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Algae That May Appear In Our Aquarium As A Plague

Updated on March 9, 2014

The algae are part of the biodiversity of the aquarium.

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.

All abnormal growth of algae is an indication that something is not right in the biological equilibrium of the aquarium. There are many classifications of algae.

They are of difficult classification, even some are between the animal kingdom and the vegetable kingdom. For the aquarist the classification is simpler:

  • The Good Ones
  • The Bad Ones

Like all living creatures, algae need a food source and the proper conditions to survive.

Some of the more common and algae encountered in aquariums, and what to do with them:

Algae Invasion
Algae Invasion

Algae cyanobacteria: Often called algae, but in fact they are single-celled bacteria. They group in colonies and evolve, some are able to take advantage of the nitrogen (bubbles appear in the mass of bacteria). The coloration can be green or blue.

They disappear when the conditions are no longer favorable. The development of the bacterias can be limited diminishing the phosphate.

Unicellular planktonic algae: They are those responsible for the greenish coloration of the water. Although they are not easy to detect, they don't cause a great problem.

In case that the algae proliferate they can be eliminated with germicidal lamps.

Diatom algae: They are unicellular algae and they are part of the plankton. They have a silica shell. They are detected when the brown shell deposits on the substrate. They appear when there are silicates in the water, that they can have arrived to the aquarium through the used water.

The use of osmosis water, siphoned off the sandy bottom and a germicidal lamp will be enough to eradicate it.

4 stars for Tropical Fishlopaedia

Monitor and maintain the correct Ammonia Nitrate and Nitrate levels, pH levels and General Algae levels in your aquarium..

Brown algae: They can be unicellular or multicellular and are usually encrusted in the decorative objects, that makes quite difficult to remove them manually.

The presence of iodine in excess can favor the appearance of this type of algae.

Red algae: The filamentous algae that can be observed on substrate and stones, are harmful. They appear in aquariums or in areas of the aquarium with a poor illumination.

It is eradicated through a mechanical elimination.

Green algae: They can be of the filamentous type and of the bubble algae type. They are harmful in large quantities. They appear when the conditions of nitrates, phosphates, CO2 and light are favorable for growth.

They are controlled biologically, since many animals include them in their diet.


The best way to combat the algae is the prevention. Taking good care of the aquarium and paying attention to the biological balance, the excessive development of algae will be avoided. The partial periodic renovation of the water, proper care of plants, the suitable light and the control of the parameters of the water are extremely important.

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