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Thread: Green Water Blues HELP!!!!!!!!
03-15-2007, 05:01 AM #1Junior Member Guppy
- Join Date
- Mar 2007
Green Water Blues HELP!!!!!!!!
Have been struggling with a green water problem for over two months. I bought my daughter a 10 gallon tank to repalce her 6 gallon System six (the all intergrated unit) when the filter motor died. I bought the Flow Master filter 30 with bio wheel for 30 gallon tanks which I was told would keep the water much clearer. For the first several months, it worked fine. Then the water started to get cloudy. Whitish cloudy at first and then a light Green tint. I should also say that the new tank was set up next to a window. I had this problem before and used a product called Alge Fix, and it cleared it up within hours. 15 drops in a ten gallon tank and no change. Asked my aquarium dealer about it and he told me to block off the sunlight from the window which I did, and to continue the treatment with the Alge Fix. after a week, the water turned a dark opaque green like pea soup. I completely covered the tank eliminating all sun light and kept up with the Alge Fix every three days. Nothing was working. The Alge Fix finally killed off my snail and frog, but that was about it.
The next suggestion was to do a 50% water change and add a phosphate filter pack. The dilluted green water didn't make it much better and within a day, it was back to zero visiability. In pure fustration, I decided to do an 100% water change, wash the tank, gravel, filter, etc in very hot water, scrubbed everything down and let the tank sit for several days with new water treated with aqua safe and the filter running before returning the fish back into the tank. I know it's not the greatest thing for the fish, but I saw no other alternative.
The tank has been blocked from any direct sunlight, but clear water lasted for about a week and now has gotten to the transitional stage of being whitish cloudy and tinted green water. Been here before. I have been adding Alge Fix every three days and it's not working. Again.
What have I been doing wrong? What should I be doing or using? Do I have an aggresive strain of alge? Is it treatable? Should I toss the idea of having an aquarium? Help please, Thanks
03-15-2007, 05:24 AM #2
0Originally Posted by Gearbox
1) Too much light (which you took care of) - Do you have any tank lights? How much wattage? How long do you leave them on for?
2) Too much nutrients in the water column (how many fish do you have in this tank?), particularly nitrates. What is your water change schedule? Do you have a nitrate test kit?
In the short term, a small UV sterilizer will get rid of the algae bloom within hours and keep it that way, but they are fairly expensive (50 bucks or so), and wouldn't solve the nitrate problem I am guessing you have. Chemicals should not be considered a fix for algae in any case, because it will keep coming back until you isolate the cause.
1) Don't touch the water for at least 3 weeks to let it cycle. As long as the water is well oxygenated with an air pump or a filter that is attached higher, creating a waterfall effect, the algae will not harm the fish and will help to remove the toxic ammonia and nitrites that will build up as your tank re-cycles. The whitish cloud is normal. The bacteria that eat up fish waste are reproducing at such a fast rate that they are actually visible in the water column. It will go away by itself.
2) Purchase a test kit that tests for ammonia/nitrites/nitrates. I am 95% sure that high nitrate levels was your problem.
3) Keep in mind that when it comes to algae, it's all about balance. Under proper conditions (ie weekly 50% water changes, 10 hour photoperiod, light-moderately stocked tank), algae will have a very tough time getting a foothold, but if any of those parameters are thrown out of wack, that's when you see them. The most important thing to keep in mind when dealing with algae is that if you do not get to the root cause, algae will win the war no matter what.
4) For the next few weeks, feed your fish in moderation! I mean one feeding per day MAX, perhaps even skipping a day every once in a while. All food should be eaten up within a minute or two. Your fish deal with no food for days. However, they can't deal with the waste buildup as a result of overfeeding (at least until your tank re-cycles)Foshizzle.
03-15-2007, 05:57 AM #3Junior Member Guppy
- Join Date
- Mar 2007
Thanks for the heads up. I have 5 Neons and a Beta left in the tank. Feeding is a pinch once a day, but I will stretch that out to once every two days. The last test of my water done by the aquarium store was after the 50% water change and the only thing they told me was that the Ph was off the scale. I think the UV Sterilizer is the way to go, but I was told they were all boku bucks, $300 or so. Even the fish store guy laughed when I mentioned it. Where do I find one for $50 and do you have a brand name? thanks Allan
03-15-2007, 11:17 AM #4
Before you go out and buy an expensive UV sterilizer please at least try Chrona's suggestions. If you are getting algae blooms due to improper water maintenance that is hard on your fish and even if you get the algae under control your fish are still going to be suffering. Let your tank cycle and then set up a routine for maintaining an aquarium the proper way. Since you have fish in there you will need to do water changes regularly to keep the ammonia and nitrites down while cycling which will take longer but the end result will be an aquarium you can enjoy.Kimmer
03-15-2007, 12:07 PM #5
Meh, well most of them are still on backorder, but DR F and S has lots of other UV Sterilizers for around 60-70 bucks. You will need a pump though. Note that you should NOT use the UV sterilizer until you are completely cycled (you need a master test kit), as it will kill off the waste eating bacteria in the water column.
As Kimmers said, the UV sterilizer is a rather superficial option, because high nutrient levels can lead to many more problems down the line. It is certainly useful to have, but you need to keep in mind that oftentimes, the best solution is to understand exactly what's going on instead of chucking money at the problem.
I would bring an undiluted water sample to get it tested for nitrates. Also, what was the pH at?
Last edited by Chrona; 03-15-2007 at 12:18 PM.Foshizzle.
03-16-2007, 04:23 AM #6
otto cats are good with algae. Its their main diet. Mine just cleared my 10g within 4 hours.
03-16-2007, 01:55 PM #7
Another option to the UV sterilization (and one that helped my 1st tank - and never had a problem after), was to pick up a diatom filter. I got a Magnum 350 with the diatom option, and was able to use it as a regular filter, and for polishing the water/got rid of the algae bloom. You can buy them for a bit more than the UV mentioned, but less than the hundred you found them for. I see one online in Canada for 130 bucks, YMMV.
Nice thing is, you can use it to really clean your water now and then to have a really sparkling clean tank.
Probably more than you want to spend, but thought I'd mention it.-Kevin
90 Gallon Fresh Water Tropical
8 White Cloud Minnows, 2 Blue Rams
9 Cories, 2 Bristlenose Pleco's
2 Rock Shrimp, 2 Dwarf Gourami's
6 bloodfin tetra's, 10 black neons
03-16-2007, 02:10 PM #8
may be u r over feeding.
04-20-2007, 05:20 PM #9Junior Member Guppy
- Join Date
- Apr 2007
Have you tried a product like PhosGuard? Worked like a charm for my 29g with crappy local tap water.
04-20-2007, 06:03 PM #10
I had green water a couple weeks ago on my large tank for the first time ever and Chrona mentioned too much light hitting the tank. He nailed it! I always keep my blinds closed but had decided to open them and let the light hit the tank. Not direct sunlight, mind you, but just good old fashioned outside light and that's what did it!!!
I took a piece of back- ground paper I wasn't using and taped the side of the tank that was catching that light. Tank is now clear again!