What is this? Brown Algae? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 06-04-2011, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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What is this? Brown Algae?

So far, our 55g setup has been running successfully for about two months. However, I happened to notice this just the other day. It's all over the inlet as you can see, on some plants and was on the back glass of the aquarium. Is this anything to be concerned about or is this good algae?

All water tests have come back A OK (ph, nitrates, nitrites and ammonia). The filter is on a monthly cleaning cycle.

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post #2 of 4 Old 06-04-2011, 10:38 PM
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Hello Im new to aquariums.Im almost 6 weeks into my tank finishing my cycle hopefully,but I have the same problem myself but a lot worse.Ive been reading up on it online still but tring to figor it out myself.My store said high phostates so maybe thats a start.Good luck and cant wait for some answers from other aquarist.
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post #3 of 4 Old 06-04-2011, 11:32 PM
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sounds like diatoms...

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post #4 of 4 Old 06-05-2011, 12:04 PM
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And it looks like diatoms. Commonly called brown algae. Very common in new tanks, usually during the first 1-3 months, then it will (should) be gone forever.

It is not actually harmful, except if it gets on live plant leaves it can suffocate the plant. Elsewhere it is simply unsightly. I would keep it off the front and side glass walls, it comes off easily with a sponge scraper.

Many "algae" eating fish will devour it, but I do not recommend adding fish solely to deal with algae. If you really like the fish as a fish, and it happens to have the benefit of eating some form of algae, fine. Fish add to the tank's bioload, and some quickly outgrow smaller tanks, and some can be downright nasty to other fish as they mature.


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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