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Old 11-16-2011, 06:15 PM   #1 
Marvelous
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Brown Spots

My 5.5 gallon divided tank has some kind of brown spots on the decor. There is a white mug that's covered in small brown spots, the filter has what looks like brown water in the water bottle baffle. There is brown on the divider. There are brown spots on the plants. It's everywhere on the half of the tank with the filter. The fish look good and active. My husband said it looks like rust, but I can't find anything that would produce rust like that. Any info/guesses would be helpful
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:27 PM   #2 
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It sounds like diatoms....is this a new setup or light bulbs over a year old...

The diatoms should wipe off easy so they can be siphoned out with your regular weekly water change.....

Diatoms or brown algae is normal in new setups-wipe off and remove weekly-they should resolve as the tank matures-they can also be caused by old light bulbs or lights not on long enough (less than 6hr/day).....

Can you post a pic....
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:32 PM   #3 
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I have a picture of the top of the mug, and the baffled filter, and the leaves of the plant.

The tank is a couple of weeks old. I use Betta Bowl Plus at my water change on Sundays, and I changed 20% of the water out this week. I have to admit this is not a properly cycled tank. I pretty much bought everything and threw it all together, then found this forum and saw that I did it backward.

I was looking at ghost shrimp the other day. Would they help in this situation? Could a put a couple in my 5 gallon tank?
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:23 PM   #4 
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Yep, that's diatoms. Ghost shrimp won't eat it, some snails will. Just wipe it off if you don't like how it looks. It should stop appearing once your tank has been set up for a while longer.
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:46 PM   #5 
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Your fine...the tank will cycle with time, however, you may want to increase the water changes to 50% weekly-wipe the diatoms off and siphon them out along with a water change...be sure and give the filter media a rinse/swish in old tank water with a water change a couple of times a month to maintain good water flow for the beneficial bacteria for the nitrogen cycle...and as Heatherbar posted....the diatoms should resolve once the tank matures some....it can take a month or longer...it varies....
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