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Nuisance Algae ID
and Treatment

If algae begins to show up in the tank, begin by testing your nitrates and phosphates. Usually high phosphates are the cause of most algae issues. If it is testing within healthy ranges and remaining stable (See testing the tank for parameter ranges) , the next course of action is identifying the algae and finding natural combatants like snails and crabs. 




  • Most importantly, allow the tank to finish cycling (this is the ugly stage)

  • Reduce lighting to 8-10 hours if its on longer than this

  • Adding microcrustaceans such as copepods. More species the better! We offer a 6 species pod bottle specifically to help increase biodiversity and stabilize your ecosystem.

  • Cerith, Nerite, Trochus and Astrea snails 

  • Blennies and Tangs are fish that typically consume it as well depending on the tanks size

(Bacillariophyto/ Brown Algae)

  1. Not harmful

  2. Usually brown and powdery material

  3. Diatoms feed on silicates

  4. Often found in newly setup ecosystems, adding new rock, sand etc.

  5. This is the first algae to show up on clean surfaces and can rub off of glass easily and disintegrate

Green Film Algae

film algae_edited.jpg


  • Check Phosphate levels (Generally lowering them helps reduce buildup)

  • Scraping glass and removing settled algae in small water changes

  • Most Cleanup crew will remove it naturally (copepods, chitons, ceriths, nerites, limpets, amphipods, isopods

Scientific name: unknown

  1. Not harmful

  2. Commonly found in all tanks

  3. Green powdery or cloudy buildup on glass or other surfaces

Green Hair Algae Species (GHA)


  • Test phosphates and nitrates and ensure they haven't raised. If they are high reduce slowly with water changes or GFO

  • Remove as much by hand as possible, pulling it down short

  • Add scarlet hermits, Ceriths, Chitons, Turbo snails, sea hares, urchins, conchs, emerald crabs and/or Trochus snails 

  • For larger tanks (75+ gallon) herbivorous fish can be added such as tangs, rabbit fish, foxfaces etc. 

hair algae.jpg

Cladophora herpestica

  1. Coarse, loose matted clumps

  2. Grows about 3 cm high 

  3. Easily pulls off rocks in chunks

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