When setting up your new tank, algae growth will be one of the first few lifeforms you will encounter in your aquarium. Algae is unsightly, sometimes stubborn to remove, and challenging to combat. Similar to weeds, they thrive on water, food, and light which we will briefly discuss on how to limit these factors.
Lighting: If your new aquarium is in direct sunlight, you might want to consider re-locating your tank’s location as this will greatly promote algae growth. For lighting, limit it to 4-6 hours a day for the first few weeks and a timer will come into handy as we tend to turn off the lights after feeding.
Plant Mass: A large amount of fast-growing aquatic plants will absorb excess nutrients in the water, hence leaving little or no nutrients for the algae to take advantage of. BONUS: Plants that absorb nutrients from the water are very effective, such as hornwort and elodea.
Feeding: Unless you’re rearing fries that need to be fed multiple times a day, limiting your feeding to once every 2 days during the initial stages of your cycling process will help to combat algae growth. Lesser food means lesser fish poop, which means lesser nutrients in the water!
Water Changes: Doing small frequent water changes of 5-10% 3-4 times a week will help balance the excess nutrients in your tank. TIP: Remember to the anti-chlorine solution when topping up your tank with new water.
Livestock: Shrimps and snails can be added to your tank as they consume leftover food and break down waste from your fish. This will reduce the number of nutrients that stay in your water.
These 5 simple tips, coupled with frequent tank maintenance will help keep your water parameters stable and keep algae at bay 🙂