Brown Algae

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Brown Algae

Postby plowkill » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:44 am

A while back I noticed a small patch of brown algae growing on an ornament in my tank so during my next water change I wiped it off and didn’t think too much about it. Yesterday I noticed the patch is back even larger and now there is some growing on my Emperor 400 upper intake vent cover.

Most likely I’m doing another water change today so I’m going to wipe it all clean again (it comes off easily enough). Am I looking at an outbreak, do I need to change something with my routine, and is it bad for the tank/fish?

I do at the min 1 large water change weekly but most the time I do 2 weekly and my tank lights are often off during the day while I’m at work and on once I get home and through the night.

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Re: Brown Algae

Postby Joe.Lemm » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:59 am

Brown algae isn't uncommon what size tank and what are your feeding habits? Also, how big are the water changes you do and do you have a water test kit to get an idea of water quality?

Once we know this, pinpointing a cause should be much easier!
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Re: Brown Algae

Postby plowkill » Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:24 pm

Joe.Lemm wrote:Brown algae isn't uncommon what size tank and what are your feeding habits? Also, how big are the water changes you do and do you have a water test kit to get an idea of water quality?

Once we know this, pinpointing a cause should be much easier!


Easy enough.

My tank size, fish, and filtration are in my signature below. I do 75% water changes weekly and my last water test which was yesterday ( I test weekly ) was on average of what is has been since December. Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate <10.

I do have a habbit of over feeding... Ive gotten much better but the girlfriend always feels sorry for the Oscar because it looks sad begging for food (Ive explained to her thats what they do).. but Ive caught her sneaking him food a few times lol

EDIT: After doing a little Google research I think its more from it being a fairly new tank with new decorations and stuff. Im going to wipe it all clean. continue with the water changes, and make sure girlfriend isnt guilt feeding the fish while Im not looking. Hopefully I can beat it 8-)
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Re: Brown Algae

Postby Tom » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:16 pm

Reducing the light often goes a long way as well.
8-)
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Re: Brown Algae

Postby Lilly » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:43 pm

Ditto ....I don't turn the lights on for any length of time for just that reason! All kinds of algea love to grow when excess nutrition and light are present. I over feed also :shock:
Problem solved...turn the light off when you go to sleep :D
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Re: Brown Algae

Postby plowkill » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:38 pm

Well I just got done cleaning and scrubbing the heck out of everything in the tank to include the air tubes... Bunch of gunk but its all like new again!
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Re: Brown Algae

Postby ~RuSh~ » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:32 am

What kind of sand do you have? Silicates are also a source of nutrients for algae, particularly diatom algae. Some times silicates can slowly be released from sand giving algae a consistent source of nutrients unrelated to water changes or feeding. I struggled with diatom algae for along time back when I added silica sand to my tank but it wasn't just a spot here or there, it was rampant...
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Re: Brown Algae

Postby WickedLESTOR » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:36 am

~RuSh~ wrote:What kind of sand do you have? Silicates are also a source of nutrients for algae, particularly diatom algae. Some times silicates can slowly be released from sand giving algae a consistent source of nutrients unrelated to water changes or feeding. I struggled with diatom algae for along time back when I added silica sand to my tank but it wasn't just a spot here or there, it was rampant...



Yep.. now i know why I removed sand from my tank.. once the sand was removed no more brown diatoms...

And of course i added sand again and ...................... wait for it.................... DIATOMS!!!! :evil:

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Re: Brown Algae

Postby ~RuSh~ » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:13 pm

For what it's worth, the silicates will eventually expire. It just takes time.
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Re: Brown Algae

Postby plowkill » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:49 pm

~RuSh~ wrote:What kind of sand do you have?


I dont have sand, just gravel.
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Re: Brown Algae

Postby WickedLESTOR » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:20 pm

~RuSh~ wrote:For what it's worth, the silicates will eventually expire. It just takes time.


I know, its just that the fish don't like the BIG blue squeegee in the tank when i clean the glass...... :)

plowkill wrote:
~RuSh~ wrote:What kind of sand do you have?


I dont have sand, just gravel.


My experience with gravel is limited, i have had sand/nothing for the majority of the time i have had tanks, my guess would excess nutrients in the tank, when you shove the gravel vac in the gravel is the water that is sucked up cloudy and full of waste?


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Re: Brown Algae

Postby plowkill » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:47 pm

Ya I could tell last night I’ve been overfeeding to much. A question about sand though... I’ve never used it only because I figured when I vacuum it the sand would get sucked up as well but apparently all of you sand people vacuum your sand. So is sand just as easy as gravel? I like the look of sand way much better and may switch.
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Re: Brown Algae

Postby ~RuSh~ » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:47 pm

Diatom algae is quite resilient. I've found that it can survive in relatively low light and it grows rapidly. I keep my nitrates fairly low but always have some diatom algae either on the tank glass or on my driftwood. I don't have a plecostomus so I can see first hand how quickly it bounces back after I clean the tank.

I don't think a little bit of algae is a problem in fact it simply might be something you just have to deal with. If your goal is to eliminate it completely and forever, then you are talking about maintaining low low nitrates <5ppm, and probably either keeping lights off all day except for a few hours or running a UV sterilizer. If that's what you want, it's certainly an option. I just use my mag float and swipe the glass clean every 3-4 days or so and I'm happy.

As far as sand is concerned it can be tricky vaccuuming sand. You are going to suck up some sand, that is pretty much unavoidable but overall it's not a difficult task. The good thing about sand is that for the most part it keeps debris and detritus above the substrate line so you can see it and then remove it with the vac. The bad thing about sand is that it keeps debris and detritus above the substrate line and you can see it.... IE - giant oscar turds...

Overall though I do prefer sand. Much more natural look IMO.
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Re: Brown Algae

Postby christian123 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:05 am

If you dont have a mag float i highly suggest one
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/p ... catid=4083

My advice on sand, is that is does look great and if change to it you will get the hang of swirling the gavel vac tube so the sand will fall down and the waste will continue through the tube. Coarser sand like pool filter sand is much easier to vac than fine sand like i use. My one Complaint with sand is not the gravel vacuuming its the refilling that stinks. Sand blows everywhere and i use a dinner plate at the bottom of the tank to disperse the water and i still have a hard time not blowing sand everywhere.
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Re: Brown Algae

Postby TUCCI » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:27 pm

Tom wrote:Reducing the light often goes a long way as well.
8-)

I suggest you us a timer for the light and scheduling no more than 6 hrs a day...I also wipe things down during WCs and it helps.
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