Fuzz algae is another hairy green algae that often attack the aquarium. Like their name, this algae has green color and is filamentous with short in size.
They usually grow on decorations, aquatic plants, and aquarium glass. If you let them develop in the tank, this algae will propagate themselves and form a thick coat that shows fuzzy-looking from outside.
Many aquarists sometimes made be confused with the hair algae; they are almost similar in appearance but really different. Even some aquarium hobbyists think the fuzz algae is the early growth stage of the hair algae.
The difference between fuzz and hair algae is the fuzz algae grow as individual filaments, while the other one grows to form a heavy coat on the objects, where their filaments grow more densely than those.
Is Fuzz Algae Bad?
A healthy planted aquarium usually has some kind of algae type in there, while the problem is on the quantities of their population.
If your aquascape tank has a small population of fuzz algae is can still be called “normal,” but if they start to overgrown and get out of hand, you should begin to fight with them.
Most aquarists battle with them for the first few months when the tank maturity is still imbalanced; some succeed in treating their aquarium, but the others fail and look at the fuzz algae overtaking their tank. Even they decide to rebuild their tank from the beginning.
The fuzz algae will more worst if left untreated. They grow quickly and are difficult to get rid of once they are established in the aquarium. Keep reading this article; our guides will help you beat these algae.
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Is The Fuzz Algae Harm For Fish?
Nope. The fuzz algae are not harmful to fish and other creatures in your tank, as long as you manage them always under control.
For some fish species, they probably become additional extra food which is good for their metabolism.
Common Causes Of Fuzz Algae
There are several reasons that cause the fuzz algae to bloom in your tank, so if you know more profound about it, the chances to prevent invasion of this alga are bigger. It will also help you beat them up if your tank is affected by the fuzz algae.
You are visiting the right page, and luckily our article offers the solutions to remove the fuzz algae if they grow uncontrolled.
When you observe your tank and see fuzz algae sticking on the objects inside your tank, that means there is an imbalance of necessary elements in the ecological aquarium system.
The fuzz algae commonly strike young and older planted tanks. They can be categorized as not harmful algae species.
Unlike other algae types, you can leave a small population of them in your tank as long as you keep these algae under control. They are probably fine and may become a delicious snack for your algae eaters, but do not let them take over your entire aquarium.
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Fuzz algae often bloom inside new set up tanks because it has not reached its full maturity age yet, creating imbalanced conditions between required elements for the first few weeks.
This transition session usually takes around 4-8 weeks; at this point, we recommend not adding any aquarium populations, primarily aquatic plants, before this part is complete.
A sudden outbreak of these algae that happen in an older tank set up is frequently triggered by imbalances of the macronutrients. As stated before, if only there is a small population of fuzz algae in your fish tank, it is still quite normal, and there is no reason for concern.
Deficiencies Of Light
Leaves and stem plants that are not fully exposed to enough lights usually are susceptible overgrown with fuzz algae.
The aquarium plants affected at the worst level may be suffering deficiency macronutrient problems, even leaking the nutrients absorbed back into the water.
Like most other filamentous algae, causes low or fluctuating CO2 dissolved is probably the source of the problem.
Fluctuation Carbon dioxide happens by reason of O2 levels spread is uneven. It’s probably occurred by one or more things, for example, caused by a timer that was not set up accurately.
The CO2 dissolved levels should reach the desired level when the light from the aquarium LED is beamed to get an optimal result when photosynthetic is in progress.
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How To Control Fuzz Algae In The Aquarium
Controlling Fuzz Algae With Algae Eaters
Adding some fuzz algae eaters into your tank can decrease their growth level naturally. There is some kind of fish or shrimp that is really useful to clean them. Besides, they also offer spectacular shows when doing their job.
You have nothing left to do when you keep a couple of algae cleaner species and let them work properly.
Make sure, before deciding what kind of fuzz algae clean-up crew, ensure they are suitable for your existing aquarium population.
Remember to perform a quarantine them first; it is necessary to prevent the disease if they bring any sickness or contaminate with some fungus or bacteria.
According to our experience and information from other aquarists, Amano shrimps are proof effectively wiping up the fuzz algae. So if you have enjoyable adding crustacean species, they are a good option.
But, if you are more prefer the fish species, bristlenose pleco, Siamese algae eaters, otocinclus, and black mollies can treat these algae well.
Due to the shrimp size, which is nota bene relatively small, they might get siphoned by the aquarium’s filter, so be careful with that. Some fish species may look at the tiny shrimps as a delicious snack, so ensure that the fish keeping together with shrimps is not harmful to them.
If you choose the right fuzz algae clean-up crew which is compatible with your tank population, the population algae would be easy to control in no time.
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Ensure Your Aquarium Always Clean
Keeping your tank clean is a great key to staying away from the fuzz algae invasion. Doing a regular water change can make the water parameters stable. Remove all leftover food, fish feces, and organic waste using aquarium siphon tools effectively.
Keep in your mind, never overfeed your fish; it makes your aquarium look dirty and probably become toxic for all tank creatures.
If only a small amount of fuzz algae, you can use a wipe to remove them. But, if you sense the invasion is severe, you have to consult with an aquarium expert, so they will suggest the best way you have to do it.
