How to Clean Algae from Java Moss?

Algae can form in the tank when water condition is suitable to grow. In most cases, the bright light contributes to the fast growth of the algae. The imbalance of the algae production in the water may consume large space and reduce the java moss plant growth.

It is vital to take precautions while growing the java moss. Once the algae overtake the java moss plant, they occupy the big region in the water and start decaying the plants.

How to clean algae from java moss? Algae grow on the leaves of the plant, blocking the light from reaching the leaves. As a result, the plant will not produce a sufficient amount of food and eventually die.

Table of Contents

We will discuss the algae removal method of the algae from the java moss plant without damaging the stem and leaves.

The most common method used by the aquarist is to remove the algae from the java moss plant using the ripping process. Remove the visible part of the algae and then lower the phosphate and nitrate level in the tank.

Also, dim the light in the aquarium so it will reduce the growth of the algae. The light is essential for the algae. Without it, they cannot produce food and may not multiply.

How to clean algae from java moss
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Direct sunlight also contributes to the fast growth of the algae. If your tank is near the window or in the place where direct sunlight hits the tank, then move it to the place where the sunlight will not reach the tank. Or block the area where the sunlight hits.

How can I keep Java Moss Clean?

The following step-by-step guide will help you to clean the java moss plant.

Turn off your filter:

While cleaning the java moss plant, there will be small particles of the waste product and the algae on the plant. They will get detach from the plant and start moving in the water. If the pump is running, it will start attracting these particles and storing them in the filter, which may damage the filter. To avoid such a scenario, turn off the filter or remove it from the tank while cleaning the java moss plant.

Rip the algae:

Use the gentle movement of the hand to remove the algae from the plant. Save as many java moss plant leaves as possible. Do not worry if it leaves great breaks during the ripping. It will grow back when you put them back in the tank. Clean it properly and check it upside down to ensure there are not algae left on the plant. At least remove what is visible.

Use a toothbrush:

The small bits of algae would not be possible to remove with the bear hand. Use the toothbrush to wash the leaves and stem of the plant. The brushing method will remove most of the algae from the java moss plant.


Put the lightning as minimal as possible. Algae grow in bright light rapidly. Java moss plant doesn’t require bright light to grow, so you can control the lighting and reduce the plant’s growth.

Move tank from the direct sunlight:

Ensure that the tank is kept in the room where it is not close the window, or direct sunlight reaches the tank. Use the black aquarium film to block the outside of the tank. This will protect the java moss from the exponential growth of the algae.

Algae eating fish:

There are several fish breed that eats the algae found in the tank. Introduce the algae-eating fish to your tank to keep control of the algae growth. They will eat the algae and process it without damaging the java moss plant. Siamese algae eater is most used in the aquarium tank.

Clean your filter:

The filter also attracts a large number of algae. It gets stuck in the filter and grows inside. It may not be visible from the outside of the filter, but you will see the green substance developed inside the filter when you remove the component. Clean it under the running water and remove all the algae from the water.

Why are Algae Growing in Java Moss?

There are several reasons why the algae can grow on the java moss plant. Here is the list of the common cause that supports the growth of the algae in the tank.

Water condition:

When the water quality drops, the algae start growing on the plant and other objects available in the tank. Algae also grow inside part of the glass. Therefore, it is vital to clean the tank frequently to avoid growth and stabilize the water condition.

Bright light:

Algae require a light source to produce food and nutrition. Without the light, the algae may die, and it will stop spreading in the water. Find the bright light source in your tank. It can be LED or direct sunlight reaching your tank from different angles.

Block the light source if it is coming from the sun. If the LED is the culprit, then use the black aquarium film to block the light.

Too much waste product:

The waste product starts decaying in the tank if it is not removed from the tank in time. It produces a suitable environment in the tank that attracts the algae. As time passes, the algae will take place in the tank, and eventually, it will start growing on the plant and everything available in the tank.

How can I Remove Hair Algae from Java Moss?

Use these methods to remove the hair algae from the java moss plant.

  • Turn off your filter before beginning the cleaning process.
  • Rip the hair algae with the hand from the java moss plant.
  • Start with removing the small bits of hair algae.
  • Use the toothbrush to remove the algae.
  • Reduce the brightness of the light.
  • Remove exposure to direct sunlight.
  • Add a fast-growing plant to the aquarium.
  • Clean your filter under running water.

Get rid of Green Spot Algae in Java Moss

The green spot algae may damage the java moss plant. It is hard to remove, so you need special attention while cleaning the java moss plant. Use the scrub process to remove the spot algae from the leaves. Scrape off the surface of the plant. Some aquarist uses the razor blade to remove the spot algae from the plant.

The scrubbing method using the blade removes the sport easily without damaging the plant leaves. You should not use sharp objects on acrylic aquariums. It will damage the acrylic layer. Choose alternative options such as a plastic razor, cloth pad, or scouring pad.

Will Algae Kill Java Moss?

Yes. The algae can reduce the growth of the java moss and may harm the plant. If no care is taken, eventually, the plant will die. The Algae are difficult to remove using the traditional method.

