Why Does Aquarium Glass Turns Green? [Removal + Prevention]

Image of overgrown green algae

Aquarium glass turns green due to green algae. Factors like bright lighting, excess nutrients, unremoved waste, and poor water quality result in an algae bloom. You can use LED lighting, avoid overfeeding, add live plants and algae eaters, and regularly change the water to control algae overgrowth.

Let’s now understand the various reasons due to which your aquarium glass and water are turning green.

7 Common Reasons Why Aquarium Glass Turns Green

It’s common to see green algae in an aquarium.

However, the problem is their overgrowth or algal bloom that turns your aquarium glass into a green mess.

Below are some of the common reasons why aquarium glass turns green.

1. Poor Water Quality

Water quality is the most vital parameter of an aquarium.

The ammonia present in the water causes the overgrowth of algae and other microorganisms.

These microbes convert ammonia into nitrite and then nitrate, further deteriorating the water quality.

2. Nutrient Pollution

If you feed a high quantity of food pellets and other nitrogen-rich food to your fish, it will result in nutrient pollution.

In addition, nitrogen and phosphorus added to the aquarium act like fertilizers resulting in a green algal bloom.

3. Overfeeding

This happens when you feed more than what your fish need.

The excess nutrients from these feeds get converted by microorganisms into nitrites and nitrates.

These compounds are toxic for your aquatic pets and prove fatal if not treated immediately.

4. Excess Waste

Overstocking is the prime cause of excess waste in your aquarium.

When you add too many fish to an aquarium, it results in excessive waste production.

Besides polluting the water, it increases ammonia that’s conducive to algal growth.

5. Excessive Lighting

The direct or ambient lighting for your aquarium should be enough to support the aquarium plants and inhabitants.

But if there is excess light, it will increase the water temperature and stimulate the growth of green algae.

6. Poor Maintenance

A poorly maintained aquarium with dirty and clogged filters increases nutrient loads and toxins.

It will not only trigger algae overgrowth but will also be fatal to your aquatic pets.

7. Improper Filtration System

The filters installed to eliminate waste and recycle water should support your aquarium.

A small or weak filter will not remove the toxins and waste efficiently, resulting in the growth of algae and other microbes.

The reasons mentioned above stimulate algal growth, reduce hygiene, affect aesthetics, and impact the tank’s ecosystem.

So, let’s now understand how to remove green algae from your aquarium.

How To Remove Green Algae From Aquarium Glass?

You should remove green algae before they take over your aquarium.

Given below are some steps to remove green algae from your aquarium:

  1. Use tissue paper or a towel soaked in warm water to remove the algae from the aquarium glass and other equipment and decorations. You can also use an algae glass scraper. This is not a permanent solution, but it will give you some time to deal with algae overgrowth.
  2. Regular water changes help to control algae overgrowth. So clean your tank regularly and change 10% to 15% water for small tanks and up to 20% for large tanks every week.
  3. Clean the filter regularly to remove algae and other debris. A clogged filter causes green algae to grow throughout the aquarium.
  4. Use a timer to control the aquarium lights. In addition, ensure that the lights are not in use for more than 12 hours per day. Excess light not only impacts the circadian cycle of the fish but can also stimulate green algae overgrowth.
  5. You can also add live plants to your aquarium. Aquatic plants utilize the light and other nutrients in the water, making it difficult for algae to utilize the available nutrients.
  6. Finally, add fish and invertebrates that eat green algae to your aquarium. These include shrimp, snails, crabs, and worms. The presence of these creatures will help to keep the population of green algae under control.

Now that you know how to remove green algae from your aquarium glass and other objects inside your aquarium, here are some tips to prevent green algal overgrowth.

7 Tips To Prevent Green Algae Overgrowth

Once you know the prime reasons or causes of algae overgrowth, you must ensure that adequate measures are taken to avoid such unwanted situations in the future.

Below are some tips to prevent green algae overgrowth in your aquarium.

1. Keep the tank away from direct sunlight.

Avoid placing your fish tank under direct sunlight, even for a few hours. Doing so will stimulate algae growth.

In addition, use fluorescent or LED lights instead of incandescent light bulbs.

Incandescent bulbs emit more heat which promotes algae overgrowth.

So use fluorescent tubes or LEDs to reduce the temperature around the aquarium.

2. Stop excess feeding.

Don’t overfeed your aquatic pets because the leftover food will begin to rot and increase the phosphate levels of the aquarium water.

It’s best to feed small portions and watch your fish. If there’s any leftover food, it’s best to remove it from the tank.

3. Change water at regular intervals.

It’s necessary to change the water every week to get rid of the toxins and waste.

Depending on your tank size, change the water regularly.

For example, if you have a small tank, change 10% to 15% of the water every week and 20% for a large tank.

4. Test your water periodically.

Regular testing of your aquarium water is critical for understanding the buildup of ammonia, nitrite, and other toxins that are conducive to green algae growth.

Testing is essential to ensure the good health of your aquarium and aquatic inhabitants.

5. Regular maintenance.

Cleaning your aquarium glass, filters, gravel, rocks, and other aquarium equipment will prevent algae buildup.

Scrape the glass and other hard surfaces, clean the filter to avoid clogging, and use a gravel vacuum to clean the substrate.

Regular cleanup will prevent the rapid growth of green algae.

6. Introduce aquatic plants.

Adding live plants to your aquarium will help absorb nutrients used by algae.

In addition, plants will help maintain the health and aesthetics of your aquarium.

7. Add algae-eaters.

Introducing fish and invertebrates that devour green algae will help keep the algae population under control.

Algae eaters like black mollies, guppies, shrimp, snails, crabs, and worms effectively control green algae growth.

By following these tips, you won’t have to worry about green algae overgrowth in the future.


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