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Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1

    Default whats this growing in my tank

    0 Not allowed!

    I have a 65 gal cichlid tank and a couple months ago re-decorated it to a more minimalistic look. Removed all fake plants and ornaments and just put in a pile of large rocks. I like the look, but there is some kind of brown stuff growing on the walls of the tank and the gravel. Used to have it before too, but not on the tank glass and seemed like less of it overall. Can i get some suggestions on what to do about it?

    Here's more info on it and pics below:

    - It is kind of hard to get off. Have to scrape the glass very hard.
    - Pleco doesn't seem to be eating it
    - comes back within 3-4 days of cleaning the tank
    - comes back slowly ... doesn't grow very fast
    - Used to have it with the old decorations too, but when the plants were covered in it, it was very hard to clean it. Now it seems worse as it wasn't on the tank walls before, just plants, gravel, decorations.
    - I've tried changing the frequency of water changes. Increasing the frequency didn't make it go away. Decreasing the frequency didn't make it noticeably worse....

    Here is how it is decorated now (fairly clean in this pic so can't see much of it):

    Here's the brown stuff:

    Here it is on the gravel:

    Here it is on the tank glass:

  2. #2

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    1 Not allowed!
    Looks like diatoms to me
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  3. #3

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    1 Not allowed!
    ^^ +1 may be getting some silicate leeching from the rocks - it usually goes away on its own with frequent water changes you could also use a magnetic scrapper to get some of it off.
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  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    i dont think its diatoms, because everywhere i read diatoms are easy to remove. This stuff you have to scrub hard to get off the glass. Not easy by any means. Though based on other pictures, i agree, it does look very much like diatoms.

    Also, as mentioned i tried changing the frequency of water changes and it had no effect on this ... and its been happening for months now, so i'm starting to think it won't be going away just on its own.

    Any other suggestions as to what it might be or how to make it go away? I, too, was hoping it would just go away on its own eventually, but didn't :(
    Last edited by thunder_struck; 01-16-2014 at 07:50 PM.

  5. #5

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    A little further from sanity

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    0 Not allowed!
    When I go fishing I just throw sharp rocks in the water and wait for the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you are stupid and make bad decisions.

    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
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  6. #6

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    2 Not allowed!
    The frequency of your water changes increasing probably isn't helping any, because I'm willing to bet that the cause of the algae is in your water. Can you test your water for Ammonia, Nitrates and Phosphates?

    I'm not sure it's red algae, because it doesn't look fuzzy at all. =/
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  7. #7

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    1 Not allowed!
    What lighting do you have? Have you made any changes to it? What spectrum is the light? How long are you leaving them on for? Also, check your levels like Kevin said.

  8. #8

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    0 Not allowed!
    In this case I'd just scrape it from the front window and be happy that it appears on the rocks. But, that's taste of course, I think bare rock is a bit unnatural in a tank like this.

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!
    hi guys .... thanks for all the replies.

    The lights are stock lights that came with the tank. They are marked "Natural daylight", 18" long tubes, 17W and there are two of them. So 34W total? The lights are on about 15 hrs daily?

    Should i reduce the time? I've read online and some say to increase the amount of light, some some say to decrease when you have problems with this brown algae stuff. I've never really had any problems with the green kind ... just this ugly brown.

    Ammonia in the tank is at 0 ... been at 0 for a while, but i don't have a test kit for nitrates. I will have to pick one up today or tomorrow and report back with the reading of those.

    Thanks everyone!

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