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Water Quality and Algae Questions and comments about water quality.

 
 
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  #1  
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melissa29 melissa29 is offline
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Exclamation I have greenish water

Ok...my water in my 35 gal hex tank was very clear before I added a piece of driftwood. I have also added a few more live plants. I don't have any green algae on the glass, it is just discoloring the water. I am doing 30% water changes every week. My tank is completely cycled and has been reading ammonia 0, nitrites at 0 and nitrates at 5 for the last 3 weeks. My temp is kept at 78 degrees and I have only 15 watts of light that I have on for 11 hours a day. I use Seachem Flourish Tabs for my plants and have no CO2. What could be causing it and what can I do to get rid of it without completely stressing out my fish? They are all nice and healthy! Any advice will help. Oh and my pH stays at 7.
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35 gal hex - 4 Columbian Tetras, 2 Bolivian Rams, 1 Dwarf Gourami
4 Glolite Danios,1 Gold Banded Pleco, 2 Albino Cory, 2 Salt and Pepper Cory

5 gal hex - male Fancy Guppy
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Bernie Bernie is offline
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Default Re: I have greenish water

Hi Melissa, I think it is probably the driftwood leaching tannins (tannic acid) into the water, which can keep discolouring the water for some time, it is harmless but it can lower the PH level, It is not a good thing to have too much of it though.

Did you boil & soak the drifwood for a few dys first melissa? this helps remove most of the tannins from the wood before putting it in the tank. Using Act.Carbon will help remove it as well as the normal p.w.changes.
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Default Re: I have greenish water

It could be an algae bloom...11 hours is a long time , for the lights. I usually have mine on for 8-9 hours. Driftwood may release tannins into the water, but this would make the water tea coloured. A quick way to get rid of it is to do a 5 day complete black out(no peeking). The bloom will not harm the fish...neither will the black out. Needless to say, it's not going to benefit the plants.....
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5 gal... Robin, (Betta)
5 gal...Pete, (Betta)
5 gal...Scotty(Betta)
10 gal...Female Betta Sororiety
10 gal... Neons, Glolights and Cardinals, 1 Oto
10 gal... Ram Pair
29 gal... Mbuna Tank
29 gal... Krib Pair, Tiger Barbs, Tetras, 2 Otos
55 gal...5 Australian Rainbows, 1 Angel Fish, 1 Blue Gourami, 6 Congo Tetras, 1 Leopard Ctenopoma, 1 Clown Pleco, 1 UpsideDown Catfish,5 Otos, 1 Bronze Cory, 2 Peppered Cories,2 Panda Cories
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Default Re: I have greenish water

Thanks...I didn't boil the driftwood as it had been in a tank previosely and didn't stain that water. I didn't know I had to in that situation. I have carbon in the filter cartridge...I use a Marineland Penguin Bio wheel filter. Should I try more in some other way?

Sharon, thanks for the advice...I'll try it even though I feel bad leaving my fish in complete darkness for 5 days...do I feed them less during this time or just the same? I feed 2X a day...flake food in am and either tubifex worms or brine shrimp in the evening and I drop in one sinking wafer after the lights go out for my pleco and cories.
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35 gal hex - 4 Columbian Tetras, 2 Bolivian Rams, 1 Dwarf Gourami
4 Glolite Danios,1 Gold Banded Pleco, 2 Albino Cory, 2 Salt and Pepper Cory

5 gal hex - male Fancy Guppy

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  #5  
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Default Re: I have greenish water

It has to be totally and completely a black out. Tank has to be covered at all times, so that absolutely no light gets in....so you won't be able to feed. This won't hurt the fish.......Before you do this, let's try and be sure it is an algae bloom. Is the water a definite green colour? The blackout will clear an algae bloom, but if whatever is causing it is not remedied, it will come back.......When the 5 days are over, I'd feed once a day(sounds like you may be overfeeding) and reduce light to 8-9 hours.
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5 gal... Robin, (Betta)
5 gal...Pete, (Betta)
5 gal...Scotty(Betta)
10 gal...Female Betta Sororiety
10 gal... Neons, Glolights and Cardinals, 1 Oto
10 gal... Ram Pair
29 gal... Mbuna Tank
29 gal... Krib Pair, Tiger Barbs, Tetras, 2 Otos
55 gal...5 Australian Rainbows, 1 Angel Fish, 1 Blue Gourami, 6 Congo Tetras, 1 Leopard Ctenopoma, 1 Clown Pleco, 1 UpsideDown Catfish,5 Otos, 1 Bronze Cory, 2 Peppered Cories,2 Panda Cories

