Algae in fish tanks...help!

@UK_Shree (3604)
September 20, 2009 3:03pm CST
Does anyone on here know how to help me? I have a tropical fish tank but recently have had a problem of there being quite a substantial algae build-up, and I'm not really sure what to do. I have tried cleaning the pump several times but it doesn't solve the problem? Just wondered if anyone else with pet fish has experienced something similar and might know how to stop the algae building up. I have wondered if there are 'anti-algae' tablets out there??
2 people like this
16 responses
• United States
21 Sep 09
You're always going to have algae. The best thing I can think of is to break down the entire tank and scrub it all away. Once the tank is completely free of algae make sure everything else is cleaned to remove the algae like the decorations and the gravel. Put everything back in the tank and refill. Now, if you use a light on your fish tank during the day, that's probably how you're getting all the algae. Tank lights should never be left on for more than 8-10 hours a day. I never used a light much on my fish tank at all and I barely had algae at all. I'd say using a light for an hour or so a day is probably your best bet.
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@UK_Shree (3604)
21 Sep 09
Hi there, that's very interesting. I didn't think of reducing the amount of light they receive from the fish tank light bulbs. It's currently set at 8 hours. I will try reducing it though. Thanks!
@1boerseun (124)
• South Africa
20 Sep 09
I used algae-eating fish to solve my problem as well as slugs. Slugs may eat your plants though, if you have some. Algae thrives on Co2 and water plants can take care of processing Co2. Also take care not to give your fish more food than they can eat. Leftovers rot and provide nice compost for algae.
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@UK_Shree (3604)
20 Sep 09
Great, thanks. That's good advice. I didn't actually want to put any algae eating fish in there as I don't want to increase the waste produce. I guess I should get some real plants in there though as that will help to use up some of the carbon dioxide. I have only fake plants in there at the moment which is really just for show. Thanks again.
@uath13 (8227)
• United States
20 Sep 09
I used to raise fish & it's a common problem. Many pet stores sell algae destroying tablets. Use some of them & get some algae eating fish. The combination should get it under control soon enough. P.S. Has the amount of sunlight changed recently. Large amounts of sunlight can spur algae growth.
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@UK_Shree (3604)
21 Sep 09
I think I will pick up some of these tablets you mention the next time I do go into a pet store. No extra sunlight, I did wonder myself if the tank had been exposed to more light recently - well I suppose the days have been longer here in the UK during the summer which may have spurred their growth...
@uath13 (8227)
• United States
21 Sep 09
Don't forget to pick up a suitable algae eating fish or 2. The tablets will only work temporarily. The algae will come back ( it always does )but having something in there that eats it will help keep it at controllable levels.
@tdemex (3547)
• United States
20 Sep 09
No there's really nothing you can do no tricks, or none I'm aware of. there are a couple species of fish that stick to the glass and eat the algae! I had a few in my tank when I was young! You could find them on goolge probably! I did make a cleaning tool that worked great! I took a wooden rod about the size of a pencil, and 12" long! I cut a slit in one end and put a razor blade in it (BE careful) and it held ti tight there, I'd then run it up and down the glass and clean the glass! It worked great and lasted about 2 weeks! tdemex
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@UK_Shree (3604)
20 Sep 09
Hey thanks for the advice. I actually have a lot of algae building up on the logs in the tank and on some of the decorative stones. I do take them out maybe once every 2-3 weeks and just scrub the algae off but it's takes a long time and is hard work. Thanks again!
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@tdemex (3547)
• United States
20 Sep 09
I know it is! Get some cat fish they'll control that! I thought you meant the glass! Use some bleach when you clean them, it will help retard the new growth! But a few cat fish bottom feeders will really help you out, they eat the poop from the other fish and this will stop it! LOL! tdemex
@GardenGerty (89997)
• Marion, Kansas
20 Sep 09
I think there are anti algae treatments, but I also know that there are fish that will eat the algae in your tank. Are you overfeeding the fish? Or is there too much sunlight on the tank? I would wonder what the cause is?
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@UK_Shree (3604)
21 Sep 09
Thanks for the advice. I will be visiting the pet store to see what they can offer in terms of anti-algae treatments. I am definitely not overfeeding. I don't think there is too much sunlight either, as the tank is in one corner of the room, and far from the window..
• United States
20 Sep 09
I think this is a problem that everyone has that owns a fish tank. I think this is the reason so many people give up on having fish. I have never bought anything to get rid of it. I'm like others on here, I just take everything out and put it in a bucket with bleach in it. I read in a book about fish tanks and fish that the algae eaters will do good for a while, but after they get bigger that they do more harm then they do good. So I guess you would have to keep getting new ones. Oh I also wanted to tell you, if you want to clean the glass, I just went and bought a window scraper like you clean your car windshield with. It works grate.
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@UK_Shree (3604)
21 Sep 09
Thanks for the advice sweetashoney. Lots of people on here are recommended manual cleaning. I am going to try and get some algae destroying tablets first and see if they will work. I don't really want to put another fish in there at the moment.
