Do Fish Eat Algae?

By Julie •  Updated: 12/20/20 •  3 min read
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Have you ever walked by your aquarium and noticed a greenish tinge on the glass? If so, it’s probably algae. Left to develop it can quickly cover everything in the tank! Even the most well-balanced tanks can develop an algae problem once in a while.

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Then there are times when it seems like no matter what you do, algae won’t go away.

When the tank gets to this state, do the fish eat the algae?

Is Algae Bad for the Aquarium?

No, it’s not all bad. That’s because algae are very small aquatic organisms that use photosynthesis to stay alive, much likes plants. It’s similar to seaweeds you may find washed up on the shore near the ocean. It’s also a lot like that pond scum you see on ponds and lakes.

In the tank algae can help keep it clean and filter out the bad stuff in the water. And it gives the tank a more natural look. However, you may not want too much algae because it can cover over your view, as well as cover everything in the tank.

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Why is There So Much Algae in my Tank?

Algae is caused by an imbalance of nutrients and the lighting in your tank. This is especially the case if your Aquarium is planted with live plants, and there’s too much lighting. This can lead to an overabundance of algae.

And just the opposite is also true. If you give the live plants too many nutrients, and not enough light, the algae will also over grow.

Do Fish Eat Algae?

Yes, they do. You may notice almost any type of fish pecking at the algae. This is fine and is completely safe; however, you should never make algae the only food source for your fish. If you do this, the fish will starve and die from lack of nutrition.

Having said that, there are certain fish that use algae as part of their food source.

These include:

Even though these fish can safely eat a lot of algae, it’s still best to provide the right fish food for them. They need a balanced diet. This is especially true of pregnant fish (including the livebearers).

So, yes, fish can eat algae as part of a balanced diet. However, never let algae be their only food source. Your beautiful tropical fish will become sick and die if they don’t have a balanced diet.

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Julie

Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.

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