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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Been battling this stupid algae for a few months now. My phosphate is at 1.0 ppm. 90 gallon low tech no ferts. lights on 7 hours. I can't put any oto's in the tank because my rainbows destroys them. (done it before) I have amano shrimp, and a few nerite snails to try to control it but it's not enough. It's getting on the glass, and almost all my plants. It's so depressing. I almost want to tear down my tank and start over. help me please! :icon_frow Here's a picture of the algae on the glass.
 

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From what I've been reading online yes. High PO4 can be a factor creating a diatom outbreak. Also high Nitrates and light. Clean your glass while siphoning out what's coming off. Remove easily removable plants and clean them in the sink. Get more snails? Water changes!!!
 

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I have high phosphates in some of my tanks 3-4ppm, with no algae problems. 1 ppm isn't that high in my opinion. If you have diatoms you might have high silicates, after all that's what they feed on, test your water source and the tank water. RO water helps a lot in brown algae control. If you don't have RO, phosguard worked great for me.
 

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I have the same brown algae and beard moss in my tank. I feel your frustration! Don't mean to sound dumb, but how do you measure Phosphates? My water testing kits don't have a phosphate calculator. Also what is RO water? Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I really don't think i'm doing anything wrong that's why i'm so frustrated. I do water changes once a week. I did test my water, and my nitrate is not high at all. My LFS also suggested me to try phosguard as this is my last resort considering i don't have RO water. So phosguard will solve my problem?
 

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Been battling this stupid algae for a few months now. My phosphate is at 1.0 ppm. 90 gallon low tech no ferts. lights on 7 hours. I can't put any oto's in the tank because my rainbows destroys them. (done it before) I have amano shrimp, and a few nerite snails to try to control it but it's not enough. It's getting on the glass, and almost all my plants. It's so depressing. I almost want to tear down my tank and start over. help me please! :icon_frow Here's a picture of the algae on the glass.
How old is the tank? Brown algae usually just goes away if its a new setup. Is it getting any direct sunlight? I've had problems if the Sun hits the tank as well.

I have the same brown algae and beard moss in my tank. I feel your frustration! Don't mean to sound dumb, but how do you measure Phosphates? My water testing kits don't have a phosphate calculator. Also what is RO water? Thanks
R.O= Reverse Osmosis. Phosphate kits need to be purchased separately from other test kits.

Although, I rarely test for phosphate I feel its inaccurate, and doesn't really cause algae.
Too much light or too long photo period/ferts/lack of co2 cause algae. Getting all in balance will fix the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How old is the tank? Brown algae usually just goes away if its a new setup. Is it getting any direct sunlight? I've had problems if the Sun hits the tank as well..

Since January. I don't think it's considered a new tank. And no, does not get direct sunlight. I really don't know what to do as i'm getting mixed answers. Should i give phosguard a try
 

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My bet is your tank get poor plant growth which leads to rotting plant material wich leads to brown algae.
Drop some ottos inthere
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
the important part of my post was to concentrate on healthy plant growth.
brown algae does not live in tanks where is no rotting plants
I seriously DON'T have any rotting plants. All my plants are pretty hardy considering this is a low tech. Crypts, java fern, amazon swords, java moss, anubis, dwarf water lettuce floaters, and those plant bulbs that you buy from petsmart. Nothing is rotting. The only thing they have on them is brown algae.

I'm getting so many variety answers and i have no idea what to do. My LFS said it's because of my high phosphate (1.0 ppm) and they told me to try Phosguard. But someone on this post said 1.0 ppm is not considered high.
 

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I seriously DON'T have any rotting plants. All my plants are pretty hardy considering this is a low tech. Crypts, java fern, amazon swords, java moss, anubis, dwarf water lettuce floaters, and those plant bulbs that you buy from petsmart. Nothing is rotting. The only thing they have on them is brown algae.

I'm getting so many variety answers and i have no idea what to do. My LFS said it's because of my high phosphate (1.0 ppm) and they told me to try Phosguard. But someone on this post said 1.0 ppm is not considered high.
Your plant's WILL soon be rotting.
Once algae cover's the leaf /leaves of plant, the plant cannot take nutrient's (which you aren't using) across the leaf.
No fertz = bad new's for plant's.
According to other post's,,you have two 54 watt T5 bulb's.
I would raise the light,or shade the light with layer or two of window screen.This will reduce demand for CO2/fertz.
Would at very least,use some Flourish comprehensive as per direction's once or twice a week.
Or,purchase dry fertilizer's KNO3,KH2PO4,CSM+B and add 1/2 tsp of each once a week a day after water change.
I use same dose once a week in 80 gal low tech.
Keep filter's cleaned regularly(monthly).Clean glass weekly,rub off brown algae if you can from plant leaves.
My two cent's.
 

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I seriously DON'T have any rotting plants. All my plants are pretty hardy considering this is a low tech. Crypts, java fern, amazon swords, java moss, anubis, dwarf water lettuce floaters, and those plant bulbs that you buy from petsmart. Nothing is rotting. The only thing they have on them is brown algae.

