August 1, 2022
What Causes Black Algae in Fish Tanks? | 2022 Guide

What Causes Black Algae in Fish Tanks? | 2022 Guide

Algae growth is something every aquarium owner will need to monitor in order to ensure healthy fish and aquatic plants. Although most varieties of algae are a headache, black algae is particularly problematic. Otherwise known as brush algae, this microscopic nuisance can wreak havoc on your aquarium setup if not taken care of quickly.

Black Algae Explained

There are several types of black algae, including both freshwater and saltwater varieties. In other words, black algae can affect just about any tank operating at any temperature. Although the name suggests a jet black appearance, this particular type of algae comes in various shades. In addition to black varieties, this type of algae can also present in green and grey forms.

Regardless of the exact colour it adopts, black algae is fairly easy to spot. It’s particularly easy to spot before it becomes a problem if your tank includes bedded plants. Black algae tends to colonise on the leaves of plants. At first, this type of algae appears as minuscule spots.

Eventually, these spots develop a fluffier texture. Once algae growth as reached this growth stage, progression can be hard to stop. If left unchecked it can quickly multiply, leaving your substrate and decorative ornaments covered. Eventually, black algae can cover the panes of your aquarium itself.

Key Causes of Black Algae

There’s several triggers responsible for black algae growth in fish tanks. Sometimes, contaminated aquatic plants can be the culprit, bringing the bacteria into otherwise well-maintained tank water. This is why it’s so important to clean plants, decorative objects and substrate before introducing them into an established aquarium.

Black algae growth can also be triggered by carbon dioxide. Ideally, you want to ensure your the CO2 levels of your tank are consistent as much as possible. Fluctuating C02 levels can be lethal for aquatic plants. If C02 levels dip too much and regular processes are impacted, black algae will take advantage of the situation and begin to thrive. An easy way to eliminate this risk factor is to regularly monitor CO2 levels and rectify any issues as quickly as possible.

Another major contributor to black algae growth is excessive levels of light. Tropical tanks housing light-sensitive fish and aquatic plants are particularly susceptible to black algae issues. To avoid a flare-up of black algae, ensure you are not using UV lights any longer than you have to.

Keep your lights active only as long as your animals and plants require them. If you regularly forget to switch your lights off manually, it might be worth investing in a timer to ensure UV lights are switched on and off to a regular schedule.

You should also ensure your tank is not exposed to any natural sources of light. Avoid keeping your aquarium placed in a room with too many windows or skylights. Limiting UV exposure will not only keep black algae in check, but also ensure any other types are prevented from gaining a foothold.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.