If you are having algae issues and attempt to manually remove it or kill it with a lights out technique, for example, you’re not actually fixing the problem, but rather putting a band aid over it. Algae growth is a symptom of excess nutrients, and by killing or removing the algae, you actually aren’t solving the nutrient problem at all. Sure, the algae will have some nutrients stored in its tissue, but unless the nutrients are decreased, the algae will just return. To remove the nutrients, water changes are the best solution, and various media and algae remove them from the water. Unfortunately, no solution is without its drawbacks, so it’s best to just pick whatever works best for you.