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cowhead
Is brown algae harmful? How to get rid of it?
goldrush
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.

goldrush
toejam
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
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
toejam
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?
CyberET
wipe down the tank smile.gif
vakratunda
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.
CP
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.
gohks
I always can't differentiate accumalated slimy stuff from brown algae and ususally do a wipe down.
toejam
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.
vakratunda
do you also have a way of regulating the silicates? the brown algae feeds off of silicates also.
toejam
ill test the phosphate levels and if they read high i will buy some PhosGuard.
tangmulong4488
people say green algae is good for goldfish, what about brown algae?
goldrush
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
tangmulong4488
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.
Dan
lighting not enough also grow brown algae, it is not how many hours u on the light. the intensity is important.
u must be having 2 light tubes max in your tank.
GoLD FInger
QUOTE(Dan @ Sat, 05 May 2007 3:49 am) *

lighting not enough also grow brown algae, it is not how many hours u on the light. the intensity is important.
u must be having 2 light tubes max in your tank.


my tank is an establish tank but for me it seems that i always get brown algae rather than green algae. i want 2 cultivate greenwater for my Goldie. any reason y i always get brown algae and how 2 get greenwater ? i m using sunlight
bekko
Many, but not all, algae that appear brown in a goldfish setting are a type of diatom. Some dinoflagellates will also make the water appear brown, but these are mainly marine species. Diatoms have a thin shell of sorts made of silica. There are species that are free floating and make brown water, and species that are attached and make a brown scum growing on the sides of the tank. Some diatoms are cultivated for feeding shrimp and shellfish larvae. Generally, they are just as nutritious. I do not know if they are as readily consumed by goldfish though. What goldfish eat in green water is the dying algae cells which are settling to the bottom and are being stuck together by bacteria which have gelatinous sheaths. When bits of stuff clump together they become large enough to eat. I do not know if goldfish find clumps of diatoms equally appetizing.

With that said, you hear some people say that if your green water turns brown it is an indication that your goldfish have a disease of some sort. I do not know how true this is and do not know which is the cause and which is the effect. It is possible that they are referring to an algae crash where the green algae dies and the cells all decay at once. This can give a brownish tint from a rapid proliferation of bacteria and decay products.

-steve
joice
as for my tanks. i got green water if don put any salt. i got green algae under strong sun if i put bit (around less than 0.3% salt). thats all happen to my tub

i got brown algae for my main tank cos usually i put 0.4-0.5% salt and with high filteration with UV sterilizer. i also worry abt the brown algae too that keep searching for brown algae thread. the fish seemed dont eat the brown algae. but they will it the green one.
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