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Brown stuff

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plants & Planted Tanks' started by Aironia, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. Aironia

    Aironia Thread Starter New Member

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    Im sure someones posted about this, but im not really sure what it is so im not wanting to do anything without advice.

    My planted tank is covered in brown stuff. Its on everything. Ive done water changes, ive scraped the sides, and its still there.

    its covering every leaf, its turned them brown. the wood used to have several color browns...now its covered in a dust looken stuff.

    not sure what to do.

    not sure how it happened.
     
  2. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Active Member

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    Sounds like brown diatom algae.
    Brown Diatom Algae.
    Stolen Knowledge since I typed most of this already
    You really cannot entirely "stop" the growth of any algae, green brown, or red, but with some good tank management practices, the rate of algae growth can be reduced. There is no such thing as an algae-free aquarium. An aquarium that never gets any algae growth is probably not a healthy environment for fish. Algae should never be controlled through the use of chemicals. Most algae-control chemicals work by inhibiting the reproduction of algae, and may also inhibit the growth of plants and beneficial bacteria. We have seen some disasterous results caused by over-use of algacides. These chemicals should only be used to get rid of green water or very bad algae problems, then good tank management alone should be used to prevent re-occurrences. It is important to remember that algae is a "plant-like" organism. Unlike a plant, it has no true roots, stems or leaves. Like a plant, it needs plenty of light and nutrients to grow (it already has the water). The first thing to look at is light. Aquariums should never be placed where they can receive a lot of direct or even indirect sunlight. Tank lights should be on no more than ten hours. The next factor is nutrients, and in aquariums, this means controlling nitrates and phosphates. Regular water changes and good filtration are important to eliminate nutrients. Vacuuming the gravel in a tank when doing a water change, removes many organics that decay into basic nitrates and phophates. A 25% water change every three to four weeks, or 10% a week, will help control the build-up of nutrients. As most city tap water contains phosphates, using reverse osmosis, distilled, or deionized water will also help. Using phosphate and/or nitrate removal media in a canister or power filter is also helpful. Water motion will also inhibit algae growth, as algae spores cannot settle and take "root" in an aquarium that has good circulation. Using small submersible pumps or powerheads in a tank, in addition to the regular filters will help add extra circulation to any aquarium.

    My aquarium projects (cichlids, livebearers)
     
  3. Aironia

    Aironia Thread Starter New Member

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    yup read that, wasnt sure that was what i had.

    Now that i know, how do i get rid of it. I do weekly water changes. The substrate can not be vaccuumed, although if i see stuff lingering i do suck the top of substrate lightly.

    It wont be rubbed off the plants, its impossible to get off the wood. i scrape it off the glass but it even grows on the substrate.

    being that its not due to dirty water, and its no where near a window...im assuming its due to poor circulation. what then would i need to buy? its already got two filters, that run on high.
     
  4. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Active Member

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    let's start with the basics.
    What size tank, what type of filtration (gph), what type of lighting ...and how long do you run it...and what type of substrate?
    Also..what are you feeding and how often.

    Sounds like the brown diatoms...would need a photo to be 100% sure.
    I take it you tried scraping it off, using a siphon and trying to "suction" it off, using a turkey baster and trying to "blow" it off.
     
  5. Aironia

    Aironia Thread Starter New Member

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    The tank is a 29g all glass, it has a whisper 30 and a marineland 150 bio filter on it and a typical submersible heater.
    The substrate is from Aquariumplants.com. Its their own mix
    The light came with the set up...nothing special at all. It gets turned on around noon and turned off around ten. (this tank is for my son who has adhd. its become one of the only things that helps him relax and fall to sleep)

    i can scrape it off the glass, but nothing takes it off the leaves. Ive taken my lil scrub tool to the wood which will take it off a bit. The dusty stuff will move around when 'blown' off but a few days later its back. The water is crystal clear though. And stays that way.

    Today i have changed 15% water, and replaced both filter media in both filters. (based on the opinion of my LFS...the filter could be to old ) Ive scrapped the glass and 'blown' off the wood.

    I feed twice a day. Once at noon...a few flakes a shrimp pellet, and a piece of a algea wafer. Second feeding is usually at eight, again a few flakes, and carnaviorous tablet or shrimp pellet. Once a week i replace the evening feeding with frozen foods...either shrimp, worms, plankton, or mos larvae. This i feed with a dropper and usually just one squirt.

    Attached are some photos.

    brwn625.JPG brwn525.JPG brwn325.JPG brwn225.JPG brwn125.JPG
     
  6. Anthony

    Anthony Active Member

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    Yep, diatom algae.
     
  7. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Active Member

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    that looks like diatom to me as I originally thought.
    This tank is cycled correct?
    Do you have a test kit (phosphate/nitrite/nitrate)?
    <--I had the problem a while back...my lfs thought it was from phosphate..but in actuality it was nitrates.

    Typically you see that when you have excessive nutrients ime.
    as in overfeeding...excessive light (or if your not cycled as in the tank is going through mini-cycles).

    I feel your pain with it..It made the tank look awful when I had it, and my water remained crystal clear too...just every surface would get covered in it.
     
  8. Anthony

    Anthony Active Member

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    Agree with what Dawn posted. New setups normally see this at some point or another. I would increase your water changes to about 20-40% a week.