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Hello! 

Brown algae diatom bloom is a natural phenomenon in almost every new tank. Ultimately, it's a good thing. The microscopic life is consuming the ammonia and other fish by-products and helping to sustain life in your tank. But it's unsightly and can choke out your plants if left unchecked. 

It usually occurs when there's an imbalance of light and nutrients. Too much of one, not enough of the other, brown algae is there. One of the first things to do is make sure your light is on an automatic timer and try cutting it back to 8 hours a day. Also, try feeding your fish a bit less, maybe going down to 1 feeding a day or even fasting them for a day to help reduce the nutrients in the tank.

With enough time and precision, dialing in on the light and nutrient needs of your tank, the brown algae will naturally recede. But to help speed up the process, and give your plants a chance to grow, there are many critters that enjoy eating algae. Shrimp and smaller snails are my personal favorites, as they're cheap, plentiful, fun to watch, and at home in just about any tropical fish tank with a pH above 7.0.

Another option would be a small livebearer fish like endlers who are hardy, colorful, and can get into the nooks and crannies of plants to eat algae. And unlike some algae specialists, they're omnivores who also eat fish food, so you can keep them alive and happy even after the algae's gone. If you don't have room for babies, just get a handful of males.

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Thanks. I have two mystery snails but they don’t seem to be interested in the diatom. Also I will cut the light back to 8 hours. It was currently on for about 12. I don’t think I can go with endlers and they are a schooling fish and I believe I can only get away with one more fish to complete my tank. I have some research and found that bristle nose eat diatom and stay small enough to be housed in by 25 gallon. Do you think that wold be a good choice or maybe some shrimp

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1 hour ago, RyanU said:

Thanks. I have two mystery snails but they don’t seem to be interested in the diatom. Also I will cut the light back to 8 hours. It was currently on for about 12. I don’t think I can go with endlers and they are a schooling fish and I believe I can only get away with one more fish to complete my tank. I have some research and found that bristle nose eat diatom and stay small enough to be housed in by 25 gallon. Do you think that wold be a good choice or maybe some shrimp

Yeah, mystery snails are super cool, but not as interested in algae as other snails. Nerites eat algae pretty much exclusively, and can't reproduce in freshwater (though they'll still lay eggs!) but the larger ones are mostly interested in hard surfaces and glass. Smaller snails like ramshorns, bladder snails and malaysian trumpet snails will reproduce rapidly with an abundance of food, but will quickly take care of any brown algae.

I haven't kept pleco myself, but I know they're very popular for tank clean-up. I've heard that a bristlenose, even though it stays pretty small, still needs a minimum of 30 gallons, but that might be conservative. I also don't know if it'll eat small shrimp—most things do!

 

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14 minutes ago, RyanU said:

Ok thank you. I will look into trumpet or ramshorn snails. Would 2 be good to start with of each or two of just one kind

Sure! If you can find just one or two of each 😄 They're so plentiful folks usually sell 5-10 at a time. But both can reproduce asexually, so if they have enough food, you'll soon have a colony.

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