Green Water

NeilW

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Hello everyone!
This is my first post on this forum, sadly not with good news as I was after a solution to a slight green water issue... (sorry about the long story in advance, and please say if I'm not making any sense!)

My tank has been running for approx. 5 weeks now and has finally decided to cycle. Ammonia and Nitrite readings are at 0 whilst nitrate is at 5 mg/l


(sorry about the poor photo quality.)

Tank specifications - 12"x8"x8"/ 12 litre nano
Lighting - single 11w Arcpod currently set to 6 hour photoperiod
CO2 - reduced to 0.5ml EasyCarbo daily
Filtration - eden 501, 300lph
Fertilisation - none yet / ADA Amazonia soil, Tropica plant substrate
Plants - HC cuba, Pogostemon Helferi, Java Moss, Heteranthera zosterifolia
Fish/Inverts - none yet.


When I started the tank I was originally dosing 0.7ml of EasyCarbo with an 8 hour photoperiod which resulted in very slightly green water. However I decided to keep this routine up as it resulted in good growth from the HC Cuba and I was unable to do a water change to reset the levels of everything (including the nitrate) as the tank hadn't finished cycling.

For the past week I have been on holiday and entrusted a housemate to look after the tank. Before the holiday a couple of patches of HC had started to go brown/yellow and die which was remedied by planting an additional pot of HC (to fill the gaps and boost the biomass to help combat the green water) and stupidly I added 1ml of Easy Life Ferro as I took the yellowing to be an iron deficiency. I contacted said housemate in the week who said the water had gone green so I said to reduce the photoperiod to 6 hours and dose only 0.5ml EasyCarbo daily.

Due to the excess iron yesterday I came back to a swamp of a tank, and after checking the stats to see if it had finally cycled (which it had) I performed a 80% water change, cleaned the filter media, glass etc. and made sure the the timer was set to 6 hours. Despite this the old green water is back again. The photo is from today, although the water is greener in reality. This confused me as I had done the water change after the photoperiod and thus the tank has had no additional light or CO2 and the Nitrate is reading at 5 mg/l (maybe still to high?). Ammonia and Nitrite are both at 0. I have read up on several algae articles (http://www.aquariumalgae.blogspot.com/ and http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=29494) but cannot decide on what to do...

I have narrowed my options down to carrying on with the reduced photoperiod of 6 hours and 0.5ml EasyCarbo and do 25% water changes every-other day and see what happens when it stabilises, doing a 3 day black out (although this wouldn't remedy the initial cause) or buying some Daphnia to eat it up (although I'm not sure as to how effective this would be etc.)

Once again sorry for the long story! Any suggestions/help would be welcomed and greatly appreciated.
 

viktorlantos

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A few other solutions are there from ADA.

They use NA Carbon filter materials to remove the green water continously.
There's a product called Clear Dash from them which helps too, maybe you need to repeat it sometimes.

At last i can tell you which worked for me. This is the ADA Green Bacter. You just drop whatever you need based on your aquarium size and the green water is gone. When the green water comes back just add in again. 1 drop per 10 liter and your bacterial colony is up agains any algae battle.

Really useful stuff. A must have. ;)
 

NeilW

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I may have to take your advice on this! After my blackout the water cleared a lot but still isn't crystal, so this sounds like it'll do the trick! To the Green Machine!
 

Dave Spencer

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NeilW said:
My tank has been running for approx. 5 weeks now and has finally decided to cycle. Ammonia and Nitrite readings are at 0 whilst nitrate is at 5 mg/l

This could be a major factor. It sounds as though you have been cycling a planted tank by adding ammonia. Forums are full of people carrying out this practice and ending up with algae. If a tank is going to be cycled it should be done in the dark with no plants IMO, then you won`t be triggering algae with ammonia and light.

I have no personal experience of green water, but it can be very tenacious. If all else fails, you may have to invest in a UV steriliser.

Dave.
 

ceg4048

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Yeah, but why wait for everything else to fail? Why not just buy a cheap ebay UV right now and solve your problem immediately? Then you can sell it or keep it for future occurrences...

Cheers,
 

NeilW

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Dave Spencer said:
NeilW said:
My tank has been running for approx. 5 weeks now and has finally decided to cycle. Ammonia and Nitrite readings are at 0 whilst nitrate is at 5 mg/l

This could be a major factor. It sounds as though you have been cycling a planted tank by adding ammonia.

