Getting rid of green water using willow method - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 03-23-2008, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Getting rid of green water using willow method

Another method of getting rid of green water is the willow method. I personally think that this method should be used before the black out method and black out should be used in the last resort.

With this method, it takes 5-8 days to completely get rid of green water. It removes the cause of Green water and some other algae. You don't need to stop dosing your fertilizer and you don't need to switch your lights off. You donít need to do extra water changes, just do your normal water changes. Remember I spoken in the black out method that green water is usually caused by a combination effect of Excess Nutrients and Excess Light. While the Black out method is to get rid of the light source, this willow method is to get rid of the excessive nutrients.

My methods are as follow,

Step 1: Pluck a few branches from the willow trees.
Step 2: Pluck out the leaves from the bottom of the branches. So the tip of the branch will have some leaves while the bottom (the part where will be soaked inside the water) will be leafless.
Step 3: Put the branches into the tank with the part without leaves soaking inside the water.
Step 4: Wait patiently for few days and you will see roots starting to appear from the branches.
Step 5: The Green water should be completely gotten rid off after a week and this effect usually come overnight!
Step 6: At this point of time remove all the willow branches else your plants will suffer from the lack of nutrients.

Side note: I find it effective to put willow branches into a fish bowl with a lone betta in it. It helps in reducing the ammonia level in it.

If you do not know how a willow tree look like, check out

hope this will help :D

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post #2 of 5 Old 03-23-2008, 11:24 PM
What would happen should the willow branches been treated with either a systemic or direct contact insecticide? And how can one tell what has been applied to the plant? Many cities spray for mosquitos in the summer. This method could not come highly recommended could it?
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post #3 of 5 Old 03-23-2008, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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yes, you are right. We must be cauious for what ever thing we put inside the tank. One thing we can do here is to soak the branches in water over night before using it in the aquarium

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post #4 of 5 Old 03-24-2008, 01:44 AM
Could using a regular aquarium plant, such as elodea(a nutrient hog in it's own right), produce the same results and be safer? It is a very inexpensive plant when compared to some in the hobby. Cobomba carolinas could be another choice.

5-8 days may seem like a long time to some. I have used a diatom filter, a big X-1, to initially remove algae. I imagine that any micron filter in a high volume water flow canister would do the same job. Then I placed a plant such as elodea to contain the problem, since it sounds, here, like we are talking excess nutrients. The elodea would take care of that, correct? It just sounds like a much safer procedure. At least to me.

Snails could be a problem, but that would just be an excuse to buy that Botia striata you saw at the lfs. lol
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-24-2008, 03:33 AM Thread Starter
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yes, but willow tree branches is much more effective than most aquatic plants in taking in nutrients. Another alternative other than willow branches might be using Water Hyacinth. But not all places have water hyacinth, its even illegal to have it in certain countries.

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