Brown algae belong to the group Diatoms or Diatoms. Although in the group of Diatom algae there is the species “Brown algae”, but only sea plants are included (for example, sea palm, kelp – seaweed).
And with respect to aquarium algae, brown is only a color. They are also called brown, red or yellow.
The Diatom trait is considered to be able to absorb and process any organic matter. Therefore, brown algae so rapidly develop in the water.
Most often, the main cause of the occurrence of Diatom is an excess of ammonia or nitrogenous compounds in the water that harm underwater inhabitants.
Brown algae – a problem faced by many aquarists, and not only beginners. The formation of diatoms in an aquarium indicates a violation of the reservoir biosystem with underwater inhabitants.
A brown bloom appears in the aquarium all of a sudden and hits plants, rocks and walls. If you do not fight with brown algae in an aquarium, then in a few days they hit the entire reservoir and lead to the death of vegetation. And to get rid of it will take a couple of weeks or months.
Therefore, it is better to know in advance about the causes of occurrence and how to combat brown algae in the aquarium.
One can learn about the appearance of Diatomies in the reservoir by the first and main symptom – a brown or yellow bloom formed on vegetation. The first symptoms are the formation of light dust or turbidity in water, which is barely noticeable.
At the initial stage, the plaque is easily erased and picks up dust, if you shake it off. If Diatoms do not notice, then over time the layers grow on each other. The color changes from brown to black.
The top layer is also easy to clean, but older layers are harder to remove. The transparency of the aquarium glasses is greatly reduced.
There are several causes of brown plaque in an aquarium and they depend not only on the care, but also on the age of the aquarium microflora.
In a young tank running less than 3-4 months ago, the appearance of brown algae in an aquarium is a common phenomenon. In this capacity, living plants have only recently been planted, have not yet had time to take root and begin to absorb substances from the water.
At this time, diatoms do not interfere with active reproduction.
In the young aquarium, the correct nitrogen cycle is also not established. Residues of food and waste products of fish begin to rot and decompose much faster.
Such an environment is favorable for the reproduction of brown Diatoms.
More often, in a young tank, the acidity of the water is low, usually alkaline or neutral water. With similar indicators of water, plants and microorganisms are not able to absorb many compounds. If the acidity is higher than 7pH, then there will be a high concentration of ammonia in the water, which diatoms eat.
And when the acidity is below 7 pH, the water contains enough ammonium, which is used by underwater plants.
If brown deposits on plants and walls appear in a well-established and long-running aquarium, the main reason is the accumulation in the soil and water of organic substances that turn into ammonia.
Improper operation of the filter also leads to the appearance of brown plaque. If the filter is clogged or completely absent, the water is not cleaned.
This leads to the accumulation of organic matter.
Fertilization is also not always useful. Fertilizers are the source of ammonia that algae needs.
If you make a lot of fertilizer, the plants do not have time to absorb them. In a young aquarium no additional fertilizers are required, except for potassium in small doses.
Low water temperature of 16-21 degrees accelerates the development of brown algae.
The main reason for the appearance of algae – improper care and rare cleaning of the aquarium. If you do not replace some of the water weekly and do not wash the aquarium once every few weeks, then food particles remain on the walls, in the ground, which later decompose.
If brown bloom has appeared on plants, then a possible concentration of iodine is possible. Iodine is used to treat certain fish diseases. If the treatment occurred in the general aquarium and was repeated, then iodine accumulates in the water and causes the reproduction of Diatoms.
Another iodine slows down the development of plants, disrupting the biological balance.
Diatoms settle in the aquarium when using table salt to treat fish and disinfect water. Sodium is included in the diet of diatoms, and also helps them absorb other mineral residues contained in the water.
And since sodium is contained in salt, its excessive concentration in water helps algae to develop and makes it difficult to get rid of diatoms.
The aquarium is covered with a brown bloom even with a sharp change in the mode of care. This happens when you transfer the aquarium to a new owner. Even if the former owner was not caring for the fish badly, he rarely washed the aquarium, then one cannot immediately change the habitual biological environment.
Change care gradually, otherwise a sharp change will cause a surge in algae development.
Over 150 years after the discovery of the species of Diatoms, more than 300 genera were officially discovered, in which 5,000 species were included. But it is believed that their number, including those still unexplored, is 10 000–20 000 species.
The whole species is divided into two classes: centric and pentate diatoms.
All species are divided according to 4 features:
- colony type;
- the internal structure of cells;
- shell structure;
- the amount and form of chloroplasts contained.
The most common species in the natural environment are Navicula, Pinnularia and Cymbel.
Navikula – a squad of unicellular algae, belongs to the Diatom Division. It constitutes a significant part of underwater plankton.
Opened by Ernst Haeckel.
This type of algae is the most numerous, it includes more than 10,000 species. Under a microscope, the Navikula cell resembles an oval extended to the edges, therefore, in Latin, this means “Boat”.
Habitat is heterogeneous, Navikula lives in the soil, settles on the rocks and is located in rivers, lakes and seas.
They feed on photosynthesis of solar energy. To move on the surface stand out the slimy secret that helps to move.
They become active in spring and summer; at the same time often get into aquariums. Under natural conditions make up a significant part in the food chain.
Pinnularia is a single-celled alga that lives on the bottoms of water bodies. The cell consists of 2 connected halves, in the middle of which the nucleus is located in the protoplasmic bridge.
Reproduces cell division every 5 days, while dividing part of the shell remains in the separated cells, and the second in the parent. The missing part of the shell after a couple of hours grows.
Actively moves among the sludge at the bottom, often enters home aquariums. High activity is shown in the warm summer-autumn time.
