Help! Brown Algae Breakout in Aquarium

Question: My fish aquarium has been attacked by brown algae and I’m trying to cure it as soon as possible. My fish seem fine for the time being but I won’t stand to loose them. Help me fix my tank water right now. Time is a factor in this thread. What should I do and what caused this algae that is brown in color to overcome my tank? Thank you dearly for those that help me.. I’m very thankful.

brown algae aquarium


Reply from Chris W:
My first assumption jumps to the aquarium getting actual real sunlight from a window source in your home. Is your aquarium in a new spot where the natural sunlight is coming through a window or a door window? This cause large algae breakouts and I made this mistake when I moved into my new apartment and couldn’t figure it out for the life of me. When the tank gets that extra amount of real sunlight through the glass it really just multiplies at a rapid pace of almost breakout levels. Could that be your case here?

P.S. If you use a LED light you wont have any algae problems


Reply from Vince H:
No No No it’s not from her having her tank in front of a window. Algae that is the color brown is known as the beginner algae level of a tank. This is the stage where the tank is setting up. The reason the algae is brown and not green is because its lacking silicates.

What you need to do is take a plain razor blade to the inside walls of your aquarium and skin that algae off. Then Use a vacuum to do your tank change and do 40 percent of a water change and you should do the same thing again the next day. By wrong rid of this algae it should not come back again.

This is more or less a part of the setup process for aquariums and is actually quite common. If this doesn’t completely cure the algae issue, buy a new UV light and use that on your tank. Or If you already had a light, buy a new bulb with stronger UV strength.


Reply from Shannon L:
I was having this same issue when I started up my 55 gallon tank and my pet store guy that I go to advised that I just a couple algae eaters that feed and eat this stuff. I could tell it was growing in thin sheets on the glass. He got me 3 different Pleco fish that suck on my glass at all hours of the day and clean it like crazy. They are some of the ugliest fish around but if they are cleaning my tank 24/7… then they are my new best friends! This idea totally cured my issue and also added some new livestock to my tank. I enjoy pointing the Pleco fish out to my newcomers and they look at me and say “eewww he looks like a lizard” hahaha I think it’s funny. Fixed my algae issue though for a long story short.


this tool works wonders!

Answer from DavidT:
What you’re going to want to do is find a plane razor blade which is the thing inside of a razor knife take that out and put your hand into your aquarium and slowly skin the sides of the glass with the razor blade. If you have any Molly fish or fish that feed on Algae they’re absolutely going to love this stuff but start scanning all of the glass with this razor knife in you will actually see it come off.

Once you have done the whole tank with the razor blading you should then do a 50% water change on a daily basis. If you see any algae that is started to do the same thing on your glass just take out the razor blade and do what I can do next day. What you’re doing is diluting the water that has the algae inside of it and every day you’re diluting it by 50%. So after around four days you would’ve roughly gotten rid of all of that water completely with the Algae in it.

But more importantly you need to figure out what the source of the algae is and why it’s happening inside of your aquarium. It is either starting because you have a new tank set up or else something is wrong with ultraviolet light or your lighting setup. Maybe try to a lemonade last light so that your tank water is getting less light for a while. I highly suggest that if you don’t have any lives plants that you just go out and buy a regular LED light because that isn’t going to grow any algae in your water whatsoever.

image source: http://www.marineaquariumsa.com/forums.php


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