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Combating algae in an aquarium

maintenance, care, compatibility

For example, algae of the genus Aufwuchs (from German – growing on something), grow on solid substrates, such as rocks, in both fresh and salt water. Algae, especially green and diatoms, are the main habitat for small crustaceans, rotifers, and the simplest forms of life.

A lot of aquarium dwellers intensively feed on surfaces overgrown with algae. Lake Malawi cichlids are widely known as fish adapted for feeding on algae.

Examples of the type, Labeotropheus trewavasae and Pseudotropheus zebra, are very characteristic. They have hard teeth that allow you to tear off algae from rocks. Mollies seek algae glades and pluck them.

In the marine environment, algae are an important part of the nutrition of sea urchins, sea worms and chitons.

I stimulated fouling algae in my tsikhlidnik, to create a natural environment, and got the right amount of nitrica and diatoms. Thus, depending on the species of fish and habitat from the habitat, growing algae may even be desirable.

Algae is an essential part of the diet of species such as mollies, African cichlids, some Australian fish, and soma, such as ancistrus or otocyclus. Frequent water changes reduce the amount of nitrates in the water and reduce the growth of algae.

In a well-balanced aquarium richly overgrown with plants, the balance of minerals is in balance, the surplus is consumed by plants and algae. And since higher plants always consume more nutrients than algae, the growth of the latter is limited.

  • An aquarium with a large number of aquarium plants, algae will still be there, but they will not grow rapidly.
  • Good aeration of water – high oxygen content inhibits algae growth.
  • Filtration and mixing of water to remove organic residues and nitrates
  • Full coverage – no more than 12 hours a day, and with sufficient power.
  • A moderate number of fish in the aquarium, with a large number they create nitrates, which do not have time to digest plants.
  • Fish that feed on algae – molly, antsistrusy, loricaria, CAE (Siamese algae), ottsinklusy, hirinoheylus.
  • Moderate feeding, rotting food residues – the main supplier of nitrates.
  • Regular cleaning of the aquarium and replacement of the water.

The nitrogen cycle has not yet been established in newly launched aquariums, and the probability of an algal outburst is especially high in them.

By itself, the appearance of algae in the new aquarium – is normal. In the first 2-10 weeks since the launch of the new aquarium, you can see the rapid growth of brown algae.

This happens if the level of nitrates in water exceeds 50 mg per liter. Filtration and partial replacement of water solve this problem.

As soon as the plants take root and grow, they will take food away from the algae and the growth of the latter will slow down or stop. In a well-established aquarium, there is always a struggle for balance between plants and algae.

Fish that help fight algae in an aquarium:

  • Ancistrus
  • SAE
  • Ototsinklyus
  • Gerinoheylus
  • Brocade pterigoplicht

In addition, the plant snail neretina perfectly cleaned.

Located in most aquariums in the form of green dots or green film. These algae love a lot of light.

Green algae grow only if the amount of light and nitrates exceeds the level that higher plants can absorb. In densely planted aquariums, green algae develop extremely poorly, since higher plants consume nutrients and absorb the light necessary for the rapid growth of green algae.

Without condemning the use of plastic plants in an aquarium, I note that living plants look better and create the conditions for the normal development of the entire biosystem.
However, they can massively develop in aquariums with CO2 systems, due to fluctuations in carbon dioxide levels during the day. An outbreak of green algae growth can occur suddenly, especially when the level of phosphates and nitrates in the water is elevated.

Usually they look like green dots covering the surface of the glass and the bottom of the aquarium. The recommended countermeasures are reducing the amount of light and the length of the day, and mechanical cleaning is done with special brushes or a blade.

Mollies and somas, for example, ancistrus, eat green algae very well, and I keep a few specially for this purpose. The snail neretina also copes well with xenococus and other algae.

Brown algae grows quickly if there is too little light in the aquarium. They look like brown bloom covering everything in the aquarium.

Usually plants loving light are in poor condition or disappear. Plants that tolerate blackout well, such as Javanese moss, pygmy anubias, and other types of anubias, can be covered with brown foil; tough anubias leaves can be wiped off to get rid of brown algae. Again, aquarium cleaners, antsistrusy or ottsinklyusy will help well.

