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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Yes, I have read about every post I can find about the cycle. I had the cycle. The cycle worked for me. Twice this year I had to leave for extended time frames and I used feeding pyramids. Lesson learned. Afterward I had a green water bloom. I started doing massive water changes. The last trip was in September. After two months of this, I went to the LFS and he said I was crashing the tank. 10% a week, so I did. I have tested the water for two weeks. 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 0 nitrates, 0 phosphates. Lights on 12 hours a day, plants doing great. I stopped CO2 injection a week ago and started injecting Seachem Stability. At this point I am close to throwing the plants out, changing all the water and starting over. From Feb (tank setup) until July it was CRYSTAL clear. Gorgeous. I have five platties, and three neons. The tank is so cloudy at some point one of the platties 1) got pregnant, 2) gave birth, and 3) the fry survived undetected. The water doesn't smell.

 

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Could you tell us more about your tank?

Specifically, its dimensions.

What kind of lighting are you using? Could you give us details about the brand, style/type, bulb size, length, etc? How many inches from your substrate is the fixture placed? 12 hours is a long photoperiod regardless of fixture.

What kind and how many plants do you have?

Are you dosing any fertilizers?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Embarrased.

OMG Can't believe I did that. 26 gallon bow front. Kessil A150W @ 12 hours. Light about 19 inches from the substrate. Was dosing Seachem Flourish once a week (4 ml). I had 5 swords, but they have created about 4 more from runners (front). Three of the tall broad leaf plants (I know but they weren't labeled at the LFS and they looked nice.
 

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omg!

OMG Can't believe I did that. 26 gallon bow front. Kessil A150W @ 12 hours. Light about 19 inches from the substrate. Was dosing Seachem Flourish once a week (4 ml). I had 5 swords, but they have created about 4 more from runners (front). Three of the tall broad leaf plants (I know but they weren't labeled at the LFS and they looked nice.
WOW! thats a lot of light!

my 2 pennies,

big o
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Too much?

Thanks for reading and for all the help. Is it too much light? In case I also failed to mention it, FIRST TANK. I bought large pet chain plants first (found out later they were not aquatic plants) and when they failed to thrive, instead of posting questions on a forum where thousands of knowledgeable people post, I BOUGHT BIGGER LIGHTS.
 

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I recently battled green water and gave up. Ended up tearing my 20g down. Good news is that if you don't have shrimp or invertebrate, tetra algae control will work, that is according to a knowledgeable person I talked with after I told him that green water kicked my butt. I have not personally tried it, but I do trust the source.

That said, you have to take care of your light issue.

that should get rid of your green water and they should not come back.
 

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I'm wondering about the substrate. Is it fertilized? Seems like a lot of nutrients are floating around in your tank along with a bit too much light and day length.

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S III using Tapatalk 2
 

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That's your problem. You have way too much lighting combined with a super-long photoperiod, relatively small plant mass and are providing more nutrients than that plant mass can consume. Stopping CO2 just added to your problem.

Once you get your light/CO2/fert needs in check? Your green water will go away.
 

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Many pet store people do not know the right answers.
1) If you need to add nitrifying bacteria use a product that contains Nitrospira. Does not sound like you have a problem that way, though. Zero NH3, NO2 = nitrifying bacteria are doing fine.
2) 10% water change once a week is way too little. I was regularly doing 50% water changes weekly, and it is just fine to do as large and as frequent water changes as you want. The trick is to use water that matches the tank water: Same GH, KH and TDS. With the fish you have somewhat softer water is fine. Neons and Platies have been raised in captivity for so long they accept a very wide range of conditions.
3) The 0 ppm for NO3 tells me the plants (and algae) are using up all the nutrients you are adding from fish food and whatever Flourish product you are using. (Which one is it, by the way?)

Here is what I would do:
Turn the CO2 back on, but start slowly, allow the fish to get used to it.
Do much larger water changes, perhaps 50% per day for a week or so.
Lift the light higher, or put a screen between the light and the tank.
Put the light on a timer and set it for a Siesta period: On for 6 hours, off for 2 then on for 6.
Add a complete fertilizer program like the Estimative Index.

