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Category: Aquarium Page 2 of 3

How to get rid of black algae in an aquarium

For years, well really nearly 3 decades, my father and I have been raising tropical freshwater fish. Occasionally the tank will somehow acquire a growth of black algae.

Black algae is insidious. Once you get it it is impossible to get rid of without tearing the tank apart and bleaching everything. The danger here is that bleach is highly toxic to fish. Even a single drop can kill off an entire 120 gallon tank full of fish.

Maybe the most popularly debated topic online is how to get rid of black algae, and until now nothing has worked.

I accidentally ran across the answer over a month ago!!! Here it is:

My heater (~16 years old!) failed and failed on. The temperature in the tank spiked to 110F before I noticed.

Over the weeks the tank, which previously was completely covered with black algae, has cleared up. Even the normal green algae is gone!

I do not recommend getting your tank that hot with the fish in it. All but 2 of my fish died :(. You can put them in a temporary holding tank, or buckets, while you heat up the tank.

I am curious to know of anyone else out there who has tried this method and how it worked for you.

Edit (Feb 2017): Noting from a commenter- My tank did not have any live plants in it. They are all plastic.

Here are a couple pics of my tank today. I wish I had a before pic to show you, even the plants were covered in the black algae.

IMG_2518 IMG_2519


Ocellaris Clown Fish

From Kaijas in Chehalis, WA

Jokes on you!

When I travel the fish usually rip apart the plants in their tank. Usually this indicates they are not getting enough food, but these fish are vindictive. They never eat the plants, just tear them up to let me know they are unhappy.

For a couple weeks now their tank has been barren and plantless. Typically I prefer live plants but in this situation I opted for som plastic plants. The green color really enhances the tank appearance. Tried two plants to see how they look and fake plants have come a long way since I was a child.

Try to destroy these plants suckers!


New family member- spunky albino Angelfish

Meet the newest member of my aquatic family. A spunky albino Angelfish.


This is the first albino angel I have had. Looking forward to watching its interactions.

A cloud of Angels


Click me!

This morning the baby Angelfish in my tank took their first strokes at free swimming. Up till this point they had been securely attached to their spawn point on the log. This evening when I came home all the babies had detached from the log and were swimming in a cloud of cuteness around momma.

This is pretty exciting for me! I never expected to have Angels spawn in such a small crowded community tank, but not only  have they spawned three times they have so far successfully hatched and raised their babies for a week!

The next few days will be the tricky part. Now that the babies are free swimming they are much harder for the parents to control and easily become targets for any nearby fish looking for dessert. So far the other fish are being kept near the bottom of the tank and under the log (They would have plants to hide in if they did not throw tantrums when I go to conferences and rip them up).


The parents are looking noticeably stressed at this point. I hope they can handle the next few days ok till the babies can fend for themselves. Feeding time was particularly difficult. I have to feed the other fish so they do not want to eat the babies as much, but the food comes down from the top. The parents had a few minutes of freak out while the food slowly settled to the bottom, but they are looking much better now.

I am excited to see how the next few days go! A hundred new Angelfish sure are going to push the tank to the limits till they are old enough to take to the fish store.

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