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Go Back   Tropical Fish Forum . Net > General Aquarium Care > Water Quality and Algae

Water Quality and Algae Questions and comments about water quality.

 
 
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  #1  
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19eddie82 19eddie82 is offline
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Default brown tank gunge

i am new to this site so please bear with me if my question sounds silly,
ive recently started to keep fish and have just set up my first aquarium it was up and running for about two weeks before i put any fish in and eventually got 8 fish in but after about a month with the fish being in ive started to get really thick brown slime all over the gravel and plants in the tank and quite alot on the actual tank its self although the fish seem happy enough im a little worried that i could be doing some damage to them and was wondering if any body had any ideas what the slime was and how to get rid of it. ive been told to get myself a loepard or some sort of pleco and to do a partial water change which i have and i alos cleaned the tank with a sponge but within a day the slime was back just as bad.

is it some thing im doing wrong or is there any thing i havent done right

please help

thanx edd
  #2  
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Greensleeves Greensleeves is offline
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Default Re: brown tank gunge

Hi Edd

It sounds like you have brown algae...
What are your tank readings? Is your tank fully cycled?

This stuff is common in a new tank. It is generally caused by too little light, an excess of silicates and nitrates, overfeeding, and too little oxygen.

As for water changes, some people do them once a week, others bi-weekly, and still others once a month. I wouldn't suggest changing more than 30-40% of your water at once, as it can throw off your tank's balance and possibly kick it back into cycling mode again. If you're having a problem with brown algae, it wouldn't hurt to do weekly water changes until its under control.

Otocinclus catfish (ottos) will feast on brown algae so you could consider adding a couple of those guys if the tank mates will tolerate them. A pleco will work too but be sure to get a small one that won't outgrow your tank...

How often and how much are you feeding the fish and what kind of lighting are you using? For how many daily hours is the light on? You may wish to turn it on longer or add more lighting if the tank isn't getting enough and to reduce the amount of food and/or the number of feeding times.
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30 gal. - 1 platy, 1 yoyo, 3 bronze & 3 pepper cories, misc swarm of guppies, 3 neons
10 gallon assort guppies & platy
3 - 3 gallons 1 betta each
1 - 75 gallon - 2 raphael catfish, 1 melanistus cory, 5 trilineatus, 3 kuhlis, 10 diamond tetras, 5 albino danios, 7 panda cory
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19eddie82 19eddie82 is offline
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Default Re: brown tank gunge

i have had a light on 24/7 for about three weeks but was told to turn it off because this could be doing the harm.

i feed the fish once in the morning wen i get up and once at night before bed but again was thinking this could be too much.

as for tank redings im not too sure what id be looking for or how to do it, i only have a small tank (ive been told) about 40L and the light is incorporated in the tank as it all came as a complete kit, ive got two air stones and a fluval filter do the stones need changing as well as the filter element or are they ok?

thanks for all your help so far.
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Default Re: brown tank gunge

I had the same thing in two tanks. I had to scrub and scrub for a few months to get rid of it. Some of it went away without scrubbing on a few plants (I have heavily planted plastic plants in 2 of my tanks) I couldn't keep up with the scubbing as I do weekly large WC's.

40liters is about equal to 10 US gallons. That is small. Less cleaning for you! I agree, the light should not be on 24 hrs a day. 8 to 10 hrs should be more then enough if you are not growing plants that need a lot of light.

I pulled out my decor and used bleach to clean my decor and plants with, rinsed very well and then dipped in fresh water with declore added to remove all bleach (never add bleach to your tank). Scrubbed the tank walls with algae scubbers and tank magnets. There is phosphate and silcate removers you can add in w/ your filter. I tried but not sure how well it works. I tested it out on my new 20g but I still got the brown algae, perhaps not as bad? I'm not sure at this point. I had to throw it out last week as it was so dirty I could not rinse and reuse. I plan on adding more soon. Check out this old thread. It has some more info about the phosphate and silcate removers:

http://www.tropicalfishforum.net/showthread.php?t=1624

Your fish store should be able to test your tank water for you for free. It is something you really should learn how to do.

What kind of air stones do you have? They should be seperate from your filter on a different hose line. You change the stones when they get clogged. The filter element can be rinsed in tank water or replaced monthly or as needed. You can pull it up to look at it to see how it is. Your filter should have a pamplet guide for that info.

