Algae is not a bad thing


  • Algae is not a bad thing


    Before we get started we just like to say that algae is not a… bad thing. It doesn’t harm the fish or damage the aquarium water. Getting rid of algae can be seen as a purely aesthetic exercise. Some aquarists even let certain species of algae grow in their aquarium to give it a natural look.

    Granted, if it’s growing on the glass it can block the display of the aquarium, but biologically it’s harmless.

    As we mention below, plants help to prevent algae growth as they remove the nitrates that algae feeds on from the water. But, to be fair, the algae does help to remove the nitrates in the first place.

    However, depending on the level of the nitrates this removal can be marginal, so it shouldn’t be seen as a standalone method of reducing nitrates in the aquarium water.

    If you do decide you want to clean the algae from your aquarium, check out the 7 tips below. If you’ve got any of your own algae-cleaning advice, let us know in the comments.


    1. Invest in a socket timer to make sure the lights aren’t left on for too long
    2. Keep your pH and nitrates in check
    3. Add live plants to your aquarium
    4. Be well-equipped, and don’t be afraid to improvise.
    5. A good aquarium scrub + a toothbrush
    6. A good aquarium vacuum
    7. Introduce some algae eaters.

  • I had some trouble with black beard (I think, I assume it could have been staghorn) algae a while back. I added some blue dream shrimp a few months ago and their population has exploded. They have begun to really keep the algae in check and I have virtually none now.


    And yes, while it’s not a bad thing, I found it visually unappealing.

  • It's not so much as a hard thing as it is looking bad when seeing a tank. In a pond water without algae would raise some questions, but inside of any tank when people see algae they always think dirty. It can sometimes be a good thing having algae since it shows you do have some type of water chemistry that is out of line (or too much light, etc.), but it can mean your tank is healthy and doing well.

    Plus shrimps, snails, and even fish make quick snacks of the algae and so do fry of various breeds. It can provide them with the smaller nutrition that they normally wouldn't be able to get from crushed up food when adding to their tank.