New ferts: green water - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 04:08 AM Thread Starter
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New ferts: green water

Hi all;

I have an 80g high tech tank. It's been established for a while now (several months). Never had a problem with algae; also never ran ferts.

Its 2.7w/g t5ho, pressurized co2 (w/ drop check), 8hr light cycle. My tank is heavily planted with vals, cabomba, hc, various swords, moneywort, just to name an few. My soil is barren.

I do weekly water changes to keep the TDS in check

Two weeks ago I bought root medic complete. I've been dosing with the macro/micro liquid 3x week since, and yesterday I just planted 25 root tabs.

Since the root tabs went in, water clouded up, and today I have green water. I assume this is just the new nutrients, and I should just wait it out until the plants get used to it.

What do you think? Should I do a WC and loose the liquid dosing?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 05:09 AM
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Green water is the result of an ammonia spike. I think the RM caps use a type of ammonium for the N in them. You may have planted too many or maybe you disturbed the substrate and this released the ammonia into the water column causing the GW.


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 06:41 AM Thread Starter
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I've never heard green water algae feeds on ammonia before. That is really significant, where did you learn that?

I'll do an ammo test.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
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Ammo @ 0ppm
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 02:36 PM
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The green water probably ate up the ammonia already. Once it gets a start it can keep going just fine with no ammonia.

I think it was more likely the disturbing of the substrate that started it off than the capsules leaking.

Right now my tank looks clear but there is a green tint. For ages it definitely had green water and I suspect it is still lurking. Perhaps there was a goodly colony of the algae that creates this issue and the small amount of ammonia released caused a bloom.

When GW becomes an issue I shade the tank, allow floaters to build up and review my dosing. I wasn't dosing enough micros and apparently my moderately hard water needs hardness booster. I rinse out all four sponges in the tank in tank water at water changes and vacuuming the surface lightly removes a lot of organic matter my system doesn't need. You might use a prefilter sponge on the filter intake, rinse weekly and go over the substrate lightly with the siphon during water changes to get some organics out of the tank.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justinkscott View Post
I've never heard green water algae feeds on ammonia before. That is really significant, where did you learn that?

I'll do an ammo test.
Its pretty common knowledge. What happens is that you get an ammonia spike (usually indicated by a white cloudiness in the water) then over the course of the next couple days the water begins to turn more and more green.

This is my favorite algae guide for planted tanks. You should favorite/book mark it, I use it all the time.

http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/algae.htm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathyy View Post
The green water probably ate up the ammonia already. Once it gets a start it can keep going just fine with no ammonia.

I think it was more likely the disturbing of the substrate that started it off than the capsules leaking.

Right now my tank looks clear but there is a green tint. For ages it definitely had green water and I suspect it is still lurking. Perhaps there was a goodly colony of the algae that creates this issue and the small amount of ammonia released caused a bloom.

When GW becomes an issue I shade the tank, allow floaters to build up and review my dosing. I wasn't dosing enough micros and apparently my moderately hard water needs hardness booster. I rinse out all four sponges in the tank in tank water at water changes and vacuuming the surface lightly removes a lot of organic matter my system doesn't need. You might use a prefilter sponge on the filter intake, rinse weekly and go over the substrate lightly with the siphon during water changes to get some organics out of the tank.
Correct. GW usually eats up the Ammonia pretty quickly and can certainly survive just fine without it in the tank/showing up on test kits. IME, the only way to rid yourself completely of GW is using a UV sterilizer. I had GW outbreaks frequently in the past (due to me having such a low pH but that's for another thread) and since I keep demanding plants a blackout was completely out of the question. Even though I have tried black outs for as long as a week with the tank completely in the dark and still the GW persisted.

With the UV on there within a day or so you can see the water turn from pea soup to more white then in about 3-5 days the water is crystal clear. I think every hobbiest should have an in tank UV sterilizer available to them. They are very handy in many situations.


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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 02:57 PM
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The only time Ive had green water was when I disturbed to much of the substrate at one time. It happened to me three times. I've finally learned not to disturb more than 25 % of the substrate at any given time. Then, make sure to do a 50% water change afterwords to minimize any ammonia build up.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 03:05 PM
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The only time Ive had green water was when I disturbed to much of the substrate at one time. It happened to me three times. I've finally learned not to disturb more than 25 % of the substrate at any given time. Then, make sure to do a 50% water change afterwords to minimize any ammonia build up.
Yes, when the sub is disturbed there can be a release of a good amount of natural decomposing organics and other nutrient sources. If you use fert tabs (especially any that have a N source) this can compound the issue even more so.

When I was setting up my 60-p I put root tabs in the sub that contain N pretty heavily. I am also a person that cannot keep their arms out of the tank messing with stuff so substrate disturbance is almost a daily occurrence with me. I never had any GW outbreaks in this tank (I think that is because I have a silly amount of bio filtration) but my N readings were in the 60-100 ppm area for the first 4-5 months after adding water! The plants were very happy to say the least.


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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Ok; so what should I do?

In a non planted tank, I'd say big WC. But do those rules apply in a planted? Shouldn't I just keep to my schedule & let the plants take care of it?
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 03:17 AM
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No, you need to get a uv sterilizer if you want to rid yourself of it 100%. If you do not have sensitive plants you can try a blackout for 5-7 days but they have never dine anything fiorme but kill my plants.


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 04:37 AM Thread Starter
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Uv can't be the only way. Isn't there another way to approach this? I'd rather learn whats causing it and tune it away.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 12:12 PM
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It really is.

Also I thought that your substrate ferts were the issue?


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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 12:46 PM
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Get the excessive organics out by vacuuming the very surface of the substrate to remove new fish poop and bits of dead leaves, use a prefilter sponge that you can rinse often and do large regular water changes.

Dimming the light with floaters or screen helps as well. Reduce the lighting period to maybe 7-8 hours a day. I suspect having the window blind open in the morning this summer didn't help, keep room dim when lights are off? Both last year and this year we had cool and even cloudy mornings during the summer which is extremely unusual and both years GW showed up as the blind was often up in the morning.

Make good and sure you are giving the plants the NPK+micros they need. My first monster GW siege was cured by adding nitrate. I think you have that covered for now.

Another time I let the floaters pile up so practically no light entered the tank.

Black outs might work but some plants do poorly.

Oh, I tend to think I have GW and it turns out the tank pane needs scraping. I haven't been getting the easy to spot GSA lately, the stuff growing now is harder to see!

My tank is looking really clear now, no UV ever used on it. This time I needed more nitrate and micros and to rinse all the sponges weekly.

GW is a nuisance but it is less an eyesore than most other alga and it seems to out compete some kinds. If GW is present I tend to have very little GSA for instance.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-17-2011, 03:19 AM Thread Starter
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Just following up. I decided to keep with my schedule. The plants seem to have compensated and the water is clear again! Yeah!
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