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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted this situation in an earlier discussion about Eco-Complete in "Substrates". I swapped over an existing 20 gallon tank from Profile to Eco. I siphoned out the Profile and the fish remained in the tank. I drained the Eco fairly well and added it and topped off with RO, traces added water. Two weeks later I'm looking at brown algae on just about everything in the tank that isn't swimming. I've been in this hobby for MANY years but have never had brown algae. Any suggestions for causes and cures? The 20 has 55w.PC and DIY CO2 and PMDD and TMG. It has two discus, 5 small SAE's and about a dozen rare Cory's.

Bob
 

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Hey Bob,

Welcome to APC and thanks for posting your question.

Need to ask you a little more though. When someone says brown algae and is dealing with a newly setup tank, the answer is typically diatoms. Diatoms are unicellular algae that feed on silica. They usually bloom just after an aquarium is setup and immature.

When you siphoned out the Profile, you probably kicked up a lot of nutrients that now are resulting in a diatom bloom. You said the Eco-Compelte was dry. Why is that? Eco-Complete is meant to be in a solution of bacteria. If you dried it, the bacteria may have died off thereby adding to the nutrient release into the water.

No matter what it is, I recommend patience. You will be able to lick it. It just takes time. :D

Begin a healthy routine of changing 50% of the water once per week. Suck out of much of the algae as you can. Also start to fertilizer your plants well. Do you use test kits? What are your water parameters?

If they are diatoms, you should be rid of them shortly. They may be replaced by black beard or green algae. Be ready for it. Keep the healthy matinenance routine and you will turn the tank around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Didn't "dry" the Eco.

Hi Art,

Keeping discus, I routinely change 40-50% of the water each week. I didn't dry the Eco, only drained most of the water, per directions on the package for additions to existing tanks. Since the fish remained in the tank, there was obviously a fair amount of remaining bacteria in water on glass, etc. so it wasn't like a totally new set-up. I purposely left some algae on the back glass for the SAE's and pleco. Apparently that wasn't enough. On the other hand, it may have something in particular to do with the composition of Eco. Are you implying that the diatomaceous "algae" will just disappear on it's own? If so, good for me!

Thanks for the reply.

Bob
 

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Bob,

Yes. Re-doing an existing tank kicks up a lot of detritus/nutrients into the water column. I understand you are changing a lot of water weekly and that's great. However, your discus are great a "dirtying" the water especially if you are feeding them well.

The diatoms usually don't last long. Just keep up a good maintenance routine and they will be gone before you know it.
 

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Zackie said:
I posted this situation in an earlier discussion about Eco-Complete in "Substrates". I swapped over an existing 20 gallon tank from Profile to Eco. I siphoned out the Profile and the fish remained in the tank. I drained the Eco fairly well and added it and topped off with RO, traces added water. Two weeks later I'm looking at brown algae on just about everything in the tank that isn't swimming. I've been in this hobby for MANY years but have never had brown algae. Any suggestions for causes and cures? The 20 has 55w.PC and DIY CO2 and PMDD and TMG. It has two discus, 5 small SAE's and about a dozen rare Cory's.

Bob
Bob, why did you get rid of profile? it's a great substrate!
 

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Re: Didn't "dry" the Eco.

Zackie said:
Hi Art,

Keeping discus, I routinely change 40-50% of the water each week. I didn't dry the Eco, only drained most of the water, per directions on the package for additions to existing tanks. Since the fish remained in the tank, there was obviously a fair amount of remaining bacteria in water on glass, etc. so it wasn't like a totally new set-up. I purposely left some algae on the back glass for the SAE's and pleco. Apparently that wasn't enough. On the other hand, it may have something in particular to do with the composition of Eco. Are you implying that the diatomaceous "algae" will just disappear on it's own? If so, good for me!

Thanks for the reply.

Bob
This just actually reminded me of last week when a buddy of mine tells me, "Sometimes I think Eco-complete is TOO complete." He was explaining to me that Eco-complete has too many minerals and that it releases them into the water in the beginning. Come to think of it, my eco-complete tank has a lot of brown algae too.

In Aquarium Plants Manual, it mentions that brown algae is due to low light conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm certain that low light isn't the issue and that it's a condition unique to the initial use of Eco. Now the tank is "clear as a bell" and the discus are cleaning leaves again. Horny devils.... ;-)
 

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I recently tore up a 10gal with plain gravel that was full of brown algae and the plants were heavy with spot algae. I replaced the gravel with eco-complete, and started pressurized co2. The difference was incredible. The brown algae is gone. The green spot only remains a little on an anubias. I think this stuff is great!
As Art said, you probably kicked up tons of nutrients into the water column from the existing gravel. I would also suggest, you make sure your co2 levels are good (20-30 ppm). With a little patience, and regaining your parameters in balance, you'll be ok.
 

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I recently tore up a 10gal with plain gravel that was full of brown algae and the plants were heavy with spot algae. I replaced the gravel with eco-complete, and started pressurized co2. The difference was incredible. The brown algae is gone. The green spot only remains a little on an anubias. I think this stuff is great!
As Art said, you probably kicked up tons of nutrients into the water column from the existing gravel. I would also suggest, you make sure your co2 levels are good (20-30 ppm). With a little patience, and regaining your parameters in balance, you'll be ok.
 

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I'm thinking a very important thing to include in these posts is "YMMV" Your mileage may vary. So most likely eco-complete isn't the culprit and it may be something else to look into.
 
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