Algae is a continual problem for many aquarium owners because the stuff seems so relentless. Cleaning the tank, restricting feeding, changing foods and fish -- no matter what some people try, it seems like the algae just won't quit. It's well-known among most of the aquarium-owning population that light can be a main cause of algae growth, and trying to balance the light needs of the aquarium with keeping algae under control can be tricky. However, it is possible.
Put Lights on Timers
One of the more common issues is leaving aquarium lights on for too long. If you find yourself constantly forgetting to turn the lights off, place them on timers. The exact timing depends on what you have in your tank, so you may need to consult with your aquarium supplier (e.g. the pet store or the fish store) to figure out just how long the lights need to be on. But timers will ensure those lights finally go off at some point. Also, don't forget your house lights. If the aquarium is in your living room, and you usually have bright lights on in that section of the house, ensure you're not leaving those lights on all the time, either.
Observe Light Direction in Each Season
Direct sunlight is also an algae-promoting obstacle, and you don't want your tank exposed to direct sunlight because that will make algae think there's a holiday photosynthesis feast happening. In "Tropical Fish Magazine," writer Laura Muha notes that tank placement relative to sunlight entering a room can be a problem, too -- and it can change by season. Muha writes that she chose a spot for an aquarium where sunlight wouldn't hit the tank, but then she realized that placement only worked in winter. In summer, enough sunlight came in through the windows that her tank began to have another algae outbreak. Muha also notes that bulbs need to be changed regularly as weak bulbs can help algae grow.
Does your tank have plants? Add some. Plants help control algae by grabbing all those lovely tank resources like light and food. Add plants if you can so that algae get crowded out.
Controlling algae can be difficult, but if you can get the light under control, you can have a cleaner tank. Aquariums should be fun to look at, so start on that algae control now.
For more information on maintaining your aquarium's environment, contact a store like Neptune's Tropical Fish.