Aquarium Algae Problems. A Quick Guide.

Most aquariums at some point will suffer from unwanted algae growth in one of its various forms. It is a sign of nutrients and/or high light levels. Algae eating fish such as gold sucking loach or pleco’s can be used to reduce algae. Make sure you pick an algae eater that isn't going to out grow your aquarium like this Gibby Pleco in the photo. These guys often get sold as algae eaters but grow way too big for normal aquariums. I have seen these in Public Aquariums as large as 60cm.

A reduction in the light level will also reduce unwanted growth. You can try splitting the lighting time in two parts. Algae grows best with 8-10 hours of continuous light. Remember that fish don't really need a lot of light, the light is for you viewing pleasure (unless you have real plants). Cutting your lighting down to when you are at home rather than leaving it on all day can help.

Ensure aquariums don't get too much natural light. Bad placement of your aquarium can make algae problems a nightmare. 

Removal of nutrients. High nitrates and phosphates can increase unwanted algae. Resins can be used in the filter system to 'suck up' nutrients or a liquid can also be used like bacteria feeder or nitrate minus. Simply increasing water changes will dilute nutrients but remember to always use your tap safe to ensure the health of the fish.

Direct treatments like Algae Exit by Easy Life can help reduce unwanted algae but these are treating the symptom and not the cause.