How To Clean Algae Off Aquarium Decorations: Keeping a Clean Tank

Last Updated on October 21, 2022 by admins

Algae can not only look bad, but it can also be problematic for your fish. Knowing how to clean algae off aquarium decorations can help create a healthy and attractive environment in your aquarium. It is an important step in aquarium care.

Aquarium decorations can be a hotspot for algae. However, with the right care, you can not only clean algae off, but also help prevent it from growing. Though it can be frustrating to deal with, there are many ways to deal with the algae problem in your tank.

What Causes Algae in Aquariums?

Many things can cause algae to grow in your aquarium. With the right environment, it can quickly grow and spread in your fish tank. Fortunately, with the right steps, you can help stop algae growth, keeping your fish tank clean and healthy.

Too much light

Though light can be beneficial for your aquarium, too much can lead to algae growth. Algae thrive in light and the lighter, the more that algae will spread and grow. Avoid placing your fish tank in direct sunlight and don’t keep your aquarium lights on for too long.


Overfeeding your fish can cause all sorts of problems in your aquarium, one of them being algae. When the food does not get eaten, it will increase the phosphate levels in your aquarium, which can help algae grow. Be sure to avoid overfeeding your fish and remove any excess food from your fish tank.

Still water

Stagnant water is ideal for algae growth. With direct sunlight and stagnant water, your aquarium comes the perfect environment to grow algae. Be sure that your aquarium has adequate water flow.

Lack of regular cleaning

Lack of cleaning allows leftover food and fish waste to build up. This can promote the growth of algae, as your water is dirty. Be sure to clean your aquarium every week to help keep it clean. Cleaning aquarium decorations is also an important step in keeping algae away.

Lack of regular water changes

Regular water changes help keep your aquarium water healthy and it is one of the most important steps in preventing algae. If you don’t regularly change the water, the dirty water can promote algae growth. Change 10-15% of your water every week in your aquarium to prevent algae growth.

How To Remove Algae From Fish Tank Decorations

As soon as you see algae, you should clean your fish tank. Certain types of algae can be problematic for the fish and even plants in your aquarium. Though it can be stubborn to remove, there are several effective ways to help get rid of it.

Fish tank decorations are one of the most common spots that algae will grow on and be sure not to forget about cleaning plastic aquarium plants. Due to their shapes and textures, they can be a bit tricky to clean. However, with the proper steps, you can remove the annoying algae.

  • Bleach solution

Bleach is a common household cleaner that can effectively clean bleach off of aquarium decorations. When done right, it will remove all of the algae from the decorations.

First, remove the decorations from the fish tank. Fill a bucket up with four teaspoons of bleach and two gallons of warm water. If you need more water, simply follow the formula of 5% bleach and 95% water.

Allow the decorations to soak in the bleach solution for ten to fifteen minutes, or when you begin to see the algae coming off. Dirter decorations may need more time to soak to ensure the algae comes off. However, you want to avoid soaking the decorations for over an hour as this may cause discoloration.

Once they are ready, use a brush to get off all the algae and clean any cracks or crevices. Thoroughly rinse off the aquarium decorations with cold water.

After rinsing them in cold water, place them back into a bucket of warm water. Allow them to soak overnight to make sure all the bleach is off, as bleach is harmful to fish. After they are done soaking, return the decorations to your aquarium.

Learn more about: What Makes Aquarium Water Cloudy?

  • Vinegar solution

Another common household product, vinegar can be used to remove algae from decorations. White vinegar is a safe and effective way to clean your fish tank decor.

After removing your decorations from the aquarium, place them in a bucket with 120 mL of white vinegar and a half-gallon of water. Allow them to soak in the vinegar solution for ten to fifteen minutes.

After they have soaked, scrub the decorations off with a brush and then rinse them with warm water. After you have thoroughly mixed them off, you can return them to your fish tank.

  • Boiled water

Boiling water is a safe and easy way to clean your decorations. Simply bring a pot of water to a boil and place your decorations inside. Lower the heat and allow them to soak for fifteen to twenty minutes.

After soaking, scrub off the decorations and then rinse them with cold water. Then, you can place them back in the tank.

  • Buy algae-eating fish

Algae-eating fish will help clean up any algae growing on your decorations. Popular species include Bristlenose plecos, Siamese algae eaters, Chinese algae eaters, Twig Catfish and Otocinclus Catfish. Not only do they do a great job at getting rid of algae in your fish tank, but they are also fun to watch.

Plecostomus cleaning aquarium

How To Clean Algae Off Aquarium Decorations: Keeping a Clean Tank

Algae can cause all sorts of problems in your fish tank and can easily build up on your plastic plants and decorations. Fortunately, you can clean it off with a bleach solution, vinegar solution, boiling water, or algae-eating fish. It is important you regularly care for your tank and create a healthy environment to help prevent it from growing.

Do you have any questions on how to clean algae off aquarium decorations? If so, please ask your algae cleaning questions in the comment section below.

Fish Tank Double-Sided Sponge Brush Cleaner

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