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Brown algae(I think its diatom)

5992 Views 17 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  plantblr
Hi all :),

This is my 1st post here.

My glass,leaves of my plants,the filter & the gravel all are covered by a Brown slippery thing,which I think is Diatoms :(.

The tank is a 50gallon,the lighting being 65watts x 2 for 10hrs a day.
My tank doesn't have many fast growing plants,currently I have many Anubias,Ferns,10 Vals & 2 Swords in it.I think maybe of less fast growing plants there is this breakout.

Please help........the tank has begun looking really ugly :(

Many thanks
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If you don't want to use the floaters like Trenac suggested, you can cut your lights back to 8 hours until you get a few more plants in the tank. The Anubias and Java Ferns will probably do a bit better with a shorter photo period and the Swords and vals will should do fine with 8 hours. Shortening the photo period will probably help a bit in preventing other types of algae as well, assuming you fertilize like Trena suggested.

Since this was your first post, welcome to had a pretty busy day accumulating 31 posts in less than 12 hours ;)
Well you found the cause of the Diatom algae! I have run into similar issues on tanks in the past when I have upgraded the lighting, though I have never done such a large change. Given your lighting change, you will definitely need to adjust your fertilizer level accordingly. It is now even more important to get some more plants in the tank.
The diatoms would have cleared either way but the additional plant mass should help with future algae problems assuming you add the fertilizers like trenac suggested.

Let us know how the tank progresses and be sure to share a pic or two.
The problem with fish that will eat algae is you basically have to keep them hungry all the time or they will not eat algae. This can be a problem is you have other fish in the tank that need to eat.

I've never kept Mollies but it seems most Livebearers are always hungry so they may eat some algae.

SAEs will eat algae until they have had fish food then forget it..they will need to be very hungry to go at algae and seem to prefer fine leaved plants and moss that are in the tank over the algae.

As mentioned, Otocinclus eat diatom algae but not other types of algae.

You asked about fish, but in my opinion, Amano Shrimp are probably the best algae eaters out there. The problem with them is that they are small in comparison to most fish and fish like to eat shrimp. I keep a 10g tank with about 30 or so Amano Shrimp in it. When my other 10g shrimp tanks get algae (I don't add fertilizers or CO2 to my shrimp breeding tanks so I do get some algae in them), I put 15-20 Amano Shrimp in the tank and they take care of the algae in about a week, maybe less. At the rate of 1-2 Amano shrimp per gallon, they should do a very quick job on most filamentous algae...though at $2-$3 per shrimp (or more) it can get very expensive.

Cutting the photoperiod back, adding more plants and being patient is the best way to reduce diatom algae. If you manually remove other types of algae when you first start to notice them and add the appropriate fertilizers for your style of tank, you can keep algae at bay. Keep the plants happy and you won't have very much algae, if any ;)
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