Does Introducing Green Algae Help Avoid Brown Algae Bloom In New Tank? Question

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by srw123, Aug 3, 2019.

  1. srw123

    srw123New MemberMember

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    I’ve just set up a new tank and looking for ways to avoid any brown algae/diatom bloom.

    I’ve set up plenty of tanks where it’s never appeared to any noticeable extent.

    But I recently got over a bad experience where it covered everything in the tank and kept clogging my filters for about six months until I ended up scrapping the tank entirely because it was taking up too much of my time. I can’t remember whether I thought this was brown algae or diatoms (I used to think I knew the difference). Either way, the whole thing put me off setting up new tanks for a long time.

    I’m wondering whether introducing an established, healthy “blob” of green algae into this new tank (now a day old) might help stop brown algae from taking hold. Any thoughts on this theory?

    Any other tips/advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Finatic005

    Finatic005Valued MemberMember

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    Put PhosGuard in your filter. PhosGuard removes phosphate and silicate. Phosphate and silicate are the “main ingredients” in a diatom’s exoskeleton.
     
  3. Celestialpearl

    CelestialpearlValued MemberMember

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    I had issues like you are describing in my 29gal. I too scrapped the tank. I'm waiting to set it up again as well.

    I tried shortening the photo period, adding more plants, cutting down on fertilizers. The only thing that seemed to help me was black out on the tank, but the ba came back. My plants started to suffer from too little light. In addition, it would cover my plants within a week. I lost a lot of plants due to it choking them out as I started to give up. Fertilizing seemed to add to the issue. I don't remember being able to get any green algae established because the brown took over. I even used UV and it helped a lot, but the ba still came back however it grew back much slower. I was able to go about 2 weeks before needing to scrub the tank down. I still didn't have much time to manage three tanks, school, clinicals, and work. :(

    Of all the tanks I set up, that was the first time I had such trouble with it.

    I had slight issues in my 20 long for two weeks, then it went away. That tank is packed with plants however. I also have green algae issues when I slack on water changes and heavy feedings. My two 10 gal never got it. My 5gal shrimp tank had a slight outbreak as well, but it resolved pretty darn fast...or the shrimp cleaned it up for me. lol

    I think my issue was the substrate I was using as it is the only inconsistent factor between all tanks. The 29 had ecocomplete, 10gal fluval stratum, 10 gal with blasting sand, 20 long worm castings with osmocote plus and left over fluval stratum capped with blasting sand, 5gal worm castings with osmocote tabs capped in coarse white "sand". All tanks are planted, two have drift wood (I guess that's another inconsistency), all have the same water source. The two with worm castings had the same degree brown algae issues and both resolved within three weeks, the tank with blasting sand and the tank with fluval stratum had no issues.
     
  4. OP
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    srw123

    srw123New MemberMember

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    @Celestialpearl
    Thanks heaps. Helps to compare experiences and I feel your pain.

    I guess my substrate will be the biggest variable as well. This time (and it’s too late to change it now), I have used a thin base layer of worm castings, topped with Amazon Light, coral sand, then gravel.

    I was going to start adding ferts later, but what you said is interesting; maybe I should hold off for the first couple months...

    I’ve read splitting the photo period up can help; I might do that.

    Yeah so I have put phosguard in there for the heck of it, but I have to say I lost a lot of faith in it during the previous experience. I saw no improvement whatsoever when I used it last and the balls and the bag all just ended up brown like everything else in the filter.

    I’m hoping it works better as a preventative for this time.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2019
  5. Finatic005

    Finatic005Valued MemberMember

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    Hmm that’s weird. There are other products by Seachem that remove both and there are also water polishing pads that double to remove phosphate and silicate. They can also be really good algae scrapers so it is really a three in one.
     
  6. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

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    I always though brown algae was just another name for diatoms...is that not correct?
     
  7. OP
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    srw123

    srw123New MemberMember

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    Oh cool thanks I’ll check them out. The scraper sounds useful.

    Apparently they’re two different things. But most normal, non-science people (like me) tend to use the terms interchangeably, which is why it’s really difficult when you’re trying to read up on how to get rid of it.

    I’m pretty sure it was diatoms I had the time before - it was a jellyish slime (apparently called "brown snot") that kept clogging the filter which normal brown algae doesn’t produce. On the other hand, though, the PhosGuard was supposed to remove the silicates (their food) from the water, which should have made a difference, but it didn’t.

    So I guess actually my theory of using green algae as a preventative would only stop brown algae, not diatoms - the thing I’m really trying to avoid - since they don’t compete for the same resources.

    Diatom - Wikipedia
    Brown algae - Wikipedia
     
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