Debunking Complexity: Ways of Dealing with Algae

Debunking Complexity: Ways of Dealing with Algae

If you haven’t yet, taking time to understand more about algae as an organism and what causes them in our tanks can be worlds of help for prevention and treatment. There are many ways problems with algae can arise as frustrations and you may find yourself constantly needing to clear your water column of algae, clear biofilms from your aquatic plants, or scraping glass walls and floors of built-up carpet algae. Whatever the case may be, the most important thing to know about dealing with algae and tank regulation is that there will always be dynamic relationships of nutrients cycling throughout water ecosystems, and finding an aligned balance between exchanges of them are key to preventing algae from arising in the first place.

Read on to see what we mean by this, and/or watch this video on our YouTube channel!

Finding & Maintaining Balance

As we know, algae thrives easily and from many things including excess nutrients in tanks (yes, even fish poop) and too much lighting. Being able to identify the sources of algae blooms and issues can be really time consuming and quite the problem solving process for many aquarium lovers– and especially those of us with that all natural tank pride! However, approaches like tank blackouts can actually lead to other problems in your tank as your plants and other organisms need light themselves! Besides, water chemistry can be hard to test with variable results and difficulty changing once established by an ecosystem.

While maintaining balance in all natural aquariums is often not the best hobby for those with busy schedules, let us be clear: it doesn’t have to be this way and you do NOT need to sacrifice your all natural tank to reduce the struggle, stress, and time spent cleaning and regulating algae. We know how water ecosystems naturally regulate and prevent algae, so our team of scientists and nature-based advocates created our plant-based Algae Control for exactly this; maintaining alignment of nutrient levels in your tank and preventing algae from ever even starting. 

Read on as we walk through other common ways of dealing with algae and debunk some interesting and complex approaches. 

Trust Issues: Scrubbing & Chemicals

When you google how to get rid of an algae problem in your tank, it either tells you to grab a brush and some baking soda, or gets right to the bleach and chlorine for easy answers. Here’s the thing, we don’t need any of these, and PLEASE stop wasting your precious time scrubbing rocks and tank glass of algae! These approaches keep us in constant response to the issue instead of being able to stop it at the root and prevent it from coming back. 

Harmful chemicals are often used in DIY approaches and even conventional aquarium treatment products and algaecides that commonly include copper sulfates, copper chelates, endothall, bleach, chlorine, ammonia, and formulations containing active ingredients of sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate. Let’s just sum this up as some intense, synthetic (man-made) chemicals that can cause some serious irritation and damage to our own bodies when contact exposure occurs. So why are we putting these in our tanks again? Bleach does kill algae and prevent it from growing, but it’s also likely to harm you and your fish and prevent your ecosystem from thriving like they should in the short - long run.


Algae Eaters

Now, many people swear by algae eating “clean-up crews,” and we respect this! But want to make one thing clear: it’s not always the easy fix you think it is. A lot of times, people get algae eaters like amano shrimp and they’re great when they’re young, but quickly grow bigger and almost all will opt to eat fish food instead of algae. 

As algae eaters continue growing, they even start competing with other tank members for fish food and will hardly ever voluntarily eat algae. All in all, stop relying on algae eaters for your algae problems, and look more towards prevention and alignment in your tank.



This might be a hot take, but you really don’t need expensive high-tech to maintain balance & prevent algae in your aquarium ecosystem. Many people will waste tons of money on technology that will compensate for the lack of balance in their tank, while paying the price of such approaches. Our Algae Control supports alignment with just one, weekly step and no high-tech or water movement necessary.



At the end of the day, working to understand and respond to algae problems with the goal of removing the cause is always going to be better than neglecting you and your tank’s needs with avoidance, constant scrubbing, and/or harmful chemicals.

As aquarium lovers, we always want to be working better WITH nature instead of against it, and that's exactly what we care most about here at Green Water Labs! Supporting our community with alignment in their water ecosystems through sustainable, healthy methods is our north star and we are so excited to have discovered that working so closely with plants could help us fill such a gap in all natural tank care. Thanks to our plant-based Algae Control, our algae problems don’t even get the chance to start, and our tanks are living their best, all natural lives!

For more tips on managing and preventing algae in your tank, checkout our blog post running through basic tank tips helpful for you, your wallet, and your all natural tank!

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