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    Brown algae

    Hi. I have a 10 gallon tank with 1 yellow dwarf gourmi, 2 tetras, a barb, and a crab. My water was pretty cloudy so I got my water tested at my LPS. The lady said that I have too much nitrates and that it's probably from overfeeding. She suggested cutting back my feeding to once every other day. Well, I've been doing that for about 5 days but now I have some dark brown algae on the front of my tank. I never had ANY algae before. Is this algae a result of feeding my fish LESS? Is there any non-chemical way to get rid of it and keep it from coming back (besides scrubbing my tank every time I see it)? Thanks for any advice you can give,

  • jay just as a reminder to my last post...your overfeeding is not a good thing nor high nitrate more water changes and try some phosphate absorbing media as well...but well you and your tank full of the weird and wonderful you never know....ha just bugging ya!

  • are the soft clumpy spots?...if so..these are usually diatoms.. it usually indicates a lack of light or too much silicates....step up your light,vacum patches and wipe tank..

  • Umm, I don't know what exactly you mean by "soft clumpy spots" but they came off quite easily with a toothbrush today. And yes, they are in clumps on the walls, not one solid mass. I also noticed that most of the algae was on the front wall of the tank with only a little bit on one side and even less on the back. Does this mean anything? Also, is this algae somehow due to my feeding my fish only once every other day? And what exactly are vacuum patches? I'm not familiar with that term. I don't think that it's from lack of light because the days have been more sunny lately than they have all winter. So if anything the tank is getting more light, not less. How are silicates made and how do you control them? Thanks jeff (and curt for that bit of trivia:-)),

  • jay usually brown algea is seen in the early part of a newly setup tank...low or high light can contribute to it...and excess of high organic componds..lotsa food plus phosphates =bad.. but brown algea loves silicates...from your tap water or even your substrate(sand) might contain it...get some ottos they eat it up and try a silicate absorbing resin I think aqua-tech makes a good on that with Seachem's phoso-gaurd and it sould remove it...if it's heavy in your tape water then you might have to go with a RO unit...oh when I say vacuum patches I mean vacuum up the's pretty easy to control...

  • Okay, so I should get a Dwarf Otto Cat, and a silicate absorbin resin if that doesn't work? I thought that if I got more fish it might screw up my tank even more. What should I do with the algae on the side of my tank? I can't vacuum that stuff up. Is it okay just to brush it off with a toothbrush? Oh, and what is an "RO unit"? What exactly is a "silicate absorbing resin" too? Should I just ask for it at my LFS? Thanks for all your help. Jay

  • there you go jay curt just told you what I was taking about...and yes wipe or scrub the stuff off your glass..I thought if you had some on your substrate you could vaccum it up...the otto was just a know your tank better than us right? good luck...

  • Jay, r/o stands for reverse osmosis...basically water is passed through an extremely smalled pored membrane which is so small that only water (h2o) can get through, and larger ions etc are filtered out...they range in effectiveness, but most do a pretty good job of taking most everything out. I happen to use a deionizing unit, which is much like what the silicate resin is. The di unit uses charged resins to filter out all the oppositely charged ions in the water. Just like this, the resin, which is usually in a little nylon bag to insert in your filter, contains a specifically charged substance that will bind with whatever ion it is made your case silicate. hope that helps:) curt

  • jay..just so for you to think about I know all this RO and DO stuff sounds complicated and expensive..the thing you need to know is where are the silicates coming from?..just be sure number one is it's not in your substrate!(like silica sand)..cause no matter what you do it will continue to leach if it's in your tap water you can deal with it expesively of cheaply...lets talk cheaply....first the water in your tank can flow through a silicate absorbing resin place in your filter ..we already talked about this...get maximim contact that will sure or the diatoms will build up again... clean your tank walls from bottom to top to prevent diatoms spillage back in...rinse sponge after every use...then go again till done...your tap water can be poured into a bucket through a sieve with the silica absorbing resin place it on white filter floss if you have this about 5 times and your water will be ready to use....anyway I know it sounds like work but that's the best help I can give you good luck....

  • Hi, just a fun fact i thought i would throw in...this brown stuff is actually diatoms like jeff said, or sometimes cyanobacteria can look brown and slimy...the only true algae classified as brown algae is kelp...and that doesn't grow in any fish tank i know of...just a fun fact.:) might want to try an otto or siamese algae eater, these i have found will personally heat just about anything., curt


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