If you need to leave the tank for a while do not feed. The fish will be fine.
If you cannot do this, then use the Tetra Gel type of food.

Get more Neon Tetras. They are a schooling fish and will be much happier with a dozen or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok.

Actions:
1) I raised the light to 25 inches.
2) Turned the CO2 back on.
3) Dosed with Tetra Algae control. (I know this is only going to kill the algae, I am looking to address the root issues.


Questions:
Should I reduce the photo period, add a siesta, or both?



Answers:
I am using Seachem Flourish Comprehensive. I am not adding individual macro elements. The substrate is Fluval Plant Stratum, and it's supposed to be fertilized.

Finally, thanks for ALL THE HELP. I will admit to lurking all year, and thinking I certainly didn't have anything to contribute, and by lurking didn't need to ask any questions. I am glad I did register as it's nice to finally be a part of the board that I have been reading all year. Thanks for your help. I'll try to contribute also.

Austin
 

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Opae Ula Crazed.
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I'd probably cut back day length and add a siesta... and I wouldn't add any type of fertilizers until the green is gone.

(And... I wouldn't have added algaecide.)

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My first experience with GW was because there was zero nitrate in the water. Getting and dosing potassium nitrate solved the problem within 4 days as I very gingerly dosed 1/2 tsp in my 100 gallon tank each day. The Seachem you are using is not a complete fertilizer. Seachem does offer nitrate and phosphate fertilizers if you aren't ready to go all the way to trusting the forum's excellent stickied thread in the Fertilizer forum and get dry fertilizers.

I too run loads of light over my tank. Do try a 8 hour day. Try getting floating plants to shade the tank too. Your platies would love that. The other times I got GW I would let plants build up on the surface until the water finally cleared up.
 

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I agree with Diana on the everything. Shutting down your CO2 and stopping the ferts added to the problem. And you need to reduce the light hours. When you are traveling for short periods don’t worry your fish will be okay. If you are going to be gone for more than two weeks you may want to look into an automatic feeder.

I had a horrible algae bloom like this in one of my 20’s and I was trying everything on the shelf and I found this forum and a small private LFS that helped me and the solution was EI dosing because the plants were not getting enough ferts and I was using carbon vice CO2. Once I started adding CO2 and EI dosing with 50% weekly water changes it cleared up and now I have to aqua scape weekly and give plants away to friends on a regular basis.

When I do my water changes I measure out by EI ferts for the week and put them in little plastic test tubes with caps that I got at a pharmacy. I know some are going to say I should not be dry dosing but it works great for me and it’s easier to adjust as the plants get larger they need a little more.

Check this link out this is what I follow for my dosing: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=21944
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update

So, I bought some dry ferts and began EI dosing. After the algicide (I know you told me not to, and in hindsight I wouldn't have) the tank was clear. The source cause however wasn't addressed so, in about a week it started again. At this point I had raised my light, shortened the time it was on, added a siesta and started EI. The tank bloomed again, and I lost my sh$% a little bit. This had been a year long affair (my first in fish keeping) and I had green water more often than I didn't. I have been Magic Erasing green dots off the wall behind the tank, because I am guessing normally those drop evaporate without leaving algae on your walls.

I want to thank everyone here for your information and kindly help. I think I ran too fast, too soon, and in the end got so frustrated that I didn't let the right way work. All the plants have been removed, the substrate replaced. Remarkably, the fish hung in and I salute them for that. As a thank you to them I switched to New Life Spectrum, they are enjoying it.

I am going to take a break, enjoy the fish, and in twelve months, I will change the substrate, put the CO2 back on and fire up the lights. Thanks for your help.
 

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Stability doesn't contain the bacteria for cycling. Pick up a bottle of Tetra SafeStart which does contain the correct bacteria and you can be fully cycled in 2-3 days.

Edit: sorry I just saw this was an older thread. Hope the tank is doing well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks.

No worries. Thanks for reading the thread. I have read about the fabled TSS, but I am a fan of all things Seachem. Thanks for checking in. The naked tank is in the middle of cycling.
 
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