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Brown Algea


atryeu

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Hi there!

I hope this is the correct forum for this, I wasn't sure where to put it, but seeing as how algea is a type of "plant" I figured I should put it here.

My 5 gallon ADF tank has recently been over ran with brown algea and I have a few questions about it....

Where did it come from? Nothing has been added to the tank since August when I added the frogs (everything else was already inside the tank), and the tank is nowhere near a window (it's in my bedroom on the wall furthest from the window, and it stays quite dark in my room) I have a small log decoration that has a tunnel in it, a single plant (I forget the name, but it comes in a small package with bulbs you can buy at pet stores and places like nooppee.. Started with an "A"). There are no other live plants or decorations inside the tank. The algea started showing up about 2 or 3 weeks ago I think. I seen some on a rock but didn't think anything of it. 2 weeks ago, I noticed it on a plant leaf and I would rub it off a little but it kept coming back. Over the last few days, I noticed it coating at least 4 of the leaves and stems from the plant, it's spreading all over the rocks, the decoration and it's also on the inside of the tank.

How can I get rid of it? I considered one of the little algea-eating fish like an Oto or something, or a non-A sexual snail (my dad also brought up an algea-eating fish) but I worried about my frogs. There are 2 ADFs in the tank and it's a 5 gallon eclipse (hex). It could hold 1 fish or 1 snail as well I believe, but I worried either the frogs or the fish/snail would bother each other. I know there are chemicals to get rid of algea (we have one for our start to a pond) however the one we have is dangerous for animals and I didn't know if all of them were of if there are kinds out there safe to add to aquariums with creatures in them.

How can I prevent the brown algea from showing up again, if I can get rid of it in the first place? I don't want my froggies stuck in a tank with all that ugly brown algea :( I don't know where it came from in the first place (the tank has been running since June with the plant... The decoration and frogs were added in August).

Any help would be appreciated!!!! I've never once had an algae problem with any of my tanks before! Thanks!

- Jennifer

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I have trouble with brown algae as well. Some say it is because of poor lighting, but that has not been the case for me. I read that high phosphate levels in your water will cause brown algae as well. Also, it is not uncommon for tanks that are recently cycled to get brown algae and then later turn to green. Since your tank is a 5 gallon I think I would just give it a complete water change and cleaning, however, I don't know anything about frogs so maybe you can't do that with a frog. Does it have a filter? I know that the 5 gallons are hard to keep cycled. I have one with a betta and I just do a complete change once a week.

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It's been cycled since mid July (cycled rather fast.. 17 days I think it was o.0).. The lighting can't be the case with me either. It's been setup since the end of June and I've never had the problem. It can't be the water either. I've had another tank for a few years now and never once had problems with any type of algae in there! It sits next to the 5 gallon so it's also away from the windows LoL.

The tank does have a filter. It came with the eclipse system. The filter (and bio-wheel that came with it) have also been running since it was setup at the end of June. I haven't had any problems with the cycle. It cycled very quickly and has not shown any ammonia, nitrite or nitrate change since then, even after adding the 2 frogs (the tank only held 1 male guppy before that). Ammonia and Nitrite have been at 0, and Nitrates stay at 10.

I do a 20% water change on the tank once every weekend and syphon the gravel as well, same with my other 2 tanks. I can't take it completely down and clean it all up because of the frogs. I have nowhere else to put them. They cannot go in with my guppies. My 10 gallon tank has a little salt in it still and the frogs really don't like the guppies (I had a single male in the tank when I added the frogs and they ripped his fin that same day *sniff*).

I read online that Brown Algae can be caused by lack of oxygen in the water... I thought that could be a possibility but then was thinking it would have shown in my other tank as well. My other tank ran for the longest time without an air pump without problems.

I also read that heavily planting the tank could help get rid of it, however there's no room to plant it heavily o.0 LoL

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I read that too, but I have plenty of oxygen in my tank. I've got brown algae in my 75 right now, so I feel your pain. It's ugly. I've used the chemicals to prevent it, they are supposed to be safe for fish, but my fish started acting funny and I had to do a big water change. I don't use them anymore.

I've read that plants will help because they will feed on the nitrates reducing the amount of algae food. You might try that. I have no luck with plants, goldies eat them too fast.

Wish I could have been of more help.

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Aww, it's okay :) I appreciate the response and ideas!! I would try more live plants, but there's just no room :( It's a 5 gallon hex so it's as tall as a regular 10 gallon tank, but about half as wide -_- LoL I could fit 1 more small plant in a corner, but there's no way I could plant it heavily.

I just find it odd that I'm having algae problems now. I've never once had problems before with my other tanks so it's strange.

I forget the chemical we bought for the "pond" but it has a big warning right on the front that it will kill fish LoL. I'd rather go with an Oto or snail if I could, but I worry something would go on between them and the frogs -_- I heard Otos can be very hard to keep for awhile but a friend has had theirs for a few months without problems (and they take terrible care of their poor fish!!)

I tried to wipe up some of the algea best I could earlier. I couldn't get it off the gravel or the decoration very well though, or the plant. It came off the tank really easily at least!

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Hi everyone - I have brown algae problems too! It drives me nuts! I notice that it accumulates quickly on the plastic plants, and then when you try to clean them they fall apart - It is so frustrating. I am getting the impression that if you have real plants you do not find yourself dealing with brown algae as much - but I also hear real plants are very hard and messy - Boy..having fish is much harder than I thought it would be!

