What is going wrong here? Overdue update!
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:10 PM   #1
Digital1
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Default What is going wrong here? Overdue update!

Update: Watch the video in 1080p, much better!
This is just an update on my tank. after setting up this tank in december 2012, I ran into diatoms algae and then green soup. After using a uv filter for about a week the tank cleared up. This iswhat it looks like now after a few months of running with no problems. I added the oto's to help clean up the brown algae. they are doing a great job!
Mr Aqua 33.6
Finnex ray 2 24"
Flourish ferts
Flourish sub
Fluval 305
topfin powerhead
Co2
Harlequin Rasbora
SAE
Oto
HC
Downoi
hair grass
Bacopa







Hello, all. I need some help understanding what is going on with my tank..I cant seem to keep the water clear. the only time I have clear water is after a 50% water change and only last a day or two then everything starts to turn green.

I started with a fish less cycle and that lasted all most two months. So the tank is about 3 months old now..

Tank info below:

Mr Aqua 33.6 24x18x18
one t5ho 24w 20" above substrate for 10hrs
two 36w compact 20" above substrate for 10hrs
injected co2
fluval 305
Flourite Black Sand
SEIRYU STONES

10 harlen rasboras
2 SAE
4 cherry shrimp
patches of HC
Giant hair grass
Downoi
Riccia
a few other plants i cant remember the names.


ammona 0ppm
nitrite 0ppm
nitrate 10ppm
ph 6.5
co2 drop checker is yellow/lime green

I dose seachem ferts (Flourish,Flourish Iron,Flourish Phosphorus,Flourish Nitrogen,Flourish Potassium, Flourish Excel, and 5 Flourish tabs were inserted) I follow the seachem dosing guide for a 30 gal tank. 50% water change weekly.

Thanks for looking and I would love any ideas you may have. My cats would love to see water cleared up so they can get back to staring at the fishes..
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Last edited by Digital1; 07-30-2013 at 12:40 AM.. Reason: added more info
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:35 PM   #2
Ed's Fish Tank
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Hi, OK, I'm just a noob at this, but know I could fix the problem if it was my tank.

Here's what I would do:

1. STOP all ferts.
2. Use LESS light! Remove the dimmer one. Looks like you have two there. As for light, the watts per gallon rule doesn't usually work so well any more. Base your lighting on PAR, PUR and LUMENS.
3. The filter should pump at least 200 gph min, like a Fluval 50. Clean it but first scrape the algae off the sides of the tank, etc. and let the filter take up all the green stuff.
4. Lower the light to say 8-9hrs a day.
5. Do water changes of 10gal every 4 days or so as to not shock the fish.
6. Use only a pinch of fish food, like Omega One Flakes. Only feed once a day. Some flake foods contain phosphates as preservatives. Check the Tetra label for phosphates!
7. Your pH is LOW, check your tap water for pH and if low or if you are using a water softener, then you might consider bypassing it somehow.
8. Setup and run an airstone ALL the time. Algae die off robs O2 from the water.
9. Whatever you do, don't use a water clarifier cause if the water does clear, you won't know what the real cause was.
10. After you do all the above, you might want to get an API Phosphate PO4 test kit. If you have high phosphates, which I suspect, then you can CUT them down easily by adding a second HOB fliter, like a Fluval 30 or 50 and pack it with API Ammo-Chips AND API Phos-Zorb.
11. You should also consider a power head to increase water flow, but heavy aeration might be enough.
12. You should also check the substrate for iron content. This will help the plants grow, so when things settle down and you have clear water, then you might not have to use so much ferts or CO2. Your plants are small and don't "really" need much now except the nitrates from the good bacteria.
13. When you do see plant growth, go easy on the ferts! (err on the side of less is more)
14. And whatever you do DON'T try to raise the pH with liquid chemicals! Shoot for a pH that's around 7.5. Then, the fish waste will naturally lower it. Then, you raise it back up again with WC's! Simple! The WC's alone should be enough to gradually raise the pH.

Presently, on my 37 gal, use two Fluval 50's. First is set up with Sponge, Bio-Max and Carbon. The second uses a Sponge, Ammo-Chips and Phos-Zorb pouches.

Good Luck! (I like your cats!)

Last edited by Ed's Fish Tank; 02-27-2013 at 11:43 PM.. Reason: Fixed typo and added info
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:13 AM   #3
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Ed, regrouping these according to category:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed's Fish Tank View Post
1. STOP all ferts.
5. Do water changes of 10gal every 4 days or so as to not shock the fish.
10. After you do all the above, you might want to get an API Phosphate PO4 test kit. If you have high phosphates, which I suspect, then you can CUT them down easily by adding a second HOB fliter, like a Fluval 30 or 50 and pack it with API Ammo-Chips AND API Phos-Zorb.
12. You should also check the substrate for iron content. This will help the plants grow, so when things settle down and you have clear water, then you might not have to use so much ferts or CO2. Your plants are small and don't "really" need much now except the nitrates from the good bacteria.
13. When you do see plant growth, go easy on the ferts! (err on the side of less is more)
I've noticed you recommending severe nutrient limitation in several of your recent posts, despite having been told by multiple folks that excess ferts don't cause algae. Let me see if I can explain this better.

I run a tank with 30ppm phosphate and I don't have green water, or other algae.

Yes, limiting phosphates to near zero will in fact reduce green water, by starving it out. It does need nutrients to grow, but nutrients are not what causes it to grow. If anything is responsible for that, it's an excess of organic wastes, rather than chemical ferts.

Reducing fertilization is therefore not addressing the cause. In fact, it's often counterproductive, because the plants may starve too. Limit any one of their nutrients and it limits their uptake of them all - including their ability to remove organic wastes, and prevent algae. Starve them enough and they start to decompose, actually becoming organic waste and actually encouraging algae growth.

