New lights. Water change?
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New lights. Water change?

This is a discussion on New lights. Water change? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I got my 6500K CFLs on my 10 gal tank. Before I was using 50/50 PC lighting that was causing algae growth.(greenish brown cloudy ...

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New lights. Water change?
Old 05-13-2010, 04:16 PM   #1
 
New lights. Water change?

I got my 6500K CFLs on my 10 gal tank. Before I was using 50/50 PC lighting that was causing algae growth.(greenish brown cloudy water) So, should I do a big water change to help it out or should I leave it alone? I do have 4 live plants. and two fish in there, a danio and redtail shark. tank has been running for a month and a half. I feed minimally.
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:41 PM   #2
 
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A partial water change will help clear the green water issue. It will have no effect on normal algae. With improved lighting, plants, and nutrients added for the plants--and provided all this is in balance--the ordinary algae will not increase. What is there will likely remain. Depending upon the type, I would remove what you can. I have every type of algae in most of my tanks, except for diatoms (brown), but in minimal amounts. As long as the light does not exceed what is used by the plants in balance with nutrients, you will not have problem algae.

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Old 05-13-2010, 06:55 PM   #3
 
Ok. Thanks. So the reason I got the new lights was because everybody was saying that the actinic portion of my old lights was causing the cloudy water. I only have a little bit of diatoms as far as algea goes. My new lights are 2x 6500k 15 watt CFL. With these lights, after my WC and some time do you think that the cloudy water will go away? I guess what I'm trying to ask is if my new lights will promote more cloudy water or not? That is my main concern right now.

Last edited by outpost; 05-13-2010 at 06:58 PM..
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:32 PM   #4
 
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It depends what is causing the "cloudy" water. If it is green, that is unicellular algae and light is the issue. Ordinary green algae (including brush, hair and spot) is a matter of light. All algae can make use of (as far as I understand) any light, whereas higher plants are more selective/demanding. And I agree, actinic light will promote algae because plants have difficulty using it. Same with green/yellow light. Any light in excess will likely grow plants, but algae also. Keeping the light to the blue and red for the plants, and adding some green to balance and make the colours appear natural--this is what we mean by full spectrum or daylight tubes around 6500K--and ensuring it is only sufficient to balance the nutrients for the plants, is the goal.

Diatoms (brown algae) is perfectly normal in newer tanks (usually during the first 3-4 months). After that, it should never occur again. If it does, some say the cause is too little light and/or excess minerals [you'll have to pardon me, I can't at the moment think of the word, but it has to do with minerals]. While I'm on the subject of minerals, all algae tends to be more prevalent or more easily occurring in alkaline water due presumably to the higher mineral and carbonate content, as opposed to soft acidic water.

A further issue with a 10g tank is the small water volume; almost any light over it is likely going to be greater than required by the plants, so controlling the duration (less) is the first way to deal with this. And having lots of plants, and ensuring they have adequate nutrients (liquid ferts).

Now, if the cloudy water is white and due to bacteria, my solution is to allow it to dissipate naturally; increasing water changes for bacterial cloudiness makes it worse. Of course, "white" cloudiness can also be simply the substrate settling, obviously in newly established tanks. Some tanks take longer than others to settle (clear). You may be tempted, but please don't use any of the so-called clarifiers; they are very stressful to fish because they work by binding the particulate matter into larger particles so the filter can remove them, but these chemical substances also bind the fish gills.

I hope this is of some help. Don't hesitate to question. Others may jump in from more experience than I have with this issue.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 05-13-2010 at 07:35 PM..
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:40 PM   #5
 
Sorry I didn't say this before but it is completely brown cloudy water.
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:57 AM   #6
 
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If there is wood in the tank this may be due to the release of tannins; if it is, it will dissipate in time (varies with the type of wood, some have more, some less, tannin). It is not harmful to fish or plants.
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:01 AM   #7
 
Yes. I do have a pice of wood in the tank. It's about a foot long. My mother suggested that I boil the stick for about an hour to get the rest of the tannins out. Also, are tannins always brown? She also said that they are not always brown. But I trust you way more about this stuff than my mom. So if I get my water tested and all's well would it be safe to another fish? Just one would be fine. And thanks for all the help and knowledge Byron you're awesome!
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Last edited by outpost; 05-14-2010 at 11:11 AM..
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Old 05-14-2010, 06:54 PM   #8
 
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Depending upon the type of wood, the water usually turns brownish or dull yellowish. Boiling the wood will usually release much of the tannin. If this is the source, it is harmless to fish and plants, so while it may not look nice (depending upon one's pioint of view) it is not a sign of unhealthy water. A foot-long piece of wood in a 10g tank would likely turn the water very brown. Even left, with regular weekly water changes of 50% (using a good water conditioner), it should normally dissipate after several weeks.

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Old 05-14-2010, 08:14 PM   #9
 
It is Malaysian drift wood. The owner of the fish store told me that some chemi pure would do the trick with my water issue. I listened to him. I also told him about the tannin problem. Should I have held off on the chemi pure?
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Old 05-15-2010, 03:03 PM   #10
 
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The Chemi-pure might remove the tannins, but as they are not a problem fish-wise I would not myself use it. It may do other things better left alone. I have never used this, but the data on the website mentions it removes organics, heavy metals, ...other nitrogenous waste. Normal bacteria handle the organics and waste, and the plants need nutrients of which heavy metals are 5 (copper, iron, zinc, nickel, manganese) and as you have plants I would not use this stuff in the filter. A water conditioner that detoxifies heavy metals is fine, as you can fertilize the plants 24 hours later. But on a continuing basis, your plants may begin to deteriorate.

As a general guide, nothing should go into the aquarium except water conditioner and plant fertilizers. Specific meds for a specific issue is another matter, but generally only these two substances belong in with fish.

Is the Malasian drift wood very dark, almost black? If yes, that may be what I have; the tannins will leech out fairly soon. There are other woods much worse than this, if it is what I have.

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