Growing algae in a fish tank is so easy that most aquarium keepers want to find ways to control or prevent growth instead.
Often, algae will grow in an aquarium and along aquarium glass whether you want them to or not!
If you want to encourage algae growth, however, our team at Aquariadise has some tips.
Ultimately, the best way to grow algae in your fish tank is to reduce algae control measures.
Why Would You Want Algae in Your Fish Tank?
Many fish keepers grow green algae as food for different species. Cichlids, snails, shrimp, and pleco all enjoy an algae snack, and growing algae in your tank can help you cut down on your fish food bill.
Algae can also add some variety to your pet’s diet.
Additionally, some people like algae as decoration. Growing algae on rocks can introduce some color and texture to your tank, and create a very attractive and pleasing aquarium.
How To Grow Algae in Tanks?
As we mentioned earlier, the best way to grow algae in your fish tank is to reverse the steps you take to control growth.
In other words, make the water more comfortable for algae and introduce additional light and nutrients to your tank.
To do this, you can slow down the current in your tank by reducing the flow rate of your filter. Just be sure not to reduce it too much, as your fish still need oxygenated water.
You can also increase the temperature in your tank, as long as it is still within the preferred temperature range for every species you have in your tank.
Further, you can add aquarium plant fertilizer to add extra nutrients to your tank.
You may be able to introduce extra nutrients by placing more food in your tank or letting the water go longer between cleanings, as well. Though with these methods, you run the risk of overfeeding or unsafe water conditions, so we recommend sticking with aquarium-safe fertilizer.
Growing Algae Outside of Your Fish Tank
If you don’t want to worry about harming your fish – or algae taking over your fish aquarium tank – you may even choose to grow algae outside of your tank.
Algae are easy to grow in a plastic or glass bottle, and you can even collect an algae sample from a local lake or pond. If you want a specific type of algae, like Spirulina, you can order it online.
Add your algae sample to a cup or bottle of your fish tank water, then add some nutrients (decaying food or plant matter), and place the bottle in the sun.
Rest assured, you will have algae in no time!
How Long Does it Take Algae to Grow in a Fish Tank?
Algae are part of the nitrogen cycle, so they usually start to grow within a few weeks of you setting up your fish tank. Most fish keepers see algae 15 to 30 days after setting up their tanks.
How Do You Speed Up Algae Growth?
Algae are plants, so they like fertilizer. If you want to speed up algae growth, add live aquarium plant fertilizer to your tank after cleaning.
You can also leave your aquarium light on longer than usual and increase the regular water temperature (as long as it is safe for your fish).
What Makes Algae Grow Fast in a Fish Tank?
Water, light, and nutrients make all plants grow fast, and algae are no exception. Aquarium water tends to be very nutritious, so some variety of algae will eventually grow in almost any fish tank.
While most people want to control algae growth, you can encourage it by giving algae strong light, more nutrients, and more comfortable water.
Ready to Grow Algae in Your Aquarium?
Great! Unless you are in a rush, you will grow algae in your fish tank whether you want to or not. Just be patient.
If you need algae sooner rather than later, you can take steps to help the plant grow, as well. To get algae going in your tank:
- Decrease the flow rate
- Increase the water temperature
- Leave your aquarium light on longer
- Add some aquatic plant fertilizer to your tank
- Consider growing algae in a bottle and introducing it to your tank afterward
Growing algae is not challenging, and algae will start growing in your tank, one way or another, within 15 to 30 days.
Be careful what you wish for as an aquarium owner because the bigger challenge may be cleaning algae out of your tank or keeping it under control.