Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 08-28-2013, 11:39 PM   #1
member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 788
How do i stop the brown Algae from growing ?? so frustrating

Both my tanks have been setup for 8 years constant running now... but every few weeks to a month I have to always wipe down the glass, all my fake plants and ornaments are coverd in brown algae and make it look really ugly... I usually just put them outside and the acid rain we have takes care of it the first time it rains lol. It does rub off easily it isn't like hair algae or super hard to get off green algae it rubs off and desintegrates into particles

But this brown algae wont stop... Now I have all live plants in both tanks, I increased the lighting by 3x the amount it had before.. Both tanks had only 0.5 watts per gallon, now they are around 1.6-2.0 watts per gallon..

I don't overfeed my fish, my nitrates are always around 20-40.. Even doing constant water changes and getting them down to 10 still didn't help.. It isn't because of the plant fertilizer im using or my lighting because like I said it still grew everywhere even with low light and no ferts...

Some people call these diatoms im guessing ? But its so annoying.. So I got like 10 different kinds of Nerite snails and 2-3 oto's in each tank and that helped a lot as far as cleaning Larger leafed plants like the swords and especially the anubias plants.. But smaller leafed plants like the red nesaea and the Limnophila hippuroides and the Java ferns are starting to get coverd in it... Prior my Limnophila hippuroides were either mostly Green and Pink colored.. but now they are brown.. And I cant really wipe it off without damaging them..

So what am I to do ??
__________________

__________________
candymancan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2013, 01:51 AM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Mebbid's Avatar

POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Michigan USA
Posts: 12,625
You might have a lot of silicates in your tap water causing the diatom growth.

I'm not sure if r/o water will remove them but ro/di certainly will. The only problem with that is that you will need to remineralize ro/di water to be safe for fish.
__________________

__________________
"The simplest explanation for some phenomenon is more likely to be accurate than more complicated explanations." -Occam's razor
Mebbid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2013, 04:24 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
azmodan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 2,368
How long do you run your lights and do you have the exact specs of your bulbs?
__________________
azmodan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2013, 07:13 PM   #4
member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 788
I have 3 T8 Lamps over my tank using a Plexiglass hood I made. 2 lights are aqueon 18 inch T8 florescent lights.. One is a Colormax, the other is a FloraMax. Both 15W.. The 3rd light is my original lamp 15 inchs T8 using a Full Spectrum light..

Prior though and I mean very recently I only had 1 light the 15 inch T8, and the brown Algae still grew like mad... It doesn't seem to matter how intense the lighting is or how less intense it is. I leave my lights on probably 10-14 hours a day.

But anyway, it seems the Oto's I got overnight along with the extra snails and re-arranged of my dťcor they cleaned up my plants overnight.. However the plants with thin small leaves aren't.. I did notice my 2 oto's going on them 1 by 1 though.. So maybe I should just get 1 or 2 more and Im thinking they will clean them up really good.

But it still doesn't solve the problem of why this crap is growing in my tank. I don't know what silicates and R/O is ? Also it seems my filter is getting clogged really fast too.. I have a HOB filter as well as undergravel and the HOB on the 27g hex is a single filter and I use Tetra Bio bags. I literally just replaced the filter 1-2 weeks ago and I checked it today and its overflowing.. I pulled it out and the backside is brown and slimy like mud or something... I rinsed it out and gently moved my fingers through it and put it back in and its ok now.. But these Tetra Bio bags turn into mush really quickly... Are there better filters that I can simply rinse and re-use for years ? That will fit in my pump ?
__________________
candymancan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2013, 09:03 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Rivercats's Avatar



POTM Champion
Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Missouri
Posts: 13,146
Your running your lights way too long for starters. When having algae issues you need to run lights 6 hours max to help slow it's growth. RO is reverse osmosis water which means it's been run through an RO unit and produces pure water with no minerals, chemicals, and such in it. Using all RO water and reconstituting it back with minerals from Seachem's Equilibrium for planted tanks will remove all silicates from your tank. Without silicates in the water diatoms can't grow and will die out. A picture of the algae would help so we can be sure you do have diatoms and not something else.
__________________
Rivercats 220g planted tank
Rivercats is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2013, 03:12 AM   #6
member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 788
I'll try to find a pant that has it lol.. I wiped my walls recently, and my big leafed plants were cleaned up by my snails and oto's last night so the tank is clean for now.