But the simplest solution is to increase the intensity and duration of daylight. Usually brown algae quickly disappear, one has only to bring the lighting in order.

Brown algae are very often formed in young aquariums with an unsettled balance (younger

3 months), with the wrong spectrum of lamps and with too long daylight. An even greater increase in daylight hours can lead to even worse consequences.

Blue-green algae are colonies of bacteria, and by this they differ from other types of algae. They look like a green, slippery film covering soil and plants in an aquarium. In the aquarium, they rarely appear, and, as a rule, in those who are poorly cared for.

Like all bacteria, they secrete substances that adversely affect plants and fish in the aquarium, so they must be carefully controlled. How to deal with blue-green algae in an aquarium?

As a rule, antibiotic bicillin or other types of antibiotics are used in the fight, but you need to work very carefully with it, you can irreversibly affect all inhabitants of the aquarium. It is better to try to bring a balance in the aquarium, carrying out a large replacement of water and cleaning.

When describing the algae divisions, we intentionally described in such detail what conditions the representatives of each of them need in order to breed in an aquarium to a significant amount (there are always a small number of these organisms in the aquarium, but they do not spoil the beauty and do not interfere with other inhabitants). Obviously, in order to cope with the invasion of crimsons, diatoms, or their brethren, these conditions in the aquarium must be changed. And the most important thing is to plant a large number of living higher plants and create conditions under which they can successfully compete with algae and thereby control their numbers.

The following steps will help change the balance of power in favor of the plants.

The introduction of CO2 into an aquarium with the help of various devices provides the plants with a source of carbon and, in the presence of good lighting, can significantly change the balance of forces in their favor. In addition, carbon dioxide acidifies water, which also usually adversely affects the lower flora and beneficially – on the higher.

In addition to these basic measures aimed at improving the conditions for plant growth and normalizing the overall situation in the aquarium, for the fight against algae are used:

  • mechanical removal from surfaces using a scraper or toothbrush;
  • settling algae fish in an aquarium (ototsinklyuy are effective against diatoms, CAE against purple bug and filamentous chlorophyte, labo and hirinoheylus – against scale greens) or, in the case of water blooming, branchy daphnia crustaceans;
  • in rare cases (for example, an outbreak of cyanobacteria or blooming of water) the use of chemical methods of control – antibiotics and algaecides, as well as an ultraviolet sterilizer is justified.

It must be said that the mass development of cyanobacteria is the reason for taking emergency measures: in addition to the already mentioned complete darkening and use of the antibiotic and sterilizer, it is necessary to deprive algae of nutrients as much as possible. To do this, stop feeding the fish in the aquarium (it is generally better to remove the fish for a while), set the filter power to a minimum, at the same time turning on aeration, do not change the water.

Already after the death of most of the blue-greens, general cleaning of the aquarium with a deep siphon of the soil and the replacement of most of the water is carried out.

But such measures to destroy algae give only a temporary effect, which quickly passes without normalizing the overall balance of the aquarium. Therefore, with all due respect to the ancient origin and the enormous ecological role of algae, let us try to create in our aquarium such conditions under which not they, but those for whom we start our indoor ponds — higher plants and fish — will feel comfortable.

Algae in the aquarium are a sign of an established biobalance. They appear on plants, stones, glass walls, and even on equipment. However, their rapid growth means that fundamental changes are taking place in the aquatic environment.

In an aquarium where there are a lot of plants, algae will not appear in large quantities. Good aeration and water filtration will stop their growth.

Timely removal of food residue and dirt contributes to the purity of water. If you notice that brown formations appear in the reservoir, it means that brown algae have settled in it.

How to get rid of kelp and suspend their reproduction?

The origin of brown algae, symptoms of formation

Brown algae spread very quickly, the parasite cells from one plant quickly pass to the neighboring leaves. In addition, brown patina can be a substrate for another parasite – a black beard, which is derived even more difficult.

What to do in order to prevent the growth of algae in the aquarium and destroy them forever?

