• You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up
  • You can now follow UKAPS on Instagram.

How to reduce brown algae/diatoms in new tank?

laurenb252

New Member
Joined
13 Dec 2021
Messages
17
Location
United Kingdom
I've had a 65L tank set up for about a month now. Stocked with 11 neon tetras, 3 guppies and a couple of shrimp. Lights are kept on for 7 hours each day, and I'm dosing 1.3ml of Aquascaper Complete fertiliser and 1.3ml of EasyCarbo liquid carbon each day. The lighting in the tank is just the stock 8w light fitted into the lid.

The plants are growing well, but have been hit with lots of brown algae/diatoms, which looks pretty unsightly. The redmoor wood in the tank has also had a lot of biolfilm grow on it since the tank has started to become established. I know this stuff is common in new tanks, but does anyone have any tips for reducing it? For now I've just been cutting away the worst-affected stems, cleaning the glass with a sponge (although it doesn't cover the glass that much) and doing 20% water changes once a week. I'm not looking to add any more inhabitants as the tank is well-stocked as it is. I've attached some pictures of the plants so that you can get an idea of what I'm talking about.

Thanks!

Lauren
 

Attachments

  • tank 1.jpg
    tank 1.jpg
    1.9 MB · Views: 275
  • tank 2.jpg
    tank 2.jpg
    2.1 MB · Views: 138
  • tank 3.jpg
    tank 3.jpg
    2.7 MB · Views: 102

MichaelJ

Member
Joined
9 Feb 2021
Messages
1,690
Location
Minnesota, USA
I've had a 65L tank set up for about a month now. Stocked with 11 neon tetras, 3 guppies and a couple of shrimp. Lights are kept on for 7 hours each day, and I'm dosing 1.3ml of Aquascaper Complete fertiliser and 1.3ml of EasyCarbo liquid carbon each day. The lighting in the tank is just the stock 8w light fitted into the lid.

The plants are growing well, but have been hit with lots of brown algae/diatoms, which looks pretty unsightly. The redmoor wood in the tank has also had a lot of biolfilm grow on it since the tank has started to become established. I know this stuff is common in new tanks, but does anyone have any tips for reducing it? For now I've just been cutting away the worst-affected stems, cleaning the glass with a sponge (although it doesn't cover the glass that much) and doing 20% water changes once a week. I'm not looking to add any more inhabitants as the tank is well-stocked as it is. I've attached some pictures of the plants so that you can get an idea of what I'm talking about.

Thanks!

Lauren
Hi @laurenb252 Diatoms are very common in new and immature tanks - a month old tank is quite immature. The diatoms will usually go away as the tank matures. Just keep up your regular water changes (you might want to increase it to 50%/weekly) and fertilizing. Make sure you have good filtration/flow and your light intensity is not too high - your stock light seems OK for a 65L tank, but you might want to add some floating plants such as Frog Bit over the slower growers (Anubias). If you see plants struggling to the level where leaves wont recover - starting to go yellow and brown - the plant will be better off if you trim those leaves as it will just drag down the rest of the plant and slow its recovery - and hopefully whatever is left will bounce back. Also, if you want to accelerate the process a bit on the plants with sturdy leaves (such as the Anubias) you can usually rub off the diatoms as they are dying off (like gently between two fingers). The white/graying fungus on your wood hardscape will recede over time as well.

Welcome to UKAPS :)

Cheers,
Michael
 
Last edited:

arcturus

Member
Joined
6 May 2021
Messages
444
Location
DE
I've had a 65L tank set up for about a month now. Stocked with 11 neon tetras, 3 guppies and a couple of shrimp. Lights are kept on for 7 hours each day, and I'm dosing 1.3ml of Aquascaper Complete fertiliser and 1.3ml of EasyCarbo liquid carbon each day. The lighting in the tank is just the stock 8w light fitted into the lid.

The plants are growing well, but have been hit with lots of brown algae/diatoms, which looks pretty unsightly. The redmoor wood in the tank has also had a lot of biolfilm grow on it since the tank has started to become established. I know this stuff is common in new tanks, but does anyone have any tips for reducing it? For now I've just been cutting away the worst-affected stems, cleaning the glass with a sponge (although it doesn't cover the glass that much) and doing 20% water changes once a week. I'm not looking to add any more inhabitants as the tank is well-stocked as it is. I've attached some pictures of the plants so that you can get an idea of what I'm talking about.
Such algae are a normal part of the tank's development. The slime/bacterial growth you have on the wood is also normal. The solution is waiting, at least 50% weekly water changes, and manual cleaning. Next time you can consider the <"dark start"> method to minimize these issues. 7h of light might also be too much and benefiting the algae since the plants are still adapting. Note that a tank should have no fish during this development stage since the plants are still adapting and the bacteria colonies required to stabilize the tank are still in the initial stages of development. Having fish at this stage only makes the algae issues worse (and jeopardizes the health of the livestock due to potential ammonia spikes that your tank cannot yet handle).

I would suggest that you add snails (such as Neritina sp.), a few Amano shrimps (maybe 3 or 4 for a 65 l tank), and a handful of Neocaridina shrimps. Do not add any more fish for several weeks and until all plants are growing healthy. You should also add as soon as you can some fast growing plants (such as Ceratophyllum demersum, Limnophila aquatica, Egeria densa) and, as @MichaelJ suggested, some floating plants (such as Limnobium laevigatum - frogbit). You can (slowly) remove some of these plants later if you do not want them in your scape, but they are very important to help keeping the aquarium stable during the first months.
 

MichaelJ

Member
Joined
9 Feb 2021
Messages
1,690
Location
Minnesota, USA
I would suggest that you add snails (such as Neritina sp.), a few Amano shrimps (maybe 3 or 4 for a 65 l tank), and a handful of Neocaridina shrimps.
Hi @arcturus I do think it is good advice. I am just a bit wary of recommending adding livestock to fight a particular issue in a new tank. If the OP is OK with the snails and shrimps being long term inhabitants I'd say go for it, otherwise not. In any event, I totally agree with you that this tank should not have had fish introduced at this early stage.

Cheers,
Michael
 

arcturus

Member
Joined
6 May 2021
Messages
444
Location
DE
Hi @arcturus I do think it is good advice. I am just a bit wary of recommending adding livestock to fight a particular issue in a new tank. If the OP is OK with the snails and shrimps being long term inhabitants I'd say go for it, otherwise not. In any event, I totally agree with you that this tank should not have had fish introduced at this early stage.

Cheers,
Michael
Completely agree with your opinion. It would be better just to add a few fast growing plants to help with the stabilization since these plants can be easily removed later if needed. Shrimps and snails are useful but are a long term commitment.
 

laurenb252

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
13 Dec 2021
Messages
17
Location
United Kingdom
Completely agree with your opinion. It would be better just to add a few fast growing plants to help with the stabilization since these plants can be easily removed later if needed. Shrimps and snails are useful but are a long term commitment.
Thank you both for your advice, I'll up the amount of water I'm changing each week, and will definitely order some more fast-growing plants. Shrimp are definitely an option, but I'll most likely add more of those once the tank has stabilised to avoid losing any livestock to potential ammonia spikes.
 
Top