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Default Re: I have greenish water

You are right melissa, if the driftwood has already been in a tank, then you don't need to boil it again (sometimes it might be a good idea to do it though in case there was any bacteria or spores on it from the other tank, if it wasn't one of your tanks).

As Sharon said, more likely algae, but a bacterial bloom can also have a greenish appearance as well. Having live plants can make it difficult, because you often do need to have the light on for 10-12 hrs, but this can cause algae blooms (unplanted tank approx. 6-9hrs of light).

It could be free floating algae or even dead algae particles (if you have good circulation, the algae spores can't attach themselves properly to anything & they die or if their isn't enough nutrients for them) - does the tank look more hazy at the top than the bottom & does your'e filter sponge look green instead of brown (might be a good idea to rinse it out or change it anyway).

I have had this happen when I put in a new light globe on the tank, & it cleared up in a couple of weeks, I just did a few larger p.w.changes, changed the filter media & used a bit more carbon, fed less & only had the light on for a few hrs. each day.

It can also happen when you disturb the substrate too much & algae spores get released - maybe this happened when you put in the new plants.

As Sharon said though - it is best to make sure that it is an algae bloom first.
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Default Re: I have greenish water

Does your tank get sunlight from a window because 15watts of light shouldn't be enough to produce algae blooms. Stop using the Florish as it feeds the algae. Does your tap water have a high phosphate level? Try using an air stone to reduce the co2 levels. As the others suggested, try a total black out. I recently had a horrible algae bloom that took 2 weeks to remove. I used Phosguard to remove phosphates, activated carbon to get the suspended materials, no water changes, and a reduced light cycle. Some LFSs will rent Diatom Filters that will remove the algae in a few hours, but you will have to do the things needed to keep it from reoccurring.

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Default Re: I have greenish water

Ok...the water is definitely greenish...but may also have a slight brown color..it's hard to tell...that might be from the driftwood. I already have an airstone and don't use CO2. It isn't near a window. Do you think it could be too much phosphates thats causing the algae? As far as water parameters...everything is still really good...I have been checking all the time. I will do the blackout and stop using the flourish. In my filter the Marineland Penguin Bio Wheel 150...can I use more Carbon...even though there is carbon in the filter cartridge? In regards to the feeding I heard 2X a day is best...is that wrong? as I feed a varied diet...which has really brought out my fishes colors. Thanks.
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35 gal hex - 4 Columbian Tetras, 2 Bolivian Rams, 1 Dwarf Gourami
4 Glolite Danios,1 Gold Banded Pleco, 2 Albino Cory, 2 Salt and Pepper Cory

5 gal hex - male Fancy Guppy
  #9  
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Default Re: I have greenish water

A certain level of co2 will exist naturally in the tank especially with plants and natural decay. Surface adjitation helps it dissipate faster. It doesen't sound like your feeding habits caused your greenout, but it helps maintain it. Activated carbon will help, but it will have to be changed about every three days. I would do a black out and not feed for several days for a quicker fix. It took me two weeks of filtering and reduced light because I didn't do the blackout thing. I still don't see how 15 watts of light caused your bloom, but funny things happen......PS....If it turns out that the green is not algae, the a/carbon should get whatever it is out. If all else fails, I will tell you a last resort method that everyone will fuss at me about.

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  #10  
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Default Re: I have greenish water

Apparently you can use Flourish Excel in high doses for a short period to get rid of algae. I'll admit I know nothing about it but I've come across the concept at "Aquatic Plant Central" forums - you should get detailed instructions if you search there.
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