The presence of algae in your fish tank actually shows that you have a healthy, natural environment in your aquarium. Algae are important not only because they enhance the beauty of your tank, but also because they provide food for your fish as well as other living organisms in your tank. In most cases, they are not harmful, but the excessive growth of algae can serve as a danger to the lives of the living organisms in your tank – not to mention the fact that overgrowth can hamper your view of your tank.
Why You Need to Control Algae Growth
It’s necessary to have algae in your tank. Because of this, you need to be sure that you only control them and don’t eliminate them. It is also important to use a natural means of controlling them versus using chemicals which may upset the other living organisms in your tank. Algae most often need to be controlled for reasons such as;
- Enhancing filtration, by unclogging the outtake and intake fittings that are clogged with algae
- Enhancing flow by removing algae that grow on the powerheads
- Maximizing the amount of light entering the tank to enhance growth of plants and corals
- Facilitating the growth of decorative macro-algae
- Preventing algae from growing on plants and corals which affects their ability to photosynthesize
- Controlling the pH level in your tank
Natural Ways to Rid Algae from your Fish Tank
1. Introduce Algae-Eating Fish
Once you realize that you have a problem with algae in your tank, algae-eating fish and other critters may help you control the problem. However, based on the size of your tank and the size of your fish, you might want to talk to an expert to learn the best species of fish to introduce. It may take the fish quite a bit of time before they control the problem, but eventually, they will get the job done. They will, however, need to coexist well with other fish in your aquarium and you might want to control the size to which they grow. An expert will be able to help you choose the ideal fish for your tank.
2. Avoid Overfeeding the Fish
Algae thrive on fish food as well as fish waste. When the fish are overfed, they produce a lot of waste that needs to be eliminated, and much of it falls to the floor and starts to decay. This creates an excellent food source for algae, and eventually, you will start experiencing an algae bloom. As you maintain your tank, one important thing to know is the amount of food your fish need to manage your aquarium.
3. Avoid Natural Sunlight
Algae will thrive when exposed to sunlight when other factors are also present. However, given that there will always be waste from the fish; the sunlight will accelerate their growth. Direct sunlight is not also healthy for fish as it might lead to deterioration in their health and therefore the health of your tank.
In case you have not yet put up your tank, avoid placing it where it will always be exposed to direct sunlight during the day. It is important for the health of your fish, as well as to control the algae that grow in your tank.
4. Tank Maintenance
Tank maintenance serves a great role in controlling algae growth. Over time, waste accumulates in the tank, which provides a conducive environment for algae growth. By diluting the water, you will minimize the saturation and hence manage your algae growth. Take, for instance, a 30% introduction of clean water, will serve a greater role diluting the amount of water already in the tank. However, this only takes a few minutes of your time in a week. At the end of the month, however, take the time to perform a thorough cleaning of the tank as well as the decorations in the tank, it will have such a significant impact on the health of your aquarium.
5. Less Light
As humans grow they appreciate both the day and night; the night mostly being associated with rest and regrowth. Fish also require this kind of environment, and it’s your role to enhance it. Algae are like plants, and they require light to photosynthesize and enhance their growth. As you control the amount of light, you can subsequently control algae in your tank. This works both for live and plastic plants. For a live-plant aquarium, you need at least 12 hours of light for a healthy tank, while plastic plants will not need as much.
6. Consider a Planted Aquarium
Nature usually takes its course and naturally keeps a balance as it keeps various living organisms together symbiotically. In fact, they end up controlling each other positively. For instance, the plants will compete for the same nutrients as the algae, and as the plants win, the algae lose. This will limit their growth and control them. Another way to control algae is based on the plants you grow because they may produce natural substances that prevent algae growth.
You need not worry too much on how to eliminate the algae in your tank. You can easily control them and create a conducive environment for each organism to co-exist freely. In introducing the control measures, you can implement them in phases as you check the most appropriate for the health of your tank. Although, in the case of fish-eating algae, or the live-plant aquarium you might need the help of an expert to make the most appropriate choices of organisms to introduce.