It doesn’t take a lot of light to grow algae. In fact, it’s not uncommon for algae to grow in really dimly lit areas, such as under live rock overhangs, in shady spots in the sump, or in the tubes of your overflow boxes and various other equipment. Because of this, you must assume that algae can basically get into anywhere, which causes problems for our aquarium’s equipment. Even if the algae isn’t the specific problem, other organisms like sponges and tube worms can grow on various surfaces, also causing issues with our equipment. Because of this, it is crucial to regularly clean pumps, powerheads, protein skimmers, etc. While the buildup of organisms may never cause a particular piece of equipment to fail, they can certainly hinder the normal operation of these items.