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What is this brown/rust colored "algea" thats growing on my glass and grass?

Ive had my tank for about two months now. I planted dwarf grass, and now Ive had an outbreak of this brown/orange/rust colored mess attcking my glass, and covering my plants. It fluctuates in severeness. Im able to wipe it off easily and usually do this every three days and suck out what I can. It also turned my beautiful white sand the same color. I've been sucking out the top layer of sand to clean it, but it just keep coming back. Ive tested my water. Nitrate and nitrite are low in the "safe" parameters. I have harder then normal water, and the alkalinity is about 170ppm. The PH is close to 7 as well. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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Re: What is this brown/rust colored "algea" thats growing on my glass and grass?

Probably diatoms. One of the more common alga in newly established setups. Certain fish and critters will eat it, but it usually has to run it's course.

BTW. Aside from the diatoms, very light colored sand like that will never stay 'white' without replacing the top when it get's darker. Even with no algae issues the sand will grow bacteria on it and make it look darker.
 
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