home Aquarium How to deal with brown plaque in an aquarium

How to deal with brown plaque in an aquarium


Pinnularia is a unicellular algae living on the bottoms of water bodies. The cell consists of 2 connected halves, in the middle of which there is a nucleus in the protoplasmic bridge. It multiplies by cell division every 5 days; during division, part of the shell remains in the detached cell, and the second in the mother. The missing part of the shell grows back after a couple of hours.

It actively moves among the silt at the bottom, often ends up in home aquariums. They are highly active in the warm summer-autumn time.

Control methods

You need to start fighting with Diatoms at the first signs of their appearance, otherwise it will be too dreary to get rid of brown algae in the aquarium later. The most effective cleaning methods are lighting, chemical, physical and biological methods and keeping the aquarium clean.

deal, brown, plaque, aquarium

Reasons for the appearance

You can learn about the appearance of Diatoms in the reservoir by the first and main symptom. a brown or yellow bloom formed on the vegetation. The first symptoms are considered to be the formation of light dust or turbidity in the water, which is hardly noticeable. At the initial stage, plaque is easily erased and raises dust if shaken off. If Diatoms are not noticed, then over time the layers grow on top of each other. The color changes from brown to black. The top layer is also easy to remove, but older layers are more difficult to remove. The transparency of the glass of the aquarium is greatly reduced.

There are several reasons for the appearance of brown plaque in the aquarium and they depend not only on care, but also on the age of the microflora of the aquarium.

In a young tank, less than 3-4 months old, brown algae are common in the aquarium. In this container, 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, nothing prevents Diatoms from actively reproducing.

In a 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.

Even more often, in a young reservoir, the acidity of the water is low, usually the water is alkaline or neutral. With similar water parameters, plants and microorganisms are not able to assimilate many compounds. If the acidity is above 7pH, then there will be a high concentration of ammonia in the water, which the Diatoms feed on. And at acidity below 7 pH, the water contains enough ammonium, which is used by underwater plants.

If brown plaque on plants and walls appears in a well-functioning and long-running aquarium, then the main reason is the accumulation of organic matter in the soil and water, which turns into ammonia.

Improper operation of the filter also leads to the appearance of brown plaque. If the filter is clogged or completely absent, then the water is not purified. This leads to the accumulation of organic matter.

Fertilization is also not always beneficial. Fertilizers are source of ammonia for algae. If you apply a lot of fertilizers, then the plants do not have time to absorb them. In a young aquarium, additional fertilizers are not 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 is improper care and rare cleaning of the aquarium. If you do not change part of the water weekly and do not wash the aquarium every few weeks, then food particles remain on the walls, in the soil, which subsequently decomposes.

If a brown bloom appears on the plants, then a possible reason is a high concentration of iodine. Iodine is used to treat certain fish diseases. If the treatment took place in a common aquarium and was repeated, then iodine accumulates in the water and causes the reproduction of Diatoms. Iodine also slows down the development of plants, disrupting the biological balance.

Diatoms live in an aquarium by 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 in the water. And since sodium is contained in salt, its excessive concentration in water helps algae develop and prevents diatoms from getting rid of.

The aquarium becomes covered with a brown coating even with a sharp change in the care regimen. This happens when the aquarium is handed over to a new owner. Even if the former owner did not take good care of the fish, rarely washed the aquarium, then you cannot immediately change the usual biological environment. Change the care gradually, otherwise the abrupt change will cause a surge in algae development.

In the 150 years since the discovery of the species of diatoms, more than 300 genera have been officially discovered, which include 5,000 species. But it is believed that their number, including those still unexplored, is 10,000–20,000 varieties. The whole species is divided into two classes: centric and pennate diatoms.

  • colony type;
  • internal structure of cells;
  • shell structure;
  • the number and shape of chloroplasts contained.

The most common species in the natural environment are Navicula, Pinnularia and Tsimbella.

Maintaining optimal conditions

The correct daily regimen, temperature and water parameters, a balanced diet will provide protection from pests. But if algae did appear, then proper care will also help to remove them. In most cases, the cause of the appearance of plaque will be a rare or poor-quality cleaning of the aquarium and a change of water. So now replace some of the water weekly, about 1/3 or 1/4. If the aquarium is heavily soiled, the replacement is done more frequently. The water must remain clean and clear at all times.

If before that there was a low temperature in the aquarium of 18-22 degrees, then raise it by a few degrees (provided that this does not harm the fish). A temperature of 23-24 degrees will be enough.