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I have 1 live plant in the tank... It's very very easy to keep and isn't bad at all, aside for all the brown algae on it now -_- I forget the name of the plant, but you can buy them at pet stores.. They come in a little tiny container with 5 bulbs or so. It was a "hardy Apongenton" or something like that LoL. I just put it in the gravel a little so it stays under water. It sprouts within the week and it grows 6 inches or so in 15 days :D I have 3 of the bulbs growing and all of them have reached the surface of the tanks already LoL These don't need food or fertilizer and are cheap :)

Anyways, having a live plant sure hasn't helped my tank out LoL I just don't get it though. I have 1 plant in each of my other 2 tanks and never had one spot of algae in either tank o.0

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I have recently cycled my tank which is why I think i now have brown algae. Is brown algae bad or does it function the same as green algea, just not as attractive? I haven't been attacking the algae like I should becuase I was under the impression that it would use up the nitrates in my tank. I also have seen my oranda eating the stuff off the onrament. Does the brown algae help my tank?

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Otos are very good at cleaning up brown algae and are peaceful little things. I haven't kept frogs, so I don't know their compatability, but a search on the web would probably help you with that.

Brown algae is unsightly, but harmless. It can also show up in a tank with high silicates (which can leach from gravel or be in the water).

In my tanks, I start out with brown algae that turns into green algae as the tank matures.

One little trick with silk plants is to have a selection of them. When they get coated in algae take them out and let them dry (in the sun if you can). If you leave them out of the tank for several weeks, the algae dries up and the plants looks pretty good again. You can just rotate various plants through the tank :D

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Thanks for the info! I've been to that site before but never seen that breeding page :blink: Aww, I would love to breed my froggies but I think they are both the same sex LoL

Hmm, I'll start looking into the otos again since they seem to be good tankmates :) Perhaps with my next trip to town I can get one if they are still being sold!

Thanks for the info :) I'll keep you updated!

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Well, I wish I could find an Oto around here since they eat brown algae. I doubt our pet stores would have one. I have a bristlenose pleco and he does not eat the brown algae at all, guess he's picky.

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Okay, I will. But, since they are little is it okay to put them with the goldies? Are they little enough for the goldies to eat? Can they take a colder water temp?

I don't think I ever seen an oto.

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There's a picture (and info) HERE

They have them at nooppee here, or used to. They had the full name printed out for awhile, but they switched the name to "Algae Eater" for some reason so their actual name isn't displayed -_- LoL

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I wouldn't put them with goldfish unless your goldfish are very, very small. I once had a 2 1/2" goldfish try and eat an oto. It was horrible since the oto has barbs on its fins, and in order to get it out of the goldfish's mouth (it was stuck), the oto was dismembered and the goldfish's mouth was very ragged. The goldfish did heal, but it was not a nice experience.

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Aww, poor thing :( I'm glad it healed! Did the oto make it?

I need to wait until my QT tank is cycled before I get one. I don't want to get one that ends up being sick with something I didn't notice and get my froggies sick -_-

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Guest greykmb

Just some tips on otocinclus.

They can sometimes be agressive to larger fish with nice slime coats. They find them very tasty! Usually this can be averted by keeping them in a group.

They have a reputation of not living very long because of the way they are handled during shipment. Otocinclus is not bred in captivity, they are picked from there natural habitat (S. American streams I believe) and shipped to vendors. They are essentially starved by the time they get to the pet shop. If you decide to get an oto pick one that is very active and has a fat belly!

Make sure you are getting a genuine otocinclus! If it is just labelled algae eater then it could be the dreaded chinese algae eater which grows very large and is very aggressive towards larger fish (like goldies)

The brown algae will eventually die off when phosphate and silicate levels drop, then green algae will be your next enemy. Although a little bit of algae is a good thing!

I have 4 oto's in a 29 gallon planted tank with three (3 to 5 inches) goldies. At first the goldies viewed them as a snack but the oto's are fast and my fat goldfish cant catch them. I have 1 oto that when its really hungry will try to latch on to the goldfish, i just drop in some blanched zuchini and he immediately goes after that. They cleared up the brown algae fairly quickly and now spend most of their time cleaning the algae of my plants. Cute little guys who are always active.

www.otocinclus.com

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Thanks for the picture; they are cute. :( Sorry about your oto touchofsky. Sounds like that was a very bad situation. I think I better pass on the oto then because this tank has a common who is 8" and my 7" fantail. They might try to eat him.

Dataguru had said that a UV steralizer will take care of the algae, so maybe when I can afford it I might buy one.

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Aww, I'm sorry touchofsky *hugs*

greykmb: I researched otto's in the past already, very thoroughly ;) I know they are hard to care for in the beginning because pet shops don't feed them properly, they are caught wild and only a few cases of breeding in an aquarium were observed... I found all sorts of info!

The "algea eater" being sold at nooppee here are Otto's :) After all the research, it's easier to ID them. *blushes* Not to mention a friend has had one for awhile now and it's definatly a true Oto.... She has had a few others in the past before, also labeled as "Algae Eater". mmm down here has both Siamese and Chinese algae eaters and I can see the difference between them and Oto's :)

In my tank, if I go with an Oto, the only other tankmates would be 2 ADFs. I don't keep other fish with my frogs.

The algea has really caused some problems on one of my plant leaves :angry: A leaf that was coated in the algea looks to be almost completely dead now! I hope that doesn't happen to the rest of my plant!!

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I was looking through a Doctors Foster & Smith catalog today and saw something called Phos-Buster Pro. Says it's for saltwater and freshwater aquariums, and removes phosphate from the water for algae control. Wonder if it works and if it would bother the fish? They also have some phosphate filter pads and some mats that you put in your aquarium for 36-48 hours. Might be worth a try. :hummm

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Does not say who makes these products; the catalog shows the bottle and it says Phos-Buster. Then there are 2 different types of phosphate pads, Chemi-Mat, and Phosphate filter Pads, that's all it shows.

Here's their link and links for 2 of the products.

Drs. Foster & Smith web site

Phos-Buster

Chemi-Mat

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