Aquarium Algae

Aquarium Algae can be a problem in an aquarium, but it can be easily solved with the correct advice and products. There are two types of algae or fundamental issues that you can have in your aquarium. Firstly, if your aquarium water goes a light green color, and secondly, if the water stays clean but there is algae buildup on the glass, which can be green or even black.

Understanding the Two Types of Algae in Aquariums

To tackle the algae problem where the water turns green, the best way to solve this is to use a chemical. First and foremost, it’s important to determine whether your water is green by taking a cup of water out of the aquarium and observing its color. We have two types of algae or algaecide that we can use to clean up this problem. The recommended approach is to start with a 1/3 water change, followed by the addition of the chemicals. It is essential to change the water again two or three days later as the algae will die. Additionally, cleaning your filter sponges is highly recommended to prevent them from getting clogged with dead algae.

Another effective, albeit more expensive solution, costing around $60 or more, is to invest in a UV sterilizer. By running the water from your aquarium through the sterilizer and back into the aquarium, the sterilizer will kill all the algae spores and make your water crystal clear.

Furthermore, another issue with algae in your aquarium is when it builds upon the glass. There are a couple of different ways to address this problem. As shown in the photo here, you can use various cleaning tools available in the market. Simply get into your aquarium, use cleaning pads or sponges specifically designed for aquariums, and give your aquarium a thorough clean-over. It’s important to avoid using anything from the kitchen, especially sponges that contain chemicals harmful to your fish.

Choosing Fish to Reduce Algae Buildup

Another way to reduce the algae buildup on the glass is to choose your fish and choose some of the four species that you can see here. The first species is a sucking catfish. They’re vegetarian, and they swim around the aquarium, they suck onto the glass, and they suck all the algae off the glass. There are two different kinds. There’s the normal one and also a gold-sucking catfish. This species here is a plecostomus catfish. They grow nice and huge, around 30 centimeters plus. You can buy juvenile plecostomus catfish and let them grow up with your aquarium. There’s also a bristle nose catfish. They come from different species and in different colours. Also, another fish is called the flying fox. They’re an excellent algae eater as well.

If you add a selection of one or all of these types of fish in the aquarium, it just means you will reduce the amount of cleaning that you have to do yourself.

Managing Food to Prevent Algae Growth

Food also can be a significant cause of algae in your aquarium. There are a lot of good-quality fish food brands on the market, typically available from specialized aquarium stores. These types of foods have low ash and low phosphate. One of the significant causes of algae is phosphate, so throw out your cans of fish food that you got from the supermarket. Most of the brands are high in phosphate and can cause a lot of algae in your aquarium.

Using Phosphate Removers to Reduce Algae

Another way you can reduce the chance of algae growing in your aquarium is to put in a phosphate remover. As you can see, here’s one brand of phosphate remover, which is a combination of volcanic rock and peat. They absorb phosphates in your aquarium, and phosphates are one of the major causes of algae.

Algae is a plant, and plants require light to grow. To reduce the chance of algae or growth, we recommend you put your light onto a timer. Go to Bunnings and get a cheap timer for about $10. Connect that up to the light, put it on a setting. Maybe eight hours a day should be adequate, and that will reduce the chance of algae growth.

Understanding the Relationship Between pH and Algae

When you adjust your pH in your aquarium, some products have higher phosphate levels. For example, pH Up has quite a bit of phosphate. Using that type of product is an easy way to put the pH up but will help or will increase the chance of getting algae in your aquarium. We have other types of pH boosters, which are called KH boosters. They have fewer phosphates or nearly no phosphates, and there’s less chance of algae if you use these types of products.

We have stores located in Hoppers Crossing and Ferntree Gully.


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