Tuesday Tech Tips - How To Easily Remove Coralline Algae from Pumps

Coralline algae is great. We love the crusty purple stuff when it covers the live rock in our reef or FOWLR aquariums. But when coralline algae grows to much, it can become a problem. Scraping it off the glass is simple enough, just use and aquarium scraper. But scraping it off your circulation pumps, heaters and other internal equipment and plumbing can be a very time consuming task. Here's how to easily remove the unwanted coralline algae growth from your pumps and other equipment.

You'll need a plastic bucket or container large enough for your pumps or equipment that you want to clean. Pick up a few gallons of distilled white vinegar at your local Dollar Tree or 99 Cents Only store. Fill the bucket with enough white vinegar to ensure that your pumps are completely submersed in the vinegar. Now wait a few hours.

After soaking, remove the pump from the vinegar and using a soft tooth brush, scrub off the coralline algae while holding the pump under running water. The coralline algae will easily come right off the pump with little to no effort. If you do encounter resistance with a particularly stubborn spot of algae, just re-soak the pump in the vinegar, then repeat the brush and rinse until the difficult spot comes off.

This should be performed on pump exterior housings, impellers, screens, and heaters, loc line return plumbing pieces and any other pieces of equipment that are covered in coralline alage. This will help ensure your equipment keeps performing at it's optimal rate, and that you get to enjoy the crusty pruple stuff where you want it... on your live rock!