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How Long Does It Take for Algae to Grow? (Explained)

A large group of eukaryotic organisms that survive with carbon dioxide and sunlight through photosynthesis are known as algae. They are non-flowering aquatic plants that live in groups. They lack true stems and leaves, but they are cultivated and have many socio-economic values.

 They are an essential part of our natural environment. 

We are discussing how long it takes for algae to grow, the different environments they grow in, and when they succeed; what are the leading causes of algae to produce; what makes algae grow faster, and how to stop them from growing in ponds, pools, aquariums, or fish tanks?

How long does it take for algae to grow?

Algae take about 20 to 30 days to grow, about 3 to 4 weeks. Algae grow almost double in 24 hours. Algae grow faster with nutrients and sunlight, creating warmer temperatures in the epipelagic zone. Algae grow about 200 to 300 meters, almost 60 feet above.

Algae grow really fast if they get their required nutrients for photosynthesis, which are sunlight and carbon dioxide. Algae can be seen growing in any region, in pools, in the ocean, in concrete, in damp places, especially where sunlight does not reach, creating a moist and slippery surface.

If they get enough carbon dioxide, they take about 30 days to grow fully and almost double in size in 24 hours. With 15 to 16 hours of sunlight, they grow to their full potential. They grow really well in 60 degrees to 70 degrees of Fahrenheit/ 15 degrees Celsius to 21 degrees. 

In Pool:

Algae can grow in the pool if they aren’t regularly checked and maintained. Pool algae can be the source of many host parasites like salmonella etc. The pool turns greenish and slippery and is not safe for children to go inside. 

Misbalanced chlorine levels can also be the reason for pool algae.  

In ponds:

Algae blooms are mainly caused by some kind of imbalance in the water. Algae rise to an extensive level if the nutrients level increase in the water. An excessive amount of sunlight can also really accelerate the growth of algae in ponds.

This makes it harder for the other pond animals to survive like small fishes. Lack of pond filtration and mismanagement of fish food and fish production can also be the causes of pond algae blooms. 

In fish tank:

Fishtank sometimes gets infected with and algae overgrowth because of lack of proper care. Fish tanks should be cleaned regularly and checked for an imbalance in the water.

These mismanagements might lead to severe damages to the fish as well. Too much use of sunlight or keeping the lights on for too long can also cause fish tank algae to grow extensively. 

In diesel fuel:

Alage microbes require nutrients and water to survive in diesel fuel. Sometimes diesel fuel has both due to undertreatment. And open diesel fuel and water give them the scope to grow on. 

But it is not possible for them to grow in complete black diesel fuel without water.

In standing water:

Chlorophyta, the green algae, can be seen growing in still water, especially with sunlight over them and temperature over 40 degrees Fahrenheit. They form a goopy/ slimy shape and gets sticky when it comes in contact. 

They grow rapidly in standing water due to getting direct sunlight and nutrients. 

In ocean:

In the above layer of ocean water, there is a great amount of oxygen that is not available inside and a good amount of sunlight. Thus algae grow up to 60 feet in the ocean water to reach the above surface. 

On concrete:

Algae grew on concrete or cement when they stay damp for an extended amount of time. We can see algae growth in humid temperatures and climate.

When it rains continuously for a couple of days, there form algae. You can get rid of it by using bleach. They can severely damage the concrete by discoloring the concrete if left untreated. 

When do algae grow?

Algae grow mostly in too much sunlight. When there is an imbalance in water, significantly increasing an element or nutrients, it causes algae to bloom in extensive amounts, damaging the water environment. 

In pools and lakes:

If the pool water circulation is not regulated, there are signs of algae, and the filtration is not done properly. Chlorine imbalance also possesses a vital role in algae growth in pools. Lakes also need to be circulated regularly. 

In fish tanks:

Algae grow in fish tanks if they are not cleaned properly and if too much fish food or other waste is left inside. It also blooms more if there is more sunlight and if the lights are kept on for long periods of time inside the tank.

These are some of the unsupervised reasons that cause algae to bloom in pools, lakes, and fish tanks. 

What are the main causes of algae to grow? 

Like all natural processes of the aquatic ecosystem, algae is no different from that. They require sufficient light to grow and will indeed grow more vigorously under sustained bright light, the presence of excess nutrients is also a requirement for this to grow. 

Some of the causes are explained below –

Excess sunlight:

During summer when the water temperature is higher due to excessive sunlight because of the temperature in the water.

Imbalance in water:

Polluted water is another reason for algae growth ponds, rivers, and lakes that are polluted have been discovered with more algae.

Oxygen Level:

Algae grow when the amount of dissolved oxygen is low in the water. In that case, phosphate in the water column is released by sediments. This causes algae to grow, which scares many hobbyists into keeping their tanks in the dark rooms.

Too many nutrients:

Algae can also be produced due to nutrient pollution. Too many nutrients are given, mainly phosphorus and nitrogen, which generally act as a fertilizer but can also act as the reason for excessive algae.

What makes algae grow faster?

Algae grow faster for different reasons in different environments. We are mentioning some of the reasons why it can lead to an overgrowth in algae below: 

Warm water or cold water:

They grow more in warm water than in cold water. Warmer temperature makes it easier for algae to grow more. They grow twice as fast with more sunlight and warm temperatures than in normal circumstances. 

From 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit is the best temperature for algae to grow.  

Shade or sun:

They grow faster in the sun than in the shade. Sunlight is essential for the growth of algae. In water bodies with ample sunlight, algae will grow really fast. On the other hand, in concrete, algae stay longer for shade and dampness. 

Saltwater or freshwater:

Algae grow both in saltwater and freshwater. Green algae can be seen growing in saltwater during summer seasons, and algae grow over rocks in freshwater. 

High or low pH:

Algae grow more in high pH than in low pH from 7 to 9 pH, algae grow rapidly, with the optimum level being pH 8. That means algae like to grow in alkaline water rather than acidic water. The higher the pH, the more alkaline the water gets, the better for algae to thrive in.

These are some of the reasons and factors that can make the algae grow faster in rate and also make it slower to bloom.

How to keep algae from growing in ponds, pools, aquariums, or fish tanks?

Algae can be a significant problem once they start to grow. It can be a life risk as it becomes slippery and damp. It also becomes the host for many bacteria and parasites like salmonella and others. 

 In ponds, they can limit fish food, making it harder for them to survive. In aquariums or fish tanks, they can be life-threatening to your pet fishes. They can also ruin the pools and concrete and walls, types of cement by discoloring them permanently.

We are mentioning some ways how you can keep them from growing in the places mentioned above: 

Don’t keep the unwanted amount of foods:

Don’t keep the unwanted amount of foods in the water meant for the fish, and keep the water bodies clean.

Filter the water:

Filter the water regularly and try to keep the water in circulation instead of steady or standstill. 

Clean up regularly:

In aquariums, try to clean up regularly and keep away from much sunlight and keep the lights off from time to time.

Add water bodies:

Try to add water bodies in the water, like water hyacinths or water lilies that will take up their space and won’t let them bloom as much. 

Regular check:

The pool water should be regularly checked for chlorine or any other imbalances and should not be kept for a long amount of time without being regulated. 

Final Thoughts

Algae grow in different areas for different reasons. With wet or dry areas, shaded or unshaded regions, saltwater or freshwater, high pH or low pH, etc. In 30 days, they can increase ten times their initial length. Circulation, regulation, and filtration are essential to free algae bloom.