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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I have a planted tank which I'm struggling with. Im getting brown algae on the glass and plants. The algae on the plants I can manage as my 5 chery shrimp eat it up. But the stuff on the glass is a bit harder. After doing some research I see some people saying that more light cuases brown algae while others say that less light causes algae.

To stop brown algae growth on my glass do I do MORE or LESS light?

oh and no my tank is NOT near a window and my phosphate level is between a 0-0.25.

Thanks
 

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1. too little light
2. excess of silicates
3. abundance of nutrients
4. too little oxygen.

How to get rid of:

1. Wipe off surfaces
2. vacuum gravel well
3. Increase the lighting
4. otocinclus love this stuff
 

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Light may, or may by be the issue. Both algae and plants need the same nutrients and of course light to grow. Algae is nothing more than a far less complex plant. So what we are trying to do is specifically tailor our tanks to our plants needs so that the plants will out compete the algae for nutrients and light. One of the biggest issues is carbon. Plants need a lot of it, while algae doesn't need it at all. I'm not sure how true this is, but the owner of my LFS told me that algae needs 3 hours of light before it can start growing. He suggested I put in breaks in my photo period so that the plants will benefit, but not the algae. This didn't cure my algae problem, but it helped quite noticeably. The trick to all of this is finding the balance point of nutrients and light that make our plants grow at optimal levels to keep the algae at bay. Keep trying different things and journal what you changed, and what the effects are. As Tom Barr says. In order to fight algae, you need to know how to grow it. When you go through your journal and look at all of the things that resulted in more algae, then you will know what not to do. Eventually the path to know what to do will become clearer. Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
DO you think adding Seachem Flourish helps conrubite in algae growth? I know I dont have too little oxygen as I see my Jungle Val pearling every single day. THere shouldnt be too much silicates as well as the tank is well over 2 months old now. So if I narrow it down its too much nutrients or too little light ? I just tried today actually to break down my light into 2 three hour blocks with 2 hrs of break inbetween. Hopefully it works?
 

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I myself don't use Flourish. We have soft, semi-acid water with a fair amount of iron-sulfates~sulfides. I add a little Magnesium sulfate and Potassium Chloride and Gluconate as my only ferts.

I wonder if the Gluconate in the Potassium Gluconate also does a little chelating of the Iron. I know it boosts a small amount of plant growth, but the diatoms are always present, but they do recede when the plants start to outcompete them, but can't say they go away completely. Besides my fish like eating them.
 

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SAE are kinda rambunctious and they get large and have a reputation for sucking the slime coat off of less speedy and feisty fish. Oto's are your best bet. check the ones you buy over carefully at the LFS and quarantine them.

But still, if your only real problem algae is brown diatoms, I'd focus more on getting more healthy plants in your tank and getting them growing better. Frankly it's the least worrisome algae you can have in your tank. It pretty much just wipes easily off.
 

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If you are looking for a good glass cleaning fish, the best that I have ever kept are Borneo loaches. I'm uncertain as to what your tank size is though. Ottos love this stuff and do a pretty good job, but they are better at plants. You might also want to think about adding some snails to help with your problem.
 

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My only concern with Borneo Hillstream and other Rheoliphic fish is they like fast moving, cooler water, which isn't always a good combination with some fish and plants.

For what it's worth, I used to keep SA tetra tanks, and my Dwarf Pencilfish, Neons and Glowlights all used to the eat diatoms off my tank walls. They of course didn't polish it sparkly clean, often times the Neons and Pencilfish would leave jagged chevrons of cleaned glass. But, they ate diatoms, which was surprising. My Rosy Barbs in my 85 stock tank 'pond' have put a sizable dent in the diatom algae on it's walls. I'm thinking smaller barbs might like diatoms given the chance.

Really if you want your tank walls spotless, you can always use an old credit/debit/Sam's Club card to clean the stuff away and siphon it up when you water change. Or leave it for the Shrimp to pick over.

I'm of the opinion that a little algae being present is a sign the tank has a biological diversity that also gives some of the fish something to snack on. Snacks are important.
 

