Reasons Why You Still Have Algae In Your Aquariums

Reasons Why You Still Have Algae In Your Aquariums

We are talking about algae again, and you might have so many questions about algae issues, and you can t seem to get rid of it.

Before you know how to clean algae from your aquarium, you should know the fundamental problem of algae. I want to share with you my experience in ten reasons why you still have algae in your tank.

Unhealthy plants in your aquarium

The first and most significant reason is that your plants are not healthy, and It is so much easier to achieve an algae-free Aquarium when you have healthy plants. When it comes to algae, you should try to see your aquarium as a battlefield where there is a constant battle between plants and algae.  

So, if your plants are healthy, they will pretty much always win that battle,  and they will have an easy time keeping the algae away.

But if your plants are not healthy, then algae is going to win that battle. And when I say this, you shift your focus from preventing or killing algae to growing the best and healthiest plants. The algae will disappear by itself.

No enough Plants in your fish tank

But it could be that you have healthy plants,  but you still have algae. Why is that? You don t have enough plants! The more plants in your  Aquarium, the better your chances of keeping algae to a minimum.

If there are only a couple of plants trying to defend the aquarium from algae. They might not be able to do so. And this is especially important when you are setting up a new planted tank.

When I started the planted tank hobby, I was on a tight budget to save money on plants, I thought the plants would grow fast anyway, so I will have a lot more of them within a few weeks.

But this only resulted in more headaches and more algae issues. So, it’s essential to start with enough plants and make sure you have some fast growers in your selection. Because with only low-growing plants, you are not going to win that battle.

Too much organic waste in your aquarium

When I say organic waste, I mean fish poop,  rotting plant leaves, fish food that has t been consumed, or maybe even a dead fish. All that organic waste will lead to ammonia and eventually to algae. So, a good filter that produces enough flow is essential in our aquarium.  

I always recommend a filter with a turnover rate of at least five times the size of the aquarium but ten times is even better. The strong flow will pick up the organic waste and transport it to your filter to consume it by your beneficial bacteria.

You are dosing too many nutrients

It was decreasing the amount of liquid fertilizer I dosed significantly reduced my algae issues. Many people will say that liquid fertilizer will not cause algae, which may be true for them.  

But I m just speaking about my own experiences. And I always find that when I dose more than I should, I start seeing more algae.

So, my advice is to keep a very nutrient-rich substrate and only dose a small amount of liquid fertilizer.

You are not injecting CO2 into your aquarium

It s entirely possible to have a beautiful planted tank without CO2 injection, but many algae issues like black brush algae, staghorn algae, and hair algae can be fixed by using CO2.

I believe aquatic plant cells consist of about 40% carbon, so they need Carbon dioxide to grow and perform photosynthesis.

So, a planted tank with CO2 injection will usually have better plant growth and a better chance of getting rid of algae. But with that said, and to make it a bit more confusing, a lot of algae issues can also come from CO2 injection.

CO2 is not optimized for your aquarium

 So, you just bought a CO2 system thinking you are taking your hobby to the next level and finally getting rid of those algae issues that have been spoiling your view for ages. But after a Fewer weeks, the algae are still not gone, and you only see more and different types of algae.

 You see, low CO2 levels and fluctuating CO2 levels are one of the worst triggers for algae.  So, it’s a good thing that you invested in a CO2 system,  but there s a few things you need to know.

The CO2 to switch on earlier than your lights. Preferably 1 or 2 hours.

This way your water already has a good amount of dissolved CO2, and your plants can start using it as soon as your lights come on.  

Make sure that you inject enough CO2 into your tank,  so use a drop checker.

A green drop checker means you have the perfect amount of CO2.

You want to make sure that those tiny CO2 bubbles reach every corner of your tank.

So,  make sure that you have a good flow in your aquarium and that the flow is picking up the CO2 bubbles.

Your aquarium is not stable yet

A stable planted tank has a large colony of beneficial bacteria in the substrate and the filter. And these beneficial bacteria will help in breaking down toxic elements like ammonia and nitrites and will also provide nutrients to the plants.

And these beneficial bacteria need time to grow and multiply, which can take a couple of weeks or even months.

So, in those early stages, it’s very typical to have some algae issues. But many people start panicking straight away and start making changes because they think there s something wrong.  

For example, they start reducing their light, but then their plants begin to suffer, making things worse.

Instead of panicking, take a moment to think if there s something wrong or if the aquarium is balancing itself.  

No algae Eater in your aquarium

My planted tank is a natural ecosystem, and algae is a part of that as well.  So it’s pretty normal to have some algae in our aquarium; we don t like how it looks.

Unless you want to be cleaning your aquarium 24/7 yourself, you need to get some extra help.

Having a combination of algae eaters in your tank is going to make your life so much easier.

For them, it’s a food source, so they are constantly looking for it and continue eating it, so the amount of algae in your tank is just going to be significantly reduced.

Too much light in your aquarium

Having a lot of light is a good thing,  but you can have too much light in 2 ways

First, Your lights are on for too long.  In general, 8 hours is reasonable, but this depends on your light intensity.  

I suggest looking at your plants; if your plants are closing their leaves, that means they have had enough light. So that s when you could switch the lights off.

Second, it could be that you have a compelling light that is causing the algae. In that case, you should try to restore the balance so you could either reduce the intensity.

Hence, there is less need for CO2 and fertilizer, or you could keep the same light intensity and increase the CO2 injection and fertilization and restore the balance that way.

Didn’t maintenance your aquarium properly

And the last reason is you don t keep up with maintenance. If you invest a little bit of time every week to maintain your planted tank, you will be rewarded with an aquarium that should have very little to no algae.

My weekly maintenance sessions only consist of cleaning the glass and a 50% water change. Which usually, doesn’t take longer than 15 minutes. Every 3 4 weeks, I will schedule a more extended maintenance session to trim the plants.

The key to success, I think, is to enjoy these maintenance sessions. I hope this was helpful and you learned something new, Good luck with your battle against algae.