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post #1 of 6 Old 06-22-2011, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Removing brown algae

After thinking that I did something horribly wrong, I've realized that the brown spots on my plants were just algae, which I removed most of. (Some left permanent brown spots, or the plant was going to reach that stage regardless) I'm noticing that even after a week, I have noticeable algae growth on the walls of the aquarium, and slowly on the plants now, as well. While I do not have exact water measurements right now, he's what I can name:

38g, Top Fin 60 filter
Water is kept at 76F
12x Neon Tetra
6x Cherry Barb
6x Bloodfin Tetra

I never added more than 6 a week, and the tank is only 80~% stocked according to AqAdvisor.

I forget the exact light model I have, but I made a previous thread and it was suitable. I keep it on for about 8-10 hours a day. My tank is near a window, which the blinds are always up. I do have room darkening ones that can make the room eliminate all sun, if natural sun is the problem here.

Lastly, I use ecocomplete and Seachems flourish. The problem is I threw out the bottle for the Seachems, and moved it to something new (pouring out if the Seachem's lid is a pain) and I remember dosing a half cap twice a week, for my 38g.

Any red flags? Is this a new tank issue? Do I need some substrate fish? Thanks!
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-22-2011, 02:28 PM
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brown algae is really diatoms. I had this in both my 20G and 10G tank and i got 5 otos. They cleaned my 20G in 1 1/2 days. And they stay relatively small.

From what i heard, brown algae is common in new, unstable tanks as well as older tanks too, sometimes due to lack of enough light. Some people have said that an increase in light has made them go away, while others like me have gotten fish to do that work.

Last edited by mjbn; 06-22-2011 at 02:31 PM.
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-22-2011, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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brown algae is really diatoms. I had this in both my 20G and 10G tank and i got 5 otos. They cleaned my 20G in 1 1/2 days. And they stay relatively small.

From what i heard, brown algae is common in new, unstable tanks as well as older tanks too, sometimes due to lack of enough light. Some people have said that an increase in light has made them go away, while others like me have gotten fish to do that work.
Thanks. I'm looking into some substrate fish anyways.. Just want to make sure I wouldn't be overstocking or anything. But yeah thanks for the feedback. Do you think the diatoms could ever stop.. multiplying? as the tank becomes more stable?
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-23-2011, 12:20 PM
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I would wait out the diatoms (brown algae, so-called). In new tanks it is very common during the first 2-3 months. After that, it should never re-appear unless as mentioned the light is too low and/or you have silicates (a mineral) in the water. Let's not fuss about that unless it occurs.

Remove the diatoms from the plant leaves, it comes off easily by hand as you've noticed. Otos and some other fish will eat it, but once it's gone you'll then have fish you maybe don't really want, and I do not recommend this. If you really like otos, fine, but if not, don't. They need a group of minimum 3, are frequently in very poor shape when acquired. They are not true substrate fish, since they spend almost all their time up on surfaces like plant leaves, wood, glass walls of the tank. My group in my 115g appear on the substrate along with the many corys at feeding time since they are now used to feeding from sinking foods, but aside from this I never see them on the substrate. Actually, I rarely see them at all.

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 6 Old 06-23-2011, 12:29 PM
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That's interesting Byron:O My otos are actually really active during all times of the day. haha But as he said, once they eat up the diatoms, you have to either have a healthy amount of green algae growing, or you have to feed them algae pellets, or blanch some veggies for them. Mine love romaine lettuce.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-23-2011, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mjbn View Post
That's interesting Byron:O My otos are actually really active during all times of the day. haha But as he said, once they eat up the diatoms, you have to either have a healthy amount of green algae growing, or you have to feed them algae pellets, or blanch some veggies for them. Mine love romaine lettuce.
Mine are active (except when they're resting), but I rarely see them because they are grazing plant leaves and my tank is heavily planted. If I watch carefully I can sometimes see movement as a "shadow" behind a plant leaf, or sometimes on the outer side. I have a group of five, and sometimes I have to sit there for an hour before I can find all five of them. Just wait for their activity to reveal them.

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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