How to Keep Algae Out of a Fish Tank

When you have an aquarium in your home, one of the issues you will invariably face is algae growth in the tank. This is a natural process and some level of algae growth is normal. However, if you allow excessive algae growth you could be putting your fish in danger as well as making your aquarium look terrible.

The growth of algae depends on a combination of factors, which includes water, nutrients, and sunlight. If any of these are available in excess, algae can quickly grow. While you obviously cannot limit the amount of water you put in the aquarium, there is an action that you can take with regards to the other issues. For example, the placement of the tank can determine the level and amount of sunlight.   You can also control nutrient levels in the water. Both of these actions will help to keep excessive algae out of your tank.

Simple tips to follow in order to keep algae out of your tank

There are a number of simple tips that you can follow in order to keep excessive amounts of algae out of your fish tank. Many of these are down to common sense and are very simple to implement.

By reducing the level of algae, you can help to create a safe, healthy environment in which your fish can thrive. You can also ensure that your aquarium looks aesthetically pleasing without unsightly algae growth. Here are some of the tips you can follow:

  • Placement of the tank: The sunlight will encourage the excessive growth of algae in the tank. This is why you need to be mindful about where you place the tank within your home. Keep it out of direct sunlight even if this is only for part of the day. If you need to move things around a little in order to find a place for your tank that is out of direct sunlight then do so, as this will reduce the risk of excessive algae buildup. Below are some tips about the right placement of an aquarium in your home: 

Artificial lighting: You also need to be careful about artificial lighting in your tank, as this can also encourage algae growth. It is important to ensure that the lighting that you use for the tank is not stronger than it needs to be. You also need to be mindful about how long the lights are on each day. Avoid putting them on for more than eight hours a day if possible. Using a timer to turn the lights on and off automatically can help you with this.

Feeding the fish: Many owners with the best aquariums end up inadvertently overfeeding the fish, but this does them no favors. In fact, it actually increases the levels of phosphate in the water. You need to ensure that the portions you feed to the fish are small and should be eaten in five minutes. If there is still food remaining after five minutes, then you have fed them too much. In addition, you need to make sure that all food that is not eaten by the fish is removed from the tank right away.

Change water regularly: One of the simplest means of reducing the risk of excessive algae is to ensure you regularly change the water in the tank. You should look at changing around 10-15 percent of the water on a weekly basis, as this will reduce the nutrients in the water. In addition, make sure your water is tested as you may need to treat it if there are issues such as high phosphate levels.

Clean the algae: Of course, you cannot eliminate the growth of algae altogether, although the above steps can help to reduce the risk of an excessive formation. If and when you do see algae growing on the hard surfaces of the tank such as the glass or rocks, take time out to clean it. Remove any rocks with algae and clean them. Also, scrape the glass of the tank where the algae is growing to remove it. In addition, when you carry out the water changes make sure you vacuum and clean the gravel in the tank.

Add some live plants: It is a good idea to add live plants to your tank. This is because these plants will use up a lot of the nutrients that would otherwise contribute towards the growth of algae. By adding plants that will use these nutrients, there will fewer nutrients for algae to thrive on, which means a reduced change of excessive growth. You can also consider keeping algae eating fish.

All of these methods can help to reduce the risk of excessive algae growth. You can then look forward to enjoying an aquarium that looks great and is also a safe and healthy environment for your fish.