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Cloudy Green Tinted Water


Guest Matthew+Heidi

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Guest Matthew+Heidi

Hey everyone!!

I'm just looking for some advice. Here are my tank stats:

A 10 gallon tank with 1 goldfish (my oranda baby, Suki)

It's equipped with a "hang on the back" whisper power filter

The tank has been set-up for over 4 months now - the tank cycled fine and everything.

Now, first I just had a lil bit of brown algae build-up forming on the glass and on my plastic plants every once in a while (it wasn't much).

But lately Suki's water has started becoming very cloudy with a tinge of green to the water. I do 25% water changes about every 5 days.

Suki doesn't seem to mind the green cloudiness at all (in fact, I think he may be liking it!!), but I prefer the nice clean and clear look since Suki is one of the main focal points in my home when people come over :)

Any idea what's causing all of the green cloudiness?? Anyway to safely prevent it or remove it?? Or is it more healthy for Suki just to keep it in there??? Even after doing water changes, it clears up a lil bit, but quickly goes back to how it was..

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

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Do you know what your nitrate levels are? Sometimes, even with good water changing habits, the nitrates have a way of sneaking up on me, and when I measure them I am amazed at just how high they have gotten. High nitrates can really create an algae problem quickly for it is the best plant food/fertilizer in a tank. :)

How long do you leave your light on? REduction of light can also help curb an out of control green algae problem.

How many gallons per hour does your Whisper filter do for you? It might be that it is not quite up to the job of polishing your water.

Lastly, rather than clarifying chemicals or algaecides, there are special extremely fine filter pads that you can get that will filter extremely fine particles from the water - and can help clean up the tank.

Green floating algae is unsightly, but not harmful. Hazy water from underfiltration is, on the other hand, not so great.

:)

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I too am suffering from pea soup and find it a tad annoying.

In addition to the good points given by daryl, I have read that stuff in tap water may encourage it, such as phosphates and iron. I'm a bit unsure on the actual cause of peasoup because I run 2 goldfish tanks side by side. One is crystal clear, the other is opaque. Go figure. ;)

I tend to believe that solid fish waste in the water column may be a major factor. I'd like to elaborate more, but I'm holding a tired baby right now, making it a bit difficult to type.

Once it gets in a tank, I find it extremely difficult to remove. I have installed a UV steriliser to zap it in one of my tanks.

Slugger :D

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest Matthew+Heidi

So it's me again - bringing this post back to life :)

I'm still battling with the green water - I've even upped the water changes to at least 2 times a week, but it doesn't help at all. The water looks a little better after each water change, but within an hour it seems to be just as bad as it was before..

My question now is this - are products like "Algae Fix" and other green algae bloom removers safe? Do they upset the nitrate cycle?

I'd just live with it, but it looks so unsightly!

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I would not add chemicals to your tank. Think about it: Mother nature adds no chemicals to her water...she just keeps things in balance. Healthy balance=healthy tank.

How much gunk is on the bottom of your tank? Do you do gravel vac EVERY time you change water? Do you vacuum around and UNDER tank decorations. At least once a month you should lift and vac under all decortations. It's amazing how much gunk gets under there!! :) How much and how often to you feed your fishy? Over feeding can lead to a huge algae bloom...

For a tiny tank like a 10g I would be doing at least 50% water changes every 5 days. Green water is caused by high nitrAtes, high light levels, high iron levels, overfeeding and high phosphates. I suspect that in your case it's high nitrAtes. Do larger water changes with more vacuuming. Reduce light times and if you have phosphates in your tap water, you can remove them with a phosphate inhibitor.

How large is your baby Suki(love the name)? Contrary to popular belief, I think it is nearly imposssible to maintain goldfish in a 10g for the 20+yrs of their life.

Think about it: once you add decortations and fish the amount of water in a 10g is actually closer to 7g or maybe 8g if not highly decorated. A 20g would be easier for 1 fish, 25g for 2 etc. Remember Orandas have the potential to grow to 12 inches. Could you imagine a 12 inch fish in a 10g? Pretty big...I wouldn't keep an adult goldfish in anything less than 25g per fish, but it can be done if you are willing to do the work.

I found it too hard to maintain nitrate levels at less then 20ppm( let alone the 10ppm that I strive for) in a 20g let alone a 10g. I upgraded to a 37g with plans to upgrade again to at least a 55g in a year for my 3.

Now then, that being said I think with increased water changes and better gravel vacs you will see a vast improvement. I can almost guarantee if you get your nitrate levels down below 20ppm, and keep them there the problem will resolve itself. It may take awhile, but it will happen. Do however many changes a week is required to maintain this.

I really don't like the idea of using chemicals or medications. If you take good care of your fish, and give them enough space, they will not get sick. Poorly maintained tanks are the reason fish get sick. A properly maintained tank takes care of itself.