My moms 30 gallon tank though has the same exact issue so ill snap a shot of hers
__________________
candymancan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2013, 09:45 AM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
BBradbury's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 5,011
Hello candy...

I don't worry about algae in my tanks. It's a natural thing and a sign of a healthy tank. Algae will help use the dissolved nutrients in the water and is a good food supplement for your fish. They'll eat all the little bugs that live in these plants.

Don't try to remove it, it's time consuming and not a good use of your time. Feed a little a couple of times a week, do your large water changes every week and you can get some Ramshorn snails. They'll keep the algae down naturally.

I keep the front glass area clean and just leave the algae to grow in the other areas.

B
__________________
"Fear not, my young apprentice. Just change the tank water."
BBradbury is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2013, 10:25 AM   #8
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Rivercats's Avatar



POTM Champion
Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Missouri
Posts: 13,146
If your mom's tank has diatoms as well, if it is indeed diatoms, then I suspect you have a high silicate count in your tap water.
__________________
Rivercats 220g planted tank
Rivercats is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2013, 03:09 AM   #9
member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 788
Here is a picture.. I cant find any large spots on this algae anymore.. My oto's and snails keep tearing it apart... but sadly this crap is on my... God I cant remember the name of those thing... You know those tall stringy pink/purple plant Rivercats ? The one we talked about in my other thread when I was asking what kind of plant it was.. Starts with an i I think (they are in the background on the right and left in my pic they are all green now.. lol yea those plants are being covered in it and I cant wipe them clean and my snails wont go on them the leaves are too small and my oto's do on them but they don't clean them very well.. My plants are turning green now because of them blocking the leaves from light.

Here is a pic I have of my hexagon see the anubias that has brown on it ? And if you look at the plant in the very front the now green one it has brown all over its leaves

__________________
candymancan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2013, 10:54 AM   #10
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Rivercats's Avatar



POTM Champion
Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Missouri
Posts: 13,146
The plant is called Limnophila hippuroides and I see it is shedding all it's lower leaves which is fairly common when acclimating or when lower stems aren't getting enough light. You'll have to cut the good top growth off once you get more, pull up the bottoms and throw them away and then plant the good growth top pieces.

As for the diatoms are you running your lights 6 hours only? Either your tap water has silicates in it or your substrate is leaching them so diatoms won't go away. I explained you can try going to pure RO water reconstituted with Equilibrium so there are no silicates in the tank and then if you still have diatom problems you can pretty much assume your substrate is leaching them. You already have a clean up crew that eats them so other than wiping them off there is nothing you can do.

As for the nesaea, I don't see enough diatoms on them to block that much light. Plus I see new growth is coming in green which means you don't have intense enough lighting for them. I have the Golden variety and I run very high light with metal halides and T5HO's but if I don't have the nesaea in the halide intensity light the golden leaves begin to come in greenish. They also color up best in CO2 although I've used high dosages of liquid carbon and attained good color due to my lighting. Plus they need a good fert dosing regime preferably using dry ferts.
__________________
Rivercats 220g planted tank
Rivercats is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2013, 05:58 PM   #11
member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 788
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivercats View Post
The plant is called Limnophila hippuroides and I see it is shedding all it's lower leaves which is fairly common when acclimating or when lower stems aren't getting enough light. You'll have to cut the good top growth off once you get more, pull up the bottoms and throw them away and then plant the good growth top pieces.

