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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; --> From that data, I would expect worse algae than what I see in the photos, so you are lucky. But there is an imbalance, ...

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Old 06-20-2012, 01:02 PM   #11
 
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From that data, I would expect worse algae than what I see in the photos, so you are lucky. But there is an imbalance, hence the algae.

In the presence of sufficient light (which is certainly present here) plants will only photosynthesize full out if all 17 nutrients are available. While some of these naturally occur in the tap water (the hard minerals replenished at a water change) and some come from fish foods (organic waste in the substrate broken down by bacteria) it is likely that something is in short supply. Algae, esp brush algae, is more adaptable than plants at finding what it needs.

The Flourish tabs supposedly last 2-3 months; I replace mine every 2 months, and I use them next to the largest swords and the tiger lotus lilies. I also use a liquid fertilizer every week, Flourish Comprehensive Supplement, which contains all nutrients in proportion to the needs of the plants. Many think that reducing fertilizer will stop algae, but actually the opposite is true, because this denies plants the necessary nutrients so algae takes advantage.

My suggestion would be to dose Flourish Comp once a week; the day following the water change is best as water conditioners that detoxify heavy metals will negate some of the mineral nutrients in Flourish. Light is probably fine. CO2 I leave to you; I never add this, I rely on natural CO2 from the breakdown of organics and then balance my light and other nutrients accordingly.

Once the balance is restored, the brush algae should not increase. What is there will remain unless you manually remove it. I leave it alone on wood and rock, but when it appears on plant leaves I know the balance is out and fix that.

Hope this helps.

Byron.
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:44 PM   #12
 
Bryon,

The brush algae has become much worse since I posted those pics. I have it on many leaves of my moneyworts and on many of my anubia leaves because leaves from each of these plants tend to last a long time. The sword leaves are fine. I also have it on my heater and filter, which I can take out and clean if necessary. Should I really cut off all of my leaves that have it? It doesn't seem to be hurting the plants and the leaves are not dying. I wouldn't have much left of my Anubias if I had to do that.

How would I clean the glass? If I scrape the brush algae from the glass, will it float around and attach to something else?

Thanks for your help. I'll pick up some flourish comprehensive and tabs tonight, do a water change, and add that stuff back tomorrow. I'll keep off the CO2 for awhile and see how things go with the fertilizers.
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:29 PM   #13
 
What about using Excel to kill the algae?
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:28 PM   #14
 
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Quote:
The brush algae has become much worse since I posted those pics. I have it on many leaves of my moneyworts and on many of my anubia leaves because leaves from each of these plants tend to last a long time. The sword leaves are fine. I also have it on my heater and filter, which I can take out and clean if necessary. Should I really cut off all of my leaves that have it? It doesn't seem to be hurting the plants and the leaves are not dying. I wouldn't have much left of my Anubias if I had to do that.
This is what I was expecting earlier when I said you had it lucky. Just took time. The worst leaves can be removed. They are likely dying anyway. If they begin yellowing, definitely remove them.

Brush algae will not disappear, the aim is to stop it increasing. Removal is the only way to get rid of what's there. I leave it on wood and rock usually; if you look at my tank photos you will see it covers the wood.

Quote:
How would I clean the glass? If I scrape the brush algae from the glass, will it float around and attach to something else?
Yes, dislodging it without removing it can spread it. Unless it is dead of course. I tend to scrape it off the glass when i see it, siphoning it out during the water change.

Quote:
What about using Excel to kill the algae?
This is hit and miss. Excel can kill brush algae, but not always (according to Seachem, who by the way do not know why it does). I certainly would not add it for this; it will kill some plants, harm others, and in excess can kill fish. It is a chemical. It would be safer to remove the objects with the brush algae from the tank and apply Excel full strength directly. I've never done this, but I gather it works.

The better action is to get the balance restored. I have battled brush algae, and only when light is beyond the nutrient supply, so it can be corrected.
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