Identify & Remove Brown Algae – Information

algae perch aquarium

The problem with brown algae is that it feeds on organic waste such as the nitrates and the phosphates that are in the water column.

Therefore, if you don’t take care of them fast enough, they will easily get out of hand. This excerpt will, therefore, provide information on how to identify and remove brown algae.  Brown algae mostly thrives in coldwater regions and will present as edible seaweed.

On the other hand, algae is not all that bad and can thus be used in the food industry as a thickening agent. Some of the basic ways to control brown algae development is to ensure that the aquarium light is neither too high nor too low, high silicon levels are also a catalyst. However, as much as the brown algae is pervasive they don’t pose a danger to the health of your fish.

There are a number of fish that feed on the brown algae, but that doesn’t mean that you should encourage their growth. Brown algae just like its name feature a brown color and is a unicellular organism, thus they carry out all their life processes as one single cell, and the reason why they are able to reproduce so fast. 

How to identify brown algae in the aquarium 

Before we get on how to spot brown algae, we need to know how it first got into your fish aquarium. The brown algae in your fish aquarium are not a stranger and believe it or not it has been there for quite a while only that it was not provided for with the right conditions to bloom. We could, therefore, conclude that water, in general, contains a number of micro-organisms and if provided with the right environment they will bloom in rare places that you don’t expect. 

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Unlike other types of algae, brown algae do not float on water, but rather attaches itself to plants in the aquarium. You will thus see a soft slimy film that can be removed by gently rubbing on the aquarium plants. The algae will attach itself on any stable surface such as the glass, aquarium decorations or even the substrate.  

8 Ways to remove Brown Algae

1. Algae eating fish 

shrimp aquarium

When it comes to cleaning an aquarium the first solution is always to adopt a natural method and if it fails to work, you can then resort to using chemicals. The reason why we are going to start with the most natural method available, there are species of fish that will feed on the brown algae in your aquarium but with the speed at which it reproduces, it might be a bit hard for the fish to completely get rid of the algae. 

However, it doesn’t hurt to try, and if you decide to go down this road then you could get the Siamese algae eater fish, the suckermouth fish, the Plecostomus or the Otocinclus Catfish. If your aquarium uses salty water then you can get the margarita snails that love to feed on algae, to help clean your fish tank. 

2. Removal of tank water

The idea behind this concept is to get rid of all the nutrients that might be contained in water and might aid in the blooming of the brown algae. By utilizing an aquarium siphon you could remove some of the water from your tank. When using the siphon shift it in the substrate of your tank to rid it of fish waste. Another method is by using deionized water or initiate the reverse osmosis method. 

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3. Physical cleaning 

shrimp aquarium

Using the suction is almost similar to getting rid of the algae through a physical cleaning process. You can, therefore, decide to fold your sleeves and get down to business. However, ensure that you get rid of all the algae present in the fish tank because, with the right conditions, your efforts might go to waste. 

4. Check on the nitrate levels

There are a number of methods that you can adopt to keep the levels of nitrate low in the aquarium, for starters you could first ensure that the population of fish in your tank is not as high or just purchase a bigger tank that can comfortably accommodate all the fish species that you want to keep. 

Also, incorporate live plants in your aquarium, this is the best method to get rid of nitrates because the plants will naturally use nitrate as food and nutrients. You could also reduce the amount of food that you feed to your fish, which will, in turn, reduce the amount of waste in the fish tank. Other options are using a nitrate remover. 

5. Ensure the filters are clean 

A clean filter equals a nitrate and silicate free water; this, therefore, means that you should make cleaning your filter a routine, which, goes hand in hand with changing your aquarium water and cleaning of the fish tank. 

6. Using an Ultra Violet Sterilizer 

An ultraviolet sterilizer is a device that is used to stop the spread of microorganisms in aquariums; it is used to keep the free-floating algae in check. And if properly used the Ultraviolet light will eliminate the free-floating microorganisms. Important to note is that the UV light will only kill the microorganisms in water and not the ones attached to the fish, however, it is also just as harmful to your aquarium dwellers. 

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7. Use of phosphate adsorption resin  

The use of chemicals in an aquarium should be your last option and is normally when the situation is dire. Phosphate adsorption resin comprises of chemical filters that come in the form of pellets, their main purpose is to starve the algae by getting rid of silicates and phosphates. 

8. Use of Vodka 

Alcohol has many uses and not only to give enjoyment, some people use it to remove tough stains but we shall use it to keep tag on the nitrate levels. What you need to do is add a few drops of vodka into the water, but be wary that the vodka is to be added to the aquarium with the fish inside thus it could be very toxic to your fish.

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