  1. The aquarium should be lighting 10-12 hours a day, no more. Do not place the tank in place of direct sunlight. Bacteria that are sources of algae multiply easily by light.
  2. The overpopulation of the nursery with fish is a source of nitrates that the plants do not have time to assimilate. If you have a lot of fish, the tank should be spacious.
  3. If there are such fish in the tank as mollies, Siamese algae, antsistrusy, loricaria, catfish ottsinklyusy, then they will help to fight with a brown touch, eating it. Also, algae love snail neretina.
  4. Do not overfeed fish, remove food debris from the bottom with a siphon or a net.
  5. Regularly replace your aquarium water with clean water once a week.
  6. If a nitrogenous cycle is not established in a recently launched aquarium, an algae outbreak is more likely. The process of forming a biological balance lasts 1-2 weeks, at this time do not settle there fish and do not make large water changes. If the water level of nitrates 50 mg per 1 liter, the water should be well filtered and replaced with a new one. Take measurements of water parameters constantly.

See how you can get rid of the brown algae in the aquarium with the help of Theodoxus snails.

If you notice that brown algae appeared in a newly launched aquarium, and they began to spread in large quantities, then the fight with them will be easy. Observe the correct mode of maintenance of the tank, and in 2-3 weeks the problem will be solved.

Carry out regular cleaning of the aquarium, change 20-30% of water once a week. When aquarium plants begin to grow, the algae will disappear due to the large amount of dissolved oxygen.

When an algae outbreak happened in an aquarium with “old” water, it is necessary to replace water already 2 times in 7 days, changing 30% of the volume of water. When replacing it is necessary to thoroughly clean the tank from excess food, waste products of fish.

Use a scraper to clean the glass of the aquarium, wipe the bottom, clean the decorations and plants with a toothbrush or a clean sponge.

Check the degree of contamination of the filter, if the filtration rate has decreased, then the filter is clogged. Clean the filter, but do not change its contents.

Reduce the length of daylight hours to 6 hours a day for several days, and the next 2 weeks bring it up to 10 hours gradually. If the lamps work for 1 year, it is better to replace them with new ones, but not all at once, but in turn.

Brown scurf appears in the tank in a week, and it takes almost a month to fight it.

There are chemicals that can affect diatoms. Some funds worsen the situation, delay the reproduction of beneficial microorganisms, from which the fish will suffer.

Drugs that can help with the removal of brown plaque, should be used according to the instructions. Be careful and cautious – some chemicals can harm not only parasites, but also plants with fish.

  • Tetra Algetten – drug in the form of water-soluble tablets, used for the prevention and destruction of algae. It dissolves gradually over a month, the number of parasitic formations decreases gradually. After 4-7 days, the first changes will be noticeable. Dosage – 1 tablet per 10 liters of water.
  • Sera Algovec – the tool destroys all types of algae in the aquarium. Dosage: 5 ml per 20 liters of water. After applying the drug, it is necessary to slice away all dead residues mechanically, there should be good aeration in the water.

Filamentous algae is a true aquarist nightmare. Barely appeared in the aquarium, these thin green strands, like hair, braiding plants and stones, begin to grow rapidly.

In a matter of days, they can flood the entire room reservoir, and it is very difficult to get rid of them.

Growing, the algae emit an excess amount of waste into the water, entangle plants, interfering with their growth. The algae stuck to the remnants of food, fish fry may get confused.

All this leads to active processes of decay in the aquarium, and if the process is started and nothing is done with it, even lead to the death of the bio-system.

First of all, you need to understand that algae and aquatic plants are completely different things. Plants are higher, complexly organized beings, they have different departments in their structure: root system, stem, leaves, shoots.

Each organ consists of its own type of cells. Algae, lower, protozoa, are much more primitive in structure – they have no division into organs, and they consist of only one kind of cells.

But in these cells complex biochemical processes take place.

Algae are not some kind of harmful parasites, they are a normal member of the aquarium community. To a greater or lesser extent, they are present in every aquarium.

Even the sterilization of all possible does not guarantee that you can get rid of algae. They will get there on the leaves of plants, or simply with tap water, which in the summer may contain spores of simple algae.

