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Scott Normington
08-05-2009, 03:03 PM
I have a 110 gallon freshwater tank that I recently moved to a new home. The tank was up and running for over 7 years with no problems.

Now I seem to have some type of algae bloom in the tank that I can't get rid of. The stone is all new and there are no live plants in the tank. I now have a well and I got the water tested at a local store and he told me that all my levels are correct. He suggested that I turn off the lights and salt the water and it will go away. I waited over two weeks with the tank lights turned off and I put a lot of salt in the water, but it was still very green. I did an almost complete water change, a few days ago. The water was clear for a day or two but now I think it's slowing coming back.

Any suggestions?

Red
08-05-2009, 03:04 PM
Is it by a window? Can direct or indirect sunlight hit it?

MonkeyPox
08-05-2009, 03:06 PM
Can you describe the algae?
What fish do you have in the tank?

Scott Normington
08-05-2009, 03:11 PM
it is not by a window, it is in a dark basement

Tetra, Placo, Guarami, all community fish, I don't want to buy anything exotic till i get rid of this problem

I have two pieces of driftwood in the tank too, but no other organic material

Sharon
08-05-2009, 03:11 PM
Algae is usually a result of too much light or an over abundance of nutrients. You mention well water...any idea what the phosphate level is?
What lights are you using on the tank, and for how long?

Scott Normington
08-05-2009, 03:12 PM
the water is a milky-green color, in a few weeks in turns to almost pea-soup

Sharon
08-05-2009, 03:18 PM
A five day blackout(with the tank taped with black garbage bag) will clear it. That means five days in total blackness, no peeking, no feeding. However if you don't find the cause, it will return.

Scott Normington
08-05-2009, 03:19 PM
I"m not sure what my phosphate level is. I can check tonight.

I have 6 florecent strip lights hoods on the tank,

Scott Normington
08-05-2009, 03:20 PM
I would have assumed they would have told me if my phosphate level was high at the fish store, I know they ran a complete test on the water.

MonkeyPox
08-05-2009, 03:22 PM
Most stores will only check Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate... sometimes pH if you ask them.

Scott Normington
08-05-2009, 03:23 PM
I will try the blackout again if it returns and test the phospate level.

Thanks,

Scott

Sharon
08-05-2009, 03:24 PM
It depends on the store. Most check for Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates. If it's a store you trust, maybe they can tell what the phosphate level is. Regarding the six flourescent light, what's the total wattage? and how long are they on daily?

MonkeyPox
08-05-2009, 03:29 PM
It depends on the store. Most check for Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates. If it's a store you trust, maybe they can tell what the phosphate level is. Regarding the six flourescent light, what's the total wattage? and how long are they on daily?

Spectrum of light would also help if you know the Kelvin temp.

Scott Normington
08-05-2009, 03:31 PM
I'm not sure what the wattage is, They are the 30 inch strip lights.
They are on a timer and are on from 9am to 10 pm

MonkeyPox
08-05-2009, 03:38 PM
Sharon has given you good advice.

My suspicion is high phosphate levels in your well water is the root cause. Several ways to combat this- you could add a phosphate absorber to your filtration system and/or you could add algae eating fish.

I would also recommend you drop your lights to 10h a day until things get a little more stable.

Scott Normington
08-05-2009, 03:39 PM
I'm not sure if they did test for phosphates, it's a pretty reputable store, and I know I told them I was on a well. But I can make sure.

Scott Normington
08-05-2009, 03:40 PM
Thanks for all the advice! This was great!

I'll be sure to let you know what happens!

Sharon
08-05-2009, 03:46 PM
If it were me, I'd do a water change, blackout the tank for five days, do another water change after the blackout to clean up, reduce lighting to no more than 10hours as Monkey Pox said,(13hours is too much). Phosphate remover would also be a good idea... and make sure you are not overfeeding.:ssmile:

Scott Normington
08-05-2009, 03:58 PM
I will take your advice and follow these steps! thanks!

Wild Turkey
08-05-2009, 04:04 PM
I wouldnt blackout the tank unless I had to.

Thats because light doesnt mean algae, light and excess nutrients equal algae. That means, if you turn out the light, the algae stops growing but it also stops using the nutrients, which are the problem.

The number 1 cause of floating algae is direct or indirect sunlight.

Number 2 is overfeeding/rotting matter

If it were me, I would start doing a 50% wc everyday and vacuuming the gravel well each time. That has cured floating algae for me in the past, and if there is no excess of nutrients, the algae wont return. However, since the nutrients would still be there after a blackout, when the light is turned back on the algae should return also. (Just like you described in the original post)

Be careful not to overfeed, and if its a planted tank there are some more things you can do as well

bushwhacker
08-05-2009, 04:49 PM
wt he said there were no live plants. if it was me i'd start planting the heck out of that tank. let the plants take up the nutrients. will hopefully starve out the algae.

Wild Turkey
08-05-2009, 05:16 PM
wt he said there were no live plants. if it was me i'd start planting the heck out of that tank. let the plants take up the nutrients. will hopefully starve out the algae.

