Opionions Needed - Green Water or bacteria bloom? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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Opionions Needed - Green Water or bacteria bloom?

Added a whole bunch of new biomedia to my 2213 a week and half ago, after it being about 1/3full of media. Since then the tank has gotten ridiculously cloudy. Starting to think it might be green water... Here are some photos of the tank as it is today and a sample of my water in a six inch deep white container. Excuse the bad FTS, did this quick.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 02:03 AM
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I see what looks to be a reflection of a bright window in the tank -- start there.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
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The tank receives no sunlight, the reflection you see is on the opposing side of the room, and runs the course of that wall through the late afternoon.

I'm thinking this is a case of greenwater.

The tank is a month and half old, and up until this week I have been using a noon burst with a 65 watt CF coralife fixture. Quite unnecessary as the tank is lit with a 2 x 25w T5HO fixture which sits directly on the tank, running for 10 hours with the burst for 6. I've been getting away with it for a while, the glosso has loved it, but 115 watts is a lot for a 20g.

Perhaps with perfect C02 levels this would be possible, however I have a jenky old Azoo regulator with a crummy needle valve, adjustments are seldomly needed but i'd like to be able to never worry . . . a controller is out of my budget range for now so daily monitoring of the c02 levels is a wise idea. My bps has been reduced from 2 to 1 bubbles per second, with the removal of the noon burst.

With less light, the tank should of course require less c02. I've noticed a lower rate of nutrient uptake as well, when checking phosphates and nitrates today.

Will the greenwater fade away with every water change? I've been consistantly changing it every week with this set-up, 50% with 100% re-mineralized RO water with a gH of 4. Or will it take some treatment to get rid of, with either a uv unit or daphnia?

Ammonia and nitrites are both at zero.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
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Everything pearls on daily basis, so I've been under the impression c02 levels were more than sufficient, but with on lasting minor GSA development despite adequate phosphates I guess I should of figured the lighting was too high, and bound to cause further algae problems in the future. >_<
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 03:15 AM
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I only had green water once, and it took a uv to get rid of it. I definitely think that the 2 x T5HO is enough for your tank, what brand of fixture is it?

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 03:22 AM
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looks green to me.. what do u have for flow? green water is caused usually by, a lack of oxygen, flow, and or ammonia (ammonia being the #1 cause actually)

well established media will usually keep green water from ever happening. i have never personally been blessed with its grace just black algae

also if u have more than 2-3 ppm of phosphates AND it stays that high during the week while dosing. c02 will be ur factor of gsa
mine stays around 5-7 ppm and gsa will form if my c02 changes. i'd start by adding a little more c02

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 03:52 AM Thread Starter
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The brand of my T5 is Aqualife. The reflector is much wider than a coralife T5 I owned once which i see used by many here on these forums. I figure it's pretty decent.

It could very well be a lack of oxygen, I've ran an airstone over night several times, and noted that my drop checker gets almost as blue when I simply lift my spray bar out of the water a little. I believe the flow provided by my eheim 2213 is adequate. I have a Do! Aqua lilly pipe which is collecting dust... I believe the default eheim spray bar is great, and when set up to provide flow from when end to the other; does a decent job of moving the water evenly through the tank. My c02 diffusor is set up across and the bubbles don't have a chance of reaching the surface.

I don't believe I've had any ammonia for a while, haven't been testing regularly, however today's results as well as the last time's are both 0ppm.

Previous to filing the 2213, it only had the bio-media from my aquaclear that i was running before. I have since then added a box of eheim's Ehfisubstrat Pro, bringing the filter to it's capacity of media. So yeah, a lot of the media within my filter is new, could this be the culprit? Once it's established there shouldn't be any lack of beneficial bacteria .. since 90% of the filter is the ehfisubstrat Pro.

My phosphates will dip to around 1.5 before i dose, this was before I upped it and since then it's been over 2.0 consistently. Should I dose even more? is 5-7ppm beneficial?
I figured the excessive GSA was simply due to how much light i had, 115 watts, sitting on my tank, making it about 16" away.

Regardless, my glosso needs a serious trim, which brings up another concern. I'm afraid to go forth with an aggressive trim . . especially since I have reduced the light . . will the glosso grow back just as dense with merely the T5HO? It's super thick right now, and is now sending runners which have no where to go but on top of everything else. Tons of horizontal runners, no vertical growth as far as i can see..

I'll need some curved scissors to due the hacking I figure, yet another tool to collect hah.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 04:16 AM
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Looks to me like you have a pretty good handle on it. I have raised my phosphates to 3 or 3.5 ppm, and that does seem to help the GSA. I think your Glosso will do fine with the T5HO's, but I don't have any so i can't give any trimming advice.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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While I now know what the causes were, I need to choose a route of action. With some research, Diatomaceous Earth sounds like an appealing method. I'd rather not have to buy a magnum filter to use some.... are there any bags available on the market i could fill up and stuff in the top of my 2213 with some Diatomaceous Earth inside it?
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 08:04 PM
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the best method to handle green water is to go slow. change water, keep the media free of debris, change water, clean filter, change water, clean filter.
the green water (algae) is handling excess ammonia for you. plants love ammonia. algae even more so and rapidly reproduces when ammonia is present. i almost never change my filter media for that reason, bacterial colonies grow and change based on the needs of the ecosystem ur creating. i just rinse my media with used tank water... run an airstone EVERY NIGHT or raise the spray bar. the added benefits far outweigh the loss of c02. good surface agitation during the day and an airstone at night will go a long way to a healthy tank

its easy to increase the lvl of c02 in a tank
5 ppm PO4 isn't neccessary but it also means i wont go below 3 any given day
i'd shoot for 3 if i were you and raise c02 lvls a little bit

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice wolf. I have reduced the lighting and with consistant use of an airstone at night I hope to prevent it from getting worse. I'll rinse my bio-media with some tank water and make sure my filter pads are clean this weekend when i do the water change.

The plants seem to still be doing good despite the green water, after I bumped the bps to 1.5-2.0 yesterday, saw visible pearling by the end of the photoperiod.

Did more tests today; nitrite 0, ammonia, 0 and my phosphate test is reading a nice deep blue, around 2.0ppm, so i squirted a few more pumps of my phosphate solution to bump it up even more

I've been dosing about 2ml of iron a few times a week, should i stop doing this while the greenwater is present?
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 10:09 PM
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1 ppm of iron is more than sufficient for any sized tank done 3 times per week
if u dose GH booster it most likely comes with iron as well

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synaethetic View Post
While I now know what the causes were, I need to choose a route of action. With some research, Diatomaceous Earth sounds like an appealing method. I'd rather not have to buy a magnum filter to use some.... are there any bags available on the market i could fill up and stuff in the top of my 2213 with some Diatomaceous Earth inside it?
DE in a HOT Magnum cleaned up my one outbreak of GW. It's really fine and powder like. Any bag that could contain it probably isn't going to be very good at having water flow through.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-18-2012, 12:38 AM
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A UV filter should clear it up in a few days.

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