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Old 12-10-2004, 10:24 AM   #1
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Green Water

Well, my water has been green for about two weeks now. I can barely see the heater stuck to the back of my 29 gal...lol. Anyways, from what I have read adding checmicals to get rid of it is not the ideal solution. The green water is due to an imbalance since my tank is fairly new. Eventually, the green water will be brought into check by something that feeds on it, or steals nutrients that it would otherwise use. Info was found at http://www.skepticalaquarist.com/

So, 2 weeks in....any idea how much longer this could take?
FYI tank has been cycled, and water has Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates =0
pH 6.8-7.0, 76°F
My light is on a timer for 9.5 hours a day.
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Old 12-10-2004, 10:41 AM   #2
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It took me over 2 months at one time to rid it 100%. You can use an expensive diatomic filter, but I didn't. I did small regular water changes and flushed out my filter floss on a regular basis and it cleared itself. Chemicals are a band aid on an open wound. They don't solve the issue.
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Old 12-10-2004, 11:22 AM   #3
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You can try the 100% blackout method, which means completely covering the tank in blankets or black plastic trash bags, taped up completely, so no light enters the tank for 3 solid days - no peeking, no feeding, nothing.

Then do a 50% water change and after that maybe increase your water change schedule a bit to keep excess nutrients down. This method will work for most any kind of algae but you will have to change your regimen afterwards or it could just come back.

Tip - if you use the black plastic, moisture will condense around the top so remove your light fixtures first so they don't get rusty inside or short out.
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Old 12-10-2004, 02:09 PM   #4
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SOunds a little drastic, expecially since it will just rebound once the lights and nutrients come back.
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Old 12-10-2004, 02:23 PM   #5
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It is not very drastic at all to me - quite simple. No fish will be harmed by being in the dark for 3 days and they can easily go a week without eating so it is not hard on them.

That is also why I say that changes have to be made to the maintenance schedule because in the presence of the same set of circumstances it will likely return.

You could of course do small daily water changes and slowly reduce it that way, like Bearfan did, but it could be gone in three days with the blackout method. Personal choice. I have handled algae issues both ways.
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Old 12-13-2004, 11:33 AM   #6
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Can we talk a little bit more about the nutrients you are refering to....is this just a build up of food and stuff from when I was cycling? What are you refering to exactly?

My nitrates are very low, so that can't be it. So, I assume that when you do water changes to control nitrates, you are also diluting out other nutrients that may be the cause of this algae bloom.
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Old 12-14-2004, 07:18 AM   #7
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The only reason I don't blackout is because I have a heavily planted tank I'm not willing to let go dark for extended periods.

Other than that, TankGirl's method works.

What are your phosphate levels?
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Old 12-14-2004, 11:22 AM   #8
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I don't have a way to measure that. Is that a source of algae nutrients that comes in tap water? Can it be eliminated/contolled if needed?

FYI...I wrapped the tank for 3 days and it had almost zero effect. So I am going to do a series of 20% water changes to dilute out the algae (and nutrients). Hopefully that will work.
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Old 12-14-2004, 02:21 PM   #9
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i have used the black out method sucessfully in the past, although i would be very nervous to try it on a planted tank. the fish just thought they were in alaska or something.
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Old 12-14-2004, 09:58 PM   #10
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wait.. if your nitrAtes = 0, your tank isn't cycled.
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Old 12-14-2004, 11:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deeni0z
wait.. if your nitrAtes = 0, your tank isn't cycled.
Well, let me elaborate... nitrates are very low.
My aquarium pharmaceuticals test kit doesn't have a high degree of resolution for nitrates. The color card goes from 0 to 5 with no increments in between. So, with water changes, I am reading essentially zero.

I did go through the ammonia and nitrite "spikes" before I got any real nitrates.
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Old 12-16-2004, 01:56 AM   #12
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I just had the worst case of green water.. I mean I couldnt see into the tank at all. I only saw the stingray when he was up against the glass.. I purchased the LifeGard 40 watt UV Sterilizer and let me tell you the best decision i have ever made. One night and you saw a drastic change. Two days and my tank is clear. So much light is coming into the tank my ray hides at some points... I have a coralife UV on my 75 gallon and this lifegard is on my 125 and it blows the doors off the turbo twist...
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