The 360owater conditioner. Comprehensive and super-concentrated formula removes chlorine & chloramines and detoxifies heavy metals, ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Contains soothing Aloe Vera extract.
One of the most powerful ways to improve tank performance is also the simplest: Regular water change in a mindful way.
It is practised in the largest world-class aquariums, and should be done even in a the smallest desktop tank. While a tank looks naturalistic, it is not naturally self-sustaining. Organic waste (much of which cannot be measured by hobbyist test kits) accumulates and not everything can be digested by the tank's bio-filter.
The #1 algae trigger is decomposing organic matter. Remove all decaying leaves. Stem plants require replanting after pruning a few times. Unlike terrestrial hardwoods, older aquatic stems generally deteriorate over time. Remove and discard old stems and roots.
Instead of simply draining water, use a pipette or turkey baster to gently stir up detritus on the surface of plants and substrate. Take care not to stir up deeper levels of the substrate. Vacuum the detritus away while draining away around 40% of the tank's water.
Add a comprehensive 360 water conditioner directly into the tank and refill, taking care not to stir up the deeper levels of substrate. If you are keeping sensitive livestock, pre-mix the water conditioner in a separate container before adding the conditioned water into the aquarium.
Tap water: Today most urban tap water contains between 0.2ppm and 2ppm of Chlorine and Chloramines (a more stable form of Chlorine).
This is high enough to kill water-borne diseases, but low enough for human consumption. However this level is sufficient to harm fish and destroy the beneficial bacteria in an aquarium.
Regular water changes: It is worth the effort to change ~40% of the tank water regularly. At least monthly for a slow growing, fully planted tank with a light fish load. More frequently for tanks with higher bio loads. Regular water change helps keep algae at bay by removing organic waste that is not digested by microbial action (and not measurable by hobbyist test kits). When performed the 2Hr Way, it significantly reduces the prime algae triggers of detritus and decaying matter. It also helps to remove algae spores.