Green Water forming
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Green Water forming

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Old 06-07-2010, 11:22 PM   #1
Question Green Water forming

Any one could advice me about green water. Is not that bad but i can see green water forming due to green algea blooming. But I have treated it with PondCare® AlgaeFix® yesterday. Before the treatment I have stop the lighting and also less feeding. This weekend I will change the water about 50%. Adviceable?

BY the way, I am using filtered water for my fish tank and I did put some water conditioner (chlorinates remover). What other treatment should I put in? What is the best practise? Do you treat the water in the 3.6L bucket each time pouring in the tank or pour all the water in the tank then treat it?
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Old 06-08-2010, 02:55 AM   #2
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Welcome to TFK!

Normally I treat the water in the bucket before pouring it into the tank.

Do you have the numbers for ammonia/nitrite/nitrate for your tank? How big is the tank and what fish are kept in it? Do you have live plants? What kind of lighting do you have and what's your lighting schedule? How much are you feeding, and how often?

The answers to these questions might help us get to the source of your green water problem. I don't remember specifics, but I've heard that algae treatments like you're using aren't a good idea for some reason or another. I don't think the algae bloom is dangerous, exactly, but it is unsightly.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:51 AM   #3
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Agree with iamntbatman, that info will help us sort out the cause. As he says, it is not harmful to fish, but it does indicate an imbalance (which can lead to other issues) and is unsightly.

Please don't use the chemicals to treat such problems, they rarely work. And being chemical, they stress out the fish. The fish will be far healthier living in a green soup even if you can't see them than they will with this stuff in the water. If you have live plants, these chemicals will harm them too.

The active ingredient of most algaecides is either copper or simazine. Both are highly toxic to fish and plants [copper is a micro-nutrient but this is at a very small amount]. Plus, the dying algae (if they work) can release toxins into the water, and its decomposition uses oxygen and fish have been known to die just from these.

Generally speaking, the only additives that need to go in the water is a good conditioner at water changes and plant fertilizer (if you have plants). The less stuff in the water, the better for the fish. By the way, plants are known to inhibit algae growth by releasing allelochemicals--another good reason to have live plants.

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Old 06-08-2010, 12:05 PM   #4
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Nothing to add to batman's and Byron's posts but I wanted to say, "Welcome to TFK!" We're glad you found us.
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Old 06-08-2010, 07:52 PM   #5
I dont have the reading of ammonia/nitrite/nitrate. I am assuming that EasyBalance will do the job for me. Should Invest on the test kits? My tank is 30g and the fishes are Neon Tetra, Golden Tetra, Black Tetra, Albino Shark, guppy, swordtail & shrimp. I do have T5 lighting and I also have drift wood and 4 plants. The Substrate that I am using is sand and coral sand. I did make a mistake, it was lighted up at night till morning and now, I have totally shut it off even day and night. The feeding is about 2 twice a day morning and night.

Last night I did the water change about 50% and I have add chlorinate remover and some water conditioner. By the way, I found out that the hose to my inlet and outlet has the brown algea growing. I am going to clean the canister fliter and the hose. Also I am going to wrap hose so that no sun light. Does it sound bad? Do you think is a good idea to invest on UV?

I am trying to achieve a clear water. Any advice.
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Last edited by robert958; 06-08-2010 at 07:57 PM..
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:28 PM   #6
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"Green water" is simply unicellular algae that proliferate to the point the water becomes cloudy and unclear. Algae, like all plants, needs nutrients in the presence of light. So, green water is caused by excess nutrients and/or too much light.

First, the Tetra Easy Balance is likely contributing to the problem. I do not recommend using this product, or anything similar. The claims by the manufacturer as to what it allegedly does is to me just messing around with the natural bacteria in the aquarium and offsetting the proper balance. Ammonia will increase, as does CO2, and both these will feed algae.

Reduce the light. I'm not sure if I am understanding correctly, but I get the impression the light was on nearly full-time previously. That certainly would be a cause for this, with the nutrients. And, you have T5 light which is more intense, particularly if you have T5 HO (high output) which most T5 is, so that is again adding more trouble. I don't know what the 4 plants are, but I will assume they are not enormous, and 4 smallish plants in a 30g is not going to assimilate all the nutrients and use all that light, which is how we balance things normally; no more light and nutrients than what the plants can use, and algae will never be a problem.

