Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Gah! Green Water help! (

onekatietwo 06-07-2009 10:52 PM

Gah! Green Water help!
Ugh. My aquarium is giving me nightmares. I'll spare you the whole story, but basically I have a 30 gallon aquarium with two small-ish fancy goldfish.
It is, I assume, uncycled (it was cycled, but then some issues arose, and now I'm out of ammonia test until I get paid (at which time I'll be getting a new aquarium and filter, anyway) at this point. It also doesn't have a filter so I'm doing water changes every day. I know this is not optimal, but its what I have to deal with until I get a paycheck.

I keep the water around 65-ish degrees f.

It has very, very little natural light and a florescent light (I'm not sure of the wattage, but I can check) that I basically only turn on while I'm in the room with the fish (not that often)

There are a few very small plants in it, but not enough that I would consider it 'planted'.

Anyway, no matter how much water I change or how often, it turns into a cloudy green almost immediately. I assume this is some sort of an algae, but I haven't read much on it.

I would REALLY like to get it under control and also know if it is harmful to my fish (or a sign of something that is harmful to my fish)

I know more info about the water would be helpful, but I switched jobs and thus have a period of almost no money until I get paid with my new job, so my fish keeping (which I have just gotten back into anyway) has suffered.

Any info or help is appreciated.

Oh yeah. I'd like to add that I have tried cutting back on feeding as well as keeping the light off for a few days and neither seemed to have any effect.

1077 06-08-2009 02:04 AM

Fishinpole answered this question in a previous post. A small sponge filter (10 bucks), will help the fish survive until you can get either a hang on back filter or canister.
I would remove the plants,goldfish and plants don't always go well together. Many goldfish eat plant matter. Did you ever get an ammonia test? Strip style test is cheap and will give general view of ammonia. Until then keep up with water changes and vaccum a small area of the gravel once a week and a different area each week to remove uneaten food and fish waste. Hit the boyfriend up for some cash until you can repay him. If he refuses,, Well,,,,, Things could get awful lonely and cold for him. Issue is not going to go away until some type of filtration is placed on your tank.

onekatietwo 06-08-2009 07:20 AM


Originally Posted by 1077 (Post 202551)
Issue is not going to go away until some type of filtration is placed on your tank.

The problem is that I had the issue when the filter was running and the tank was cycled as well, I forgot to mention that.

I don't think it is a direct result of the other issues my tank is having...

Byron 06-08-2009 09:22 AM

Without knowing what those "other issues" are, we have to be general. 1077 was correct; green water is simply the result of the water containing too much biological matter and not being filtered correctly. Several things are involved. Fish produce waste, goldfish quite a lot, and without any effective filter it just builds up--some you can see, some you can't. Nitrates will rise fast, although frequent partial water changes should help in this regard. Bacteria take advantage, as do algae. All this adds to the biological load and makes it worse.

If this aquarium was cycled at some point, even removing the filter will not normally uncycle it, but other things affect this as well. Adding suddently to the bioload could cause a mini-cycle. Again not knowing those other issues, difficult to say.

Arkamaic 06-08-2009 10:13 AM

This may be obvious, and I'm not tryin to offend you or anything. But you do have filter media in your filter correct?

I've seen people say they have their filter running, (without media) but complain that their water is not getting filtered.

Just a suggestion, again, not meaning to offend.

Unrulyevil 06-08-2009 12:34 PM

Dont panic! Make sure you have chemical filtration ( carbon charcoal), stop adding to your tank! Does not matter what it is.. fish.. ferts, anything! Do 50 % water changes every day. Make sure your tank is not in direct sunlight, Do not run your light on for more than 10 hours.

Good luck.

onekatietwo 06-08-2009 06:40 PM

Ok, thanks everybody.
As long as it is a matter that will clear itself as soon as proper filtration is provided, I'm fine with it. I figured it was something else since since I thought the tank was being properly maintained and it still occurred. However, the tank has been through a lot (moving, fish changes, emergency water changes) and I haven't been testing it as frequently as I would have liked (again, that budget issue) so it was probably not as 'properly maintained' as I had thought.

1077 - I've read a lot on goldfish and planted tanks (because I really want to have the tank planted if possible) so far it seems to be working (I got some plants that I read goldfish *usually* don't touch.) I'm being careful to only put things in there that I am willing to lose. But thanks for the heads up, anyway.
I haven't considered test strips. I just read they were bad so I mentally ruled them out. But that's a good idea as long as I'm on a budget (another week or so)
As I stated above, I'm fine with the issue not going away right now as long as it will go away once I get the tank fixed up.

Byron- thanks for putting that simply. I was worried that the green water would be caused by something else. I'll bump up my water changes. Thanks for the additional info. The 'other issues' are somewhat complicated and numerous. I have not suddenly increased the bioload but I did drastically decrease it (and I had the tank with with no fish for a day or so) and it caused at least one kind of mini-cycle. And then my filter broke and I haven't really tested it much since then because all I have left is nitrite test (the nitrite level has not drastically spiked yet) I've been doing water changes like crazy and stupidly temporarily putting the whole issue off (ugh. Just started a new job AND still settling in from moving. Tough times)

Arkamaic- Haha. That is a mistake I would probably make (especially since I'm getting back into aquariums just recently and I've forgotten a lot. What I didn't forget, i seemingly never learned in the first place.) but I did have filter media in the filter (before it broke) however, it probably could have used a partial replacing and that may have been one of my problems. So no offence taken, and thanks for the suggestion. :)

Unruly evil - thanks. I'll follow your tips. I definitely don't plan on adding ANYTHING until I get the tank fully and securily cycled (again.) The 50 percent water changes are going to be a pain in the butt, but I think that's my only option until I get the tank properly filtered and cycled again.

Thanks again, everybody.

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