How to Control the Aquarium Algae: Types, Problems, and Solutions

The most common problem in aquariums is undoubtedly algae-bloom. Many people quit the hobby because they could not overcome this problem.

Most algae problems have the same cause: excess ammonia and nitrite. If the water change is not done for a long time, the phosphorus in the water increases. Inedible food also causes an increase in algae. In most cases, algae appear green, blue, brown, or even black. The darker the color is an indication that the tank is dirtier.

Algae Bloom:

Algae bloom indicates some kind of “biological system failure”. It shows us that we are doing wrong somewhere in the planning phase. Or it indicates that there is no proper setup with the equipment or a problem with environmental factors. The point is, we shouldn’t fight algae! We have to find the cause of the algae bloom and eliminate it.

Light and ammonia cause the algae-bloom. Over-lighting the aquarium (modern, new aquariums have too much light) can trigger algae-bloom even with too little ammonia. This explains why new aquarists encounter more algae in their newly built tanks than hobbyists with low-support tanks.

You cannot solve the ammonia problem by just removing it, you can get it away by doing daily and extensive water changes. But this will eventually be symptom treatment. Our goal is to find out what makes ammonia peaks in our water. This is where things start to get complicated. It is the result of the decomposition of organic elements in your ammonia water. This can be from multiple sources; such as dirty or inefficient filter, dead fish or part of it, decaying plant leaves, etc.

The rest of our article contains information about algae species and how to get rid of algae.

Most Common Aquarium Algae Types

What is Hair Algae and How to Control?

They look like hair clinging to plants. They have similar needs to plants for their growth. Once they are attached to moss or a fern, it is very difficult to separate them from there. They occur due to too much light and fertilizer being given and/or plants not growing normally. A toothbrush can be used to remove these tears. Water can be changed to reduce nitrate and phosphorus in the water. For the hair moss to survive, the amount of phosphorus in the water should be at least 0.5mg / L. Daily water change should not exceed half the volume of the tank.

What is Beard Algae and How to Control?

There are black, gray, green and different colors. They mostly grow on stones, roots, and aged leaf tips. Their images in the tank are bad. The main reasons are phosphorus excess, irregular water change, excessive lighting, high temperature, and low CO2. Since plants have a short time to digest nutrients, they leave them in the water. As time passes, this becomes a bigger problem if no water change is done! The best way to get rid of these algae is to do it manually. You can clean a leaf with algae on your hand. It would also be good to change half of the water and clean the filter. This process will help remove spores from the filter. Photosynthetic bacteria should also be added to the water added during the water change. Lighting time should be reduced and 1/3 of the water should be changed every day. Finally, if algae-eating shrimps and fish are added they will finish off any remaining algae.

What is Blue-Green Algae and How to Control?

It is dark green in color and has a terrible smell. Due to its rapid growth, it can cover all of the plants, ground, and glass. The main reason is insufficient filtration during the installation phase, which does not allow nitrifying bacteria to adhere to. Unstable water conditions such as substrates contaminated with organic wastes, the use of fertilizers in substrates, and/or low nitrate as a result of uneaten feed are the reasons for the proliferation of these algae. Algae-eating shrimps and fish alone cannot deal with this problem. Because of the bacteria in its formula, a disinfectant called TDC (Taiyo Disease Control) can be used to get rid of these algae. It should be injected into the areas where the algae grow. Once the algae start to deteriorate, it can be eaten by Siamese Algae-Eater. Daily water changes should not exceed half the volume of the tank. Denser planting of plants will also help.

What is Green Spot Algae and How to Control?

Usually found on hard-leaved plants or glass. It is slow to spread. They will occur if the level of co2 and phosphate in the water is low. Algae-eaters have a hard time eating these algae because it has a very hard structure. Nerita zebra snails are the only known eaters of this algae. It is caused by too much lighting and inedible foods. It can be suppressed by water changes. First, turn off the filter, cut off the leaves with algae, and scrape it off using a miter or credit card. Flush any spills. To prevent it, it is necessary to keep the CO2 value stable and avoid overfeeding.

How Can I Prevent Algae Bloom in Aquarium?

Although there are many methods to combat algae, encountering them can be discouraging for plant growers. So it is best to try to avoid them.

Here are some tips:

  • Set up a filtration system that you regularly maintain.
  • Change %30 of the water once a week.
  • Add a UV filter and adjust the lighting time so the plants can thrive heavily.
  • Be careful not to add too much fish because of the unsettled filtration during the first two or three weeks.
  • Do not put too many fish in the aquarium.
  • Do not overfeed. The uneaten food contains nitrite and phosphorus, two of the algae’s favorite nutrients.
  • Prune old leaves close to the ground to prevent algae from growing on them. Siamese Algae-Eater, snails, and algae-eating shrimp can be added to control algae in the tank.
🐠𝙃𝙋 Team
🐠𝙃𝙋 Team
We're just like you - aquarium enthusiasts who love aquatic life! We've been caring for and breeding all sorts of freshwater and marine aquarium fishes, plants, and other pretty little creatures for years. We love sharing our knowledge with other fish hobbyists, and this article you have just finished reading is the best proof of that. You can read more about us here.

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