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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All.
*** set up a little 100 litre planted biotope tank and need some advice.
having always hadAfricans I’ve never had plants, but worried as they seem to be covered in brown bits. It does not look like algae but more like lots of tiny brown dust/grains.

it’s on the leaves of my Vallis and ferns and over the roots of my red root floaters. Could this be food particles? Also with regards to the floating plants I have how does everyone get surface agitation without blasting all the floating plants onto one side?

Heres some pics, you can see the brown dusty bits on the floating hornwart.
Plant Water Terrestrial plant Underwater Aquatic plant
Plant Organism Branch Wood Terrestrial plant
Water Plant Plant community Botany Fish supply
Plant Green Pet supply Wood Organism
Plant Water Light Green Rectangle

Premium Member
5,096 Posts
That looks a bit like brown algae (diatom buildup) to me. Is the sand and the rocks in this aquarium new?
This link may have some info that can help,

Brown Algae on Aquarium Plants - Causes & Remedial Measures! (

And, you can't really site the discharge water directly at floating plants and expect them to just hang in there. Usually less surface water flow is provided in tanks with floating plants, with more indirect pressure hitting the side glass or something first to better distribute the surface agitation around a bit more. So, how I see that you've got the flow of water situated for surface agitation, is probably about the best you will be able to accomplish with all of those floating plants in there.
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