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Old 05-21-2014, 10:11 PM   #1
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Question on Algae

Hey Everybody,

I have a 10 gallon nano tank with a pair of clown fish and a couple of corals. The corals have been in the tank for about 2 weeks now and I am noticing that there is a purple algae growing on the rocks. Also, the sand seems to be growing this brown algae fairly quickly.

From what I read, some purple algae is good and some is bad? I just did a sand cleaning yesterday and I am already noticing more brown algae build up on the sand like I didn't do anything. Could someone look at this picture and let me know if my purple algae is good algae and why is my sand growing algae so quickly?

Thanks for everyones input.
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:26 PM   #2
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Don't sweat the brown algae and the other at least doesn't look like cyano-bacteria, so that's good.
How long has the tank been up? Brown algae is part and parcel of a new tank set-up.
Watch your feedings and test for nitrates/phosphate.
My tank is just starting it's second month and is now covered in brown. It is amusing to watch the hermits scrub it off the rock each night and it grows back for the next evening's snack. LOL

I have a small amount of cyano trying to grow, but so far the critters have been keeping it in check.
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Old 05-22-2014, 12:38 AM   #3
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Hey Thanks for the response. The tank has been in action for about 3 months. The corals have only been in the tank for 2 weeks, which is when I started noticing all the changes to algae ect. Do you think I should get more of a cleaning crew? I have snails 10 snails of an assorted variety picked out by my reef store and a couple of hermit crabs. Or will the tank eventually stop producing the brown algae on the sand? Or should I not even care about it? I was just concerned about the growth in 24 hours seemed kinda high.
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Old 05-22-2014, 03:52 PM   #4
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Is the purple algae hard to remove or is it slimy and pull of easily ?

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Feed your Filtration
Give it to Porc Chop he'll eat anything!!!!!
"This is my tank and these other fish just live in it"
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Old 05-22-2014, 04:50 PM   #5
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The purple stuff is coralline algae and it comes with the territory. It shows your calcium and alk levels are good, so that's a positive thing.

The brown algae is probably diatoms. All tanks get them for a while, they are caused by using tap water, some high silica sands or to a lesser extent, over feeding. They can be removed by siphon and they will eventually not return, but then green filament algae will be your next challenge.
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Old 05-22-2014, 05:14 PM   #6
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Well I just added a Turbo snail to my tank and he is absolutely loving the brown uglies.
He is cruising all over the rock leaving a trail of clean in his wake.
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Old 05-22-2014, 06:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregcoyote View Post
The purple stuff is coralline algae and it comes with the territory. It shows your calcium and alk levels are good, so that's a positive thing.

The brown algae is probably diatoms. All tanks get them for a while, they are caused by using tap water, some high silica sands or to a lesser extent, over feeding. They can be removed by siphon and they will eventually not return, but then green filament algae will be your next challenge.
The above illustrates something very important to understand, yet often not fully appreciated.
An aquarium, fresh or salt but especially salt, can cycle fully and be ready to support life in about 3-8 weeks, but a tank isn't really "established" for at least 9 months to a year, sometimes longer. During that period your tank will go through various stages of development. As Greg points out, things will come and go as your system matures and reaches it's own unique equilibrium.
My wife commented about how ugly our tank is and I told her it looks great to me, doing exactly what it should right when it should, all's well.

The main thing you really want to become thoroughly intimate with is the "normal" behavior of your tank inhabitants, as that will be your best indicator if "all is well" in your system.
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Old 05-22-2014, 06:58 PM   #8
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Make sure you have food for those snails. 10 snails in a 10 gallon doesn't sound ideal. You might want to supplement with nori on a clip for the algae eaters, and meaty foods if you have any nassarius.
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:11 AM   #9
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Well. A pair of clowns doesn't belong in a ten. So, that may be bringing your nitrates and phosphates up, and you may have some issues with nuisance algae soon. If you could, I'd return them both. At least one though. Occ and Percs can do well in 20g tanks. All the others at least a 30.
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