Brown Algae on my plants?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by bella29, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. bella29New MemberMember

    My aquarium looks nice with the exception of my plants. I have brown stuff on all of my plants. It comes off but it comes right back. I do weekly water change and I always make sure that my readings are good. I presently have a fluorescent 30 watt bulb for a 46Gal Aquarium (it came with the aquarium). I also have Co2. Am I having this problem because of insufficent lighting?
  2. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    The brown stuff is called Diatoms. It's very common with newly set up aquariums & is more common in low light conditions & when the lights are not on for long enough. What are your lighting hours? It should go away by itself in anywhere between 3-18months. You can just wait it out. Your Bristlenose will be eating some of it & I think yuor Clown Plec will eat it to. Otos also eat it. It's harmless for the most part but if there is a thick covering of it on your plants leaves it can block the light out to them & stop them photosynthisising. Give the leaves a good wipe down with your fingers every few days to help prevent that from happening.

  3. _Fried_Bettas_Well Known MemberMember

    First of all if you have less than 1watt/gal as you do, the CO2 is having absolutely no positive effect all. To grow healthy plants you need light, fertilizer, and CO2, and they must be balanced. You will only grow plants as fast as the lowest factor, and also when there is an imbalance the algae take advantage of it. Until you get near 2w/gal there is no need to add CO2 because there is plenty in the water for the amount of growth you will get under that light. At your level light you probably don't need much as far as ferts either because most come either from the fish or are in tap water. If you really want to grow plants (other than a few low light plants) you need to change your lighting. When you get the light/ferts/CO2 in balance you will find the plants will out-compete the algae. I don't know the exact set-up you have there are usually many options available to improve the lighting. If I had already expended money on CO2 then I would aim for around 3w/gal, somewhere around 135 watts over your 46 gallons. While this site is undeniably the best for talk about fish and associated information, there is another that I go to for planted tank questions. There is a wealth of information there  

  4. bella29New MemberMember

    Yes, it's a newly setup aquarium (3 months now). The light is on for 11 hours (9am - 8pm). If I get a better light (i.e. 96 Watts) will it go away? I've been giving them a good wipe and it goes away but comes right back and they don't look nice. My Water Sprite is full of it at the bottom leaves.
  5. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    Increasing the lighting intensity will help it go away faster but you will still have to put up with it for some period of time. Remove the lower leaves of the Wisteria & any other leaves that are badly choked with it. They will rot away & all that rotting material can cause water quality problems whcih will make the diatoms even worse.

    As pointed out by LetDiceFly the co2 won't be doing anything for your plants with your current level of lighting though it is also not responsible for the diatoms.
  6. bella29New MemberMember

    This is the light fixture I was thinking of buying on for $100

    Corallife Florescent Fixture with lamps included. Deluxe Series-Single Linear Strip Freshwater Aqualight. Ideal for Saltwater, Reef and Freshwater Aquariums.
    -36 inch single lamp fixture
    -96 Watt 6700K square pin compact fluorescent lamp
    -On/Off Switch
    -Built-in electronic ballast
    -Sleek aluminum housing (5"Wx 2 1/2"H)
    -Highly-polished reflector
    -Acrylic lens cover

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for your quick response.
  7. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    Is your co2 a commercial injected system or just a diy rig? The reason I ask is that if it is a commercially available injected system then it would be good to take full advantage of that & have 120w+ of light. If it's a diy co2 system then the light you are looking at would be fine. It would be enough to take advantage of the co2 & not so much that you can't supply enough co2 to keep everything balanced & avoid algae problems.
  8. bella29New MemberMember

    It's the C02 Bio System by Red Sea - unique diffuser pump with CO2. I will definitely get a better lighting for my aquarium. I knew that I was going to upgrade from what came with it. Will the 96 Watt be good enough or should I purchase a 120w. I can get the 96 Watts for about $80 or 100$ or around $169 from the LFS.
  9. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    The Red Sea Bio System is essentially a diy sytem. It just looks fancy. I think the 96w would be ideal for use with that co2 system.

    TIP: when you need to make a new co2 mixture, use sugar & yeast rather than buy thier co2 powder. It will save you money & you will be able to make a mixture that suits your needs. There are lots of threads on yeast/sugar mixtures.
  10. _Fried_Bettas_Well Known MemberMember

    I just say I agree with everything nutter has said, and that light fixture sounds like a reasonable choice. Save your Red Sea until you get the lights.
  11. bella29New MemberMember

    I was going to say that I don't have that CO2 tank - it's looks like a fancy diy system. They sell the refills for $14.99 and it only lasts a month. I will definitely look at doing my own Co2 mixture... something that I was going to look into.

    Thanks for the advice.. much appreciated.

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