Green water algae.
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:29 PM   #1
Kate6790
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Green water algae.


Hello all,

I was wondering if anyone knew ways to get rid of green water algae. I was reading about the black out method, but is this the only option? I have tetras, ottos, and ghost shrimp.
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:09 AM   #2
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UV sterilizer would knock it out. Also according to this website.....

http://www.guitarfish.org/algae

Small 5-10% water changes daily would work as well over the course of a week or two. They have a few other fixes like a diatom filter and putting daphnia in media bag but those may be a little more tricky. Hope that helps.
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:40 AM   #3
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Yep, I battled it for 2 weeks trying different things, bought a cheap uv light and it was completely gone in 2 days, clearer than its ever been. Water changes never worked for me, always turned green the next day.

Last edited by denske; 06-19-2013 at 12:41 AM.. Reason: Fix
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:24 AM   #4
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Black outs worked a couple times and didn't work a couple times. Allowing stem plants to cover the surface densely worked as did allowing floaters to build up.

Water changes never worked for me.

The very first super duper horrible case of GW I ever had was caused by a complete lack of nitrate in a bright CO2 enriched tank. I very gingerly added 1/2 tsp of 'stump killer' aka potassium nitrate each morning and the weeks long siege vanished in a couple days.

I used to worry every time I pulled up a stem plant grouping as GW always happened and I had to let the plants grow to the top and shade out the GW. Well I bought big sponges for my sump and haven't had GW since, been 18 months now. I know a planted tank is supposed to take out ammonia/ammonium fast but apparently my tank is just a bit too bright for that to work well and the added bacteria seem to help my system stay more stable.
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:34 AM   #5
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i bought a de filter when i got green water. expensive, but works like a charm.
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:18 AM   #6
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Well I tried the black out method and it worked.

I did a 20% water change before the blackout. No lights and covered with a blanket for 4 days. When I took the blanket off on the 4th day I did another 20 % water change. Everythings looking good now. Hopefully it won't come back.

Thanks for the help every one.
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:44 PM   #7
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I know you have sucessfully eradicated your GW issue but, for future reference..

My best recommendation is a micron filter pad (JBL SymecMicro) which WILL remove green water.

It's cheaper than using a diatom filter and UV steriliser, and more successful than a blackout. Stick the micron pad in the tank, give it a few hours and it'll start to clear - the next day, boom it's gone. But you've got to find out what caused the green water to prevent it from reoccurring.

Best of luck!
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:16 AM   #8
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I believe the cause is I dont have enough plants. I just started this tank maybe a month ago. Its 20 gallons. I used soil and sand substrate. For now I only have maybe 6 sword plants. I have more coming in on friday. Also before the black out I had about 4 watts per gallon for light. I now cut that in half untill the new plants come.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:27 PM   #9
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WPG is a useless measurement without knowing the tank size and lighting type, and even then, it's pretty weak as a ballpark.

60w of incandescent is significantly less light than say 15w of LED.

GWA is caused by an imbalance of nutrients, ie, too little CO2 and/or too much light for the amount of nutrients in the water. It is not cause by not having enough plants. Example, I have a simple goldfish tank that has ZERO plant life. No GWA.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:18 PM   #10
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well because I used a soil capped with sand substrate and have few plants there would be excess nutrients in the water causing GWA. Therefore i ordered more plants.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:29 PM   #11
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Ammonia and high organics coupled with high light seems to trigger its appearance for me.

Increasing amount of plants help in most cases of algae, not just GW. In tanks with very high light, I used floating plants both as a nutrient sponge as well as shading off the light partially until GW is gone. I maintain CO2 and nitrate levels, and temporarily stop phosphate dosing. This has worked for scenarios where I get GW so far.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:41 PM   #12
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With high plant mass and a cycled tank, I couldn't get it to go away for about a month. Threw a 10W in-line UV sterilizer from AquaTop on it (Eheim 2213, 30cm cube tank) yesterday and in a little over 24 hours all that's left is a little bit of residual cloudiness that's about to be water changed. Got tired of looking at the crap.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:02 PM   #13
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That is where I was. Constant annoying haze to green tint. Big sponges and no more GW. That was easy for me to do as I have a sump, be harder for somebody with a canister and a fixes space for filter media.
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