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If you’re asking yourself “how to keep my aquarium algae-free” then you’ve come to the right place. Although some algae are naturally-occurring, they can be pretty unsightly for your aquarium, especially when you’re planning an aquascaping project. More than that, however, algae can be dangerous to your fish when its growth is uncontrolled.
Algae is mainly an aquatic plant. Like all aquatic plants, algae also thrives on light sources, nutrients, and substrates. You may already know that some level of algae is permissible and even beneficial for your aquarium. However, if it gets to the point where this plant has become overgrown and invasive to your entire tank, then you should make some changes to how you maintain your aquarium.
Keeping unnecessary algae growth in your aquarium can be possible as long as you do the following: feed your fish only when necessary, install filters, clean your tank, and place some janitor fish. Continue reading to learn more.
One of the simplest ways of controlling the growth of aquarium algae is by simply not overfeeding your fish. If you’re a new aquarium owner, you may think that it’s all right to feed your fish at least 2 or 3 times a day. There’s simply nothing like the sight of your hungry aquarium critters going up to the surface or to the bottom of the water just to feed on the flakes or pellets that you’ve put in.
However, there is a downside. Not all of your fish would have the digestive capacity to consume every flake, shrimp, superworm, and pellet that you place in your aquarium. The unwanted food can be the target of mold and fungus growth, especially when they’re left to decompose for days or even several hours in your aquarium.
To make sure that you don’t overfeed your fish, take a look at the size of your fish. Smaller fish may be more active and would require more nutrients, while large fish can last for up to 2 days before refeeding. This can help you estimate how much food you place in your tank. But if you find uneaten fish food, make sure to immediately remove them so that you’ll be able to prevent unwanted algae from occurring.
Installing filters is another great way of keeping algae out of your aquarium. Cleaning your aquarium tank is basically the job of your filter. Although not all filters are designed to specifically inhibit algae growth, they are effective in removing organic and inorganic particles as well as other chemical substances from your tank.
You’ll want to choose a chemical filter with a carbon-phosphate media that eliminates the presence of dissolved organic substances from your aquarium water. They also prevent the water from becoming murky and also help the environment remain healthy for the livestock.
As mentioned before, algae also thrive with light sources since it’s an aquatic plant. With this in mind, controlling how often you turn on your aquarium tank lights is essential in preventing unwanted algae growth.
You’ll want to maintain a balance when it comes to your aquarium lights. For example, you need to make sure that all your other aquatic plants are able to receive enough light for them to cultivate. But at the same time, you want to minimize algae levels.
It’s generally advised to turn your aquarium lights on for at least 10 to 12 hours, especially if there are a lot of aquatic plants. If you can’t manually control this, you may want to buy a timed switch or a timer that can automatically turn on or shut off the lights according to your settings.
Cleaning your aquarium tank with the right tools can easily remove the algae. For your aquarium glass, for example, the algae can make the tank blurry.
To keep the glass clear and free of algae growth, you’ll want to use an algae scrubber. Start by cleaning from the top of the aquarium down to the bottom. Be careful, because the sharp edges of the blade can wound you as you’re cleaning the aquarium. If you want alternative materials, you may want to use a magnetic algae scrubber that you can control from the other side of the glass so that you don’t contaminate the tank.
There are also different types of freshwater fish that can do the job of removing algae from your aquarium tank. These may be bristlenose plecos, Nerite snails, Siamese algae eaters, amano shrimps, otocinclus catfish, guppies, or a twig catfish.
Although all of these types of catfish can feed on algae or leftover food from your aquarium, the best is the otocinclus catfish which you can get from Aquascape Philippines.
These algae eaters are small and won’t grow more than 1.5 inches. Due to their gentleness and calmness, they can safely feed off the algae that grows on some of your plants without harming the leaves and destroying the plants.
By now, you’ll already have an answer to your question of “how to keep my aquarium algae-free”. You can do a range of practices such as feeding your fish only when required, controlling the level of light, scraping off the algae, or buying algae-eating critters.
It’s advisable to use these tips in combination with one another so that you can truly create a healthy environment for your aquatic plants and fishes. Soon enough, you’ll be able to easily maintain your aquarium and create beautiful aquascaping projects without being hampered by algae.
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