ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Pets and Animals»
  • Tropical Fish & Aquariums

Aquarium Algae Identification And Treatment

Updated on March 9, 2014

There are many types of algae, all share a common characteristic: they are non-vascular aquatic photosynthetic organisms.

Some organisms are near the vegetable Kingdom and other organisms are classified as bacteria or fungi.

The algae cannot be considered plants, because plants have vascular systems to drive the sap. The algae have a unique organ which serves as the stem and leaves.

The root system in the algae has the sole purpose of anchor the organism at the substrate or the rocks.

They have always been, are and will be present in the aquarium in the form of spores, waiting for the opportunity to proliferate as a plague.

The algae are always present in the aquarium in two categories:

  • The good ones
  • The bad ones

Aquarium Algae
Aquarium Algae

The good algae are the natural consequence of having a tank of water with food and a source of light.

They are present in small quantities, they are indicative of good water quality.

The bad algae are an indicator of poor water quality.

Those that cause problems are the Phaeophyta (brown algae dioatomea) and the Cyanophyta (green-blue algae).

4 stars for Tropical Fishlopaedia

Tropical Fish Aquarium

  • Grow healthy aquatic plants.
  • Maintain your aquarium in less time, but still achieve an amazing environment for your tropical fish.
  • How much to feed your fish, and how to ensure that they are all getting fed.
  • Rest easy with the knowledge that you have happy fish that will live long and healthy lives.

Causes

All abnormal growth of algae is a sign that something is not right in the biological balance of the aquarium. Usually the cause is not only one. Many different factors contribute to the proliferation of algae.

Under the strong illumination of the aquariums and with the presence of nutrients, the algae will appear inexorably. The most important nutrients that the algae need to appear are Silicates, Phosphates and Nitrates.

The Silicates and Phosphates enter to the aquarium if the partial changes of water are made with common tap water. The Phosphates are also generated inside the aquarium, since it is a product of the metabolism of the fish.

Algae Cyanobacteria

They are unicellular organisms that live isolated or in colonies. They are aerobic photosynthetic bacteria with chlorophylls A and B, although some species can not photosynthesize.

Factors that favor the appearance

  • Low amount of nitrates, because most of the species are capable of fixing the nitrogen
  • Low circulation of water, especially if there are few or no plants

Problematic

  • They cover the substrate, the glasses, the decorative elements and the plants
  • Biodiversity with great capacity of adaptation
  • Some species produce toxins that affect other organisms

Treatment

  • Addiction of nitrates up to 5-10 ppm
  • Increase water movement in the whole tank
  • Darken the tank for some days
  • Renew the water more often

Green Algae In Suspension

They are unicellular organisms with chlorophylls A and B. They form numerous colonies, they are known as Green Water. Besides the green algae in suspencion, we also find green point algae, which adhere to the glass surfaces, ornaments and plants.

Factors that favor the appearance

  • Abundant light, either natural or artificial
  • Large amounts of nutrients in solution

Problematic

  • Clouds the water
  • They increase very quickly
  • They can cover large surfaces

Treatment

  • Keep a balanced population of fish and plants
  • Darken the tank for 24 hours
  • Use germicidal lamps

Filamentous Green Algae

The filamentous algae have the aspect of hair or filiform groupings more or less upright. They can have harmful effects for the aquarium when it is present in large quantities.

Factors that favor the appearance

  • Recently mounted aquarium
  • Introduced through a plant

Problematic

  • Compete with the plants for the nutrients
  • Cover the substrate and the plants

Treatment

  • Remove the filaments manually
  • Use fish or crustaceans that eat the filamentous algae
  • Disappear when the aquarium has matured

Diatom Algae

They are unicellular organisms, free or forming colonies. They are characterized to present an external shell of silicon dioxide.

Factors that favor the appearance

  • Recently mounted aquarium
  • Excess of Silicate and Phosphate that can be introduced into the aquarium through the replacement water
  • High pH
  • Too short photoperiod

Problematic

  • Any, because their massive appearance has a short lifespan (some days). They do not compete for nutrients with other aquatic plants

Treatment

  • Increase the photoperiod
  • Change the water more frequently
  • Disappear when the aquarium has matured


Red Algae

All those that appear in aquariums are pluricellular and filamentous. They don't present a reddish coloration, but brown or blackish.

Factors that favor the appearance

  • Excessive accumulation of nitrogenated compound
  • Little content of dissolved carbon dioxide
  • High pH

Problematic

  • They are very difficult to remove from the aquarium
  • Any algae remains can be focus of a new invasion

Treatment

  • Change the water regularly
  • Lower the pH level and the hardness of carbonates
  • Add carbon dioxide

Treatment

To eradicate the algae in an aquarium is impossible, some kind of algae will always be present either in planktonic form or ingrained on rock and substrate. Therefore the objective should be the reduction of the quantity of algae, not the total elimination.

When we detect a problem with a particular algae, the reasons that cause the formation should be analyzed and solved, rather than mechanical and repeatedly remove the algae without attacking the source.

The key does not lie in combating the algae, we should combat the causes that make them appear. The algae appear when the conditions of nutrients and light is favorable. Therefore to reduce or eliminate the excesses is the key to limit the quantity of algae.

Silicates and Phosphates: They diminish using water of osmosis and resins.

Nitrates: Control the population, the sedimentation and the circulation of water. Make frequent water changes or use denitrifying chemicals.

Light: The light is largely responsible of the type of algae. Enhancing the blue light allows photosynthetic invertebrates to grow and at the same time to control the algae.

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)