ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Brown Algae In Fish Tank

Updated on January 8, 2010

Brown algae (diatoms) is often one of the first brushes the new aquarium owner has with tank algae, and due to its ability to rapidly spread over the glass of the tank, the substrate and any decorations, it can be something of a scary prospect to tackle. Fortunately, it is fairly easy to clean off the sides of your tank with an aquarium squeegee, however the underlying causes need to be addressed or it will return in force.

The first thing you should know about brown algae is that it is fairly common in new tanks, and can appear anywhere from a couple of weeks into the tank's life to several months in. It is thought that this brown algae is the result of

Here's what you can do to prevent the build up of brown algae:

  • Don't over feed your tanks. New fish owners often overfeed, and because fish will often behave as if they are starving even if their last meal was five minutes ago, they don't know that over feeding is taking place. If you have algae or water quality problems, cut back on the amount of food you are feeding your fish, and consider fasting them one or two days a week. This will not hurt most fish, and is actually good for their health.

  • Water changes and water quality. Check your tank's levels of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Ammonia and nitrite should be at 0 and nitrates should also be below 30ppm. If your nitrate levels are high, regular water changes will help bring them down and slow the growth of algae in your tank. Algae problems are often indicative of water quality issues, so make sure you are doing regular water changes.

  • Catfish are good at eating this brown algae, however they are not the only means to controlling it, and if your tank is already very well stocked with fish, then adding more will only increase your problems, not solve them. If you have leapt into fish keeping with wild enthusiasm and purchased a lot of fish for your new tank, consider taking some back or rehoming some of them. You can build up fish levels later, when your tank is ready for it. Tanks go through a cycling period in which good bacteria grow to feed on ammonia wastes produced by fish, too many fish makes for too much ammonia and a sick tank.

  • Increase lighting. If your water parameters for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates are all good, increasing the lighting levels may help to curb the growth of brown algae which tends to grow in low light conditions.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Chhana Khiangte 

      6 years ago

      I am interested in these things, thank you for more!!!!!!!!!!!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)