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Newly Cycling Tank Is This Brown Algae?

cl3537

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12Gallon Fluval Edge tank 46L moderate to low LED lighting. External lighting is minnimial very little outside light.
 
This stuff started to appear 3 -4 days ago about 24 hours after I added TSS. 
I don't know if its because I left the lights on for 24 hours for a couple of days or upon the addition of Ammonia for my fishless cycle.
 
Nothing in the tank except Moss Balls, Bacopa and Amazon Swords.
 
Is this Brown Algae? If so should I worry about it or get rid of it?
I also have brown/red spots on my Bacopa Monnieri?
 
Now that I am almost done cycling I was going to do a 25% water change and vacuum the bottom and the plants to get rid of it.
 
 
Thoughts?
 

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TwoTankAmin

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Diatoms are common during initial tank startups. Algae results from too much light as well.
 
Nitrifying bacteria is photo sensitive. It is also susceptible to UV. For this reason many cycling articled recommend turning off tank lights and UV sterilizers for at least a day when adding bottled bacteria. This allows the bacteria to end up inside the filter media and in other places in a tank not exposed to direct light.
 
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cl3537

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TwoTankAmin said:
Diatoms are common during initial tank startups. Algae results from too much light as well.
 
Nitrifying bacteria is photo sensitive. It is also susceptible to UV. For this reason many cycling articled recommend turning off tank lights and UV sterilizers for at least a day when adding bottled bacteria. This allows the bacteria to end up inside the filter media and in other places in a tank not exposed to direct light.
Should I do anything to get rid of it or will it just go away on its own once I reduce the photoperiod and do water changes?
 

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It is difficult to tell from the photos, but the algae on the moss ball appears to be brush, not diatoms.  The brown spots on the Bacopa could be either (if this easily rubs off with your fingers, it would be diatoms on the Bacopa).  But I am more inclined to suspect a nutrient issue with the Bacopa leaves.  I see something on the sword in the background, can you post a clear photo of the sword plant (entire plant and perhaps a close-up that is clear)?
 
Brush algae has several forms, and it is caused by a nutrient/light imbalance.  I have had it appear from excessive light (intensity but also duration, individually or together), and from excessive nutrient fertilization.
 
Byron.
 
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cl3537

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Byron said:
It is difficult to tell from the photos, but the algae on the moss ball appears to be brush, not diatoms.  The brown spots on the Bacopa could be either (if this easily rubs off with your fingers, it would be diatoms on the Bacopa).  But I am more inclined to suspect a nutrient issue with the Bacopa leaves.  I see something on the sword in the background, can you post a clear photo of the sword plant (entire plant and perhaps a close-up that is clear)?
 
Brush algae has several forms, and it is caused by a nutrient/light imbalance.  I have had it appear from excessive light (intensity but also duration, individually or together), and from excessive nutrient fertilization.
 
Byron.
 

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Thanks.  Fortunately I'm not seeing what I thought I might, so no issue with the swords, it was the other photo and the swords were fuzzy anyway.
 
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Do you know why the edges of the leaves are brown?
I am concerned that the tank just doesn't light the corners where the swords are enough.
 

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cl3537 said:
Do you know why the edges of the leaves are brown?
I am concerned that the tank just doesn't light the edges enough.
 
The brown leaf edges is what concerned me initially, and why I asked for the photos.  I can still see this, but I thought it was just a trick of the light/camera, because I can see it a bit on stems too, like a golden fuzz.  Can you post a very clear photo of the leaf flat on so I can see this better?
 

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Water changes here are not a great idea when using tetra's Safe Start. This is from 2009, but I have not found much evidence they have changed this at Tetra:
 
Quote
 
In regards to ammonia products, yes, they kill TSS. Any type, whether a chloramines remover or detoxifier, etc, anything that says it locks up ammonia or removes ammonia. Do not add TSS for 24 hours after  using such a product, and do not add such a product for at least 7 days after using TSS. The bacteria is housed in a special stabilized solution of ammonia, so if you remove/lock up the ammonia, you remove all of the food the bacteria require to live.

If you already have fish, and are having an ammonia issue, it is best to get the ammonia levels down to below 4.0. 4.0 and higher is just as toxic to TSS as it is to fish......
 
