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I have an issue with brown algae, I have my lights on a 12 hour timer,but have been keeping them off for prolonged periods,they are the only light source in the fish room(no windows) so it is completely dark when they are off. I am hoping this will kill the algae.I bought some Chinese alge eaters about a month ago, The Brichardi thanked me for the snack.So my issues are, 1. How important is it to keep a consistant light schedule
2. What are my options to get rid of the algae(please note I think plecos are big and messy and do a bad job. I have 2 chinese algae eaters in my community tank and they do a great job. But anything put in the Brichardi tank will be slaughtered.
 

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Personally, I just scrape the algae off the glass with a razor blade. Even in the tanks where I've put an "algae eating pleco", they still don't keep the glass very clean. Is it an issue beyond the glass?
 

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If you don't mind throwing a bushynose pleco or two in there it'll be gone in no time - they're armored and actually eat a lot more diatom algae than siamensis or ottocinclus.

Once it's gotten to the point of showing up in the tank turning the lights off alone isn't going to solve the problem unless you leave them off for weeks, and even then it's just going to return.

Either way you cut it, algae control is a real pain and requires a knowledge of water chemistry to really combat that would require me to type out a couple of pages - usually it's an indication of high phosphorous levels in your water, and diatom (brown) algae is supposed to copulate inside whatever kind of filters you're using and stay out of the lighted areas.

I would recommend bushynose pleco's or just leaving it be. There are algaecide chemicals out there that will get rid of it if you don't have any plants in the tank - but make sure you do a lot of research on them first as I think some of them will wipe out your biological filter in the process.
 

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FYI, Flourish Excel has a side effect of killing some types of Algae. I have plants in my Tang tank and I use Flourish Excel in there. Doesn't seem to kill diatom though.
 

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First off, brown algae is very common in new tanks (<6 months) and will subside after the tank is well established. If you have brown algae in an old tank that hasn't had a major disruption, then look at your nutrient loads (too much food, too little water changed).

I have found that light levels don't affect brown algae growth, but that bushynose plecos love it, and brichardi mostly ignore plecos.
 
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