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Hi...
On advice from board members I removed my Carbon filter from my Penguin filter, as it is supposed to remove trace elements from the water and hinder a healthy planted tank. Since then, my water is turn to a white haze/ cloud for several weeks. I am positive it is not from overfeeding because I only feed my fish 2x a week, and only a pinch at that!

Anyways, I've also heard that some additives, like Seachem Iron in particular, which I use, can cloud the water. Is this true?

I think that I'm going against conventional advice and add the carbon back to the filter to clear up the water, and just do more water changes to restore the traces. My GH is 8ppm anyways, so that should restore most of them. I'll add Iron tabs in the Substrate instead of the Seachem liquid to the water column...and see if that helps as well.

Thoughts??
Nick D.
 

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What type of food are you using? That may be some part of the problem, but if you only feed them twice a week then i dont know what it could be. Maybe wait it out a while, and then see how it does after water changes.
Hopefully it will get better...
 

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It sounds like your tank is cycling. Since you took out the material that was absorbing ammonia and whatnot that's the most likely source for a whitish haze. If it starts to turn green at all you've got a Green Water algae bloom and can use a diatom, UV, or Micron filter to clear it up. Alternately, you can just let it run its course.

Is your tank heavily planted? Are you using more than typical aquarium lighting? Are you using CO2?

Best,
Phil
 

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I'm with Phil, your AC (activated carbon) was probably saturated and acting as biological media, when you removed it you probably removed a fairly significant portion of your nitrifying bacterial. You either have a bacterial bloom that will clear on it's own in a few days, or more likely the small ammonia spike from removing the AC has started a green water algae bloom. GW can appear milky white for several days before acquiring a green tint. If the milky appearance worsens throughout the length of the photoperiod, and it's better the next morning only to repeat the worsening phase again the next photoperiod then it's definitely a green water issue. Here's five methods that I've used in the past to eliminate GW. Blackout, Diatom Filtering, UV Sterilization, Live Daphnia, and Chemical algaecides/flocculents. The first four cause no harm to fish, the fifth one does.

Method No. 1

The blackout means covering the tank for 4 days, no light whatsoever is allowed into the tank during this time. Cover the tank completely with blankets or black plastic trash bags. Be prepared, killing the algae will result in dead decaying algae that will decompose and pollute the water. Water changes are needed at the beginning and end of the blackout time and NH3 should be monitored also.

Method No. 2

Diatom filters can usually be rented from your LFS. This is my preferred method. Personally, I use my Magnum 350 w/Micron Cartridge coated with diatom powder. Diatom filtering removes the algae and doesn't allow it to decay in the tank. You do have to check the filter often, if you have a really bad case of GW the filter can clog pretty quick. Just clean it and start it up again. Crystal clear water usually takes from a few minutes to a couple of hours or a worse case scenario a few days.

Method No. 3

UV Sterilizers will kill free floating algaes. They also kill free floating parasites and bacteria. Some feel they can be problematic for extended use in a planted tank, because they can cause the "breakdown" of some important nutrients. Too sterile of an environment may not be healthy for a planted tank. They are expensive and don't remove the decaying material from the tank, if you can afford to keep one they are handy to have around, though not as useful IMO as a diatom filter.

Method No. 4

Adding live daphnia to your tank. This can be a bit tricky. First you need to insure that you are not adding other "pests" along with the daphnia. Second, unless you can separate the daphnia from the fish, the fish will likely consume the daphnia before the daphnia can consume all the green water.

Method No. 5

I hate the last way, the flocculents stick to the gills of fish, while not killing them it does compromise their gill function for quite a while leaving them open for other maladies. It is also important to insure that your KH is at least 3 degrees before using a flocculent.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Steve...
You were right... This morning I have green water. The white haze was just the beginning of the green water..

So I'll try the black out method. Seems to be the easist solution. I'm also going to add my activated carbon back to the filter. Everyone says that its not necessary, but I like to have crystal clear water! I really dont think that Carbon sucks all that many nutrients out of the water...after a few days of running it anyways.

So, 4 days huh? Wont this hurt the plants/ fish?? Should I expect all my plants to be dead after this?

What about leaving room light on only? Is that good enough?

What is the source of Green water? Something I added or not?
 

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Nick D said:
So, 4 days huh? Wont this hurt the plants/ fish?? Should I expect all my plants to be dead after this?
All you plants will do fine, if you have glosso it will probably have started growing vertically but a haircut and a few days under light will solve that issue.

What about leaving room light on only? Is that good enough?
That's fine. The tank is covered in such a way that no outside light should be able to penetrate. Just make sure you stop injecting CO2 and that you still have good air exhange...adding an airstone is a good plan.

What is the source of Green water? Something I added or not?
The direct cause is hard to say. Usually the culprit is having ammonia/ammonium in the water. This could occur due to a loss of biofiltration or by stirring the gravel and having some food or other decaying debris introduced into the water column. If you use solid fertilizers in the substrate then have a substrate disturbance that can cause green water too. Often the green water itself will solve the initial problem, meaning the small ammonium spike would be consumed by the green water. That's why it's usually wise to eliminate the green water first then do a water change and add back nutrients like your normal dosing routine calls for. The water changes are very important before and after the blackout.
 
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