culturing greenwater (in tank) - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 14 Old 01-12-2014, 07:29 AM Thread Starter
culturing greenwater (in tank)

does anyone else have intentional experience with this ?

-i had greenwater (intentionally, i wanted it in the tank - first part of many ideas to follow)
-the greenwater crashed (unintentional)
-i could not get greenwater started again (i would add additional cultured greenwater directly to the tank and it would die within a couple days - clear water again)
-i eventually gave up adding additional greenwater to the tank for a few months (2-3 months)

i added some greenwater to the tank again a few days ago, it died off too, but instead of clearing up within a few days it took it near a week this time.

i could try an 80% water change in the tank (near the entire thing) and likely only remove 80% of whatever it is that is killing the greenwater culture i add to the tank. to me this doesn't sound like a solution. only 80% of a solution, so keeping 20% of the problem

does anyone have any other ideas on what to do to solve the problem so i could have greenwater in the main tank again ?


there are all kinds of things i could have in a tank that had it's own greenwater culture

-freshwater sponges
-daphnia (or other zooplankton)

without greenwater these are going to starve to death.

i know where to get freshwater sponges for our aquariums (canada & US both)
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-12-2014, 08:57 AM
I have cultured marine green water to help feed corals.

Florida aqua farms has supplies and even a book.

my .02

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

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post #3 of 14 Old 01-12-2014, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
culturing yes, ... i did that for a bit, ... then it crashed :(

now what ?

what do i do to get it going again ?

lots of large water changes ? ... i'm rather at a loss

unless there is some other bacterioplankton or something in there that i can't see that is eating all the greenwater and is slowly dying off because it's starving, not likely (added greenwater going from 2 days to almost a week before water is clear again) ... i'm really at a loss (i'm thinking something toxic from the greenwater dying that i have to wait for it to break down, but no one has any answers)

yes, having greenwater, prevent it from dying, ... or how to kill it ... yes these are what everyone talks about.

how about if it crashed and now your scratching your head "what to do" and no one has any advice beyond "hey, get rid of it" ... I WANT IT! and suddenly no one knows anything about how to get it back or what happened that the tank is now dealing with.
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-12-2014, 12:40 PM
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post #5 of 14 Old 01-12-2014, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
Ricky, yes, ...

there's a site online that talks about how they do their cultures

a large tank/barrel with goldfish, to provide lots for the greenwater.
they then move the greenwater to another container to use for food for zooplankton

i don't remember the time they waited to remove greenwater from the goldfish, but to refeed the zooplankton was warned to do so before the water was clear again ... damn, i gotta reread that site.
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post #6 of 14 Old 01-12-2014, 01:30 PM
It does a great job conditioning fish. You also don't want that dark slimely green water but nice bright green water it's pretty EZ to do outside I've never tried it inside under lights

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post #7 of 14 Old 01-12-2014, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
does phytoplankton use ammonium/nitrates like plants do ?
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post #8 of 14 Old 01-12-2014, 04:14 PM
Originally Posted by Flear View Post
does phytoplankton use ammonium/nitrates like plants do ?
Yes sir, it will burn off nitrate at an inconceivable rate that many times results in a die back. I can generally double my stocking load to between 50-60 5" Fancy Goldfish (depending on breed) in a 300 gallon stocktank but I'm also changing 10% of the water daily. I do most of my testing with a TDS meter and have about 300 ppm witch is very near what my water comes out of the well at.

Last edited by rickey; 01-12-2014 at 04:15 PM. Reason: sp
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post #9 of 14 Old 01-15-2014, 02:29 AM
One trick I learned was to take healthy green water and make ice cubes out of it. The process: I use strip tanks so when I siphon waste I do it through a brine shrimps net. I take a small glass eye dropper full of waste and add it to each ice cube hole then fill it with green water as freeze. When you need green water, simply place 1-2 cubes in a mason jar with aquarium water and add an additional dropper of fish waste. Place the jar in the window and within 3-5 days you got a really thick green water culture. These are really unstable so if you need green water for say a week get multiple jars going.

The only way I have been able to keep a culture going long-term is outside or with plant lights.
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post #10 of 14 Old 01-15-2014, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
if i submerged this bulb directly into a bucket of nutrient rich water

SHO & CFL Aquarium Lights | Compact Fluorescent | Sockets | Hydroponics

just a theory at the moment

but this much light directly in the water should provide phytoplankton with tons of light

worst case scenarios - the bulb could break, ... it should be easy enough to protect the ballast from direct water damage though

i'm curious about input.

as far as curiosities go, ... if this is great for phytoplankton (with lots of water current to keep things flowing) nitrates & other nutrients would be sucked back beyond compare i would think.

does anyone else have some input on the idea ?

as far as putting this directly in the water, ... i guess it doesn't matter if i've got a separate bucket for greenwater or this is directly in the display tank for culturing greenwater there

Last edited by Flear; 01-15-2014 at 06:21 PM.
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