Getting rid of algae in aquariums is a multistep process which requires time. Resist using algaecides as they only cover up the symptoms instead of eliminating the conditions that cause algae growth.
Once algae become a problem in the aquarium, a water test will not always be conclusive in determining the cause of the outbreak or algae bloom.
For example, algae take up nitrates and phosphates. If either or both are at high levels in the fish tank, then this is certainly a cause for algae problems.
However, a low reading of nitrate or phosphate in an algae infested aquarium can be misleading. Because algae is constantly taking up these nutrients as a food source and fuel for growth, getting an accurate reading can be difficult. Nitrate, more often then phosphate, is usually abundant in a problem tank.
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Follow these steps to get rid of algae in the aquarium:
- Clean the gravel with a siphon in order to remove waste and debris
- Clean the aquarium filters. Just rinse under cool water. DO NOT USE SOAP!
- Increase water flow with a higher rated filter or supplemental power heads
- Reduce feeding of fish to as little as once every other day
- Replace light bulbs if older than 6 months as their light spectrum changes as they age, often favoring algae growth
- Use a nitrate remover. Nitrate are a primary food source for algae and a leading cause of algae outbreaks in aquariums
- Remove phosphates
- Discontinue any supplements and fertilizers
The best way to prevent algae is to be pro-active
- Use a aquarium nitrate remover even if the nitrates are at low levels
- Perform regular and consistent aquarium maintenance
Eventually every aquarium will experience some level of algae growth. Acting on the steps outlined above can avert larger problems.
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