Aquatic Plant Forum banner
1 - 20 of 200 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This method is free, it is natural (no chemicals). It is safe for fish and plants. It takes 5-8 days to completely get rid of green water (GW). It removes the cause of GW and some other algae. You don't need to stop dosing your fertilizer, you don't need to switch your lights off. You don't need to make any extra water changes, just proceed with your regular ones. Sounds like an ideal method to fight GW, maybe it is :)

The idea is taken from Russian aquarium forum at http://www.aqa.ru/forum/ and Wadim Lisovsky page at http://lis.aqa.ru/

OK, the magic word is WILLOW!

Here is my experience of using the willow in my 90G tank.
I took few branches of willow tree. 1-2 years old branches 1/2 inch in diameter and 30-40 inches long will work. I used smaller ones as I couldn't find that thick.
Put these branches into your tank and wait. In 3-5 days the willow will develop roots and water will start to clear at that time. 2-3 more days and you get a crystal clear water! At that time you should remove the willow or your plants will starve. That's all!

I think the willow can be also used for:
1. Fry tank.
2. Cichlid tank without plants.
3. For removing white bacterial cloudiness.
I haven't try these myself though. If anyone wants to try please let us know the result.

Here is my conversation with Nikolay during the experiment. And some pictures. Unfortunately I started taking pictures only on day 6.

*****************

"I don't think that the willow is a magic thing - it just sucks nutrients like crazy.
Nikolay"

"Sure, no magic. By my understanding the willow and some other trees consume NH3/NH4 (a major algae's food) much faster than aquatic plants. That helps to combat the cause of any algae bloom.
I have a UV sterilizer, I used it few times to combat GW, it helped. But I don't like that bacterial equilibrium blows up along with GW.
Well... I'll see in a few days if the willow really helps :)
On a side note, I add nitrates and phosphates to my tanks and it never entails a GW bloom. This particular tank was nitrate limited (0 reading of NO3), I think that shifted the balance.
Oleg"

"BGA is an algae that is closer to a bacteria. It is thought to develop as a result of low Nitrate. If that is true then maybe it makes sense to say that you and I may have bacterial bloom because my tank was very very low on Nitrate too.
In any case I am very frustrated that after using a big diatom, flocculant, UV, and blackouts that bacteria didn't even go away a little.
If the willow is indeed an ammonia sucking champion absorbing the smallest amount of ammonia as soon as it's released then I'm inclined to say that that is a great tool to use in the fight against algae.
But from what I read you need certain branches, not just any branch, right?
Nikolay"

"This morning I noticed a few new roots on some branches. And there is much less GW now!
Oleg"

"Very nice pictures. Keep taking pictures every day. That will make a great post and maybe an interesting discussion on APC and on Aquaria.ru too.
Nikolay"

"There are more roots this morning. And I can see the background pretty good. Note that this tank is 56cm wide.
Oleg"

"This is clearing up very very well. I wonder if these results can be repeated.
What about the white stuff that we think it's bacteria? Can you still see it?
Nikolay"

"Unfortunately I can still see that white stuff. Or maybe it is just a dolomite powder I added recently (it is a very fine powder).
Oleg"

"Do you mean diatom powder?

"Once I got some diatom powder that was too fine and the diatom filter couldn't run - the powder formed an impenetrable layer. But it never polluted the water.
Nikolay"

"Here is a picture I took this morning. The water is completely clear. I moved the willow branches to another corner of the tank and I will remove them from the tank in few days.
>Do you mean diatom powder?
No, I meant "dolomite". I use it sometimes to increase carbonate hardness (KH). It dissolves very slow. It also helps shrimps and snails - many times I saw them ate dolomite. You can read about dolomite here:
http://webmineral.com/data/Dolomite.shtml
The dolomite I use is in a form of a very fine powder so it actually clouds the water.
By the way I see neither white nor green cloudiness anymore.
I am very happy with the result. I encourage you to try the "willow method" if you ever get GW.
I believe it also can be used in a breading tank when fry actively feeding. Also I think it can be very useful in a cichlid tank.
Oleg"

