Brown Algae
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Brown Algae

This is a discussion on Brown Algae within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> I have what I believe is brown algae. I have seen it on my Bacopa for awhile now but it has spread to my ...

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Old 11-03-2012, 10:35 PM   #1
 
Brown Algae

I have what I believe is brown algae. I have seen it on my Bacopa for awhile now but it has spread to my Anubias and even my crypts are starting to show signs of it.

I went to Pet smart looking for Excel but they really don't carry the full Seachem line only Flourish comp. I picked up API Algaefix since it said safe for plants and fish. I dosed according to directions 14 drops/1ml per 10g. I have a 20g so I used 2ml. The bottle says to do it every three days until you see it working. I have not been consistent with the timing of the lights each day. I settled that tonight by installing a timer. I will have the lights come on at 12noon and go off at 10pm and see if that helps.

I also have been dosing API: CO2 booster everyday according to directions. Also Seachem Flourish Comprehensive twice or three times a week. I used prime when I set up the tank and when I do Water changes. I have been changing only 5g each time but yesterday I did 10g.

Now with lights on a timer I will also stop the CO2 booster for three days and no Florish for three days to see how the Algaefix is doing. If it starts clearing up the I will start the CO2 booster every other day and flourish twice a week only.

Tank stats are below. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks

Sam

I have a 20g with 24" t5 dual lamps ,1 bulb is 6700k 14watts, 1 colormax 14watt.
Penguin 150 and Fluval C2 power filters. airstone on whisper 40 air pump.
no ammonia, ph 7, nitrite3, nitrate 80, gh60,kh80.
4 cory cats(albino,pepperd) 5 gouramis 2gold,2blue and a dwarf red, 6 neon tetras, 4 zebra danios.

2 anubias, java fern windelov, 6 stems of Bacopa, red melon sword, three amazon swords, 5 stems of wisteria, 4 crypts, 5 small bunches Alternanthera reineckii.


tired linking a photo to this hope it works
http://fishtanktv.com/photo/brown-algae?context=user


Last edited by samD62; 11-03-2012 at 10:36 PM.. Reason: adding link
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:23 AM   #2
 
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Are you trying to go high tech? By that I mean CO2 injection?

I ask because of your lights, I assume they are really T5HO and not regular T5 as those are really rare? With a dual T5HO you are in very bright light and CO2 injection is necessary or you'll end up with an algae farm.

If high tech is the route you are going, I can't offer any advice as I avoid going down that path myself. I prefer to use lower light levels that do not require all that hassle and expense. For low tech you just use a regular single T8 tube with a daylight bulb, and dose Flourish once a week.

Brown algae though is usually actually diatoms, common in new tanks regardless. It usually goes away on its own after awhile.
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:27 AM   #3
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geomancer View Post
Are you trying to go high tech? By that I mean CO2 injection?

I ask because of your lights, I assume they are really T5HO and not regular T5 as those are really rare? With a dual T5HO you are in very bright light and CO2 injection is necessary or you'll end up with an algae farm.

If high tech is the route you are going, I can't offer any advice as I avoid going down that path myself. I prefer to use lower light levels that do not require all that hassle and expense. For low tech you just use a regular single T8 tube with a daylight bulb, and dose Flourish once a week.

Brown algae though is usually actually diatoms, common in new tanks regardless. It usually goes away on its own after awhile.
No, the lights are T5NO (assuming he got them at Petsmart). I have the exact same setup but am running two of them (4 bulbs total). They come with the two bulbs he described.
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:34 AM   #4
 
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Yuck, I suppose I should've noticed that with the wattage listed :)

That should be okay, but upper end of moderate. I'd still only use a single dose of Flourish.

For the lights, buy a timer. They are less than $10 and you'll never have to remember to turn them on or off each day. Set it for 10 hours to start, but you may have to go down to 8 or less with the amount of light.

I avoid using the liquid CO2 as it is a toxic chemical, despite what they like to say about it being safe.
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:24 PM   #5
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geomancer View Post
Yuck, I suppose I should've noticed that with the wattage listed :)

That should be okay, but upper end of moderate. I'd still only use a single dose of Flourish.

For the lights, buy a timer. They are less than $10 and you'll never have to remember to turn them on or off each day. Set it for 10 hours to start, but you may have to go down to 8 or less with the amount of light.

