How to Keep Your Fish Tank Without Algae?
Algae is a naturally occurring phenomenon but it can be frustrating for aquarium owners. It clogs the filters, smothers the plants, and reduces water quality. Algae can grow out of control in the aquarium if not checked. In this article, we will explain how to keep your fish tank without algae.
Fish and plants need algae to survive, but too much of it can prove to be harmful. The algae growth can cause several problems, such as:
- Disrupting the water.
- Harming aquatic life.
- Forming an algae bloom, which can also cause many problems.
Algae can be a pest for aquarists. When it begins to grow on glass, plants, and surfaces of the aquarium, it can make the tank look messy and unkempt. There are many ways to reduce the growth of algae in an aquarium including changing out water periodically, limiting nutrients that contribute to algae growth such as nitrates and phosphates, and adding water circulation devices or filters.
What causes the algae?
Algae, like any plant life, thrive on three necessities: water, light, and nutrients. If there is an excess of any of these variables, then algae can grow like weeds growing in a garden. Too much fertilizer can lead to algae growth in lakes and rivers where fertilizers are dumped or runoff. Algae blooms can also occur when there is too much light at the wrong time of day or the wrong type of light. Unfortunately, we do not know what the effect might be if a strong herbicide is dumped in a lake, but we must assume that this has some effect on the plant life living in it.
Freshwater fish require a specific ratio of light, nutrients, and water to thrive. You might be surprised to learn that water is not the most important of these three factors. With the right amount of light and nutrients, you can keep your fish alive without a single drop of water in sight. We can not go without water in our aquarium, but we can control the light and nutrients which are in the water. The common reasons for algae overgrowth are:
- Overfeeding the fish.
- Lights for a long time.
- Keep the same water for a long time before the water changes.
- exposing the aquarium to direct sunlight.
How to control and prevent algae?
If a tank is placed in direct sunlight, it can promote algae growth and make it more difficult to maintain the desired balance of light for healthy growth. One of the key things to remember when setting up your tank is that direct sunlight will promote algae growth. Make sure the tank is not placed in a window where it will receive even partial sunlight.
Most fish owners overfeed their fish, leading to increased water phosphate levels. Feed small portions and watch the fish eat. If all the food is not eaten within five minutes, you are feeding too much and need to cut back.
Change the water regularly:
Algae can grow in an aquarium if there are too many nutrients present. One of the single most important ways to avoid algae is to perform regular water changes. Change 10 to 15% of your aquarium water every week to lower nutrients in the water. This will remove nitrates and phosphates, which can cause algae growth.
Test the water quality:
It’s recommended to check the water source. If it’s high in phosphate, we should get some removing phosphate chemicals that are available at the aquarium store. Otherwise, another filtered water source must be provided.
Keep it clean:
It’s preferred to remove the algae as soon as it begins to grow on the glass, gravel, and other hard surfaces in the aquarium. We should remove the rocks, scratch the glass and vacuum the gravel during the water change process.
Keep algae enemies in the tank:
It’s recommended to keep a live plant in the tank to reduce the many nutrients that algae thrive upon. Another alternative solution is to keep an algae-eating fish to keep the algae growth at the minimum level.
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Types of algae:
Many types of algae can build up in an aquarium, and each type requires a different solution. we must get rid of it and we have to do it immediately. It’s very beneficial to know the type of algae and comprehend the features of each one. Profound knowledge about algae types would enable us to precisely detect the cause, effect, and cure.
It’s also called silica algae. We can see it in the new aquariums, where it could form sheets in the tank. It’s usually harmless and can be wiped easily. We must use the gravel vacuum when we change the tank water.
It’s called smear algae. Excess nitrate and phosphate in the water can motivate it to grow. This type isn’t considered algae but cyanobacteria. These bacteria can spread rapidly. It’s preferred to take care of the water source to resolve the issue. But, when the water source has phosphate, we must use chemicals like Erythromycin as a special treatment to remove the phosphate. “Erythromycin overuse can be harmful to the beneficial bacteria colony in the biofilter. Hence. We have to use it wisely.
It appears in plants and it’s tough to get rid of it. Specialists advise using a weakened bleach (not more than 10%). It probably would kill them within minutes.
It’s also called an algae bloom. It’s one of the most dangerous and vigorous types. It can’t be scraped off or treated like the other types of algae. We have to use special filters and block the light entirely for days and exclude any possibility of containing nitrate, ammonia, and phosphate in the water.
In conclusion, algae can be hard to control and a pain to deal with, but proper aquarium maintenance is not a difficult task. Routine water changes, regular vacuuming of gravel, and doing 10-20% water changes once per month are useful practices that assure proper tank management.
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Are algae in fish tanks poisonous?
While algae are generally harmless, algal blooms can be toxic to humans, livestock, fish, and wildlife. It is better to avoid contact with potentially contaminated water until the blooms die down naturally or until it is safe to return to the area.
How do you prevent bacterial growth in a fish tank?
When it comes to aquariums, there are a few important things that you need to keep in mind. First and foremost, always check the condition of your aquarium water filter. You should also never allow any extra food, dead fish, or plants to remain in the fish tank.
How do you clean an aquarium without killing beneficial bacteria?
The best way is to clean your filter by removing it from the tank, rinsing it in old aquarium water or dechlorinated water, and then wringing it out with a coarse sponge pad. After that, you must clean the sponge pad by filling your sink with soapy water and letting the pad soak overnight.