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Old 07-17-2005, 08:00 PM   #1
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Sunlight causing algae problems?

I think i remember from my freshwater days that natural sunlight can cause excessive algae to grow in aquariums. Is this true for SW tanks as well? In the mornings, the light really poors through my living room windows and hits my sw tank for about 3 hours or more every morning. I've had a lot of brown looking algae problems and i've tried to combate them with mild sucess. I'm wondering why i only get this nasty brown algae and not the cool splotche algae i see in a lot of other setups on this forum. Is the sunlight the cause?

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Old 07-17-2005, 10:55 PM   #2
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Sunlight will definitley cause algae to grow. It's photosynthetic. The more light, the better it will spread. Is your algae like a film, or more like a dusty covering?


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Old 07-18-2005, 01:24 AM   #3
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more like a film i think....it grows on the sides of the tank and all over everything else.
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Old 07-18-2005, 08:11 AM   #4
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I had a serious outbreak of brown algae after moving my tank. It was all over the sand, glass, and rocks... looked horrible. I invested in 10 Mexican Turbo Snails from liveaquaria.com and these guys cleaned it up in no time at all. These guys are big, almost golf ball sized, don't confuse them with smaller Astraea or Trochus Snails that are sometimes refered to as turbo snails. Good luck!
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Old 07-18-2005, 10:08 AM   #5
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brown 'algae' is usually diatoms and not algae. This is a new tank right? (less than 2 months old?)
If so, diatoms are normal, and really aren't controlled by light exposure. They have to run their course. Some snails (and maybe even hungry hermit crabs) will eat it.

However, if it's more like a thin sheet, possible with little air bubbles trapped in it...that's cyanobacteria, which can range from red, maroon, brown to almost black. Cyano forms int he presence of low current and/or increased phosphate levels (phosphates are why many people stick to RO/DI water for marine tanks...its phosphate free)
Former advisor and planted tank geek...life's moved on though.
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algae, light, sunlight

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