Algae are inevitable in a fish tank. Almost every aquarist has to face algae in the fish tank during their lifetime. Algae are so irritating that sometimes aquarist gives up this lovely hobby because of it. Corrective measures like proper planning, lighting, and filtration can help clean algae in a fish tank and lower the risk of algae re-growth. In this article, we discuss why algae grow in fish tanks.

What are algae?

why algae grow in fish tank

why do algae grow in the fish tank.

Algae are single-cell or microscopic organisms. These organisms grow and thrive in suitable conditions, like nutrient-rich water and intense light. Algae develop colonies on the water tank surface, decorations, and aquarium walls. Algae are not harmful in a limited quantity as they consume carbon dioxide (CO2) and generate oxygen during photosynthesis. However, Algae bloom is damaging as it starts growing by eating excessive food and nutrients in the fish tank. It also hinders fish movement and blocks light penetration as well.

4 main reasons for the growth of algae in a fish tank

 Four main reasons that cause algae overgrowth in the fish tank. Taking care of the following points may  reduce and eliminate algae bloom in a fish tank

  • Excessive light exposure
  • Nutrient-rich water
  • Tap Water & Poor filtration
  • Long delays between water changes.

Now let's discuss each of the reasons in more detail

Excessive light exposure: 

Try to reduce the overall light exposure to the fish tank, as intense light could be a reason for Algae growth. Another example of excessive light could be turning on your fish tank lights for a more extended period. Turn off the fish tank lights when you are away. Also, note that fish doesn't need direct sunlight. Lights from other sources, like windows, are enough to satisfy fish.

Excessive nutrients in your fish tank: 

Overfeeding fish is another critical reason for Algae bloom. The excessive food you put into the fish tank plunge into the bottom of the Aquarium, causing nutrients rich water, which yields perfect conditions for forming Algae. The best practice is to put enough food that your fish consumes in 2 to 3 minutes. If you are a new Aquriest and don't know the exact food quantity needed. Always start with a smaller amount and gradually increase the quantity. See how fast your fish consume the whole food. Give them a little more if they eat the entire food in less than 2 minutes. Soon you will figure out the exact food intake for your aquarium. Remove excessive food after four or five minutes of feeding. You can use a siphon hose or net to remove leftover food.

Long periods between water changes:

Fish food and shit produce lots of nutrition. This excessive food help algae to flourish. Rapidly changing aquarium water helps lower water nutrition, resulting in slower algae growth.

Tap Water and Inadequate filtration:

If you use tap water in your Aquarium, there is a high chance of algae growth. As tap water contains a high amount of Nitrate (NO₃) and phosphate (PO₄), which fuels algae growth in a water tank. If you observe algae growth in an aquarium, test your water to measure the quantity of nitrate and phosphate. The healthy range of nitrate and phosphate should be below ten and 0.5 ppm, respectively. Proper filtration and timely water change in the tank help eliminate the risk of algae growth as it helps slow down water decay by maintaining better water quality.

How to get rid from algae growth in the fish tank?

Excessive nutrients, light imbalance, tap water, and unsatisfactory filtration are the leading causes to form algae in your fish tank. To overcome algae growth in a aquarium focus on root cause of algae growth as  mentioned above. Here are some other tips that would help control and eliminate algae bloom.

Keep the Algae eater crew in your fish tank. 

Beautiful algae eater fish Siamese Flying Fox

Beautiful algae eater fish Siamese Flying Fox

Introducing Algae-eating fish and snails is the perfect solution to reduce the spread and growth of Algae. For this purpose, the Siamese Flying Fox, Otocinclus, and Plecostomus are helpful to keep in the fish tank.

Keep Live plants:

Keeping live plants in the Aquarium will also reduce algae growth as it reduces many nutrients that flue the Algae growth. Add enough plants so that algae can't retake its root. A valuable plant to add to your fish tank could be hornwort, which produces chemicals that actively stop algae.

Short lighting duration:

As mentioned above that algae flourish in high lighting. When using artificial light, ensuring the light that is not very strong can help overcome algae growth. Reducing lighting for up to six hours enables you to control algae. Also, avoid direct sunlight, as algae thrive in sunlight.

Clean your fish tank: If you see algae on the fish tank surface, glass, rocks or other decorations, manually clean it with the scraper or sponge in the initial stages.


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