Aquarium is a biosystem model, and algae also occupy a niche in it. They are part of natural balance.

Green filamentous alga, to a certain extent, is a competitor of plants. If conditions for plants are optimal, they eat well and grow, there is no excess of nutrients and light, then they suppress the algae.

If these conditions are violated in some way – the algae “raise their heads”. The appearance of an undesirable resident is an alarming signal that the balance in the aquarium is disturbed, and only by restoring it can you reduce the growth of algae and get rid of them, at least from their excessive presence.

“The enemy must be known in person” – this also applies to algae. The fact is that under this name many species are collected, which can often be distinguished only under a microscope.

And to deal with them to be different methods.

Here are the main signs by which it is possible to determine with confidence that these are really green filamentous algae.

  • Appearance: thin green threads.
  • Texture: soft, slimy to the touch. When removed from the water, they immediately lose their shape and sag.

The filament is often referred to as a kladofora, but this is a misconception. The cladophora has a hard, elastic texture that practically does not lose shape in the air.

Green filamentous algae feed and grow due to substances dissolved in water and the process of photosynthesis occurring in the light.

Different types of green filamentous algae have different “preferences” in nutrition and living conditions. To know how to deal with them, you need to be able to distinguish between them.

In the aquarium, there are two varieties of this family: long green threads, freely floating in the water, and shorter, accumulating on the surface of the glass, shoots and planes of plants.

Thin, often very long bright green “strands” that can stray into whole nests. Formed in the vicinity of plants, especially young, which are actively growing.

The difficulty in dealing with spirogyra is that it prefers the same conditions that are good for plants: an adequate amount of nutrients and good light. But a burst of algae growth is usually caused by an overabundance of these factors, even a small one (remember that in optimal conditions, where there is enough, but nothing in abundance, plants will suppress the alga, taking nutrients from it).

The rapid growth of spirogyra occurs in well-established aquariums that are not very well cleaned. In this case, the algal surge can be stimulated by some insignificant, at first glance, event: a dead fish that was not seen in time, for example.

Spirogyra threads are very soft, easily rubbed with fingers. They simply remove mechanically – winding green strands on a rough stick made of wood, a toothbrush, and the remains settled on the bottom – siphon.

First of all, it is necessary to carry out exactly mechanical cleaning, removing as much algae as possible. Then exclude the factors of its active growth: reduce the light (it is better to darken the aquarium completely for 2-3 days, it will not do any harm to the fish and plants, but for algae it will be a serious blow), slightly increase the water temperature. Replace water more often to reduce the concentration of macro-elements in it.

The introduction of the drug bicillin-5 into the aquarium also helps.

There are also natural enemies of this type of algae. She is well eaten by barbs, specials, guppies and other viviparous, shrimps.

Thread (Green Hair Algae, Hair / Thread Algae, Fuzz Algae)

Chlamydomonas and Chlorella. (Green water, Algae bloom, Green tinted water, Euglaena)

“Water blooms” is called the process of rapid growth of these algae. In summer, this happens in all freshwater bodies: the water becomes muddy, green, and thin green threads float in it.

The reason: the simplest unicellular algae, actively breeding and freely floating in the water.

And if for natural reservoirs it is a part of the natural life process, then for an aquarium it is a real disaster. Most of all these algae harm the plants, shading them and taking food.

Strictly speaking, unicellular algae are not filamentous – they are even more primitive in structure. However, in aquarium terminology, these species are often combined.

The fact is that in the mass single-celled cells can be combined into groups and threads, their texture, growth conditions, damage to the aquarium and methods of control are very similar to filamentous ones.

Flowering water – a sign of over-light and pollution of the aquarium. To cope with this process, it is necessary to shade the aquarium for several days, adjusting at the same time a powerful and smooth operation of the compressor. But even if the algae disappeared from these measures, a water change can cause a new outbreak, and the procedure has to be repeated.

Therefore, the only way would be to use a diatom filter or a UV sterilizer.

Chemical method of dealing with unicellulars – bitsillin-5, penicillin. Well helps ozonation of water.