I have no personal experience of green water, but it can be very tenacious. If all else fails, you may have to invest in a UV steriliser.

Dave.

I was cycling using fish food so yep! I looked at using liquid ammonia but I read in a lot of places that the right 'type' of good bacteria take longer to grow by doing this, and that organic matter (e.g. fish food) can be better and prevent mini cycles. Its been about 7 - 8 weeks now though since that first post. As soon as I add some shrimp (which should be soon) instead of having food hanging around to keep it cycled will reduce my problem. Its not so bad now as it has been before as I did a blackout. The UV filter was an option but they look rather bulky?

I may go in for the ADA Clear Dash but I'm not sure if its invert safe if anyone knows? The Green Bacter is also meant to be effective if anyone else has has experience of this?

Thanks for the help everyone!
 

ceg4048

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This is another illusion perpetuated in The Matrix. There are several species of bacteria that consume ammonia or nitrite. Ammonia is ammonia - regardless of whether it's produced by decaying fish food or decaying cow manure. These species could care less about it's origin. The bacterial population numbers are strictly a function of the ammonia production rate in the system. The demographics of the bacterial populations will be a function of other parameters of the water/tank. High oxygen content will favour the development of aerobic species, i.e, those that consume oxygen. Low oxygen content will favour the development of anaerobic species, or those that do not consume oxygen. Certainly, if there is a "right" type then it is the aerobic species, none of which are influenced by the type of ammonia production.

Throwing paltry numbers of "designer" bacteria in the tank will have very little impact on green water algal species. A UW is the single most effective solution. So what if it's bulky? One uses it for a few days and then removes it. It's cheap, super effective and it's not a permanent installation.

Well fed healthy plants prevent algal blooms. Keeping the lighting from being out of hand also suppresses algal blooms. No shrimp can stop algae. Concentrate more on keeping a clean tank and well fed plants and you won't need concoctions or contraptions.

Cheers,
 

viktorlantos

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Well fed healthy plants prevent algal blooms.

my experience is that if you have a tank with full of mosses like mine - 20 liter one- then you easily have problems with algae. on my other tank (240 liter i never had algae problems)

viewtopic.php?f=35&t=6440

Adding in liquid bacteria usually helps to you to stregth your current colony as green water comes in for many reasons.
Because of this i add in Green Bacter with water changes. If you check my nano this is crystal clear now. In front of a white wall this is much more visible if there's a coloring.

3749461847_09f1a1047d.jpg


UV could be expensive especially if you have large tanks. Green Bacter is used in many Japanese tanks, so it is not a new thing. Another thing what i will test is the NA Carbon filter media what Amano uses in their small tanks.
 

NeilW

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ceg4048 said:
This is another illusion perpetuated in The Matrix. There are several species of bacteria that consume ammonia or nitrite. Ammonia is ammonia - regardless of whether it's produced by decaying fish food or decaying cow manure. These species could care less about it's origin. The bacterial population numbers are strictly a function of the ammonia production rate in the system. The demographics of the bacterial populations will be a function of other parameters of the water/tank. High oxygen content will favour the development of aerobic species, i.e, those that consume oxygen. Low oxygen content will favour the development of anaerobic species, or those that do not consume oxygen. Certainly, if there is a "right" type then it is the aerobic species, none of which are influenced by the type of ammonia production.

Throwing paltry numbers of "designer" bacteria in the tank will have very little impact on green water algal species. A UW is the single most effective solution. So what if it's bulky? One uses it for a few days and then removes it. It's cheap, super effective and it's not a permanent installation.

Well fed healthy plants prevent algal blooms. Keeping the lighting from being out of hand also suppresses algal blooms. No shrimp can stop algae. Concentrate more on keeping a clean tank and well fed plants and you won't need concoctions or contraptions.

Cheers,

It seems that I have been fooled into believing! I suppose on the plus side the fish food has kept it cycled without any inhabitants to provide the ammonia waste.

The water seems to be more stable now having fully cycled for some time and changing to different water (bottled water over nasty alkali Winchester water). Reduction in liquid ferts and putting trust in the nutrients of the ADA aquasoil has also helped. Stable water conditions+EasyCarbo=less green water :D

I think in future as you say a UV may be something to invest in.

viktorlantos said:
If you check my nano this is crystal clear now. In front of a white wall this is much more visible if there's a coloring.

