Is the brown stuff on my filter algae? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-25-2010, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Is the brown stuff on my filter algae?

I don't have any algae really in my tank, but there's little blobs of brown stuff on the the filter uptake and on the filter cartridges. I don't know if I should just let it be or if I should clean it.

My boyfriend, observing my guppy tank:
"Someone should write a book about guppies called 'Everyone Poops. And Then Everyone Tries to Eat the Poop Because They Think It's Food.'"
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-25-2010, 07:44 PM
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Can you post a photo so we can see what it is?

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-26-2010, 06:35 AM
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How long has your tank been setup? It could be the start of diatom (brown algae).
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-26-2010, 08:57 AM
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Diatoms would be my guess too, but like Byron said, without something visual it's hard to say.

If they are diatoms, it's usually a sign that you're starting to get some nitrogenous buildup in the tank, and hence, the environment is becoming more algae friendly. Green algae outcompetes diatoms for nutrients, so if green starts up, the brown usually goes away. But, then you have the green to deal with.

Do an image search for diatoms, and compare that to what you see in your tank. If that's the stuff, check your water for nitrate / phosphate buildup, as that's usually the cause.

On the plus side, the presence of diatoms = thoroughly cycled tank. Heh.

Thanks--
DCR
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-26-2010, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah that looks like what I have, except it's not growing anywhere in the actual tank. It's lining the inside of the uptake and I find blobs of it on the filter media. I have 7 live plants in there, and I use excel flourish and florapride. This brown stuff has been there for weeks. I'm all out of testers, I'll have to do that when I'm not sick.
Anyway my boyfriend will be stoked on the diatoms. Lol. Cell bio major...
On a side note, if I'm in the process of cycling a different tank, would it be helpful to move some of this brown stuff to that filter?

My boyfriend, observing my guppy tank:
"Someone should write a book about guppies called 'Everyone Poops. And Then Everyone Tries to Eat the Poop Because They Think It's Food.'"
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-26-2010, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herbicide View Post
On a side note, if I'm in the process of cycling a different tank, would it be helpful to move some of this brown stuff to that filter?
Diatoms will houdini their way into the new tank all by themselves. There's really no reason to artificially move them from one tank to another.

Diatoms tend to appear out of nowhere, and last anywhere from next-to-no-time, to weeks. Typically, they'll either go away on their own, or be replaced by green algae (or cYaNoBaCteRiAl MaTs -- sorry, just wanted to give some saltwater folks a friendly case of the jibblies).

Either way, the stuff isn't harmful. It's very loosely attached and easily removed if you want to remove it. If not, it will eventually go away.

Thanks--
DCR
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-26-2010, 06:16 PM
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Agree on the diatoms info, but what you have sounds more like what I have in the filters and tubes. I only clean these every 3-6 months and I use the bathtub so I can run very hot water back and forth through the tubing to free up some of it [it will get thick enough that it can suddenly spew into the aquarium if it is loosened as when the filter is shut off during a water change and then started up]. Not sure this is actually diatoms, may be just crud (it is brown, sometimes whitish), but aside from blocking the tubes and being a mess it is harmless.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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