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Author Topic: Green water  (Read 1316 times)
newbloom
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Green water
« on: April 13, 2010, 03:37:11 PM »

Hi all!

I am new to the aquarium life. I have a 20gallon tank witha couple of fantails in it who are quite happy. However, my water is neon green and I cant see the fish. I have tried covering the tank with a blanket for a couple of days, water changes, and now Jungle algae remover... Help !! My daughter misses her fish!
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Katarine
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Re: Green water
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2010, 09:17:40 PM »

lessee here... if its green you definitely have a bit of an algae problem. Where is you're tank located exactly? Near a window or other direct sunlight source? You may need to get a different aquarium light. What is your water chemistry like? Nitrate and nitrites and ammonia? Give us as much information as possible about your tank so we can pinpoint the problem Smiley
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Nossie
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Re: Green water
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2010, 02:55:11 AM »

You do regular water changes, right?
If you don't better start doing so weekly, or add a few plants! These should be competing with the algae for nutrients, meaning that algae should starve.

And if you DO have the tank close to a window or otherwisely exposed to direct sunlight, you should definitely consider changing the place. First of all, you get problems with algae, and secondly, your fish won't be feeling good with the constant temperature changes.
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Hanna
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Re: Green water
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2010, 05:51:45 AM »

Hi newbloom,

excess algae growth is mostly caused by direct sunlight. If this is the case you must change the place of your aquarium asap, please, use your algae control or remover exactly as it is advised.
Best location for an aquarium is inside away from the window, maybe opposite wall,  NO direct sunlight.
Also please test the water as Kat and Nossie already mentioned also pH and please watch your fish closely. Hope they do not get sick.

Good Luck
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Dot
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Re: Green water
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2010, 12:11:42 PM »

Hi - have question. Some people use a little Borax in swimming pools to get rid of algae, and with excellent results, it would appear.

Have a 60 gallon goldfish aquarium with several 5-7 yrs large goldfish , an equally large pleco and one small weather loach.  Had this for a few years, operating this mostly off the seat of my pants, without necessarily measuring things. So far so good. It is a lot of work, where a bit of Borax might might just lighten the chore. Any comments? Don't want to subject my fish to something that is known not to be good.

Borax is a salt, and we do add salt to tanks. Borax is also used as a food additive and even in cosmetics. Anyone any suggestions as to what concentration of Borax might be safe?
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nabi
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Re: Green water
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2010, 01:07:16 PM »

Hi Dot

Using Borax can affect the pH of the water. You don't want the pH bouncing up and down while you're trying to control algae, as this will stress your fish and perhaps make them vulnerable to different diseases.

Having green water is definitely not normal. I would look at your water parameters, especially nitrate level.  Excessive nitrate due to infrequent water changes can help to feed algae and cause your water to turn green.  Also check to see how long you have the lights turned on each day.  Algae needs two primary things for growth, light and nutrients.  You can try to starve algae of nutrients by adding some additional live plants to the aquarium and keeping nitrate levels low. Also try to reduce the length of time you have the aquarium lights on.

You mentioned it's a chore to take care of your aquarium. I'm guessing you are talking about changing the water. One thing that could ease that problem is something known as a python tube that you hook up to the sink. It will pretty much change the water automatically for you so you can enjoy your aquarium more without stressing out.

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I would not recommend trying to adding any type of chemical to control algae. If you do some or all of the steps above, your green water should definitely go away.

How often do you change the water per month and what percentage?
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Dot
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Re: Green water
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2010, 05:19:52 PM »

Thanks for the Python tube suggestion. I will definitely look into that. Connection distance might be a problem, as my aquarium is not exactly near a source of water. Been very busy lately, that's why the green. Trying not to overfeed and keeping lights to a minimum has been an ongoing procedure already.

But back to borax - the ph is no problem, that can be adjusted. What I really want to know, is borax in itself damaging to a setup such as mine, i.e., any known toxicity in low concentrations? Does anyone have any real experience with Borax, apart from controlling algae in swimming pools?
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Hanna
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Re: Green water
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2010, 06:48:12 PM »

Hi Nabi,
this is worth another karma. Will have a look in the petshop. Otherwise I may need to check on ebay australia....
This Phyton Siphon will make AQ maintenance much easier
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Dot
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Re: Green water
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2010, 08:22:36 PM »

Took a look at all the parts contained in the Python set, very neat. And comes with long tubes. Will check with a local retailer, as I really should do something this weekend yet. If no one carries it, I will have to go through my storage, I might have some of the parts from an old water bed, and I have a gravel tube for the fish tank.

This is really a good thread with fast and well thought out answers. Thanks again.
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Hanna
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Re: Green water
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2010, 09:14:12 PM »

HI Dot,

also want to WELCOME you to this forum Grin
yep you'll get lots of info on here
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Nossie
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Re: Green water
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2010, 03:30:03 AM »

Dot: Even if the pH can easily be adjusted, it's not something you should simply do whenever you feel like it or need to do so. Because this is incredibly stressful for the fish, slightest change in pH could bring on unwanted disease or shock in your fish. So if possible, try keeping it steady! Goldfish can acclimitize easily to both lower and higher pH, so it's better having it stable than at the "ideal" level if that means you have to enhance it.

That's just a bit of extra Wink
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Dot
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Re: Green water
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2010, 02:18:36 PM »

I found some papers online dealing with Borax and goldfish, one of them from the US Forestry Service. Basically non-toxic in very low concentrations. I found a python set-up, and thank you so much for reminding me of the easier way to drain and fill. Water beds for my sons were such a long time ago. But what a big relief.

