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WheeledGoat 03-29-2013 04:08 PM

green water?
I'll be the first to admit my tank is out-of-whack right now. The 3-legged stool that is ferts-co2-light is falling over.

I'm in the process of putting all the pieces together for what will be regarded as a "hi-tech" planted aquarium.

:proud: I've had my Marineland Aquatic Plant LED on there for a few weeks (my review here).

:proud: Started doing substrate tabs this past week (Aquafertz total & trace). Thinking about adding the occasional water column fertz, but gonna take it slow.

:proud: And the remaining parts needed for pressurized co2 are in shipping transit.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my water is getting green. I've stepped up water changes and started hitting the tank with some Fourish Excel, as well as keeping closer tabs on water parameters.

I'm guessing that it's an algae bloom of some sort, floating in the water making it green? It's not terribly noticable or over the top (until I drain into a white bucket), and there's nothing visible on the glass or aquarium contents (well, a little on the driftwood). Perhaps the pleco and snail are helping with the surfaces.

Any thoughts? Anything else I should be doing? My current plan is to ride it out with water changes until I get my co2 up and running - but I'm still curious as to whether I'm right about why my water is green, and if anybody else has some ideas...

ADJAquariums 03-29-2013 04:10 PM

green water is excess nutrients in the water column that has caused an algae bloom, It's farily common to see and just takes some water changes and something that will take the nutrients out of the water column, plants that float do a good job at that.

WheeledGoat 03-29-2013 04:29 PM

Wow, that's crazy... cause I've never added nutrients to the water column, and this tank has been established for many years (I'm only now getting into the plant thing). My substrate is plain old gravel. And the green water started after I added the light, but before I started with the substrate tabs.

(flourish excel isn't nutrient, is it?)

thanks for the info, though - gives me something to work with!

gSTiTcH 03-29-2013 05:27 PM

If it were me, I would cut the photo period in half at least and reduce fertilization until you have the materials for the third 'leg' of the plant stool.

WheeledGoat 03-29-2013 06:07 PM

Why didn't I think of that? Bumms me out a little, though - I used to run a 20w fluorescent 24/7 (lots consider that bad, I know. I've stopped). With this aquatic LED it's only on 8hr/day... and now i'm going to 4? boohooo

c'mon ups man! daddy needs his needle valve and solenoid!!

ADJAquariums 03-29-2013 09:33 PM

fish waste can also contribute to the nutrients in the water colums, I think the root tabs may also leach nutrients but im not sure on that, nothing to worry about though, cutting the photo period in half really only needs to be temporary, you can slowly raise the time it's on when your problem goes away, and if it comes back then consider keeping it reduced. Correct me if i'm wrong there

WheeledGoat 03-30-2013 01:05 PM

after thinking on it, i'm not going to change my light period as things stand now. it's good advice, and I'll do it if my problem worsens - but as it is, twice weekly 25% water changes keep the tank looking good. the water's not *crystal* clear, but i'm not ashamed to have people over or anything.

it'll actually be interesting to keep all parameters the same and then hook up the co2 and see if that, by itself, stabilizes everything! in theory i should be good at that point. might be late next week, though - all my parts are shipped except fabco in florida. doesn't even look like they've processed or shipped my order, 3 days after placing it. hmmmm. they sure processed my credit card quick enough. :icon_roll

Kathyy 03-30-2013 02:20 PM

My plants hit the wall at 6.5 hours of light a day, depending on what plants you have you may be better off shading the tank and leaving the lighting period at more like 8 hours a day. Bit of window screen or raise the light will reduce the intensity of your new light.

My GW was related to no nitrate with lots of CO2 and light the first epic bout and the rest of my episodes were after disturbing the tank which likely released some ammonia and my filter wasn't up to the task. I could get rid of the GW by allowing the floaters and stems to build up on the surface to dim the light but until I got much better bio filtration it always returned.

You might prune any dying leaves, vacuum the substrate to get debris off the surface and rinse out the filter media too. A long established tank has more organic matter than it really needs, take some out.

Aquatic Delight 03-30-2013 02:21 PM

send me some of that green water! lol i've got plenty of filter feeders that would love to have some

CrypticLifeStyle 03-30-2013 04:00 PM

If you have a way to test phosphates check that. A uv is amazing in keeping that from happening in the future.

thenameless 03-30-2013 04:20 PM

in my case it was too much light from sunshine...just added some curtains and few water changes and everything was back to normal

WheeledGoat 03-31-2013 03:56 PM

i just got my phos test kit yesterday! took a reading this morning - it's around 2ppm. I'm gonna have to read up on exactly what that means and where I wanna be and what to do about it.

UV light in freshwater? wow... this planted tank rabbit hole gets pretty deep, eh??

thanks for the comments!

AlyeskaGirl 03-31-2013 10:23 PM


Originally Posted by WheeledGoat (Post 2991018)
i just got my phos test kit yesterday! took a reading this morning - it's around 2ppm. I'm gonna have to read up on exactly what that means and where I wanna be and what to do about it.

UV light in freshwater? wow... this planted tank rabbit hole gets pretty deep, eh??

thanks for the comments!

Phosphates do not cause algae. That is not the problem. That is a good reading actually. PO4 is a necessary macro nutrient for plants.

You've got an imbalance like you said between light, co2 and fertz. Too much light could be the culprit. But I am not familiar with the LED fixture you have.

I had a persistent algae bloom in my tank and I couldn't figure out the cause and then I did. It was from excess nutrients; iron in my case. UV Sterilizer took care of it and never to return again after decreasing my Micro dosage.

dtejeda.arias 03-31-2013 10:27 PM

... Jealous ... I want green water :(. Do you have the tank place on direct sunlight?

WheeledGoat 04-01-2013 01:02 AM

nope, no sunlight whatsoever, just the Marineland Aquatic Plant 24" @ 8hr / day... and every single one of my plants have new growth all over (moneywort, hairgrass, crypt, amazon swords, java moss, and another that I forgot/don't know the name - has long stems, medium width long leaves and has a spikey-ball looking thing in the middle of the flowers).

thanks for the info on phosphates. I also added a nitrate test kit to my arsenal yesterday (in addition to the standard ph, kh, ammonia, nitrite, and gh freshwater array). it's not necessary to be able to test copper and other traces, is it??

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