Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Cassandra90 08-01-2011 10:07 AM

Brown Algae Bloom
I recently planted my 10 gallon tank, I have about 8 live plants with a sand bottom. I planted the tank about a week ago and I was gone for 4 days, when I came back home the tank walls are now covered in brown algae.

I have never had a problem with algae in my tank. The tank is placed in my bedroom where it hardly gets natural sunlight, and I leave the light on for about 6 to 8 hours a day.

What could of caused this algae bloom?
Is there any easy ways to get rid of it?

I was planning on today buying a toothbrush and scrubbing the walls off. But most likely I know it will just grow back.

Nubster 08-01-2011 10:30 AM

How old is the tank? Any fish? Brown algae (diatoms) are a common occurrence in a cycling tank and usually a sign of high nutrients in the water. Check your parameters, especially nitrate and phosphate, and do a water change if needed and otherwise, brown algae usually goes away as fast as it appears. If your lights are old, that could be an issue as well. Diatoms actually grow in dim light so if the tank is not well lit or your lights are going bad, that could be part of the problem as well.

Cassandra90 08-01-2011 10:36 AM

The tank is about a year old. I have 4 small albino cory cats and 1 male halfmoon betta in the tank. The parameters are good, I checked them this morning. I have API freshwater Master test kit.

But I will be doing a water change soon. Thanks!

Nubster 08-01-2011 11:43 AM

It could be then that the lights are needing replaced. Diatoms can be a PITA for sure, trying to figure out the cause.

Cassandra90 08-01-2011 11:48 AM

I just changed the bulbs, I was using incandescent lights and now I have two GE 10 watt 6500k spiral flourascent lights.

Nubster 08-01-2011 11:52 AM

Well heck...I'm at a loss there was just a spike in something an it will go away soon. Did you count your fish, make sure they are all still there? Perhaps a death could have spiked a parameter causing the bloom. Just thinking out loud.

Cassandra90 08-01-2011 11:55 AM

Nope all were there this morning. I may do another check on the water tomorrow.

Thanks for the help though.
First time I encountered algae, never had a problem with it in my 55 gallon nor the 10 gallon and now all of a sudden it is there.

Nubster 08-01-2011 12:03 PM

I had it in my 75g once...a 50% water change and thorough gravel cleaning took care of it. It is also really common in a cycling tank but that isn't the case for you unless the new plants caused a mini cycle which is possible.

Cassandra90 08-01-2011 12:05 PM

That is possible since it is a major change between new substrate and plants. I should of mentioned that. I changed it from gravel to sand.

Nubster 08-01-2011 12:13 PM

I'd say that is definitely the cause. If you took out the old gravel surely you caused a mini cycle because of trapped debris getting released into the water, unless you used all new water. If the sand is silica sand, that is most likely the cause since silica is a major food source for diatoms.

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