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Old 05-18-2021, 05:09 AM   #1
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Brown Algae

Hello!
I currently have a 10 gallon with 1 glofish electric green danio, 1 sunburst-orange tetra (not long fin) , and 1 black molly. My fish tank has brown mold growing on the sides, is there any way to stop it from getting worse? Also, what would a good algae eater to add? Thank you in advice!

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Old 05-18-2021, 07:45 AM   #2
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Some more details on the tank please.

How long has the tank been set up?

Is it cycled?

Is there a light on the tank? If so how long is the light on for each day?

Do you know your water parameters?

Brown "mold" sounds like diatoms which are common in newly set up tanks and normally clear up on their own given time. You can manually remove with an algae scraper in the meantime.

I should also point out that the danio and tetra should be kept in bigger numbers than single fish. They are social fish and like to be with others of their own kind, 6 minimum. Unfortunately your tank isnt big enough to support 6 of each so i would consider getting a bigger tank (say 20 gallons) or stick to one or the other and get a small school of 1 type.

Edit. The molly also would be better in bigger numbers, but see also my comment about the size of your tank and the number of fish it can support.
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Old 05-18-2021, 03:12 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Aiken Drum View Post
Some more details on the tank please.

How long has the tank been set up?

Is it cycled?

Is there a light on the tank? If so how long is the light on for each day?

Do you know your water parameters?

Brown "mold" sounds like diatoms which are common in newly set up tanks and normally clear up on their own given time. You can manually remove with an algae scraper in the meantime.

I should also point out that the danio and tetra should be kept in bigger numbers than single fish. They are social fish and like to be with others of their own kind, 6 minimum. Unfortunately your tank isnt big enough to support 6 of each so i would consider getting a bigger tank (say 20 gallons) or stick to one or the other and get a small school of 1 type.

Edit. The molly also would be better in bigger numbers, but see also my comment about the size of your tank and the number of fish it can support.
Itís been up since early march, iím not sure what cycled means, and i also have an LED light for the glofish on about 7-8 hours a day. How can I find out my water parameters? Iím sorry, iím still new to fish community but iím more than willing to learn because I want my fish to survive and live their happiest lives! I see iíll have to talk to my parents about getting a bigger fish tank but iím sure iíll be able to convince them! Thank you for that advice. I tried getting rid of that mold but changing all the water and scrubbing everything down with gentle soap but it ended up coming back after a week or so. Thank you for your time
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Old 05-18-2021, 03:51 PM   #4
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The nitrogen cycle is the process where harmful ammonia (fish waste and decomposing uneaten food) is consumed by beneficial bacteria which produces less harmful nitrite. Different bacteria then consumes the nitrite and produces much less harmful nitrate which you remove with your water changes.

Cycling the tank is the process you go through to grow sufficient beneficial bacteria in your filter media to consume all the harmful ammonia and nitrite your livestock produces and convert it to less harmful nitrate, which as said previously you can remove with water changes. When your system is able to do this you are said to be "cycled".

A couple of ways to tell if you are cycled. Your fish will stop dying for one. Another way is to test your water. If your tests are consistently showing 0 ammonia and nitrite and you are seeing nitrate steadily rising that is a good sign you are cycled. It typically takes a couple of months to cycle a tank and there are various methods of doing this. Even if you do nothing your tank will eventually cycle.

Being able to test your water is a good idea as your water parameters can give you an idea of what is going on in your tank and act as an early warning of issues. Test kits are available, API freshwater master test kit is a good one. It covers the basics (pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) is good value (it will do 100s of tests), and is fairly easy to use. I would recommend a test kit, failing that fish stores will usually do water tests for you. Some will even do it for free. If you get a fish store to do it, make sure you get the test results. Dont just accept that "they are fine".

Can you explain more about the soap and what you did? Soap is the last thing you want in the tank.

Can you post a picture of your "mold"?

As i said it sounds very much like diatoms, which is commonly called brown algae and is a bacteria colony feeding off nutrients. They commonly occur in new tanks and normally go away as the tank establishes and the nutrients balance out. Over time green algae will outcompete the diatoms for nutrients and green algae is easier to deal with. Diatoms are harmless, just unsightly. Get an algae scraper and just periodically wipe it off in the short term.

You also asked about an algae eater. I would go for a snail or 2. Perhaps nerite snails as they cant reproduce in freshwater. They will still lay eggs though which can be a pain to remove. Nerite snails will eat diatoms too.
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Old 05-18-2021, 06:56 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Aiken Drum View Post
The nitrogen cycle is the process where harmful ammonia (fish waste and decomposing uneaten food) is consumed by beneficial bacteria which produces less harmful nitrite. Different bacteria then consumes the nitrite and produces much less harmful nitrate which you remove with your water changes.

