Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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hywaydave 03-03-2012 10:55 PM

Brown algae
 
I'm beginning to get a lot of brown algae in my tank, especially on the drift wood. There are many hairy little brown algea type plants on the log. Is this normal? This is my first tank with drift wood and live plants that has been established now for about 4 months now. Ammonia and Nitrite are 0ppm, Nitrate is around 5-10ppm. I do 25% water changes per week.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y15...n/IMG_2601.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y15...n/IMG_2608.jpg

Tazman 03-03-2012 11:00 PM

Brown Algae can be caused by running your lights for too long.

While it doesnt look very good, it WILL clear over time. In the mean time, you can just scrub it off when doing a water change.

Quantum 03-03-2012 11:01 PM

likely black brush algae, I've never had to deal with it, but I believe it is common

Byron 03-04-2012 10:22 AM

Are you talking about the little furry tufts (which are brush algae) or the reddish-brown on the wood?

The latter I would not worry about. it is not diatoms from what I can see in the photos, so may be due to the wood.

The brush algae is fine on wood, but you don't want it spreading on the plants. Light will control this, not more intense than what is balanced by the nutrients in this system, nor longer duration than balances.

Byron.

hywaydave 04-18-2012 10:48 PM

The brush algae has spread to some of my plants. The lights are on for 8 hours. Should I reduce it more? I thought 8 hours was the minimum. Should I try to rub the algae off the plants or wood, or would that spread it worse? Are there any animals that will eat this stuff?

Byron 04-19-2012 10:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hywaydave (Post 1051827)
The brush algae has spread to some of my plants. The lights are on for 8 hours. Should I reduce it more? I thought 8 hours was the minimum. Should I try to rub the algae off the plants or wood, or would that spread it worse? Are there any animals that will eat this stuff?

If we mean the little tufts, that is brush algae. I have it, about the only problem algae I do see. It is caused solely by light being greater (in intensity and/or duration) that the plants can use, meaning the nutrients including CO2 must be sufficient to balance the light for the plants. My solution 3 times was to reduce the light.

If it is too intense, then lowering the light tubes/bulbs will work. If the intensity is now balanced (minimal for the system) then lessening the duration will work. I have even had brush algae increase during the summer when more daylight (stronger and longer) enters the room. You can reduce the tank light down to 6 hours minimum, below that the plants will struggle. If you do the less duration, an hour at first may do the trick.

Now, having said all that...brush algae covers my wood, and I leave it alone. It is only when it gets on plant leaves that I bother, because it can suffocate the leaf and then the plant. However, I often find it only on certain leaves, and without fail they are dying. Whether they begin to die (as older leaves will) and the algae then finds them, or whether the algae causes them to begin dying, I don't know.

As for fish eating this, one or two will, but they carry other problems so they are not usually recommended. This algae will not easily come off plants, usually the leaf is torn trying to remove it, so it is better to remove the leaf (depending upon the extent) and work to re-balance the light. Once things are balanced, what is there will not go away, but not increasing is the goal. This is a very, very common algae.

Byron.

hywaydave 06-18-2012 10:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 1052105)
If we mean the little tufts, that is brush algae. I have it, about the only problem algae I do see. It is caused solely by light being greater (in intensity and/or duration) that the plants can use, meaning the nutrients including CO2 must be sufficient to balance the light for the plants. My solution 3 times was to reduce the light.

If it is too intense, then lowering the light tubes/bulbs will work. If the intensity is now balanced (minimal for the system) then lessening the duration will work. I have even had brush algae increase during the summer when more daylight (stronger and longer) enters the room. You can reduce the tank light down to 6 hours minimum, below that the plants will struggle. If you do the less duration, an hour at first may do the trick.

Now, having said all that...brush algae covers my wood, and I leave it alone. It is only when it gets on plant leaves that I bother, because it can suffocate the leaf and then the plant. However, I often find it only on certain leaves, and without fail they are dying. Whether they begin to die (as older leaves will) and the algae then finds them, or whether the algae causes them to begin dying, I don't know.

As for fish eating this, one or two will, but they carry other problems so they are not usually recommended. This algae will not easily come off plants, usually the leaf is torn trying to remove it, so it is better to remove the leaf (depending upon the extent) and work to re-balance the light. Once things are balanced, what is there will not go away, but not increasing is the goal. This is a very, very common algae.

Byron.

Thanks Bryon, I have reduced the lights some. The brush algae has really taken off since this last post but hasn't continued to grow. My other problem is how do I balance the nutrients? The only thing I was doing was using the Excel Flourish tabs and 1 Hagen Co2 ladder. I haven't put tabs in the tank for 2-3 months and I haven't been doing any CO2 either. Any suggestions? I haven't removed any plant leaves with brush algae yet.

Byron 06-19-2012 02:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hywaydave (Post 1121406)
Thanks Bryon, I have reduced the lights some. The brush algae has really taken off since this last post but hasn't continued to grow. My other problem is how do I balance the nutrients? The only thing I was doing was using the Excel Flourish tabs and 1 Hagen Co2 ladder. I haven't put tabs in the tank for 2-3 months and I haven't been doing any CO2 either. Any suggestions? I haven't removed any plant leaves with brush algae yet.

So what fertilizer exactly is now being added regularly? And are the plants growing OK? And what specifically is the light? Without this data, I can't coment on balance.:-)

hywaydave 06-19-2012 08:44 PM

I haven't been adding any fertilizer lately, I'm afraid that is what may be causing all of the brush algae. It's probably been a few months since I put some flourish tabs in the gravel. I've also stopped the CO2 ladder. For bulbs, I have one 36" T5 HO 6700K and one 36" T5 Colormax light. There isn't any sunlight penetrating the room and the lights are on for 7 hours. Ph is 8 and Nitrates are usually around 20ppm by the time I do my weekly water changes.

hywaydave 06-19-2012 08:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hywaydave (Post 1122562)
I haven't been adding any fertilizer lately, I'm afraid that is what may be causing all of the brush algae. It's probably been a few months since I put some flourish tabs in the gravel. I've also stopped the CO2 ladder. For bulbs, I have one 36" T5 HO 6700K and one 36" T5 Colormax light. There isn't any sunlight penetrating the room and the lights are on for 7 hours. Ph is 8 and Nitrates are usually around 20ppm by the time I do my weekly water changes.

My tank size is 45 gallons if that helps.


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