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Fishmerised

Green "pea Soup" Water

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Hi, the water in one of my 30g tanks has gone green, it's actually difficult to distinguish which fish is which when they are at the back of the tank.

Prior to this happening I had a problem with brown algae growing on everything and although it is still on the rocks and ornaments it hasn't grown back on the glass.

pH is 7.5, ammonia & nitrites are zero, the tank is four months old. There are six small fish, 1 inch - 1 1/2 inches (without tail), commets and fantails. I know that is too many fish but they are only small and the tank is large enough for them at the moment (they would be the equivilant of 3 x 3 inch fish).

I don't believe I am overfeeding, I've been feeding the same amount over the last 4 months and this has only occurred in the past 2 weeks.

I tried 20% water changes daily for a week but this didn't help, the temperature in the tank is 18 degrees, around 68 degrees I think (unheated). I also added special phosphate absorbing filter material but no changes.

The tank gets alot of indirect sunlight from the front screen door, but as it's winter down here the door is closed most of the time so it's actually getting less light than usual. When the door is closed the hall is actually quite dark, I found using aquarium lights for daylight hours promoted brown algae. Now I only turn the lights on for a couple of hours in the evening.

Can anyone help me with this problem? The water is healthy but very unsightly, especially at the front entrance of the house.

Cheers! Annette

Any clues as to why this is happening, how to get rid of the pea soup.

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No clues, but you could take all the water out and clean the tank and gravel and decorations. :( I could lend you a paper I wrote on that - starting over the aquarium, if you would like it?

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Thank you - I'll try anything. I was actually thinking of changing the stones to an artifical type I have in other tanks. Algae hardly grows on these stones at all.

Cheers! Annette

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Guest Indiglo

i have this same exact problem, actually i was coming to post about this today and found this instead so i'll just add my post here...

i have 2 fish and a snail in a 10 gallon, as above i know i'm over my limit but this is temporary for a few more months...

tank has been established for a long time and fully cycled (0 nitrites, nitrates)

One day my water just turned green and no matter what i do, i cant get it clear again.,.. i was doing 20% and 50% water changes every day but it turns green faster then i can change it. I added some more real plants to the tank, i dont turn on my lights as much, it gets 0% direct sunlight, i feed less food now.

i've tried almost everything and i just cant get it to stay clear! ack, someone please help!, i'm so tempted to just get some of the algae killer chemicals but i really dont want to do that...... any suggestions would help.

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There are a few things you both can try. Cover up the tank so no light gets in at all for a few days, this should starve the algae of light. Often, another cause of algae bloom like this is excess phosphates in tap water, seems to happen often in the summertime. You can pick up what is called a Phosphate Sponge, and people swear they work wonders.

I'd try either or both of those methods before tearing a tank down. Sunlight from a window will definately be a culprit.

Another option is to get some live plants that use nutrients extremely fast, but with goldies, its not really an option, those types of plants are their fav snack.

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An algae bloom is a sign that your cycle is working splendidly. You have loads of nitrates to feed that algae. Algae can be kept more under control by trying to keep your nitrate as low as possible - even lower than you are right now. Without the "food", the algae will not be quite as bad....

The very best way to deal with the free floating algae that causes green water is a UV filter - it will sterilize the water as it passes through the filter and kill all the floating algae. This can be a fair expense, but it is probably worth every penny spent.

Second to the UV and reducing nitrates, the product AlgaeDestroyer or some such herbacide will clear a green tank in a matter of an hour. There are some cautions I feel need to accompany such use, however. First, it is a herbacide. This means it KILLS plants. IF you have any real plants in your tank, take them out. It will kill them also. Next : It also does not control the type of algae that grows on the glass and ornaments very well - it does wonders for the free floating algae though. Finally, I have never had it harm fish, but I would NOT use it if your fish are struggling with ANYTHING - semi cycled tank, disease or stress of any nature or anything at all that could lower their immunity and abilty to deal with added stress.

Make sure when you add the dose, measure carefully. I do not like using tablets because they can leave pockets of high concentrations of herbacide and do not dissolve well enough in the tank for my comfort. If you have tablets, pre-dissolve them in a cup ahead of time and add the result to the tank. Same goes for the liquid medication. Dissolve it ahead of time and add the mix to some water that you replace into your tank so it is diluted when it hits the tank.

A clarifier or fluculator will also help pull all the killed algae out of the water and your tank will clear within 1-2 hours.

I personally do not use the stuff except in the case of emergency. I have never had any bad effects, but I generally do not like adding extras to the tanks unless it is necessary. Green water is not harmful to your fish in any way - it is considered rather healthy in many parts of the world.

Since you do not seem to be giving too much light (except that it is a green instead of brown so that means you have fine light!), I would suggest cleaning it out with UV or Algaecide, then keeping your nitrates a little lower if possible to control future outbreaks. Sometime tanks go through blooms and then you do not see the blooms again in a long time. It has been over a year since my last one......

Good luck! :)

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Guest Indiglo

thanks for the helpful replies guys, i will try some of these when i go home later, i want to avoid using a chemical cleaner at all costs, i dontw ant to hurt my fish

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I would use a clean (new) sponge or a AlergeScrapper (found in pet-stores) to take off alerge.

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Thanks everyone, I feel better to be reassured it's healthy.

