Aquarium Maintenance: How to Clean Algae From Fish Tank
Learn how to clean algae from a fish tank with the help of aquarium expert Joseph Caparatta in this Howcast video.
There are a few benefits that algae come with, however of course not when your own fish tank is involved. Algae are great for recycling carbon dioxide and turning it back into breathable oxygen. Also algae produce very high yields of biofuel that burns much cleaner than other fuels such as fossil fuels. The biofuel made from algae can also be used to create food or feed for farm animals. Algae can actually also be used to purify water systems and even to create a variety of products such as lubricants, plastics, cosmetics, and fertilizers among other things.
Instead, you should manage their growth to keep the population of the algae under . So, the question is: how to clean algae from fish tank? Let’s find out here.
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How to Clean Algae From an Aquarium. Part of the series: Fish Tanks & Aquariums. In order to remove algae from an aquarium, simply use an algae sponge from an aquarium store, or an algae scraper. Find out how stainless steel blades work great on glass tanks for cleaning algae with help from the owner of a pet fish store in this free video on algae and aquariums. Read more: Once you have removed the intended amount of water from the tank and into a large container, you can now use the gravel vacuum. The gravel vacuum should be used to remove any and all algae, fish waste, old food, and various other tank debris that is left at the bottom of the tank. Gravel vacuums should not be used if you own a delicate saltwater fish breed if he is still in the tank during cleaning. You may want to gently remove the fish in this case or place a mesh type fabric over the gravel vacuum hose to prevent damage to the fish. However, the mesh may not be able to remove all of the tank debris.Watch more How to Take Care of an Aquarium videos:
The viewing panel you can clean with a regular aquarium algae sponge. Don't use a sponge from your sink or from CVS or something, because a lot of them have anti-microbial agents, and that'll harm your aquarium. So use a regular aquarium sponge. Find out if you have a glass or acrylic tank and use the appropriate sponge for that.
So that takes care of the glass. If you need to, use it to clean the overflow pipes or the sides of the aquarium, or clean some of the decorations.
You also want to control algae from growing in the first place. Algae thrives on sunlight and nutrients. And when I say "sunlight," I mean aquarium light, sunlight, any kind of lighting will promote algae. But if your nutrient levels are low -- your nitrates and phosphates, mainly -- algae's not going to grow that well. So the main thing to controlling algae, which will result in how you clean it, is to keep your nutrient levels in check.
But algae's going to grow inevitably. To clean it, you want to use the pad that I told you on the front of the glass. On the decorations, you can take them out, soak them in hot water. You can use light bleach, but you want to be very, very careful, because bleach is caustic. It'll discolor things if you use too much of it. And when you put the items back in the aquarium, if there's any bleach residue, it'll shock the system. It'll kill bacteria, and you'll have an ammonia and nitrite spike. But bleach is a great tool to cleaning plants. Only use it if you know what you are doing and are very, very careful. I don't want to hear people taking my advice, going and bleaching their aquarium decorations and parts, and losing their fish. That would make me feel really bad.
So you want to clean using hot water mainly. Use a good scrub brush. Not a wire brush, because a wire brush is going to just ruin and shred most aquarium decorations. And the glass itself will be kept clean just by doing periodic weekly cleanings with the pads.
Fish will also help to clean algae. Plecos, Otocinclus, algae eaters in freshwater aquariums. Also, snails will help to clean the glass and decorations in an aquarium. You don't want to use too many of them. Snails, if allowed to just multiply, will quickly completely overcrowd an aquarium to plague proportions. So just go with a couple of snails in the aquarium and keep them in check. And the fish, just a couple of small fish. Plecos, algae eaters. But remember that Plecos get really big, so if you have a small tank, maybe go with Otocinclus or algae eaters.
And if the water chemistry is kept in check, the phosphates and nitrates are kept low, the amount of algae that grows should be able to be kept in check with regular weekly front glass cleanings and the help of your algae-eating fish.Many living things in both freshwater and marine tanks (such as snails) eat algae, and would perish if there was none in your tank at all. Therefore, getting rid of all algae is not the goal and some algae is not harmful.What most of us don't like about algae is simply that it isn't very attractive, grows on our rock and other decoration, and causes us extra work. For the most part, other than just being a bother, the algae in your tank in not harmful. However, it can create certain conditions in your tank that will cause harm.Below are a few things you are likely to experience where algae can can cause problems.The above means there is a reason to keep algae at a minimum in your tank other than just the fact it is unsightly.Algae is in your tank because conditions in your tank are right to promote its growth. There's plenty of light, and nutrients for the algae to use as a food source and thus proliferate.It's clear where the light comes from, but where do the nutrients come from? They come from the food you put in the tank and the waste produced by the livestock. Therefore over feeding, and overstocking a tank can increase the algal growth dramatically. You can manually remove the algae with a scraper or scrubber of some sort. Make sure if your tank is made from acrylic that the tool you use is safe and won't scratch the tank surface. Many nice tanks have been ruined in this way.Another method is using livestock to remove the algae for you. Certain snails, crabs, shrimp and fish eat algae, by having the right "clean up crew" in your tank they can do much of the work for you, usually leaving just a bit on the glass to be easily removed. Choose wisely because the clean up crew becomes part of the bio-load in the tank.Of course scraping algae off the sides of your tank gets it off the glass, but when you want to know how to get rid of algae, that's probably not what you mean, you're probably thinking of a more long term solution, something to keep algae at a minimum.Below are the basic steps you can take and the pros and/or cons of each. Too much of any one method can cause problems in the tank, but by using some of each methodWhat the best solutions really come down to is reducing the bio-load. Waste builds up nutrients which the algae feed off of and in turn grow out of control. Find a way to reduce the bio-load and you will have success in reducing algae.