5 Simple Methods To Promote Algae Growth!

Algae is very common in aquariums and is not only used as a decoration but to give fish a place to hide and feel comfortable. Algae also provide oxygen and filters the water.

However, there are certain types of algae that can grow very slowly, which can be incredibly frustrating especially!

The good news is there are ways to promote and speed up the growth rate of algae but this will depend on the specific type of algae you are trying to cultivate. 

1. Increase The Light

Algae needs light in order to photosynthesize, the stronger the light the faster it grows. So by increasing the light intensity the algae will grow faster!

However, certain types of algae require different levels of light in order to grow. For example, green algae require more light than brown algae.

So if you are trying to encourage the growth of green algae, then you will need to increase the light intensity. This can be done by using led lights with the correct wavelength.

White, Red, and Blue LEDs are great for emitting energy in a number of wavelengths and are very useful for photosynthesis. However, green lights are not good for growing algae!

If you are trying to encourage the growth of brown algae in an aquarium, then you will need to reduce the light intensity. This can be done by turning off some of the lights in your aquarium or by using weaker lights.

Types Of Light To Use On Algae:

  • LED
  • Fluorescent
  • Incandescent
  • Sunlight

2. Increase Water Temperature

Another way to promote algae growth is by increasing the water temperature. In fact, in 2019 there was a study at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and they found that increasing the water temperature causes rapid growth in a newly characterized strain of microalgae.

Typically, if the temperature is above 50F the growth rate in algae will start to incress! However, at this point, you need to be very careful not to cause an algae bloom!

Important: If the temperature rises above 60F then the algae will bloom! Algae blooms can be toxic to fish, plants, and other life forms you may have! and will also cause discoloration in the water.

One way to increase the water temperature is to use a submersible aquarium heater. These devices are designed to maintain a consistent water temperature, making them ideal for fostering algae growth.

Another option is to install a regular household light bulb above the aquarium. The heat generated by the bulb will increase the water temperature, however, this method is unpredictable and can be dangerous if not monitored carefully.

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3. Reduce Water Movement

Too much water movement in an aquarium can discourage the growth of algae. This is because, in an aquarium with strong filtration and aeration, the water moves too quickly for algae to establish itself.

That’s why you often see algae growing in areas of an aquarium where the flow of water is slowed down by plants or other decorations.

To encourage the growth of algae, reduce the flow of water in your aquarium by redirecting the output of a powerhead. However, you need to be careful as fish need oxygenated water to breathe, so don’t reduce the water too much!

You can also create still pockets of water by adding live plants that have dense foliage. By creating these conditions, you’ll be able to enjoy a healthy growth of algae in your aquarium.

4. Use Plant Fertilizer

While there are many ways to give your algae a boost in growth, one simple solution is to add some plant fertilizer to the water. This will provide the algae with the nutrients it needs to grow, and as a result, the algae will increase at a fast rate.

Important: Make sure you use a fertilizer that is safe for fish and plants, as some chemicals can be harmful. Also, only add a small amount of fertilizer to the water, as too much can cause an algae bloom!

Two fertilizers we recommended are Seachem’s Flourish Excel and API’s Leaf Zone. Both of these products are safe for fish and plants and will provide the algae with the nutrients it needs to grow.

To apply the fertilizer, simply add it to the aquarium water according to the directions on the package.

5. Remove The Competition

If you have already tried growing algae in the past and haven’t had any luck then it could be because it’s being eaten before it has a chance to establish itself. For example, Aquarium shrimp love feasting on algae!

In fact, shrimps will eat algae right off glass, rocks, and plants in your aquarium. While this might sound like a good thing, if you want to avoid algae growing in your tank, this can actually prevent the algae from growing.

To encourage the growth of algae, remove any shrimp or other animals that eat algae from your aquarium.

You should also reduce the number of plants in your aquarium so they don’t absorb all the nutrients if you are using fertilizers.

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Each Type Of Algae Has Different Growth Rates

When trying to promote algae growth keep in mind that each type of algae has its own unique growth rate. For example, some algae can double in size each day, while others may only grow a few inches per week.

In order to encourage algae growth, it is important to understand the growth rates of different species. For instance, if you are hoping to increase the growth rate of a particular type of algae, you will need to provide the conditions that are optimal for its growth.

By understanding the growth rates of different types of algae, you can more effectively encourage their growth. Some types of algae may take weeks or even months to show any growth, while others can grow very quickly.

Typically, however, it shouldn’t take any longer than 2 to 4 weeks for the algae to start growing!

If it still hasn’t shown any signs of growth after this time then it is likely that something is preventing it from doing so.

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Problems That May Occur!

When using these methods to promote algae you may find that it tends to grow quickly, outcompeting other plants for light, nutrients, and space. 

  • Can Take Over An Aquarium Very Quickly
  • Algae Blooms Can Occur If Not Regulated
  • Algae Can Release Toxins Into The Water

One issue is that algae can reproduce very quickly, and if it isn’t kept in check, it can quickly take over an aquarium or pond and cause a bloom as mentioned earlier.

Another problem is that certain types of algae can release toxins into the water, which can be harmful to fish and other aquatic life, so be extra careful!

Finally, algae can also block out sunlight, which can affect the growth of other plants. While these problems can occur, they can usually be avoided with proper care and maintenance.

Final Thoughts

These are just a few ways that you can promote algae growth in your aquarium. By providing the right conditions and nutrients, you can have a healthy population of algae in no time.

We hope you found these tips helpful and that they encourage you to give algae a try in your own aquarium! Just remember to take care when doing so!

If you want to know more about algae feel free to check out some more of our articles on this site. Thanks for reading!

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