You can get rid of flowering in a natural way – Daphnia crustaceans feed on algae and clean the water for several days. The only problem with this method – from the aquarium will need to remove the fish that Daphnia happy to eat.

“Algae disaster” will not occur in an aquarium in which the correct balance of life is respected. The appearance of green filamentous algae is, above all, an alarm for the aquarist, indicating the beginning of the inhibition of plants due to an excess of some substances and a shortage of others.

To avoid this, follow the simple recommendations.

  • Regular cleaning and changing the water in the aquarium. If these conditions are not met, a lot of decomposition products, nitrates causing rotting, water damage, and algae accumulate in your indoor pond.
  • Harmonious lighting. Excessive light provokes excessive algae activity. For a good control of this factor, it is necessary, first of all, to establish an aquarium correctly, where direct sunlight will not fall on it. The length of daylight, sufficient for plants and fish – 10-12 hours.
  • A sufficient amount of aquarium plants. Algae often begin to actively proliferate where there are few or no plants, in an aquarium with cichlids, for example. These fish are actively digging the ground, and aquarists often decorate their homes only with artificial decorations. Meanwhile, plants are necessary for the harmonious life of an artificial reservoir, otherwise their place in the bio-system will be occupied by uninvited aliens.
  • Good aeration. A sufficient supply of oxygen is necessary for everyone living in the aquarium. If the plants themselves feel good (and they need oxygen), then they will be able to inhibit the growth of algae.

It is important to remember that algae are equal participants in biological processes taking place in your aquarium. It is not their presence at all that is harmful, but their active growth, an excess of algae.

In a well-balanced aquarium invasion of algae will not happen.

Many experienced aquarists do not protest at all against the visible presence of algae, specifically leaving them in inconspicuous places. In small quantities, they benefit by absorbing some excess nutrients and rotting products.

An important principle of aquarium maintenance is regularity and moderation. Where the fish are fed, not overfeeding and the volume of water is sufficient for them, the plants live and thrive, the dirt is constantly removed, and the water is refreshed and aerated – in a harmonious, well-kept aquarium there is no “environmental catastrophe”.

Brown algae description the structure of the fight with them photo video.

The origin of brown algae, symptoms of formation

There is another option. He is recognized as the most environmentally friendly of all, however, for its implementation it will be necessary to invest money and own time in search of inhabitants who would eat a black beard.

The only fish that feed on this type of algae are Siamese seaweed and antsitrus. They are able to cope with all existing volumes in about a couple of weeks.

However, there is another side to this method. Blackbeard is not the most delicious plant for fish.

To seaweed or antsitrusy got to them, they can not be fed. This cannot be done while there are other inhabitants there.

Yes, and they will not begin to fight harmful algae immediately, while in the aquarium there will be younger, green and succulent plants, these fish will eat them.

Another type of inhabitants of the aquarium, capable of coping with the nuisance – snail ampulyaria. They need a lot, about a hundred of the smallest individuals. The smaller they are, the more effectively they fight a beard.

Ideal if they do not exceed the size of a match head. After they have cleaned everything in the aquarium, they should be selected and removed.

If this is not done, the kids will start to grow and completely eat up all the green things in the pond.

Blackbeard algae in the aquarium.

It grows quite rapidly, and the struggle with it takes a lot of time. Even special chemicals and reduced illumination give only short-term results.

To defeat a beard, you need a whole range of measures, time and attention. bba1 (1) So, let’s start with water, it will have to be changed regularly, in especially neglected cases it will have to be done every day, replacing from 10 to 25% of the liquid.

And the water that you will pour also should not contain phosphates and nitrates. You will need to control their level using ion exchange filters.

Despite the risk of green algae, it is necessary to increase the light level somewhere up to 0.5-1 W per 1 liter of water at 12 hours per day of continuous operation.

It will be necessary to clean the soil from the remnants of food, and to remove dead leaves from plants. Also, it would be nice to have certain types of fish and snails that help in cleaning the aquariums from unwanted waste products and algae.

