Managing your aquatic plant life takes time and also some basic knowledge of how things work. With just a little bit of 'know how', you could see your aquarium transformed. Keeping algae growth under control can be extremely challenging for people who are new to fish keeping, but you must remember that it can also be a great source of food. Approaching these issues from the right angle will go a long way to making sure you can keep on top of it. This article aims to give you some basic knowledge and advice to help you with getting your aquatic plant life exactly how you want it.
Many species of fish use algae as a nutritional part of their diet. Some species survive on the stuff, rarely eating anything else. If you have issues with algae in your tank one of the things you could do is turn the problem into a solution and stock your aquarium with algae eating species such as plecos. Different types of algae will be easier than others for fish to remove and eat, so it's worth trying to find out what algae you have growing before you stock your tank with the appropriate species. Be warned though that if this solves the problem completely, you will then have to supplement their diet with commercially prepared algae discs.
If algae growth gets out of control, it can be a big problem both aesthetically and also for the health of your other plant life. The most common form of algae is green spot algae. This often starts of as the name would suggest; with green spots on rocks and glass. This can be quite hard to remove, so prevention is always the best way to go. The secret is to make sure you have a good amount of other plant life so there are no spare nitrates for the algae to feed on. Regular water changes and good filtration will also help to keep algae growth under control. To remove algae that is already present, simply use a razor blade to scrape it from the glass. Make sure though that you clean the blade outside the tank, not just shaking the algae back into the water.
It is important when lighting your tank that you use fluorescent lights specifically made for aquariums. These lights produce the correct spectrum of light in order to encourage plant growth. Standard fluorescent lights won't do this, and will actually encourage the dreaded black algae to grow in your tank. Special aquatic lighting actually simulates daylight which is why they are so good for plant life. There are many different options available, including some great low cost energy efficient bulbs.