The accumulation of organic matter is the main cause of red plaque, so adjust the feeding of the inhabitants. All food should be eaten within 15 minutes after immersion in water. If 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 hammered into the ground and the process of decay and decomposition begins.

The number of pets also determines the speed of pollution of the aquarium with waste that algae feed on. With a large number of fish, purify the water and siphon the soil more often than when keeping a small school.

Check the quality of your tap water. Sometimes it has a high phosphorus, which also causes the appearance of plaque.


Cymbella is an alga from the genus of Diatoms, which has a varied species composition. The cells are in the form of an elongated roundness, outwardly resembling an oval, ellipse. They are mainly active in the summer season. For a long time, cymbellas are able to fix 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.


The reason for the appearance of algae is also the lighting of the aquarium, too long or, conversely, short daylight hours. This increases the rate at which chemical reactions take place in the aquarium and the algae will begin to multiply rapidly. Long daylight hours in a young aquarium are especially dangerous.

To get rid of plaque, reduce daylight hours to 6 hours a day for 3 days. After that, return to normal daily routine by increasing the lighting to 10 hours a day. Constant daylight hours will have a beneficial effect on the cleanliness of the aquarium and the health of the fish.

Do not use lamps that are past or near the end of their expiration date. But you cannot change all the lighting at once. Change each lamp at intervals of a couple of weeks to allow the occupants to get used to it. A sudden change in lighting will cause a spike in algae growth.

Lamps that are not designed for aquarium lighting can also cause brown deposits on rocks and plants. With a power of about 1W / liter, suitable for lighting and disposal.

Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight sometimes also causes algae to develop vigorously. It is advisable that bright sunlight does not illuminate the aquarium for more than a couple of hours a day.

5 ways to combat brown algae in your aquarium

Brown algae belong to the group of Diatoms or Diatoms. Although the group of Diatoms includes the species “Brown algae”, only marine plants are included (for example, sea palm, kelp. seaweed). And in relation to aquarium algae, brown is only a color. They are also called brown, red or yellow.

The trait of diatoms is considered to be the ability to absorb and recycle any organic matter. That is why brown algae develop so rapidly in water. Most often, the main reason for the appearance of Diatom is an excess of ammonia or nitrogenous compounds in the water that harm underwater inhabitants.

Brown algae is a problem faced by many hobbyists, not just beginners. The formation of diatoms in the aquarium indicates a violation of the biosystem of the reservoir with underwater inhabitants.

Brown plaque appears suddenly in the aquarium and infects plants, rocks and walls. If you do not fight with brown algae in the aquarium, then in a few days they affect the entire reservoir and lead to the death of vegetation. And it will take a couple of weeks or months to get rid of. Therefore, it is better to know in advance about the causes of the appearance and methods of combating brown algae in the aquarium.

Brown algae in the aquarium. brown plaque on walls, rocks and aquarium plants.

Brown algae in the aquarium, which forms a brown coating on the walls, decorations, rocks and leaves of aquarium plants. these are representatives of the department of Diatoms (Bacillariophyta). Interestingly, in the classification of algae there is also the division Brown algae (Phaeophyta), but it includes exclusively marine representatives, the most famous of which is seaweed (Laminaria sp.). Thus, this article is devoted entirely to Diatoms, and the word “brown” is used exclusively as a designation of color, and not for species identification.

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Symptoms of the appearance of brown algae in the aquarium?

A characteristic feature of diatoms. this is the formation of a dusty, brown plaque. Brown bloom appears everywhere: on the ground, stones, driftwood, glass and on the surface of plant leaves. At first, it is almost invisible, but every day it gets darker and darker.

In the early stages brown algae in the aquarium easy to wipe off glass, decorations. They can be chipped off the leaves of aquarium plants. At the same time, they are kind of “dusting”. if you run your fingers over such a brown coating, then a cloud of dust rises.

When neglected, the plaque turns black. The layers grow. The upper layer is still dusty, but the lower ones are already hard to erase. Visually, it looks as if the leaves of plants and decorations are sprinkled with earth or black sand. Very poor visibility through the front glass.

Brown algae do not affect the condition of the fish in the aquarium, but they pose a certain danger to plants. The formed brown plaque on the leaves of aquarium plants prevents them from fully photosynthesizing. And this is a vital process. If you do not take action in time, the plants will soon die.

The spreading speed of diatoms is so high that as soon as a new leaf appears, it is immediately affected by them. In addition, such plaque in the aquarium becomes a good substrate for more difficult algae to remove, such as black beard.

