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Old 05-18-2003, 08:59 PM   #1
Pooks73
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hi all...i've got 2 questions that i was hoping to get some help on.

1. i have a horrible blue-green algae issue in one of my tanks. i know that erythromycin is the best way to get rid of it. but where do i get it from? isn't it a perscription med? or is there a aquatics version of it?

2. has anyone ever used phos-x to treat green water? my pea soup is starting to get to me, and that was suggest to me to fix the problem. i ordered my macro stuff, but i don't have it yet. what can i do to fix this until i can get my macros in order? shouldn't i fix this issue before i start doseing?
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Old 05-20-2003, 01:58 AM   #2
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I used AlgaeFix once on a fairly new tank and it worked but it was a very mild case in a tank that wasnt of much consequence, I was actually more curious then anything , However I wouldnt try it in any of my other tanks...these are temporary fixes that do more harm then good.

Using a filter such as a Diatom or similar filter does it most efficiently without threat to plants. The water will be clear as a crystal within 2 days and you can bet on that.

As far as feeding your plants goes you cannot put off feeding them , the plants still need nutrition.
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Old 05-20-2003, 05:25 AM   #3
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everyone suggests a diatom, but i just can't afford to get one. they're way too much money.

any other ideas as to how to fix this? i just tried a black out, but it seems to have done more damage to the fish than it did to help the gw problem.
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Old 05-20-2003, 01:52 PM   #4
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A blackout will not help a GW problem. You can do many large 90% water changes, it might help. But you need to find out the reason you had a GW attack. Treat the problem, not the symptom. Call around to the LFS, some of them rent diatom filters. The best ways to get rid of GW are either a diatom or a UV. But it will come back unless you have solved the thing that caused it in the first place.
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Old 05-20-2003, 03:53 PM   #5
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so how do i know what started it in the first place? i know that my ferts are off, when i get those up and going, will that solve the gw problem?
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Old 05-20-2003, 09:50 PM   #6
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I'm haveing the same problem in my tank.The 1st time my water became cloudy I did the 4 day lights out trick and it did clear the water but it was only temporary.One week later and its worse than ever.


I can't figure out what the cause is either and its driving me nuts.Here is what I know about my tank in case anyone sees something out of whack.

Nitrates according to my test is 20ppm.
Ammonia is currently zero or close and the same with nitrites.
The temp remains at 78`.
My Ph is 7 - Kh is 5 - GH is 10.
My lighting is supplied by 2 15W bulbs OD 4x wired in series.

Oh and the tank is only a 20 gal.


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Old 05-20-2003, 11:28 PM   #7
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Do you know your phosphate level?
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Old 05-21-2003, 02:01 AM   #8
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20 ppm of nitrates can cause your problem if your phosphates are low or your iron is low or your traces are low. And your CO2 levels are a bit low also.
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Old 05-21-2003, 02:41 AM   #9
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Blackouts do zippo to GW...

I have never liked or supported the blackout fix for any algae... algae is the lowest, hungriest, nastiest by-product of any deficiencies in our water quality. Whether it be nitrates , phosphates, etc.
These same algael conditions are evident even more so in mother natures own creations (like lakes or ponds) rather then our "replications" of them. Ever see a swimming area that has algae? The activity in a swimming area supplies enough water movement to upset algae's ability to take hold. How about this? Can you show me a stream that has algae buildup? Very rare...

Proper water movement and water replacement will not allow the algae to get hold of and take advantage of our water quality's inefficiency's.
In our tanks which are sealed environments, the water quality that is ideal for algae growth is simply recirculated through a "filter" and is sent back into the tank. Therefore the growth from algae (pieces, spores) is held in our filter systems unknowingly.

Filter Maintenance is key to eliminating or controlling algae growth...
You can do all the water changes you want, but without "removing" and rinsing the algae spores from our pads or media , then the filters themselves become algae warehouses just waiting for a change in our water quality to get hold.
Dont forget also that algae is tiny in size and not always visible to the eye...

That is where the efficiency of a Diatomaceous filter will wipe it out so quick... these filters take out the finest of particles and then we throw it out with a simple rinse of the filter... conventional filters like H.O.B's and canisters just simply cannot get the finest of particles out of the water and even when they do we might let it sit in there overnight or even a day or two due to our schedules...WRONG ANSWER... it will never go away like that :lol:

Heavy water changes and FILTER RINSING DAILY will remove your mess but it will take weeks... be sure though never to rinse pads or media in extreme temp water or chlorinated water as this will kill hurt the bacteria...

GW is easier to prevent then it is to fix but over time it can be beat...

I dont envy your problem right now...

Oh yeh.. and if you are adding Nitrates to the tank ... Stop It !
If you aint adding Nitrates then your plants just aint hungry, they should be depleting them if anything !
:?: Lights? Ferts? hmmm

Buck 8)
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Old 05-21-2003, 02:46 AM   #10
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My Phoshates levels I don't know because I can never find a test for it.I know that I never knowingly add any.I forgot to say my substrate is Onyx sand and thats the only iron source in there that I know of.I raised up my co2 just now a little bit so maybe that will help the plants grow faster.

My source for water is RO filtered from a machine.The local tap water here
is way to hard for me to use.

