Controlling Algae in the Reef Aquarium
Having some algae in your marine aquarium is normal, but when it becomes overwhelming and starts growing at an uncontrollable rate you then need to consider taking some action.
- Are you being proactive with your water change (natural sea water, natural seawater, NSW) schedule? You need to make sure you are doing enough water changes (natural sea water, natural seawater, NSW) to stop the nutrients in your marine aquarium increasing too much where it is feeding your algae at an alarming rate. You should test your nitrate and phosphate levels and make sure they are not exceeding 20ppm or 0.15ppm respectively. Ideally much lower levels are recommended, but anything higher than these levels will really aid the algae growth.
- How long are your lights on for? It is recommended that your aquarium lights be on for no longer than 8-10 hours, this can be much lower on a fish only marine system. If you find that you have a lot of demanding SPS and they need additional lighting then you may need to find the balance between where the SPS are still thriving, but the lighting is not on for longer, or at a higher intensity, than necessary.
- Are you overfeeding? If you are heavily feeding your aquarium with high quality foods such as pellets or flakes and then it will most definitely increase your nutrient levels in the aquarium which will then feed the algae. It is also advised that if you are feeding frozen foods to drain them before adding it to the marine aquarium as some can be frozen in phosphates.