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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys! I've had a planted 40gal for almost a year now and recently I kept finding brown algae growing on the sides of my tank. At first it wasn't a problem because it was on the back but now it has spread to the sides and front very quickly. Does anybody have any suggestions? I don't want to treat the tank chemically for fear of losing my plants and fish.
 

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Hello,

What you are facing is probably diatoms or single-celled algae that have walls made of silica, the best way to remove these algae is by scraping them off the tank walls, this can be done by a small sponge or by a new clean tooth brush, usually this type of algae appears when the tank is new and the nitrogen cycle is still not yet established, but what you are saying is that your tank is 1 year old, so this is a bit strange unless you did a major change in your tank recently like changing more than 50% of the water without adding beneficial bacteria

In general algae whether brown or green appears every now and then on the tank walls, a magnetic glass scraper would be useful to clean the tank walls every couple of days without much effort, I would also suggest that you test the nitrates in your water, and if they are high then consider making more frequent water changes for a few weeks

Let me know how did it go?
Regards

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your reply. The algae are receding although it's still there. I have scraped some of it of but I would like to prevent it in the first place.
My nitrates are never above 20 ppm.
 

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If the nitrates are not high, then it is probably either a high silica in the water column or a light problem, if there are no extra silica, then it is a light problem, the main issue here with light is that brown algae can grow if there is too much light or the opposite too low light, and since this is not pure science then probably you will have to scrape it and make frequent water changes, and hopefully it will disappear in a few weeks, but while making water changes just make sure not to disturb the nitrogen cycle, probably after each water change you will need to add some beneficial bacteria from one of the available products like Seachem stability

Can you also post a picture of your tank here to have one final look?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi, thanks for your reply and here are the pictures. You can see the glass is slightly blurred in some of them although the algae seem to be clearing up.
Plant Terrestrial plant Vegetation Aquatic plant Grass
Plant Plant community Vertebrate Terrestrial plant Vegetation
Plant Organism Pet supply Terrestrial plant Wood
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The white is sand and the black is potting soil which was initially underneath the sand but some of it escaped over time.
I put potting soil in for my plants as I don't give the plants any fertilizer.
 

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Ok, then exposed potting soil in this way will definitely cause algae issues, it will leak a lot of nutrients in the water column, these must be capped with another layer of sand, my suggestion since the tank is already established is to use a small plastic tube or a water hose to add more sand on top of the parts that are currently exposed, let's say a minimum of 2 inch of sand above the black potting soil because if the brown algae issue is resolved the black potting soil will cause all types of algae and it will be a nightmare, in your future setup consider not using potting soil at all since you are already using low energy/tech plants that don't really need much fertilizers and can live on the food and fish waste only, also using liquid fertilizers with a very small dose is much better than potting soil

Good luck
 

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Hi guys! I've had a planted 40gal for almost a year now and recently I kept finding brown algae growing on the sides of my tank. At first it wasn't a problem because it was on the back but now it has spread to the sides and front very quickly. Does anybody have any suggestions? I don't want to treat the tank chemically for fear of losing my plants and fish.
Warning to all, LiveAquaria.com has FISH LICE! They destroyed my 10 yr old tank and killed all five of my giant goldfish (over 2 lbs) and the babies I bought from LiveAquaria. I had never seen fish lice before in over 20 years of fish keeping and thought the babies were showing ammonia burns despite no heightened ammonia level. I found out after I saw one on my giant goldfish and it MOVED. THEY KILLED MY GOLDFISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THEY LIED WHEN I TOLD THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THEY WOULD NOT EVEN HAVE THE COURTESY TO REFUND MY MOST RECENT ORDER LET ALONE RECOGNIZE MY GRIEF AT THE LOSS OF MY BEAUTIFUL FRIENDS. CRUEL, HATEFUL, IRRESPONSIBLE.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Warning to all, LiveAquaria.com has FISH LICE! They destroyed my 10 yr old tank and killed all five of my giant goldfish (over 2 lbs) and the babies I bought from LiveAquaria. I had never seen fish lice before in over 20 years of fish keeping and thought the babies were showing ammonia burns despite no heightened ammonia level. I found out after I saw one on my giant goldfish and it MOVED. THEY KILLED MY GOLDFISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THEY LIED WHEN I TOLD THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THEY WOULD NOT EVEN HAVE THE COURTESY TO REFUND MY MOST RECENT ORDER LET ALONE RECOGNIZE MY GRIEF AT THE LOSS OF MY BEAUTIFUL FRIENDS. CRUEL, HATEFUL, IRRESPONSIBLE.
I have had really bad luck buying from LiveAquaria and don't think I would recommend them to anyone. I've had much better luck with Flip Aquatics.
 
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