Cymbella is an algae from the genus Diatoms, having a diverse species composition. Cells in the shape of an elongated roundness, resemble an oval, an ellipse.
Mostly active in the summer. For a long time cymbels are able to stay in one place and remain motionless.
The rest of the time they move along the bottom in search of food.
A significant part of the diet of underwater insect larvae, which are subsequently eaten by fish, is cymbella.
It is necessary to start to fight with Diatomies at the first signs of their occurrence, otherwise then it will be too dreary to get rid of brown algae in the aquarium. Among the cleaning methods, the most effective are lighting, chemical, physical and biological methods and maintaining the cleanliness of the aquarium.
The correct mode of the day, temperature and water parameters, a balanced diet will provide protection from pests. But if the algae still appeared, then correct care will also help to remove them. In most cases, the cause of the appearance of a raid will be a rare or poor quality cleaning of the aquarium and a change of water.
Therefore, now weekly replace part of the water, about 1/3 or 1/4 share. If the aquarium is heavily polluted, it is replaced more frequently.
Water should remain clean and clear at all times.
If before that there was a low temperature of 18-22 degrees in the aquarium, then increase it a few degrees (provided that it does not harm the fish). Temperatures of 23-24 degrees will suffice.
The accumulation of organic matter – the main cause of red plaque, so adjust the feeding of the inhabitants. All food should be eaten within 15 minutes of being immersed in water. If the fish leave part of the food, then cut the portions, and remove the excess food from the water.
After all, food particles settle to the bottom, are clogged in the ground and the process of decay and decomposition begins.
The number of pets also depends on the speed of contamination of the aquarium with wastes that feed the algae. With a large number of fish, the water should be cleaned and the soil should be siphoned more often than when keeping a small flock.
Check the quality of tap water. Sometimes it has a high content of phosphorus, which also causes the appearance of plaque.
The cause of the appearance of algae is the lighting of the aquarium, which is too long or, on the contrary, a short light day. This increases the speed of chemical reactions in the aquarium and the algae will begin to multiply rapidly.
Especially dangerous long light day in the young aquarium.
To get rid of plaque, reduce the length of daylight hours to 6 hours per day for 3 days. After that, return to the normal mode of the day, increasing the lighting up to 10 hours a day.
The constant daylight mode will favorably affect the cleanliness of the aquarium and the health of the fish.
Do not use lamps that have expired or have expired. But you can not change all the lighting at once. Change each lamp with a gap of a couple of weeks, so that the inhabitants had time to get used to it.
An abrupt change in lighting will cause an algae breeding leap.
Lamps that are not intended to illuminate the aquarium are also capable of causing brown deposits on the stones and plants. With a capacity of about 1 W / liter, they are suitable for lighting and disposal.
Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight sometimes also causes algae to develop vigorously. It is desirable that bright sunlight does not illuminate the aquarium more than a couple of hours a day.
Use chemistry in the fight against algae in the most recent case, when other methods did not help, because any chemical intervention harms the fish and changes the biobalance in the aquarium. Preparations are suitable for chemical cleaning:
These preparations quickly clean the aquarium, but the causes of algae are not removed, so after a while they can return.
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Many young aquariums go through a stage of fighting Diatomies. But a short time after the creation of microflora in the water algae disappear.
In this case, you only need a mechanical cleaning of plaque from the walls of the aquarium. To do this, do not need hard items like brushes.
Young algae can be easily removed even with fingers, so wiping the surface with a rag will be enough.
If the brown patina has already managed to get stronger and it is difficult to separate from the glasses, then use sponges, scrapers, soft small brushes.
Remove plants with extreme caution. It is removed by hand or soft tissue.
But do not use sponges or foam rubber. With long-term lesions, the leaves decompose and it is impossible to remove plaque from them.
It is better to dig up such plants, and then either throw them away, or cut off the diseased leaves and leave the rhizome, transferring them to a separate tank.
It is easy to mechanically remove young deposits on the soil and stones by siphoning the substrate or simply under a stream of water. Rinse off contaminants need aerating and filtering equipment.
Underwater animals and plants help to get rid of algae. Algae are included in the diet of some fish and other inhabitants, and living plants regulate the exchange of gases.
Species that can fight algae:
- catfish otsinklyuses;
- somiki girinohaylusy;
The diatom does not harm the underwater inhabitants of the aquarium and does not affect them in any way. But this plaque creates a favorable environment for the development of more complex algae.
Red, green algae interfere with the normal development of the aquarium and spoil the appearance.
A more serious problem will be the appearance of the black beard diatom belonging to the Red Algae group. This dark alga with hair-leaves settles on the leaves of slow-growing plants and feeds on the prepared organic matter of the leaves. Another black beard closes the access of light and stops the photosynthesis of leaves.
The leaf gradually dies off, and the beard moves to another place.
Brown plaque, appearing on plants is dangerous, because it prevents the exchange of gases with the external environment and the process of photosynthesis. This leads to the death of the plant.
The leaves will gradually decompose and infect nearby growing plants.
Prevention is always the best way to maintain a healthy aquarium. There are several rules and tips that will protect the aquarium from most diatoms and other unpleasant microorganisms:
- If possible, get lamps with red spectral light.
- Maintain a constant water temperature.
- Replace part of the water volume weekly.
- Keep your aquarium clean.
- Equip your aquarium with filtration and aeration systems.
- Plant live plants.
- Watch the parameters of water: hardness, acidity, amount of iodine, silicates, nitrates.
- Place zinc or copper metal objects on the bottom.
- Once every one or two months, carry out a general cleaning of the aquarium, removing and cleaning all decor items and equipment.
Observing tips and maintaining the standard of living for pets to get rid of Diatoms is not difficult, and after a couple of weeks your tank will once again become clean.