How to get rid of brown algae in fish tank easily

how to get rid of brown algae in fish tank
Care & Maintenance

Brown algae also known as diatoms can be incredibly difficult to remove from a fish tank. The worse thing is that it can be harmful to fish and looks terrible. Brown algae is a unicellular organism, brown in color with a bony structure composed primarily of silicone nitrate. Brown algae also known as diatoms can be incredibly difficult to remove from a fish tank. The worse thing is that it can be harmful to fish and looks terrible. Brown algae is a unicellular organism, brown in color with a bony structure composed primarily of silicone nitrate.

Brown algae usually develops in fish tanks with high concentrations of nitrates and sometime even those with high concentrations of silicon. Brown algae can easily take over your aquarium if the lighting is either too weak or too high. Limiting these key factors is the best way to get rid of the brown algae.

It may take time to get rid of brown algae, but following a few tips such as adding a few filters, chemicals, and fish, you should not have any problems getting the brown algae under control. Here are some effective ways to get rid of brown algae from your fish tank.

1. Change the Water in Your Fish Tank
Remove up to 20 percent of the water in your fish tank using an aquarium siphon. Ensure that you move the siphon through the substrate and gravel to get rid of the fish waste that can provide food for the algae. Use deionized or reverse osmosis water to replace the water in your tank. The two techniques use water that does not contribute nutrients that promote the growth of nutrients since it has been specially filtered.

2. Add Phosphate Adsorption Resin to the Tank
Phosphate adsorption resins are chemical filter mediums that come in filter pads or pellets that are used for removing silicates and phosphates from the fish tank that help to starve the algae more.

3. Installing an Ultraviolet Sterilizer

Ultraviolet Sterilizer
You can mount an ultraviolet sterilizer outside the fish tank to kill brown algae. The ultraviolet rays are as natural sunlight cannot harm plant or fish life but will kill algae and bacteria found in the water in your fish tank.

4. Introduce an Animal that Specializes in Eating Algae

margarita snail
A few aquatic animal species thrive on algae including the Siamese algae eater fish or suckermouth fish such as ancistrus fish. For the saltwater tanks, you can introduce algae eating snails such as the margarita snail. Such animals work like vacuums and eat the algae off the tank walls, rocks, and ornaments.

5. Getting the Nitrate Level Under Control
You can keep the nitrate level in your fish tank under control by adding some drops of vodka in the water. The vodka dosing should be monitored since it can harm the fish. Keeping the nitrate levels low is one of the best ways to get rid of brown algae.

6. Physically Removing Accumulated Brown Algae
Physical removal of the accumulated brown algae from your fish tank is one of the most effective ways to get rid of it. You can remove the algae using either your hand or a suction. The brown algae spread faster if left in the fish tank and will be hard to eradicate.

7. Cleaning FiltersĀ 
Cleaning the filters regularly ensures flow of clean water free from nitrates and silicates. You should always change the water to keep it crystal clear and clean your fish tank regularly. Clean more frequently if the algae are becoming a problem.


The Bottom Line
Brown algae is one of the most prevalent and worst types of algae. It is difficult to keep it under control but is not impossible. The tips discussed here are some of the most effective ways to contain an outbreak. Once you get rid of the algae, you need to maintain a low nitrate environment to ensure that it does not thrive once more.

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