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Old 06-12-2010, 07:03 PM   #1 
thegameksk
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Brown Algae

Hey guys. My split 10 gallon with amazon sword had brown algae. Ive seen in some posts that once you get algae, your tank is ideally set up for live plant growth. What should I do about the Brown algae if anything? I do have 4 catfish on one side of the tank. I did have 2 on each side but I need to remove my Bettas when I feed them or they eat the catfish food. I put all four together so I dont have to take out both Bettas.
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Old 06-12-2010, 09:30 PM   #2 
1fish2fish
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Brown algae really isn't algae but diatoms. Most algae eaters don't eat it. Really the only way to get rid of it is to keep scrubbing it off. Eventually it will go away.
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Old 06-22-2010, 01:34 AM   #3 
thegameksk
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What causes it?
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Old 06-22-2010, 01:36 AM   #4 
Adastra
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It usually shows up when your tank is finishing a cycle--probably due to nitrate spikes. Most snails will eat diatoms. You could get some Seachem Excel to feed your plants and get rid of the algae at the same time. I love Excel.
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Old 06-22-2010, 02:12 AM   #5 
thegameksk
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I just ordered some. Even though I did a full water change only 2 weeks ago the brown algae is back to full force. Within a day of cleaning my tank it came back. I might pick up snails tomorrow though I worry my Betta might eat it. Which kind should I get?
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:25 AM   #6 
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My mystery snails never touched my Diatoms. Even if they did they never actually got very much of it, they would just leave snail trails through the diatoms.
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Old 06-22-2010, 01:33 PM   #7 
Adastra
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Well, they do tend to leave snail trails as they eat, haha. Ramshorns will eat diatoms, so will common pond snails and nerites. I have only had one betta in my experience that has been a snail eater--it is a fairly rare behavior from what I've seen. Generally the ramshorns that are around the size of a dime are safe.
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Old 06-22-2010, 01:42 PM   #8 
dr2b
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How old is the tank? If it is newer then it is related to it being a new tank. If not, it is a nutrient imbalance (whether light, co2, or ferts).

I was told using Seachem excel makes it worse because it fluctuates the nutrients causing more brown algae growth. I was also told find the deficiency and the problem is solved. I battled brown algae for 6 months. I finally figured out it was related to the fert I was using... it wasn't giving the right about of nutrients to balance the light.
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Old 06-22-2010, 01:56 PM   #9 
Adastra
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This is true, if your photo period is too long, or the lighting is too intense, it can be the root of your algae problems. Adding excel can be helpful in this case, as well, though--especially if there is insufficient CO2 for the plants to grow under those light conditions. Adding more plants and sufficient nutrients can help starve out the diatoms. I had a diatom outbreak when I first set up my 29, but my UV sterilizer and some extra excel knocked it out pretty fast--I've only seen occasional minor dustings since the sterilizer has been off.
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