Every aquarist has, at one point or the other, suffered from algae infestation in their tank. Many people think that removing algae from a saltwater aquarium is way tougher than removing the same from a freshwater aquarium. While the answer to that may be debatable, one thing is for sure that you need to have the right approach if you want to eradicate algae from your saltwater tank.
You need to understand that algae growth is a natural phenomenon. It shows that your aquarium is healthy and well-balanced. A little bit of algae population is usually beneficial for the overall ecosystem of our aquarium. The problem arises when it goes out of control and almost covers your tank.
At the end of the day, your aquarium is a close space. Unlike the wild, your aquatic pets can’t run away from an algae bloom and would suffocate to death when algae clout over them, cutting off the supply of light and nutrients from them. So, you need to do everything in your power to ensure that such a situation does not arise ever in your aquarium. However, if it does, you need to stay prepared and learn everything that one needs to do to tackle the situation in a scientific way.
Reasons for Algae Growth in a Saltwater Aquarium
The first order of business is to find the reason for algae infestation. Generally, the growth of algae in a saltwater tank depends on the following factors:
Tips for Removing Algae from a Saltwater Aquarium
Fishkeeping is a hobby that requires 100% dedication. You need to commit to it. Controlling the population of algae is one among them. Thankfully, you can adopt a myriad of approaches for doing the same. Now, we have strictly taken into consideration the scientific methods for getting rid of this problem. After all, we need to ensure that the methods you try are safe for the overall ambiance of your saltwater tank as well.
Keeping everything in mind, we have come together with the following methods for controlling algae infestation in your tank:
- First of all, the most basic method that you can try is directly removing the algae by using your hand (wear glove for safety purposes), or through filtration and siphoning.
- You need to reduce the amount of phosphate and nitrate in your tank. Cycling your aquarium every now and then can help you achieve this.
- Too much light directly promotes the growth of algae. This is one of the main reasons why you are always suggested to keep your aquarium away from direct sunlight. However, for some algae, the growth happens when there is less light. For instance, Brown Algae grow in less light whereas Green Algae grow in more light. So, after identifying what kind of algae is growing in your tank, you need to make the necessary adjustments.
- Try and use a protein skimmer for your aquarium
- You need to use a better quality sea salt mix as well. However, you need to careful while selecting carbon since it can introduce unwanted and harmful elements to your aquarium, thereby leading to the creation of a toxic environment.
- As we said earlier, proper water circulation helps in eradicating algae from your saltwater tank. Therefore, invest in a good water filtration system. You need to remember that different algae thrive in different types of water current. So, you need to make your adjustments accordingly. For instance, Hair/Filamentous species prefer water that has a fast current while Red Slime Algae and other Cyanobacteria species prefer slow current.
- Another interesting way to combat alga bloom is by promoting the growth of competitive macro-algae. What we are suggesting here is that by promoting the growth of a good algae species, you would able to minimalize the growth rate of unwanted or harmful algae. This is because both of them would compete for the same nutrient, space, and light available in your aquarium. As a result, the unwanted pest will die down due to the highly competitive environment. However, make sure that you manage the population of good algae too.
- Introducing algae eaters to your tank can also be a great idea to manage the algae bloom in your saltwater tank. Tangs and Surgeonfish are great examples of algae eater that you can have in your aquarium. In addition, you can have non-fish pets such as Hermit Crabs, Starfish, Marine Worms, and Snails in your saltwater aquarium as well since all of them help consume algae as well.
- An abundance of silicates can also contribute to algae infestation. You need to reduce its amount. Therefore, you need to ensure that you are using a proper substrate (live sand or gravel) for your saltwater aquarium. We recommend you use Aragonite.
Of course, you can also take the assistance of chemical products for removing algae from your saltwater tank as well but we urge you to go the natural way since you never know what sort of side-effects those chemicals might have on the health of your aquatic pets.
Regular maintenance of the aquarium is the key to a healthy and clean aquarium. You need to remember this. However, if the algae infestation in your aquarium is too much and demands chemical restoration, then we suggest you talk to a veterinarian instead of buying random products.
It is of utmost importance that you make sure that there are no toxic elements present in the chemicals that you are using.
Besides, make sure that you always check the quality of water and maintain all the necessary steps for keeping the ecosystem of your aquarium healthy. We hope this guide has helped you learn everything you needed to learn to keep algae infestation away from your saltwater tank.