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How To Get Rid Of Fuzz Algae From Your Aquarium
Cut Down The Fuzz Algae Manually
A simple way to wipe them up before trying other advanced methods is by manually scrubbing the algae with an aquarium algae scraper or toothbrush. Keep in your mind; it’s the best first step to temporarily cut down the fuzz algae population, not remove them entirely.
However, the fuzz algae will return in a couple of days or weeks, but it’s a safer method than using algaecides that probably kill your aquarium plants.
Add More Algae Cleaner Crew
Keeping a lot of algae eaters can wipe up fuzz algae completely. Research to find what kind of algae eaters which compatible with your tank and how many individuals cleaning members you need. The more algae-eating species you keep, the cleaner aquarium will be.
Reduce their food to push them to consume more algae in the aquarium to get a good result. If you have other specimens or fish populations in your tank, do not overfeed them and make sure the algae eaters do not steal their food.
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Balancing The Nutrients Level
Macronutrients are one of the critical elements that are essential for aquatic plants to continue their life. The lower or higher level of NPK can usually drive the fuzz algae to spread.
So, if you don’t want many algae eaters filling up your tank to avoid much dirt produced and lessen it aesthetically, you can check the dissolved nutrients level using the test kit first.
When the results notice the nutrient level is too low or too high, you can act a proper way to adjust it again.
Fuzz algae commonly thrive when the nutrient level is higher; the simple method to bring down it is planting other plants or doing a water change.
If macronutrients in your aquarium are too low, drop a couple of doses of aquarium fertilizers. It will enhance the dissolved substances required by plants instantly.
You can follow this formula as a reference to set up the nutrients level in your tank:
- Nitrate (NO3) = 10-25 mg/l
- Phosphate (PO4) = 0.1-1 mg/l
- Potassium (K) = 5-10 mg/l
- Magnesium (Mg) = >10 mg/l
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Keep CO2 Stable
Lack of CO2 is the other reason for fuzz algae invasion in the aquarium. To complete this problem is easy, inject Carbon dioxide into your tank if you do not have it yet.
But, if you were installation it, raise the CO2 content in your tank into a specific number. Raise it little by little from a day to the next day. The sudden addition of a large amount of CO2 content can harm other specimens, such as fish or shrimps.
We suggest a CO2 content dissolved in the aquarium water, approximately 20-30 mg/l. You can use a CO2 checker to easily monitor it, which is easy to find in the trades.
Water Changes Regularly
Changing weekly water aims to keep your tank clean and preserve your aquarium in the same conditions to care for the tank populations.
Water changes can also prevent the fungus, bacteria, and any types of invasive algae from developing, including fuzz algae.
Every tank requires a different percentage of water change depending on its condition. So check your aquarium condition first; after that, you will learn what kind of water change requirements you should follow.
Be careful when siphoning or filling up the water; ensure it’s not making your tank population dangerous.
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Use Liquid Carbon
In our experience, spraying the fuzz algae with liquid carbon directly is effective in getting rid of them from the aquarium. Use the plastic syringe, get a few doses of this liquid (we usually use 3-5 ml doses per day), and inject straight to the algae.
Depending on the conditions, you should do this for a couple of days to get the result, normally around 5-7 days or more. This liquid carbon is relatively cheap and easy to find; you can buy it at a local aquarium shop or online.
Raising The Light Intensity
The light intensity, spectrum, and period may become another problem that stimulates fuzz algae bloom. If you sense the light is too dim, you can change the aquarium LED with another lighter one, but you can instantly increase the light intensity if you use a smart LED tank.
In other cases, combined the higher light intensity and higher macronutrient level (NPK) that aquatic plants cannot absorb well can also drive the fuzz algae to invade.
To treat it, do a blackout for a few days until the fuzz algae level drops significantly. After that, add some algae eaters to remove the remains and enhance the CO2 dissolved to make your plants happy again.
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Fix Your Water Circulation
You tried all methods above, but the algae are still not gone? The water circulation might cause it. Generally, it’s an issue that occurs in bigger aquariums and in tank setups with weaker filter flow.
It makes the fresh water and CO2 can not reach every corner inside the tank, creating a dead spot where its favorite area to fuzz algae thrive.
Fix the filter flow or add a small powerhead to boost water flow actively run to entire all space in the tank, making any plants benefit.
Use Distilled Water
A small thing that often is forgotten is the utilization of water types when performing a water change. Many new aquarium keepers use tap water when doing that. While a lot of tap water typically contains heavy metals and phosphate that fuel the fuzz algae growth.
When changing the tank water, use the RODI water or distilled water to solve this problem. Many small stores or supermarkets provide bottles filled before or offer to refill RO water service; you just bring your reusable jug. You can also produce your own distilled water in your home by purchasing a simple RO water system specifically for aquarium usage.
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Kill Fuzz Algae With Algae Control Products
We do not advise using conventional algaecides to eliminate the fuzz algae in the aquarium. This product might work to remove any algae in your tank, but it also probably kill your aquatic plants because it contains some harsh chemicals.
This product also cannot control the growth of algae for the long term; it just solves the problem for the time being.