What is green aquarium water?
If your aquarium water is discoloured and you’re unable to see inside your aquarium then you’re suffering from green water. That unsightly green and cloudy aquarium water is caused by algae. Algae is a common form of aquatic plant life found in most aquariums in varying quantities. In small amounts it is harmless and a source of food for some aquarium creatures. But if allowed to bloom and build up, it can turn your aquarium water opaque, blocking out natural light and potentially causing harm to your aquarium fish and plant life.
Is green aquarium water dangerous for your fish or plants?
A certain amount of algae can be healthy for the inhabitants of your aquarium, however, if allowed to overgrow it can result in green water which is unsightly and potentially damaging to plant life. Although not dangerous to fish and other aquarium inhabitants, green water will prevent regular visual inspection of your fish which is a useful guide for general fish health. Green water can also have a detrimental effect on live plants as it reduces light levels resulting in poor plant growth and possible plant fatalities.
What causes green aquarium water?
Too Much Light
If your fish tank is sitting in direct sunlight – on a windowsill, for example – this could be causing the small amounts of algae in your tank to photosynthesise and grow rapidly, resulting in a sudden bloom. Excessive algae growth can also be triggered by your artificial tank lighting, especially if the lights are being left on for more than 12 hours per day. A good way to avoid this can be by investing in a timer that eliminates the possibility of you forgetting to turn out your aquarium lights and resulting in algae growth.
Uneaten fish food will decay and transform into the types of nutrients that algae absolutely love. If you’re regularly overfeeding your fish, this large amount of decaying food can lead to a rapid increase in thriving algae. When the water includes too high a concentration of nitrates or phosphates, this is when algae blooms. Using testing kits you can keep a check on the pH levels of your aquarium and ensure that your water has the correct balance to avoid algae growth.
Not changing water regularly allows algae-friendly nitrates to build up in the water, causing algae to get far too comfortable in your aquarium and start to bloom. Ensuring you’re performing regular water changes and tank maintenance will help keep your aquarium’s algae under control and stop you from having to take extra measures.
How do you get rid of green aquarium water?
If your aquarium is full of algae, or if you’re looking to prevent algae growing in your tank in the first place, here are some tips to improve water quality and banish the green stuff:
Seen as one of the most effective solutions to cleaning your aquarium of green water algae, a UV steriliser removes living particles from the water including bacteria. The ultraviolet light kills microscopic organisms that aren’t visible to the human eye and makes the water a healthy place for your fish to thrive, algae-free.
Water Polishing Pad
A water polishing pad removes very small particles from your aquarium’s water to provide you with crystal clear results. Available in different sizes/thickness, the polishing pads are best used alongside a main filter to avoid having to change the pad too often and to provide you with the cleanest water for your fish to enjoy.
These treatments, however, won’t be sufficient in stopping your aquarium from having an algae-bloom again. To avoid the algae bloom you must regularly maintain your aquarium and keep it clean.
There are a lot of chemical algae control products on the market that will lower phosphate and nitrate levels, removing the algaes vital food source without harming any of the fish. Examples include Fluval ClearMax Media and Seachem De Nitrate which can easily be added to filters or directly into the aquarium. It’s imperative that you follow the instructions carefully to make sure your fish are kept safe and healthy.
Hopefully we’ve given you everything you need to combat your aquarium’s algae problem, either to prevent it early or to get rid of it now. Through providing focused care for your aquarium, with regular maintenance and in setting it up thoughtfully out the way of too much light, you can ensure that you avoid the curse of the green water and instead, keep your aquarium a healthy place for your fish and plants. Check out our full aquarium section at Pond Planet and ensure you have everything you need today for a healthy, well-cared for aquarium.