Brown Algae Problem

bettafins

Right now I have a fishless 10 gallon tank I haven’t cycled yet. I have the plants, substrate, decor, heater, and filter. It’s ready to go, I just haven’t started the cycle. Recently I’ve had a lot of brown algae growing everywhere staining my white rocks. Most annoyingly the algae is growing on my large amazon sword leaves that are closest to the light. I thought the algae would wash off but it has stained the leaves making them appear brown and not their beautiful bright green. How do I get rid of the algae? And why is it brown algae that’s growing and not something like green algae?
 

SM1199

Diatoms are notorious for showing up right as you begin your cycle and for a month or two following. If you're patient, you can wait it out. If you're impatient, you can add a single nerite snail to remove diatoms and help the cycle along - this is my personal opinion, some might say not to add anything live until your cycle is finished, but I think the bioload of a single nerite wouldn't be enough to be detrimental while cycling.

That being said about diatoms, they are usually very easy to wipe off of surfaces, so it's strange that you say it's "stained" your amazon sword. Are you sure that that's algae staining, and not the plant itself not doing so hot?
 

bettafins


IMG_5344.JPG

I’m pretty sure it is the algae. This wasn’t a problem before the algae started growing all over the tank.
 

SM1199


IMG_5344.JPG

I’m pretty sure it is the algae. This wasn’t a problem before the algae started growing all over the tank.

What's on the leaves doesn't quite look like diatoms to me, especially when it doesn't wipe off. Your plants could be suffering because all of the algae is soaking up nutrients and/or CO2... Just a theory. Do you have a picture of the rest of the tank where the algae is easier to see?
 

bettafins

Here’s a couple more leaves

IMG_5345.JPG

IMG_5351.JPG

And here’s the algae itself growing on the glass

IMG_5348.JPG
 

SM1199

On the glass is definitely diatoms. Looks like nothing right now, I'd let it blow over. As for the plants... If you can't rub off whatever it is, it's not diatoms, and most likely a plant deficiency. I'd bring it over to the plant section to see if someone can help you out with that.
 

angelcraze

I can say I've seen the same thing. My theory it is mechanical damage from me removing the diatoms. While they are there, they block light to the leaf and cause damage.

I'm sure someone will have better advice, and I'll be listening too haha because I know my tanks have some deficiencies, but I find the earlier I brush it off, the less damage is left. As mentioned it is common in new setups and usually goes away on it's own, but if you can keep removing it as much as possible for now, that would be good. I use sponges to wipe them out and rinse often while doing a water change. I brush it off plant leaves in between, but bear in mind the dust will just settle elsewhere if it's not siphoned or wiped away.
 

DanInJakarta

Diatoms, hate 'em.

Diatoms are made out of silica, so, solution is use RO/DI water, re-mineralized for calcium, magnesium, pH, all that stuff. More trouble than it's worth for freshwater.

Wait them out until they run out of stuff to eat and stuff to build their bodies (silica). Cleaning of all smooth surface daily, helps. Clean your filters with tank water. Increase the light in your tank.

That worked for me...
 

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