brown gunk on plastic plants = algae? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 20 Old 03-05-2011, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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brown gunk on plastic plants = algae?

Hi,

I have a 20g tank that just finished cycling. I'm 0 for ammonia and nitrites and about 2ppm for nitrates. pH is is 7.4. I have no live plants, but over the past 2-3 weeks there has been brown crud collecting on several of my plastic plants. I rub it off and rinse it in tank water when I do my water changes, but it comes right back.

What is it?

How can I get rid of it?

Thanks!

Steph
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post #2 of 20 Old 03-05-2011, 09:49 PM
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It sounds like brown diatoms, which is very common in new tanks. I had it in all my tanks when the tanks were first set up, it eventually abates. Do you have any algae eaters in the tank? Most algae eaters love it.

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post #3 of 20 Old 03-05-2011, 09:54 PM
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I agree, buying an algae eater of some sort would get rid of the brown algae quickly but it will eventually go away and be replaced by green algae
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post #4 of 20 Old 03-05-2011, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by gingerael View Post
I agree, buying an algae eater of some sort would get rid of the brown algae quickly but it will eventually go away and be replaced by green algae
Agree but then I notice the tank is only a 20gl and newly established (so otos are out of the question).
I'd just wait it out, because it will go away.

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post #5 of 20 Old 03-05-2011, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I thought about algae eaters, but don't all the different varieties and I know there are issues with it being a newly cycled tank and with fish compatibility. I actually have ADF's, cardinal tetras, and a betta right now. I had never heard of fishless cycling until very recently. Fortunately I never lost anyone during the cycling (thank you, Prime!).

If it's something that will likely go away on its own, I'll wait it out and just scrape off what I can during water changes. If it's green algae I'll get next though and someone wants to suggest some compatible algae eaters for me, that would be great.

Thanks,
Steph
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post #6 of 20 Old 03-05-2011, 10:50 PM
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I like the bristle nose pleco. its a relatively small pleco. or, you could try otocinclus or chinese algae eater
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post #7 of 20 Old 03-06-2011, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gingerael View Post
I like the bristle nose pleco. its a relatively small pleco. or, you could try otocinclus or chinese algae eater

Chinese algae eater's are not a good fish for algae control ,and as the grow they lose all interest in algae and spend their time largely harrassing other fishes in the aquarium.
Nerite snails, would be my choice.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #8 of 20 Old 03-06-2011, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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I have read up a little on chinese algae eaters and plecos but I don't think they are right for my tank. They seem to get too big (I only have 20g) and they might get too aggressive. I have to be careful of my peaceful little ADFs who hang out on the bottom most of the time.

I also googled nerite snails but from what I can tell those are marine animals, right? What about mystery snails? They seem to be fine for my tank and parameters. Also, aside from being careful that none of the other fish in my tank would view them as food (they wouldn't), I haven't seen any issues of snail compatibility.
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post #9 of 20 Old 03-06-2011, 10:57 AM
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many of the freshwater snails are very invasive. if you are opposed to the chinese algae eater, although I have never had issues with them, the bristlenose pleco is a very small breed of pleco and would be fine in your 20g tank
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post #10 of 20 Old 03-06-2011, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steph211 View Post
I have read up a little on chinese algae eaters and plecos but I don't think they are right for my tank. They seem to get too big (I only have 20g) and they might get too aggressive. I have to be careful of my peaceful little ADFs who hang out on the bottom most of the time.

I also googled nerite snails but from what I can tell those are marine animals, right? What about mystery snails? They seem to be fine for my tank and parameters. Also, aside from being careful that none of the other fish in my tank would view them as food (they wouldn't), I haven't seen any issues of snail compatibility.
Yes, I agree, most plecos will be too large for this tank, the CAE is most definitely out of the question. You could probably get away with an albino bristlenose but in a 20gl it doesn't give it much room. I think going with snails for your tank would be perfect. Nerites are freshwater, but I'm not up to speed on which snails do not eat plants and are only interested in algae. Many people keep snails so one of them will be along shortly to confirm the best species to keep in a planted tank. It's good you are reading up and researching your future inhabitants!!

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