We recommend waiting two weeks before a water change. Of course, if for some reason, the levels go up to a high level again, we would recommend a change at that point, and another dose.
from a site I am not permitted to link. It is a Tetra reps response provided on another forum to questions about how to use Safe Start- you can PM me if you want the URL.
 
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cl3537

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TwoTankAmin said:
Water changes here are not a great idea when using tetra's Safe Start. This is from 2009, but I have not found much evidence they have changed this at Tetra:
 
Quote
 
In regards to ammonia products, yes, they kill TSS. Any type, whether a chloramines remover or detoxifier, etc, anything that says it locks up ammonia or removes ammonia. Do not add TSS for 24 hours after  using such a product, and do not add such a product for at least 7 days after using TSS. The bacteria is housed in a special stabilized solution of ammonia, so if you remove/lock up the ammonia, you remove all of the food the bacteria require to live.

If you already have fish, and are having an ammonia issue, it is best to get the ammonia levels down to below 4.0. 4.0 and higher is just as toxic to TSS as it is to fish......
 
We recommend waiting two weeks before a water change. Of course, if for some reason, the levels go up to a high level again, we would recommend a change at that point, and another dose.
from a site I am not permitted to link. It is a Tetra reps response provided on another forum to questions about how to use Safe Start- you can PM me if you want the URL.
I have read it, the forum ends in something that rhymes with Gore. One of the questions confirmed you could do a fishless cycle including adding bottled Ammonia with TSS.
 
I have two choices on how to proceed, either I am done adding Ammonia as I am at 0 Ammonia and 0 Nitrites, if so I will do a water change to remove nitrates and add fish.
Water changes should be fine once the Bacteria are established.
 
Or I keep adding Ammonia in increasing doses so I can increase the capacity of the bacteria as a normal fishless cycle would do.and hold off water changes until I am done.
The Tetra rep I called also told me to remove the carbon in my Filter as he said TSS Bacteria can attach to it. I found that a bit odd.
 

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The carbon filter will only work for a short period of time, and the bacteria will attatch to any surface within the filter and within the gravel in the tank if they like it there. You are better off replacing the carbon filter parts with sponge filter parts and some filter floss to remove tiny particles. The filter floss can be changed every two weeks. But the rest of the sponge and/or ceramic media should never be removed from the filter as you would be removing your beneficial bacteria which is essentially what makes your tank cycled.
 
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I am aware activated carbon only lasts a week to two weeks depending on the filter efficiency that was not the issue.
What I find odd is that the rep seemed to think significant bacteria from the TSS would attach themselves to the carbon filter bag and this would slow the cycle.
 
I had always thought the majority of the bacteria attach themselves to the ceramic or sponge, and even if they attach to the carbon if it remains in the filter during the full cycle it should not change the progress.
 
 
 
LilyRose Tank said:
The carbon filter will only work for a short period of time, and the bacteria will attatch to any surface within the filter and within the gravel in the tank if they like it there. You are better off replacing the carbon filter parts with sponge filter parts and some filter floss to remove tiny particles. The filter floss can be changed every two weeks. But the rest of the sponge and/or ceramic media should never be removed from the filter as you would be removing your beneficial bacteria which is essentially what makes your tank cycled.
 

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A little bacteria 101

 
 1. The bacteria live attached in biofilms with all kinds of other microorganisms. The biofilm is how they attach to hard surfaces.
 2. The bacteria can thrive anywhere in a tank they get OK flow to supply what they need. This means steady and not too strong.
 3. They do not like light.
 4. In an established tank there is a balance between the ammonia and nitrite bacs such that all ammonia is basically only ever seen seen as nitrate (unless there are live plants).
 5. In an established tank the size of the nitrifying bacterial colonies will always size, up or down, to the bioload over time.
 6. If you remove what ever it is bacteria are living on, such as carbon, you remove that amount of bacteria from the system. The more you remove the higher any potential mini-cycle will be and the longer it will take to correct.
 7. Filter media does nothing to remove ammonia, nitrite or nitrate from a tank. The media merely acts as a home for the bacteria which are the actual biological filter.
 8. Too much ammonia or nitrite can be toxic to bacteria.
 9. To be happy the bacteria basically need their food, oxygen and inorganic carbon- carbonates are fine as is co2.
10. The bacteria can go for some time unfed and be just fine. Under times of deprivation they can go dormant and remain viable and recover when things improve.
11. Chloramine does not kill the bacteria and chlorine takes some time to penetrate the biofilm. It is unusual that tap can do serious harm before residual chlorine that might in it evaporates. However, rather than tempt fate, rinse media in dechlorinated water only.
 