Now don't take this post the wrong way. I am not saying that you can't keep a goldfish in a 10g, and I am not calling you a bad fish keeper. :)

I just think that in the future you will begin to have problems like I did. Hopefully it will clear up, and Suki will appeciate the extra clean water. So will you. You can never have too many water changes. Just don't change more then 50% at a time. I know a man who changes 50% of his 75g discus tank EVERY day. Can you say a lot of work!?!?! :blink:

A popular saying on another fish board I go to: " Fresh water fish like fresh water" Good luck! Keep us posted.

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Guest Matthew+Heidi

This is the puzzling thing.. I do vacuum the gravel everytime I change his water, and I take out his tank ornaments and rinse them off at least every other water change. The bottom of his tank is always amazingly clean.. hardly any gunky stuff when I vacuum or move the gravel.

As far as feeding - I feed him once a day, about 5-6 of the medium/small pellets or a pinch of flakes, or pinch of crumbles, or a green pea... just depends what day it is.

His head and body (not including fins) is about 3 1/2 inches. I know a 10 gallon tank isn't the optimum habitat for little Suki - I'm hoping to upgrade him to his own 20 gallon tank eventually. I'm just waiting for a lil extra cash to come my way :)

As for lighting, he's not in direct sunlight. I turn his light on in the evenings for a few hours.

-----------------------------------

So with all that said, I guess all I can really assume is that the nitrate levels are getting out of hand and I should try bigger water changes? You're right, I don't like the idea of adding chemicals.. esp. to a small 10 gal. tank, that's why I was wondering if anyone has used similar products before.

Here's another question/idea. Do you think the green tinge is caused by a poor filter?? I'm just using a "hang on back" whisper power filter right now - the kind that takes carbon media. I changed the media not too long ago, but I know carbon isn't the best for filtration. Would upgrading to a bio-wheel or other kind of filter help at all?? After all, when I get a 20 gal. tank, I'll need to buy a new filter anyways. Any thoughts??

Thanks for your thoughts and advice! It means a lot that you took the time out to post and help me out a bit.

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Sounds like you're doing a very good job! You obviously care about your fish.

Do you know the name brand of filter? I use Penguin bio-wheel filters and aqua clear filters. They do very well. I generally use at least twice as much filtration as the size of the tank. For example I have 80g worth of filtration on my 37g. HOB filters are just fine if you have enough gallons per hour. Both penguins and aquaclears are HOB filters. Do you rinse the filter pads in tank water every week to get the gunk off? The gunk on a fliter pad will contribute to nitrate levels greatly. Make sure you use tank water though, different temp. water or chlorine will kill off your bio-bed.

Now then, do you have incandesent light or flourescent? Incandescent is wonderful at growing algae. Algae likes low light levels. You can wait until your upgrade though. Light canopys are expensive to buy.

31/2 inches is gettting pretty big for a 10g, but you should be okay for awhile longer if do larger water changes. Do you know your ammonia, nitrIte and nitrAte levels? Ummmm, you can try adding some fast growing plants. The problem is that if you buy slow growing plants then the algae will actually starve the plants of nitrate.

I'll keep thinking. See if you can post your nitrate level. :)

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For a 10 gallon tank you really should try to make sure your filter passes at least 100 gallons per hour through the filter and media. I like to aim at 120-150 gph in a 10 gallon tank. If you are worried about currents, it is easy to have a strategically placed plant or decoration to break the flow and create the sweet spots the fish love to hang in and sleep in.

I think, as pointed out above, you really are going to get into all kinds of problems if you start adding algaefix and other herbacides to the the water. It is a bit like using a flea collar or flea powder on a dog and cat. The stuff is poison. Hopefully you are using enough to kill the pests and not enough to kill the dog or cat. The same goes for the fish - but how much is enough to kill the algae but not enough kill or injure the fish? That is a fine line to tread.

Better to control it through natural means. Since you are planning on upgrading, it is certainly beneficial to purchase the filter you will be wanting for your larger tank soon. You can hang it over the smaller tank and set it running. It will colonate with beneficial bacteria as it filters, and be all cycled and ready to go on the larger tank when you get it set up. When you do this, you will have the added benefit to test out the theory that under-filtration is one of the causes or the main cause of your hazy water. If it clears, then you need more in the 10.

I run modified Penquin 110s on my 10 gallon tanks. I have Emperor 280s on my 20s, Emperor 400s on my 30gallon tanks. My 56 has two 280s and an Eheim 2028. The various 40s and such have combos of misc. filters on them that add up to between 12 times an hour turnover of all the water in the tank to 20 times an hour. The more fish, or the larger the fish, the more turnover I create in a tank.

I hope this helps. :)

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