Home » How to Clean Algae from Fish Tank?
Fish

How to Clean Algae from Fish Tank?

If you have been a die hard aquarist, we are sure that you might have been aware of the havocby an overgrowth of algae created in an aquarium. As an aquarist myself for over three years now, I am always disturbed with the growth of algae that has been a constant issue. Ever wondered how to clean algae from fish tank? If you follow a few simple tricks and tips, you should be able to handle the algae more effectively in an aquarium.

Key takeaway-

There are several ways you can remove algae from a fish tank. You can remove it using a toothbrush, algae pad or scrubber to manually clean algae from fish tank. Other methods would include using natural methods such as salt, vinegar and lemon juice. Keeping an agae eater fish should be the most useful and practical solution that can yield better results. Brushes can be the right choice to remove algae from fish tank glass. 

Top Best ways to Clean Algae from Fish Tank

Having got a brief idea into how to clean algae from fish tank, we will now check out the best methods to clean algae from aquarium rocks and decorations.

how to clean algae from aquarium
CreditsFreepik

Use tools for manually removing algae

Manual cleaning of aquarium tanks can be the best way to help you clean algae from the tank. However, to do this, you will need to transfer the fish to another tank and then take up cleaning.

An algae scrubber should be the best choice to help clean the walls of your aquarium. Alge can cover the aqauarium glass to such an extent that it can make it extremely difficult for you to see the fish. The algae scubbers will not damage your glass or acrylic aqauraium walls. If there  are any hard to reach surfaces that contain an overgrown algae, you can use a used toothbrush. You can also use algae siphon to remove the  blue-green algae or brown diatom algae.

Typically speaking, you can use the specific tools based on the type of algae that has filled your aquarium.

Keep Algae eaters in the tank

Another less toxic and easier method is to keep algae eating fisn in your tank. Of course, make sure not to use a fish that may see other fish in the tank as a prey. This option will automatically take care of the future algae growth in the fish tank.

However, this method may not be much effective if you tank has  a huge algal growth. That is because these fish will eat a specific type alge and may not touch other types of algae. That apart, they may not be able to reach an entire part of the tank.

If you have a small tank, you can use nerite snails, amano shrimp, or a school of otocinclus catfish. For the larger tanks, you can keep larger fish such as bristlenose plecos or Siamese algae eaters.

Balance the nutrients and lighting

The primary contributors to the growth of algae in the fish tank lies in the left out food and the amount of lighting. Just like the other plant, algae too uses the same resources that same resources to grow. Balancing and controlling lighting and nutrients can help you take a good care of the algal growth.

An increased nitrate level can also contribute to the growth of algae. However, there is no set  standard to adjust the nutrients and lighting. You can simply use a trial and error method for the proper adjustment for optimum results. From my personal experience, I would recommend lighting for around 6 hours per day and then adjust it as per the actual conditions you observe.

As for the nutrients, make sure to adjust it based on the number of tankmates and the eating habits of your fish. I used to feed them three times a day when I first brought an aquarium. Soon, I realised how it was increasing the amount of left out food and also fish waste which contributed to the cloudy appearance in the tank. Soon, I switched to a twice per day food and also reduced the amount of food I added to the tank.

Add live plants

This is yet another excellent option to help reduce the algae and also to clean it off. They will consume nutrients faster thereby depriving the algae any food which can eventually make them die. Some of them are also known to release some algaecides which can kill the algae naturally. A planted aquarium is less likely to develop algae growth.

However, if you have a tank with fish that thrive on plants, using live plants in the tank may be out of question for you. In such situations, you may need to focus on the oter means that we have outlined here. I have three goldfish and other fish belonging to the same genre in my tank, and my multiple attempts at using live plants have failed miserably.

Change water frequently

Changing the water at least once every month is desirable to help avoid the groeeth of algae. Most of us aquarists tend to find water changes tedious and tended to avoid it or postpone it. While frequent water changes can negatively affect the bio rhythm in your tank, it is practical to change the water at least once every month.

Water changes should not only be just water changes. They should coincide with the complete change which include removing the algae and an overall cleaning of the tank.

How to Clean Algae from Aquarium Rocks?

After having cleaned the aquarium effectively, it is equally important to clean the aquarium accessories and decoratios for an effective removal of algae from it.

Use boiling water

Boil water in a large pot and soak your aquarium decorations in the hot water for around 15 to 20 minutes. If you have plastic parts, avoid soaking in the hot water. Once done, rinse them off under tap water and that should remove most of the algae.

You can now use aquarium sponge to remove any algae that may still be sticking to the decorations. Do not use soap and detergents to clean the aquarium decorations. 

Use Vinegar

Vinegar is yet another powerful option to remove algae from aquarium decorations. A natural cleaner, vinegar can help you remove germs and algae through a process of oxidation.

Make a solution of three parts of water and one part vinegar. Soak your decoration in this solution for 15 minutes and rinse it off under tap water.

You can even use lemon juice for the same effect.

How to Remove Algae from Aquarium Plants?

Removing algae from aquarium decorations is quite easy. However, the actual challenge is in cleaning the algae from the plants. They can get damaged if you are not careful. Even artificial plants can be a little difficult to clean without harming or damaging them.

One of the best means to clean the live plants and remove the algal growth on them is to use a slight scrubbing or using bleach solution. Of course, the bleach can kill the plants if you are not careful, but then, with that sort of algae growth, the plant is likely to die anyway. Using bleach can be thee best last ditch attempt at saving the plants.

Make a 10 percent bleach solution and soak the plants in the it. However, make sure not to soak the plants for more than five minutes. If the plants belong to delicate species, we would advise to further reduce the time for soaking it in the bleach solution. It is possible that some plants may get damaged by this method, but at least a few will survive.

Prevention would be a better option than this extreme solution. Keep inspecting your plants at regular intervals and shake them off. This will remove any algal growth easily. You can even try rubbing a little to remove the algae from the plants. Use the bleach solution only if the normal methods fail to yield results.

The Closing Thoughts

Algae in a small quantity can be beneficial for the aquarium and fish in it. Howevr, an overgrowth of algae can be detrimental to the health of your aquarium life. Opting for the timely options to remove the algala growth can help you achieve better options with your aquarium and the fish in it.

About the author

Timmappa Kamat

Timmappa Kamat is a pet lover and a dedicated writer specializing in the captivating world of pets. He brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to DreamyMammals. He grew up surrounded by pets since his childhood and this made him develop a connection with animals. This has sparked a lifelong curiosity for understanding and communicating with pets.
Writing style of Timmappa Kamat is characterised by a warm and friendly tone, making complex pet-related topics accessible to readers of all backgrounds. He loves sharing the animal behaviour with a persoanl touch. He creates articles that resonate with pet owners, thanks to their relatable and informative nature.

2 Comments

Click here to post a comment

About Author

Timmappa Kamat

Timmappa Kamat is a pet lover and a dedicated writer specializing in the captivating world of pets. He brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to DreamyMammals. He grew up surrounded by pets since his childhood and this made him develop a connection with animals. This has sparked a lifelong curiosity for understanding and communicating with pets.
Writing style of Timmappa Kamat is characterised by a warm and friendly tone, making complex pet-related topics accessible to readers of all backgrounds. He loves sharing the animal behaviour with a persoanl touch. He creates articles that resonate with pet owners, thanks to their relatable and informative nature.