AquariumCO2’s Top 5 Tips On How To Combat Algae
Before we begin, let us first say this; All aquariums will get algae at some point. A small amount of algae is normal and is nothing to fret over. However, if you’re experiencing a significant increase in algae growth, to a point where it starts to overtake your aquarium, then perhaps there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.
Here are our top five tips on how to combat that excessive algae…
1 - Regular Water Changes Whether you have a strictly planted tank or a fish tank, regular water changes is a must. It helps to prevent an increase in ammonia and aids in maintaining healthy nitrite and nitrate levels. Algae and other plants use nitrates as a source of food. If there is an unlimited supply of nitrates, algae will thrive and could potentially take over. Then how will we be able to see the beautiful scape you’ve spent so much time and effort setting up? A much simpler form to measure your levels is to simply start by giving your aquarium regular water changes.
2 - Use Real Plants Algae thrives in high nitrate levels. There is, however, one competitor that will also thrive in high nitrate level tanks and could potentially steal all that good nitrate food for itself leaving very little left for algae growth; Real plants. An aquarium that has no live plants, especially if a bit of sunlight hits the tank, will make your fight against algae a lot more challenging than if you were to stick even a few real plants in your tank. Plants will compete with algae for light and nutrients and will most often win, given the proper conditions.
3 - Control Your Lights
All of us would love nothing more than to see our beautiful tanks from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep. An adjacent lighting schedule, however, may not be ideal in discouraging algae growth. Consider setting up your lights on a schedule with a timer. We suggest keeping your lights on between 7-8 Hours for a planted aquarium. Your plants will be able to thrive while still containing the excessive growth of algae with this suggested schedule.
The right kind of light to help with this balance is also a good idea but perhaps that’s a topic for another day. In the meantime, pop on over to our shop to check out some of our chihiro lights we have in stock!
4 - Restrict How Much You Feed Your Fish
If we could feed our fish all day to watch the excitement from their feeding frenzy, we would. It is one of the most enjoyable pastimes of any new or veteran aquarium enthusiast. Sometimes, we may end up straying and feeding them 2 or 3 times more than we normally would. “Maybe just a little more.” If they finish their food within minutes, it shouldn’t be a problem. Overfeeding, however, can contribute or cause excessive algae growth as they thrive on both uneaten food and fish waste. Feeding your fish smaller portions will make it easier to keep unwanted algae in check. Some folks choose to feed them once a day while others choose to feed between 2-3 times a day.
5 - Be Okay With Some Algae
All aquariums will have a bit of algae growth. Nobody ‘wins’ the battle against algae and while it may be unsightly, it is a natural part of the hobby. Wisdom is knowing what to look for when dealing with algae growth. Is your algae just sitting on the surface of some of your rocks/driftwood, or are your plant leaves being choked out by the overgrowth of it? True success is being able to find a natural balance when it comes to algae.
Those are our top 5 tips on how to combat excessive algae.
We hope this was helpful for you and your aquarium journey. If you have any thoughts to share or found this helpful, please leave us a comment and subscribe to our mailing list for more.