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Common Types of Algae In Aquariums and How To Get it Under Control
Diatom Algae (Brown Algae) Can have a dusty brown appearance, tends to affect new aquariums, sometimes indicates high phosphates or silicates in the tank Wiping the sides of the tank and extra gravel vacuuming will usually resolve after a few weeks
Green Hair Algae (Thread Algae) Clumps or strands of hair like algae, typically forms on plants or rocks Usually indicates lighting and CO2 are out of balance.
Green Water Causes green appearance of water, is large quantities of single celled algae floating in the water. Extra water changes, strong filtration, and taking care not to overfeed fish UV sterilizers and cutting back on time lights are on can also be helpful
Green Spot Algae Dark green algae typically appears as flat green splotches on aquarium glass This algae tends to be more difficult to remove and often requires a blade or algae scraper to remove it from the tanks sides, proceed with caution on acrylic tanks as they can be easily scratched or damaged Cutting back on how long your lights are left on can often help with this problem
Green Dust Algae Appears like normal green algae, but will reappear within hours of wiping down from glass. This algae effectively has the ability to swim and resettle on the glass Unfortunately, with this algae the only method to get rid of it is to let it grow out and remove it once it has grown for 2 weeks or more
Black Brush Algae Grows in dark patches typically on plants, décor, and filter equipment. To remove from tank, equipment and décor typically need to be bleached clean before returning them to the tank
Water Surface Algae Algae forms on the surface of the water Common problem on tanks with low filtration Fix by increasing filtration, adding a skimmer, or more frequent water changes
Algae eaters and plants to help keep the tank algae free not all algae eaters are created equal, most will feed on soft algae, but a few will feed on black algae and dark green algae, so you want to choose the algae eater right for the job and appropriately sized for the tank as some algae eaters can grow to very large sizes. Common algae eaters are aquatic snails, Plecostomus, Siamese and Chinese algae eaters, shrimp, platy fish. Live Plants can be added to your aquarium to help consume the nitrates in the tank to help prevent algae growth as plants and most algae feed on the nitrates in the aquarium.
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