Fighting with brown algae in an aquarium begins with increasing the intensity of illumination and raising the water temperature to 26-28 ° degrees. If the fluorescent lamps of the LD brand are used in illumination, then they must be changed to the LB mark, because the red rays of the spectral composition of the light necessary for normal plant growth are present in the LB.

Further, to get rid of the brown algae as soon as possible, you will have to manually work and remove as much algae from the aquarium as possible. It is necessary to clean the glass from brown algae with a scraper or blade, but not with a foam sponge, because the algae scoured off with a sponge will dissolve in water and pollute the water severely, adding more work such as changing water.

The brown algae films that have been stripped off the blade must be removed with a hose for cleaning the soil. The bloom of brown algae from the leaves of plants is cleaned with fingers, rubbing each leaf in hand. This should be done carefully so as not to damage the delicate leaves and stems of plants.

To clean the soil from algae can be shallow loosening, and large stones, it is desirable to remove from the aquarium and rinse under the tap.

It is also necessary to rinse the filter, and the compressor hoses. At the end of the whole procedure, it is advisable not to turn off the light at night in the aquarium for several days in order to increase the length of daylight and wake up the plants more quickly and signs of their rapid growth.

To get rid of kelp once and for all you need to have one or two catfish antsistrusov. Antsistrusov called sweepers or sticky.

Eating algae, these fish are able to maintain cleanliness in the aquarium. When in my 150 liter aquarium there was a pair of antsistrus aquarium walls and the plants were always clean.

But as time passed, the ancistrus became obsolete, and then problems began with brown algae. Antsistrusa aquarium fish rightly deserve respect for cleanliness in our aquariums and if you want to get rid of kelp algae permanently get catfish ancistrus.


Blackbeard in the aquarium, hydrogen peroxide.

Blackbeard – a weed algae that covers the leaves and trunks of underwater plants, stones and other objects in the aquarium. Blackbeard grows in aquariums, where water is rarely changed, this plant covers even the walls of the tank.

Blackbeard is the thinnest plexus of black and dark green villi that envelop everything around like fluff.

This alga does not cause any harm to the fish living in the aquarium. However, black beard harms plants, especially slow-growing plants.

This weed envelops the grass, and to remove the alga, you have to throw out the plant completely or most of it.

The main reason many aquarists struggle with a black beard is the aesthetic side of the issue. After all, who wants to see nasty growths that look like mold in the well-kept underwater world?

Blackbeard Alga

In this blog, I would like to share my own experience as I defeated the black beard of alga. This nasty thing came to me from the store when I bought a wonderful and very beautiful Kobomb plant. After 15 days, my plants were covered with black hair, the alga prevents the plant from developing by absorbing light, there are many ways to combat algae, but I chose 3% hydrogen peroxide .

I remember as a child in the Soviet Union, this method was quite effective. Before using peroxide, you need to reduce the diet of aquarium fish to stop feeding, do not change the water, do not add fertilizer to aquarium plants.

Reduce the light day of the watch for two, then I did the following, removed all the plants from the aquarium where I could clean the black beard using the blade, then poured 500 grams of water from the aquarium into the plastic bowl and added 20 ml of hydrogen peroxide there and the whole thing stood 20 minutes, after this not complicated procedure, I changed the water, poured it clean and for another hour

. After that I didn’t see a single beard hair. At once I would like to draw your attention to the fact that aquarium plants with soft and tender leaves can suffer from such procedures, but plants with hard leaves and resistant stems tolerate peroxide with a bang. Over the next 5 days I continued to add to the aquarium at 20 ml

I did this in a 100 liter aquarium; I took a syringe and poured it under the roots of aquarium plants. It is very important to understand that the calculation goes 20 ml per 100 liters, 10 ml per 50 liters should not be overdone, with the right dosage the fish feel great.

But it is also not superfluous to say that before you fight with algae, you must find the cause of the appearance of a black beard and only then proceed to the treatment of the aquarium.

The reasons can be a huge variety of this strong lighting or weak, bust with fertilizers, as well as a general violation of the biological balance. Yes, and get in the aquarium a couple of saetheses, they are algae.

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