Algae is annoying and takes away the aesthetics of any aquarium. How do we fix the issue of algae? Read below…


Why does algae grow in your tank?

     Algae is always due to imbalance. By imbalance, I mean too much of something and not enough of another. For example: if you leave your lights on from the moment you wake up until the moment you get home, there is for one, an excessive amount of light, and two, in consistent light times since you don’t turn the lights on and off at the exact same time every day. If you use co2 in your tank, algae can also be due to inconsistent levels of co2, so link the co2 up with the same timer your lights are on.

     Sometimes you just have to play around some in order to find the right balance between light, fertilizer, and co2. If you start noticing a lot of algae, increase co2, or decrease fertilize & light time. Increasing co2 levels causes the plants to grow faster, therefore requiring more nutrients, so the plants use up more of the excess nutrients in the water column resulting in less excess fertilizer/food for the algae to take advantage of.

Before you put harmful algae killer in your tank

     Check out these helpful tips before you put harmful algaecide in your tank and risk killing your snails, shrimp, or other crustaceans. There are better ways to get rid of algae and keep it from coming back.

Possible Problems causing algae:

  • Lights are on too long
  • No timer for the lights
  • Over feeding
  • Over fertilizing
  • No water changes


Helpful Solutions:

  • Get a timer and set it for 6-8 hours of light each day
  • Start feeding your fish every other day and maybe less food
  • Cut back on how often you use fertilizer in your tank, if you are dosing fertilizer 3-4 times a week, try 2 times a week with 2-3 day in-between each dose
  • If your water is really dirty and has lots of extra nutrients available, algae will take advantage of the excess nutrients. Algae is what I like to call an opportunistic feeder, if you provide extra nutrients and food or fish waste, it will feed and grow. Keep a clean tank and only provide enough food & fertilizer for what your fish and plants need.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide (H2o2) you can use H2o2 to kill algae fast, but if you don’t fix the root of the problem, the algae will come right back. The goal is to kill the algae and make sure it doesn’t continuously come back. Dose 2-4 Table spoons of h2o2 per 10 gallons of water in your aquarium. You can use a syringe or turkey baster to squirt the h2o2 directly on the algae. Wait 15 minutes after putting the h2o2 into the tank and then BE SURE to do a 50% water change afterwards. If you do not do a water change, you run the risk of harming fish.
  • Clean-up crew: SAE Siamese Algae Eaters, cory cats, and shrimp (bamboo, amano, ghost) can help eat algae. They will not prevent algae, but they can help keep the amount of algae in your tank under control. Certain fish like gouramis will also eat algae such as black beard algae
  • UV sterilizer


In summary:

  • Get a timer and set it to 6-8 hours of light a day
  • Don’t over feed your fish
  • Don’t over fertilize
  • Don’t do the easy fix of killing the algae each week as it will just come right back… find the source of the problem and get rid of it for good.

Thanks for reading this far! I hope this helped, check out my floating magnet cleaner to help scrub algae off the glass!

- Marcus





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