Reasons for the appearance of diatoms in the aquarium?

When considering the causes of the appearance of brown algae in the aquarium, it is necessary to pay attention to the age of the aquarium from the moment of starting / restarting.

In a young aquarium (up to 3 months), diatoms appear because the nitrogen cycle has not yet been established, and the aquarium plants have not yet taken root.

At this time, the stimulus for the growth of brown algae will be an overabundance of organic matter associated with the inevitable decay processes in the aquarium. Microorganisms and plants cannot assimilate it yet. In addition, fresh water has a neutral or slightly alkaline pH. And at such rates, many compounds are not available for plants. For example, at pH 7 it will be in the form of ammonia (NH3), which makes up algae nutrition.

A common mistake during the startup phase. too long daylight hours. You cannot immediately turn on the light for 12 hours a day. This will inevitably lead to brown deposits in the aquarium. Using bacterial powders and starting correctly will help avoid such problems.

If you rush to fertilize. the result will also be a brown bloom. In addition to potassium, nothing can be poured into the aquarium in the first 1.5-2 months.

If brown algae appeared in a long neglected, balanced aquarium, then the reason, most likely, was the accumulation of organic matter. This happens if you overfeed the fish, accidentally apply an excessive dose of fertilizer, do not change the water for a long time or do it irregularly, the aquarium filter is heavily clogged.

The end of the lamp life can also be the reason for the appearance of brown deposits. They need to be changed in time. In turn, abrupt replacement of lamps can also provoke the appearance of diatoms. Lamps need to be changed gradually, with a gap of 3-4 weeks, so that the plants have time to adapt.

It should be noted that diatoms prefer cold water and appear more often in aquariums with water temperatures below 22 degrees.

Brown bloom can be observed after the treatment of fish in the general aquarium. Preparations containing toxic substances (for example, copper or iodine) can seriously damage the microflora and inhibit the growth of aquarium plants. As a result. the appearance of brown algae in the aquarium until the system is fully restored. The use of salt will give the same effect.

When the owner of the aquarium (or the person who maintains it) changes. the aquarium mode changes. For example, the aquarium was rarely cleaned, no fertilizers were applied, the lamps were not changed for 2-3 years. He looked quite normal in this state. And the new owner begins to clean it regularly, apply fertilizers. It seems that the life of the aquarium should improve, but after a while everything is covered with a brown coating. In this case, you just need to replace the lamps. The maintenance mode depends on the lighting mode of the aquarium.

How to get rid of brown algae in your aquarium?

If brown plaque appeared at the launch stage, and does not have mass distribution. it is enough to maintain the correct maintenance regime and it will disappear in a couple of weeks. To do this, you need to regularly clean the aquarium and change 20-30% of the water weekly. As soon as the active growth of aquarium plants begins. diatoms will be supplanted.

If an outbreak of diatoms occurs in a stabilized aquarium, it is necessary to increase the frequency of changes to 2 times a week, changing 20-30% of the water. Changes should be accompanied by a thorough cleaning of the contents of the aquarium. It is necessary to clean the decorations, glass, plant leaves as much as possible. To do this, you can use a toothbrush, sponge, scraper, etc.

Then you need to check the filter and, if necessary, clean it. The filtration rate may have decreased (the filter is airy or the water intake is clogged).

It is better to reduce the duration of daylight hours to 6 hours a day for a couple of days, and then gradually (in 2 weeks) bring it to 10 hours a day. If the lamps are more than 1 year old, then it is better to replace them with new ones. It is better to make a replacement one by one.

The natural inhabitants of the aquarium help well in the fight against brown algae. Best of all, ototsinklus and theodoxus snails cope with them. They also feed on plecostomuses, Siamese algae eaters, girinoheilus, various mollusks. But they will need much more.

In most cases, chemical agents do not affect diatoms, but on the contrary inhibit the growth of microorganisms, thereby aggravating the situation. You can use a preventive dose of algicides only to enhance the growth of aquarium plants.

It should be noted that brown algae can completely infect the aquarium in just 7-10 days, and getting rid of them will take 3-4 weeks.

Brown plaque in the aquarium. diatoms!

Diatoms in the aquarium

For novice aquarists, starting an aquarium is a thorny path, with many pitfalls. One of the first boulders on the beginner’s path is diatoms. In everyday life, they are often called brown or brown algae.

Diatoms are a group of unicellular colonial algae, a distinctive feature of which is a siliceous shell surrounded on both sides by a thin layer of organic matter, cell shapes are diverse, and have bilateral or radial symmetry.

