Catfish Logo Full
Catfish Logo Half
Catfish Logo Head
PlanetCatfish.com logo
Please visit Swiss Tropicals, proud sponsor of PlanetCatfish.com

Brown Algae/Diatom consistent problem

Post pictures of your beloved aquaria here. Also good for pictures of your fish rooms or equipment discussions. If you are posting pictures of identified catfish, please do so in the appropriate husbandry and reproduction forum above.
Blackhawker
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:51 am
My cats species list: 8 (i:0, k:4)
My aquaria list: 1 (i:0)
Location 2: San Diego

Brown Algae/Diatom consistent problem

Postby Blackhawker » Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:07 am

Hi there,


I've had the brown algae problem for awhile now and the increased lighting doesn't seem to help. 8-10 hours a day with a 48' dual HO T5 fixture is what I'm currently running with two 2217 Eheim's.


What can I do to fix this problem? I'm feeding once every 4-5 days and my tank is currently understocked. Thank you for your help.

Sara1210
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:00 pm
My cats species list: 1 (i:0, k:1)
My aquaria list: 1 (i:0)
Location 2: UK

Re: Brown Algae/Diatom consistent problem

Postby Sara1210 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:42 am

How old is your tank?

Coriequest
Posts: 102
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:51 pm
My cats species list: 8 (i:4, k:6)
My aquaria list: 5 (i:3)
My BLogs: 2 (i:0, p:85)
Location 2: San Francisco
Interests: Animals, Corey's, CRS, planted tanks, horses, reading, psychology, human behavior

Re: Brown Algae/Diatom consistent problem

Postby Coriequest » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:22 pm

It should cycle out on its on as the tank matures, amano shrimp love the stuff...good luck.

User avatar
2wheelsx2
Posts: 964
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 6:55 am
I've donated: $20.00!
My cats species list: 71 (i:1, k:40)
My aquaria list: 4 (i:3)
Location 1: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Location 2: BC, Canada
Interests: motorcycles, tropical fish, car detailing

Re: Brown Algae/Diatom consistent problem

Postby 2wheelsx2 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:48 pm

Increased lighting rarely ever helps an algae outbreak. If your tank is fairly new, lots of large water changes will help to deal with the brown algae phase faster as your tank equilibrates.

User avatar
racoll
Posts: 4883
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:18 pm
My articles: 6
My images: 112
My catfish: 2
My cats species list: 2 (i:0, k:0)
My aquaria list: 1 (i:0)
Location 2: Manaus, Amazonas, Brasil

Re: Brown Algae/Diatom consistent problem

Postby racoll » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:12 pm

A description and photo of the tank would help a lot. Does it have live plants, CO2, what fishes etc?

Blackhawker
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:51 am
My cats species list: 8 (i:0, k:4)
My aquaria list: 1 (i:0)
Location 2: San Diego

Re: Brown Algae/Diatom consistent problem

Postby Blackhawker » Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:05 am

My tank is about 2 years old, though I'm in the slow process of redesigning it. I currently have 10 colombian tetras and a royal, 2 L128 plecos. Here are two photos.

I have java fern and anubias in there currently. I do not run CO2

Going to move from gravel to sand, add more anubias/java fern. Any tips on how to make it more visually appealing would be great as I am put to shame by some of the tanks on here. ^:)^

Image

Image

User avatar
racoll
Posts: 4883
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:18 pm
My articles: 6
My images: 112
My catfish: 2
My cats species list: 2 (i:0, k:0)
My aquaria list: 1 (i:0)
Location 2: Manaus, Amazonas, Brasil

Re: Brown Algae/Diatom consistent problem

Postby racoll » Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:22 am

Two HO T5 lights on for ten hours a day with a few slow growing plants is a sure-fire recipe for a massive algae problem, as you have found out.

The excessive lighting is the main cause of the algae. I would get rid of one of the two tubes, and reduce lighting to 5 hours a day, max. The plants will be fine.

Increase water changes too, and you should see a slow improvement. Maybe a few algae eating snails or a Crossocheilus might help, but not many animals eat that black brush algae shown in the photo.

Coriequest
Posts: 102
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:51 pm
My cats species list: 8 (i:4, k:6)
My aquaria list: 5 (i:3)
My BLogs: 2 (i:0, p:85)
Location 2: San Francisco
Interests: Animals, Corey's, CRS, planted tanks, horses, reading, psychology, human behavior

Re: Brown Algae/Diatom consistent problem

Postby Coriequest » Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:34 am

Oh, that's not diatom algae. Amanos don't eat that. That is BBA, the bane of planted tanks. I think I've heard CO2 helps, also dose it directly with a syringe with Excel or gluteraldehyde. decrease the lights as already stated. You can black it out for several days with heavy blankets too, though I've only read about it.