As for the diatoms are you running your lights 6 hours only? Either your tap water has silicates in it or your substrate is leaching them so diatoms won't go away. I explained you can try going to pure RO water reconstituted with Equilibrium so there are no silicates in the tank and then if you still have diatom problems you can pretty much assume your substrate is leaching them. You already have a clean up crew that eats them so other than wiping them off there is nothing you can do.

As for the nesaea, I don't see enough diatoms on them to block that much light. Plus I see new growth is coming in green which means you don't have intense enough lighting for them. I have the Golden variety and I run very high light with metal halides and T5HO's but if I don't have the nesaea in the halide intensity light the golden leaves begin to come in greenish. They also color up best in CO2 although I've used high dosages of liquid carbon and attained good color due to my lighting. Plus they need a good fert dosing regime preferably using dry ferts.
Actually that picture is when I just got the red neseae I have only had them in that tank for like a week or two now.. When that pic was taken they were literally only in there for a few days.. They were already green from the store like that... The green leaves on them are turning orange now in that tank you were commenting on (my 27g hex)..They have been in there for about 2 weeks now.. and it has about 1/2 to 2 inch of new growth that is orange . I'll take a picture if you want to see.. This is using 3x T8 Bulbs. (2x are 18 inch Floramax 1x is 15 inch full spectrum)

The red nesaea which I think you might remember in my other thread when I asked about them have about 2 inches of new growth on them have been in the tank for about a month now and the new leaves instead of being green or dark red are more orange.. Which is ok to me as long as they aren't green lol... I'll take a picture to show you. That tank is a long 36inch 30g so it isn't very tall its using 2x T5 NO. One daylight one colormax. That tank is the tank that has the diatoms really badly on the red nesaea..

The diatoms in my 27g on are really bad on my Limpho plants.. The new growth is green the old growth is brown and they are short and dying because of that. Ill show you a picture he



Anyway back on topic.. I went to petsmart and petco.. They only sold API phosphate test kits I couldn't find one for silicates.. However talking to the lady in petco is a saltwater fanatic she said the tap water in our city has phosphates and silicates in the water.. She had to push corporate to start selling seachem Phosguard bags.. So I bought the last one they had left which treats 30G and removes phosphates and silicates. I went to petsmart and noticed API sells something very similar its called API Phoszorb. Comes in pouches and removes silicates and phosphates..

I went home and tested my tap water and sure enough it has between 1 and 2 PPM of phosphates in it.. All 3 of my tanks (27/30/55) have 1-2PPM of phosphates in them as well. So I put 1 big pouch for 55g tanks after the floss filter on my HOB. I did the same for my 30g and I put the seachem bag in m 27g.. I'll check the water every 24 hours and see if the phosphates are going down.

So these phosphates in my tap.. that's whats causing my diatoms to basically be in my tanks for the last like 8 years right ?
__________________
candymancan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2013, 06:30 PM   #12
member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 788
Here are the pictures... The first 3 links are from my 27g hex.. and one pic is of the nesaea see how the new growth is orange ? and under is green (from the pet store as you saw in my old pic) and under that is red from the supplier. It sucks I cant keep it red but as long as it has some color im happy

See the plant in the back on this picture.. see how literally 80% of it is brown... and dead looking.. that's all brown algae or diatoms.. The sword on the right and the anubias on the bottom is clean only because I positioned my driftwood and the anubias against the glass so my snails can get on it

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/...ps62d03823.jpg

See these plants.. how covered in this stuff they are ? In fact my fish tank glass is nasty again... I have to clean all of it the snails help but they leave like teeth marks in the glass lol they don't make it squeaky clean.. I can see the patterns of diatoms they don't get

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/...ps2c225d18.jpg


http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/...ps0384c38e.jpg


These pics below are of the 30g tank.. Notice I have brown algae all over the Limpho plants.. and if you look hard enough its literally covering the nesaea... its hard to tell in the pics but the nesaea has patchs of bown all over the leaves. You can see the new growth too is pretty orange no green.