"Please before you do anything else check the N and P of the tank water.
Nikolay"

"Nikolay, I am adding CaNO3 and KH2PO4 daily. So probably it will not tell us much if I check N and P now. What do you think?
Oleg"

"Tom Barr has been saying lately that Ammonia in very low levels is the cause of algae, not the excess of any other nutrient. Maybe the willow sucks Ammonia like nothing else in the world. We don't know if Ammonia causes the green water, but obviously adding NO3 and PO4 doesn't help it stay.
If Tom is right, and if the willow removes the small amounts of NH4 before they can cause algae, maybe it is logical to keep it in the tank at all times and at the same time to fertilize with NO3 and PO4 to feed the plants. I wonder if that could work in an extended period of time.
It sounds like the perfect filter - instead of bacteria convertinga Ammonia to NO2 and NO3 the willow removes the Ammonia very agressively, before anyone can use it. No accumulation of NO3 in the water!!!
Your results are very very interesting! Please post them on APC.
Nikolay"

">You have been adding NO3 and PO4 every day while trying to clean the green water?
Yes.
>Tom Barr has been saying lately that Ammonia in very low levels is the cause of algae, not the excess of any other nutrient.
I agree. Limiting plants in any nutrient plus raising ammonia level plus strong light = GW
>If Tom is right, and if the willow removes the small amounts of NH4 before they can cause algae, maybe it is logical to keep it in the tank at all times and at the same time to fertilize with NO3 and PO4 to feed the plants.
It seems to me that the willow consumes nutrients so quickly that it would be a waste to keep it with plants all the time.
I would try to keep it in a fry tank and in a cichlid tank.
Oleg"
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
If this information is true, God Bless you.

I've been dealing with GW for more than a week. I've tried water changes of up to 80% in my 29 Gal. tank (twice a week), but the water immediately turns green again. It's very frustrating. First it was BGA (which lasted more than 2 months), and now it's GW. Frankly, I'm getting a little tired. I would love to see a crystal clear tank with healthy plants and fish again, and do water changes just once a week like I used to.

Currently, I'm giving my tank a 3 day blackout just to see if it gets rid of it, but if it doesn't, I'll definitely try this out. Judging from your pictures, it worked for you. I just hope that it will work for me and many other people who seem to be experiencing this problem.


Lissette :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
925 Posts
Waterchanges only prolonged my greenwater. A 4 day blackout resulted in crystal clear water.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
I hope that it works. I'm a bit skeptical because I've read positive and negative feedback regarding blackouts for GW. So I'm just praying that when I uncover my tank on Saturday, that the water is clear.

Otherwise, I'm off to find a Willow tree.

Lissette
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
925 Posts
A few leaves on some of my plants (Cabomba, B Carolina, L. Repens, Parrotfeather) died off, but I'm thinking those leaves wern't healthy anyway. The plants themselves seem fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Yippe! No more gw! You were right, a blackout did wonders for my tank. What a joy to see the water clear again. My fish actually winked at me today ;-).

Lissette :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
hm... I actually expected more interest in this post. Well... anyone else tried willow to combat GW?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
I just used the willow method a few weeks ago, worked like a charm(coupled with better mechanical filtration with polyester stuffed in filter). Water is now unbelievably clear. I actually upgraded my lighting to very high levels during my willow treatment, did not make it worse.

My willow branches(very thin new growth from my backyard pond) did not do anyting during the first week, just dropped the emersed grown leaves. But they started to grow roots like crazy after the first week and the water cleared up within a week.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
shalu said:
My willow branches(very thin new growth from my backyard pond) did not do anyting during the first week, just dropped the emersed grown leaves. But they started to grow roots like crazy after the first week and the water cleared up within a week.
blackout clears green water in 2-3 days...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
fishyface said:
blackout clears green water in 2-3 days...
I don't want to miss seeing the tank for even a day, hehe. It was never too bad due to good mechanical filtration. I even have a UV, too lazy to hook it up on this tank. Putting in a few willow branches is the least work for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,819 Posts
I think I am too impatient for either method, Blackout or Willow. An overnight run of a diatom filter ($45 HOT Magnum with diatom powder) has cleared up almost every Green Water case I've had. Sometimes it runs a bit longer than overnight but it's not a problem.

