Brown Algae advice needed!!!

EA James

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I’ve got some brown algae issues on my plants and a little on the glass of my tank.
I've been told on a fish forum on Facebook to cut down on ferts by 3/4 and do 2 20% water changes a week as it could be silicates in my tap water that are causing this issue.
Is this good advice? I’m not so sure!
Slowly but surely it’s starting to cover all the plants so I need to get it sorted
Tank is an Evolution Aqua 1200, 330 litres. Fluval FX4 filter with an eheim pre filter. Aquasky light on full spectrum for 6 hours every day, dosing tnc complete 15ml twice a week
Here’s a few pics of the problem
upload_2019-12-14_9-55-11.jpeg
 

jaypeecee

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Hi @EA James

In your photographs, the colour of the algae (on my PC) is black, not brown. If it was brown, then that would point to diatoms, which occur when silicates are excessive.

JPC
 

EA James

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Hi @jaypeecee
It does look black in the pics, it is actually quite dark in real but it is brown.
I think where it’s building up it’s making it look darker, really starting to lose patience with it now
Just about to do a big clean and water change to try and improve things
 

jaypeecee

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Hi @EA James

Aquarium lighting is a topic that interests me greatly. One of the compromises that we have to make is that light intensity cannot easily be measured. And what appears bright to us may not appear bright to plants and vice versa. So, it's a bit of a guessing game for most aquarists. As I understand it, light is like the conductor of an orchestra. The conductor controls the pace of the music and the instruments have to keep up. The instruments are analogous to the nutrients/fertilizers that the plants require to flourish. So, increasing/reducing tank light intensity increases/reduces the plant nutrient requirement (including CO2). It's all a question of getting the balance right. If I've got this wrong, then someone will be sure to correct me.

The upshot of all this is that, if there is a surplus of nutrients, then algae may develop. So, cutting down on the ferts may indeed be the way to go. That's my two penn'orth but someone with more expertise will no doubt be along to help you.

JPC
 

JoshP12

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Yes it’s a Fluval Aquasky so I can adjust pretty much everything!
Do you think the light is too intense?

Aside from my recent debate as to whether or not I reduce lighting or up CO2, BEFORE this point I had my lights on 100% and had algae like crazy. I dialed it back to 75% and with appropriate husbandry practices the algae did not come back (I was only dealing with glass algae and hair algae at the time.

Hi @EA James

In your photographs, the colour of the algae (on my PC) is black, not brown. If it was brown, then that would point to diatoms, which occur when silicates are excessive.

JPC

I second this, generally when our tanks are settling, in those first stages we can get a brown fuzz/diatom algae forming due to the excess silicates in the water (once they are done though, the colony dies off).

Here is a good link: https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/algae-problems-read-this.58460/
 

EA James

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As I understand it, light is like the conductor of an orchestra. The conductor controls the pace of the music and the instruments have to keep up. The instruments are analogous to the nutrients/fertilizers that the plants require to flourish. So, increasing/reducing tank light intensity increases/reduces the plant nutrient requirement (including CO2)

What a wonderful way to put it!! Makes perfect sense too, trying to find the balance is harder than I first thought!
 

EA James

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@Plants234 thank you for that, I’ve turned the white light down to 75%, should I do this with all colours?
I thought it was diatoms but my tanks been running for 5 months now so I thought they would start to disappear but it seems to be getting worse
Any advice on maintenance moving forwards?
 

JoshP12

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Hi @EA James, I am glad it was helpful.

Here is a good video on weekly maintenance: .

Side note, on some of my anubias near the top of my tank I have something similar and it is because I am still trying to find the lighting balance.

Cheers,
Josh
 

EA James

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@Plants234 i like to think I’ve got quite a good weekly regime anyway I’m just curious if there’s more I should be doing at the moment to get the tank sorted? Maybe an extra water change mid week or something like that?
Thank you
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
water changes a week as it could be silicates in my tap water that are causing this issue.
then that would point to diatoms, which occur when silicates are excessive.
Have a look at <"What's this....">.
Do you think the light is too intense?
Looking at the Anubias I think it maybe.

I like to have a floating plant in the tank. The advantages are they aren't CO2, or light, limited and the leaves are above the surface, so they don't collect algae.

I called this approach the <"Duckweed Index">, but I now use Amazon Frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum) as my "Duckweed". You can also use the floating plant as a <"net curtain">, which removes some of the light intensity uncertainty (that @jaypeecee mentions).

If you have poor growth in our floating plant you know it is a mineral nutrition issue, because you've removed light and CO2 from the equation.
Regarding the duckweed index: Massive massive help. If any of u have any doubts whether u have issues either due to co2 or nutrient def.. this is a life saver. the reason for my frogbits to die off earlier was not due to high surface flow.
cheers Darrel
 

JoshP12

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@EA James,

I have never beat some of these algaes before so I will leave the true advice to the experienced! I would say though, another water change mid-week with close to the same parameters and temperature may remove free algae spores, helping us!

Cheers,
Josh
 

EA James

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Hi all,Have a look at <"What's this....">. Looking at the Anubias I think it maybe.

I like to have a floating plant in the tank. The advantages are they aren't CO2, or light, limited and the leaves are above the surface, so they don't collect algae.

I called this approach the <"Duckweed Index">, but I now use Amazon Frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum) as my "Duckweed". You can also use the floating plant as a <"net curtain">, which removes some of the light intensity uncertainty (that @jaypeecee mentions).

If you have poor growth in our floating plant you know it is a mineral nutrition issue, because you've removed light and CO2 from the equation. cheers Darrel

Hi Darrel,
Ok that’s great, I’ll get some floaters asap then.
I’ll keep a close eye on them and see what happens. I like this idea it’s like a natural monitor!
I’ve turned the lights down to 40% so I’ll see if things improve, fingers crossed
Also am I right in thinking I should still continue to dose my ferts like normal?
Thanks for your help
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Also am I right in thinking I should still continue to dose my ferts like normal?
I probably would at the moment, it is usually best not to change too many things at the same time.

I <"dose fertiliser"> based on the size of leaf rosette and leaf colour of the Frogbit. Other will carry on with <"regular dosing">. This is what really healthy Frogbit looks like, mine never looks that healthy.

sigrjybcq-width-3264-height-2448-cropmode-none-jpg.jpg


cheers Darrel
 

EA James

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Staines-upon-Thames
Hi all, I probably would at the moment, it is usually best not to change too many things at the same time.

I <"dose fertiliser"> based on the size of leaf rosette and leaf colour of the Frogbit. Other will carry on with <"regular dosing">. This is what really healthy Frogbit looks like, mine never looks that healthy.

sigrjybcq-width-3264-height-2448-cropmode-none-jpg.jpg


cheers Darrel
Ok will do, one last thing..
Would you advice to spread the dosing to daily or all in one go?
To me I think it should be daily so the plants feed regularly but I’m not the expert!
Thanks again
 

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