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Cleaning chronic Brown algae

Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:47 pm

I have tried everything to stop the growth of brown algae. First, my tanks are years established just so I don't get ten responses "it's common in New setups and will clear up"'. Also I have timers on all lights and no direct sun light and lights or no lights I have this algae. I have river rock in my childhood tanks and cleaning it is not only time but a task I dread each week. I don't like the appearance of it so I do it but it's the one thing I hate to do. I do have high phosphorus in my tap water and tanks. Tried phosguard didn't bring it down and with it in my tap water it would seem to defeat the purpose because doing my weekly water changes just puts mire phosphorus back into the tanks. Anyone else have this problem? If so have you found a solution?

Re: Cleaning chronic Brown algae

Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:00 pm

Sorry to disobey, but was your tank set up more than a year ago? The diatoms usually don't start for several months and then can last for the rest of the year. Your first post was 12/1/2018? You were talking about buying fish? So maybe six months in? Just checking.

I have never had tap water with phosphorus so never overcome diatoms or any kind of algae with phosphorus in the tank.

Re: Cleaning chronic Brown algae

Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:01 pm

DJRansome wrote:Sorry to disobey, but was your tank set up more than a year ago? The diatoms usually don't start for several months and then can last for the rest of the year. Your first post was 12/1/2018? You were talking about buying fish? So maybe six months in? Just checking.

I have never had tap water with phosphorus so never overcome diatoms or any kind of algae with phosphorus in the tank.

My cichlid tanks are less than a year but I have others over a year that also have this problem.

Re: Cleaning chronic Brown algae

Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:03 pm

How long are you running your lights, what type of lighting? Decreasing the amount of time they're on or power of the lighting really are the only options.

Btw, I have river rock in my tank, with Kessil lighting that was previously used on planted tanks (entirely overkill). I did raise them quite a bit, but with no plants to utilize 'nutrients' in the water, algae's going crazy. I let the algae build on the rocks but clean the glass only. It looks cool to me, and the fish love have finally learned to pick and eat at it. I may bleach and scrub the rocks at some point and start over, but idk. May not. With multiple tanks there's no way I could keep up on the glass, however.

Re: Cleaning chronic Brown algae

Thu Aug 29, 2019 6:54 am

Slow-n-Steady wrote:How long are you running your lights, what type of lighting? Decreasing the amount of time they're on or power of the lighting really are the only options.

Btw, I have river rock in my tank, with Kessil lighting that was previously used on planted tanks (entirely overkill). I did raise them quite a bit, but with no plants to utilize 'nutrients' in the water, algae's going crazy. I let the algae build on the rocks but clean the glass only. It looks cool to me, and the fish love have finally learned to pick and eat at it. I may bleach and scrub the rocks at some point and start over, but idk. May not. With multiple tanks there's no way I could keep up on the glass, however.

I have adjusted lighting with no results. I have now started to try to just live with it.

Re: Cleaning chronic Brown algae

Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:34 am

Ralph493 wrote:I have tried everything to stop the growth of brown algae. First, my tanks are years established just so I don't get ten responses "it's common in New setups and will clear up"'. Also I have timers on all lights and no direct sun light and lights or no lights I have this algae. I have river rock in my childhood tanks and cleaning it is not only time but a task I dread each week. I don't like the appearance of it so I do it but it's the one thing I hate to do. I do have high phosphorus in my tap water and tanks. Tried phosguard didn't bring it down and with it in my tap water it would seem to defeat the purpose because doing my weekly water changes just puts mire phosphorus back into the tanks. Anyone else have this problem? If so have you found a solution?


How long have you tried no lights for? That's really the only thing that helped. I had a terrible problem and now I have very minimal brown algae, so little of it that I only clean it once every few months.

Re: Cleaning chronic Brown algae

Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:07 am

cyclonecichlids, do you have phosphates in your tap water?

Re: Cleaning chronic Brown algae

Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:57 pm

DJRansome wrote:cyclonecichlids, do you have phosphates in your tap water?


Very minimal. Even when I ran phosguard it didn't help.

Range: <31 – 83 µg/L
Average: 38 µg/L
Source: Erosion of natural deposits, agricultural run-off

I also have some silica in my water, and use pool filter sand. It all contributes I suppose.

Re: Cleaning chronic Brown algae

Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:59 pm

I have the silica sand but no phosphates. Interesting.

Re: Cleaning chronic Brown algae

Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:44 am

I have this issue in my tank aswell. It's caused by high phosphate/silicate levels. In my case I also have it in my tap water. Seachem Phosguard doesn't seem to do much to remedy for me either. The option you have is use RO water and mix the minerals in each water change manually or continue brushing unfortunately

Re: Cleaning chronic Brown algae

Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:33 am

Fate wrote:I have this issue in my tank aswell. It's caused by high phosphate/silicate levels. In my case I also have it in my tap water. Seachem Phosguard doesn't seem to do much to remedy for me either. The option you have is use RO water and mix the minerals in each water change manually or continue brushing unfortunately
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