Red Slime Algae
The reddish pink algae you are seeing may be either bad (cyanobacteria) or good (coraline algae) depending on its texture. Coraline algae often forms in areas of high light and is very hard to remove without the use of a razor blade. It can be pink, purple or red in color and grows in circular patches with the patches expanding as it forms, and is a good algae to have growing. Although sometimes it will grow in spots that is undesirable and needs to be scraped off every once in a while.
If the algae is more slimy in texture and comes off in sheets or strands when you scrape it then you may just have some cyanobacteria or red slime algae forming. This is common to see towards the bottom of the tank and grows especially well in areas of low water movement. Having this grow around the edge of your gravel is normal and simply needs to be cleaned off when it starts to get noticeable. The only time that red slime algae is bad is when it grows out of control and starts smothering other inhabitants of the tank.
Red slime algae grows in water with a high nutrient load. Most of the waste products produced by the inhabitants of your tank are more dense then the water and form along the bottom increasing the chance for this algae to grow in these areas. There is also less of a water flow towards the bottom and sometimes simply placing a powerhead down near the bottom can keep this algae from growing in a system.
The brown you are seeing is also a form of algae. All forms of algae are a water quality issue. Most people do not want to hear that they are having a water quality issue but if you have any undesirable algae blooming in your tank and especially if it seems like a cause for concern then there is a water quality issue going on. All algae have certain nutrients that they need to thrive. Most of these nutrients are wastes products of the natural processes going on with the inhabitants of the tank. Simply testing your water does not give any indication of what may or may not be wrong. Algae utilize ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate and various other components typically found in a tank. When you measure these variables in your water you may get a reading of zero and think there is nothing wrong with your water. But the fact remains that if algae are growing then there is a high enough concentration of these nutrients in the water to promote their growth and the water you are testing is not showing evidence of this due to the fact that the algae are taking up these nutrients to use for their own growth. Essentially you are testing your water after the algae have taken the compounds out of the water column and they are what is keeping your levels in a healthy zone.
The simplest way to rid a tank of any undesirable algae is to reduce the dissolved nutrients in the water. This can be done by doing more frequent partial water changes, utilizing or refreshing activated carbon in your filter, not overstocking or overfeeding, cutting back on feeding, raising the pH and the alkalinity, cutting back on light(if possible)and limiting the amount of any trace minerals you are adding to the water. Saltwater tanks grow algae and in small amounts are perfectly normal and no cause for alarm. Having no algae at all is not impossible but very difficult for the average person with the average equipment to achieve.
Aquarium Maintenance, Fish Tank Cleaning, or simply call it Cleaning your Aquarium…Nothing is more important in aquarium keeping than water quality management. There are many excellent products available out there to assist in water quality management, but in our opinion, there is still no replacement for water changes, good filtration, and good feeding habits…. The best way to make sure your aquarium is consistently maintained is by using Dallas Aquarium Experts the best in Dallas Aquarium Maintenance.
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