In nature, the importance of this class of algae is very high, but in an aquarium their role is minimal and, as a rule, is negative, namely, it harms higher plants, disrupting their vital activity, covers the glass and decor with a brown slimy film, which is rather difficult to clean off.

Reasons for the appearance of brown diatoms in the aquarium

All the reasons for the appearance of algae can be reduced to one term. “imbalance in the aquarium”, which is expressed in:

Natural consequences of the formation of the nitrogen cycle and the biobalance of the aquarium as a whole.

In high concentrations of nitrogenous compounds: NH4, NO2, NO3 in a working aquarium.

The imbalance in the ratio of nitrogenous compounds, phosphates, microelements, lighting, the number of aquatic plants, overpopulation of the aquarium, overfeeding of fish, etc.

In water parameters that are favorable for the growth of algae.

How to deal with brown bloom. diatoms?

Most people are not ready for such manipulations, due to the lack of desire to spend such amounts on aquaristics. Therefore, our general recommendation will be as follows.

The mechanism of action is simple, the aquarist must perform mechanical cleaning of the aquarium, as much as possible to clean the walls of the aquarium and decorations from brown deposits. Make a partial water change and use an anti-algae preparation, for example, VladoX, an anti-algae product based on glutaraldehyde (strong action).

or Tetra AlguMin based on monolinuron (milder action).

These actions will be correct: since algae are mechanically removed, the concentration of nitrogenous compounds and other harmful substances decreases by changing water, and the algae drug finishes off the remains of the algal colony.

But is this enough to fully understand the problem? Of course not! Always in any area of ​​a person’s life, one must fight not with the consequences, but with the reasons. Why? Because if the cause is not eliminated, diatoms and other algae will return after a while.

As we said, by and large, the first thing an aquarist should do is to measure the concentrations of NH4, NO2, NO3. NH4 ammonia should be zero, NO2 nitrite should be zero, NO3 nitrate is acceptable up to 50, but preferably 20. Why is it said that diatoms are frequent guests of young aquariums? Precisely because in such an aquarium, the nitrogen cycle is being adjusted. the jumps of the aforementioned poisons and other substances. We can say that this situation is forgivable for a beginner and after a month, if the aquarist does not go wrong, the nitrogen cycle will be established and the diatoms will disappear themselves.

But it also happens that uninvited guests appear in an established reservoir. But where did it come from? There are several reasons, here are some of them.

Overfeeding the fish. Ideally, the fish should eat the forest provided to them within one minute, or a little faster. Often, food that has fallen to the bottom is left unattended, rotted and released into the water excess organic matter, which must go somewhere. Algae appear at this stage. The problem is solved very simply: reducing the amount of feed.

Overpopulation of the aquarium. The situation when an established colony of nitrifying bacteria cannot cope with the amount of waste products excreted by fish. Feces, urine, dead organics are mineralized by microorganisms, converted into NH4 and then decomposed by bacteria in a cycle into NO2, NO3. But in a definitely taken aquarium, under certain conditions, the colony of beneficial bacteria of nitrifiers is not infinite, they simply will not have time to consume nitrogenous.

Total cleaning. Filter flushing, active soil siphon, large water changes, made at the same time, violate the biological balance, as it “flushes out” beneficial bacteria. As a result, nitrogenous excess may reappear in the water, as a result, diatoms.

Increased Si silicates in the aquarium also contribute to the development of diatoms. Excess phosphate P can also cause algal outbreaks. Accordingly, tests for Si and P are needed.

Another reason that promotes algae growth is hard and alkaline water. It has been noted and proven in practice that in water with a pH above 7, algae develop better. The question arises, what else to take a pH test? Maybe then take all the tests right away. But know, even if you take all all all! It won’t be a panacea.

How To Destroy Brown Algae/ Diatoms / Beginners guide to Planted Aquariums EP #5

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Another reason for the appearance of diatoms, according to most aquarists, is the poor lighting of the aquarium. Of course, these algae love moderate diffused lighting. In general, there is an imbalance in lighting. this is a direct route to an algal outbreak. But in our opinion, the lack of lighting is not the cornerstone of the appearance of diatoms. Indeed, in a stable aquarium with moderate standard lighting (

In our opinion, the best cure for all aquarium troubles is the knowledge and study of the ongoing processes, and on the basis of this, the construction of proper attention and care of the aquarium.

