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cowhead
post Sat, 30 Apr 2005 8:09 pm
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Is brown algae harmful? How to get rid of it?
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goldrush
post Mon, 02 May 2005 9:25 am
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Hi cowhead

Brown algae or Diatoms as it is called are usually the 1st algaae encountered in a newly set-up tank, where conditions have yet to stabilise. It will often appear around the 2-10 week period, and may disappear as quickly as it arrived when the conditions stabilise after a couple of months. It is essential to minimise nutrient levels to ensure the algae disappears - avoid overfeeding and carry out the frequent water changes, gravel and filter cleaning, etc. Limiting the light will not prevent this algae from proliferating, as it can grow at low lighting levels and will normally out-compete green algae under these conditions.

If brown algae appears in an established tank, check nitrate and phosphate levels. Increased water changes or more thorough substrate cleaning may be necessary. Using a phosphate-adsorbing resin will also remove silicates, which are important to the growth of this algae. However, as noted above, it is essentially impossible to totally eliminate algae with this strategy alone. Due to its ability to grow at low light levels, this algae may also appear in dimly lit tanks, where old fluorescent tubes has lost its intensity.Perhaps throwing a few algae eater will also keep its proliferation in check.

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toejam
post Wed, 28 Feb 2007 1:36 am
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I thought the tank would stop producing brown algea but it seems to be growing every day. iam not sure if its bad or if i should clean it off. its on the glass,sponge, rocks and the fake plants. any ideas or thoughts would be helpfull. i was hoping for green algea.

.25 amonia
0 nitrites
20ppm natrates
ph 7.6

single light 65watt, 6700k strait pin compact fluorescent lamp (10 hours a day)

30 gallons, single oranda 4inches

30percent weekly water cahnges

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vakratunda
post Wed, 28 Feb 2007 4:17 am
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Toejam,
I found this info for you:
"Brown algae" (diatoms)
This is often the first algae to appear in a newly set-up tank, where conditions have yet to stabilise.
It will often appear around the 2-12 week period, and may disappear as quickly as it arrived when the
conditions stabilise after a couple of months.
It is essential to minimise nutrient levels to ensure the algae disappears - avoid overfeeding and
carry out the appropriate water changes, gravel and filter cleaning, etc. Limiting the light will not deter
this algae, as it can grow at low lighting levels and will normally out-compete green algae under
these conditions.
If brown algae appears in an established tank, check nitrate and phosphate levels. Increased water changes
or more thorough substrate cleaning may be necessary. Using a phosphate-adsorbing resin will also remove
silicates, which are important to the growth of this algae. However, as noted above, it is essentially
impossible to totally eliminate algae with this strategy alone. Due to its ability to grow at low light levels,
this algae may also appear in dimly lit tanks, where old fluorescent bulbs have lost much of their output.
If a problem does occur, otocinclus catfish are known to clear this algae quickly, although you may need
several for larger tanks, and they can be difficult to acclimatise initially.
There are some very plausible theories as to why this algae often appears in newly set up tanks and then later
disappears. If the silicate (Si) to phosphate (P) ratio is high, then diatoms are likely to have a growth advantage
over true algae types and Cyanobacteria. Some of the silicate may come from the tapwater, but it will also be leached
from the glass of new aquaria, and potentially from silica sand/gravel substrates to some extent. Later, when this leaching
has slowed, and phosphate is accumulating in the maturing tank, the Si:P ratio will change in favour of phosphate, which is
likely to favour the growth of green algae instead.

And I got the information from this webpage:
http://www.thetropicaltank.co.uk/algae.htm#brown
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toejam
post Wed, 28 Feb 2007 11:58 am
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very confussing, i dont want a sucker fish because of time quarantining. should i wipe down the tank or will it go away by itself?
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CyberET
post Wed, 28 Feb 2007 12:13 pm
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wipe down the tank smile.gif
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vakratunda
post Wed, 28 Feb 2007 12:14 pm
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I would never get a sucker fish. I would get a suitable sponge that is meant for cleaning aquarium glass. I had a problem like this before, and I am sure the problem was silicates. Seachem makes a great product for removing silicates and phosphate, here is a link with more information about the product: http://www.seachem.com/products/product_pages/PhosGuard.html peace.gif

Also, I noticed one of your big rocks at the bottom of your tank. Is that an aquarium rock, or is a rock that you picked up from the outdoors. Rocks from the outdoors can contain silicates also.

I know it says mostly new tanks are the only ones to get brown algae, but established tanks can get brown algae too. It depends on the water your using. I would check into that seachem product.
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CP
post Wed, 28 Feb 2007 12:59 pm
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toejam,

There is no problem with your stock level, but changing 30% weekly will increase nitrate levels week after week.
You need to do at least 50% weekly change for the nitrates to stabilise to one level.
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gohks
post Wed, 28 Feb 2007 1:59 pm
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I always can't differentiate accumalated slimy stuff from brown algae and ususally do a wipe down.
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toejam
post Thu, 01 Mar 2007 6:58 am
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The tanks been running since december, i will test the phosphate levels. i have river rocks that i bought from plant store cleaned and boiled, but the big rock might be the problem. i bought a bag of bigger misc rocks that dont look like liver rocks. i will take everything out for a month, next water change clean off the glass, test phosphate, feed less and hope it stays away. thanks everybody for the help.
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vakratunda
post Thu, 01 Mar 2007 9:09 am
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do you also have a way of regulating the silicates? the brown algae feeds off of silicates also.
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toejam
post Thu, 01 Mar 2007 10:47 am
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ill test the phosphate levels and if they read high i will buy some PhosGuard.
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tangmulong4488
post Fri, 04 May 2007 10:01 pm
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people say green algae is good for goldfish, what about brown algae?
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goldrush
post Sat, 05 May 2007 12:06 am
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As far as I know brown algae is not harmful to your fishes.However its presence is rather short live and unpredictable thus any benefits would be likewise.Commercial breeders and farmers of ornamental pond fish such as goldfish and koi positively encourage green water to flourish in their ponds, recognising that fish benefit from living in such conditions.No one has cultivate brown ones to achieve similar results perhaps because it is easier to cultivate greens than browns biggrin.gif
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tangmulong4488
post Sat, 05 May 2007 12:37 am
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QUOTE(goldrush @ Sat, 05 May 2007 12:06 am) *

As far as I know brown algae is not harmful to your fishes.However its presence is rather short live and unpredictable thus any benefits would be likewise.Commercial breeders and farmers of ornamental pond fish such as goldfish and koi positively encourage green water to flourish in their ponds, recognising that fish benefit from living in such conditions.No one has cultivate brown ones to achieve similar results perhaps because it is easier to cultivate greens than browns biggrin.gif


because i did some research that brown algae contains chloroplasts and same as green algae. they photosynthesis, meaning they are the same as green algae. And the reason why brown algae appears to be brown is because of the pigmentation( fucoxanthin ) that cause it to be brown. yes i agree with you why people use green water is because green algae are much easier to cultivate than brown algae. So my conclusion is that, brown algae is not harmful, it is the same as green algae, is just that brown algae is not as easy to cultivate than green algae. And also the speed of cultivation and quantity of brown algae is not comparable to green algae, and hence green algae is more prefer over the brown algae.

i post this is because i got confuse when i read that people say brown algae is bad algae. I happen to have brown algae in my fish tank, and hence i read about algae and decided to leave the brown algae alone, and also they aid in the absorption of the nitrates in my goldfish tank.
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