For the exploration of an effective and economical method to treat composite raw tannery effluent, the integrated approach of Ozonation and phycoremediation was followed. In a lab-scale Ozone reactor, the highest performance index was attained, when it was operated at a low O3 flowrate (2 g/h) condition. The tannery effluent partially treated by Ozonation (≈60% COD removed in 90 min) with the ozone consumption of 1.5 g of O3/g of COD, at pH 7.6, coupled with phycoremediation had improved the tannery effluent characteristics to a considerable extent. Overall, the maximum reduction in pollutant concentration attained with the combined treatment was 84% for COD, 60% for colour, 100% for odour, 90% for inorganic carbon, 82% for NH4+- N, 100% for PO4–P, 97% for chromium and 10% for TDS. In phycoremediation, microalgae Nannochloropsis oculata had shown an enhanced growth (μ = 0.255 day−1) with a maximum cell density of 5.2 × 107 cells/mL, dry biomass of 0.86 g L−1 and cell division rate of 0.369 day−1. Elemental analysis of biomass validated the chromium remediation along with other elements such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, zinc, and iron from the tannery effluent. Therefore, the phycoremediation integrated ozone process can be considered as a feasible treatment method for tannery effluent along with value-added biomass production. © 2020 Elsevier Inc.