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mikey 09-11-2005 11:17 PM

brown algae soft and pillowy hate it I do!
These pictures show the brown thread algae after about 24 hours of not removing it. Any suggestions?

stopped dosing traces 1 week ago (was dosing 3-4ml flourish 2x/week )
PO4 at 2ppm
NO3 at 5-10ppm
pH at 6.6
KH 4
CO2 at 35 to 40 ppm
lights 3 wpg at 9 hrs / day
plants growing great
have had this algae for 6 weeks and remove it twice daily

can you help? It is really making me unhappppppppy

Left C 09-12-2005 02:57 PM

I believe oto's love to snack on that stuff.

mikey 09-12-2005 03:25 PM

got 4 of 'em. They are growing fast and are fat and happy. Don't seem to eat the brown stuff however.

bgssamson 09-12-2005 03:34 PM


Otto, Cherry Shrimps & Amano Shrimps are a great team for this job! don't feed them & they will clean that algae in no time.


BrentK 09-12-2005 05:19 PM

I have about 24 ottos in a 135g tank (started with 6 and they bred like rabbits) and they won't touch the stuff. I don't feed the ottos and watch them eat away my green spot algae and brownish stuff on leaves... but won't touch the stuff in the pictures in my tank (I thought that kind was hair or staghorn algae). I had always thought ottos and the like won't touch the hairy algaes and one needs SAE's or shrimp for those.

Jason Baliban 09-12-2005 05:22 PM

I have some similar stuff in my tank. It is the green version. I have a dozen amano shrimp in the mail to try to address this. Hopefully they like the taste. If you PM me I will be happy to let you know if they eat the stuff.


mikey 09-12-2005 07:13 PM

Isn't there some way to make this stuff go away by doing something to the water parameters? I mean, I think I have most of them where they belong, but maybe not? And wheather I do or do not, isn't there a way to get the water, or dosing, or parameters set to a level that prevents the growth. I mean one can't spend 20 minutes every day pulling this stuff out of the tank just to keep pace ...... can one?????

jgc 09-12-2005 07:29 PM

might just pay for am membership to start a post - my algea is thicker than yours...

Mine is green though, and is growing like mad. My tank is still cycling, plants are filling in ect. so I still have hope. Had 3 ottos for cleanup, but last week added another 5 ottos, 3 amano shrimp, 4 sae, and 2 molleys :icon_roll (ok kid fish).

So far the Angle fish are eating it the most, followed by the molleys - not sure if any of the algae eaters are snacking on it or not - but they are much smaller (which is sad, smaller than a molley).

58 gallon, 250 watt hqi 10k, presurized co2, ladder, started ei 9/6/05

Wasserpest 09-12-2005 07:43 PM

Not sure if the tank is ghost shrimp safe (no large fish like kribensis). Over here, I can get them for 10c as "feeders". I am pretty sure they eat that stuff.
Other than that, my usual recommendation... patience... it will go away.

rrguymon 09-13-2005 02:50 AM

I have some of this too Growing on my Eco complete. I don't have near as much though. Can anyone say what type of algae it is and what the real fix is besides trying to get fish to eat it haha.

mikey 09-15-2005 01:00 AM

As usual, thanks all for your time to post. I am going to try no ferts until it stops growing (patience as Wasser says too). Maybe I can starve this crap. If not, ....... well its still a little early in the game to threaten my tank with severe consequences just yet!!!

bigstick120 09-15-2005 01:06 AM


Originally Posted by mikey
As usual, thanks all for your time to post. I am going to try no ferts until it stops growing (patience as Wasser says too). Maybe I can starve this crap. If not, ....... well its still a little early in the game to threaten my tank with severe consequences just yet!!!

I dont know if that is the best idea, you will be starving your plants as well. Have you tried Excel as a treatment, it works, I dont know if it will work for this type of alage but it works for BGA

BrentK 09-15-2005 10:43 PM

For what its worth.... I am in week 3 of doing the EI method, and my thread algae is nearly gone. I have plenty of BBA still, but I am finally through my big thread bloom.

Louis 09-16-2005 06:30 PM

i have this in my tank too except its kind of a cross between green and brown. for me it looks almost liek whisps of smoke in the water. i also think i have diatoms but as a result the copepods which live in there are flourishing, im not too owrried about the algae just now is the tank is set up waiting for some cherry shrimp. mwuha!

riverrat 09-16-2005 10:05 PM

I have had this stuff also. I think I am winning the battle on it as I type this. :proud:

My tank is only about 6 weeks old and I am new to planted tanks. I think this crap arrived in my tank at around 3 weeks from setup. Finally a couple of weeks ago I decided to up my co2 even though my test for ph and kh had it close to 40ppm at the time. On a Saturday I increased my co2 flow and watched my fish. I only have ottos at this time. I tested later that day and my co2 came to 70ppm (derived from ph and kh). My fish were not phased at all. This leads me to believe that my ph test is bogus.

Since I have increased my co2 I am not getting any new growth of brown hair algae. It appears that it is breaking up a little bit on its own. I have been pruning plants and fluffing them prior to water changes and this seem to be removing the left over brown hair. The only place I have it still is in my pearl grass a little. I think this week or next some time I will try to finish this stuff off by pulling my pearl grass pruning and replanting.

I would try removing as much as possible manually and then trying to up your co2. Watch your fish and if they begin showing stress back it down again. I think sometimes we depend on tests to much and for all I know I am color blind. Trying to determin a shade of difference or the tests that fall between to shades is just to iffy.

By the way I am now in the market for a good ph probe so I can really get my ph reading by just reading a number and not pulling out my color wheel of lies.

Good luck and let us all know if you beat it and how.


P.S. I thought my plants were growing good too. Ha!... now they are growing unremarkably!!!!! :bounce:

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