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Old 08-11-2012, 02:35 AM   #1 
AdrianneB89
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Brown stuff?????

U have a betta bowl with a sponge filter and I do water changes every 3-4 days and there is this brown stuff growing on all the surfaces in the tank. Is is algea.. go I just need to do a whole tank clean and replace water... Ive never seen this and its not in my Guppy tank..
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Old 08-11-2012, 04:42 AM   #2 
AdrianneB89
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I have a betta bowl.. Sorry..
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Old 08-11-2012, 06:08 AM   #3 
Pogthefish
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Diatoms. Yes it is algae, it is harmless. How many gallons is the bowl? How much water do you change when you do a water change?
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:12 AM   #4 
PixelatedPaint
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That sounds like brown diatoms to me, as Pogthefish suggested.

Brown diatoms are a very common occurance, especially in newly set up tanks.


They should eventually go on their own. It appears in a sudden bloom and eats excess nutrients in the water. It will die off once those nutrients have been removed or used up.


Best way to get rid of brown diatoms is, high light, frequent water changes in order to remove excess nutrients, as well as refraining from dosing if you are, say for plants.

In a planted tank, the plants will eventually out-compete the diatoms and they will die off. Although sometimes some plants will die as the diatoms appear in a bloom and can damage some weaker plants by either stealing too many nutrients and/or growing on said plant to the point where it cannot get enough light.



You can remove the visible diatoms on the glass with a scraper and such, but will go away in time either way.



Ottoclincus catfish love eating this diatom in particular, so if you have enough room and wouldn't mind an otto, they make a great addition to your cleaning crew. IMO they are the best for this diatom, although rams horn, nirite and some shrimp are known to eat this one as well. Plants also eat the nutrients that this diatom eats, so plants may also help.

So in short.


This is normal.

Ways to get rid of...



-High light ( This diatom has a tendency of growing in lower light sections of tanks)
-refrain from plant dosing
-Manually remove some of it ( for aesthetics)
-Frequent water changes
- introduction of cleaning critters
-Go with the flow. As time passes it will also pass

Hope this helped.

Last edited by PixelatedPaint; 08-11-2012 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 08-11-2012, 01:37 PM   #5 
AdrianneB89
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My tank is 2 gallons, and I don't think that is big enough for anything but my betta, and I have a live plants.. was thinking of getting some more though because all i have right now if a couple of penny wort. and yes I know that most say that a betta needs 5 gallons, but my betta is happy he makes bubble nests and swims around and is very happy. When I can I will be getting a bigger tank ... Thank you :)
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Old 08-11-2012, 03:00 PM   #6 
Pogthefish
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Actaull bubblenests mean ready to breed, and any experienced keeper will laugh at that, jsyk, but I'm not attacking you, I have happy bettas in 2.5 gallons. How often do you do water changes? I would do 50% every other day and weekly 100%
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Old 08-11-2012, 04:39 PM   #7 
PixelatedPaint
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Bubble nests can mean more than ready to breed. bubble nests can also be formed by a troubled betta as well. continuous "gasping" can make the bubbles that form a nest.

I've also had bettas make a bubble, then chase it and try to pop it. So god knows why, we cant speak fish so knowing for certain is impossible.

In this case it is probably because of the smaller size tank. It is probably mimicking dry season, the time they spawn.


I have a betta in a 2gal and hes plenty content, although it is a heated filtered 2 gal.
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:26 PM   #8 
Pogthefish
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Gasping bubbles pop more easily.
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:05 AM   #9 
PixelatedPaint
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They do but it doesnt mean it wont make a nest. I bought one in horrid condition once and had a bubble mountain made of gasping bubbles.
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:09 AM   #10 
MyRainbowBettaFish
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and they didn't pop?
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