It requires patience and experience to remove the algae from the java moss plant. The leaves of the java moss plants are very delicate. If you try to remove the algae with the hand, it will break the leaves and damage the plant entirely.

Due to the delicacy of the java moss plant, many aquarists prefer starting from the fresh instead of spending time removing the algae from the plant. If you want to save your java moss, then use the soft brush to clean the algae.

Alternatively, put the java moss under the running water and clean it with a hand. It washes out all the algae and gives you a fresh start.

How to get Rid of Spread Algae in Java Moss?

The spread of algae in the aquarium could be most challenging as it can harm the growth of the java moss. Also, the algae drop the water quality. Cleaning the water frequently is one of the solutions to stop the algae from spreading.

As the water condition becomes suitable for the algae and there are sufficient lights in the tank, the growth of the algae automatically begins. Initially, the algae will take place on the leaves. As soon as the first layer is covered, the algae growth will explode.

When you found the algae is spreading in the tank on the java moss plant, immediately remove the plant and wash it under the running water. Rip the algae from the plant and give it a nice cleaning job. Use the brush if the alga is not getting removed easily.

Ensure that the java moss plant stays safe during the cleaning process. Try to remove as much as possible. However, many aquarists prefer having the new java moss plant if the algae occupy it. Removing the algae from the plant is time-consuming and may not get eradicated. If you put the plant back in the aquarium, it may grow quickly.

How do I get Rid of Algae without Killing Java Moss?

Removing the algae from the java moss could be a trickier part. The java moss has tiny size leaves, making it difficult to scrub the algae from the plant. When you apply the scrub or the brush, the plant leaves will be a break, damaging the plant.

The only way to clean the java moss is to use the running water and try to be as gentle as possible while spraying the java moss.

The algae grow rapidly and cover the entire plant. They might have reached the middle section of the plant, where it is difficult to remove. Use the bear hands and start ripping the algae from the plant slowly. Put some effort while working on the removal process.

Another way of stopping the algae from growing on the java moss is to increase the phosphate and nitrate level in the plant. The chemicals will stop the further growth of the algae and kill the progress. Once you see the dense area is clear, you can wash the java moss in water and eliminate the algae.

Are LED Lights Effects for Growing more Algae in Java Moss?

Yes. The LED light put on the low level may not affect the algae growth. Hence you should always have dim light in the aquarium. The bright light is suitable for algae growth. The bright light can be coming from the LED or the direct sunlight. Any source of bright light would support the growth of the algae in the aquarium.

Can Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Algae in Java Moss?

Hydrogen peroxide is a lethal chemical. You should avoid using it in the aquarium. It not only kills pathogens and algae, but the process is also harmful to other living beings such as plants and fish.

While using Hydrogen peroxide, use the proper measurement to avoid damage to the living being. It is suggested that you keep the java moss plant in a separate tank when conducting the cleaning process.

How Long it Takes to Kill Algae in Java Moss?

The algae can grow in all kinds of water conditions, so there is no timeline of how much time it will take to kill the entire algae from the java moss. The process that you apply determines who long the algae will sustain in the tank.

If you frequently clean the java moss plant and remove the algae from it, the aquarium will be algae-free after a few weeks. Also, reduce the light exposure so there will be no impact on the growth of the algae in the tank.

Can Baking Soda Kill Algae in Java Moss?

Yes. Use the baking soda while cleaning the java moss plant. Apply the baking soda with the help of the brush on the java moss plant. Rub the brush gently and ensure that it is not harsh on the leaves. Active ingredients of baking soda kill the algae and detach it from the java moss plant. It is also effective in spot treatment and kills the spot algae on the plant.

Do Algae Reduce Nitrates in Java Moss?

Yes. The algae support reduces the toxic part of the nitrogen cycle from the water and helps the java moss to thrive. It also helps the other microorganism to thrive and help the water to stay clean. Having algae in the water will reduce the nitrate at a great level.

Most Common Algae for Java Moss

Here is the type of algae found in the java moss. They develop when the water condition is good and attract more microorganisms to the aquarium.

  • Black Beard Algae (Audouinella/Black Brush Algae/BBA)
  • Blanket Weed (Cladophora)
  • Blue-Green Algae (BGA)
  • Brown Algae (Diatoms)
  • Fuzz Algae.
  • Green Aquarium Water Algae.
  • Green Dust Algae (GDA)
  • Green Spot Algae (GSA/Coleochaete Orbicularis)


Special care is needed when you discover the algae in the java moss plant. Ignoring the algae growth will affect the health of the plant as well as impact the water condition. You must take immediate action and clean the plant before it occupies the entire aquarium start killing the plant life.

Follow the given method and keep the java moss safe in the aquarium.

By Uswatta Liyanage

Hello. I'm Uswatta Liyanage from Galle, Sri Lanka. I am the founder of this website. Since my childhood I'm an aqua plant lover and I have professionally learned more about aqua plants. So I created this site for share my knowledge and experience with all of you. Now you can refer my site and feel free to contact me if any inquiry.