A UV steriliser is too expensive but I will consider using a herbicide. Thanks again.

Cheers! Annette

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Hi Fishmerised!!

Been a looooong time since I last visited this place.. The last time I came by was to reply your private message.. now I am back again to share a website which I have posted in a message.. while I am here, I will give you a tip to your problem.. and I will disappear again after doing so.. I am stopping by just becuz it is you.. I sincerely thank you and Garion for making me feel so warm during those days when I was still very active in here.. for your info, my 6 tanks are still running well with no casualty!! and I will be writing my last tip in another article after this about tanks...

back to your problem.. Perhaps it is time for you to give your tank a GOOD scrub.. since your tank was infested with algae before, there is a high tendacy that you get algae bloom very easily..

the theory is derived from a grassland.. a bare land will always be bare.. but once you let a few strand of wild grass to grow, it will spread and it will be out of control no matter how often you trim them unless you give wipe them out thoroughly by burning.. what's the reason?? seeds.. the seeds are left behind and they are the basic cause of the bloom of the wild grass...

applying this theory, you either cleanout your tank or another possible way is to employ a finer filter media to filter out the "seeds" and you will notice that all algae are growing in the filter box like my case.. :) my filter cover is always the first to turn green and nothing else except my filter boxes are infected with algae..

lastly, reduce lighting.. and introduce more plants helps to cunsume up the valuable nitrate that aids algae bloom..

anyway, algae bloom is always a good sign.. it shows that your tank is in perfect condition.. ample oxygen and ample lighting etc etc.. which is good for ur fishes.. negative side - algae blooms is the start of another problem as too much algae may start to introduce new problem.. if algae is kept under control, your tank is indeed PERFECT.. :)

hope this helps a bit..

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It's great to hear from you again Fi5killer, Im glad to hear all you fish are thriving and no casualties, I thought something may have happened and you were sad.

Please don't disappear again, if something/someone upset or disturbed you please talk to a Mod or to Koko.

You are a great asset to this board and some of your posts were pinned for posterity. We miss your fishy knowlege and your philosophical comments.

Cheers! Annette

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I agree with Annette - PLEASE do not go away. We need minds like yours here. You are a great contributor and an important member of Koko's! :please

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Hi daryl, thanks. :)

I wont leave.. I wont vaporise.. I will come back, as much as I can..

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Does anyone else find it odd that people who like algae in their tanks (like me) work very hard for it and harldy ever get it and the people who find it repulsive don't want it? *wry grin*

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Guest Indiglo

I dont mind the algae on surfaces in my tank it's the floating stuff in the water that bugs me, i cant even see my fish when they arent right at the front....

does anyone know of a good but affordable UV sterilizer? i have a 10 gallon tank now but am moving up to a much larger one in the next month or so....

i may be willing to invest in one. if it's not too terribly expensive

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I just remembered something that coincides with my floating algae, I wonder if it's connected?

The ceiling light for the front entrance area is directly above the tank. I recently changed over from an ordinary bulb to one of those long lasting ones that use less electricity. I've forgotton what they are called.

I changed over because now it's winter and the front door is shut (most of the time) I had the light on 8 hours a day. Hmm? I'm leaving it off now, I wonder if it will make a difference?

Cheers! Annette

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This could very well be the additonal light which stimulated your bloom. When I moved a tank to the center of the living room - when we were redoing the room it was in originally, it had a background covering the back, the back was facing the window to block the light with the background cover, yet it still got enough extra light that the tank bloomed green within a day! After clearing it, and moving it back to its original place, the tank has been fine since.

That little extra light might have been just enough to do it! :lol:

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Isn't it funny how we often forget the simple things and look for complicated reasons for problems :lol:

Cheers! Annette

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Those power compact bulbs really put out a ton of light, I know the plants love them so it woud make sense that the algae would too!

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light certainly has impact over algae..

during rainy days (cloudy), my tank can stay clear, crystal clear for days..

during sunny days, the water starts to turn slightly greenish after 2 days.. so I always pray for rainy days.. :P

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I do have a (dumb) question. People who ask for remedies of free-floating algae are usually informed of a UV steralizer, which I know works from having people use it.

Now wouldn't removing the actual free-floating algae in the water, like a diatom filter, achieve the same results? Forgive the ignorance, since I don't have a diatom filter, but the occasional processing of the water through the diatom would filter out the algae and be cheaper.

Any insights/comments/speculation/etc?

(and, yes, I'm still jealous of those of you that have this "problem" (emphasis added for humor only). :P

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Diatom filters are awful expensive... (but keep in mind I've never compared the prices to a UV filter!). I would guess the benefit of running a UV sterilizer all the time would outweight the high price of a diatom and hooking it and running it every once in a while... and it would be better for the fish to have steady conditions instead of suddenly changing something.

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Not trying to be arguementative, merely trying to play Devil's Advocate for curiosity sake (and to be more informed). People who have a UV and/or diatom would know better than I.

I think the cost of the two filters are roughly the same. I was at vvvv last week, and I think the price differential was only off a few dollars. Now I understand most people run a UV filter all the time, but a diatom filter only when needed, or am I just misinformed? The only example I have is a friend who runs one to "polish" his water when it needs it.

And I wholeheartedly agree about not subjecting fish to drastic changing conditions.

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Get some live daphnia and a breeder net. They'll clear up the algae for ya. :)

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