There will not be a test on any of this.

 
If you can add 2 or 3 ppm of ammonia to your tank and in 24 hours test 0/0 for ammonia and nitrite, it is cycled. You should be able to use TSS for a fishless cycle just as you can Dr. Tim's One and Only. Both products dislike ammonia detoxifiers. Unless there is something that necessitates them during a fishless cycle, the fewer water changes you have to do, especially early on, the better.
 
Hope this all helped to clarify things a bit for you.
 
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TwoTankAmin said:
A little bacteria 101

 
 1. The bacteria live attached in biofilms with all kinds of other microorganisms. The biofilm is how they attach to hard surfaces.
 2. The bacteria can thrive anywhere in a tank they get OK flow to supply what they need. This means steady and not too strong.
 3. They do not like light.
 4. In an established tank there is a balance between the ammonia and nitrite bacs such that all ammonia is basically only ever seen seen as nitrate (unless there are live plants).
 5. In an established tank the size of the nitrifying bacterial colonies will always size, up or down, to the bioload over time.
 6. If you remove what ever it is bacteria are living on, such as carbon, you remove that amount of bacteria from the system. The more you remove the higher any potential mini-cycle will be and the longer it will take to correct.
 7. Filter media does nothing to remove ammonia, nitrite or nitrate from a tank. The media merely acts as a home for the bacteria which are the actual biological filter.
 8. Too much ammonia or nitrite can be toxic to bacteria.
 9. To be happy the bacteria basically need their food, oxygen and inorganic carbon- carbonates are fine as is co2.
10. The bacteria can go for some time unfed and be just fine. Under times of deprivation they can go dormant and remain viable and recover when things improve.
11. Chloramine does not kill the bacteria and chlorine takes some time to penetrate the biofilm. It is unusual that tap can do serious harm before residual chlorine that might in it evaporates. However, rather than tempt fate, rinse media in dechlorinated water only.
 
There will not be a test on any of this.

 
If you can add 2 or 3 ppm of ammonia to your tank and in 24 hours test 0/0 for ammonia and nitrite, it is cycled. You should be able to use TSS for a fishless cycle just as you can Dr. Tim's One and Only. Both products dislike ammonia detoxifiers. Unless there is something that necessitates them during a fishless cycle, the fewer water changes you have to do, especially early on, the better.
 
Hope this all helped to clarify things a bit for you.
TTA thanks for all that but after reading for a couple of weeks the general information is rather routine, I've read something similar 10X already and it doesn't really answer my questions.
.
What I was asking about was comparatively how much of a biofilm develops on the carbon pouch as opposed to the ceramic "Biologicals".
Further if the Carbon could absorb any of the "starter media, and food" from the TSS.
 
I contend that neither of these are much of an issue especially if the carbon (whether still functional or not) remains in the filter during  the cycle.
If this is such an issue perhaps in your great Fishless cycle FAQ should include a note about removing any carbon filters prior to beginning the cycle. 
 
Noone should get a mini cycle from removing a carbon bag after a Fishless cycle especially if there aren't any fish or other source of Ammonia in the tank when it is done. While the capactiy of the remaining bacteria may be diminished I question by how much. The story might be different under higher bioloads but even then I question if this would happen nearly as often as seen when the ceramics are removed.
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Yesterday my tank processed 0.5ppm fully into Nitrates in about 18 hours. All the Ammonia in 10 hours and I saw 0.25 or less of Nitrite after 10 hours and it was all gone 8 hours later.
Last night I dosed 1ppm of Ammonia, this morning 11 hours later no Nitrites and a trace of Ammonia is left 0.25 or less.
 
I am just wondering if the risk of damage to my plants going up to 2 -3ppm of Ammonia is worth it to try to squeeze out that extra capacity of Bacteria I may never need given I will likely be starting with 6 fish less than an inch.
The only question now is do I need to bother with the 2ppm dose considering its a 12G planted tank and I'm probably going to start with no more than small endlers.
 

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Sorry to take up your time trying to explain things you already knew. But if your knew it all, why does this thread even exist?
 
Just one last note, one amazon sword outgrows a 75 gallon tank. Good luck with them in your 12 gals. Here is one I had to remove from one of my 75 gal tanks:
 
 
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