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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I took this photo yesterday, about 18 hours after setting up my tank - the water has only gotten greener/browner since then, I did a 25% WC today, and any benefit that gave me has disappeared by now. I haven't put a light or co2 on it yet, and no fish are inside either (currently cycling). Why the heck is the water green then? My gut says tannin, but it's a fairly green shade of brown, not that tea-brown shade.



Specs: ADA Amazonia Gen 1, Power Sand Advance, black lava rock and general driftwood I had soaked for about two weeks with water changes twice a day.
Plants: Dwarf baby tears, monte carlo, s. repens, crypt parvula, anubias nana mini, java moss and a mystery red plant they had at the fish store.
 

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If its green then its algae, the way to clean it up is a uv filter which will take about 2 to 4 days on a tank that big.

If its brown then its tannins and its definitely from the wood. I boil my wood for about an hour (turning over if its too big to submerge completely) and find it far superior to soaking.

If this tank is getting direct sunlight any part of the day that will dramatically increase your algae potential.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If its green then its algae, the way to clean it up is a uv filter which will take about 2 to 4 days on a tank that big.

If its brown then its tannins and its definitely from the wood. I boil my wood for about an hour (turning over if its too big to submerge completely) and find it far superior to soaking.

If this tank is getting direct sunlight any part of the day that will dramatically increase your algae potential.
See that's where my confusion comes from - it looks sort of like algae, but it was there pretty much immediately since I flooded the tank (within 30 minutes of filling the tank it was visible). The tank is in the corner of a windowless room, without a light on it yet. I'm wondering if there's some other green particulate that might arise when planting the tank, or maybe some weird sort of biological bloom? Or if tannins can look green?
 

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With aquasoil you should be doing at least 50% WC daily for the 1st week to avoid issues. Green water can come about very quickly with elevated ammonia levels. The tannins from the wood is nothing and if you do the recommended water changes the water will be much clearer. If it is green water than the best way to get rid of it, is a UV as mentioned by @minorhero
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Algae even without light? And is it not detrimental to cycling to be performing water changes so often early on? This is only my second tank, so I'm fairly new to all the troubleshooting.
 

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Algae even without light? And is it not detrimental to cycling to be performing water changes so often early on? This is only my second tank, so I'm fairly new to all the troubleshooting.
Are you getting any ambient light to the tank? If you are the algae is still possible. I don't think you understand the product your using. It releases a tremendous amount of ammonia, thus the need for daily water changes in the beginning. Changing water has pretty much nothing to do with a cycle, The bulk of Beneficial Bacteria is attached to surfaces and not free floating.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The only ambient light hitting the tank would be from lightbulbs in the room, on ~4 hours total during the day. I'll start with some daily 50% water changes and see if that has a solid effect, thanks for the input.
 

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Something else to consider is that the reason your water looks greenish to your eyes is that the lightbulbs in the room are not great in quality? If its tannins it should look brown like weak black tea. If you take some water and put it in a clean clear glass and bring it somewhere with direct sunlight (even overcast) does it still look green or is it brown?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
When I do water changes, I pour it into a porcelain sink - in there, I can see it's green. I think I'm going to start with the recommended water changes, and get my CO2 hooked up tomorrow when I can get my tank filled, then resort to UV if the algae gets worse.
 
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