Today I want to share three of the most common reasons why you may be losing your fight with algae in your aquarium. These are things we personally see in our own service clients aquariums.
The first, and the most basic one I believe, is the frequency with which algae is dealt with in the aquarium. This typically means the frequency of algae scrubbing, water changes, and filtration maintenance. Remember, as with most things, consistency is key. Figure out how stocked, or in a lot of cases, overstocked the aquarium is. Then, design a service routine geared for your exact system, not someone else’s, but yours. If you have large carnivores in a tank they have or will outgrow, then your service schedule should reflect that. Maybe you should be doing weekly water changes instead of bi-weekly or monthly ones. Increasing how often you clean/change out your mechanical and chemical filters will also have a drastic impact on any algae problems.
The second reason why you could be losing to algae, is your chemical dosing regiment. I see a lot of our first time reef clients dosing everything under the sun. And I mean it! Some aquariums are simply being over dosed with chemicals because some store thinks you should have every bottle of A,B,&C by manufacturer X,Y,&Z or whatever. Unless you have a well stocked system, or have some very very VERY sensitive species, you really either shouldn’t, or need to, be dosing a lot of the stuff that’s marketed out there. Its not that they don’t do what they say they will do. It’s that most systems, simply don’t need it. Cutting back or out on some dosing can help you fight nuisance algae.
The third, is, well……its your nutrients stupid. Something is feeding the algae. Where its coming from? Well, that depends a lot on the particulars of your aquarium. For instance, the bio and chemical capacity of your filtration system may be limited for your livestock. We see that a lot. Just because you put the “biggest” filter on your system, doesnt mean it was what your system needed.
Most aquarium algae blooms we come across here at Reef Playground, are caused by one of these three issues. Check you tank and see if either of these is causing your algae bloom.