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Old 06-16-2012, 11:37 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Washington State
Bi-Polar Aquarium....

Reason why I say this is: My aquarium has been having brown algae issues. When I've cleaned the last 2 times, I also have green algae. Now from research, brown happens with newly set up tanks and isn't an algae at all. Could be showing up because our well water is higher in nitates, right now.....and a green usually means?....I only know what a different website said...that it means that you have a healthy environment for your fish. Any clues to help out with getting rid of the brown algae, permanently? And keeping the green algae in check?
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:14 PM   #2 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Sound like you have a pretty good understanding you know...

The brown algae or diatoms are normal with newly set up tanks and they can be caused by old light bulbs, too short of photoperiod to name a few more causes....This you just have to wipe it off and vacuum out with the weekly water changes until the tank matures or if it is a mature tank-change the light bulb if its over 1 year old and/or adjust the photoperiod- Also-if you have a partition between the light and water-make sure this is clean.

Green algae and other types of algae- is normal and expected in a container of water that has both light and nutrients and can be a sign of a healthy system, however, since this is a closed system we have to keep it in check by manual removal along with our water changes.

You can help to limit to a degree by adding fast growing plants, avoiding too much direct sunlight, too high nutrient load and using proper lights/photoperiod...

If you have live plants and are using plant ferts-make water changes before you add ferts to remove any unused/unneeded ferts so the algae can't use it

In tanks without live plants-you want at least 6 hour per day photoperiod and no more than 8hr/day PP.

In tanks with live plants-you want at least 10-12h/day PP-the active plant growth is what can help to out compete the algae for nutrients.

Lights-depending on the tank size and how deep it is.......watts will vary-but you don't want too high of watts unless you are injecting CO2-Most Algae can use any kind of light to grow and some don't need any light.

Its a balance especially with live plants to keep algae as limited as possible in a closed system, however, a little bit of algae can be a good thing too.
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