Aquarium Rocks Can Cause RustThere are several possible culprits when it comes to freshwater aquarium rust. Everything from your sand or gravel to the decorative rocks in your aquarium can contribute to unwanted dirt, grime, or freshwater aquarium algae rust. Most commonly, the source of aquarium rust can be attributed to inappropriate rocks, sand, or plants being introduced into the ecosystem.

River sand, often called beach sand, should never be used in your aquarium. Most river sand will contain small amounts of iron particles which, over time, will cause rust in your aquarium. Furthermore, play sand displays the same characteristics. If you plan to have sand in your aquarium, I suggest purchasing refined sand from your local pet supply shop.

Aquarium Plants Can Cause RustAnother common cause of freshwater aquarium algae rust is rocks containing iron being introduced into the ecosystem. Many people will find interesting rocks and want to add them to their aquarium. However, you must be sure it is free of iron before it contaminates the water. I recommend buying iron free rocks from your local pet shop rather than using one that you have found.

Silk plants can seem like a very attractive addition to your aquarium, but can have a metal wire to keep the plant standing. After several years of aging, the metal wire eventually makes contact with the water and begins to generate rust. If you plan to use silk plants, choose a brand that offers a plastic stem core.

The Effects of Rust on a Freshwater Ecosystem

High levels of rust in your aquarium can be harmful to your fish. If metals come into contact with the water that release rust into the system, the fish may be prone to problems with their slime coat or nervous systems. These types of problems can often lead to the death of your fish or an unbalanced aquarium. For this reason, it is very important to keep freshwater aquarium algae rust out of the ecosystem.

Treating and Preventing Rust

AquariumTreating and preventing rust in your freshwater aquarium is as simple as maintaining control of the metallic elements you use to decorate or monitor your aquarium. Avoid using anything corrosive or prone to rust including rocks, plants, sand, and gravel when creating your layout. Always remember to change your water frequently and to use water with little or no iron content. Staying within these boundaries will allow you to enjoy your fish and avoid complications due to freshwater aquarium algae rust and the subsequent harm it can cause.

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