aquarium
Growing algae in your aquarium mainly depends on water, light, and nutrients (nitrates and phosphates) level. To prevent algae growth in your aquarium, you should control the amount of nutrients and light.
Sunlight influences the growth of algae. Aquarium would never be placed near the window or where direct sunlight is available. If you use artificial light in your tank, length of the light hour per day should not more than 8 hours. To control lighting hour, you can purchase a lighting system with a timer to turn the light on and off automatically.
Over-feeding your fish creates food wastes which influence the algae growth in your tank. To avoid over-feeding, fish should be offered small amount of feed that can be eaten within 5 minutes. Uneaten food must be removed after five minutes using a small meshed net to avoid food wastes.
General Algae Control Measures
Role of Live Plants to Control Algae: Generally, excess nutrients and light influence the overgrowth of algae in your aquarium. To control the algae growth, live aquarium plants play a vital role because they naturally absorb lots of phosphate and nitrate from the water and lessen the chances of algae growth. More live plants in your aquarium means fewer algae in the aquarium.
Role of Algae Eaters to Control Algae: There are lots of aquatic organisms which prefer to eat algae from the aquarium water. Cory Catfish, Apple Snails, Red Cherry Shrimps, Ghost Shrimps, Twig Catfish, Bristle-nose plecos, and Siamese Algae Eater are some prominent algae eaters. They feed on algae and other fish waste from the tank and make it healthy and clean.
Role of Algae Control Drop to Prevent Algae Growth: You can also combat the algae by using algae control drop. Algae Control Drops are available in the pet fish business market with reasonable prices. We recommend you to purchase the algae control drop to prevent the growth of algae in your tank.
Regular Aquarium Maintenance: Regular Maintenance of Aquarium is the best process to keep algae away from the aquarium. 10-20% water change on regular basis helps to lessen the nutrient level from the aquarium water and thus reduces the algae growth. If algae build-up on any decoration, heater, filters and aquarium walls, you should use algae scraper to remove algae.
To make your aquarium clean and algae free, you should install the best aquarium filters that have biological media which helps to break down the nutrient substances (nitrate and phosphate) in your aquarium. The filter also eliminates any fish waste materials from the tank water and lowers the levels of nitrate and phosphate, make your aquarium cleaner and prevent algae growth.
How to Remove Algae from Artificial Aquarium Plants
How to Clean Algae from Live Aquarium Plants
Live plants need to be cleaned if it is covered with algae, waste or debris. Generally, it is more difficult to clean than silk and plastic plants. Cleaning live plants should be done carefully; if you do it incorrectly you may damage or kill the plants.
To remove waste and debris from the live plants, simply you can brush the plants by using a soft sponge. If your plants are covered with algae growth, you should follow the guidelines below to remove algae from your live plants:
Using Bleach Solution
Sometimes 10% bleach solution is used to remove algae from live plants. In this case, plants should be soaked in bleach up to 5 minutes or less if the plant`s species are fragile.
Following soaking, take off the plants from the bleach and gently rub the plants to remove algae. After that, immerse the plants in a container with clean water and let them soak for more 10 minutes and wash them thoroughly. After cleaning, place the plants in your aquarium at the desired location and make sure to embed the plant roots.
Plants make the aquarium more appealing like natural environment. They provide hiding spots and make spawning ground for many fish species. To make your tank environment healthy with good water quality, you should clean the algae from both live and artificial plants and other waste materials regularly. Generally, the well-being of your aquarium inhabitants relies on your tank`s hygiene. Therefore, you should clean your fish tank thoroughly on regular basis.