Remove algae from tropical fish tank

I am having a few problems with an algae bloom in my community tropical fish tank and thought it may be helpful to other to explain the causes/fixes for this very common problem now that I am starting to win the battle

Cause

Most people come across this problem at some point when keeping fish and the key is to catch it early. In it’s most basic form the problem is caused by excess nutrients in the water which are not being used by the plants. Fish poop is not all bad and acts as a fertiliser for plants, which in itself is good news. But during the photosynthesis process plants will use the C02 in the water and lighting to use up those nutrients, but if there is no C02 then the nutrients will not get used hence we are left with excess nutrients. If like me you also add extra plant fertiliser to the tank you could in fact be making things worse. It is common to see this in a new tank because we add plants and they appear to be doing great but once the C02 is gone then the algae takes over.

Fix

The fix may seem quite obvious when you read the above information so here are the actions that I took to get rid of the unsightly algae:

  • Reduce light hours and cut out as much natural light as possible, algae needs lots of light and nutrients to thrive
  • Stop adding plant fertiliser (or at least drop the amount you are adding)
  • Keep the tank clean by hoovering your gravel and rubbing areas covered by algae including plants leaves to remove any algae that is already dead
  • Remove any plant leaves that are ruined by algae, this way the plant can concentrate on new growth
  • In an extreme case starting adding C02 to the tank, either through liquid or injection, just be sure to keep it regular and start slow so that it doesn’t bother the fish

Keep in mind

Remember that this information details how to remove algae and not how to avoid it, once the algae is gone you need to start increasing your light hours and if applicable fertilisers/C02 and find the perfect balance. Remember the internet is full of people who want to help you. I am staring to win the battle with the algae after around a week of all the items listed above, it isn’t a quick fix.

1 Comments

  1. Tonny

    Firstly, the tiny white bugs are probably plaanria or nematodes. Harmless to fish but only occur when there’s excess waste such as over feeding or dead matter left in the tank too long, its a sign of a dirty tank. I had them when a large snail died.Secondly, Gourami’s (what species?) and Johanni Ciclids should never have been kept together. They need entirely different environments and the Cichlids are too aggressive for the Gouramis.In order to work out why they died we need a lot more info.1. What size tank?2. How long had it been set up and what equipment was running on it?3. What was your routine weekly maintenance?4. What are the water parameter readings?5. What symptoms did the fish display before they died?

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