The brown algae or diatoms or whatever are worse looking in person then on these pics.. its hard to see them in the pics on the neseae because orange/red/brown kinda blend in.. (btw the white dots is just some of the stuff in the API phosguard stuff getting out of the pouch when I put it in the tank.. it floated on my leaves

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/...ps453aadb1.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/...psd5918545.jpg
__________________
candymancan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2013, 06:52 PM   #13
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Rivercats's Avatar



POTM Champion
Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Missouri
Posts: 13,146
Silicates are what causes diatoms as they use it and die out without any present. But the problem with using Phosguard or any phosphate remover in a planted tank is that you "want" phosphates, it's a macro nutrient. Phosphates don't cause diatoms. I keep my tanks running with 5-10ppm of phosphate for better color in my non green plants. If you remove all the phosphates from your water eventually the plants will begin showing signs of phosphate nutrient deficiency.

For diatom control need plenty of nerite snails and oto's are great for keeping diatoms off plants. Your between a rock and a hard place and honestly your best bet is to start using RO water.
__________________
Rivercats 220g planted tank
Rivercats is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2013, 07:27 PM   #14
member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 788
Bah... Well... RO water isn't an option.. I heard those things are expensive as hell and I dunno what else to do... I heard a guy sells 5 gallon buckets of the stuff where I live.. but I mean seriously I have 125g worth of water in my tanks.. driving back and back and back and forth isn't an option either..

So what am I going to do ? I was told phosphates and silicates cause diatoms.. ou see my pics.. you see how bad the diatoms are... and that's only after 2-4 weeks.. imagine 5-6 months I have been dealing with this for almost a decade.. im tired of it.... Oto's I have in my 27g they only go on my swords and occasionally I see one on a nesaea for like 5 seconds and then swims away and doesn't even clean the leaf... and I have 8 nerite snails in that tank.. 4 horned and 4 zebra/tiger and they only clean the driftwood and my anubias which is position next to the glass and driftwood for them to get on and my glass (altho I see there tracks from the teeth or whatever they use so I still have to wipe the glass) ... Otherwise they don't ever go on my LIMPHO and neseae.... Nor do they go on my wisteria and my wisteria is being coverd in the stuff as well..

My 55g tank is now getting diatoms too.. my giant wisteria and my huge water sprite I got and moneywart are being covered in the stuff.... This is so **** frustrating.. Cant I just use the phosguard and Phos zorb until the diatoms disappear as it removes silicates and phosphates... I assume once the silicates are gone the diatoms will die off.. and as long as my nitrates are below 20ppm then I honestly don't have to do water changes and introduce more silicates back into my tanks right.. once the diatoms are gone ill take the filters out.. Is that ok ? Or will they come back ? In fact my 27g hex the nitrates I noticed are going down.. They were at near 40 now they are around 10-20..
__________________
candymancan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2013, 07:57 PM   #15
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Rivercats's Avatar



POTM Champion
Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Missouri
Posts: 13,146
Your not in the US are you? I have a portable RO unit and love it. What do you consider expensive? I kind of look at it like what's more important, have less or no diatoms by using RO which gives you pure water or using a phosphate remover and ultimately having your plants suffer.

Phosphates don't cause diatoms, plants need phosphates as they are a macro nutrient. In fact phosphates are needed by plants as they use them in order to undergo the chemical change needed for coloring up. Coloring up for a plant is like humans using sunscreen. Plants color up to protect themselves from high light.

Diatoms use and need silicates and can't form their shells without them. Silicates and phosphates are two different things. RO removes both and everything else giving you pure water free of minerals and chemicals.
__________________
Rivercats 220g planted tank
Rivercats is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2013, 08:46 PM   #16
member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 788
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivercats View Post
Your not in the US are you? I have a portable RO unit and love it. What do you consider expensive? I kind of look at it like what's more important, have less or no diatoms by using RO which gives you pure water or using a phosphate remover and ultimately having your plants suffer.

