Some algae growth is normal and healthy, but excess algae growth is unsightly and can be hazardous to fish. Like any plant life, algae thrive on water, excess sunlight and nutrients (nitrates and phosphates).
Common reasons for algae overgrowth.
- Lights left on too long
- Having your fish tank situated in direct sunlight
- Overfeeding the fish
- Insufficient water changes – poor tank hygiene
- Using water with high nutrients
How to help avoid excess algae:
- Reduce Lighting – Don’t place the tank in direct sunlight. When using artificial light make sure it is not stronger than necessary and is not on for more than eight hours each day – use a timer if necessary
- Feed Less – Feed small portions and watch the fish eat. If all the food isn’t eaten in five minutes, you are overfeeding. Always remove any uneaten food promptly.
- Water Changes – Do regular water changes. Change ten to fifteen percent of your aquarium water every week to keep nutrients in the water low – maintenance of your aquarium is key.
- Know Your Water – Test your water before adding it to your aquarium and if necessary use the correct additives to get it in perfect condition
- Clean It Up – Always remove algae promptly if you start seeing it in your fish tank – it can multiply fast!!
- Keep Live Plants – these will use many of the nutrients that algae thrive upon. Fewer nutrients mean that there is less likelihood of excess algae.
- Keep Algae Eating Fish – such as the Siamese Flying Fox, Otocinclus or Plecostomus, will help reduce some of the algae in the tank.
Types of Algae
- Brown – which is common in new tanks. It is usually harmless and will eventually go away as the tank matures.
- Blue/Green – Caused by too many nitrates and phosphates. It can spread rapidly and can cause a lot of damage. Good tank hygiene will help, but you might have to use a specialist aquarium treatment to help remove it.
- Red or Beard algae – Very difficult to get rid of and usually appears on plants. Contact a reputable company or professional for advice – (Aquamacs 0300 364 1250)
- Green – This is a normal healthy type of algae that every tank will most likely experience in some degree. Not really a problem as long as you keep up with regular maintenance
- Green Water – or Algae Bloom –. It is one of the more frustrating types of algae to remove, as it can’t be wiped or scraped off like other algae. Specialist treatments, or completely blocking all light for several days can help to reduce green water.
If you need any help with looking after your fish, please get in touch
Aquamacs, Moorgrove Tolgullow Redruth Cornwall TR16 5PD
T: 0300 365 1250
Mobile: 07761 650932