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Brown algae in an aquarium how to fight

maintenance, care, compatibility

Algae in the aquarium are a sign of an established biobalance. They appear on plants, stones, glass walls, and even on equipment.

However, their rapid growth means that fundamental changes are taking place in the aquatic environment. In an aquarium where there are a lot of plants, algae will not appear in large quantities. Good aeration and water filtration will stop their growth.

Timely removal of food residue and dirt contributes to the purity of water. If you notice that brown formations appear in the reservoir, it means that brown algae have settled in it.

How to get rid of kelp and suspend their reproduction?

The origin of brown algae, symptoms of formation

Brown algae are representatives of the Diatoms Division (Bacillariophyta). They should not be confused with sea kelp (Phaeophyta), which includes kelp seaweed.

In an aquarium, these algae do more harm than good, and you need to fight them.


Diatoms form brown dust on the walls of the tank. It appears everywhere – and on the ground, and on snags, and on the filter, and on the glass, even on the leaves of plants.

Initially, the formation is almost imperceptible, but later it acquires a dark, saturated shade.

At the initial stage, this type of algae is easily removed with a scraper, even crushed from plants. If you dash through the decoration, then many dust-like particles will fall from it.

Dust can be wiped off with a regular cloth moistened with running water, but without the use of detergents and soap.

Watch a useful video on how to deal with diatoms.

But in a neglected reservoir, the struggle with diatoms will be difficult. Brown particles turn black, grow rapidly, forming a buildup on all surfaces.

The top layer is crushed, and the bottom remains. This is reminiscent of the ground surface, with brown algae almost invisible through the front glass.

The problem is that such diatoms negatively affect the health of plants and fish. Plants can not carry out photosynthesis, almost “suffocate”, and the fish do not get enough water from the water, they can get poisoned.

If you do not deal with the problem in a timely manner, the consequences will be disastrous for all living creatures.


Brown algae spread very quickly, the parasite cells from one plant quickly pass to the neighboring leaves. In addition, brown patina can be a substrate for another parasite – a black beard, which is derived even more difficult.

What to do in order to prevent the growth of algae in the aquarium and destroy them forever?

  1. The aquarium should be lighting 10-12 hours a day, no more. Do not place the tank in place of direct sunlight. Bacteria that are sources of algae multiply easily by light.
  2. The overpopulation of the nursery with fish is a source of nitrates that the plants do not have time to assimilate. If you have a lot of fish, the tank should be spacious.
  3. If there are such fish in the tank as mollies, Siamese algae, antsistrusy, loricaria, catfish ottsinklyusy, then they will help to fight with a brown touch, eating it. Also, algae love snail neretina.
  4. Do not overfeed fish, remove food debris from the bottom with a siphon or a net.
  5. Regularly replace your aquarium water with clean water once a week.
  6. If a nitrogenous cycle is not established in a recently launched aquarium, an algae outbreak is more likely. The process of forming a biological balance lasts 1-2 weeks, at this time do not settle there fish and do not make large water changes. If the water level of nitrates 50 mg per 1 liter, the water should be well filtered and replaced with a new one. Take measurements of water parameters constantly.

See how you can get rid of the brown algae in the aquarium with the help of Theodoxus snails.

If you notice that brown algae appeared in a newly launched aquarium, and they began to spread in large quantities, then the fight with them will be easy. Observe the correct mode of maintenance of the tank, and in 2-3 weeks the problem will be solved.

Carry out regular cleaning of the aquarium, change 20-30% of water once a week. When aquarium plants begin to grow, the algae will disappear due to the large amount of dissolved oxygen.

When an algae outbreak happened in an aquarium with “old” water, it is necessary to replace water already 2 times in 7 days, changing 30% of the volume of water. When replacing it is necessary to thoroughly clean the tank from excess food, waste products of fish.

Use a scraper to clean the glass of the aquarium, wipe the bottom, clean the decorations and plants with a toothbrush or a clean sponge.

Check the degree of contamination of the filter, if the filtration rate has decreased, then the filter is clogged. Clean the filter, but do not change its contents. Reduce the length of daylight hours to 6 hours a day for several days, and the next 2 weeks bring it up to 10 hours gradually.

If the lamps work for 1 year, it is better to replace them with new ones, but not all at once, but in turn. Brown scurf appears in the tank in a week, and it takes almost a month to fight it.


There are chemicals that can affect diatoms. Some funds worsen the situation, delay the reproduction of beneficial microorganisms, from which the fish will suffer.

Drugs that can help with the removal of brown plaque, should be used according to the instructions. Be careful and cautious – some chemicals can harm not only parasites, but also plants with fish.

  • Tetra Algetten – drug in the form of water-soluble tablets, used for the prevention and destruction of algae. It dissolves gradually over a month, the number of parasitic formations decreases gradually. After 4-7 days, the first changes will be noticeable. Dosage – 1 tablet per 10 liters of water.
  • Sera Algovec – the tool destroys all types of algae in the aquarium. Dosage: 5 ml per 20 liters of water. After applying the drug, it is necessary to slice away all dead residues mechanically, there should be good aeration in the water.