Different fish have different feeding requirments. I feed mine 1 time a day a good amount with 1 day no feeding a week to clear them. That is something I have read about and decided to do.

Hope this helps you some.
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Default Re: brown tank gunge

Hi Eddie

What kind of light are you using? Is it a plant light, incandescent strip light or fluorescent light? Sometimes using the wrong type of lighting and leaving it on for too long can cause algae. Intense lighting combined with high nutrients will trigger high algae growth. If combined with silicates, the result will be brown algae. If combined with phosphates, the result is more red and greenish algae. As you can see, having the proper lighting is a key element in your tank. Too much or too little can cause some problems.

You could probably get away with feeding your fish once a day... (I feed mine every other day) but some people feed their fish once every day or twice a day... you could try cutting back on the amount you're feeding them... experiment and see what seems to work best

I'm not familiar with the fluval... I wouldn't get rid of all of the filter media because it has beneficial bacteria in it that help keep your tank healthy.

If you're unfamiliar with water levels or cycling process, I would refer you to Tim's Tropicals homepage.... click on fish care tab at the top. It will take you to a new page. On the left hand bar, you'll want to review water quality, water changes, and algae. Actually, all of those links are worth reading

If you test your water with a home kit or pull a sample and take it into a pet store for testing, you will want to look at the ammonia level, nitrite level and nitrAte level. Your tank is fully cycled once nitrates are being produced (and ammonia and nitrite levels are zero).

I hope this information is helpful. Keeping researching and reading, you will eventually pin down the problem and get it all sorted. We will help


Quote:
Originally Posted by 19eddie82 View Post
i have had a light on 24/7 for about three weeks but was told to turn it off because this could be doing the harm.

i feed the fish once in the morning wen i get up and once at night before bed but again was thinking this could be too much.

as for tank redings im not too sure what id be looking for or how to do it, i only have a small tank (ive been told) about 40L and the light is incorporated in the tank as it all came as a complete kit, ive got two air stones and a fluval filter do the stones need changing as well as the filter element or are they ok?

thanks for all your help so far.
__________________
oOоO,oO - G~s
==========================
30 gal. - 1 platy, 1 yoyo, 3 bronze & 3 pepper cories, misc swarm of guppies, 3 neons
10 gallon assort guppies & platy
3 - 3 gallons 1 betta each
1 - 75 gallon - 2 raphael catfish, 1 melanistus cory, 5 trilineatus, 3 kuhlis, 10 diamond tetras, 5 albino danios, 7 panda cory
  #6  
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Default Re: brown tank gunge

Brown algae is not affected by light to any significant degree...........Get the ammonia levels in the tank under control first!!(buy proper test kits) Scrape the stuff and do frequent small water changes. When you have "0" ammonia and nitrite you should see a reduction of the brown diatom growth. If not, you need to check for phosphates.
  #7  
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19eddie82 19eddie82 is offline
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Default Re: brown tank gunge

thanx for all the replys they have been really helpfull the lighting in the tank is ab 18watt flourescent tube which i have left switched off for a few hours to see what happens. i think i will take the advice of some of you guys and take a sample of water to my fish store to have it tested. will post as soon as i know to get some more advice thanx.
  #8  
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Greensleeves Greensleeves is offline
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Default Re: brown tank gunge

Good luck keep us posted on how it works out and if you need help interpreting the readings from the shop, there's lots of people here who will help you out
cheers

Quote:
Originally Posted by 19eddie82 View Post
thanx for all the replys they have been really helpfull the lighting in the tank is ab 18watt flourescent tube which i have left switched off for a few hours to see what happens. i think i will take the advice of some of you guys and take a sample of water to my fish store to have it tested. will post as soon as i know to get some more advice thanx.
__________________
oOоO,oO - G~s
==========================
30 gal. - 1 platy, 1 yoyo, 3 bronze & 3 pepper cories, misc swarm of guppies, 3 neons
10 gallon assort guppies & platy
3 - 3 gallons 1 betta each
1 - 75 gallon - 2 raphael catfish, 1 melanistus cory, 5 trilineatus, 3 kuhlis, 10 diamond tetras, 5 albino danios, 7 panda cory
 


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