User avatar
2wheelsx2
Posts: 964
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 6:55 am
I've donated: $20.00!
My cats species list: 71 (i:1, k:40)
My aquaria list: 4 (i:3)
Location 1: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Location 2: BC, Canada
Interests: motorcycles, tropical fish, car detailing

Re: Brown Algae/Diatom consistent problem

Postby 2wheelsx2 » Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:54 am

Agreed, that's BBA and not brown algae. Too much light...way too much light, unless you're going to start injecting CO2 or introduce some other form of carbon.

Blackhawker
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:51 am
My cats species list: 8 (i:0, k:4)
My aquaria list: 1 (i:0)
Location 2: San Diego

Re: Brown Algae/Diatom consistent problem

Postby Blackhawker » Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:17 am

Anyone have experience in getting rid of this stuff? Should I pull out the plants completely?

User avatar
racoll
Posts: 4883
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:18 pm
My articles: 6
My images: 112
My catfish: 2
My cats species list: 2 (i:0, k:0)
My aquaria list: 1 (i:0)
Location 2: Manaus, Amazonas, Brasil

Re: Brown Algae/Diatom consistent problem

Postby racoll » Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:41 am

Crossocheilus are reputed to eat it. See here, under "Diet".

User avatar
Shane
Expert
Posts: 3890
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2002 10:12 pm
My articles: 69
My images: 169
My catfish: 47
My cats species list: 3 (i:0, k:2)
My aquaria list: 4 (i:4)
Location 1: Virginia, USA
Location 2: Virginia, USA
Contact:

Re: Brown Algae/Diatom consistent problem

Postby Shane » Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:18 pm

Anyone have experience in getting rid of this stuff? Should I pull out the plants completely?


I think most of us have fought this stuff at some point. The simplest, and by far the fastest, method is a weak bleach dip. Prep a 5 gallon bucket (or anything that holds enough water to permit you to submerse all the plant's leaves) with a solution of 1 part household bleach to 19 parts water. Submerse the plant's leaves in the dip for about 30 seconds. Afterwards, rinse the plant very well under running water and then replace it in the tank. Over the next few days the algae will turn gray/white, die, and go away.

From the photos it looks like you could do this without even removing the plant from the driftwood. Avoid soaking the rizome and roots of the plant.

I have also treated this algae with nothing more than than water conditioner (like Stress Coat, Tetra Aquasafe or Prime), but this only works to treat very small amounts of BBA. During a water change, when the plant leaves are emersed, just brush some water conditioner on the parts of the plant that have BBA. Let the plants stand emersed for a good 30 minutes before refilling. The active ingredient in the water conditiner will do the same thing as the bleach. Note: there are some water conditioners that do not use chemicals as their active ingredient that will kill BBA, but most of the common brands do.

-Shane
"My journey is at an end and the tale is told. The reader who has followed so faithfully and so far, they have the right to ask, what do I bring back? It can be summed up in three words. Concentrate upon Uganda."
Winston Churchill, My African Journey

Blackhawker
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:51 am
My cats species list: 8 (i:0, k:4)
My aquaria list: 1 (i:0)
Location 2: San Diego

Re: Brown Algae/Diatom consistent problem

Postby Blackhawker » Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:32 pm

Thanks for the info. The BBA is all over the tank to be honest. I think so much that it's slowing down the filters. By bleaching the plants and adding small amounts of CO2, can I expect the problem to just go away?

plecomanpat
Posts: 192
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:09 am
My cats species list: 71 (i:0, k:64)
My aquaria list: 17 (i:0)
My BLogs: 1 (i:0, p:1)
Location 1: Clarkston, Michigan, USA
Location 2: clarkston michigan
Interests: Hunting, fishing, hockey, woodworking

Re: Brown Algae/Diatom consistent problem

Postby plecomanpat » Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:26 pm

Racoll hit the nail on the head...you don't have enough plants competing for the amount of light you are running and the algae bloom is thriving....dips and bleaches...although effective....are not the solution...the plants you currently have require only low amounts of light...the formula I was taught was 4 or 5 watts per gallon for high light plants....but also bear in mind the depth of the tank for light penetration...I had this outbreak when I set up my first planted tank...learned the amount in hours and wattage by watching the plants color and response and the algae growth....I also noticed by your pic that the water level is low...which is not a major factor but the light penetration is deeper. I have also tried the tank "black out" with no lights and blankets...it works on BGA, but not BBA...Siamese Algae Eaters are now more readily available and cheaper now that they have been captive bred and they do feast on BBA...but the lighting ratio is the long term cure...ENJOY
Lets go Red Wings

