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Green Water...

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ok, so, i searched the forum before posting this, but, maybe I missed someone having the same issue, so, here it goes. I have an 80 gallon tank with sand, a bit of rock as a river bed and a few live plants. I was waiting to put more plants just cause i wanted to see how the few ones i do have end up.

the only problem i have been consistently having with the tank is that my water has a slight green tint to it. there is no algae on the glass. I had the water tested a while back and i was told there there seemed to be a little to much fecal matter in the water. i bought some enzymes were supposed to help, and they didnt do anything. i cant help to think that this could be something else causing this problem. i do about 1/3 water change every week on the tank.

any advice will be much appreciated. thanks in advance.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i have the tropic sun light (same thing was happening with marine glo), i have 16 small fish (5 cardinal tetra, 2 danio, 2 platty, 2 neon tetra, 1 angel, 3 catfish, 1 pleco), and a turtle. this tank has been set up for about 6 months now. i also put a home made co2 system on it a couple weeks ago hoping that it would help the plants grow quicker and maybe it would help the water, but, it didnt seem to do much.
 

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Well green water can mean too much light so you might try reducing your lighting either by turning off a bulb or by raising higher off the tank. How many bulbs/watts do you have? Turtles I have heard are very messy eaters so that might be causing the green water. You might need more filtration for them.

Also you could try using a UV sterilizer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
i have tried keeping the light off for a couple weeks before to see a difference, and nothing. it is just a standard 48" Tropic Sun light, and i have it on a timer to only be on 8 hours a day. as for the filtration, i have a really nice fluval 404 on it. it is supposed to be good up to 100 gallons. i was thinking of trying a UV sterilizer, but, they are pricy and havent been able to invest in one just yet.also, turtles are a bit dirty, but, i am sure that it is something i am doing wrong since my friend that had the turtle before, never had problems like this.

maybe i should get a test kit and test the water myself?

i am just getting frustrated since for 6 months i have had a small 2.5 gallon tank on my desk at work, and i have not done even one water change, and the water is still perfect. i simply add a little RO water every week when it gets a bit low, and that is it. i may just invest in a different filtration system and see what that works out too.

any other suggestions? also, thanks for trying to help. it seems so far that no matter who i talk to, everyone has the same suggestions, so, that is why i was told to come here. you are the first person to suggest the UV sterilizer, so, that already shows that you ust be more knowledgeable than most of the people i talk to. i only know about them cause of the fish store i go to.
 

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What are you feeding with? Could what you are using have a green dye in it? With an actual green water outbreak I had when setting up my 3g, I increased the photo period to cause it to run its course more quickly as well as doing massive water changes but that could get rough with an 80g tank.
 

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first of all i would love to know what kind of test kit they used to determine that there was too much fecal matter in your tank. sounds like a scam your lfs pulled on you to buy some products.

green water usually pops up when there is ammonia present with some bright light.

there are different solutions. you can use live daphnia, but your fish will prbably eat it all. there is some way of doing it with a willow branch that i've never tried so i cant recommend. you can pick up a uv sterilzer which will clear it up easily. and you could do a more natural 3 day blackout.

blackout consists of unplugging your lights. remove your co2 setup. do a large water change (50% or more). add a air stone. cover the tank with something dark like a quilt or black trashbags so that absolutely no light comes in. dont peak in the tank, dont even feed your fish or turtle. after 3 full days of having no light uncover and do another large water change (50% or more). and that should have solved your problem.

and obviously adding a uv sterilizer while doing the blackout would be a huge help
 

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i have the tropic sun light (same thing was happening with marine glo), i have 16 small fish (5 cardinal tetra, 2 danio, 2 platty, 2 neon tetra, 1 angel, 3 catfish, 1 pleco), and a turtle.

That's your problem.

I don't know of any species of turtle that would be appropriate for this type of setup.

IMO you either need to set up the tank for the fish and plants, or for the turtle.
 

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first of all i would love to know what kind of test kit they used to determine that there was too much fecal matter in your tank. sounds like a scam your lfs pulled on you to buy some products.
Surely you've herd of the API fecal matter test kit. :icon_lol:


Just kidding. I agree with timwag. What do you mean "too much fecal matter"? Ammonia is high? Nitrates are high?
 

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i have the tropic sun light (same thing was happening with marine glo), i have 16 small fish (5 cardinal tetra, 2 danio, 2 platty, 2 neon tetra, 1 angel, 3 catfish, 1 pleco), and a turtle. this tank has been set up for about 6 months now. i also put a home made co2 system on it a couple weeks ago hoping that it would help the plants grow quicker and maybe it would help the water, but, it didnt seem to do much.
A local fish store has a display tank that has an unusual fish+turtle setup that sounds like yours and from looking at it the LFS owner makes it work by using a lot of water hyacinth to soak up the organics. He was several of them the size of a large head of cabbage floating around in the tank and the tank is clean despite being overstocked.

If water hyacinth is illegal or you don't want to try it you could at least put duckweed in the tank. As a floating plant ALL of the nutrients it consumes are from the water and so this deprives the green algae of nutes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
i feed the turtle meal worms, so, no green dye there. as for the unusual setup, yes, it is a bit unusual, but, i know it can work cause my friend that passed away had the turtle with fish prior, and the tank was always clear. im certain that this is just user error on my end. i will try some of the suggested things though and let you all know how it turns out. thanks for the tips. :)
 

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UV sterilizer will knock out green water immediately. No need to do a blackout if you do that. A relatively small one will do a tank that size with no problems.

Green water's mostly a new tank thing, though. I had the worst green water when my tank was new,and it seemed to last a long time. I mean really green. Got a UV for $30 on ebay and (after a few days...the algae dies the first day but doesn't get stuck in the filter until several days later) the tank was clear as a bell. I left it connected--on a timer, running a few hours a day--because I thought it would be necessary.

Later I disconnected it permanently and haven't had a recurrence of green water since. I guess it just took a while for the tank ecosystem and plants to really take hold and outcompete. But the UV is amazingly effective to kill what green water you have now and doesn't have to be expensive.

I think water changes might help the algae as much as they hurt it. I did plenty of water changes when I was first battling green water and it always bounced back right away.
 
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