8-07-2021, 22:20
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Many aquarists are surprised that algae can grow on a sponge filter that is supposed to filter out impurities, but it is actually not strange and is not a cause for concern.

Algae on sponge filters

First you need to know how a sponge filter works to understand how algae can grow on it. A sponge filter is a very simple filter device with one main filter medium, which is a sponge. When water enters the sponge nozzle, large debris and waste materials collect on the surface of the sponge. These waste products are mainly organic matter, which in turn makes a good fertiliser for the plants, and algae are no exception. This makes the sponge filter an excellent breeding ground for algae.

Cleaning the sponge filter from algae

The advantage of a sponge filter is that it is relatively easy to clean. All you need to do is remove it from the water filter and rinse it in water.

You should not use tap water to wash the sponge filter. You should use aquarium water. This is best done with a weekly water change. Instead of draining the aquarium water, first rinse the filter element in it. The reason you should not use tap water is that the sponge filter also contains colonies of beneficial bacteria which ensure the biological filtration of the aquarium water. Chlorine in tap water will kill the beneficial bacteria and disturb the biological balance.

But a simple sponge filter cleaning for algae is a temporary solution. You need to get to the root of the problem, why algae is growing in your aquarium. Once you solve this problem, you will no longer have to clean the algae on your sponge filters.

Aquarium sponge filter

Causes of algae on sponge filters

Algae are a type of plant, and if you know what is required for their normal development, it is easy to prevent them from spreading in the aquarium. Like all plant forms, algae need sunlight and nutrients. Without these, algae can never develop.

Above all, pay attention to the position of the aquarium indoors. Is it located in a place that gets plenty of sunlight every day? Is it near a window? Plenty of sunlight is ideal for algae growth. If possible, move the aquarium to a location with less sunlight.

Next, are there too many free-floating nutrients in your aquarium? These substances result from decomposing food which the fish did not eat, as well as from fish waste. Are you overfeeding the fish by letting the food dissolve in the water but the fish do not finish it off? Avoid this in any case and give the fish as much food as they can eat within 10 - 20 minutes. It is better to underfeed the fish.

To limit the amount of plant nutrients in the aquarium, you can plant ornamental aquarium plants that compete fiercely with the algae for food, oppressing the latter.

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