Really, if you have your first young aquarium. devote time to studying such topics as the nitrogen cycle and biological balance in the aquarium. Find out the reasons that affect these processes, try to apply them in practice:

Once again, let’s pay attention to the fact that diatoms usually appear at the start-up stage of the aquarium and disappear on their own after a while. But among algae, there is also quite strong competition; diatoms can be replaced by filamentous, blue-green, xenoccus, beard and other algae. But there is only one struggle algorithm:

Learning aquarium keeping and building proper aquarium care.

Identification and leveling of the causes of the appearance of algae.

Elimination of consequences with the help of drugs (not only algicides).

If you have any questions or want to share your experience, we invite you to our forum: https://fanfishka.ru/forum/. The experience of each person is invaluable, and therefore we will be glad if you share it with us.

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Plaque on the walls and decorations of the aquarium

Plaque on the walls of the aquarium

This article focuses on the problem of plaque on the walls of the aquarium. So:

Firstly, plaque on aquarium walls or glass is not formed from the good life of the aquarium world. in other words, in your aquarium, something is wrong. And to eliminate any plaque, first of all, it is necessary to restore the balance of the aquarium environment. This is achieved through proper and regular cleaning of the aquarium, as well as the use of the necessary preparations in case of deviation from the norm. It should be noted that too much care: cleaning and changing the aquarium water can also lead to adverse consequences. Exact recommendations regarding this issue. difficult to give, because it all depends on: the volume of the aquarium, the types of fish, plants, the location of the aquarium, etc. In general, you should adhere to the general guidelines. those. recommendations for weekly aquarium cleaning and equipment cleaning. You also need to remember that “old” aquarium water is always better than fresh water. do not overdo it with cleaning and changing water. Remember the balance of plants and fish, never overload the aquarium, do not make a dorm out of it. Your arsenal should always have the first-priority response: aquarium charcoal, zeolite, starter bacterial starters.

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Secondly, all types of plaque formed, clouding of the aquarium walls, is caused by various factors. Actually, therefore, all plaques can be conditionally divided by color: green plaques in the aquarium (green-brown). white deposits in the aquarium (whitish) or aquarium slime.

Regarding the green plaque on the walls of the aquarium, which can also form on the decorations of the aquarium (artificial plants, stone). This plaque is caused by excessive water bloom. the formation of an uncontrolled amount of algae. Such plaque is caused as a result of lack of maintenance of the aquarium and as a result of excess organic matter (ammonia decomposition products).

TetraAqua AlgoStop depo. These are soluble tablets for the control of algae growth. Effectively destroys various algae in freshwater aquariums, including black beard and blue-green algae, and prevents their further growth.

Method of application: Tablets are placed on the ground in a place of free flow. The duration of the drug is 6 weeks, after which the tablets are removed from the water. The tablets contain a complex of substances that are gradually released into the water. The tablet does not dissolve completely, but retains its original shape. After 6 weeks, it ceases to release active substances and must be removed from the water. Slow dissolution of the drug in water allows the active substances of AlgoStop depot to be used for a long period of time. When used correctly, the preparation does not harm aquarium fish and plants.

Dosage: For prophylaxis: 1 tab. 50 liters. water. For the destruction of filamentous algae: 1 tablet in 25 liters of water.

There are other algae medications that are collectively referred to as. algicides.

An article about Tetra’s other anti-algae preparations for algae. here!

The above preparations also cope with other types of algae brown bloom (diatoms), filamentous (green threads), black villi (black beard).

Tetra’s algae products are based on monolinuron. algicide of gentle, mild action. You can also recommend preparations based on glutaraldehyde, for example, VladOx, a high-quality and budgetary preparation for honeydew algae.

Aquarium: The walls, decorations or equipment are covered with a white coating. whitish mucus, what to do?

Whitish mucus is a common problem in new aquariums. It occurs due to the excessive content of organic matter in the water (PJ, dead organic matter). White plaque consists of numerous colonies of saprophytic bacteria, which actually feed on excess organic matter. These bacteria and mucus are harmless and do not harm aquatic organisms. But their presence is unpleasant to the eye and speaks of a shaky biological balance in the aquarium. As a rule, mucus envelops natural driftwood (the place of the highest concentration of organic matter). Often abundant colonies are observed on the walls of the aquarium in the place where the flow from the filter is directed. bacteria “catch the sweets in the wind”, which is delivered to them by the flow of water.

