How to Remove Algae from Your Tank

If your tank walls are so covered in green gunk that you can’t see your fish, it may be time to remove the algae from your tank. While algae can help keep your fish alive and healthy since it helps provide oxygen and can consume some of the excess nutrients in the tank, a little algae can go a long way.

Too much algae can cause the tank to be so dirty that you can’t enjoy the beauty of your fish. If the algae is extremely thick, you may even miss the fact that one of your fish is not doing well because you literally cannot see it.

Algae should be removed only when necessary. You can remove algae by scrubbing the sides of the tank with an algae scrubbing pad or scraper. Don’t use scrubbing pads used for cleaning your home as they may contain fungicides, which are harmful to fish. After scrubbing the aquarium, you may want to remove some of the old water and top off the tank with fresh dechlorinated water. Make sure you have a mechanical filter in the tank as this will help remove the algae you scrubbed off the walls from the water.

Since algae needs a large amount of lighting, exposing your tank to sunlight will lead to higher algae growth. Keep your tank away from windows to avoid sunlight. If you do not have a less sunny spot to place your tank, try using a black piece of cloth or an ornamental backdrop on the back and sides of the tank to block the sun’s rays. If you can, set the tank’s lighting on a timer that reflects real time so that it turns off and on automatically. This helps to avoid too much algae growth in your tank.

Overfeeding your fish can also lead to algae growth, since the food will remain in the water and provide the nutrients that algae needs to grow and thrive. In addition excess food will sink to the bottom of the tank and rot. This will cause the water quality to be bad, which may lead to illness in the fish. Adding live plants to your tank will help prevent algae growth because the plants will feed on the nutrients that are available before the algae can.

Avoid putting too many fish in your tank because the more fish you have in the tank, the more waste will be produced. This waste provides nutrients for algae growth. You may want to consider replacing one of your fish with a scavenger. Scavengers are fish, crabs and snails that clean excess food from the floor of the tank. One scavenger, commonly known as an algae eater, will even clean the algae from the tank walls.

If you clean your tank regularly and maintain the filters, keep it out of direct sunlight and never overfeed your fish, your tank won’t have a massive amount of algae growth.

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