How To Clean Algae From A Fish Tank

algae tankOne of the most asked questions regarding freshwater and saltwater aquariums, is how to clean algae from a fish tank. Algae, in and of itself, is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it is completely natural. It is a sign of an aquarium that is healthy and balanced. Having said that, it can also be a major concern if it is left unchecked and allowed to grow out of control. If left to its own devices, algae can cover the glass, decorations, filtration and substrate. The colors range from brown, red, shades of green and even black moss in freshwater tanks. And in saltwater those same colors can occur along with pink and purple calcareous algaes. Most calcareous algaes are wanted, but should still be kept off of the glass and filtration. As everything that is beautiful in your aquarium gets covered, the appeal of the entire tank is diminished. When it comes to cleaning algae from a fish tank, two things should be considered. What should be done to prevent it from becoming an issue in the first place? All too often hobbyists kill their tanks, literally and figuratively, with kindness. Overfeeding, fish tank light as a night light, aquarium in a room that gets way too much sunlight, water that’s too warm. Any number of these things can be a recipe for disaster. The second thing that should be thought of is regular consistent maintenance and water changes. The build up of excess nitrates, phosphates, and silicates can be one of the greatest contributors to out of control algae growth. Routine water changes will lessen this effect dramatically. Your goal should not be to get rid of all algae. You want to manage its growth, rather than eliminate it altogether. Fish will eat all they need within five minutes one time per day. Rather you are feeding flake or frozen, anything that isn’t consumed within five minutes will break down and ultimately become nitrates. Just because a plecostomus or siamese algae eater in a freshwater aquarium keeps most of the glass clean and some of the ornaments and decorations clean, doesn’t mean that the water quality is good. Light is a major contributor to algae in freshwater or saltwater tanks. While freshwater aquariums with live plants and saltwater reef tanks require light to ensure that the inhabitants thrive, the majority of tanks do not need light other than to let people view the fish and decorations. An aquarium should never be used as a night-light. Lights should be put on a timer so that the amount of light is regulated. Too many people use the switch to turn on and off. The problem occurs when they forget to turn it off. Though there are many additives and conditioners that will help with algae growth, the truth is most are just treating the symptoms and not the cause. Proper maintenance along with good feeding habits and limited light when possible are key to managing algae growth in any tank. Cleaning algae from a fish tank consists of physically removing any loose algae from the glass and substrate using a freshwater fishscrubber pad and gravel vacuum respectively. Rocks and permanent decorations can be cleaned using a brush or bottle brush that is for aquarium use only. Never use any household cleaning detergents or soaps on anything that goes in the aquarium. Any decorations or ornaments that can be removed should be soaked in a solution of 15 to 20 percent bleach water until they look like new or close to it. Rinse these bleached decorations in freshwater thoroughly and then submerse in water with several drops to several squirts of Dechlor. Dechlor will eliminate any residual chlorine or chloramine left after the bleaching. It usually only takes a few minutes of soaking in Dechlor to do the trick. Rinse items briefly in fresh water once more. A quick sniff of the decorations will tell you if the Dechlor process needs to be done again. If you do smell bleach, it’s most likely that the bleach solution was too high. Next time use less bleach. Usually, the appearance of the tank is the best indicator of algae issues. However, many aquarists use any number of test kits to determine the likelihood of a problem occurring. Whatever way you feel comfortable determining algae problems, remember that the cause and contributing factors should be adjusted along with routine water changes. Making sure that the causes leading to any algae problems are minimized will ultimately provide an aquarium that will be enjoyable. This article was not written to address every algae concern that you might have, but to provide an overview of how to clean algae from a fish tank.

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How To Clean Algae From A Fish Tank
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This article helps to resolve and correct algae issues that you might have in your aquarium.



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