This mucus is removed simply. mechanically. Some hobbyists advise getting ancistrus or other nurse fish to clear up mucus. But even without this, the plaque will disappear as soon as the biological balance is adjusted. To make this happen faster, it is recommended to increase filtration, reduce the amount of feed, that is, in every possible way to contribute to a decrease and rapid oxidation of PJ. From aquarium preparations, it is possible to suggest the use of Tetra Bactozyme and Tetra SafeStart, which will promote the growth of a colony of beneficial nitrifying bacteria and, therefore, reduce the concentration of poisons.

Dear Reader! Another, more complete article on this issue has been published on our site. Algae in the aquarium. Be sure to read it!

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Aquarium Plaque Control Videos

Control methods

The sooner you start fighting diatoms, the better, because at the initial stage it is much easier to get rid of them. Consider the main methods for eliminating brown algae.

Reasons for the appearance

It is very important to know the age of the aquarium from the start or restart from the beginning. This indicator will be decisive in determining the reasons.

Mechanical cleansing

If the aquarium is young, accordingly, the ecosystem has not yet formed, so the appearance of brown algae is not at all scary. It is enough to use mechanical action to clean the container from plaque. It can usually be wiped off easily, even with your fingers.

To remove strong plaque from the walls of the aquarium, it is worth using scrapers, brushes or sponges.

If the plaque needs to be removed from the leaves of plants, then you should act very carefully here. If the leaves are already beginning to decompose under the influence of algae, then it is better to completely dig such a plant out of the aquarium, or cut off diseased leaves.


Quite often, the lighting of the aquarium tank plays a decisive role in the formation of unpleasant plaque. It can be a very long or a very short day. If the aquarium is still “fresh”, you should exclude the provision of a long day. To cope with the problem, it is enough to stick to a 6-hour day just 3 days in a row. Then you can return to the normal 10-hour mode. Regularity will keep your aquarium clean and your fish healthy.

You should discard lamps that have expired. Although it is not recommended to make an abrupt replacement either. It is worth changing them in stages. one after the other, while the interval should be about 3 weeks between their replacement. With a quick change of light, algae will actively reproduce. Only lamps designed for aquariums must be used. Their power is 1 W / liter.

Important! If the aquarium is in direct sunlight for a long time, then the appearance of a brown coating is inevitable.

It is worth limiting the time to 2-3 hours a day.


Brown algae are microorganisms that spread both as single cells and forming colonies. They belong to diatoms, that is, they are divided into two parts. an epithecus and a hypothesis, united by a single rather hard, but porous shell, which is responsible for the metabolism of algae.

With the help of division, algae multiply. When the daughter is separated from the mother, part of the mother’s shell goes first, and then each of them recreates a new armor. The shell has a silica impregnation, as a result, it cannot change in size. This leads to the fact that each next generation is smaller in size than the previous one. But this does not prevent algae from leaving their plaque on the surface of the aquarium.

Brown aquarium algae often form tubular colonies, in which case they look like bushes.

They usually grow rapidly, at the same time reaching a height of up to 20 cm. Although they are usually represented by flat formations, which we consider as plaque. Brown algae usually accumulate in shaded corners where a large amount of organic matter is present. With their active reproduction, other inhabitants of the aquarium suffer.

Biological fight

The biological method is the removal of algae with the help of other inhabitants of the aquarium. Snails, molluscs, shrimps, algae eaters, ancistrus, girinoheilus catfish and ototsinklyus catfish love to feast on brown algae.

Symptoms of occurrence

A distinctive feature of the presence of diatoms in the aquarium is the appearance of a brown dusty coating. It manifests itself on various surfaces. on leaves, stones, walls of the aquarium, plants.

Brown plaque in the aquarium indicates the active development of brown algae, since every day the plaque becomes darker and darker.

If you start the fight in the early stages, then the plaque on the decorations or steles can be easily removed with a rag, and you can simply shake it off the leaves of the plants. It should be noted that such a plaque is rather dusty, since a dust cloud forms when shaking off.

Over time, the plaque turns black as the layers begin to build up. over, if the upper layer is dusty, then the lower layers are already quite difficult to wipe off, usually with a rag. It seems that all the objects in the aquarium are covered with dark, almost black, sand. In this form it is rather difficult to see the contents of the aquarium through glass.

If brown algae appear in large quantities, then the fish will not feel large changes, but the plants may suffer. The formed spots on the leaves of plants interfere with the normal passage of photosynthesis. If you do not react to the situation that has arisen, then the plants will die. Plaque appears rather quickly on new leaves. If you do not cope with it in time, then on its basis more complex algae in removal may appear, such as a black beard.

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What funds can be used?

