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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The water in my tank is turning slight green, and i'm guessing that it's an algal invasion. I'm new to the planted scene, and I am not sure how I can take care of the algae without affecting my plants. Any suggestions?

P.S. I turned the photoperiod down to 8 hours instead of the 12 that it was on to help get rid of the algae, would this inhibit the plant's growth?
 

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just an FYI I did not type this i just got lazy and pasted the wordy, lengthy description

Green water (algae bloom)
This is the most common problem if the cloudy situation extends beyond 10-14 days. Note that "green water" is not always green in appearance! Since green water is the most common problem and the most difficult to solve the answer needs to reflect several options. The situation that causes GW (Green Water) is usually a combination of high nitrates, phosphates, and mixed in some ammonia/ammonium. Substrate disturbance is usually the culprit. What happens is the algae (GW form) will flourish off of the ammonia/ammonium and phosphate, remembering that algae can consume phosphate easier than plants because of their thin cell walls, the algae uses up the ammonia/ammonium and phosphate, but it doesn't go away...because algae can quickly switch with nutrient it scavenges...it moves to nitrates. So you can see why water changes will not rid a tank of GW. Nutrients can be reduced very low in GW and fairly quickly by the GW algaes, but they can scavenge other nutrients...iron and trace elements. So, it's very common for the GW to solve the situation that causes it to begin with, but that won't eliminate the GW, for the reasons I've allude to. Five methods exist 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 ammonia 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.
Method No. 3 UV Sterilizers will kill free floating algaes. They also kill free floating parasites and bacteria. They also can be problematic for extended use in a planted tank, as they will cause the “breakdown” of some important nutrients. 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.
 

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I tried the blackout before and it did more harm than good. What finally worked for me is Accu-clear with extra filtration and water changes. Green water went away in just a few days.
 

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Is this a new setup or a mature one? Often times a green water outbreak is triggered by an upset balance of bacteria in the aquarium.
 

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is this the product you mean?
yes that but mine was API


I added drops as directed on the bottle, added more floss in the filter and as hours passed water went clearer and clearer. Later that day (say 10hrs later) I did a 50% water change and replaced the filter floss. I didnt rinse and reuse since I wanted all the green algae spores out of my tank.
Did the same thing the following day or the day after and what do you know it cleared up well.

Whats your current filtration on your tank??
Did you disturb the gravel recently??
Do you have root tabs in your gravel??

Heres some photos of my tank 5 months ago
With green water:


After a 90% water change..Did nothing but make the water cloudy and then green again in the next few days..


And after accu-clear and water change and adding more filtration..


Not sure if it will work for everyone.. But heck it saved me from spending $$ on a uv sterilizer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
yes that but mine was API


I added drops as directed on the bottle, added more floss in the filter and as hours passed water went clearer and clearer. Later that day (say 10hrs later) I did a 50% water change and replaced the filter floss. I didnt rinse and reuse since I wanted all the green algae spores out of my tank.
Did the same thing the following day or the day after and what do you know it cleared up well.

Whats your current filtration on your tank??
Did you disturb the gravel recently??
Do you have root tabs in your gravel??

Heres some photos of my tank 5 months ago
With green water:
http://img111.imageshack.us/img111/3870/1000047jv8.jpg[/IM]

After a 90% water change..Did nothing but make the water cloudy and then green again in the next few days..
[IMG]http://img237.imageshack.us/img237/4412/1000363zx8.jpg[/IM]

And after accu-clear and water change and adding more filtration..
[IMG]http://img265.imageshack.us/img265/3929/1001126np4.jpg[/IM]

Not sure if it will work for everyone.. But heck it saved me from spending $$ on a uv sterilizer.[/QUOTE]

My tank is a 29 gallon with an aquaclear 50 HOB filter on it. The gravel has been disturbed a lot recently, as I just planted a lot of new plants, but I don't currently have root tabs as I plan on changing out the substrate sometime soon. The water isn't extremely green, but it just seems to have a yellowish-green tint to it. I am going to do a water change tomorrow. I tested the parameters in the tank today and everything is in working condition beyond my nitrates which is at 5 ppm. I really don't have the money for a UV sterilizer either, so I will try out what you did.

P.S. by filter floss do you mean the filter sponge? Doesn't that get rid of a lot of the beneficial bacteria in the tank as well?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Is this a new setup or a mature one? Often times a green water outbreak is triggered by an upset balance of bacteria in the aquarium.
This is a mature tank, been set up for ~1 year, but i just started adding live plants to it. The only thing that I can think of that may have upset the bacteria balance is that I just recently changed my filter's biological bag, but that's never triggered a green water outbreak before
 

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My tank recently went green as well (immediately after I added a CO2 system to it). I put a UV sterilizer in the tank (set me back around $50) and it seems to have helped a fair bit.
 

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Ted im 99% sure the cause of your green water was disturbance of the gravel. Thats actually how mine started.

By filter floss i mean the polyfiber


Also try and add more filtration to the tank. See if you can invest in perhaps a smaller canister filter. Maybe one of the eheim classic lines.
 

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I would resort to chemicals only as a last resort. Try natural methods first, such as the blackout. Most people have great succes with this method, so it's worth a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
a blackout won't do any damage to my plants and fish will it? And should I feed my fish during this time? would dosing with Excel help or does that only help certain types of algae?
 

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a blackout won't do any damage to my plants and fish will it? And should I feed my fish during this time? would dosing with Excel help or does that only help certain types of algae?
blackout shouldnt harm your fish/plants. But I had a bad experience with a black out.. Since i did it a few days after i trimmed my plants. So all the new trimmings melted. Plus they were the most light demanding plants.
You can feed your fish. Just without lights ofcourse. And when you do the blackout throw some sheet over the tank so it gets no light at all, no room light, sunlight.

Dont think excel works in this case.
 

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a blackout won't do any damage to my plants and fish will it? And should I feed my fish during this time? would dosing with Excel help or does that only help certain types of algae?
No damage should be done to your plants or fish. This link will tell you how to do the blackout day by day... http://www.aquariaplants.com/cloudygreenwater.htm

Excel will not help green water.
 

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i just experienced some green water, i dont kno if its gone but i did a blackout with just a blanket for 2 days and did a water change with RO water, but i also just added a lot of plants to combat the algae and i put a lower light on my tank compared to my 65 watt over my 15 gal tall, RO water change and some more plants should help
 

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I've heard another cure for green water is to cut a willow branch about 3 feet long (some new growth) and put it in the tank sticking out the water.

By the time the branch sprouts roots the GW is gone.

Never tried it, but thought it was interesting enough to mention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I've heard another cure for green water is to cut a willow branch about 3 feet long (some new growth) and put it in the tank sticking out the water.

By the time the branch sprouts roots the GW is gone.

Never tried it, but thought it was interesting enough to mention.
that is interesting, i'll have to see if I can find a willow branch...

I still haven't done a blackout, as I am moving in 3 days and I don't want to stress the fish out any more than is needed...
 
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