This page takes you through the different types of algae, their benefits or hindrance and remedies to get rid of them.
Below are some of the basic types of algae that can intrude into your aquarium.
Blue-green algae grow rapidly using light and spreads like a slime or coating over the plants, between the gravels and the decorations in your aquarium. Blue green algae belong to a bacterial type called cyanobacteria.
Diatoms are the common name for brown algae. They form chunky brown patches on the place where there is low light like caves, plants and tank glasses. They commonly occur in new aquarium setups where the nitrogen content is low and phosphate level is high.
Hair algae has a rougher structure and grows up to 5cm or more at the bottom of the plants like Echinodorus, rocks and woods. They appear in bright green color.
Red Algae appears like a small patch in your tank in reddish brown color. Due to its appearance it is also known as Brush algae. It can occur in both alkaline and acidic water. It grows on slower growing live plant leaves like Anubias, Echinodorus and in other wide leaf plants.
Beard alga is a very common alga that grows in non-planted aquariums. They appear very attractive like a green carpet over the wooden decorative or on the tank bottom.
Green water algae causes “algae bloom” a scenario in which the water turns completely green in color and makes the fishes invisible. This condition does not cause any harm to fishes except that it makes the tank look rubbish.
There are enormous algae species that can raid an aquarium. They may vary in color and nature but overall, they are not a welcoming guest to an aquarium.
Although algae growth indicates that your tank is rich in nutrition, it gives an ugly messy look. You can always keep your tank free from algae by following few easy steps.
Algae usually sticks to the base and leaves of live plant. So when you buy a new live plant to your aquarium make sure to soak them into household bleach for 2 to 3 min. Then wash them with clean water. This act can prevent algae induction to your tank.
Excess light is the main source of algae formation in an aquarium. So make sure that your aquarium does not receive direct sunlight. Also, keep in mind to switch off the aquarium lights minimum 12 to 15 hours a day. Light is one of the major sources of energy for rich algae growth.
Tap water may contain elements that support algae growth naturally. So test your tap water before using it in your aquarium. Tap water will be rich in phosphorous content that is one of the much-needed nutrition for algae growth. Use phosphate-removing chemical filter media to stabilize the water.
It is necessary to change 1/3 of your aquarium’s water biweekly. This is very much essential for a healthy aquarium. Proper change will provide lot of benefits like keeping the aquarium clean, increasing the oxygen supply, reducing the algae growth and keeping the aquarium free from odor.
Remember to remove the fish excretes and left over food from the bottom of the gravel and decorations biweekly using appropriate cleaning kit. This will decrease the nitrate level and keep your tank with balanced nutrition. Remember excess nutrition is one of the major causes for algae growth.
Excess feeding results in enriching your tank with ammonia and phosphate that is the highly required supplement for an algae growth. Fishes keep eating how much ever you feed them, so be strict in feeding them. Do not feed them more than once or twice a day and decide on how much food to offer them. By doing this you can avoid over feeding your fishes.
Use proper filters to balance the aquarium’s nutrition. Filters play a vital role in controlling the algae growth. Always use a phosphate control media and a super-efficient biological filtration system in your aquarium. Keep changing the chemical and mechanical media ones in a month. By doing this, you can increase the filter efficiency and can keep the phosphate and nitrates content under control.
Many of us will not have an algae eater in our tanks. It is always good to have one. Algae eaters not only eats algae, but also feeds on the left over food that settles down at the bottom of your tank. Thus helps you in naturally cleaning the tank. Otocinclus, Black mollies, Plecostomus, Siamese Algae eater, Amano shrimps are some of the best algae eaters.
Live plants grab all the sunlight and nutrition leaving no room for the algae survival. Floating plants also help in reducing the algae growth by blocking light rays. Live plants increase the oxygen supply in the aquarium in turn provides your fishes a healthier life.
Algae growth is like a spider web in your large home. They start slowly and end up covering everything if left uncaring. Remove the algae as soon as you notice their occurrence. As mentioned above it is very difficult to remove the algae once they spread across your aquarium. If left unnoticed, they can ruin the life of your natural plants followed by causing health issues to your petite fishes. Little algae is always boon to your aquarium, but when they start growing to large extent they completely conquer your aquarium and make it look like an abandoned tank. Regular water change, minimal feeding, minimizing light hours is more than enough to prevent your bouncy lively healthy tank from algae conquer.