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Old 06-16-2012, 12:57 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Northern Cali
Brown Algae

I may have posted this in the wrong section, if so I apologize.

I cannot get rid of it! I have two 10 gallon tanks. They have been set up for over a year. They should be both cycled. All the parameters are fine. Nitrate 0 Nitrite 0 soft water, 120 alkalinity, pH 6.8. One tank gets a tiny bit of direct sunlight, the other gets none. But both are having this problem. The tank that doesn't get any direct sunlight has 2 bettas in it with a divider, the other only has 1 betta. I only have plastic plants, their hood light is on from about 10am-9pm. I feed them twice a day, only a little bit of flakes, they eat all of what I give them. I do a 2.5-3 gallon water change once a week, i use a gravel siphon so it cleans the gravel. They both have filters built for 10 gallon aquariums. I can clean the brown algae off of everything with hot water and a teeny bit of bleach but in a day or two it's back. I even have algae on the surface of the water. I have tried those "no more algae" white tablets, but they haven't helped much. I have no idea what to do about this. I have tried more water changes a couple times during the week but that doesn't help either. I know that it doesn't hurt the fish but it's so ugly! I want to see my fish! Not brown slime! Someone please help me.
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:28 PM   #2 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Have the diatoms been a problem all the time or did it start to get worse over time....Are you using any tannins, what are the watts on the bulb, kelvin and age of bulbs

Since you don't have live plants-I would limit the photoperiod to no more than 8h/day.
Check the partition between the light and water to ensure that is clean
If the light bulbs are nearing 1 year of age...change them....old bulbs can cause diatoms too.

Wipe off the diatoms and vacuum out along with your 50% weekly water change.

Since you are not showing may not be cycled or something is wrong with the testing product....After a year-you should have a nitrate reading especially since you don't have live plants-But it could be due to the "No more algae" product that was used and it killed the beneficial bacteria and/or soft and low pH water-since the beneficial bacteria can't colonize well in that type of water-but usually the pH needs to be 6 or lower-yours is 6.8.

What kind of testing products are you using and is the source water going through a water softening unit setup on the house-And all the additives used in the tanks.

How often are you changing the filter media
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:34 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Australia!
their hood light is on from about 10am-9pm
Try cutting it from 10-4pm. You're giving the tank too much light, it sounds like.

If the brown algae is like a very fine 'dust' coating or slime, it's likely to be diatom buildup.. they love light and too many nutrients in the water, so clean as much of it off as you can and then cut your lights out altogether for a few days (this will not hurt your bettas/plants any but it'll mess the brown stuff up!) and also watch you are not overfeeding.. definitely good to increase your water changes a bit, to flush out any excess nutrients, I find that helps to starve the goo/dilute the stuff they feed on.

Is you tank new? If not, it might be going through a mini-cycle, diatoms just love cycling tanks.. so keep a close eye on your ammonia/nitrite levels, too.

Here's some info on them (it's for saltwater tanks, but they're the same thing..) in case you'd like some :

(Sorry, OFL! We cross-posted! ><)

Last edited by Aus; 06-16-2012 at 01:36 PM.
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10 gal, betta, brown algae, surface algae, water change

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