While new hobbyists might try to clear all algae out of a fish tank, experienced hobbyists try to turn algae into art. Having too much algae in an aquarium is clearly not healthy for the livestock. However, having a little algae in a fish tank is beneficial in several ways, which range from entertainment to complex scientific processes.
A Touch of Algae in a Fish Tank: Why You Should Just Let It Be
When done right, algae can look pretty from a certain angle. Mucky algae, however, isn’t all that. We’re not saying you should let algae cover your gravel. On the other hand, if you have a live rock in your tank that has some algae on it, the colors can add a certain vibe to your tank that you can’t get otherwise.
Algae is also as natural as can be. Experienced hobbyists strive to create a natural environment for the fish, and algae is a part of that ecosystem.
As for the more technical aspects, algae generate oxygen and reduce carbon dioxide, just like any other plants. Of course, this can benefit the fish in the tank, as having enough oxygen is critical to their health.
Through a complex process, algae also help control levels of nitrogen in the water. Ideal nitrate levels for freshwater aquariums are <80 ppm. Nitrate levels for saltwater fish only tanks should be <50 ppm, and the ideal levels for saltwater reef tanks are <10 ppm.
Why You Should Start with Pure Water
In order to maintain the perfect environment in a fish tank, you should start with pure water and then let nature take its course.
It’s a little like buying unsalted butter for baking; you want to control what goes into the mix by starting with a clean slate. Using only RODI water in your tank while having a spare jug on hand can help ensure that your livestock are happy and healthy at all times.