Oliver Knott: algae in the aquariumHow to avoid algal pests
In the video article presented here Oliver Knott explains how to deal with algae in the aquarium. In addition, he gives numerous tips on algae prevention, but also presents measures on how to combat or remove algae.
First of all, one should be aware that algae are part of the aquarium. If there aren’t enough plants, they’ll even take over important tasks as nutrient utilizers and oxygen supplier. Of course, algal plagues are rather unsightly and often a clear indication that the balance in the aquarium is off. Algal plagues are often caused by imbalances in the nutrient supply, especially in planted aquariums.
Preventing algal growth
Especially in planted aquariums or aquascapes, it is important to provide the aquatic plants with all the nutrients they need to compete with the algae. How to optimally provide for your plants can be looked up in our handy little guideline on "Fertilizing a planted tank, part 1". In any case, a carbon fertilization using a CO2 system is important, as described by Oliver Knott in the video. Additionally there should be a supply of nutrients by use of a liquid fertilizer, providing trace elements (iron) and macronutrients such as NPK - nitrate, phosporus and potassium. The lighting should be adapted to the plants’ illuminational needs and not be too intense.
Likewise, the care of the aquarium should not be neglected, as algae can spread more. Regular water changes as well as the cleaning of the panes in short periods of about a week are part of the standard maintenance routine.
Above all, Oliver Knott relies on biological countermeasures by using predators. There are a variety of fish and especially of invertebrates such as shrimp and snails, which feed on various algae. Especially with a newly established aquarium you should introduce algae eaters as soon as possible and as soon as the water levels allow. Especially in the so-called cycling phase of an aquarium, the ecosystem is still very unstable, and algal growth is quite common and considered normal. If you want to know more, we recommend our article "Algae during the cycling phase".
Of course, there are other ways to specifically combat certain algae. To do this, it is important to first find out which species of algae you are dealing with in your aquarium. Only then should you decide which measures - based on the type of algae - can best be carried out. Apart from the biological control method using predators, other means are possible like manual removal using certain tool up to the application of chemical algicides. For the detection of algae, we’d like to refer you to our article on "algae in the aquarium". There you will also find many more tips and tricks on how to successfully combat and remove algae.