Algae – this is not all that grows in the water. So called lower, primitive photosynthetic organisms, often consisting of a single cell or several cells collected in colonies or filaments.

They live everywhere in the aquatic environment. They are distinguished from higher plants by the absence of developed organs: stems, leaves, flowers, and also the fact that throughout their history they lived exclusively in water, while the plants were formed on land, and only after that some of them returned to the water .

Higher flowering plants (as well as several species of moss and ferns) are planted to decorate and revitalize the aquarium, while algae, with the exception of a single species of decorative importance, enter the aquarium without our participation and reproduce in it just when the balance is knocked down and balance is broken. They form a suspension in the water, causing its turbidity or discoloration, or stick around all the surfaces in the form of fluff, bundles and balls of yarn, plaque, mucus and the like.

It is clear that their presence does not contribute to the beauty of the aquarium.

Diatoms are unicellular organisms that have a silicon shell in the form of a box, many of which are capable of movement. The significance of diatoms in natural marine ecosystems is simply colossal, since they constitute a significant proportion of plankton and form a huge part of the organic matter of the earth (about a quarter), and their shells after dying are the basis of sedimentary rocks.

But in artificial reservoirs they, like their counterparts from other departments of lower plants, are unwanted guests. Brownish or brown algae in an aquarium, forming a slimy coating, especially in poorly lit places, often near the bottom – these are, as a rule, diatoms. (By the word “brown” – we mean only color, not systematic belonging, since Brown Alga proper is a separate department of highly developed marine organisms with large bodies, thallus).

Their reproduction contributes to a pH above 7.5, high water hardness and a high concentration of nitrogen compounds. An outbreak of diatoms can cause an excess of sodium in water, which occurs, for example, after treating fish in a common aquarium by adding salt.

Brown algae description the structure of the fight with them photo video.

The origin of brown algae, symptoms of formation

Brown algae are representatives of the Diatoms Division (Bacillariophyta). They should not be confused with sea kelp (Phaeophyta), which includes kelp seaweed.

In an aquarium, these algae do more harm than good, and you need to fight them.

Diatoms form brown dust on the walls of the tank. It appears everywhere – and on the ground, and on snags, and on the filter, and on the glass, even on the leaves of plants.

Initially, the formation is almost imperceptible, but later it acquires a dark, saturated shade.

At the initial stage, this type of algae is easily removed with a scraper, even crushed from plants. If you dash through the decoration, then many dust-like particles will fall from it.

Dust can be wiped off with a regular cloth moistened with running water, but without the use of detergents and soap.

But in a neglected reservoir, the struggle with diatoms will be difficult. Brown particles turn black, grow rapidly, forming a buildup on all surfaces.

The top layer is crushed, and the bottom remains. This is reminiscent of the ground surface, with brown algae almost invisible through the front glass.

The problem is that such diatoms negatively affect the health of plants and fish. Plants can not carry out photosynthesis, almost “suffocate”, and the fish do not get enough water from the water, they can get poisoned.

If you do not deal with the problem in a timely manner, the consequences will be disastrous for all living creatures.

Fighting with brown algae in an aquarium begins with increasing the intensity of illumination and raising the water temperature to 26-28 ° degrees. If the fluorescent lamps of the LD brand are used in illumination, then they must be changed to the LB mark, because the red rays of the spectral composition of the light necessary for normal plant growth are present in the LB.

Further, to get rid of the brown algae as soon as possible, you will have to manually work and remove as much algae from the aquarium as possible. It is necessary to clean the glass from brown algae with a scraper or blade, but not with a foam sponge, because the algae scoured off with a sponge will dissolve in water and pollute the water severely, adding more work like changing water.

The brown algae films that have been stripped off the blade must be removed with a hose for cleaning the soil. The bloom of brown algae from the leaves of plants is cleaned with fingers, rubbing each leaf in hand. This should be done carefully so as not to damage the delicate leaves and stems of plants.

To clean the soil from algae can be shallow loosening, and large stones, it is desirable to remove from the aquarium and rinse under the tap.

It is also necessary to rinse the filter, and the compressor hoses. At the end of the whole procedure, it is advisable not to turn off the light at night in the aquarium for several days in order to increase the length of daylight and wake up the plants more quickly and show signs of their vigorous growth.

To get rid of kelp once and for all you need to have one or two catfish antsistrusov. Antsistrusov called sweepers or sticky.

Eating algae, these fish are able to maintain cleanliness in the aquarium. When in my 150 liter aquarium there was a pair of antsistrus aquarium walls and the plants were always clean.

But as time passed, the ancistrus became obsolete, and then problems began with brown algae. Antsistrusa aquarium fish rightly deserve respect for cleanliness in our aquariums and if you want to get rid of kelp algae permanently get catfish ancistrus.

In order to no longer have to deal with such a scourge as brown algae, follow the elementary rules for the care of domestic water bodies.

