Guppies do eat algae. Eating algae is not harmful to guppies, but it does not provide any nutritional value to them either. Excess growth of algae in the aquarium is dangerous as it depletes the nutrients and oxygen levels from the water, which are essential for the development of guppies.
Algae is commonly found in freshwater aquariums and is not something to panic about. Let’s now understand the types of algae and if they affect your guppies in any way.
Types Of Aquarium Algae (What Causes Algae?)
Algae are multi-cellular plant-like organisms that are commonly found in water. However, they have no roots, stems, and leaves.
There are many types of algae that form in an aquarium. The most common type of algae is the Green Carpet Algae.
This algae spreads very rapidly and is found mainly on the glass, rocks, and decorations inside an aquarium.
Another type of algae is the Brown Algae and the Green Water Algae.
Brown Algae is commonly found in a newly set-up aquarium that has low light.
It is usually found at the bottom and the sides of the aquarium. It is easy to clean with the help of a scrubber.
On the other hand, Green Algae floats on the surface of the water. It makes your tank water look green due to its color.
The biggest disadvantage of Green Algae is that it reduces oxygen from the water.
It also obstructs light from reaching the guppies.
Algae are initially formed during the first few weeks of setting up a new aquarium and help create an ecological balance similar to that of the guppies’ natural habitat.
The forming of algae is quite common, and there is nothing to worry about it as long as the growth is in control.
If you find that algae are growing fast, you can control the growth by introducing algae-eating fish in your aquarium.
Even your guppies will be more than happy to sight and eat the algae around the aquarium.
Now, let’s see if guppies can control algae growth in your aquarium.
Can You Use Guppies To Control Algae?
Guppies are not commonly used to control algae in an aquarium.
Guppies are not voracious algae-eaters, so they will not clean the aquarium instantly.
Guppies do eat algae in the wild but only in small quantities.
Having said that, guppies eat and devour certain types of algae.
Guppies like to eat Staghorn or Black Beard algae the most and in a significant amount.
If algae have increased considerably in your tank, you can use algae-eating fish to minimize their growth.
Otocinclus and Plecostomus are two such fish that are natural algae-eaters and will eat most of the algae in a tank.
On the other hand, guppies will just eat the algae found at the surface of your tank.
Alright! Now that you know guppies do not primarily eat algae, can algae harm your little ones?
Are Algae Good For Guppies?
Guppies eat algae in small quantities only. They are not too fond of algae, and so do not keep munching on them.
Algae do not provide any nutritional value to guppies. However, eating algae does not harm guppies either.
So, if you have algae growth in your aquarium and see your guppies eating them, don’t get too stressed.
Eating algae does not harm your guppies.
However, if you have excess algae growth in your tank, they do harm guppies in another way.
How Excess Algae Growth Affect Guppies?
Once your aquarium develops algae, it becomes difficult to control it. Algae proliferate.
They start spreading all over the aquarium before you realize and take steps to prevent their growth.
If there are excessive algae in your aquarium, they start to consume vital nutrients and oxygen from the water.
This will hinder the growth of your guppies as they will not get sufficient oxygen and nutrients.
Another drawback of excessive algae is that if you have placed artificial lights in your aquarium, it will not reach your plants and guppies.
This will result in the deformed growth of your guppies and plants.
Does Overfeeding Guppies Cause Algae Growth?
Just like plants, algae thrive on the waste excreted by guppies.
If you overfeed your guppies, they will excrete a lot of waste. Overfeeding will also result in a lot of leftover food in the tank.
Thus, the waste excreted by your guppies and the waste created by leftover decaying food acts as a food source for the algae.
So, overfeeding your fish often results in algae growth in the aquarium.
One of the simple ways to keep the algae growth in check is to not overfeed your guppies.
You should provide as much food as is required for the proper growth of guppies.
Also, by limiting the waste in the aquarium, you will create a healthier environment for your guppies.
Now, algae are common and natural in the aquarium. So, what can be done to control or get rid of algae in your fish tank?
How To Get Rid Of Algae In A Guppy Tank?
Just like live plants, algae need water, light, and nutrients to grow.
If these three things are found in excess in your aquarium, there will be algae growth.
Your aquarium cannot do without water, as it is a pre-requisite for your guppies to live.
However, the other two things can be controlled.
Getting rid of algae entirely is difficult.
At the same time, it is also not advisable to eliminate algae entirely from the fish tank as some of it is required for the growth of your guppies.
Given below are the things that you can do to reduce algae growth in your aquarium:
- Reduce Lighting: Lighting is the primary source for algae growth. Sunlight helps in the growth of algae. So, you can place your aquarium in such a way that it does not face the sun. If you have artificial lights in the tank, use them only to the extent required. The lights in your aquarium should not be lit for more than 8 to 10 hours a day.
- Avoid Overfeeding: Your guppies should be fed in small portions and as much as they can eat in about 3 to 5 minutes. The leftover food should be cleaned immediately. Overfeeding increases the phosphate level in the water and encourages algae growth in the aquarium.
- Frequent Water Changes: Water needs to be clean for your guppies to thrive. Regular water change reduces the chances of algae growth.
- Live Plants: Live plants play a very vital role in controlling algae growth in the aquarium. If you have plants, then both plants and algae require the same source of food. Live plants will absorb the majority of the nutrients that algae need to thrive and grow. Due to fewer nutrients available in the water, the growth of algae will be reduced.
- Algae-Eating Fish: Apart from living plants, there are algae-eating fish that can be introduced in the aquarium to control algae growth. The algae-eating fish will keep munching on the algae and eventually reduce the number of algae. Red Cherry Shrimps, Apple Snails, and Cory Catfish are algae-eaters that you can introduce in your tank to control the algae growth.
- Maintaining Tank: Proper maintenance of your tank is another way of controlling the algae growth. You should not entirely depend on live plants and algae-eating fish to clean your tank. If you notice algae on the rocks, glass, or anywhere else in the tank, you can clean it yourself. You can scrub the algae and vacuum the gravel whenever you perform the water change. This will ensure that there are no excessive algae.
Do guppies eat hair algae? Yes, guppies do eat hair algae. Hair algae are mainly formed if there is a nutrient imbalance in your fish tank. Besides, it also develops if there is intense lighting or if your aquarium light is lit for several hours.
Do guppies eat brown algae? Brown algae are common, and they grow even in a well-maintained tank. Mostly all livebearers, including guppies, enjoy eating brown algae. Brown algae serve as a meal to guppies and as a food alternative to fish owners.