Looking for advice for lighting and brown algae

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Dan Adams

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Hey everyone, new to fishlore (though I've made a post in the other pets subform) and was hoping I could get some advice on a new tank for someone new to all of this.

I have a 10 gallon tank with an appropriately sized heater and filter, sand substrate and live plants. Living in the tank is a male Betta and an African Dwarf Frog. The Betta feeding is watched very closely by the hands of my 6 year old daughter, she feeds him in the morning and sometimes in the evening. She gets a pinch of about 5 pellets that she drops in and watches the Betta eat them all, she gets a kick out of the fish chewing. Other than that he gets frozen bloodworms a couple times a week that he eats off the tongs. The ADF I have been having a problem getting to eat (which is being addressed in another thread on here), but that seems to be straightening itself out, but it has involved dropping some frog pellets down in the water at night which I understand may be a reason for the brown algae (diatoms?), besides it being a new tank.

I had bought a Aqueon Deluxe Hood with a 15 watt fluorescent tube light, but I disassembled the hood and retrofit in 2 CFL fixtures, each CFL is a 13w 6500k bulb (26 watt total). The light gets left on for ~10 hours a day, heat hasn't been a concern, and it doesn't seem to affect the water temperature.

I'm getting a pretty good bit of what I am assuming are diatoms? They were brown spots growing on the plants at first, but they seem to be getting worse. Now seeing it on a few of the rocks in the tank, and this morning I am starting to see spots on the glass. The water is in good condition, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, low nitrates, pH 7.4. It's a newly cycled tank so water changes have been small but frequent, and I was dosing with Prime which it hasn't had in ~4 days.

Any advice on taming some of this brown stuff would be greatly appreciated. Is the light on for too long, or too much for a 10 gallon tank? Feeding problems because of leaving the ADF food at the bottom in a spot at night?

Here's a photo of the tank, all the rocks and driftwood were collected around here (cured, boiled and soaked for a very long time) by my daughters as this is their project and they are loving it. This is before this brown invader visited us.
image
 
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Dolfan

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Brown diatom algae is normal with any new tank. It will go away with time. Here is a link to understanding most algae problems...



In your situation I would try to manually remove it when you can, using an old tooth brush to scrub the plants gently. Over time the diatoms will go away. Nerite snails and otocinclus fish can help but I don't think those would do well in your setup long term.

As for your lighting you are perfect for now. You may need to adjust the photo period at some point if you get other algae, but the brown stuff is very common in new tanks. Nothing you are doing wrong.
 

Kimberly4403

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What substrate is that it looks amazing

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Dan Adams

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Brown diatom algae is normal with any new tank. It will go away with time. Here is a link to understanding most algae problems...



In your situation I would try to manually remove it when you can, using an old tooth brush to scrub the plants gently. Over time the diatoms will go away. Nerite snails and otocinclus fish can help but I don't think those would do well in your setup long term.

As for your lighting you are perfect for now. You may need to adjust the photo period at some point if you get other algae, but the brown stuff is very common in new tanks. Nothing you are doing wrong.
Thanks for the reply, I won't worry too much about it right now then, I'll just clean it off as best I can just before my water changes until it goes away.

+1 To what @Dolfan said, but I also wanted to say that I think that is a very pretty tank.
Thanks, it's our first tank and we've been pretty happy with it so far.
 
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LiterallyHydro

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Well, you're off to a very good start, especially compared to my rather humble beginnings
 

Kimberly4403

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Do you have any other substrate in there? Your plants look awesome do you use tabs or liquid ferts im contemplating doing a straight sand substrate for planted tank

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BigBoom217

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I dropped a Nerite snail in my 10g and within three days my brown algae was gone


 

Castiel*

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I second getting a nerite snail! You'd really be surprised at how much work one of those buggers can do! I had a tank getting over run with the brown algae (diatoms) I put two adult nerite snails in my 10g to get rid of it, and within a week the tank was crystal clear. The ornaments, rocks, and glass were all clean!
 

guthrieb08

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only issue i have with nerites is the eggs they lay on driftwood and glass. They stick really bad and are sometimes hard to get off when you have a full tank and dont wnat to remove DW or plants, but my 2 nerites have done work in my 55 gallon
 

biller

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vary nice looking tank. i bet that betta is happy.looks vary natural.
 

Dan Adams

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Do you have any other substrate in there? Your plants look awesome do you use tabs or liquid ferts im contemplating doing a straight sand substrate for planted tank

Sent from my LG-D855 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
No other substrate. And, we only just now started a liquid fert (Seachem Flourish). Those plants were very new and apparently going through the cycle with everything else. I've added a bit of hornwort hoping it would float and provide some good shade for everyone, but it just sinks to the bottom.
 
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