Brown algae came back...

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Imashark

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I've had my tank for about 8 months now. It's an Edge and houses 1 betta and 6 neons. Is brown algae the same as diatoms? I keep reading about how to get rid of it and I'm getting conflicting advice. Some say it grows better without light and others say light helps it grow. This stuff covers my plants and white gravel/ornament as well as the glass and I hate it. The are in the tank that DOESN'T have brown algae is around my one moss ball(hmmm). I don't want to buy a pleco to eat this stuff up or a snail because of the bioload. Help?
 

RogueAgent94

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Hi,

Can you get a picture? Sounds like diatoms. Definitely don't add a pleco to your tank. They get way to big for an Edge. Cut down on your feeding and do regular waterchanges. Whenever I get diatoms in my tanks (usually within the first two months of being cycled) I just leave it be and it goes away on its own. I don't scrape it off anything. I would suggest doing the same .

What are your tank params?
 

AlyeskaGirl

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What is your lighting?

If you've had it, then comes back months later it can be your lighting; old light tubes.
 

JoannaB

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After eight months, if you have not changed your light bulbs yet, it's time to do that, and that could be it. Also do you ever wipe the case of the light fixture when cleaning the tank? Unlike green algae which get worse with high light, diatoms ghet worse with low light.
 
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Imashark

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Whoops, I didn't mean to say pleco I meant an oto. The lights I have are the ones that came with the Edge itself but I rarely use it. So diatoms DON'T like light? I'll test the parameters later when I get a chance.
 

AlexAlex

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FYI, Oto Cats have very little bioload. That's usually the opposite for most Catfish or Pleco's, though.
 

RogueAgent94

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Otos don't eat diatoms from my experience. So it would be a bad idea anyway.

That's correct, the more light the less diatoms normally. You should leave the lights on for at least 6-8 hours a day.
 

AlexAlex

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Otos eat brown algae, not green. I do know that for sure.
 

RogueAgent94

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Huh? My otos rarely eat anything BUT green algae. Various types of course but they've never touched anything like Diatoms. How do you know it for sure? Otos are found in green algae infested streams. That's kind of their natural food.
 

AlexAlex

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RogueAgent94

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Interesting. I've never heard of them eating diatoms before.
 

AlexAlex

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It is intriguing, indeed.
 
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Imashark

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Yeah, I'm sick of getting brown algae. I had a planara problem and that went away, but now I have dang diatoms. Can I just get 1 oto by itself? I know they school and I have a 6 gallon.
 

RogueAgent94

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You could if you wanted but I think it is a bad idea. It'll go away on its own. Diatoms always do.
 

JoannaB

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Do they always go away on their own even when they reoccur in an already established tank? Note that Imashark has this tank for eight months already, and the diatoms came back, so this is not the usual new tank with diatoms issue, right? Will they still go away on their own in such a situation?
 

RogueAgent94

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I have had them come back in established tanks only to go away again. I never had issues with diatoms sticking around for very long. Max was two months maybe. I've never heard of nor experienced diatoms not going away but it could happen I suppose.
 
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Imashark

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K I tested my parameters and nitrite was blue, ammonia was light green/yellow(0.25), and nitrate was a little orange. Do I still have to clean this stuff off my gravel or will it go away by itself? Instead of the oto, I think I'll get a red cherry shrimp, where can I get one because I don't think petco has them.
 

RogueAgent94

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What were the numbers for nitrite and nitrate? If you have ammonia in the tank that means your tank isn't completely cycled. Also, diatoms flourish in tanks that aren't cycled or have off params. That's the cause of your algae. Cleaning it will only give it more room to grow.

I don't think RCS eat diatoms. But you can get some from various members here. I know Catsma and Zeez both have RCS.
 
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Imashark

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Nitrite is blue (0) and nitrate is between the first and second shade of orange so like 0.3 maybe. I've had perfect parameters (0,0,0) before I've had my tetras for many months if my tank isn't cycled they'd be long dead. I just overfed them the last few days I'll do more wcs.
 

JoannaB

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You do not need to aI'm for nitrates to be 0. In fact if you have live plants in the tank, you do not want nitrates to always be 0 because plants need nitrates. A good goal is ammonia 0 nitrites 0 and nitrates always less than 20, I believe, although even an occasional higher nitrates than that won't harm your fish nearly as much as any measurable ammonia or nitrites could.
 
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