March 21, 2018

7 Common Types of Algae Found in Freshwater Aquariums

It’s not easy being green… or brown… or red. How many different types of freshwater algae are you familiar with?

If you see something green and fuzzy growing on your tank surfaces, it is probably some kind of algae. Not all algae is green, however, and it might not all be fuzzy. There are a number of different types of algae which can be found growing in freshwater aquariums. Know your algae – here are seven different types of freshwater algae you might encounter and how to control them.

Related: Tips for Keeping Your Aquarium Water Quality High

Most Common Freshwater Algae Types

There are many different types of algae which grow in aquatic conditions but there are seven that are most commonly seen in freshwater aquariums. These seven types of algae are:

Related: Setting a Schedule for Routine Tank Maintenance

Tips for Controlling Freshwater Algae

The secret to controlling algae in your freshwater tank is to limit the things algae needs to grow. You cannot reduce your water level without affecting your fish, but you can take away other key nutrients like light. Algae is most likely to grow in tanks that are placed in direct sunlight and in tanks that have a surplus of artificial lighting. Keep your tank away from windows and only keep your tank lights on for 10 to 12 hours per day. You can also limit the nutrients that algae needs to grow – this includes nitrate and phosphate. Using an aquarium filter and performing water changes to keep the water quality in your tank high will help you to accomplish this goal. Another option is to stock your tank with algae-eating fish or invertebrates. Most species only eat green algae, but you can find species that specialize in eating certain types of algae if you do your research.

You may not be able to completely prevent algae from growing in your freshwater aquarium, but there are plenty of things you can do to limit its growth. By controlling lighting and nutrients you can reduce algae growth and adding algae-eating species of fish will take care of any leftovers.

kate-Bio_PicIf you think there’s something fishy about Kate Barrington, it’s because she’s been a lifelong lover of pets, particularly aquarium fish. Since receiving her first 10-gallon tank as a birthday present in 5th grade, she has become an avid aquarium enthusiast as well as a freelance writer specializing in the aquarium niche. Kate is a regular contributor to several aquarium fish websites and has a column in a bi-monthly pet magazine.


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