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The growth of algae is a fact of life that every owner of fish aquarium will face sooner or later. Unwanted algae growth can turn a perfect aquarium into a horrible eye-sore in few days. Algae growth can suffocate the fish or even kill fish when the bloom crashes.
Like any plant life, algae need three basic necessities: sunlight, water, and nutrients. If any of these necessities is available in excess, algae will grow like wildfire, similar to weeds growth in a garden. The growth of algae can be due to a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons are:
• Too many fish in the tank
• Over feeding
• Infrequent water changes,
• Excessive fertilizing
• Incorrect lighting (too much of/or the wrong spectrum)
• Aquarium in a location with direct sunlight
• Using water with high nutrients
Each type of algae has a different story on how they became established. Algae control methods depend on the algae type and it may be as simple as:
• Performing water changes more frequently
• Altering the photoperiod
• Using a suitable lighting type
• Decreasing the amount fed
• Introducing more aquatic plants to altering the pH
• Water hardness
• Using anti-algal chemicals
• Installing a UV-clarifier
So how can you fix these algae over growth problem in aquarium? If you follow below mentioned steps, you can definitely solve this problem:
1. You should carry out very regular partial water changes (30%) in every two weeks
2. Try to reduce the stocking density of your aquarium
3. You should never ever over-feed your fish. As a rule of thumb, the stomach of a fish is approximately the size of its eye, so this is about as much as fish should be fed.
4. You should use white daylight bulbs. Light that peaks at the red and blue spectrum are the best for the photosynthesis reaction. This reaction is required by algae to proliferate. By using plain white light, you are making it difficult for the algae to make their food.
5. You should decrease the photoperiod. If the light is available for a shorter period, it will be more difficult for algae to make their food and multiply.
6. If your aquarium tank receives direct sunlight, shade it. You should remember that it is dangerous to move a filled tank.
7. You can also add some aquarium water plants to your aquarium. Aquatic plants compete with the algae for nutrients and light, hence, it would be difficult for algae to proliferate easily.
8. You can also introduce algae eating fish which is suitable for your set-up. Some examples of algae eating fish are: bristle nose catfish and Chinese algae eater.
9. You can also install a UV-clarifier or proceed with chemical or several other biological treatments.
10. Keep in mind that chemicals should never be the sole treatment. Chemicals should only be used after or in conjunction with management strategies as mentioned above.