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Old 11-17-2020, 04:04 PM   #1
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Brown Water

I have a 10 gallon tank that I put together three months ago. It has a couple little danios and a nerite snail in it and I believe it is fully cycled. Put a new OTB filter on the tank. It has dragon stone and spiderwood in it for hardscape, gravel bottom, and a couple Java Ferns.

My water has turned brown--like ice tea. I added charcoal to the filter, thinking it was tannins from the wood, but nothing. Replaced about 30% of the water, but it is still brown (now more of an amber). I'm guessing it is a bacterial bloom, but it is not dissipating or cycling through and it has been 2 months.

What is this and how do I get rid of it?

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Old 11-18-2020, 12:23 AM   #2
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Do you know your water parameters? Including pH, GH/KH?

How often are you doing pwc's?

Did you move the old filter media to the new filter?

What is the food / foods, you are feeding?
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Old 11-18-2020, 09:55 AM   #3
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pH is 7.8-8, I'm using R/O water. I can't measure the hardness of the water. Haven't seen any spikes in ammonia or nitrites, it comes back at 0 ppm every time I measure it and the nitrites are at about 20 ppm (hard to read the color chart, but it looks like it is right where it should be).

I did move the old filter medium to the new filter for about 3 months. Took it out this week to try to get more circulation and betting that the new ceramic balls would have built up a bacteria colony.

Feeding a little flake food about every 3 days. Just tropical fish flakes, nothing specialized.

I only do water changes of 20% about once a month right now. With just the 2 little fish and the javas, I wasn't very concerned about ammonia buildup.
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Old 11-18-2020, 09:57 AM   #4
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Oops. Should be nitrates at 20 ppm (whichever is the not-as-bad one)
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Old 11-18-2020, 01:30 PM   #5
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NitrAtes at 20 are ok.

It doesn't seem that food flakes would be the culprit, though it is possible, but doesn't seem that. You could try leabing some flakes in a glass of water and compare the colors.

I would do the water changes every week add an extra too, and see if the water changing lightens up the water.

Carbon only lasts a week or so. Until it's exhausted. The curiosity is why.

So if the water changing doesn't help, you can try Purigen.
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Old 11-19-2020, 10:55 AM   #6
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I'd take the spiderwood out for a few days and do water changes. If that helps, spiderwood is the culprit.
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Old 11-19-2020, 04:06 PM   #7
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i think newer tanks usually have brown algae growth for the first 6 months then the algae matures or something and gets more green and the water clears up? i just read this about ten minutes ago and haven't done further research but maybe it's just the algae in the water? i guess every new tank is pretty much bound to have a brown algae problem for a while.

but look into it more because like i said i am not a expert on the matter.
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Old 11-19-2020, 05:05 PM   #8
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I donít think brown algae - diatoms- color the water. Iím betting itís the wood
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