Algae are a very common problem in the aquarium and are the obsession of all aquarium owners. There are different varieties of algae that each have different causes.
The filamentous green algae are the ones that testify to the good balance of the aquarium. They are therefore welcome, especially since it is very easy to eliminate them: simply by hand, they stand out very easily plants and decor.
Green algae are, for their part, linked to a too intense light. They cover the decor, the sand, the windows and the plants. It is enough to eliminate them to reduce the lighting or to change the power of the neon lights. They are also often present when the aquarium is exposed to the outside light, to the sun. In this case, only the movement of the tray can remedy the problem or hide the windows.
Brown algae, on the other hand, are linked to a lack of light. They are often present during the filling of the aquarium, and disappear in a few weeks. They spread on plants and decor, like a fine rust dust. By rubbing gently with the finger, they disappear.
Other algae, such as blue algae, filamentous brown algae, and brush algae are mainly due to a bad balance in the aquarium. It is not uncommon to meet them in a newly flooded tank, or poorly maintained.
High levels of nitrates and phosphates benefit the algae, which then spread rapidly. Check the water parameters of the aquarium
Some tips to fight against algae
Monitor the good health of your plants, they are in direct concurrence with the algae.
Regularly maintain the aquarium by changing 20% of the water each week, taking care to siphon the bottom with the hose. Temporarily reduce the duration of lighting
Check the condition of the neon tubes. After a year, you have to change them.
Test the water quality of the aquarium: a high nitrate level is often responsible for the appearance of algae. Also test phosphates. It is necessary to have a proportion of 10 to 1 between nitrates and phosphates: with a rate of nitrates to 10, it is necessary a rate of phosphates to 1. An imbalance between phosphates and nitrates profits to the algae.
Decrease the amount of food and increase water changes if the nitrate level is too high.
Eliminate all the leaves of plants affected by algae, this will prevent their spread.
If your population allows it, prefer a rather acidic water, a basic ph would promote the proliferation of algae.
In planted aquaria, add fast growing plants, they absorb nitrates and prevent algae from spreading. The more plants there are, the less seaweed there is! Avoid adding too much liquid fertilizer to your plants: an excess favors algae.
Of course, also be careful not to overpopulate your aquarium, the pollution that results promotes algae.
In any case, never use chemicals to overcome them. They are harmful to the equilibrium of the aquarium and are not very effective. In addition, very often, if there is a result, the algae come back later because the cause of the problem has not been eliminated.
Instead of trying chemicals, in extreme cases you can try to immerse the aquarium in complete darkness for 5 days. This technique seems to prove itself, even if it will not solve the problem again.
In any case, be patient, the algae in a new aquarium are normal. After 6 months maximum everything must be back in order.
You can also introduce in your aquarium valuable auxiliaries to fight against algae. These are mainly snails, such as planorbs, neritinas or clithon corona, as well as shrimps.
I myself have planorbs that seem to be interested in algae. I also have 2 neritinas and 3 clithon corona but they are mainly active on the windows. I see them very rarely on plants.
Some fish are also famous for eating algae. In particular, otocinclus affinis eat more zucchini than seaweed! I own 9 and their so-called utility remains to be demonstrated …
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