green water.......still
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Old 07-11-2003, 03:14 PM   #1
firefish44
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HI folks, Looking again to vent and hopefully get input on green water/cloudy water control in my planted tank. Running for about 4 months now, a 55g heavily planted with the following specs:
approx 4" flourlite/playsand combo substrate (followed Buckmans idea)
lighting: 40W NO GE planta/aquarium bulb, 10 hrs/day
110w PC 6700K, 8 hrs/day
Filter: FILSTAR, XP2...with usual sponges, biostars, ect.

pH holding around 6.8, temp 78-84, depending on weather, 0 ammonia, nitrate,nitrite 0, but also 0 to 1 kH and gH (which I know is low.....although plants look fine) Seachem Flourish additive as recommended.

Fish: low stocked, small assorted tetras, danios, gourami, & cory cats...some ottos for algea (which is nil, except for the green water.

I had really hoped that upgrading to the filstar cannister filter from the aquaclear300 would help....but no. Weekly 40-50% H20 changes and 48-72 hour periods of blacking out the tank help, but it only lasts 2-3 days, then clouds up green again. Everything else is looking and doing well, it's just so disappointing to look at all that beauty through the green haze :x
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Old 07-11-2003, 03:31 PM   #2
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Can you turn off the 40 watt while you work on this? There is a point at which green water can be dangerous to the fish due to O2 consumption during the night.


When did the symptoms start?

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Old 07-11-2003, 03:33 PM   #3
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Last time I had GW I bought a UV sterilizer and haven't seen it since. I have it on a timer to run 2 hrs. per day. It does get rid of GW and has other benefits also like killing water born pathogens.

I've also read that a diatom filter will get rid of it but for me the UV unit is much more convenient.
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Old 07-11-2003, 04:09 PM   #4
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As I mentioned in another thread, I am convinced you can battle GW with patience.

Have you tried this:

NO water changes
NO black outs
NO other changes

Be patient for 8-10 days... I think the trick here is that water changes actually supply the GW algae with more nutrients, and thinking you can "thin" them out is ... uh wrong.

As suggested, UV and diatom filters etc kill them and filter them out, but they might come back anytime, while if you go through that "stage" and let them commit suicide on their own your tank might not see them anymore.

Give it a try... good luck...
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Old 07-11-2003, 04:10 PM   #5
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Yes, both sets of light are on independet timers..turn off the 40?, not the 110? Just curious where yuor going w/this. The symptoms started about 2weeks after the tank was created, at 1st i just assumed it was normal cycling...but 4 months later?
I have heard of success with the UV sterilizers, and will go there as a last resort, but was hoping to keep things as low tech as possible.
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Old 07-11-2003, 04:13 PM   #6
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wasserpest....I agree about letting nature take it's course. I did leave the tank alone for 15 days..I was gone on vaca. No changes, no food, no one home....Only the 40w light on for 6 hrs a day. Came home to green cloud and sad looking plants, which have bounced back.
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Old 07-11-2003, 04:14 PM   #7
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Okay, I didn't realize you are looking at pea soup for 4 months already...

I am sorry for you... and glad my tap water is hard and full of fertilizer...
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Old 07-11-2003, 04:26 PM   #8
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Dunno where you are but I've heard that there are LFS's that rent UV units. None of the ones in my neck of the woods even know what a UV sterlizer is much less have one for rent but YMMV depending on where you are.
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Old 07-11-2003, 04:41 PM   #9
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If you want to clean up the aquarium quicker, I would use a diatomic filter. Even if you do use a UV sterilizer, I would couple that with a diatomic filter. After running the UV, the diatomic filter will do the best job possilbe at removing the algae that has been killed by the UV sterilizer. check and see if your LFS will rent you one.

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Old 07-11-2003, 04:46 PM   #10
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Turning off the 40 w takes you down to 2.0 wpg which is reasonable, and ought to slow the growth of all plants to perhaps let you catch up.

Adding a lot of light with no nutrition is a recipe for algae. do you have any root tabs or similar in the substrate?
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Old 07-11-2003, 06:46 PM   #11
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I battled Green water for almost two months before beating it by doing the following:

Diatomed the tank so that it was crystal clear
Upgraded to an XP2
STOPPED all water changes and fertilizing
The green water came back after a week but much less than original. Diatomed the tank again.
After about 2 weeks the water was clear and I slowly went back to water changes (5% 1st week, 10% the next week, and so on)

My plants took off and it has not been back since. If this theory doesn’t work I would think you have some kind of nutrients leaking into the water column. I would suspect fertilizer tabs that are not buried deep enough. Hope that helps.
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Old 09-05-2003, 04:02 PM   #12
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OK, i have done all things concievable to end this green water, from leaving things alone and letting nature take it's course, to doing frequent 90% h2o changes, to using only RO/DI water, to a 14 day blackout (to which I lost a lot of plants)..ect. From the input I have recived in this forum and others, I'm going to try a DIATOM filter. I can't rent one around here so I'm looking to buy one. Any suggestions on brands?
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Old 09-05-2003, 04:11 PM   #13
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Vortex is the best but can be a royal PITA to charge and prime. Marineland Magnum works well as a diatom filter and will also work as a general type filter also.
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Old 09-05-2003, 04:35 PM   #14
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I'm currently running a FILSTAR XP2 as a filter, any way that can be modified to diatom. earth?
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Old 09-05-2003, 05:03 PM   #15
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Dunno about the Filstar. Maybe Rex will chime in. He's the Filstar expert.
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