Brown Algae will not go away

hannahmbatts

Member
Hi everyone,
I’ve had a brown algae spike in my tank for about a month now. It also makes the water appear yellow/cloudy. (Picture attached) The tank is pretty much just disgusting. I’ve been doing 20-30% weekly water changes because I have a fully stocked tank. On days when the water is especially murky I’ll do a larger water change. Is there anything else I can do?? I cannot get rid of it and my biggest pet peeve is the water clarity. Thanks in advance
 

aquaticamanda

Member
Check your phosphates levels? Whats your nitrates? Are you physically going in to scrub off the algae or?
 

cpuphantom

Member
How many hours per day do you keep the lights on?
 
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hannahmbatts

Member
aquaticamanda said:
Check your phosphates levels? Whats your nitrates? Are you physically going in to scrub off the algae or?
I don’t have a phosphate test, and I just tested the nitrate level again and it’s at 0ppm. Yes I do physically scrub some algae off with a scraper but I try to leave a little bit for the mystery snails and cories.
 
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hannahmbatts

Member
cpuphantom said:
How many hours per day do you keep the lights on?
About 8 hours a day
 

Sauceboat

Member
Did you make sure you fully cycled the tank? Is there any way it could have crashed? It looks a lot like mine when the cycle mostly crashed. It took about 2 weeks of every other day water change to get rid of it.
 
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hannahmbatts

Member
Sauceboat said:
Did you make sure you fully cycled the tank? Is there any way it could have crashed? It looks a lot like mine when the cycle mostly crashed. It took about 2 weeks of every other day water change to get rid of it.
I did a fish-in cycle. However I asked about 2 months ago in a different thread if my tank was cycled after providing info and the replies said yes. Maybe it wasn’t cycled after all then, but this is the first problem I’m seeing in about 3 months
 
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hannahmbatts

Member
Sauceboat said:
Did you make sure you fully cycled the tank? Is there any way it could have crashed? It looks a lot like mine when the cycle mostly crashed. It took about 2 weeks of every other day water change to get rid of it.
And how large were the every other day water changes?
 

Sauceboat

Member
hannahmbatts said:
And how large were the every other day water changes?
Roughly 20-30%
 

Khuligirl

Member
My tank crashed last year due to over cleaning and I fought brown algae for 3 months. Unfortunately you have to take a razor blade to remove the brown algae from the glass and scrub every surface. It's not fun. Snails and plecos tend to avoid brown algae for the most part. Just work on recycling the tank, some extra bacteria added will help too. Just remember this will pass. Good luck.
 
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hannahmbatts

Member
Khuligirl said:
My tank crashed last year due to over cleaning and I fought brown algae for 3 months. Unfortunately you have to take a razor blade to remove the brown algae from the glass and scrub every surface. It's not fun. Snails and plecos tend to avoid brown algae for the most part. Just work on recycling the tank, some extra bacteria added will help too. Just remember this will pass. Good luck.
Thank you!!! I have seachem Pristine...will that help at all?
 

Khuligirl

Member
hannahmbatts said:
Thank you!!! I have seachem Pristine...will that help at all?
I'm not really sure if it will. Maybe someone else can help more.
 

Gh05t

Member
More than likely it is your substrate...many aquarium substrates contain silica. These silicates cause considerable amounts of brown algae. You can remove silica with various products...I use seagel most of the time it is made by Seachem.
 
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hannahmbatts

Member
Gh05t said:
More than likely it is your substrate...many aquarium substrates contain silica. These silicates cause considerable amounts of brown algae. You can remove silica with various products...I use seagel most of the time it is made by Seachem.
Thank you!!!! This makes sense considering my substrate is packaged gravel from Petsmart. Is seagel just another liquid additive?
 

angelcraze

Member
If it was my tank, I would start doing two 30% water changes a week for a while. I personally do weekly 50% changes, but at least try changing a little more water out.

Also I wouldn't worry about leaving algae for the snails. At the rate it is growing, enough will form for them to feed.

To me it looks like green algae instead of brown, typically too much light or too long of photoperiod or too much organics in the water.

Have you ever read about a siesta? (Split photoperiod). The idea is that algae does not resume photosynthesis after a blackout period like plants do. So technically with a 2hr siesta, algae can't complete photosynthesis.
 
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hannahmbatts

Member
angelcraze said:
If it was my tank, I would start doing two 30% water changes a week for a while. I personally do weekly 50% changes, but at least try changing a little more water out.

Also I wouldn't worry about leaving algae for the snails. At the rate it is growing, enough will form for them to feed.

To me it looks like green algae instead of brown, typically too much light or too long of photoperiod or too much organics in the water.

Have you ever read about a siesta? (Split photoperiod). The idea is that algae does not resume photosynthesis after a blackout period like plants do. So technically with a 2hr siesta, algae can't complete photosynthesis.
Thanks so much, that was very helpful! I’ve heard about the siestas or “mini blackouts” and I think I’m going to try one this afternoon, and then do a 30% water change. My last WC was 3 days ago.
 

angelcraze

Member
hannahmbatts said:
Thanks so much, that was very helpful! I’ve heard about the siestas or “mini blackouts” and I think I’m going to try one this afternoon, and then do a 30% water change. My last WC was 3 days ago.
Glad I could help. With a spilt photoperiod, you won't see a difference right away like a 3 day blackout. 3 day blackout and you'd want to do a good water change after bc of all the dead algae. You don't want it to crash your tank.

But over a few weeks with water changes, you should see a big improvement. It's what I do when I get an algae bloom. Could be bc I accidentally left the light on 24/7 or a change in lighting.
 
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hannahmbatts

Member
angelcraze said:
Glad I could help. With a spilt photoperiod, you won't see a difference right away like a 3 day blackout. 3 day blackout and you'd want to do a good water change after bc of all the dead algae. You don't want it to crash your tank.

But over a few weeks with water changes, you should see a big improvement. It's what I do when I get an algae bloom. Could be bc I accidentally left the light on 24/7 or a change in lighting.
Great! I’ll post updates if things go haywire or get better.
 

Gh05t

Member
hannahmbatts said:
Thank you!!!! This makes sense considering my substrate is packaged gravel from Petsmart. Is seagel just another liquid additive?
It is filter media made by Seachem...I think that Phosguard also removes silicates as well. I have used both with success. You see this a lot in people who use pool sand or blasting sand but other substrates do it as well. Lighting has little effect on brown algae IME that **** can survive anything. I order everything online for the most part Im not sure what chain stores would have it.
 
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hannahmbatts

Member
Gh05t said:
It is filter media made by Seachem...I think that Phosguard also removes silicates as well. I have used both with success. You see this a lot in people who use pool sand or blasting sand but other substrates do it as well. Lighting has little effect on brown algae IME that **** can survive anything. I order everything online for the most part Im not sure what chain stores would have it.
Perfect, thanks! Yeah, this algae is stubborn.
 
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hannahmbatts

Member
Update-

I just did about a 50% WC. This is what the tank currently looks like. I’ll post another picture tomorrow morning. It’s still pretty cloudy/yellow water.
 

Gh05t

Member
Increase your filtration even if its a small HOB with polyfill.
 

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