Live rock is really starting to become popular within the fish keeping community and more and more people are trying to integrate it into their aquarium setup.
Live rock can actually be surprisingly complicated though and we see many people have issues with setting it up correctly in their tanks.
This is why we see so many people reaching out with a number of different problems every single month and the number of questions about live rock that we see just keep on increasing.
For today’s article, we are going to be taking a look at why your live rock is turning green though as we have noticed a number of people reaching out worried about a green tint taking hold of their live rock.
Is It Normal For Live Rock To Start Turning Green?
The first thing that we want to point out is that it is actually fairly common for live rock to start turning green, especially if it has not been in your aquarium for very long.
This is because the algae and bacteria that are present on the live rock will start to grow and multiply once they are introduced into a new environment with plenty of food and water.
The good news is that this is actually a fairly normal process and it is nothing to worry about too much.
Your live rock will eventually stop turning green and it will start to develop a more natural look as the algae and bacteria start to die off and the natural ecosystem forms on your live rock.
Why Is My Live Rock Turning Green?
The algae and bacteria that are present on your live rock will start to multiply and grow very quickly in a new environment.
This is why it is not uncommon for your live rock to start turning green when you first add it to your aquarium.
The green algae is usually easy to identify on most live rock setups due to the obvious algae fibers giving it that algae texture so you can easily tell that the problem is due to algae.
The problem that most people struggle with is “coraline algae” due to it being flat on the rock and looking like the actual rock surface.
Although it is called coraline algae, it is actually a type of bacteria so algae eaters won’t eat it.
In fact, coraline algae can be difficult to grow in some aquarium setups and we see a number of people asking about how they are able to grow it on their live rock and if you have accidentally grown it then you can be one step ahead as coraline algae can be a great base for any live rock setup.
Neither the algae or coraline algae is usually an issue in most live rock setups though and many people within the aquarium keeping community who keep live rock in their tanks will intentionally add these to their tanks to add the green tint to their live rock.
How Do You Get Rid Of Green Algae On Live Rocks?
If you want to get rid of the green algae on your live rock then you are going to need to take some action and remove it manually.
Removing Coraline Algae
The good news is that this is actually a very easy process and it should only take you a few minutes to complete.
All you need to do is remove the live rock from your aquarium and then scrub it down with a toothbrush or similar brush.
You can then rinse the live rock off under some freshwater to remove any debris and then put it back into your aquarium.
This process should only need to be done every few weeks or so and it will help to keep the green algae from taking over your live rock.
Removing Green Algae
You can easily remove green algae from your live rock by manually removing it by hand or by adding algae eaters to your tank with some species of snails being an excellent option.
If you do not want to add any additional animals to your aquarium then you can also remove the green algae with chemical anti-algae products but we would not recommend it.
How Do I Stop My Live Rock Turning Green In The Future?
If you are looking to stop your live rock from turning green in the future then there are a few things that you can do which we will outline below.
Clean Your Tank Regularly
One of the best things that you can do to prevent your live rock from turning green is to keep your aquarium clean.
A clean aquarium will have less algae and bacteria present in it which will help to prevent your live rock from turning green.
You should aim to do a partial water change of around 10-15% every week and you should also vacuum the gravel at the bottom of your aquarium to remove any debris that has accumulated.
Feed Your Fish Properly
Another thing that you can do to help prevent your live rock from turning green is to make sure that you are feeding your fish properly.
Overfeeding your fish will cause them to produce more waste which will increase the amount of algae and bacteria in your aquarium.
It is best to feed your fish small amounts of food multiple times a day rather than one large meal as this will help to prevent overfeeding.
Add Some Live Plants
Adding some live plants to your aquarium can also help to prevent your live rock from turning green.
Live plants will compete with the algae for nutrients which will help to prevent the algae from taking over your live rock.
You should add a few different types of live plants to your aquarium and you can also add some fake plants if you prefer.
In conclusion, coraline algae and green algae are both types of algae that can grow on live rock.
Coraline algae is actually a type of bacteria so it is not usually an issue in most aquariums.
Green algae, on the other hand, can be more of a problem and it can take over your live rock if you do not take action to remove it.