Algae should be thought of as a type of simple plant that develops
when water and light are present. Algae growing on your glass,
ornaments, or gravel is not harmful to an aquarium but in most cases
is considered unsightly and most people want to control or eliminate
What causes Algae to grow?
For algae to grow it needs light. Both the aquarium and room light
can cause algae to grow. If your tank is getting more than 10 hours of
light a day you may find it harder to control algae. Warm water and
nitrates (which can build up from not doing regular water changes)
will cause algae to grow quickly. Also if phosphates are present, they
will promote algae growth. Extra phosphates can be caused by the food
you are feeding, we recommend Nutrafin Max products because they are
low in phosphates.
How to control Algae
1. Control the light received by the aquarium. The less light your
tank gets, the less likely it is you will have algae
2. Regular water changes. Algae uses
excess food and fish waste for fertilizer. By doing regular water
changes you will reduce the amount of "food" the algae has.
3. Live plants fight algae for the
nutrients in the water
4. Certain fish are "Algae Eaters" and
will naturally help to control algae growth.
5. Many chemicals are available to help
algae from growing. These chemicals are "inhibitors" and will prevent
some algae from starting to grow but will not get rid of Algae after
it has started. We recommend AlgaeFix, it is safe for both plants and
6. You may want to purchase a scraper
or pad to remove algae from the sides of the aquarium. Don't use
anything not made for aquarium use to clean your tank, as it may
contain chemicals that can be deadly to fish!
Algae blooms or green water problems
An algae bloom is a suspended algae that makes the water green but
does not grow on glass or ornaments. If this happens to your tank the
best way to get rid of it is by "starving" the Algae. Keep the tank as
dark as possible. You may have to cover the tank with newspaper so it
is completely dark for 48 hours (during this time only feed every
other day). This will cause the algae to die. After 48 hours, do a 1/3
water change and, if necessary, add an algae reducing chemical. In some cases the
water change may have to be repeated. Ask us for specifics.
To keep your tank virtually free of algae follow these
1. Reduce the amount of light
2. Do regular water changes
3. Don't overfeed
4. Get an algae eating fish
...and you will control the problem.