When it comes to saltwater and reef aquariums, coralline algae is a familiar sight. It brightens up live rock with shades of pink or purple, adding an appealing aesthetic touch. However, its tendency to grow on the inside walls of your aquarium and equipment can present a challenge, especially given its hard calcareous deposits within its cell walls.
Understanding Coralline Algae in Aquariums
- Coralline algae add a splash of color to live rock in saltwater and reef aquariums, turning the dull, natural appearance into vibrant shades of pink or purple.
- Besides live rock, coralline algae will also grow on the aquarium's inner walls and equipment.
- Unlike other types of algae, coralline algae has calcareous deposits within its cell walls, making it difficult to remove.
Removing Coralline Algae from Glass Aquariums
- Use an algae scraper with a stainless steel blade to remove coralline algae from glass aquariums.
- Regular cleaning can prevent algae buildup, making removal easier.
- Be careful while scraping around the aquarium's seams to avoid peeling off the silicone glue.
- For quality scraping tools, Kent Marine's Pro Scraper Short and Pro Scraper 12" come highly recommended.
Keeping Your Aquarium Equipment Clean
It's not just the walls of your aquarium that can end up covered in coralline algae. Submerged equipment, including powerhead covers, can also become encrusted. These covers, which have slots to allow water flow and prevent livestock from getting in, become less efficient when the algae slowly covers these slots.
For an effective cleaning solution, try using Crystal Clear Aquatics Zap-Cal Descaler. By soaking the encrusted equipment in this solution, you'll find the algae turning white, usually within thirty minutes. At this point, you can remove the equipment from the bath and scrub off the remaining white coating using a nylon brush.
Zap-Cal Descaler: A Reliable Solution
The manufacturer of Zap-Cal Descaler assures that it's safe to use with a range of materials - plastic, ceramic, rubber, PVC, titanium, copper, nickel, and even stainless steel (for short-term use). Not only does it effectively combat coralline algae, but it also tackles other common types of algae quickly and effectively.
How often should I clean my aquarium to prevent coralline algae buildup
Regular cleaning is key to managing coralline algae. Ideally, you should clean your aquarium once a week. This helps prevent a stubborn build-up of algae, making removal easier. However, the frequency might vary depending on the specific conditions of your aquarium.
Can I use the same scraper for both glass and acrylic aquariums?
No, you should not use the same scraper for both types of aquariums. Glass aquariums require an algae scraper with a stainless steel blade, while acrylic aquariums, being prone to scratching, require a gentler tool. Kent Marine's Short Pro-Scraper with a plastic blade is recommended for cleaning acrylic aquariums.
Is Zap-Cal Descaler safe to use on all types of aquarium equipment
According to the manufacturer, Zap-Cal Descaler is safe to use with plastic, ceramic, rubber, PVC, titanium, copper, and nickel. For short-term use, it can also be used with stainless steel. It's effective at removing not only coralline algae, but also other common types of algae quickly and effectively.