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Discussion Starter #1
the first is that i have brown algae in my tank and was wondering if there was any way to get rid of it other than just cleaning/rinsing substrate, etc? i took everything out of the tank and cleaned it because it was getting pretty bad. my water params are normal, was i just feeding too much?

second question is that my mothers tank is green...green water that is...and i refered to the algae sticky that blue posted
Green Water

This is characterized by the appearance of your tank turning into 'green stew'. High ammonia level, excessive lighting, sunlight exposure and nutrient imbalance are often the causes.
The use of daphnia can be done(without the fish, of course Wink ). Blackout and installation of UV sterilizers will often help.
Another method is the use of barley. they can help absorb the green algae out of the tanks or ponds.

Do not use water changes when trying to get rid of this algae. You are only letting it produce more which can be dangerous as they tend to use up even oxygen needed by the fish.
and i guess im wondering about the barley? what kind of barley? concentrated powder? she tried the "no light" and it didnt work, and she tried water changes and upgrading her filter and it didnt work. any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
no...ro water
 

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Hi Bri.:wave:

This link might help you. Eric made an excellent article regarding the use of barley.:)
 

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The easiest way to clear something like this is to first identify the cause. If the cause isn't found and treated, then this will be a continual problem. Algae blooms like this typically signal a problem somewhere. How big of a tank? What and how many fish? That's the place to start... look at feeding habits, water exchanges, how much and how often, replacing carbon in the filter if more than 30 days old, lack of gravel vacs (even if the water changes are done, if gravel isn't cleaned about once/month, nitrate levels will still build)
The most important thing to remember about algae blooms is that they need only 2 things to thrive... light and nutrient levels.
The first thing I would be doing is water testing, especially phosphate and nitrate levels, but also ammonia, nitrite, and pH. Phosphates tend to grow hair algaes, so I'm guessing it's probably not the cause. R/O water should have no phosphate content, although an old unit not well maintained will eventually leak phosphates and a few other things into the water.
Barley works well, but only in collecting the algae, it won't kill it. If the problem is not found, you'll spend a small fortune and find you have to always use the barley, which at some point, may not even be enough to fix the problem.
I would suggest getting her water tested, bring the results back here, and we can help you to sort it out.
Good Luck with it!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
hi dawn, what would you suggest about the brown algae? is it as simple as upgrading to a better flourescent bulb? my tank looks pristine except for the brown algae growing everywhere. i got 2 snails to help but i dont see a difference. thanks!
 

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With the brown algae, again, it is a matter if identifying the cause. If overfeeding was the issue, that should also show up in water parameters. Algae, whatever the species of it, needs only the 2 things to thrive... light and nutrient level. If there is no nutrient level to feed it, then the next logical place to start looking is type of light bulb(s) being used, and also the age of the bulb(s) being used. If a bulb is more than 8 months old, I suggest replacing it. Are there live plants in the tank that need anything specific for light?
I'm pretty good at problem solving for stuff like this, but it's difficult with me not knowing enough info about your tank. The more info you can give me, the easier and quicker I can help you. When you say water params are normal... what are the actual numbers coming out for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH? I've talked to others who rely on the LFS to tell them about their water quality, and the LFS says "normal"... yet I can run the tests on that same water sample 10 minutes later, and it's all out of whack. It is sometimes a matter of who is testing, what kits they're using, and if they're doing the tests correctly.
At this point I don't know enough to further troubleshoot your situation. Feel free to post more information for me to work with, I will try my best to help you resolve this issue. If it gets too complicated for you, drop me an IM and we can find a messenger program to chat on until we sort it out... sometimes it's easier to ask questions and get immediate answers.
Good Luck with it!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
all of my info is in the track my tank section, i journal all of the stuff i do with my tank...my ph is about 7.4, my ammonia is 0 my nitrites 0 my nitrates are about 20 and i do weekly water changes of about 10-20 percent using spring water. the bulb is flourescent and came with my tank setup, which i purchased august 19 of this year. are you suggesting that i should try leaving the light OFF? cuz i read somewhere else on this forum that the way to treat brown algae is to upgrade to a brighter bulb (or increase lighting)...is this wrong? thanks for all your help!

Bri
 

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I had an brown algea bloom in my 450 just a few weeks ago because my roomate was turning on my lights at 7 in the morning and they would stay on till i got hom at about 8pm. My lights are well strong enough to grow corals with so having a stronger light wont fix it. id say limit the time your lights are on and depending on the size of the tank there are many natural ways to remove the algea.

