Algae taking over - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-29-2002, 04:55 AM Thread Starter
 
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I need some suggestions!
My tank has been set up for a little over a month now and the algae is so thick in the water that you can't see the back of the tank.
I know it's not cycled yet , and I don't have enough plants yet. I'm just trying to get it rolling while I save the $$$ to order the plants that I want.
My ? is , should I keep changing the water to get rid of it or let the tank work it out?
I'm worried about the fish that I have in there, is it possible that the algae could kill them?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-29-2002, 05:02 AM
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HI there cblazer81 welcome to the board!

How big is the tank? How many fish do you have in there? How much lighting does you tank have?
I will be able to help better after you answer these questions but for now:

Since you have fish in right now and you are feeding them (hopefully ) you are adding food for the algae to grow off of. So what I would suggest doing is maybe 5-10% water changes every other day until the tank has cycled and then 10-15% after the tank has cycled until you get rid of the algae in your water.

I would also only turn the lights on for 3-4 everyday. This will help slow down the algae growth.

Nope don't worry your fish won't die (that is if they don't from being in an uncycled tank), they live in algae infested waters in their natural habitats anyway!

Kyle

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-29-2002, 05:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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Sorry, I forgot I was posting on a different board,and you didn't know the scoop.
It's a 35 gal.
substrate- crushed lava rock
-window screen
-flourite
lighting- 96 watt Hamilton w/ blue/? (can't remember specs right now)
Filter- bio-wheel 330
fish- 7 neon tetras
-1 pleco
we're going light on the food!
We have lost a few fish but that's why we're using the tetras right now, eventually we're planning to add-
-3 angels
-2 dwarf gouramis
-2 blue gouramis
-2 blackskirt tetras (?)
Have these fish in another tank right now and are plannint to move them once things settle down and after the plant selection is added.(the present plants we're found on sale at the LFS for a $1)
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-29-2002, 11:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by cblazer81
I need some suggestions!
My tank has been set up for a little over a month now and the algae is so thick in the water that you can't see the back of the tank.
I know it's not cycled yet , and I don't have enough plants yet. I'm just trying to get it rolling while I save the $$$ to order the plants that I want.
My ? is , should I keep changing the water to get rid of it or let the tank work it out?
I'm worried about the fish that I have in there, is it possible that the algae could kill them?
Changing to much water to often may may be the problem. give your biological filter a chance to form, fender is right; still perform changes just smaller!

Also I would wait until adding algae eaters such as otocinclus or any forms of plecos until the tank has been set up for another month or so. However I might consider adding algae eating shrimp, which eat a good amount of algae directly from the water.

Fender, this may very well be a stupid question, but how do you post reply without using a quote. The only option here is post reply with quote???

thanx cram
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-29-2002, 01:56 PM
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There are three buttons at the top of each post that say New Topic, New poll and post reply. Click on post reply to reply without quoting.

Kyle

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-29-2002, 11:09 PM
 
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I have helped lots of people with Green Water (GW) and have a sort of a canned reply. Read the below text and you'll see why you have GW, why changing water won't make it go away, and lastly how to get rid of it. It's important to note as Kyle already pointed out, GW will not harm your fish.

KEY:

NO3=NitRAtes
NH3/NH4+=ammonia/ammonium
PO4=Phosphates

The situation that causes GW (Green Water) is usually a combination of high NO3, PO4, and mixed in some NH3/NH4+. Substrate disturbance is usually the culprit. What happens is the algae (GW form) will flourish off of the NH3/NH4+ and PO4. Remembering that algae can consume PO4 easier than plants because of their thin cell walls, the algae uses up the NH3/NH4+ and PO4, but it doesn't go away...because algae can quickly switch which nutrient it scavenges...it moves to NO3. So you can see why water changes will not rid a tank of GW. Nutrients can be reduced very low in GW and fairly quickly by the GW algaes, but they can scavenge other nutrients...iron and trace elements. So, it's very common for the GW to solve the situation that causes it to begin with, but that won't eliminate the GW, for the reasons I've allude to. Four methods exist to eliminate GW. Blackout, Diatom Filtering, UV Sterilization, and Chemical algaecides/flocculents. The first three because no harm to fish, the third one does.

The blackout means covering the tank for 4 days, no light whatsoever is allowed into the tank during this time. Be prepared, killing the algae will result in dead decaying algae that will decompose and pollute the water. Water changes are needed at the end of the blackout time and NH3 should be monitored also.

Diatom filters can usually be rented from your LFS. This is my preferred method. Personally, I use my Magnum 350 w/Micron Cartridge coated with diatom powder. Diatom filtering removes the algae and doesn’t allow it to decay in the tank. You do have to check the filter often, if you have a really bad case of GW the filter and clog pretty quick. Just clean it and start it up again. Crystal clear water usually takes from a few minutes to a couple of hours.

UV Sterlizers will kill free floating algaes. They are expensive and don't remove the
decaying material from the tank, if you can afford to keep one they are handy to have around, though not as useful IMO as a diatom filter.

I hate the last way, the flocculents stick to the gills of fish, while not killing them it does compromise their gill function for quite a while leaving them open for other maladies.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-29-2002, 11:19 PM
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Thank you for the very thorough reply Steve! Did you write that yourself?

This might have been a fluke but once I had GW for about 4 days starting on Thursday and I usually do my water changes on Sunday. So I thought hey let's just wait until water change time and see what happens.

Well come Sunday and it was still there. So I did a water change and left it for 3 hours. When I came back it was gone!?! That was the only time I have had GW. Was it just pure dumb luck?

Kyle

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-29-2002, 11:49 PM
 
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Yes that my original work. LOL! It's probably littered with typos like most of my posts.

As far as your GW disappearing, that can happen as long as your change water is very very low in PO4. The reason most people don't find success changing water is the level of PO4 in their water source. You could eliminate GW by adding R/O water. Like all types of algae be it hair, GW, BBA, Green Spot, Brown, etc. there are hundreds of species of each type, all of which will adapt to conditions a bit differently. That's why ridding your tank of hair algae using a certain method works one time but doesn't phase what looks to be the same type algae another time or in someone elses tank.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-30-2002, 01:36 PM
 
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IMHO the easiest and cheapest way to get rid of GW is 50% waterchange > 3-4 day blackout >50% waterchange.

I use a Vortex diatomfilter anytime I get too much suspended matter in the watercolumn such as GW or when I replant, it works amazingly.

On a sidenote - neons and cardinals are not the best fish to cycle with as they are small and tender, however when you set up a new planted tank the plants usually keep levels of NH4, NO2 low enough to not harm the fish.
Good luck
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-30-2002, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by inxs
On a sidenote - neons and cardinals are not the best fish to cycle with as they are small and tender, however when you set up a new planted tank the plants usually keep levels of NH4, NO2 low enough to not harm the fish.
Good luck
I know it sounds bad but,
the neons were chosen for their "expendability",for lack of a better word.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-31-2002, 05:39 AM
 
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Well even if viewed as expandable they will not produce that much waste , hence a slow cycle.
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