Question about algae. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-12-2010, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Question Question about algae.

I have a 20g long tank. I've had it for about two months now. It was fully cycled on August 24th. I am now getting a lot of the brown algae. I've been keeping it off of the plant leaves, like Byron said. But it's growing on the gravel in there. I have 1 oto (yes.. I know they should be in a group. Just haven't gotten anymore yet), but he mostly works on the plants and walls. I have black gravel and with the brown algae growing on it, I'm sure you can imagine that it isn't pleasing to the eye. How do I get the growth to slow down or hide/get rid of it?

I was thinking about getting a foreground plant that will grow a carpet if there's no way to get rid of it ever.

Coral...<3
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-13-2010, 03:15 PM
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If this really is diatoms (brown algae), it is common in new tanks, usually during the first 2-3 months. Otos and indeed most algae-eating fish will eat it, though as it is temporary I do not suggest more algae fish just for this (but another 2 otos, yes, for a different reason).

If it is on the gravel, vacuuming the substrate during the weekly partial water change should pull it up.

Are you sure it is diatoms, and not something else? My otos will readily browse the gravel as well as every other surface.

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 12 Old 09-13-2010, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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I just assumed it was the brown algae because it is a new tank and it's brown ;) It comes off of the walls and plants pretty easily.

Coral...<3
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-13-2010, 06:45 PM
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I just assumed it was the brown algae because it is a new tank and it's brown ;) It comes off of the walls and plants pretty easily.
I was referring to the brown on the gravel that you said the otos wouldn't touch. Thought it might be something else. If it is diatoms, it will vacuum off.

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 #5 of 12 Old 09-14-2010, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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I have a question about vacuums. I just have the same one from my little tank. Its whatever the smallest that Top Fin makes. Is there really a difference if I use that one compared to one that is for up to 20 gallons? Is there a difference in suction or anything?
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post #6 of 12 Old 09-14-2010, 09:58 AM
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I have a question about vacuums. I just have the same one from my little tank. Its whatever the smallest that Top Fin makes. Is there really a difference if I use that one compared to one that is for up to 20 gallons? Is there a difference in suction or anything?
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If you are referring to the water changing gadget that you use to siphon water out of the tank and it has the large end that goes into the gravel, no it doesn't matter; any one will do the job. The smaller one may take longer because it draws less water.

I didn't know they made different sizes; guess I never bothered to look, I have an old one from I can't remember when that I use on my 10g, and the python that attaches to the tap that I use on all the other tanks.

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 #7 of 12 Old 09-15-2010, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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I attempted to vacuum the brown off of the gravel, but it wouldn't come off.

Coral...<3
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-15-2010, 08:35 PM
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I attempted to vacuum the brown off of the gravel, but it wouldn't come off.
I would insert the vacuum into the gravel deep enough to tumble it around so much that the gravel mixes and the algae is under and not on the surface.

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 #9 of 12 Old 09-17-2010, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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It still didn't work... Maybe I'm doing something wrong.
I'm also having a problem with my molly. I'm afraid that this will be his last night and I don't know what to do... For the past few days he would stay in one spot for extended periods of time. Now he's resting on the bottom with all of his fins tucked in and just stays there. Maybe I should give up on mollies. I don't think its anything to do with my water not being suitable for livebearers because I also have one platy and one guppy and they have been doing fine. I've had the guppy through the whole new tank transfer and whatnot, so he's been around for quite a few months.

I don't know what I'm doing wrong. :(

Coral...<3
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-18-2010, 01:53 PM
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It still didn't work... Maybe I'm doing something wrong.
I'm also having a problem with my molly. I'm afraid that this will be his last night and I don't know what to do... For the past few days he would stay in one spot for extended periods of time. Now he's resting on the bottom with all of his fins tucked in and just stays there. Maybe I should give up on mollies. I don't think its anything to do with my water not being suitable for livebearers because I also have one platy and one guppy and they have been doing fine. I've had the guppy through the whole new tank transfer and whatnot, so he's been around for quite a few months.

I don't know what I'm doing wrong. :(
I'm not much on disease issues, but others may be able to offer help if you can provide a bit more info. Water conditions (temp, pH, hardness), ammonia/nitrite/nitrate, how many fish and what are they, how long as this tank been running, any chemical stuff going in the water, and what is the water change schedule and how much. We know it is a 20 long from the first post.

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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