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How to Clean Algae From Fish Tank Glass

how to clean algae from fish tank glass

Having to deal with algae is just normal when it comes to the maintenance of the aquarium. These aquatic plants thrive in light, carbon dioxide, and nutrients which, unfortunately, the fish tank has. So, apart from dealing with dirt and debris, there will come a time that aquarium owners will have to deal with removing these unwanted visitors in the fish tank.

When algae begin to invade your tank walls, it can affect and deteriorate the appearance of your tank. For this reason, it is essential to learn how to clean algae from fish tank glass and any areas of your aquarium where the algae invade. Cleaning it early is better than letting them accumulate on many areas of your fish tank, where the cleaning and maintenance will be more difficult.


How to Clean Algae from a Fish Tank

The tank glass, particularly the viewing panel, can be clean with a regular aquarium algae sponge. Avoid ponds coming from your households, such as the sink, because most of them come with anti-microbial agents that will harm your fish tank. It is advised to use a regular aquarium sponge depending on the type of glass you have and use the appropriate sponge.

You can also use the sponge to clean the overflow pipes or the aquarium’s sides or clean some of the decorations. You will also need to control algae from growing in your fish tank. Since algae thrive on sunlight and nutrients, making your nutrients level low, specifically the nitrates and the phosphates, algae will not grow as much as they could. You clean the fish tank, and you will keep the nutrients level in check.

Meanwhile, the glass itself will be kept clean by doing periodic cleaning every week using the pads mentioned earlier. Fish will also help clean the algae, specifically algae-eating fish. Snails can also help in removing algae from glass and decorations as well. But you do not want to use many of them because they tend to multiply quickly and overcrowd your fish tank. Also, you will need to check the water chemistry while keeping the phosphates and nitrates low to minimize your aquarium’s algae growth.

Keeping Aquarium Glass Algae-Free Without Scraping the Glass

keeping aquarium glass algae-free

When it comes to algae prevention, it can be very hassle if you keep on scrubbing the glass all the time. In fact, there are things that you can do to keep the glass always clean and algae-free without doing constant scrubbing. The methods used in this process are basically part of the maintenance you will do in the aquarium. Read below to find out.

Controlling the Light Access

You will need to limit the access to light in your fish tank. If you have the capability, provide a timer for the light for you to have more control in using and turning off the light. My suggestion is to turn the light on about two and a half hours in the morning then another six and a half hours late afternoon, probably from 4:00 pm to 10:30 pm.

Limiting the amount of light daily is the most important thing to do to limit excessive algae growth. Algae thrive in light, so it will simply not grow if it does not receive enough light. If you are thinking not to turn it off the whole day, I say do not do it since your fish also needs the light for their requirements.

Limiting the Number of Nutrients

Algae growth is dependent on enough lighting, carbon dioxide supply, and nutrients coming from fish foods. If you limit the nutrients that are coming into the fish tank, it will also limit the possibility of the algae growing. These nutrients or fertilizers are phosphates and nitrates, which usually come from excess foods of the fish that were not eaten. What you do is try to limit what you are feeding to the fish, especially if it is more than enough to their actual capacity. Doing this action will also limit the uneaten or excess foods that help the algae grow.

Strictly Following Maintenace Schedule

One way to control the growth of algae is to follow whatever is your maintenance schedule strictly. For example, if you find that your nitrates are getting above 25 parts per million, you should be doing a water change immediately. So, if the nitrates are around 40 to 50 parts per million, that’s the fastest way for the algae to grow. You can also do a gravel vacuum if you feel that the sand or gravel needs cleaning. That is one way of keeping the algae from growing.

Used Algae-eating fish

Having an algae-eating fish in your aquarium can help minimize or neutralize the growth of too many algae. The bristlenose placo is just one fish species that eat algae on the glass and other parts of the aquarium. It will help in keeping the fish tank glass clean all the time. The Chinese algae eater species can also help minimize algae in the fish tank if you decide to have it in your aquarium.

The Snail

Many aquarium owners might disagree with me, but using snails to minimize algae is actually effective. I have used it personally, and the snail has done a tremendous job of keeping my fish tank clean and free from algae. You can use the snails as an alternative to the algae-eating fish if you want to do so.


Learning how to clean algae from fish tank glass is an essential skill that can be learned as part of the maintenance process of the aquarium. Eventually, you will have to deal with cleaning the fish tank to remove algae as it grows inside the fish tank. In addition, apart from scrubbing the glass, there are also other ways to keep the algae at bay and prevent them from growing uncontrollably inside your aquarium. And all of the methods we presented are also part of the maintenance process of the fish tank. So, if you follow your maintenance schedule religiously, then there is an excellent chance that algae growth will be prevented.

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