  • First of all, ensure sufficient illumination of every corner in the aquarium. If daylight is too short, use additional lighting. It is better to use lamps that give red spectral light.
  • Always keep the temperature in the pond at the optimum level (+ 22-280С) – kelp like exactly the opposite, cooler.
  • Regularly change the water in the aquarium, follow its technical indicators (pH, iodine, nitrates, phosphates, silicates). Never use water immediately from the tap – you need only purified.
  • Install in the pond filter, capable of absorbing silicates
  • Plant aquarium with a large number of aquatic plants – they will “take away” some of the food from the brown algae, thereby slowing down its growth.
  • Experienced aquarists recommend putting zinc and copper products on the bottom of a pond. These metals are able to destroy the brown alga.

Each time, conducting a replacement of water or cleaning the aquarium from the brown alga, provide residents of the reservoir with twenty-four-hour lighting for several days.

Value.

The value of brown algae in nature and human life is great. They are the main source of organic matter in the coastal zone of the seas. In the thickets of these algae, which occupy vast areas, many sea inhabitants find refuge and food.

In industry, they are used in the production of alginic acids and their salts, for the production of feed meal and powder for the manufacture of medicines containing iodine and a number of other trace elements in high concentrations. In aquariums, the appearance of brown algae is associated with insufficient lighting.

Some species are eaten.

BLACK BEARDS IN AQUARIUM, HYDROGEN.

In home aquariums contain fish, snails, shrimp, but also single-celled organisms, bacteria, both useful and harmful, live here. In new aquariums, where plants have not yet taken root, sometimes in the winter, on the walls, on stones and leaves, a raid is formed.

This aquarium is overgrown with brown algae, which change the habitat, adversely affect it, have an unpleasant brown color. They settle in large spots on the leaves and stems of plants, on the aquarium under water.

The walls are brown, dirty. Their abundance leads to the disease of fish and all living things.

Brown algae in the aquarium appear due to insufficient lighting, irregular filtration, poor oxygen supply, dirty water, accumulation of nitrates and a lack of carbon dioxide.

To get rid of kelp, remove the affected plants from the aquarium. Remove the brown algae with a spongy or magnetic scraper, swiping your hand from top to bottom to the bottom of the aquarium.

You can use a magnetic scraper – even hands do not have to be lowered into the water. Repeat this procedure twice a week.

Do not allow residue to accumulate. Water change every day (a quarter of the aquarium) tube – siphon from the bottom.

Aquarium plants will help in the fight against brown algae.

Fish, snails, shrimps will help in the fight against brown algae in the aquarium. Three catfish ototsinklyus perfectly cope with an aquarium of 50- 60 liters.

You can start to fight with brown algae snails or shrimps, which, with proper care of the aquarium, will cope with the problem.

Add lighting – fluorescent lamps not less than 0.5 W / l of daylight no more than 10 hours per day. Compressor provide oxygen supply.

You can apply the antibiotic Erythromycin. It is difficult to fight with brown algae in an aquarium, but success can be achieved.

In the spring, kelp can disappear on its own.

Scientists refer to the blue-green algae to the class of bacteria. In appearance, they resemble a mucous carpet on the surface of an artificial reservoir of a dirty brown color.

Such living forms have exceptional adaptability and vitality. If the blue-green alga started up in an aquarium, then it will be difficult to get rid of it.

If you give a precise definition, it is cyanobacteria that appear on the walls of the aquarium when it is exposed to prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, or when the water temperature is higher than is required. Also beneficial to the development of blue-green is a large amount of organic impurities.

Such bacteria quickly begin to develop if the aquarium is not regularly cleaned. Also, the cause of cyanobacteria is a rare change of water in the aquarium.

Blue-green algae is very unpretentious, they have enough minimum conditions for development. These bacteria take all the nutrients necessary for their development and growth out of the water. They grow not only on the ground, but also on any object that may be at the bottom of the aquarium: stones, snags, shells.

The unique ability to restore quickly allows blue-green algae to quickly restore its population. Therefore, to get rid of them is not so easy.

The peculiarity of these microorganisms living in the aquarium is an unpleasant odor. The greater the surface of the artificial pond covers the blue-green alga, the more polluted the water becomes, and the aquarium itself turns into a decaying puddle.

The detrimental effect of blue-green algae on the artificial microclimate of an aquarium is that they prevent water from dissolving oxygen, increasing the amount of nitrogen in it. Getting rid of such bacteria is not easy.

There is a special way to deal with blue-green algae that every aquarist should know.

The simplest and most common way to deal with blue-green algae is to darken the aquarium. To do this, remove from the aquarium fish, plants, stones and snags, compressor, filters and other equipment.

After that, it is closed from the light for three days. During this time, carbon dioxide ceases to enter into water, which is emitted by blue-green algae.

In the absence of light, such a bacterium will die in three days.

The danger of this method of cleaning is that the soil can remain microscopic particles of such algae, which after a short time will again develop into a huge colony. Blackout aquarium should be combined with disinfection of an artificial reservoir.

Only in this case it is possible to defend more reliably, which helps to further deal with the problem.

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