In order for fish and plants to feel good, it is necessary to get rid of brown plaque in time, to fight against brown algae, adhering to the following recommendations:

What to Do When Your Aquarium Water Turns Brown After Adding Driftwood | Will It Hurt Your Fish?

  • if we consider a fresh aquarium, then mechanical cleaning will help. you should carefully remove all plaque using a regular blade or a special scraper;
  • to clean the leaves of plants from plaque, you do not need to use sponges or foam rubber, just carefully remove it with your hands so as not to damage the plant;
  • plaque forms quite quickly at the bottom of the aquarium, so it should be cleaned quite often with a hose;
  • when changing the water, it is worth removing the plaque from the decor, shells, pebbles and pebbles, while it is enough to rinse them under water;
  • compressor hoses and filters need regular flushing;
  • an excellent solution would be to purchase fish that like to eat brown algae. catfish ancistrus, girinoheilus and Siamese seaweed;
  • it is better to refuse chemicals, since they will not only destroy algae, but also harm plants and fish in the aquarium, although the use of some antibiotics is allowed, for example, penicillin.


The filament in the aquarium consists of several types. edogonium, spirogyra, cladofora, rhizoclonium. All of them are united by their appearance. similar to a thin thread, green balls. It is filamentous green algae. How to deal with thread in an aquarium?

As a rule, the threads are quite fragile and easily detach from the surface. Also, some types of fiber are happy to eat shrimp, for example, a flock of Amano shrimps can easily cleanse even a large aquarium of thread.

Its appearance and growth depends on the nutrient content of the water. This is usually due to the fact that either too much fertilizer has been poured into the aquarium, or there is a substrate in the aquarium, it releases nutrients and there is no one to absorb them. In such cases, substitutions and fast-growing plants (nayas and elodea, hornwort) help

Brown algae in the aquarium

Brown algae grows quickly if there is too little light in the aquarium. They look like brown patches covering everything in the aquarium. Usually light-loving plants are in poor condition or disappear.

Plants that tolerate shading well, such as Javanese moss, dwarf anubias and other types of anubias, can be covered with a brown film, tough anubias leaves can be rubbed to get rid of brown algae.

Again, aquarium cleaners, ancistrus, or otocinklus are helpful. But the simplest solution is to increase the intensity and duration of daylight hours. Usually brown algae disappear quickly, as soon as the lighting is in order.

Brown algae are very common in young, imbalanced aquariums (younger

3 months), with the wrong spectrum of lamps and with too long daylight hours.

An even greater increase in daylight hours can lead to even worse consequences.


Or diatoms (lat. Diatomeae) are a large group of unicellular algae. Mostly unicellular, although there are also forms in the form of colonies. The main difference between diatoms is that they have a shell of silicon dioxide.

This view is very diverse, some are quite beautiful, but mostly look like two asymmetrical sides with a clear separation between them.

Fossilized remains indicate that diatoms appeared in the early Jurassic period. than 10,000 different species are now found.

In the aquarium, they look like brown algae, which cover all internal surfaces with a continuous film. Usually appear in a new aquarium or when there is a lack of light.

You can get rid of them as well as brown ones, by increasing the number and length of daylight hours. It is also worth using an internal filter with a charcoal filter to remove silicates from water.

Black beard

The appearance of a black beard in the aquarium is a sign that the amount of waste has increased significantly, because organic residues serve as food for it. It is these algae that most often grow on the walls of the aquarium and the plants in the aquarium, in the form of a thick and disgusting black carpet. How to deal with a black beard?

The main method of struggle is to reduce the level of organic matter. Soil cleaning, water changes and filtration seriously slow down and reduce the growth of black beard. To do this, you need to remove organic residues from the soil. slightly siphon the surface of the soil.

Also, a black beard likes to settle in places with a good flow, these are filter tubes, filter surfaces, etc. The current gives the beard abundant nutrition, organic matter settles on its surface.

It is recommended to reduce strong currents in the aquarium. To reduce the amount of nutrients in the water, in addition to harvesting, you can have various fast-growing plant species. elodea, nayas.

How to deal with a black beard in an aquarium? Recently, a new remedy for combating beard and flip-flops has appeared. Cidex. It was originally used (and is used) in medicine, for disinfection.

Who came up with the idea of ​​using sidex against a black beard, apparently, will remain unknown. But the fact is that sidex works, moreover, against both black beard and flip flops.

Sidex is poured once a day, in the morning. The initial dose is 10-15 milliliters per 100 liters of water. Gradually, you can increase to 25-30 milliliters (be careful, Platidoras died at 30 ml!).

