Should I perform a 100% water change?
I have a 10 gallon with 3 baby platys and a mystery snail. I recently had to keep the light on for longer periods of time to incubate snail eggs from my other snail. Algae soon overgrew in the tank, getting as long as hairs. I turned the light off and scrubbed the algae off. Then I did a very large water change, as the water had become really cloudy. I bagged my fish and snail and scrubbed everything down. The new water I replaced the old with became just as cloudy and turned the same green as the old water. I tried water clarifiers but they did not work and I can't get a proper reading on my ph text cause of the already green water. Should I do a 100% water change to get rid of the color and tint? I was told to do so by the pet store person, but I'm not entirely sure if I should do that. Please help, I can't see my fish anymore!
Kill the lights and stop any feeding. Should clear up in a few days.
adding live plants would help also.
ignore your greenwater issue. zero water change to get rid of it.
seriously, it will continue, it will get darker, it will get thicker, it will scare you into the bathroom so you relieve your anxiety that "what have i done"
then it will clear up.
and if my own tank is any indicator, you could deliberatly add more greenwater and that will never take hold either, it will likewise clear up into clear water as well within a few days. at least in any time less than 3 months, ... next i'm going to try about 6 months and see if i can get greenwater established in the tank again.
but once your greenwater dies off, ... think of it like a person who got chicken pox, ... once you've had it, you're immune afterwards, ... and your tank does the same thing with greenwater, once it gets over it, it's immune.
don't worry about water changes, just ignore it, it will get scary, and then it will pass, ... if my tank is an indicator, about 2-4 weeks.
i've got 2 sources of greenwater in my experience, ... greenwater i collected from standing water outside last summer, ... this stuff crashed in it's own bucket. ... and a source from a local creak, ... this stuff is doing fine in it's own bucket and is ignored for 6 months so far, just topping off water...
i have added both to the tank to get a culture in the tank going, ... stuff from outside is now long gone (wasn't as stable as the stuff from the creek) ... the more stable from the creek (that bucket has not crashed with negative care) ... i cannot even use this to get greenwater going in the tank again.
so once your tank gets over it's greenwater sickness, it's like it built up an immunity and is forever safe afterwards, ... as time goes (might take years) i'll likely have input as to how long a time is it would have to wait till the possibility of a tank becoming re-infected again, ... but so far, once it dies, you're good for a minimum of 3 months no matter what you do, ... and adding more greenwater (to die off again within a few days) will continue to extend this time - can be indefinitely if you have a source you can constantly dip into
the blackout theory on getting rid of greenwater is based on this.
zero light, not a flashlight, not even moonlight, wrap your tank in a thick blanket so no light gets in at all. ... wait 3+ days
the greenwater (phytoplankton in your water) starves to death based on zero light received.
your plants (vascular) is able to store internal sugars (like we have fat) to survive this extended time without light. ... in essence your plants survive only because of these internal energy stores, else they would die too.
now things like mosses and crystalwort (Riccia fluitans) there are others but these are what comes to my mind first, ... these are non-vascular, and so energy stores are similar to algae, don't bet on it, and (i'm no expert) i'm not sure how well these will do, or if they will survive.
now this part is all good, (the blackout), but you have zero idea how things are going in the tank because you can't check, if you look, you need to turn on a light, or a flashlight, and your starving greenwater (phytoplanton) will thank you for some "food" (light energy) and you're back to day 1 when you wrap up your tank again.
those that have done this though successfully are very happy with the results, ... those that have done this unsuccessfully (not dark enough - thick enough blanket, etc.) become disillusioned.
and those that have gone the other route (ignore it, the algae bloom gets totally out of control then crashes) also like this route, ... more patience is needed as it gets scary before it gets better
Hi there. I'm new to this forum and actually came here looking for advice on lighting but this thread caught my attention. I, too, have a green algae problem in my freshwater tank. I have very hard water and converted my tank from a natural planted tank to a non-planted tank last October. I have a Coralife T5 high output fixture that I bought for the planted tank and did not replace.
I'm curious about the "ignore it" method of getting rid of the algae. If I use this method successfully will I be able to keep my current lighting or should I still look into something not intended for growth? About how long does it take for this method to work? I'm prepared to be terrified but not if I'm going to remain in a state of panic for months. The algae grows quickly in my tank. I have to clean the walls and filter tubes a couple of times a week. I left town for a week after cleaning the tank and could barely see the movement of the fish through the front of the tank when I got back. I'm assuming I should continue with regular water changes and gravel vacuuming but just ignore the algae, correct?
Thanks in advance!
Should I perform a 100% water change?
UV will knock out green water and prevent it from coming back. Green killing maching is sold at petsmart, and other places, and has an integrated pump - really nice and convenient feature. It's called the green killing machine for a reason.
Normally I don't like to suggest solutions that don't address the core problem, but at the same time you should know that that will clear your tank. There ARE other debatable benefits to running UV on your tank so it's a multipurpose piece of equipment.
i'm going on my own experience.
i first heard of this means of eliminating greenwater problems from another forum. it sounded questionable to me there.
and within a few weeks later as i was nice and proud of my greenwater, i bought a clam, happy he'd have food, ... and within a few days my greenwater cleared up, ... my clam died of starvation afterwards, and i was rather upset about the whole thing. ...
i don't know how long as i really didn't time it to see how long it would take to crash ... was not intending to let it crash, i wanted to sustain it.
so the above 2-4 weeks or whatever i mentioned for it to crash, is an estimate. it may happen sooner, i don't think it will take longer.
it does get thick/dark enough you can only see a few inches into the tank clearly, and a few more inches to know there's stuff there, ... but it's harder to tell, ... but not seeing though to the back.
again going back to what was mentioned in the other forum, ... once the greenwater crashes, they mentioned it's like your tanks gets an immunity to it, ... and from my experience this is the case as well, ... i have tried (at first) to continously add more greenwater to the tank, and within a few days it clears up again, ... i gave up on this for several months, (i think about 3) tried again from the culture i was keeping) and ... well this time it took a week before the water was clear again, ... and trying again within a few days the water was clear.
my next estimate, i'm hoping it will be good to start again within 6 months to maintain a culture.
but from my experience and others experiences that knew before me, ... ignoring it is one way to clear up greenwater, ... great if you don't want it in your tank, ... but it really sucks if you do want it.
there's a few critters you can add to your tank that having greenwater will keep them alive (it's food) that you can't do without it.
clams & freshwater sponges are a couple of them, ... live food like zooplankton, ... those are the ones that have caught my attention, ... but time will tell ... i can't consider them again in the tank till i can get greenwater going in the tank again :(
my limited knowledge of limited algae types (of the various types out there)
currently, from my own experience & knowledge
staghorn algae - you DO have an ammonia issue
greenspot algae - (going on readings - seems to agree with my tank) - potassium deficiency
greenwater isn't a true algae in the typical sense
cyanobacteria - not true algae - theory (haven't dealt with) - water O2 and circulation issues
-and can contribute to ammonia problems - see staghorn algae - again just theory
-also toxic to things eating it - usually, some strains are not toxic, ... but not good to find random stuff you don't know anything about in your tank.
I might be wrong, but if it was.my tank I would do large daily waterchanges to lower the nutrient content of the water. Algea cannot live or reproduce without sufficient nurtients( ammonia and nitrate). Complex plants will outcompete algea if levels are kept low.
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