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Old 05-15-2004, 07:24 AM   #1
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Orange water in tank problem

Please advise on the water problem I seem to have. I replaced 25% of the water (180L tank) last weekend and the water colour was OK. It always seems to change to orange/brown in a few days. There doesn't seem to be an algae problem - nothing is coating the stones/glass. The water quality tests are fine. I have a smaller tank in my classroom and the the filter is simple but the water is very clear. What is the problem? Thanks in advance. John
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Old 05-15-2004, 07:46 AM   #2
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normally pinkinsh and orange water are signs of a slightly oilder tanks and a good amount of nitrAtes are present. It is not harmful to the fish if a good water change schedule is being maintained adn the nitrAtes are kept a minimum of below 40.


Here is an example of common water quality culprits:
Observation Probable organism
Gold or brown mat on bottom ............................Diatoms
Dark green mat with bluish coat (looks black) ....Cyanobacteria
Thin grass green threads.................................. Green Algae
Green spherical net of threads......................... Green Algae
Uniformly green water...................................... Green Algae
Pink water (as in standing water/water tanks/bird baths and artificial ponds)....................... Flagellated algae
reddish orange.....planktons and micro crustraceans etc
Slimy, colorless patches on bottom..................... Protozoans
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Old 05-15-2004, 08:22 AM   #3
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Also in my case it was this:
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewto...964&highlight=


My soft water tank keeps a rather orange tinted lipton look though the clarity is crystal. if it gets cloudy it is always a nitrate climb at this point of the tank life.

HTH

you may want to use search for topics on "cloudy water" "red water" "pink water""milky water" and smelly water

Test Your Water with Your Nose. Good water in your fish's home has a characteristic smell. It smells very much like humus or fresh mown grass.
But water that is cloudy or foamy with the wrong particulates smells like an egg fart; fishy; like garlic or cigar smoke. Smell can be an important clue in helping to decide whether the water is good for fish or not good. If in doubt, the water each day in increments of 50% or less(depending on how old the tank os adn if you treat it for ph changing), until the water quality looks and smells good again.
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Old 05-15-2004, 02:21 PM   #4
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If you have any wood in the tank, this could be the cause. Wood leaches tannins, and colors the water a brown/orange color. Most of my tanks have this appearance, as I love the look of driftwood.
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Old 05-15-2004, 02:24 PM   #5
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Driftwood

Yes, I have two pieces of wood in the aquarium. They were boiled before I put them in to hopefully remove the colours. Any advice? Will I always have this colour or will it fade gradually? Or is there something to counteract the colour. Thanks. John
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Old 05-15-2004, 03:10 PM   #6
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Heh! I didn't think of wood as a "problem" .. I am working hard to GET my tanks that way for my blackwater lovers...hahahaa
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Old 05-15-2004, 03:14 PM   #7
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Well, over time the effect will become less noticeable. But, the truth is that boiling does little to get out all of the tannins in the wood. The tannins are not toxic to the fish in any concentration you could produce with wood in a tank, so there's no worry about safety.

However, I will say that some ppl think this is a very desireable coloration. If you have nice lighting, the tank can look quite spectacular with "black water" (its extreme form: dissolved organics give the water a black tint from the banks of rivers).

The only thing you could do to completely reverse this process is get rid of the wood. That'd be a shame, of course. Personally, I don't think it's anything to worry about.
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Old 05-15-2004, 03:51 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by madasafish
But, the truth is that boiling does little to get out all of the tannins in the wood.
Boiling removed ALL tannins from my drift wood. Boiling for 30 minutes doesn't do it though...I had to boil mine for several hours. Before boiling soaking the wood overnight yielded colored water. After boiling (the water in the pot was extremely dark) I have yet to see any coloration in my tank.
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Old 05-16-2004, 06:48 AM   #9
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Thanks for all your advice. The wood certainly looks beautiful and most importantly the fish love darting around it, especially my two Plecos. I won't be taking it out. It's good to know that the tanins will not harm the fish. Thanks again, John
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