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Aquarium Algae Control

Cloudy water and algae blooms are never fun, nor appealing and can be a major frustration point for aquarists. The good news is that by understanding what causes cloudy water and algae as well as how consistent maintenance on your part can prevent or control it, the only green you'll be seeing is the envy of your friends as they admire your gorgeous underwater oasis. If you do encounter cloudy water or an algae bloom in your tank though, there are a number of algaecides and water clarifiers made for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums to help keep your water crystal clear! While these are typically safe for fish, always read the manufacturer's instructions to ensure they are safe for plants if you have a natural aquarium.

FAQs About Aquarium Algae Control

  1. Test your water quality and the tap water that you are using! If the test results show significant levels of phosphate, nitrate, or iron, your battle against algae will be futile until levels are reduced.
  2. Ensure you have a good filter and regularly change the media as directed by the manufacturer.
  3. Live plants will compete with algae for nutrients.
  4. Conduct regular water changes and always maintain good water quality in your tank.

Different species such as Chinese algae eaters, plecostomus, flying fox, snails, and shrimp can help control algae in a freshwater aquarium.

There are many products on the market to help prevent and remedy algae concerns. Be sure to read the labels- especially if you have a natural, planted aquarium to ensure they are safe for live plants.

Algae blooms can come from different imbalances in the tank. From not enough CO2 and O2 exchange, to lighting being too powerful or burning in the wrong spectrum, indirect lighting from outside windows, indoor lighting or other sources can contribute as well. Also, high nutrient levels in water, not allowing for proper bio exchange to occur can cause blooms creating green water or allowing hair algae to take over the tank. The best method to prevent algae blooms is a combination of proper feeding, appropriate lighting schedule and routine water changes.

Cloudy water in your aquarium can happen during the nitrogen cycle as your new tank is cycling or in an established aquarium due to an excess of bacteria that feeds off of excessive uneaten food or decaying plants. Other causes can include overcrowding of your tank or poor filtration.