A Vietnamese woman begins to die already at 15-20 milliliters. They write that it does not completely kill a Vietnamese woman, but this is not so. You just need to add sidex for another two weeks after the flip-flop disappears completely.

There is an experience of complete cleansing of aquariums from it. At small doses (up to 20 ml), no negative effect on fish was noticed, however, some plants. hornwort, vallisneria, cryptocorynes, sidex do not like and may die.

In any case, this mention of the drug is for informational purposes only, be sure to read the profile forums before use. This drug is not safe!

How to get rid of algae in your aquarium?

For example, algae of the genus Aufwuchs (from German for growing on something) grow on hard substrates, such as rocks, in both fresh and salt water. Algae, especially green and diatoms, are the primary habitat for small crustaceans, rotifers, and protozoa.

Many aquarium inhabitants feed intensively on algae-overgrown surfaces. Lake Malawi cichlids, commonly known as algae-adapted fish.

Examples of the type, Labeotropheus trewavasae and Pseudotropheus zebra, are very characteristic. They have hard teeth that allow algae to be lifted off the rocks. Mollies look for algae clearings and pluck them. In the marine environment, algae are an important part of the diet of sea urchins, sea worms and chitons.

I stimulated algae growth in my cichlid to create a natural environment, and got the right amount of filamentous and diatoms. Thus, depending on the species of fish and biotope from the habitat, growing algae may even be desirable.

Algae are an essential part of the diet of species such as mollies, African cichlids, some Australian fish, and catfish such as the ancistrus or ototsinklus. Frequent water changes reduce the amount of nitrate in the water and reduce algae growth.

In a well-balanced aquarium, abundantly overgrown with plants, the balance of minerals is in balance, the surplus is consumed by plants and algae. And since higher plants always consume more nutrients than algae, the growth of the latter is limited.

Black beard and other troubles

Algae grows in aquariums, salt water and fresh water, which means that the aquarium is alive. Friends who are beginners believe that algae are plants that live in an aquarium.

However, it is the aquarium plants that live, in the algae these are unwanted and unloved guests, as they only spoil the appearance of the aquarium. Let’s just say that the growth of algae for the aquarist is just a sign that something is wrong in the aquarium.

All aquariums contain algae, on sand and gravel, rocks and plants, walls and equipment. They are quite natural and are part of the normal balance, if they do not grow rapidly.

All that is required of a balanced aquarium is clear, well-mixed water and clean glasses. I even advise not to clean all the walls of the aquarium, leaving the back covered with fouling.

I have noticed that when algae is left to grow on the back wall or on rocks, it absorbs nitrates and other decay products, thereby reducing the opportunities for algae to grow on the front and side walls of the aquarium.

Also on overgrown glass, some species of fish will feed on algae and microorganisms, such as all types of chain mail catfish.

Green algae in the aquarium or xenococus

Found in most aquariums as green dots or green sheeting. These algae love a lot of light. Green algae, only grow if the amount of light and nitrate exceeds the level that higher plants can absorb.

In densely planted aquariums, green algae develop extremely poorly, as higher plants consume nutrients and absorb the light necessary for the vigorous growth of green algae.

Without condemning the use of plastic plants in an aquarium, I will note that live plants look the best and create conditions for the normal development of the entire biosystem.

However, they can grow massively in aquariums with CO2 systems, due to fluctuations in carbon dioxide levels throughout the day. An outbreak of green algae growth can occur suddenly, especially when the level of phosphates and nitrates in the water is high.

They usually appear as green dots covering the glass surface and the bottom of the aquarium. Recommended remedies. reducing the amount of light and the length of daylight hours, and mechanical cleaning. with special brushes or a blade.

Mollies and catfish, such as ancistrus, eat green algae very well, and I keep a few specially for this purpose. The neretina snail also copes well with xenocokus and other algae.

Flip flop in the aquarium

Frequent visitor to new aquariums with an unsettled nitrogen cycle. By nature, it is close to a black beard and therefore the methods of dealing with it are similar. Reducing nitrate levels by cleaning the soil, replacing water and filtering with a powerful filter.

Vietnamese in all its glory

  • Firstly, a Vietnamese woman is many times more tenacious than a beard. Even a month in complete darkness does not kill her. It is tough, strong and firmly attached to any surface.
  • Secondly, no one eats it, except for 1-2 species of snails.
  • Thirdly, the reason for the appearance. The flip flop is usually brought in from other aquariums.