I think the whole point should be figuring out how we got the NH4 in the tank in the first place and trying to reduce or eliminate it...adding more plants or less bio-load to the tank.

I know in my case I can bring on a case of green water by uprooting enough plants and not doing a water change afterwords. Now I either uproot the plants and do a water change or put the diatom filter on the tank when I can't get to the water change right away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
I got GW by putting way too much peat in the substrate of new tank. No fish so did not feed anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
:D :D :D :D :D :D

I am very happy to mention that last week I succesfully battled a white bacterial cloudiness using willow branches.

For 3 months I could not get rid of this milky water, and by using willow branches it was gone in two days !!

Thanks very much for this unbelieveble method.
For me it is no magic, but comes pretty close to it :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
It is hard to imagine that the willow can even kill bacteria :)
Maybe your white cloudiness is the initial stage of green water. Most green water starts out as white cloudiness, and it can remain that way for quite some time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,194 Posts
OK, I am having extreme difficulties in obtaining any Willow brances. I have gone to a half dozen nurseries and no one here carries any willow trees. They all say it is just too hot and dry for them here. I am curious if anyone who has access to any branches would be willing to cut and ship some to me. I am looking for about 4-6 decent size branches about 24" long for my 80 gallon. I will pay whoever can do this plus the shipping ofcourse. I just cannot get any locally nor will the stores special order me a whole tree(I tried). Please PM me if this is possible. Thanks in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
404 Posts
MatPat said:
An overnight run of a diatom filter ($45 HOT Magnum with diatom powder) has cleared up almost every Green Water case I've had. Sometimes it runs a bit longer than overnight but it's not a problem.
Do you have to get a special cartridge to hold the diatom powder or is there a way to put it in that comes with the filter?

Thanks, Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,819 Posts
stcyrwm said:
Do you have to get a special cartridge to hold the diatom powder or is there a way to put it in that comes with the filter?

Thanks, Bill
The HOT comes with a pleated filter cartdridge that can be used with or without diatom powder. It works pretty well given the cost :) for what, 1/2 the price of a dedicated Diatom filter? The HOT also came in handy when I got another tank and didn't have a filter for it. Just put in on the tank while I waited for my Eheim to be delivered! Definately a handy filter to have around!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,194 Posts
So do you just pour the D.E. (diatom powder)powder in the bottom of the HOT magnum???

If so, how much do you put in for lets say an 80 gallon tank?

Do you place it outside the micron filter or inside the middle sleeve of it?

I need to do this and I am in need of the knowledge also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,819 Posts
chiahead said:
So do you just pour the D.E. (diatom powder)powder in the bottom of the HOT magnum??? .
I think the directions (for either the HOT or the Magnum 350, I don't remember which) state to put the Diatom powder in a bucket of water and filter the bucket of water until the water is clear.

I have done it this way and it always releases a dust cloud of Diatom powder into the tank on filter startup on the tank.

I now add my powder to a 500ml Rubbermaid container and fill it with water. I cap the container and put it in the tank under the intake of my HOT. I turn on the HOT and I open the container and let the HOT suck the powder/water solution from the Rubbermaid container into the filter intake. Doesn't take very long to do and it doesn't release diatom powder all over the tank. You may still notice a little bit of the powder bypassing the filter at first.

chiahead said:
If so, how much do you put in for lets say an 80 gallon tank?.
I use 2 ounces of powder (1/4cup) for all of my tanks. They range from a 30g to a 75g. Tank size doesn't really matter as much as the filter volume. I have found that if I add more powder, it clogs up too fast and if I add less it takes longer to clear. I haven't done it an a while now so hopefully I didn't forget anything!
 
1 - 20 of 200 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top