Green Water - Not algae - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 07:30 AM Thread Starter
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Green Water - Not algae

I have a mystery on my hands that I'm hoping someone here can help me solve.

I set up a new tank a few days ago and after the murk from disturbed MTS settled out, the water has a pale greenish tint to it. I have experienced green water algae in the past and am positive that is not what is causing this. The water is completely clear and doesn't have the visible floating particles and darker green color that I've seen with green water algae in the past. It is perfectly clear...just slightly green!

The water in the house is supplied by a well and water softener system. I have found references elsewhere to water being turned green by corroded copper pipes, but that can't be the case here because I filled a tank for leak testing(tank eventually failed during a rain storm) from a hose that is connected directly from the well before it goes through the water softener or any of the house plumbing and it also had this greenish tint.

There's no way the water could have leached copper or grown algae *inside* the well, so what could be causing this greenish tint?

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 07:41 AM
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green water can be anything from slightly cloudy to pea soup...

there are also loads of different types of free floating algae that cause green water from microscopic size to visible with the naked eye.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 09:44 AM
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Someone accidentally dumped some green koolaid into your tank?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 12:05 PM
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I suspect that you picked up some green tint from the substrata. I also think it's because it's a new tank setup.

I would filter the water using carbon. Be sure to wash the carbon first, and use if just long enough to clean up the tint. This should be 2 or 3 days. In cases like this I prefer carbon over media such as Purigen, since I think the carbon does a better job. Others may differ.

If that doesn't clean it up then I'd do large partial water changes, checking the new water to make sure it's not tinted.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 02:10 PM
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I will have to agree with daveK. It was probably the remnants of something in the substrate.

I had a paludarium that I used miracle grow in over a false bottom. Every so often Water would build up in the soil section and I would have to siphon it out from beneath the soil. It always came out blueish-green and reeking of death. The cause of the coloration, I came to believe, was an additive present in the miracle grow.

What did you use to create your MTS?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 02:20 PM
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Fine filter, Purigen and carbon!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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The MTS was made from some super cheap top soil from Home Depot. It was 99% sand and peat. Very little in the way of organics and no obvious fertilizers.



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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Just thought I'd update...a small amount of cloudiness cleared up and it turns out the water is in fact yellow, not greeen. I didn't strain the MTS so there was a very small amount of mulch (I'd say a tablespoon or two of mulch) left in which floated to the surface and I suspect it's tanins from there that are causing the discoloration.

Tossed a bag of purigen in the filter today and expect it should clear everything up shortly.
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