Algae In Your Aquarium

Algae Removal From Saltwater Aquariums

Saltwater aquarium algae can seem like a burden at times, but keep in mind it can also mean your tank is healthy.

All tanks go through cycles and during each phase of the cycle you will notice that algae will pop up in many different forms. One of the most primitive forms of algae is diatoms. Diatoms look like a brown dusting of algae that covers your sand bed, glass, and even rock. Usually the next stage you will see is green algae such as bryopsis (pictured). Bryopsis can be real headache because nothing eats it. There's a chemical called Fluconazole which through are testing is ineffective at best. Not once has anyone that works here used Fluconazole and actually seen it rid a tank of green hair algae. Your tank going through all these different forms of algae is actually an extremely normal and healthy timeframe.

Sidenote: Please PLEASE make sure you purchase a GOOD RO/DI unit to ensure your water is entering your tank is clear as possible. A few hundred bucks for a Reverse Osmosis Unit is a lot less than replacing thousands in aquatic life from your tank water building large amounts of nutrients or heavy metals. We will even cut you a deal on an AquaFX unit to help protect the health of your tank.

Once your tank stabilizes, which takes about 4 months, algae problems never stem from the nitrogen cycle forming in your tank. That's when your tank learns how to naturally break down ammonia to nitrite and then nitrite to nitrate. Algae after this period usually comes from excess nutrients that the hobbyist is introducing to their tank. Overfeeding, subpar filter media, loss of life, inadequate filtration, and overstocking are 99% of the time the culprit.

  • Overfeeding is pretty much self-explanatory. It can spike nitrate and phosphate levels/
  • Subpar filter media means media that may be leaching excess amounts of nutrients such as phosphate back into your tank
  • Loss of life - if a tank inhabitant perishes and it's not immediately found
  • Inadequate filtration means not using proper forms of natural filtration such as Chaeto or not utilizing vital pieces of equipment such as protein skimmers. 
  • Overstocking is pretty much self-explanatory. We get a large number of people that call and think it's cool because they have 2 feet of wish in a 150 gallon tank. It's not cool as much as it is completely wreckless and irresponsible. 

The two biggest nutrients for causing algae problems are usually phosphates and nitrates. Some people will talk about silicates, but we've never come across a tank in 3 decades that has an actual detectable level of silicates. The reason natural filtration is so important for tanks is because beneficial algae such as Chaeto will actually compete with harmful algae and usually the macroalgae will win when it comes to nitrate and phosphate consumption leaving nothing in the water for problematic algae to feed off of.

With algae you want to remove the underline issue that's causing the algae to bloom. Simply adding snails, hermit crabs, tangs, etc. to your tank is only a temporary fix; it might work for a short period of time but the main goal should be cutting off the reasons it's there to begin with.

With some good knowledge and the right equipment keep your tank can be a breeze. Also, having a good knowledgeable staff behind you can really help. Should you have any questions please email us at


Coupon Code