Id say black out your moms tank for a few days and all the green should disapear.

Also depending on your bio load and filter size you might want to think about doing a bigger water change a week.
 

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I will go look in a little while, see what is listed for your tank stats. More light will only make algae worse, so no... I wouldn't do longer or stronger lighting. Less light can help... how often do you leave the light on? More than 8 - 10 hrs/day is excessive in freshwater, 10 - 12/day for saltwater is average.
I will wait for more advice until I've seen your tank info.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
i listed my stats in my previous post...and my lights tend to stay on from about 8 in the morning to about 10 or 11 at night. and my tank is next to a window, but i do keep the dark shades drawn most of the time. maybe i am letting the light stay on for too long.

as of an hour ago these are my stats

ph:7.4
alkalinity:160
nitrate:20ppm
nitrite:>.5ppm
temp 80-82

thanks!
 

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I'm going to ask you to check phosphate levels, I want to make sure that's not the cause of the brown algae problem before we go any further.
I'm also wondering how soon before you intend to upgrade the size of this tank? With the population you have listed, that tank is quite crowded with fish. Angelfish shouldn't be put into a 10 gallon tank. Angelfish average 8 inches in diameter when full grown, and grow quickly. The other thing about angelfish is that they are territorial and get more aggressive as they mature. I would expect to see conflict between the fish sometime in the next few months for that reason alone.
As for the lighting change, what might have been meant was a different type of bulb, not a higher watt bulb of the same type. The spectrum of light being put out by your bulb will have a huge effect on what happens to algae growth. Brown algae thrives on the red/orange spectrum... if you change the bulb to something without such red/orange intensity to it, this may indeed help.
I read through your tank stats, and for starters, the fish were added quite soon after starting the tank, which may have caused some problems with acheiving your balance properly with cycling. The .5 nitrite you are now showing could be due to cleaning everything in the tank. If you depleted any of the bacteria culture, especially that soon after cycling, you may have caused a mini cycle, which is what it appears to be to me.
One thing to remember, when cleaning, don't clean the filter/media at the same time you clean gravel and other decorations in the tank. These are the 2 places your bacteria culture will thrive, and if both are cleaned at the same time, the tank will go through a "mini cycle" until the bacteria level catches up to the waste level.
I guess at this point all I can do is wait on results for phosphates and heavily suggest moving the angelfish out to a minimum of 55 - 75 gallons, and possibly upgrading to a larger tank for the remaining fish. I wouldn't work with anything less than 25 - 30 gallons for what you have now, minus the angelfish.
 

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I am tring to grow java moss onto some driftwood in my pleco tank, been in about 2 weeks and has developed brown algae on the plant which being the only plant in the tank looks a little unsightly imo. 2 days ago after the advice of someone i trust ay my lfs, i removed the carbon from my filter and have replaced with a couple of bags of Hagen green-x phosphate remover at the last stage of filtration. I will be post the results as and when i notice a difference, should start working immediately from what i understand and once i have found my turkey baster to remove the existing algae hopefully these inserts should stop it regrowing, fingers crossed! I will update when i can!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
thanks dawn...how do i get my phosphates tested? i havent seen a kit for that at my lfs...and i am upgrading to a 47 gallon tall tank probably in the the next two weeks. it has been in the works for several weeks now as i know that my tank is overstocked and i want to move my angel to a larger tank asap. i feel bad for the cramped-ness so i try to keep it extra clean, but i am working on getting that bigger one as soon as possible.

as far as the lamp goes, how do i tell what spectrum it is? its just a standard bulb that came with the kit. thanks for all your help. i have been leaving the light off completely for several days now...seems to help a tiny bit anyways.

bri
 

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Hi Bri,
When shopping for a bulb, if it's an aquarium bulb, the packaging should have a chart on it, with an explaination of the color spectrum for that bulb. If you compare them, you'll see a difference in the color spectrum. You'll want to go with the bulb that has the least red/orange in the spectrum.
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produ...&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial&Np=1&pc=1&N=0&Nty=1
Check out the link for an example of a phosphate test kit. I found this one at Dr's Foster & Smith. Their prices are pretty good and they are a reliable store online in case you can't find one at your LFS.
Good Luck and let me know if you need any further help.
 
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