@lynnemg (4540)
• United States
20 Sep 09
My parents have always added an algea-eating fisj or two to their tank rather than adding chemicals. You could try that, but I would suggest that the very first thing you do is to completely clean your tank. Take the fish out and clean everything real good, set it back up, add a couple of algea-eaters, and the problem should be solved. If you don't want to go through the hassle of cleaning the tank, just put a couple of algea-eaters in the tank and in a short while, they will habe taken care of it for you.
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@UK_Shree (3604)
21 Sep 09
Thanks for the advice, it is appreciated. I did think of putting in some algae eaters, but was worried that by adding more fish, I would be creating more waste?
@dragon54u (31298)
• United States
23 Sep 09
Since I'm so behind, I'm sure someone has already told you to get an algae eating fish. We used to have a plecostemus in our tank. Don't get snails, they do a great job but breed like bunnies!
@UK_Shree (3604)
25 Sep 09
Yes a few people have advised getting an algae eating fish - don't they just add a whole more waste to the tank though?
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@dragon54u (31298)
• United States
25 Sep 09
No, they eat everything including waste from the bottom! Eewww!! Not all of it, of course, but enough to clean up after themselves.
@UK_Shree (3604)
25 Sep 09
Oh well I did not know that. That is pretty yucky, but extremely practical for me!!
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
21 Sep 09
There are some products you can get but if it's a saltwater tank..I would suggest a natural approach. You can get a live cleaning system. There are some really pretty snails and shrimp that you can get to clean. I would also suggest some algae eating fish like the Yellow tang. It kind of depends on the fish you already have as to what you can safely put in there with them.
@UK_Shree (3604)
21 Sep 09
Thanks for the response JenInTN! I do not have a saltwater tank - I have heard how hard it is to look after those though. I will take your advice on board. I am going to probably pop down to the pet store soon and see what advice they can offer. I have tetras in there at the moment and if I can, I'd like to avoid putting any new fish in there, as I already have 7 and it is not a very big tank!
@sunny68 (1327)
• India
22 Sep 09
please avoid snails in fresh water tanks. the liquid they secrete is not good for fishes.
@sunny68 (1327)
• India
21 Sep 09
this is a natural problem and happens every time. you cannot stop it but you can delay it. first thing you may have to clean your entire tank. soak the stones and other ornaments in anti-algae solution(slightly concentrated) for a few hours then wash them before putting back in the tank. make sure the water and air filters are properly installed (a proper circulation of water delays formation of algae). if possible avoid natural plants as it contributes to this problem. use anti algae solution regularly. hope this helps and good luck.
@UK_Shree (3604)
21 Sep 09
Thanks for the advice sunny . I have to admit I am a little bit confused now, because I thought that real plants actually helped to control the algae and minimise the rate at which they grow?
@sunny68 (1327)
• India
22 Sep 09
well...plants do help algae growth. do one thing...note down all your queries and clarify them the next time you visit the pet shop. he will surely guide with the proper thing.
@Graceekwenx (3163)
• Philippines
20 Sep 09
Hmm.. i think it has something to do with the sunlight...
@UK_Shree (3604)
21 Sep 09
Yes you are right, it is sunlight related, but how do I control it??
• Philippines
23 Sep 09
hello! ive read new stuff here. this would be helpful for you. it covers all types of algae. www.aquariumfish/information/green_water
@savypat (20248)
• United States
21 Sep 09
The cause of this may be to much light getting into the tank. you may have to remove everything, wash in a bleach and rinse very well before setting up the tank again. I have even replaced the gravel. There are some things on the market to help get rid of the algae. Do you keep algae eating fish in the tank, I always kept at least one of them and for larger tanks more. Those are all the ideas I can come up with.
@UK_Shree (3604)
21 Sep 09
Thanks, that is really helpful. I don't have any algae eating fish in there, and if I can avoid putting anymore fish in there then I'd like to. I have now thought that maybe I should reduce the number of hours the lightbulbs are switched on in the tank to stop the algae growing so fast.
@anne25penn (3310)
• Philippines
21 Sep 09
There is an anti-algae solution that should be available in most pet shops. I had this problem before where no matter how many times I clean the tank, there is always green algae in the tank. One solution taught by my friend who owns a pet shop is to move the tank away from direct sunlight. I have done that and so far my tank is now algae free.
@UK_Shree (3604)
21 Sep 09
Yes I will be visiting the pet shop to see what they can offer me. At the moment the tank is not in the way of direct sunlight, so I can't do anything about that. Thanks for the advice though.
@suprad1 (251)
• India
21 Sep 09
Hi, Employ some algae eating fishes and scavengers which feed on these algae and other waste matter in the aquarium. Using aerator also helps in oxidising the waste organic matter in the water. Of course, natural plants will also immensely help in maintain the aquarium clean. By adopting this multipronged approach you can change the water and clean your tank once in 4 weeks. Good luck !
@UK_Shree (3604)
21 Sep 09
Hi thanks for this advice. I have definitely now decided that putting in real plants to help keep things clean will be a very wise move. Thanks again.
• Indonesia
21 Sep 09
try have a surgery at the hospital
@UK_Shree (3604)
21 Sep 09
No offence, but that's quite a useless bit of information.
@grey26 (254)
• Philippines
21 Sep 09
algae? it is the green thingy?
@UK_Shree (3604)
21 Sep 09
Yes it is green and slimy. It doesn't look very pleasant.