I'm getting so many variety answers and i have no idea what to do. My LFS said it's because of my high phosphate (1.0 ppm) and they told me to try Phosguard. But someone on this post said 1.0 ppm is not considered high.
1) gently clean what you can without damaging plants
2) increase water current
3) add micro mix fertilizer. any brand.
4) test for NO3, add it if you are at zerro.
5) for better results add 'liquid carbon'/excel/glutaraldehyde/metricide/whatever ppl call it.
6) wait for magic to happen
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Your plant's WILL soon be rotting.
Once algae cover's the leaf /leaves of plant, the plant cannot take nutrient's (which you aren't using) across the leaf.
No fertz = bad new's for plant's.
According to other post's,,you have two 54 watt T5 bulb's.
I would raise the light,or shade the light with layer or two of window screen.This will reduce demand for CO2/fertz.
Would at very least,use some Flourish comprehensive as per direction's once or twice a week.
Or,purchase dry fertilizer's KNO3,KH2PO4,CSM+B and add 1/2 tsp of each once a week a day after water change.
I use same dose once a week in 80 gal low tech.
Keep filter's cleaned regularly(monthly).Clean glass weekly,rub off brown algae if you can from plant leaves.
My two cent's.
I do have 2 glass pieces shading the the light. I used to dosed flourish comprehensive but I stopped because I thought that was the caused to the algae problem. The problem is I can't seem to find the roots to my problem. I can rub and clean everything as much as I can and the algae will just be back after a week or two.
 

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Agree with sharko, 3 months is still a new tank. A tank can go through a couple/several mini cycles before it is fully established causing brown algae. Either it's a mini cycle or something is causing your tank to cycle again. Best bet IMO:

Test Ammonia levels to be safe in case it's cycling.
Stick to weekly 30%-50% water changes and tank maintenance. Be careful not to kill the good bacteria on the media in your filter when you do so.
Start dosing ferts. Root tabs for stem plants and Flourish Comprehensive for the rest (once a week, twice at mos for the comprehensive).

I don't know the specifics of your tank but will assume you checked your lighting to be sure it isn't to much for a low tech setup (par at substrate, not WPG), or to little...

No, excess nutrients alone don't cause algae so long as you do weekly water changes. Otherwise every tank that doses EI would be algae farms. Excess organics can cause problems but as long as the tank is cleaned regularly then it shouldn't be a worry. If you believe it could be organics than using purigen in your filter will take care of that.

Good luck!
 

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I have a 4 month old 10gal low tech ,I dose 1 ppm weekly PO4 ,and I also have this algae.I think they are right ,it appeares in young tanks.
I am glad that the BBA I ued to have is mostly gone though ,the brown stuff is pretty easy to clean.
I only get it on the glass.Round ,brown algae which are easily scrubbed.It seems to mostly spread on the bottom part of the gl;ass ,right above the substrate.
 

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tl dr: Start dosing the limiting fertilizer.

I was in the same boat Cow, However, I have a 3 gallon tank so cleaning them off wasn't horrible. I have defeated my diatoms. Here is my story.

3 Gallon Spec. 1 Betta. Started in January.

The tank was all good for the first month or so and then diatoms reared their ugly head. I, like you poured over the forums for the nugget of information that would free me from their ugly brown grasp.

I removed all the rocks from the tank (silica source?)
I tried phosguard (remove silica?)
I tried lots of water changes
I added excel each day
I tried amano shrimp
I tried nerites
I upped my photo period
I dropped my photo period

None of it worked.

What finally got me down the right path was a mystery snail dying and another mystery snail dying. For some odd reason they wouldn't flourish. This is an office tank BTW and that makes a difference. My tanks at home have mystery snails and they are happy as um. snails? So I started bringing in water from home.

Now the water at my house is as hard as a rock like 18 drops for both gh and kh hard. So I bought some filtered water from the grocery store. Glacial Water has kiosks around me. For $.50 a gallon I can get RO water. I cut it 50/50 with my home water for something resembling normal water.

Upon adding it to my tank at work my nerite snail perked up and got to town. More importantly the diatoms took a dip. They didn't come back around the edge of my tank like they used to. Sure they were still there but what took 1 hour to clean now took 10 minutes. Answer. Something in my office's municipal water brought on diatoms and killed my snails. Silica? Copper? Who knows? So, you could try a different water supply or even go the RO route but at 90 gallons that may not be feasible.

Part 2 and probably the better advice. About this time my anubias (all 4 of them) and staurogyne repens fully matured in the tank and were adding a new leaf a week. Checking my phosphorus I was always at 0 ppm. My nitrates always hovered around 10 ppm. I decided to start adding phosphorus and potassium to the tank. Now I'm not a fert guy. I'd prefer to let bygones be bygones. However my hand was forced with a few spots of GSA showed up on an anubias.

Dosing up to .5 ppm of phosphorus weekly and my plants exploded. Nitrates dropped to almost 0 (more on that later). New leaves were popping up everywhere. And the diatoms were decimated. The Aha moment was that I had limiting factors in my tank equation. I was stunting my growth via phosphorus and thus my nitrates were burning high. By adding more of the limiting factor I allowed the uptake of nitrates by the plants and removal of the food supply for diatoms.

So now I have a new problem. My nitrates are 0 so some purple algae (bga I think) has just showed up. I have some seachem nitrogen in the mail to fight that. In effect I am doing my own estimated index. Just taking forever to get there.

So in closing. Get the array of seachem products Flourish, Excel, Potassium, Phosphorus, and might as well get iron and nitrogen while you're at it. Bring up the values slowly and you'll starve out the diatoms.

Good luck, you'll get over this hill and there will be another. But the journey is all the fun.
 
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