Yea I read it as a non-planted, Are you talking about the "if i had to" bit? Its because it will stop the algae from using the nutrients that are in abundance, algae is a plant. If you just let the green algae go it will starve itself but that could be a long time, and if your water has phosphates etc it may not ever.


I do agree that planting the tank (as long as you research a little first) can help algae problems in the future.

Scott Normington
08-06-2009, 01:04 PM
I did a water change and vaccumed the stone yesterday at lunchtime and I did blackout the tank. I took water back to the fish store for them to test, and he said he didn't even need to test it, just by looking at it and hearing the details, he said it was phosphates. He gave me something to put in my filters to lower the phosphates. I will wait till next week, do another water change and add some plants.

Thanks again for the advice.

Scott Normington
08-06-2009, 01:06 PM
I had live plants in the tank before, so I was planning on adding them in once it was up and running. This has been a real frustrating process! I have had this tank for over 10 years, in three other houses, and I have never had a problem like this.

Wild Turkey
08-06-2009, 09:29 PM
I did a water change and vaccumed the stone yesterday at lunchtime and I did blackout the tank. I took water back to the fish store for them to test, and he said he didn't even need to test it, just by looking at it and hearing the details, he said it was phosphates. He gave me something to put in my filters to lower the phosphates. I will wait till next week, do another water change and add some plants.

Thanks again for the advice.

Well, thats a reason to not take his advice. You cant tell how much phosphate is in your water without testing it, or that its the problem. Most peoples tap water has phosphates.

Even If i was sure you were having cycling issues, my first word of advice would be to test, just like any problem thats test-able. The guy really seems like the type that wants to impress, but doesnt know much.

Keep up on those gravel vacs, and make sure the tank doesnt get any sunlight. You will always get some algae in a non-planted tank that has light, it does not mean a phosphate problem.

ILuvMyGoldBarb
08-06-2009, 09:47 PM
The number 1 cause of floating algae is direct or indirect sunlight.

Number 2 is overfeeding/rotting matter

Reverse those 2 and you would be closer. Overfeeding is the number 1 cause of green algae for the simple fact that decomposing dry food contains phosphates. Sunlight merely intensifies the problem, it does not create the problem.

rookie
08-06-2009, 09:51 PM
i say get some plants they are alot nicer looking and will win the competintion for nutrents over the algae. you naturally have what people pay for go for it. lol thumbs2:

Wild Turkey
08-06-2009, 09:51 PM
I agree.

Im simply quoting from Dave's algae primer, but my experiences with indirect sunlight have never been a problem. We both know nutrients + light = algae, not light. No arguments there.

ILuvMyGoldBarb
08-06-2009, 09:54 PM
You may want to read that primer again.


Floating algae (green water) is almost always an effect of overfeeding your fish. Wrong light spectrum or exposure to sunlight can intensify the problem.

Wild Turkey
08-06-2009, 09:58 PM
Yup, you are right. Either i was thinking of another article, or its edited

Either way, does it really matter GB? All the advice I have given reflects the point you made, and I said I agree with you on overfeeding, hence me saying over and over, vacuum.

Symantics are your strong point, but it is a pointless argument that isnt helping the OP.

ILuvMyGoldBarb
08-06-2009, 11:56 PM
Either way, does it really matter GB? Yes it does, because a proper understanding of the problem is key to preventing a repeat of it.

Wild Turkey
08-07-2009, 12:12 AM
Yes it does, because a proper understanding of the problem is key to preventing a repeat of it.

Once again, I agree with you. The second part of that sentence reads



All the advice I have given reflects the point you made, and I said I agree with you on overfeeding, hence me saying over and over, vacuum.

Not sure how I let this turn into an argument? but Im ending it by not posting

ILuvMyGoldBarb
08-07-2009, 12:20 AM
You asked a question, I answered it. Enough said.

Sharon
08-07-2009, 12:45 AM
You're absolutely right...enough said!

Scott Normington
08-07-2009, 02:17 PM
I didn't mean to start an arguement. I put something in the filters to reduce the phosphates and the tank has been dark since wed. I can guarantee there is no sunlight hitting the tank, it is in a basement with no windows. I am always very careful about the amount of food I feed them. I will add some plants to the tank next week after the blackout is done.

Sharon
08-07-2009, 02:25 PM
Sounds like a good plan, Scott! Keep us posted.

BTW, don't worry...you didn't start the argument.:ssmile:

Lady Hobbs
08-07-2009, 02:45 PM
the water is a milky-green color, in a few weeks it turns to almost pea-soup

Scott, the highlighted part of your previous post had me wondering........do you do regular, weekly water changes? If you do not change water for many, many weeks, then that just might be your problem, too.

Scott Normington
08-07-2009, 05:57 PM
I do typically do water changes about every two weeks

ILuvMyGoldBarb
08-07-2009, 08:16 PM
Scott, did have you maintained your normal feeding routine? When you changed from a planted to a non-planted tank, you removed the tank's ability to remove the phosphates. I'd suggest you also cut back on your feeding amounts as well.