Blackhawker
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:51 am
My cats species list: 8 (i:0, k:4)
My aquaria list: 1 (i:0)
Location 2: San Diego

Re: Brown Algae/Diatom consistent problem

Postby Blackhawker » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:20 pm

So less light penetration = less chance of Algae growth?


Do you suggest I add more fast growing plants to do the tank to eat up the nutrients? In doing so is adding CO2 a must?

User avatar
racoll
Posts: 4883
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:18 pm
My articles: 6
My images: 112
My catfish: 2
My cats species list: 2 (i:0, k:0)
My aquaria list: 1 (i:0)
Location 2: Manaus, Amazonas, Brasil

Re: Brown Algae/Diatom consistent problem

Postby racoll » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:40 pm

So less light penetration = less chance of Algae growth?


Yup. Less light = less algae.

Do you suggest I add more fast growing plants to do the tank to eat up the nutrients? In doing so is adding CO2 a must?


That's one way of addressing the problem, but an easier way is just to reduce the lighting on the tank.

plecomanpat
Posts: 192
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:09 am
My cats species list: 71 (i:0, k:64)
My aquaria list: 17 (i:0)
My BLogs: 1 (i:0, p:1)
Location 1: Clarkston, Michigan, USA
Location 2: clarkston michigan
Interests: Hunting, fishing, hockey, woodworking

Re: Brown Algae/Diatom consistent problem

Postby plecomanpat » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:47 pm

CO2 is not a must and is usually used in a heavily planted and if you have fish in it you must run an air stone at lights out to oxygenate the water due to the fact that the respiratory system in plants is reversed in a no light situation. Plants and algae compete for the same nutrients so introducing fast growing plants may help, it is not the answer...you need to figure out the time span for your lights...have you changed your water source recently? I ask this because if you have high phosphates in the water you are using to do your changes then you are encouraging algae growth. Understand that different situations require sometimes different solutions...I am going by what I have experienced and what has worked for me... as far as less light penetration is concerned not necessarily true all the time...you need to find the right balance...this is not something you can cure overnight...be patient, Enjoy
Lets go Red Wings

Blackhawker
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:51 am
My cats species list: 8 (i:0, k:4)
My aquaria list: 1 (i:0)
Location 2: San Diego

Re: Brown Algae/Diatom consistent problem

Postby Blackhawker » Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:15 am

I can't really change my water source. I use the local tap water. I'm going to heavily reduce lights, change the substrate to sand and introduce more anubias and ferns. I'll have to figure out a fast growing plant that can flourish in the same conditions.

plecomanpat
Posts: 192
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:09 am
My cats species list: 71 (i:0, k:64)
My aquaria list: 17 (i:0)
My BLogs: 1 (i:0, p:1)
Location 1: Clarkston, Michigan, USA
Location 2: clarkston michigan
Interests: Hunting, fishing, hockey, woodworking

Re: Brown Algae/Diatom consistent problem

Postby plecomanpat » Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:50 am

I don't believe changing the substrate will make any difference...Is your water source city water or well water....and you can try mixing 50/50 r/o and tap....and you don't have to put any "fast growing" plants in unless you want to, your problem is mostly too much light...ENJOY
Lets go Red Wings

wet-handed
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:39 pm
My cats species list: 7 (i:4, k:7)
My aquaria list: 1 (i:0)
Location 2: Michigan

Re: Brown Algae/Diatom consistent problem

Postby wet-handed » Tue May 29, 2012 6:40 am

ive kept planted tanks for awhile easiest solution fast growing plants to out compete. riccia moss, duckweed, water hyacinth is a good one grows fast an kinda cool there are others an some will grow differently u can use the same plant in two different tanks an get different results so keep tryin different fast growers till u see one take off u can use the as algea back up usually inexpensive so when things settle down remove them if u dont like the looks an replce with new when out of whack


Return to “Tank Talk”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


© 1996 - 2014 PlanetCatfish.com, part of the Aquatic Republic Network group of websites. All Rights Reserved. By accessing this site you agree to our Terms and Conditions of Use.