Since water changes alone won't cure green, I found daphnids as a suggestion. Might try a few of those, provided I can find some here. Don't want to have any shipped. Also not a permanent solution.

In the meantime, I did try just the tiniest amount of Borax (1/2 teaspoon on 60g tank). As expected without any success. The US Forestry Service paper suggests much higher levels for green algae. But they have no information on these higher levels with respect to goldfish.

To minimize collection places for all sorts of debris and what have you, I removed all decor, gravel etc from my tank, to avoid the frequent water changes. With the python, I now have  taken new courage to beautify the tank once more.

In particular, since the addition of just that tiny amount of Borax seems to have done wonders for one of my older goldfish. That one had turned into a bottom dweller, sitting in a corner of the tank, only coming up for feedings. Looked healthy enough though. Had been doing this for about one year or so. Shortly after the Borax went in, which I added to the pump chamber, that fish became almost instantly mobile again, and has been swimming happily ever since. No more hiding in corners of the tank, whether there were plants and  gravel or not.

I also read that moneywort makes a good aquarium plant. Have some healthy looking ones in my garden. Wondering about chickweed (Canadiensis). Anyone know whether that is safe to either grow directly in the tank, or let it sit in the pump chamber and let only the leaves float in the tank?
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Nossie
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Re: Green water
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2010, 02:22:47 AM »

Any plants that aren't 100% aquatic plants shouldn't be put in a tank. Mainly because they'll rot, and also because some might be toxic, and in a garden they might've been sprayed with something unhealthy. I'd rather go to the pet shop and buy myself a big bunch of plants for my tank Cheesy If you don't already have that!

I don't know how much you feed, but you could try feeding a little less every day, once or twice a day maybe, until you're rid of the algae problem. Make sure it's a small, small amount of food for each fish!

How big are the water changes you do? Anything smaller than 50% will most likely have no effect on the water/algae.
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Dot
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Re: Green water
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2010, 07:51:46 PM »

Thanks, Nossie. My green water is a problem of long standing. Started sometime earlier this year. I have not only done 50, 60, 70% water changes, but have also emptied the tank twice, completely disinfected it, rinsed the fish off before putting them back, all to no avail. I do salt the water, but perhaps not enough, and keep lights to a minimum, and don't overfeed.

I now have solved my green water problem. One of my fish showed white spot, while searching for the best way to handle this, I came upon the salt treatment. Anything from one tsp to one tbsp max per gallon was recommended. I increased the salt concentration slowly, and at a certain moment then, the green simply vanished. I have crystal clear water without having done a water change that day. The white spot has not cleared up fully. This will take bit longer, since my tank is not exactly at or above 25C, and I do not intend to raise the temperature. But I did make some nutritional changes.

From my experience I would say that increasing the salt concentration sufficiently, will do away with green water. Once the white spot is gone, I will use less salt again. But it is so good to know, I have at least one more weapon in my arsenal that will take care of green.

I went back over everything done with the fish tank earlier this year, and now suspect that introduction of plants (changing from plastic only) might have introduced the organism responsible fro green. These plants, as you also suggest, were store bought. They had been kept in a separate tank, with no fish or other aquatic animals, and I assumed they should be safe. Turns out this may not have been the case. For the time being, the tank is still without any adornment at all. Once the white spot has cleared, I will probably stick with plastic only, as I did in the past.

Thanks again.
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Hanna
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Re: Green water
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2010, 02:04:46 AM »

Hi Dot,

I've been using live plants from day 1 and NEVER had the "green water" problem. I also use water agar to control algae growth and have the light set at approx 10 hours only.
Live plants also help to keep Nitrates down, as they use them as fertilizer. Smiley

So maybe it is not the plants which cause your problem?
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Nossie
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Re: Green water
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2010, 02:55:20 AM »

I can pretty much 100% assure you that the problem does not lay with the plants. Plants are the most common way to fight off algae and green water. So you'll probably get this back once you'll start using the plastic ones. On the other hand, (don't know if anyone asked) but how big is your filter? Is it big enough to handle the biological load caused by goldfish?
Is your tank properly stocked?

Because if your fish got ich just a while ago, there's definitely something wrong with your water quality, for example, high nitrates, due to insufficient filtration or overstocking. So do take a look at your water quality, stocking levels and filter.

If you don't keep 1 fish per 10 gallon, or if your filter isn't rated for a tank twice the size you've got, or if the nitrates are around 40ppm or more, you might find your problem there.
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Dot
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Re: Green water
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2010, 10:14:07 AM »

Hi Karma: Filter size is good, no overstocking. With the python, I will be able to do more frequent water changes.  I feel so relieved that this chore has become an absolute cinch.

Back to solving green - while increasing the salt concentration, I also dumped some food grade diatomaceous earth into a filter bag. The filter bag slipped my hand, and a fair amount went directly into tank. Gives a milky appearance, that clears itself up quickly enough through the filters.

Perhaps it was the combination, diatomaceous earth and salt that cleaned up the green, or even the diatom crystals on their own. Will find out, if I ever run into green again. I found reference to this earth for fish tanks also on the internet. As I usually keep a fair size bag (20 kg) of this stuff around for other purposes, I had no problem giving this a try. Perfectly safe, completely non-toxic, also good for humans and other household pets. I got mine from an agricultural supply store, really inexpensive. Farmers use it for grain storage, in animal husbandry as food additive and insecticide for barns, yards, coops, etc. Worry-free for in- and outdoor usage, perfectly safe for children and pets. Any unintentional ingestion is beneficial.
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