Algae In Your Aquarium

Algae In Your Aquarium

Algae in a Saltwater Tank come in many different shapes and sizes. It all essentially needs the proper conditions to thrive however. The two biggest algae that we continually hear the most about are Diatoms, which look like a brown dust on almost any surface area, and Bryopsis, which looks like “green hair” that usually grows in live rock. Without proper pictures, and maybe even a sample, it’s nearly impossible for us to tell just based on description.

With every problematic alga they all require the same thing to flourish (for the most part). These contributing factors are an environment rich in nutrients, with chemicals such as Nitrates, Phosphates, Silicates, etc. and good lighting. Without both of these factors problematic algae cannot survive. THE biggest one is obviously the nutrients. Algae rely heavily on this when it comes to their primary food source. Without these nutrients the algae loses its ability to reproduce or even survive because it essentially starves. Every tank that goes through a “cycle” will get some sort of problematic algae. All anyone can do is really wait it out and ensure they have the proper filtration to try to cut off its primary food source. Most problematic algae SHOULD be gone within 3 months. If it’s still around then the tank likely has another underline issue causing the algae to stay.

Purchase quality test kits. We are going to be getting Salifert back in stock relatively soon, and that is the only brand that we trust.

This is usually the point when people start lobbing snails and rabbitfish and urchins in their tank. A lot of people want to know what eats it…our response is always “Who cares?” LOL These algae are there for a reason. Finding something that consumes it is only masking that reason and not removing the cause, which is likely harming other inhabitants of the tank. Granted whatever you get to attempt to eat is going to have an ample supply to graze on for quite some time if the reason isn’t found as to why it’s there, which will make the critter happy, but it’s just going to keep growing.

The only way to remedy the problem is let your tank run its cycle and/or get a better skimmer, ramp up your natural filtration, and keep your parameters in check. Speaking of natural filtration, with the right amount and using it properly most forms of natural filtration with compete with the problem algae for the nutrients. Those are algae such as Chaeto, Halimeda, Caulerpa, etc…Please refer to our Filtration section for more information.