Aquarium Care

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Posts Tagged ‘Algae Growth’

Sticky: Controlling Aquarium Algae

Most aquarium hobbyists have to contend with the problem of algae growth sooner or later. The problem can come over time or burst out suddenly as algae bloom.  Understanding the kind of algae you might get in your tank is a big step toward fixing any problem that might arise. The first thing to do is to learn how to identify the algae and then follow the protocol to control it.

Kinds of Algae

Brown Algae – This kind of algae is the most common and is usually found in new tanks or low-light aquariums. You can recognize it by the soft clumps that they form on aquarium walls and fittings.  They are also referred to as diatoms and can be removed by scrubbing. Because they feed on nitrates, adding live plants will help as will algae eaters like the Otocinclus catfish or aquarium snails.

Cyanobacteria – Although cyanobacteria are often referred to as blue-green algae, they are really microbes that float through the tank as blue-green sheets.  They are easy to remove and need to be controlled as they can cause the death of fish or plants in the tank.

tank with green algae

Green Algae

Green Algae – Green water in the tank is usually the result of this kind of algae and often comes because of poor water quality.  This is the kind of algae that is referred to as algae bloom and will grow in tanks that are getting too much light or haven’t cycled properly. It usually forms a film on the tank walls and fittings and can be wiped off. Once the water in the tank has stabilized the algae will usually disappear. If it doesn’t, more drastic methods are necessary.

Thread Algae – Long threads (up to 30 cm) hanging on leaf edges are thread algae.  Low iron is usually the reason for this condition. Threads can be removed by taking a toothbrush and twirling the threads around it. Another way to control this growth is with Siamese algae eaters.

Green Spot Algae – Hard green spots on tank walls and on aquarium plants are the difficult to remove green spot algae. They usually occur in tanks which have too much light or are low in CO2 and phosphate. Normally, they are removed by scraping with a razor blade.

Red/Brush Algae – Red algae or brush algae are most likely to develop on slow-growing plants. pH does not affect them and they are hard to remove by hand. The only control known are Siamese algae eaters.

How to Control Algae

The best ways to avoid algae problems is to limit organic waste and keep good conditions in your tank. Regular water changes and limiting fish food to about as much as they can eat in a minute will help. Live plants also use up the nitrates which feed the algae which will keep them from growing. Algae need light, so keeping the tank out of the sun and only using artificial light for up to 12 hours a day will also discourage growth. Another simple and easy way to reduce the likelihood of getting an algae problem is by the addition of beneficial bacteria, which keep the tank clean and non-conducive to algae growth.

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Necessary Steps To Simplify Aquarium Care And Maintenance Tasks

Aquarium care and maintenance involves certain tasks that should be done daily, and others that are less frequently needed. All these routine tasks are necessary to keep fish healthy and the aquarium environment clean and problem free.

Daily care involves checking over your fish by observing their behavior. Healthy fish will swim freely, with their fins erectly held. Their skin and gill areas will be free of any puffiness or marks that show parasites or infections. Check that all the equipment is working properly, and that water temperature is not fluctuating.

When you feed your fish, never give them excessive amounts. Uneaten food falls to the bottom, and will encourage algae growth, ammonia production and water to cloud. You can keep it cleaner and clearer by using one of the EcoBio-Block products. These products introduce beneficial bacteria that rid the water of toxic ammonia that is produced from excess food particles in the water.

Keeping the exterior of the fish tank clean is another important step in aquarium care and maintenance. Wash it every week, using only clean clear non-chlorinated water. Any soap or chemical cleaners must be avoided, as they can get into the tank’s water and kill fish. Maintaining a clean fish tank not only makes it easier to observe your fish, it also promotes the growth of aquarium plants as it allows more light to enter.

Generally, a partial water change is recommended every two weeks or so, the timing depending on how large your aquarium is and how many fish it holds. Changing the water will reduce the ammonia content. An easy way to keep ammonia levels acceptably low is by using any of the EcoBio-Block products which introduce ammonia-controlling bacteria and reduce the need for water changes. Choose the product according to the size of the fish tank.

Periodically, you will need to remove any algae growth from your fish tank. Some algae thrive with light, and grow on the inside of the tank so must be scraped off. Other kinds live in the gravel bottom, thriving with the organic waste in the water. By using EcoBio-Block products, the production of ammonia and nitrites is controlled, so less algae will grow.

Uneaten fish food and fish waste drops to the bottom of the aquarium constantly, and settles between the pieces of gravel and sand. This can form harmful gases and nitrites as it decomposes, so cleaning it away monthly is part of your aquarium care and maintenance. This is generally done by vacuuming the gravel.

If you make use of EcoBio-Blocks, then the ammonia and nitrite produced is kept under control. Less frequent cleaning and washing of the gravel is necessary, and tank water will be much clearer and cleaner. These products have a life of up to two years.

Aquarium care and maintenance can be made easier with the introduction of beneficial bacteria. As long as these bacteria are present and able to proliferate, they will keep the tank water clean and clear and so ensure the health of the fish.

Find the right techniques to aquarium care by going online. There you will find many methods to clear water of organic waste that will harm your fish. Head online and learn more today.

 

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