Do you guys think maybe I need more light also?



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Old 05-21-2003, 05:08 AM   #11
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Well my experiences differ a bit from some of the other posts, but like I've said a million times before, there are lots a successful ways to do things in this hobby. Treating GW can be frustrating but can be done easily if your follow directions precisely. Here's the blurb that I always give. And yes, without question the blackout works to rid GW if done as Tom Barr first recommended.

The situation that causes GW (Green Water) is usually a combination of high NO3, PO4, and mixed in some NH3/NH4+. Substrate disturbance is usually the culprit. What happens is the algae (GW form) will flourish off of the NH3/NH4+ and PO4. Remembering that algae can consume PO4 easier than plants because of their thin cell walls, the algae uses up the NH3/NH4+ and PO4, but it doesn't go away...because algae can quickly switch which nutrient it scavenges...it moves to NO3. So you can see why water changes will not rid a tank of GW. Nutrients can be reduced very low in GW and fairly quickly by the GW algaes, but they can scavenge other nutrients...iron and trace elements. So, it's very common for the GW to solve the situation that causes it to begin with, but that won't eliminate the GW, for the reasons I've allude to. Five methods exist to eliminate GW. Blackout, Diatom Filtering, UV Sterilization, Live Daphnia, and Chemical algaecides/flocculents. The first four cause no harm to fish, the fifth one does.

Method No. 1

The blackout means covering the tank for 4 days, no light whatsoever is allowed into the tank during this time. Cover the tank completely with blankets or black plastic trash bags. Be prepared, killing the algae will result in dead decaying algae that will decompose and pollute the water. Water changes are needed at the beginning and end of the blackout time and NH3 should be monitored also.


Method No.2

Diatom filters can usually be rented from your LFS. This is my preferred method. Personally, I use my Magnum 350 w/Micron Cartridge coated with diatom powder. Diatom filtering removes the algae and doesn't allow it to decay in the tank. You do have to check the filter often, if you have a really bad case of GW the filter can clog pretty quick. Just clean it and start it up again. Crystal clear water usually takes from a few minutes to a couple of hours.


Method No. 3

UV Sterilizers will kill free floating algaes. They also kill free floating parasites and bacteria. They also can be problematic for extended use in a planted tank, as they will cause the “breakdown” of some important nutrients. They are expensive and don't remove the decaying material from the tank, if you can afford to keep one they are handy to have around, though not as useful IMO as a diatom filter.



Method No. 4

Adding live daphnia to your tank. This can be a bit tricky. First you need to insure that you are not adding other "pests" along with the daphnia. Second, unless you can separate the daphnia from the fish, the fish will likely consume the daphnia before the daphnia can consume all the green water.



Met No. 5

I hate the last way, the flocculents stick to the gills of fish, while not killing them it does compromise their gill function for quite a while leaving them open for other maladies.
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Old 05-21-2003, 04:57 PM   #12
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okay so if i can find a diatom filter and get rid of the gw, how do i ensure that it won't come back? i'm still waiting on the macros, so i haven't started doing my ferts yet. but if the cause of gw is high NO3 and PO4, then should i be doseing that in the tank? right now i'm only running co2, and i seem to have high levels of certain things which is causing this issue.

i'm confused...
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Old 05-21-2003, 07:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooks73
okay so if i can find a diatom filter and get rid of the gw, how do i ensure that it won't come back? i'm still waiting on the macros, so i haven't started doing my ferts yet. but if the cause of gw is high NO3 and PO4, then should i be doseing that in the tank? right now i'm only running co2, and i seem to have high levels of certain things which is causing this issue.

i'm confused...
Okay here is my quote again:

Quote:
The situation that causes GW (Green Water) is usually a combination of high NO3, PO4, and mixed in some NH3/NH4+.
High NO3 and PO4 means it's way above the amounts we dose and maintain. For NO3 you want to shoot for a 5-15ppm range. PO4 you want to shoot for 0.1-0.5ppm, higher levels up to and above 1.0ppm in very high lighting. If your NO3 and/or PO4 levels are at or above those then you do not want to add any to the tank.

Even with levels that exceed to above amounts, green water will usually only show up if the is a sudden spike of ammonia/ammonium (NH3/NH4+). It's that NH3/NH4+ that really kicks off the GW. And as mentioned substrate disturbance or massive pruning can trigger a sudden albeit short lived NH3/NH4+ spike...often unnoticed by the aquarist.

You won't be confused about adding these nutrients once you understand the issue of balance. It is weighted to both sides of the equation. Too little of any of the N-P-K or traces and you'll have the tank out of balance. Too much of any of the N-P-K or traces and you'll have the tank out of balance. When either situation occurs then algal problems are likely to follow.
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Old 05-21-2003, 08:01 PM   #14
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okay so how do i know what my PO4 level is?

my NO3 level is about 5ppm as of two days ago. it hasn't fluxtuated at all really. the tank is very lightly stocked at the moment, so i don't really expect too much of a reading there.

the gravel was kicked up right before this happened, i did some moving around of driftwood. that probably was the culprit.
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Old 05-22-2003, 12:42 AM   #15
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One checks PO4 levels with a phosphate test kit.
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