Phosphates don't cause diatoms, plants need phosphates as they are a macro nutrient. In fact phosphates are needed by plants as they use them in order to undergo the chemical change needed for coloring up. Coloring up for a plant is like humans using sunscreen. Plants color up to protect themselves from high light.

Diatoms use and need silicates and can't form their shells without them. Silicates and phosphates are two different things. RO removes both and everything else giving you pure water free of minerals and chemicals.

Im confused if RO removes both phosphates and silicates.. wouldn't that be bad for the plants as well ? The filter pads I got removes both Phosphates and Silicates.. Cant I just leave the filter pad in the 3 tanks until the diatoms die off removing all the silicates and then remove the filter and replenish the phosphates with some plant food ? I wish the local stores near me sold a silicate test kit.. all they had was phosphate

I live in Virginia Northern Virginia.. Woodbridge is the city..

Expensive to me is $100+ at least for now
__________________
candymancan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2013, 08:55 PM   #17
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Rivercats's Avatar



POTM Champion
Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Missouri
Posts: 13,146
RO water can be used to cut tap water with reducing minerals, etc or it can be used as a sole source and can be remineralized with certain products so that you know exactly what is being put into your tanks water.

If you have high silicates in your tap water it won't take long after removing the Phosphate remover for diatoms to flare back up.

This is the unit I have... portable countertop reverse osmosis drinking water system - remove fluoride, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, prescription drugs and more. I know it's above your price range but it's very convenient and easy to use. I use it in certain tanks to cut with my tap water to lower my gh, kh, and ph.
__________________
Rivercats 220g planted tank
Rivercats is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2013, 09:07 PM   #18
member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 788
Yea that's too much money $260 is way too much...

What im saying though is use the filter bags for a few weeks to kill all the diatoms off.. then remove them. Because my tanks are so heavily planted my nitrates are dropping pretty fast now.. Prior I had to do like 50-70% water changes every week or two weeks because nitrates got to 40-80ppm.. Now they are hanging around 10-20PPM and I haven't changed the water in my tank in over a week... Now that my nitrates are under control I can do small maybe 10-15% water changes every now and then... At least that wont add as much silicates as a near 50-70% water change would right ? Im thinking if I do it like this then the diatoms would probly come back but not nearly as explosive as they are now..

Or is my thinking not valid ?
__________________
candymancan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2013, 12:21 PM   #19
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Rivercats's Avatar



POTM Champion
Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Missouri
Posts: 13,146
You can try with the phosphate remover with the method you described but watch your plants. Then you can try the smaller WC's too and see how it goes. When you get a problem like this you just have to keep trying different methods until you find one that works so give it a try. As long as your aware to watch plants for phosphate deficiency then give it a try.

$169... for the RO unit but for me having to use it weekly it's earned it's price back and then some. I'm lucky in the fact we have good water with low silicates, phosphates, and a lot of the other annoying things but it's liquid rock with a gh, kh, and ph out the roof.
__________________
Rivercats 220g planted tank
Rivercats is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2013, 02:45 PM   #20
member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 788
Well our water is really hard, I don't know how hard because im building my way up the test kits atm lol I have to buy 1 at a time because of money.. But yea our faucets and so forth have like lime and calcium building on them the PH is 7.8 almost 8.0 and it reeks of chlorine and then I find out we have 2PPM of phosphates and it has silicates in it in too im not sure how much though but it must be a lot because the tanks never stopped growing diatoms..

Anyway its been 2-3 days now since using the pads and my diatoms have stopped growing I think and my plants in the pictures up top are clearing up.. They still have brown stuff on there leaves but now its in patches and holes are showing up allowing green leaf to show. I think these pads are working... As for my plants they seem to be ok I don't notice any odd discoloration or shriveling or anything like that.. My phosphates have been 0 for 2 days now according to my api dripper.
__________________

__________________
candymancan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
algae, brown, brown algae

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off








» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:34 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.