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10-24-2013, 12:04 PM #1
Brown Algae - Should I add some floating plants
OK question about brown somewhat fuzzy algae. It seems I have been battling this for a while in both tanks it is not horrible but a bit annoying. A lot of you have planted tanks and they stay so clean I don't know how you do it. I do regular maint and have the lights on timers for about 7hrs a day. I don't overfeed and I don't always feed daily. I have the same 108watt light on both tanks. Is it too much(bright) light? I was thinking if that was the case I could add some floating plants like Amazon Frogbit or Giant Salvinia to cut down.
Especially for my 72g since I am thinking of consolidating the two tanks. It has a coast to coast overflow I built so it has good flow but it is not turbulent. I will need a larger floater so as not to get dumped into the overflow.
10-24-2013, 01:35 PM #2
Those brown diatoms are common in new aquariums. Excess silicates and phosphates are usually the cause of it in new tanks. Other than being unsightly, it isn't harmful, just keep doing water changes to get rid of it. It will go away usually a few weeks after the aquarium has been set up.
10-24-2013, 02:18 PM #3
10-24-2013, 03:28 PM #4
Possibly cause could be the tap water then, high in silicates. How long have you been dealing with them? From how you described sounded like brown diatoms to me. Take a look on google for brown diatoms aquarium, and see if the images look familiar to the stuff in your tank?
10-24-2013, 04:11 PM #5
I would suggest from your description of "fuzzy" that this is not diatoms, but a form of brush algae. Strictly speaking, this algae is red, but it can occur in several forms that to me anyway can appear to be black, very dark brown, reddish-brown and even dark green-gray. It can be fairly large tufts or a very small (in height) covering on leaves.
It is, like all red and green algae, due to light and nutrients. The reason some planted tanks have none, or appear to, is because we find the balance between light and nutrients. This can take some experimenting, since it depends upon several factors such as the light intensity, spectrum and duration, plus the organics and nutrients which involves the fish (type and numbers and feedings) and source water, plus the plant species and numbers.
With 108 watts, I will guess that this is fluorescent T5 HO lighting? If so, that is a lot of intensity. If therer are two tubes, can you have just one light without the second lit? This would make a dent in the algae as it would be easier to balance. Without knowing exactly what the light is, and what fertilization you may be doing, plus the plants, I can't offer much more. Other than to say, yes, floating plants also help. But if the light is too intense, this on its own may not be sufficient.
Byron.Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
10-24-2013, 04:57 PM #6
Yes you are correct 2 t-5 HO for fresh water. I really do not fert much. I use fert tabs occasionally for the rooted plants 3 months or so but less than the recommended dosage. I also use Excel and Flourish after a PWC. here are a couple of pics.
**edit - Yes toward the top of the tank it does take on a more reddish tint