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Old 04-13-2011, 02:22 AM   #1 
baylee767
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Thumbs down I WANT a planted tank, But....

I want to setup a beautiful fully planted tank with amazon swords, anubias, java ferns, a dwarf hairgrass carpet, and flame moss. One problem is all my live plants are constantly covered in this terribly ugly brown slime (maybe diatoms, maybe brown algae, maybe something else) And I just can't get rid of it! Even with great levels in my tank! I ask time and time again what it is but never get an answer that works (I have a feeling if I got bladder/zebra nerite snails they STILL wouldn't be able to keep up with it...)

I just don't know what to do. I wonder why peoples planted tanks look so beautiful, and I realize it's because their plants aren't being covered in brown slop and dying from being unable to get light. Seriously, I left a java fern in the shade of another plant and it turned absolutely gorgeous
without all that nasty slime stuff. What am I going to do? It's killing me, it really is )= (You can see the nasty stuff on the tropica sword in my profile pic)

Last edited by baylee767; 04-13-2011 at 02:25 AM.
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Old 04-13-2011, 03:32 AM   #2 
Siren1974
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I'd love to know the answer to this because my large tank has the same problem. Trevor's tank is fine though. Same source of water, same plants but no brown stuff
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Old 04-13-2011, 03:40 AM   #3 
ollief9
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Sometimes plants can have too much light. Anubias is a prime example. If you place it in the brightest spot in the tank, within a few weeks it will suffer from 'that darn ole' brown slop'.
You said the Java Fern thrived in the shade of another plant. What plant was shading it? Was that plant doing well? If so, you could shade all of the feature plants with the 'shady' one. Just an idea, but I'm no expert with planted tanks.
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:08 AM   #4 
alixhero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baylee767 View Post
I want to setup a beautiful fully planted tank with amazon swords, anubias, java ferns, a dwarf hairgrass carpet, and flame moss. One problem is all my live plants are constantly covered in this terribly ugly brown slime (maybe diatoms, maybe brown algae, maybe something else) And I just can't get rid of it! Even with great levels in my tank! I ask time and time again what it is but never get an answer that works (I have a feeling if I got bladder/zebra nerite snails they STILL wouldn't be able to keep up with it...)

I just don't know what to do. I wonder why peoples planted tanks look so beautiful, and I realize it's because their plants aren't being covered in brown slop and dying from being unable to get light. Seriously, I left a java fern in the shade of another plant and it turned absolutely gorgeous
without all that nasty slime stuff. What am I going to do? It's killing me, it really is )= (You can see the nasty stuff on the tropica sword in my profile pic)
Do your know that waste excreted by fish or other living things in the tank can actually transform into a bacteria ?

And aquatic plants attract bacteria to them , too much bacteria will eat your fish flesh , maintaining the amount can help maintaining pH value

And it also effected by how many water u change per how many days ??
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:29 AM   #5 
ilovebunnies
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I can't see your picture very well. Is this what it looks like?

http://www.theaquariumwiki.com/Brown_algae
"Brown algae (diatoms)
Colour: Brown
Appearance: brown slimy coating on tank walls, plant leafs. Comes off easily when rubbed.

Also known as Diatoms, this algae is frequently the result of New Tank Syndrome and it feeds off the silica given off by the silicon gel used in modern aquariums to seals panes of glass together or high levels of silica in the water. When the cause is New Tank Syndrome the algae will frequently clear on its own as the silicates are used up. Otocinclus fish and Malaysian Trumpet Snail will eat this type of algae."

Maybe you are having issues with diatoms because you just redid your tank. I don't know if you are willing to but I've read that people put Oto catfish or snails and have gotten rid of the algae. For now, if you don't want to add fish or snails to the tank you could up the water changes and wipe off the brown stuff from the leaves. It also sounds like you need some sort of fast growing plant in your tank. Maybe you could try duckweed or frogbit. Since they float on the water surface it might help shade the other plants from too much light and prevent algae from forming on the leaves.

I don't know from experience, just what I've read. If the problem is because you redid your tank, then it might be a matter of re-establishing your tank.

Hope this helps, planted tanks can be a PITA, lol ;)
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Old 04-13-2011, 03:33 PM   #6 
Oldfishlady
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To add...too old of light bulbs, wrong lights, photoperiod too long or short to name a few more reasons that can also be a cause of diatoms......if this is a new setup as posted by ilovemybunnies...it could be silica related and will resolve on its own once the tank matures...until then...wipe it off and vacuum it out weekly....

If this is a 20gal or larger aquarium-adding a proper school of ottos will help keep it controlled to a degree, however, you still need to supplement feed them algae waffers or fresh/blanched veggies or both...since a closed system can't support their nutrition needs....if it is less than 20gal....snails and shrimp can be helpful in the control, with that said-you also shouldn't add other livestock unless you want and/or like them to start........ its best to find the root cause and not depend on other livestock to control algae issues that are really the hobbyist job and just part of aquarium keeping...kinda like keeping other pets....you gotta clean up after them...lol.......aquarium keeping is not a "set-it-an-forget-it...hobby.....not saying that is your view....just a general statement......

You have both good and bad bacteria-you have to balance them by maintaining water quality, light, energy...etc.......kill too much of one and another can take over...this is when you start to see problems or the tank crashes....all to often the hobbyist in their quest to a too clean or sterile environment..... end up killing their little ecosystem or balance in a glass/acrylic box......from their good intentions but poor or limited understanding of the dynamics and balance for aquatic life......
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:56 PM   #7 
luluo
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I had a red/brown algae problem as my tank ended the cycle. I posted for help on another aquarium forum and the people there said that this is something that many tanks go through and that it should go away after a while.That was a couple of weeks ago and the red/brown slime is clearing up nicely. I haven't used any treatments at all.

I was leaving my lights on for 12 hours a da but since I have low light plants, I cut it back to 8 hours and I'm sure that helped. Also, my tank is not near a window so it doesn't get any sunlight.
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:22 PM   #8 
JackisLost
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12 hours is way too long, 8 hours is better. Low light doesn't mean how long the lights should be on, it usually means how strong the light is in watts and what color spectrum
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:37 PM   #9 
baylee767
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Jackislost: When did I say I keep my light on 12 hours? It's on 9 hours (reccomended 8-10 by members here...) If I did then oops, typo.

Let's see, I have 2 bulbs 3 or 4 months old (CFL's). The bulbs have 5000 K's each and 30 total watts (15 each). I do small water changes 3 or 4 times a week, about a gallon. I cleanup fish poop, decaying plants matter, etc. The java fern "thrived" I meant that it didn't get covered in diatoms or what ever these are. I plan on cutting it down to weekly water changes very soon now that the tank is cycled, but I'm letting the bacteria adjust to my newer fish (cories)

When I first got this tank cycled, the diatoms stayed for months and they were still there when I redid my tank. In my dads saltwater tank he has the same problem and that setup is a year old and nitrates rarely if ever exceed 10 (everything else is of course usually 0...). We suspect it's silicat/phosphates in the tap. I put in some phosguard a week ago which supposedly removes silicates/phosphates but the brown stuff keeps on growing.

Maybe it's new setup though. Now that I think about it, there was a LOT more green than brown when I redid my tank... heres to hoping that's it )=. If anyone has any suggestions, don't be afraid to offer! (Oh, the tanks 10 gallons much too small for a school of ottos, a school of cories, and a betta)
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Old 04-14-2011, 03:49 AM   #10 
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Oh, I mean that for the person that posted before I did.
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