Decorate Your Fish Tank With Green Algae

Algae can decorate your fish tank, surprised about it? Exactly, I am not kidding you! Although some algae may bring a negative impact on your tank, or limit the growth of aquatic plants. However, some algae also can enhance the ornamental value of your aquarium and be a food source for your cute fish. In this article, we will discuss the algae for decorating aquariums.

Content Table

What algae are good for an aquarium?

Generally, excessive nutrients, nitrates, and organic substances will provide an ideal habitat for algae. In this segment, we will learn about some algae that are good for an aquarium, including brown diatom algae, green water, filamentous algae, and artificial algae. Furthermore, the green algae will be mentioned in the next part.

Brown diatom algae

The algae are brown, but sometimes green. Brown algae will grow for lasting low light and high levels of silicates and phosphates. They can cover the aquarium glass, substrate, plants, and other surfaces. The algae are not so pleasing to your eyes, however, they are not harmful to your tank. On the contrary, they can be a food source. Shrimp, snails, and otocinclus catfish prefer to eat them. Of course, if you can not stand their appearance, you can remove them easily with a fish tank cleaner.

Green water (Algae bloom)

The proliferation of free-floating and single-celled phytoplankton, as well as excessive levels of nitrates and phosphates, will lead to green water. Also, green water is not detrimental to aquariums. Instead, the green water can absorb ammonia. As a result, to avoid ammonia poisoning, some people will create green water before introducing fish to a new tank. In addition, you can remove the green water by separating them with nutrients.

Specifically, if you can change water frequently, then the nitrates and phosphates levels will be decreased. Consequently, green water will disappear. Provided that changing water makes no sense, applying an ultraviolet sterilizer is feasible, and it will remove the green water within two or three days, you can install a UV green water killer in the tank corner for instance.

Filamentous algae

Filamentous algae belong to the Chlorophyta family, which is usually green, featuring in the shape of thread or brush. It can help to remove ammonia and purify the water. Moreover, some people believe that filamentous algae are symbols of good water quality. Nonetheless, you should control the number of them. Or filamentous algae will be a threat to your tank. For additional information to remove and control filamentous algae, you can get help from the Filamentous algae killer.

Artificial algae

Artificial algae help you prevent unwanted algae from your tank. Nevertheless, you must clean the artificial algae at least once a week. You can buy your favorite artificial algae from specialized aquarium stores, and colorful ones are better, which will make tanks more appealing. But do not add too much to your aquarium. Or the artificial algae will occupy more space and become obstacles for fish.

The best algae for decorating aquariums

In this part, we will get into a more specific discussion of green algae, which is the best algae to decorate a fish tank.

The green algae grow slowly but firmly, and they are soft. As a direct consequence, they can protect your fish from chafing on the aquarium glass. Besides, they possess good-looking and taste good with high nutrient levels. They can attach to the substrate, rocks, or other surfaces, just like a green carpet. Moreover, they can play a role in purifying water quality.

Next, we will share some growth requirements of green algae in the table below.

Requirements  Ideal level
Power of aquarium light High-powered (0.5-0.8 watts per liter of water)
 Color temperature  5700-7500K
Water temperature 68-86℉ (20-30℃)

In addition, it is not recommended to change the water in the early period, because the green algae seeds and nutrients may be removed from your tank. Until the green algae grow in your aquarium, you can change the water. Once a week is excellent, but you better not change the water over one-third each time.

How to grow green algae carpet in an aquarium?

Before getting started, you need to do some preparations. It is better to prepare all objects mentioned below.

Objects Significance
An aquarium Stock water, fish, plants, algae
A high-powered aquarium light Provide sufficient light for algae
An aquarium heater Keep ideal water temperature (68-86℉)
An aquarium filter Keep the great water quality
Aquarium water test kit Check the nitrate level
Green algae seeds Provide algae sources
Small goldfish Produce organic substances
Suckermouth catfish Remove needless algae

To improve the nitrate level, it is feasible to keep the aquarium light on for about 10 hours per day in the beginning. Meanwhile, you can keep fish that can produce much excrement. When there are unnecessary algae in your tank, you can remove them with an aquarium cleaner tool kit. Besides, you can also remove some fish to another aquarium to avoid excessive nutrients. After cleaning, you can add green algae seeds to your aquarium, and keep lighting for 10 hours per day. Next, all you can do is wait and keep careful nurturing. The green algae will gradually attach to glass, substrate, rocks, and other aquarium decorations. Nevertheless, here are also some pointers for you.

  • The green algae will photosynthesize to create bubbles or even turn yellow because of intense lighting for a long time.
  • The green algae are fragile during the preliminary period. They may suffer death from exposure to the air when changing water.
  • You can remove the unnecessary algae with aquarium cleaner tools, and it will leave room for green algae.
  • The green algae require proper care, or they will float around your tank. You can groom them with a soft brush. By doing so, they can grow firmly and densely.
  • It is better to keep changing the water regularly and avoid frequent water changes.


Aside from the algae for decorating your aquarium, some algae should be removed from tanks, including blue-green algae (BGA), and black beard algae (BBA).

Blue-green algae (BGA)

Blue-green algae are close to green algae in appearance. However, they are signals of poor water quality. They are not algae exactly, but cyanobacteria. In addition to this, they contain chlorophyll, therefore, they can photosynthesize and live by themselves. They like covering the plants, substrate, or aquarium decorations, just like a blanket. On the other hand, blue-green algae can also be brown and black. Furthermore, you can remove them by applying an air stone and aquarium filter. If it does not work, removing them with your hands is an excellent option.

One more tip here, it is better not to use the algaecide. Since the dead algae will decompose toxic substances, which will make fish and shrimp poisoned and even die.

Black beard algae (BBA)

Black beard algae are from the red algae family. They possess good adaptability and are potential threats to your aquarium. You can find black beard algae on the gravel, stones, wood, and aquatic plants, as well as the inlet and outlet of the aquarium filter. The algae will not release toxic substances into the water, but they will block the light, which is essential for plants. Besides that, they are fatal for fish. Unfortunately, black beard algae are difficult to remove from aquariums. Thus, it is better to remove the algae once you notice them. If you want to learn more about black beard algae, please go to How to Get Rid of Black Beard Algae.

That is all for today. Hope you have possessed a deeper understanding of the algae carpet aquarium after reading. If you have any wonderful ideas, welcome to share them with us, just leave your message in the comment. Finally, thanks for your reading!

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