It is in front of a white wall! :rolleyes:

viktorlantos said:
Another thing what i will test is the NA Carbon filter media what Amano uses in their small tanks.

I don't think this would be the way to go for me due to it absorbing everything including my liquid carbon and fertliser?

Thanks again people.
 

CeeJay

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Hi NeilW
NeilW said:
It seems that I have been fooled into believing!
I was once like you up till the point I discovered this place, then Clive (ceg4048), came along and unplugged me from the Matrix :lol:
This is a great place to learn and now all my old knowledge about fishkeeping, plantkeeping, water parameters, ferts and algae have been well and truly consigned to the dustbin along with my test kits :lol:
Now my plants and fish are telling me I've just about got it right. :D

Chris
Unplugged ;)
 

ceg4048

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viktorlantos said:
Well fed healthy plants prevent algal blooms.

my experience is that if you have a tank with full of mosses like mine - 20 liter one- then you easily have problems with algae. on my other tank (240 liter i never had algae problems)
Hi Viktor, Yes, I agree that mosses are problematic in high light tanks, but there are very specific reasons for this, not the least of which is their very slow growth rates, and probably most seriously, poor flow within the moss beds which collect detritus and which then decays resulting in micro ammonia zones. Moss artists such as yourself and London Dragon get extra bonus points for patience and perseverance. 8)

viktorlantos said:
Adding in liquid bacteria usually helps to you to stregth your current colony as green water comes in for many reasons.
Because of this i add in Green Bacter with water changes. If you check my nano this is crystal clear now. In front of a white wall this is much more visible if there's a coloring.
Yeah, it looks crystal clear (and absolutely gorgeous as well) but I'm afraid it's really not a valid conclusion to attribute the clarity to the product, because a single tank, despite the appearance, is not a statistically relevant sample from which to draw this conclusion. If you compare the number of bacteria in your single dose to the number of bacteria already present in the tank/filter you'll find that this number is also insignificant. The specimens in the dose would require several weeks to even come close to approaching the tanks current population. Of course there could be some other ingredient in the Green Bacter that attacks the algae, so perhaps that is a principle component responsible for the algal reduction, but mathematically, there is no way it can be attributed to the bacterial inoculation given in the dose (although 20L would certainly require much less time to achieve a specific population than a larger tank would). Furthermore, not all moss tanks automatically suffer from green water, although they do typically suffer some form of attack. We know that each type of algal species is stimulated by certain specific factors, much of which is based on the hobbyists technique. If we expand this reasoning to non-moss-specific tanks there will be an even lower correlation.

viktorlantos said:
UV could be expensive especially if you have large tanks. Green Bacter is used in many Japanese tanks, so it is not a new thing. Another thing what i will test is the NA Carbon filter media what Amano uses in their small tanks.
I suppose depending on your location it could be expensive, but you can find a 9 watt sample new on ebay for less than £20 for example (which is about what a 50ml bottle of Green Bacter sells for I reckon), and you'll find a second hand copy for less. Green water algae is composed of a free floating specimen so it's an ideal candidate for UV, which kills them as they are pulled into the chamber and illuminated by the light. Of course this doesn't address the cause which ranges from poor nutrition/CO2 to unstable ammonia production rate levels. Activated carbon, Zeolite, Purigen - any of these will certainly help prevent green algae - but this goes hand in hand with your nutritional, CO2, maintenance and lighting techniques.

Cheers,
 

viktorlantos

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ceg4048, i agree with most of your comment :D

without promoting any product (maybe i sunded like too ADA fan before ;) ), based on my experience is that there are several bacterial product which works on a different way.

Slower ones and faster ones. i tried many of them. (i use them on fresh setups and sometimes with filter cleaning or WC)

For example Bacter 100 which goes under the soil or Bacter Ball which goes into the soil or the filter, start to work slowly. i bet that most of the powder based product works like that.

on the other side the liquid form product like Green Bacter, JBL Denitrol, Sera Safestart etc act imediately. You easily can check with with a fresh aquarium. As there they lowering Ammonia very quickly. Quickly mean hours compare to the dry products which do the same within days.

UV really the best for green water i agree, the solution above is just an alternate way. If you combine the bacterial strenghtening process with your regular WC or fertilizing process that helps to have your colony in top shape, giving you a much healthier tank.

I need to get an UV that is missed somehow from my collection. ;)
 

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