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Clown Plecos Panaqolus maccus, L104, L162, or LDA22 are about the smallest Pleco, 3"~3.5". Great fish but they also require softened driftwood to eat, and I'm not sure with all their body spiny-ness that they don't damage plants. This is true of about any pleco because in addition to their body armor there's a fine coat of rather sharp spines.
 

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Hello all,

I have a planted tank which I'm struggling with. Im getting brown algae on the glass and plants. The algae on the plants I can manage as my 5 chery shrimp eat it up. But the stuff on the glass is a bit harder. After doing some research I see some people saying that more light cuases brown algae while others say that less light causes algae.

To stop brown algae growth on my glass do I do MORE or LESS light?

oh and no my tank is NOT near a window and my phosphate level is between a 0-0.25.

Thanks
Nobody know's how much light you are using for how long, on what size tank , or how new or old the tank is, or what plants you have.
Diatom's .(Go away on their own)
If the stuff is hard to wipe off the glass with algae scrubber,clean paper towel,credit card, scotch brite pad,then you need to step up your maint.
Some photo's would help.

Info needed is maybe in another thread,but not everybody may go back to search it out.
 

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Nobody know's how much light you are using for how long, on what size tank , or how new or old the tank is, or what plants you have.
Diatom's .(Go away on their own)
If the stuff is hard to wipe off the glass with algae scrubber,clean paper towel,credit card, scotch brite pad,then you need to step up your maint.
Some photo's would help.

Info needed is maybe in another thread,but not everybody may go back to search it out.
I agree with everything that you say. However, I use natural light on one of my tanks. I don't know if it's because the algae is trying to grow towards the light on the outside of the tank or what, but the algae in that tank is like trying to scrape cement. The only reason I haven't put a decent light on a timer as of yet is because I only have to scrape it about every 6 weeks or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Nobody know's how much light you are using for how long, on what size tank , or how new or old the tank is, or what plants you have.
Diatom's .(Go away on their own)
If the stuff is hard to wipe off the glass with algae scrubber,clean paper towel,credit card, scotch brite pad,then you need to step up your maint.
Some photo's would help.

Info needed is maybe in another thread,but not everybody may go back to search it out.

Thanks for all of your help. It is really appreciated. I have a 23Gallon tank thats 18" deep. I turn my light on for 5 hours a day. 3 hrs on, 3 off and then another 2 on. The plants that I have are Crypts, Jungle Val, Dwarf hair grass, anubius and java fern. Does this help? I will upload a picture after I get home from work today. Oh and the brown algae is pretty easy to scrub off.
 

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Thanks for all of your help. It is really appreciated. I have a 23Gallon tank thats 18" deep. I turn my light on for 5 hours a day. 3 hrs on, 3 off and then another 2 on. The plants that I have are Crypts, Jungle Val, Dwarf hair grass, anubius and java fern. Does this help? I will upload a picture after I get home from work today. Oh and the brown algae is pretty easy to scrub off.
If the tank is less than a few month's old,I'm bettin on diatom's that could be proliferating due to combination of lighting from your light and natural daylight that you mention the tank also see's.
I might not be too worried if it only seemed to need cleaning every 6 week's , and would just clean the glass every week for a few week's.
See if it grow's back fast?
Might also try and decrease the amount of natural daylight the tank see's after I had cleaned the glass good.
Close he blind from window until nighttime.
The fact that the stuff is easy to rub off with finger's? suggest's diatoms that often appear in newly set up tank's and or more mature tanks if condition's mentioned are at play.
Could be something silly such as more light coming in through window now that spring is here and day's are longer.(just sayin)
If the tank/ glass is getting a bunch of light, in addition to light from above,, and the only place the algae is ,was on the glass, I might also be scared to clean it lest the algae then move to the plant's Ha!Ha!
just kiddin!:wink2:
 

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Our water does that too sometimes.In my case I added ramshorn snails and a few days later there was none to be seen.when I've set up tanks since then,if I have ramshorns in it,I never see diatoms.
 
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