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Brown Algae/diatoms


coycub
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Hey Peoples. One of my tanks has decided to have a brown algae outbreak, how the hell can I get rid of this stuff?!? If it wasn't so damn ugly it would be ok, and scrubbing the stuff off rocks etc works but it just comes right back within days. Help guys! My tank is looking like poo! :D Matt

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ahh I can sympathise - I've got the same problem in my jebo atm. In my case I left the light on way too long (like 2 days too long! - I forgot about it when I had a migraine and no one else thought to turn it off). If you leave any behind when you scrub it away it will come right back again.. horrid stuff! You could try starving it of light for about 4 days or so.. that will normally knock it on the head, but if you have any plants in there they are going to be cactus too. I'm going for the cheats way out.. algae rid stuff (can't remember the brand or correct name atm but will post when I do) from the lfs :D Silicon in your water can also trigger diatoms. Most tap water will have some silicon, but its not usually enough to cause massive problems in fw tanks, but if your concentration in particularly high you could try using RO or RO/DI water like you would with a marine tank.

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Hi guys and thanks. The light tubes are newish, one is a power-glow 40w and two more 40w tubes that come with our aqua-one light one is white one is pink. We also have an actinic light though that's hardly on. The lights are on for 8 hours a day with 1 hour blackout at noon. I change water weekly, about 20%. The plants haven't had any fertiliser yet, they have been in there a couple of weeks but are all potted amazon swords and they have ferts in their pots. There is some thin val also growing well. Substrate is 3 - 6mm red gravel (washed thoroughly), and some sandstone rocks and driftwood also washed well. Only other contents is the latex background that is siliconed to the back of the tank. Probably the source of silicates causing the brown algae? Inhabitants include 4 siamensis, 2 BNs, 2 black ghost knife fish, 1 betta (of course). Btw it's a 5 foot tank, PH 7, NA 20, NI 0, AM 0, GH 9, Temp 27C. It's driving me nuts and I'm sick of trying to scrub the background etc. Edited to add text and fix my dyslexic typos!

Edited by coycub
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8 hours is good. I had a lot of trouble with algae once while using an actinic tube. Not sure there's any connection though, or if I was just having a run of bad luck. It was about the time I started kind of ignoring the tank for a while, but I'm not sure if the algae was the chicken or the egg! I'd try the 3 day lights-out (I cover the entire tank in foil so no light at all can get in). The plants seem to survive ok (a little worse or wear but not half-dead or anything) but the algae really suffers. The only algae I have had that this doesn't work on is BGA (of course, as only ABs get rid of that evil spawn of satan). I am not familiar with this algae, is it possible that phosphates are a problem? Maybe a phosphate/organic sponge may help.

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Diatoms are pretty common in newly cycled tanks and in tanks where light tubes are either the wrong part of the colour spectrum o are older than 6 months. Actinic in FW seems to be an issue, so i'd hold off using that for now. Do you have any live plants in there? If not, get some hornwort or other stem plant to suck up excess nutrients. get the full gammut of tests done on your water, as having just one thing out of whack can set off these pesky things.

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The only problems i have had similar was with a newly setup Marine tank, i was told it is part of the cycling/tank establishemnt and that it would dissapear eventually. It took a few weeks, but it did just fade away :lol: Not sure if it is the same as a freshwater one though.

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Yeah I have a lot of plants in there, several swords, several blyxa japonica, quite a bit of thin val too. I'd post pics if I had batteries from my camera. I have read a lot about these diatoms and there's so much conflicting information. Some say too much light, some say too little light, most agree they are caused by silicates in the water, though it's not that simple to rid your tank of silicates apparently. We've used a fair whack of silicone to secure the background, but on the same token we've read that it has happened to people without a lot of silicone in their tanks so go figure. I'm gonna go to the LFS today and have a chat and see what they think. I'll probably come home none the wiser LOL. Thanks guys for your help. Cheers Matt

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