It's absolutely no surprise you have a persistent diatom bloom in your tank, with your water nitrates levels at zero, your phosphate adsorbing resins, and nearly inert substrate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed's Fish Tank View Post
6. Use only a pinch of fish food, like Omega One Flakes. Only feed once a day. Some flake foods contain phosphates as preservatives. Check the Tetra label for phosphates!
All fish food contains phosphates. It's a natural and necessary component of food, without which fish would die. Some are higher than others, though that's really only an issue in non-planted and saltwater tanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed's Fish Tank View Post
7. Your pH is LOW, check your tap water for pH and if low or if you are using a water softener, then you might consider bypassing it somehow.
8. Setup and run an airstone ALL the time. Algae die off robs O2 from the water.
14. And whatever you do DON'T try to raise the pH with liquid chemicals! Shoot for a pH that's around 7.5. Then, the fish waste will naturally lower it. Then, you raise it back up again with WC's! Simple! The WC's alone should be enough to gradually raise the pH.
Digital1's tank has CO2 injection, which is lowering the pH, and is normal.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:09 AM   #4
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You have green water so reducing or stopping dosing would not do anything. Neither do water changes. Green water will last for a while and just go away on its own at some point if you have the patience. Or else, you can resort to these options: blackout, diatom filter, UV light, and Tetra algae control. I tried UV and Tetra for two of my tanks and they both worked. Good luck with it!

Did you move your tank around before?
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:33 AM   #5
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I would reduce the lights to 8hrs and possibly reduce the intensity (not sure what PAR you have at substrate).

If possible I would get more plants as well.
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:37 AM   #6
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+1 to Karce87. The light doesn't seem excessive, but temporarily reducing it may help this pass quicker, as will a sponge prefilter for the Fluval.

If it doesn't pass in a few weeks, or you're impatient, and you decide to use Tetra Algae Control (or AlgaeFix), use only 1/4 recommended dose. Turn off CO2, and aerate HEAVILY until the water significantly clears. Ed is right that a fast algae die-off depletes O2. If that doesn't knock it out, wait a few days and try again with 1/2 dose. A full dose isn't necessary for green water, and there's a possibility it may harm fish.
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:18 AM   #7
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Looks kinda like a bacterial bloom to me. Happened to me when my biowheel stopped spinning and all the bacteria died in there. I ran a couple air stones in my tank and lowered photoperiod and stopped co2 and it ran its course after about a week
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:52 PM   #8
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Hi DarkCobra, Thanks for the feedback info. Much appreciated. I think the lighting in my tank is on the low side so have added a small "bar" of LED's. The diatoms are no problem thou. From years past, have had all kinds of algae, now I know it's a "given" to have at least some sort of algae.

Thing is, I still don't have a phosphate test kit, so added the Phos-Zorb and Ammo-Chips on a hunch that my organics were building up too high. My 3 tanks have been going now for 3 months and water is crystal clear in all of them, plants are fine too and growing. The tap water I use does come from the St. John's River and there has been a lot of hub-bub about lawn fertilizer "run-off" and high phosphate levels in lots of streams, etc. So, I am experimenting some here, against the idea that the water company has left the phosphates in the water.

Thank You Very Much for taking the time to explain things in more depth than I could ever figure out on my own!

Last edited by Ed's Fish Tank; 02-28-2013 at 01:54 PM.. Reason: fix typo
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: What is going wrong here?

Thanks all for replying to my issues.. For now I just did a pwc and shorten the photo period. I'm going see what happens over the next few days and make adjustments if needed. The thing is my tank was doing great while fish less cycling and after I added the fish is when everything changed.. The only thing I changed was ferts, which I started half dosing because I did not want to over do it with new fish.. Maybe by half dosing I caused my plant growth to stall? Because they don't look thriving as before.. In fact they look dormant....

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Old 03-01-2013, 09:22 PM   #10
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You have Algae Bloom aka Green Water. It's relatively common in newer tanks and it does not harm fish. The amount of dis-information on this condition is abundant on the web...

Stop doing water changes - it will only prolong the bloom.
Adding an UV sterilizer will clear up the water in 2 - 3 days.
Leave everything as is sans water changes and it will go away by itself in about a week.

Once it's gone, the plants will bounce back.

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Old 03-01-2013, 10:43 PM   #11
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just a heads up, your fluval 305 will accept a "polishing pad" which will help. i also wouldn't worry about additional filtering or flow, the 305 is good for up to 70 gallons and pumps 260 gph. unless your tank is a lot larger than it looks, you should have plenty of filtering, unless all of your sponges are plugged (which doesn't seem likely with the tank being 3 months old)

a purigen pad might be helpful for future water clarity as well.
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:36 PM   #12
Digital1
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Default Re: What is going wrong here?

Thanks again to all who have stopped by..
Would a polishing pad affect the ferts I put in? I read that it would remove nitrogen and what not.. But at this point i have kept up my dosing and regiment, minus water changes as recommended and things are starting to look better..

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Old 03-03-2013, 08:13 PM   #13
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depends on your polishing pad some are chemically treated i.e carbon/zeo-carb/nitrate removed/phosphate remover, how ever I'm assuming Seuadr is just talking about polishing pad in the terms of fine filtering material meaning it has the ability to collect smaller particles in the water passing through it, I use quilt batting from (enter craft store name) 8 dollars for 25 yards.
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:44 AM   #14
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Updated OP, see video!
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Old 07-30-2013, 03:40 PM   #15
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i tend to look for more natural methods, ... while this is just theory, ... i get to test to see if clams will clear up greenwater, ... or keep it in check, first is to see if assassin snails will eat clams
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