Cycling the tank is the process you go through to grow sufficient beneficial bacteria in your filter media to consume all the harmful ammonia and nitrite your livestock produces and convert it to less harmful nitrate, which as said previously you can remove with water changes. When your system is able to do this you are said to be "cycled".

A couple of ways to tell if you are cycled. Your fish will stop dying for one. Another way is to test your water. If your tests are consistently showing 0 ammonia and nitrite and you are seeing nitrate steadily rising that is a good sign you are cycled. It typically takes a couple of months to cycle a tank and there are various methods of doing this. Even if you do nothing your tank will eventually cycle.

Being able to test your water is a good idea as your water parameters can give you an idea of what is going on in your tank and act as an early warning of issues. Test kits are available, API freshwater master test kit is a good one. It covers the basics (pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) is good value (it will do 100s of tests), and is fairly easy to use. I would recommend a test kit, failing that fish stores will usually do water tests for you. Some will even do it for free. If you get a fish store to do it, make sure you get the test results. Dont just accept that "they are fine".

Can you explain more about the soap and what you did? Soap is the last thing you want in the tank.

Can you post a picture of your "mold"?

As i said it sounds very much like diatoms, which is commonly called brown algae and is a bacteria colony feeding off nutrients. They commonly occur in new tanks and normally go away as the tank establishes and the nutrients balance out. Over time green algae will outcompete the diatoms for nutrients and green algae is easier to deal with. Diatoms are harmless, just unsightly. Get an algae scraper and just periodically wipe it off in the short term.

You also asked about an algae eater. I would go for a snail or 2. Perhaps nerite snails as they cant reproduce in freshwater. They will still lay eggs though which can be a pain to remove. Nerite snails will eat diatoms too.


I see, I’ll ask if we can go to buy an API kit later today. I used dawn soap to scrub down things but I rinsed everything off about 4 times, okay i’ll be sure to also get an algae scraper thank you! Snails seem cool, thank you again for this information once I get the kit i’ll update you ! but for now these are the pictures of the mold or diatoms (sorry it’s blurry)
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Old 05-18-2021, 09:17 PM   #6
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Hi,

Echoing the other advice...Don't use soap again!

Also, make sure not to overclean your filter. Cycling means growing the population of good bacteria Aiken Drum was talking about, so that your fish aren't poisoned by their own waste. That bacteria grows on surfaces in the tank and especially in your filter. Lots of people mess up their cycle by cleaning out their filter too aggressively or changing the filter pads. The good bacteria is washed away, and the fish suffer/die when ammonia and nitrite levels rise because the good bacteria aren't there to turn them into less toxic nitrate.

When you need to clean gunk out of your filter, first remove some of your tank water into a bucket and then just swish the gunky filter pads in the bucket to get the gunk out. By rinsing the pads in tank water rather than tap water, you are making sure not to wash away the beneficial bacteria or kill it with chlorine. Then put the pads back in your filter and discard the dirty water in the bucket. Add clean, dechlorinated water to the tank to replace what you took out.

Until you are sure your tank is cycled, you need to test daily and do partial water changes using dechlorinator to make sure your ammonia and nitrite levels are safe. After the tank is cycled, most people change about 25 percent of water every week or two.

Good luck with everything. I hope you get your bigger tank! Then you have a nice, smaller tank to use for quarantining new or sick fish.
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Old 05-19-2021, 02:38 AM   #7
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I see, Iíll ask if we can go to buy an API kit later today. I used dawn soap to scrub down things but I rinsed everything off about 4 times, okay iíll be sure to also get an algae scraper thank you! Snails seem cool, thank you again for this information once I get the kit iíll update you ! but for now these are the pictures of the mold or diatoms (sorry itís blurry)
Go tell your parents that testing your water and learning about the nitrogen cycle is learning science. They like that kind of thing. We would love it if our boy took an interest in anything other than youtube and playstation.

Link to good video explaing the nitrogen cycle if you are interested.

https://youtu.be/qMk_SfR0CuU
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Old 05-19-2021, 07:45 AM   #8
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Go tell your parents that testing your water and learning about the nitrogen cycle is learning science. They like that kind of thing. We would love it if our boy took an interest in anything other than youtube and playstation.

Link to good video explaing the nitrogen cycle if you are interested.

https://youtu.be/qMk_SfR0CuU


Awesome video wish Iíd seen that before I got restarted. On a funny note I noticed that you said you were in Derbyshire. My stepdad was originally from there before he moved here to the states to marry my mom
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