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Old 03-19-2004, 03:55 PM   #1
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Help! Green foggy water?

When algae started growing in my tank, I just left it as I was planning on getting some otos. However, before I got them, the algae got so bad that the water turned a foggy green, and I could hardly see my fish. I put 4 otos in about 3 weeks ago, and there hasn't really been any improvement.

Ammonia and nitrites are at 0, and nitrates are less than 10. It's a 30 gal with 5 white clouds, 2 corys, and the otos. I had been doing 30% water changes once a week, but the last few weeks I increased it to 50%, trying to clear up the water. It looks better after a water change, but within a few days it starts getting pretty bad again. How can I get rid of it?

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Old 03-19-2004, 04:04 PM   #2
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Otos and other algae eaters will not eat free-floating algae. As you found out, water changes helps alleviate the situation temporarily. You need to find the source of the problem which is usually a combination of too much light and an excess of nutrients in the water.

If the tank is in direct sunlite, you will need to shade it somehow. Also, don't operate your tank light for more than 8 hrs per day - get a timer. Excess nutrients can be caused by overfeeeding or a sign that your gravel needs a good vacuuming. Use a gravel vac each time you do a water change (30 - 50% per week sounds just fine).

Rest assured that the green water itself is not harmful to your fish, but it is an early sign that something is out-of-balance in the tank.
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Old 03-19-2004, 06:32 PM   #3
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Wow, that sounds nasty! I agree with QTOFFER--find the source of the problem! Also, to help get rid of it faster--do more frequent water changes and definitely vacuum the gravel!
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Old 03-19-2004, 07:19 PM   #4
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I had a similar issue in my 55g. I did all the stuff they say to do; limited feedings, blocked out the lights, frequent water changes. Nothing worked. I finally used a diatom filter. Know what? It hasn't been a prob since.
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Old 03-19-2004, 09:43 PM   #5
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My tank does get some sunlight in the morning on one end. I'd really like to turn it so it the sun won't hit it, but that would involve at least a 75% water change. I have now (hopefully) blocked the sun from the tank. I have been trying to limit the time the light is on, but I guess I will limit it even further, and try doing water changes more often. I do vacuum the gravel every time I change the water, although I can't really see what I'm doing at the back of the tank. What is a diatom filter, and is it expensive?
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Old 03-19-2004, 10:45 PM   #6
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Its a type of filter which removes microscopic particles; uses diatomaceous earth. I got mine for around $65, but when I had the prob in the 55g I borrowed one from a friend (thanx madasafish!). Some lfs will rent them out too. They are also used to "polish" water (and make it crystal clear) and can be used to filter a tank but I think they're too loud for that. This is the one I have: http://www.bigalsonline.com/catalog/...tegory_id=1713
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Old 03-20-2004, 12:33 AM   #7
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Oh--that's what they are! I have seen them on sale up here, but could not figure out if they were for FW or SW. In any event, I didn't read the box I'll put that on my list of fish accessories I want.
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Old 03-21-2004, 02:06 AM   #8
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okay, so I developed the suspended algae problem a couple of months ago after a large water change and gravel vac. I mistook it for a cycle. The green water told me it was something different, though. I have been doing 20 percent water changes every other day, in conjunction with algae killer every third day (good idea with the algae chemical or no?). Now, after about 4 changes, I have noticed that the green has subsided and turned into a whitish haze in the tank (probably just diluted algae). Would it be a wise idea to do the blanket trick at this point? any other advice?
help is appreciated greatly!
Ryan
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Old 03-21-2004, 09:47 AM   #9
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What kind of filter are you using?
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Old 03-21-2004, 12:42 PM   #10
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As stated in my profile, I use a penguin biowheel (145gph, i think). I also recently added an undergravel filtration system. I started out by running it just with an air pump on both tubes via a splitter. The low power pump didn't seem like it was accomplishing much, so i added an Aqua 90 power head to one side and ran the other side with the full power from the old airpump. This seems to suffice. Needless to say, I have a lot of filtering going on...
At this point I am not using carbon, I took it out in congruence to some advice from a contact at the LFS (no carbon so that the algae killer will not be filtered).
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20 gallon Biowheel and undergravel (half pwrhead,half airpump)
1 glassfish (senior citizen, he's old)
5 head-taillight tetras
1 blue gourami
1 dwarf (peacock) gourami
1 gold gourami
1 pleco
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Old 03-21-2004, 12:49 PM   #11
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As stated in my profile, I use a penguin biowheel (145gph, i think). I also recently added an undergravel filtration system. I started out by running it just with an air pump on both tubes via a splitter. The low power pump didn't seem like it was accomplishing much, so i added an Aqua 90 power head to one side and ran the other side with the full power from the old airpump. This seems to suffice. Needless to say, I have a lot of filtering going on...
At this point I am not using carbon, I took it out in congruence to some advice from a contact at the LFS (no carbon so that the algae killer will not be filtered).
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20 gallon Biowheel and undergravel (half pwrhead,half airpump)
1 glassfish (senior citizen, he's old)
5 head-taillight tetras
1 blue gourami
1 dwarf (peacock) gourami
1 gold gourami
1 pleco
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Old 03-22-2004, 11:14 PM   #12
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Free-floating algae is similar to every other kind of algae in the way that it is proportionally-related to the nutrient content in the water. The free-floating type of algae is what is making your water similar to pea-soup in color. There are lots of algicides on the market, none of which I would advise, for one simple reason.

When there are large amounts of dead and decaying algae all at once it begins to overload the filtration system of your tank, contributing to the overall nutrient excess which is at the root of the algal outbreak to begin with, causing an inevitable rebound outbreak sometimes worse than the initial one, prompting more algicide, etc etc ... the algae/chemical cycle will cause stress for your fish, weakening their immune systems. Using algicides IMO is just never a good idea when dealing with this problem as it almost always represents a temporary solution.

The only sure way to decrease green and free-floating algae in our tanks is to decrease two things : Frequency/duration of lighting, and available nutrients. This can be done by increasing water change frequency and taking care to vacuum decaying food and waste products out of the substrate each and every water change. Dissolved and excess food products in your water is at the root of the problem, if you decrease these you will see an improvement in your algae outbreaks.

You might also consider getting some live plants for your tank if you don't already have them. They will out-compete the algae for available nutrients and improve water quality.

Hope this helps.
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