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Old 05-30-2011, 02:16 PM   #1 
etanico
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Freaked out and need help!

I went on vacation for three days. Upon my return, I noticed that there were lots of brown spots all over my Greek-ruin decorations. I scrubbed them with a toothbrush and hot water and they're as good as new. But at closer glance, my live Java Fern has lots of brown spots and tiny black dots on some leaves. Additionally, the gravel in the tank and the artificial plant has lots of brown spots. My fish is also spending a lot of time on the bottom of the tank and seems to have less energy.

I am about to go purchase 1 or 2 Ottos in the tank to get rid of the algae. Is this a smart decision? Will they get the job done or is it something else?
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:24 PM   #2 
jeanclaudeasher
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It would be helpful if you could answer as many of these questions as possible:

Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)? Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)? Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:41 PM   #3 
etanico
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Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gal.
What temperature is your tank? 78
Does your tank have a filter? Yes.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No.
Is your tank heated? Yes.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? TopFin Pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once daily.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25-50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Water Purifier.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? None.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Less active.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Within past 5 days.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Had fin rot a few months ago.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Around 1 year?
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:53 PM   #4 
jeanclaudeasher
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Well it sounds like the brown spots are algae, is your tank near a window where it gets lots of sun? If you wash your gravel and the artifical plant in warm water with vinegar it should get rid of the algae. I don't have live plants but you should be able to rinse their leaves off with old tank water, someone else might be able to let give you a better clue on those. Since your fish is spending time at the bottom of the tank I would try doing a partial water change.
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:01 PM   #5 
bettafish15
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Yeah, I think it's just brown diatoms. They go away eventually. Your tank is not large enough for such tankmates, stick with snails, some kinds will get rid of the diatoms I think, but not sure on that. Shrimp are also a good choice.
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:06 PM   #6 
vaygirl
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Brown algae is usually diatoms. They're pretty normal in a new tank. Even in an older tank they can show up. There are a few causes for them. Too much light and not enough plants to out compete the diatoms for nutrients. If you have a plant light that's older then 6 months, it could need replacing. You could have Silicates in your tap water. I've also read that phosphate in your water can be a cause. If your tank is new, just keep up with the wiping and wait it out. If it's not, pond or nerite snails make excellent diatom eaters BUT they do create a lot of poo, so weekly vacuuming will become a MUST. You could also try getting plants that grow faster. Java fern is slow growing and will have a harder time outcompeting diatoms for nutrients. Wisteria is a good choice, so is valisneria or wendtii. In any case, diatoms won't harm your fish.
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:11 PM   #7 
Oldfishlady
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In a 5gal filtered tank with live plants.....It is not big enough for a proper school of ottos to start, the black spots on the java fern may be spores and normal...soon you may see some baby ferns forming on the leaf....

How long has the tank been setup...if new-it may be diatoms and normal that will resolve on their own as the tank matures, just wipe off and suck out with the water changes....if the tank, namely the light bulb is over 1 year...it could be diatom from an old light bulb.....

I would make a couple of water only changes of 50% for the next 2 days and see if this perks him up.....wipe off the brown spots and suck them out when you clean and change the light bulb if its over 1 year of age......

Water purifier....what is this....

Can you post a pic of the tank and Betta.....
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:11 PM   #8 
naturegirl243
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Yeah it's probably brown algae or diatoms, a couple of my tanks get them the one finally just stopped getting them one day and my 20 gal. long gets them and my 29 gal goldfish tank.I woulden't worry about it I put my snail in my 20 long and he eats it up and cleans the tank real nice he is actually learning to climb the dividers now lol.
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:20 PM   #9 
KayDowson
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its probably brown algae... it will go away... Its too small to put a school of more fish in there and not areated (ur filter may add some air) I would go with snails but watch them as they will breed alot and fast... if you see styrofome looking stuff above your water line (snails lay eggs above water) those are snail eggs... you can just scrub them off to prevent that.
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:16 PM   #10 
naturegirl243
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KayDowson View Post
its probably brown algae... it will go away... Its too small to put a school of more fish in there and not areated (ur filter may add some air) I would go with snails but watch them as they will breed alot and fast... if you see styrofome looking stuff above your water line (snails lay eggs above water) those are snail eggs... you can just scrub them off to prevent that.
If you just get one mystery snail you won't have babies.I have two but they are in different tanks I have had one of them for about 5 months now and no snail babies.Snails do poop ALOT though so thats just a warning but I love my snails they have alot of personality.
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