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How to Get Rid of Green Water Algae in a Fish Tank

Updated on March 15, 2011

Oh no a Green Tank!

You wake up to a green tank one day and wonder how you got green water algae and how exactly to get rid of the green water easily. Well it is pretty easy to remove from your tank using a couple methods or chemicals it all matters how you want to handle it and how fast you want the green water algae cleared up.

What causes green water algae in a fish tank

Their are many things that factor into what causes green water algae, I will be discussing each one and how it affects your goal of getting rid of green water algae in a fish tank.

  • Feeding to much
  • overfeeding
  • overcrowded fish tank
  • low quality fish food
  • not enough water changes.

These five things are some of the key factors that cause green water algae in your fish tank. The overfeeding and low quality food can be fixed very easily. You should only be feeding your fish once a day and as much as they eat in 2-3 minutes. Going with a quality fish food like Omega fish food is a good thing to do also.

Not enough water changes allows your excess nutrients to reach excessive levels that your algae feeds off of. So if you do 25% water changes at least once a month you will limit the algaes food source. Also if you are overfeeding then it's very important to do more frequent water changes. If you cringe like 80% of people do when it comes to water changes then check out the product to the left the python water changer. It hooks up to a water faucet and uses the suction from water running out to create a siphon and you can drain a large tank and fill it right back up from the same hose in little to no time.

Overcrowding your take is a common problem that we all have, it seems we just can't get enough fish but wish not to buy a bigger tank. This rule is true sometimes 1 inch of fish per gallon of water. Well for smaller fish it's great but not for large fish. So ask your pet dealer how many you can place in your tank or feel free to contact me I will help you. That's why it's a great idea to just get the largest tank you can afford or have room for.

Also real quick is lighting only 8 hours a day nothing more because it will feed the algae with excess lighting in your fish tank. With that and the excess nutrients getting rid of green water algae gets easier by limiting these.

Getting Rid of Green Water Algae in Your Fish Tank Step by Step.

  1. perform a 50% water change on your tank do a gravel vac this is very important.
  2. Turn off your fish tank light and leave it off for the next 4 days only turn on for 15minutes for feeding. ( Your fish will be fine)
  3. Put a towel or blanket over the tank so that no sunlight can enter.
  4. After the fourth day remove the towel and turn on your light, it will probably be cloudy white.  This is normal that's the algae dying off.
  5. Do another 50% water change to remove excess dying algae if you do not it turns into decomposing plant matter that creates excessive nutrients that could cause algae growth.
  6. Cut back on feeding( Remember once a day).
  7. After one more week perform another 50 % water change and you should be algae and cloudy free.


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    • caninecrtitics profile image

      caninecrtitics 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Yes I agree but these steps have helped me over and over again. You should get a fish tank again.

    • bayoulady profile image

      bayoulady 7 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

      well done! I don't have fish, but used to, and the yucky smellof that green stuff was just awful.