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Old 01-09-2005, 12:20 PM   #1
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Cloudy green water in 2 year established tank.

The water in my tank is very cloudy and green tinted. This tank has been established for 2 years. No fish are dying or even look sick. This has been going on for a month now. I have done 4 vacuum water changes, 20% to 50% each time. I've used Proquatics water clarifier, Proquatics bacteria starter, and Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Algae Destroyer liquid several times, to no avail.

My tank is a 64 gallon freshwater with African Cichlids. Filtration is by Fluval 404 canister. Undergravel is accomplished with 2 powerheads.

I had some old driftwood in there that was breaking down. I removed it, but the problem persists. Please help! Running out of ideas!
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Old 01-09-2005, 12:29 PM   #2
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[center:d81f11e31a] Welcome to AA, hopalong_70!! [/center:d81f11e31a]
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I've used Proquatics water clarifier, Proquatics bacteria starter, and Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Algae Destroyer liquid several times, to no avail.
Stop using chemicals to treat your aquarium--this will get you on the right track! The only chemical you need is a dechlorinator.

What are your water parameters (ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate)?
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Old 01-09-2005, 12:43 PM   #3
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Amonia is non-existent. I've never used nitrite or nitrate testers, although I wouldn't be opposed to going out to my local shop this afternoon to pick one up if you recommend it.

Ph is 7.2, even though my local water is 8.0. Thats another reason why I took out the driftwood. I thought maybe that was what was bringing the ph down.

The only other chemical I use is Seachem Cichlid lake salt, but I havn't been using it since the green cloudy water has appeared. Do you recommed doing away with that as well?
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Old 01-09-2005, 12:52 PM   #4
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Ph is 7.2, even though my local water is 8.0. Thats another reason why I took out the driftwood. I thought maybe that was what was bringing the ph down.
The driftwood helps bring down pH and hardness. Also, as an aquarium ages, the pH lowers.
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The only other chemical I use is Seachem Cichlid lake salt, but I havn't been using it since the green cloudy water has appeared. Do you recommed doing away with that as well?
Some people really like it, but I personally do not use it with my Africans.
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I've never used nitrite or nitrate testers, although I wouldn't be opposed to going out to my local shop this afternoon to pick one up if you recommend it.
Definitely pick them up. Nitrite poisoning is just as dangerous as ammonia poisoning (I don't think that's what is going on, but in an emergency, it is a great test to have on hand). The nitrate test will tell us if there is too much nutrients in the water.
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Old 01-09-2005, 10:54 PM   #5
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Ok, I bought a nitrite and a nitrate tester today. Nitrite levels are next to nothing. Nitrate levels are almost off the charts at about 80 or more. I read that high nitrate levels will cause algea breakouts, which is what my tank looks like it's suffering from. I'll do 25% water changes every other day this week to see if it gets better.

Thanks for the help. I didn't even consider nitrates as the cause.
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Old 01-10-2005, 12:18 AM   #6
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I'll do 25% water changes every other day this week to see if it gets better.
You may have to keep up the PWC for a longer period of time since the nitrates are so high. Remember, you remove some, but they continue to increase between PWC.
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Old 01-10-2005, 04:23 AM   #7
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I had this problem as well and I couldn't figure out what to do. If you have the money, you can buy a magnum filter and do this-

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=13431

you don't even need the powder that is suggested.. it should clear up in a few days with just the filter

good luck!
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Old 01-10-2005, 05:00 AM   #8
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Im from Denton too!!! hehe sorry i just noticed that
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Old 01-10-2005, 05:17 PM   #9
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I also have this problem, but I think it is getting better.

I also have this problem, but I think it is getting better.

29 gal
Ammonia, and Nitrites are 0
Nitrates are less that 5 ppm.
pH 6.8

My water was very green, I had problems seeing the heater in the back! I did partial water changes, and it would temporarily dilute it, but it would spring back in about 2-3 days.

LFS advised me to set light to 4 hours. (it was at 9 hours as my basement doesn't get any significant sunlight.)

I also read that phophates can promote algae. So I bought a phosphate test kit and discovered that my tap water and tank had 2 ppm. Right now, I have some seachem phosphate absorbing filter media in my tank, and in combination with the reduced light, the tank seems to be recovering....slowly. The green isn't rebounding as fast, or to the extent it was after a water change. I imagine that it will need a few more weeks with 25% pwc every 5 days or so. We'll see.

FYI...I have fake plants. I've read that adding real plants is good, because they will take in and store nutrients, starving out the algae.

I'll try that next if all esle fails, but I will have to increase my light period.
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Old 01-10-2005, 05:21 PM   #10
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I've read that adding real plants is good, because they will take in and store nutrients, starving out the algae.
Absolutely.
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Old 01-10-2005, 09:16 PM   #11
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How long as it been since you've changed your light bulbs?

This might be of interest: http://www.marineland.com/articles/31Lighting.asp


" General Lighting Guidelines

A commonly asked question is: how long should the aquarium lights be on each day? Since most of the inhabitants and plants for aquariums come from the tropical regions of the world, it is best to mimic the day-length of this region. Length of daylight varies little seasonally in tropical areas. Generally, the light period is 12 hours with an intense period of 9 to 10 hours. Keeping lights on for over 10 to 12 hours per day is of no practical benefit and can cause algae blooms. It is best to buy an inexpensive timer and automate the light system.

Another common question is how long will the lamps last? Usually lamps should be changed before they actually stop emitting light. The reason is that the color spectrum of a lamp changes as the lamp ages. While the lamp may still light, it does not emit light of the original wavelength. A common problem is for the hobbyist to use a lamp until it no longer radiates light. Lamps should be changed at least once a year, but preferably every 6 to 8 months. If, for seemingly no reason, your aquarium starts to grow algae, think about when was your last lamp change? If it was over 6 to 8 months, consider that the lamp's spectrum may have shifted and the lamp needs changing.

The deeper an aquarium or the more particulate material in the water, the more light that is absorbed and/or scattered, so less reaches the gravel or tank bottom. This is an especially important consideration in plant and reef tanks. Consider adding an extra lamp for each 15" of tank height over 20".
"
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