A complete "blackout" (no light on at all) for a couple days won't hurt. Then have the light on no longer than 8 hours each day. And add some more plants. I suspect the other nutrients (minerals) are in short supply, so a good liquid plant fertilizer would help. Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium is one of the best; a 1/2 teaspoon once or twice a week is all you need in a 30g. Stop using the Easy Balance, use only a good water conditioner at each partial water change. And more frequent water changes (every other day) will help to reduce this.

Almost forgot: the coral sand. This will raise pH and hardness because it is calcareous. This also assists algae. If you can give us the pH and hardness it would help. You have some fish (and the shrimp) that prefer basic (aslkaline) water, whereas the tetras generally do not but can adapt if it is not too high. Fish stores will test water for you. The sand may be OK, let's see the numbers first.

As for a test kit, yes, this is a good investment. API make a combo that includes tests for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate; these are the most important. The liquid test kits, as opposed to strips, are more accurate and woth the extra money.


Last edited by Byron; 06-08-2010 at 08:34 PM..
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:35 PM   #7
A thousand thank you Byron, will use your advice. I am robert from Malaysia. My tank have 2 - Petite Nana, 1 - Anubias minima and the other one I dont know. Hmm looks like i need a bigger plant to balance it. Is there any recommending plant?I do have liquid fertilizer like JBL florapol which it recommended 2 or 3 drops daily. well that help?

I read over the net and realize that not all kind of plant suit for sand substrate, right? I realize that the plant that was on the drift wood doing better. Is that true?

Will provide the reading?

What if the pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate increase, it need to remove it right? So, what product that will normalize back all this? Any recommendation? What about Phospahate? Do i need a remover?

By the way, I found out that the canister hose my inlet and outlet has the brown algea growing. Is that bad? or normal?

- Thank You -
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:31 AM   #8
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How long has your tank been set up? Brown algae is fairly common in new tanks, and furthermore algae growing around filter intakes/outlets is sort of inevitable. You can wipe off what you can and clean out your canister filter hoses if you get a lot of algae buildup in there, but you never want to clean out your whole canister filter as this will destroy all of the beneficial bacteria that has colonized there. If the flow on your canister filter starts to slow down, you can rinse filter media in used tank water to get rid of some of the buildup.

If your tank is fully cycled, you should have consistently zero ammonia and nitrite and low amounts of nitrate, which is removed from your tank by having live plants and by doing water changes. The coral sand will make your pH rise over time but it should eventually level out; there's no way to know if your pH is too high or not without a number for it. In any case you want to avoid big pH swings as that can be very harmful to your fish.

As for phosphate, that should only be getting added to your system through things like fish food and plant fertilizers, but regular water changes should keep that under control. I wouldn't worry about phosphate, but a good liquid test kit that can test for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate would be a very useful tool.

Finally, and Byron (or anyone else) can correct me if I'm wrong, but those plants you mentioned are all anubias plants that are slow growers that should be attached to pieces of driftwood rather than planted in your substrate. I'm not sure if fertilizers are necessary for those particular plants.
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:20 PM   #9
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I agree with iamntbatman's post, so won't repeat all that. And yes, the Anubias plants must be attached to wood or rock, not planted in the sand--the rhizome (the thick "root" structure from which the leaves and finer roots grow out of) will rot if buried. And yes, they are slow growers and require less light.

On the light, you didn't confirm if it is T5 HO (high output). My previous advice still stands. The Anubias will not use much light or nutrients, so I suggest more plants. Faster growing ones like any of the sword plants (Echinodorus species) can be planted in the sand. Vallisneria and Sagittaria would also be good, they can withstand harder water and are fast growing and reproducing. Floating plants I would absolutely get, anything to cover the surface. This will reduce the light getting into the water, plus floating plants grow very fast and thus consume a lot of nutrients; they get CO2 from the air, and nutrients from the water, so that would help a lot with reducing nutrients. Ceratopteris (Water Sprite) is one of the best, but if you can't find them locally, almost any stem plant can be left floating with the same results, fast growth.

Give us the pH and hardness numbers when you have them; don't mess with the sand yet, it may be fine.

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Old 06-10-2010, 08:26 PM   #10
Thanks, sorry forgot about it. I have T5 14W and another HE 14W. The reading is PH Higj Range7.4, PH 7.6, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0 and Nitrate 0. I dont have the phosphate reading. Will get later, the shop out of phosphate tester.

I also just brought a bigger plants
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