The term “bloom” refers to a rapid increase in the algae population that can happen in either fresh or saltwater.
Algae Blooms – Causes & Effects
Above you can see an algae bloom happening in both a freshwater and saltwater aquarium – No kind of tank is immune!
What Causes an Algae Bloom?
Algae blooms usually occur in tanks that have an excess of nutrients, specifically Phosphorus, whose levels usually spike because of overfeeding and an excess of leftover food.
Algae consumes nitrogen, and phosphorus for growth and reproduction. When there are excessive amounts of these nutrients available algae can spread rapidly and become an issue. As algae booms then busts, the dead algae will decrease the amounts of dissolved oxygen in water and can suffocate fish.
Preventing Algae Blooms
Light – Avoid keeping an aquarium near a window or glass door to avoid direct sunlight. Lights should not be left on for longer than 8 hours. Keeping lights on a timer will ensure lighting is consistent.
Nutrients – Overfeeding with fish food can result in high ammonia and phosphate levels. Using tap water with high phosphates will help fuel algae growth. Fish wastes that build up in the water provide extra nutrients for algae. Overdosing with chemical additives will increase nutrient levels as well.
Treating an Existing Algae Bloom
- Instructions for treating freshwater blooms coming soon!
- Instructions for treating saltwater blooms coming soon!