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Old 01-16-2012, 08:17 PM   #1
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Brown algae/ diatoms

I have been having this issue with brown algae in my tank. It has been set up for approx 4 months now. I do weekly water changes. 15 gallons or so. My ph is around 7.8 ish. I was told it was alright as long as it stays steady. My nitrates stay around 40ppm. I'm not sure why I can't bring them down.

Anyways onto the question. I just scrubbed all of the decorations and the walls of the tank. It usually comes back after a week or so. I use Prime conditioner when I change the water. I have well water. I was told that could be the problem. Is there anything I can put in the water to kill the algae? Is there any way to prevent it from coming back? Thank you.
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:40 PM   #2
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It could be diatoms. New tanks tend to get those. I got nerite snail and plants. They took care of it. Nerites because they ate it, plants because they use nitrates (and nitrites and ammonia) as nutrients. More/larger water changes take out more nitrates too.
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:14 PM   #3
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It's normal, most new tanks get them at some point or other. They'll go away eventually. It's better to wait it out and not add any unnecessary chemicals to the tank. Or get a nerite snail or two, they'll probably help out (and they can't breed in freshwater so you won't be overrun with them).

Have you checked your tap water for nitrate? 40 is on the higher side; <20 is recommended. How often do you do water changes?
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:31 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I might get a snail or two. I have been keeping the lights off also. I heard that helps. I haven't checked the tap water. I change it every week.
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:46 PM   #5
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A friend of mine has Ottos that eat the diatoms. She swears by them. I am going to try them out. Diatoms are caused by Silicates in the water.
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Old 01-18-2012, 11:31 AM   #6
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Is there a way i can test for silicates in the water? I will look into the ottos also.
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:23 PM   #7
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You can buy a silicate test kit.
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