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Old 03-07-2013, 04:02 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Nebraska
Question Brown algae?

I've started having what appears to be a brown algae problem in a 5-gal tank that's about two months old and cycled. I can see a brown film starting to coat the glass, plants, and gravel. Usually, I just wipe it off, since it so easily comes off. The only inhabitant in the tank is my betta, although there used to be a golden mystery snail. I have five different species of plants in my tank, all doing well. I give them Flourish once a week along with 8 hours of full spectrum light every day. Ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates are all virtually zero, and my pH is around 7.5-ish. The tank is also aerated.

Any suggestions on help with the brown algae? Is there anything I can do to keep it from growing, or should I just go out to get a snail or other algae eater?
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:59 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Dec 2012
I would like to watch this thread too. I started my tank in early January and completed the cycle in February. Now I am starting to see brown all over the glass and just today started to see green. I hope someone can give us a hand in this.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:06 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Chautauqua County, NY - My mind is in my fish tank usually
Brown algae is common in newly set up tanks. Its also common problem in tanks with poor lighting or where you don't have a well established cycle just yet.

In a well maintained tank, it usually goes away within a few weeks of appearing. Just keep wiping it away and vacuum any gravel it shows up on whenever you do a water change.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:41 AM   #4 
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Location: Southern NH
It sounds like a bacterial bloom and is pretty common in new tanks. Byron explains it very well in this thread - post #10.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:23 PM   #5 
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Thanks everyone for the great info. My tank lighting is OK and I have ordered better lights since my plants are doing OK as well. They could be doing better and I think it is because of the lighting, LED's. So I have some 6500K on order to increase the light. I will clean the glass and vacuum the gravel this weekend in hopes of bringing it down.
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:16 PM   #6 
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Here is what I did on Sunday
  • removed my betta to his cup
  • removed all my plants and snails
  • scrubbed down all the walls
  • vacummed the sand
  • removed sponges from HOB and put in charcoal filter
  • let run for over an hour to clear all the crud that I stirred up
  • rinsed off plants in old tank water
  • rinsed off sponges and placed them back in HOB filter, removed charcoal filter of course
  • replanted plants and made adjustments
  • added 1.5 gallons of treated water
  • added snails
  • added betta after acclimating in cup for about an hour.
  • upgraded lights (thread to come soon)
I will keep an eye out for more brown algea. Thanks again everyone for the help and information
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