I avoid using the liquid CO2 as it is a toxic chemical, despite what they like to say about it being safe.

Waters is correct the lights are standard T5 not HO. I have placed them on a timer now for 8hrs.

I will see how the Algae outbreak does then try increasing later.

I did read in the one of the algae threads that brown algae sometimes appears at the end of the cycling period ao just after it ends. I checked my parms this morning and my nitrates are down to 20 and nitrite0.5. I use the mardel 5 in 1 test strips.
I may stop the co2 booster and just use flourish 1x week and see how it goes.

Thanks everyone for the comments and advice. I will update in a few days.

Sam
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:20 PM   #6
 
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Several issues here. First on the brown algae, I checked the photo linked and can't tell if it is diatoms or another algae. Will it easily come off with your fingers? If yes, that is diatoms and it will disappear once the tank is biologically stable. If it does not easily come off, that is different, and caused by bright light and nutrients. I see it in some of my tanks, on plants closest to the surface.

Which brings me to the light and nutrients. Two T5 NO tubes is roughly the same as two T8 tubes of the same type (spectrum, length) and as someone mentioned, that is at the upper end of moderate. You can experiment with the duration, but I doubt you will be able to go much over 8 hours. Other factors unique to each aquarium can affect this, so no hard and fast rules. Try the 8 hours for 3-4 weeks and see what happens. What algae is now present will not disappear, but if no more occurs, then the light is likely more in balance [this assuming it is the other algae, not diatoms].

Excel and API CO2 Booster are both the same, they contain glutaraldehyde which is a disinfectant used in hospitals and is found in embalming fluid and anti-freeze, among other things. It kills bacteria. Some plants will melt with this at normal doses. If it should be overdosed, it may kill plants, fish and bacteria. I personally do not recommend it for any aquarium, the risks do not justify it. There is more CO2 naturally occurring from the breakdown of organics than many realize, and the trick is to balance e this with light and additional nutrients.

Flourish Comprehensive twice weekly at the dose on the label should work fine with your light. Weekly water changes of half the tank. Leave the substrate basically alone, the waste/organics are important as a source of CO2 and other nutrients for the plants.

One comment on the gourami, they should be in a much larger space. Check our profile, click Blue Gourami, this is the species for the Blue and Gold varieties, and probably the red too. If you have more than one male within this group, chances are they will have some issues before long.

Byron.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:41 PM   #7
 
I found out that the Gourami are going to be to big so I am already planning on taking them to another lfs to trade them in. Pet smart doesn't trade. Ocean Aquarium I heard will give you credit you can use toward purchase of other fish. I have to call them.

The brown algae does come off if you rub it not real easily it takes a couple times. I was thinking of pulling all the affected plants and rubbing and rinsing them clean. I only see it on the plants not really anywhere else.

I have read your comments and others about the excel and co2 booster so I am done with it. not gonna use it again. When I water change I just do the water I do not vacuum the gravel.

Every day is a new day and I am still getting my knowledge up. I am so glad there are forums where you can ask and great people are available to help.

Thanks again everyone who has offered advice, much appreciated.

Sam
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:28 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samD62 View Post
I found out that the Gourami are going to be to big so I am already planning on taking them to another lfs to trade them in. Pet smart doesn't trade. Ocean Aquarium I heard will give you credit you can use toward purchase of other fish. I have to call them.

The brown algae does come off if you rub it not real easily it takes a couple times. I was thinking of pulling all the affected plants and rubbing and rinsing them clean. I only see it on the plants not really anywhere else.

I have read your comments and others about the excel and co2 booster so I am done with it. not gonna use it again. When I water change I just do the water I do not vacuum the gravel.

Every day is a new day and I am still getting my knowledge up. I am so glad there are forums where you can ask and great people are available to help.

Thanks again everyone who has offered advice, much appreciated.

Sam
Sounding good. I would remove as much of the algae from plant leaves (using your fingers) just before you start the water change. Diatoms will dissapear, but keeping them off plant leaves is good.
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:42 PM   #9
 
Brown Algae has cleared up

My brown Algae problem has cleared up.

I reduced my lighting to 8 hrs for a few days and one day i had a total blackout for most of the day.
I held off on liquid ferts and did a couple water changes at 50%.

Tank is looking good and clear.

heres a pic



link below
rz10nov08 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Thank again for the advice to everyone.
Sam
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