Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   no answers for greenwater crashing ? (

Flear 03-16-2014 08:07 AM

no answers for greenwater crashing ?
this guy had the same problem i did with my phytoplanton crash

his steps were a lot more involved & documented where mine, all i can say is the end result

Jon Olavs Akvarium(home page)
Plankton project June 2011(page in question)

"One thing that is really frustrating for an aquarist is to be stuck. Basically to know that there is a problem, but simply not be able to find its cause. My cell concentration problem is like that. There are a number of possible causes to why cell concetrations of all types of cells grow to a certain point, and stop. For example high concentrations of bacteria that attack phytoplankton. Virus or some type of microscopic grazers are also a possibility. Or, most likely, something that I just don't have a clue about what is. Right now I am testing out the simplest hypthesis, namely that it is caused by nutrient limitation. I didn't think that could be the cause earlier because the two nutrients that I can measure; nitrate and phosphate, are present in sufficient concentrations during crashes. And the F/2 medium should be fairly balanced. I have also tried dosing more nutrients when I see reduction in cell concentrations, without seeing any changes. But I still think there is a possibility for nutrient limitation. My current dosing scheme should make it clear."


i have heard people cite "nutrient deficiency", ... this guy was dosing to ensure nutrient availability
(yes i know he's using saltwater vs. freshwater)

from my main tank, phytoplankton dies within days
from my greenwater bucket, i have ignored it for months, it's still thriving, nice and dark (tends to get yellowish if nutrients get too high, i have since only removed enough to ensure a nice dark green and added water to keep it from drying out)

mixing water between the two, the mixed water stays green

no one seems to really know why the greenwater would crash in the main tank other than citing "nutrient deficiency" yet the greenwater bucket is doing fine for months (i'm quite literally ignoring it other than topping up water)


from my own trial-and-error;

i stopped adding greenwater to the main tank for about 3 months or so, ... when i tried adding more after this time the greenwater stayed alive for ... about a week instead of the usual 3 days, ... and adding more greenwater after this was once again 3 days before the water was crystal clear

i am working on waiting 6 months before trying again,

the only differences i'm seeing is one (display tank) has several inches of fine gravel (never vacuumed) substrate with heavy plant growth

the bucket has detritus that has accumulated on the bottom (and i'm sure is beyond mineralized aside from whatever new is added due to dying phytoplankton, and the whole cycle repeats.

Flear 03-16-2014 10:12 AM

i red his next months update
he (as much as i understand) sounds like he tripled the recommended seachem flourish dosing

equatics 03-28-2014 07:06 AM

I refer to this blog about problem algae, Aquarium Algae ID (updated May6th '10 Surface Skum)

Maybe reading about how you can get rid of green water will help to maintain it.

Flear 03-28-2014 07:51 AM

Equatics, i used to think that, if you knew how to get rid of an algae issue it should help with being able to maintain one.

then i tried finding information on what is the 'cause' of particular types of algae blooms.

it's not good, ... for consistent answers, 'light' causes algae, and i'm going to have to agree with that.


for green algaes too much was not enough of X from one source, and too much of X from a different source (X being the same nutrient)

or a half-dozen different sources listing 3 or 4 different nutrients being responsible

consistency has said green spot algae is phosphate deficiencies
experience has said staghorn algae is ammonia issues.

after that, i haven't been able to find anything reliable. about how to get rid of algae, ... leaving me just as clueless about how to keep algae.

aside from one train of thought about algae control that is almost never spoken about

ensuring you have healthy plants (when mentioned) is the one consistent answer i have come across when people talk about plant health & algae control

where when i see people talk about algae issues i suggest instead of focusing on what they don't want (algae) to focus on the health of what they do want (plant). also makes additional sense to focus on the things you want just out of consideration for paying attention to what you want in your tank, maintaining plant health should be focusing on maintaining plant health, not being distracted by something else.

sandybottom 03-28-2014 08:05 AM

how often are you doing water changes? what amount of water are you changing? what is your lighting cycle and type of light used?

Flear 03-28-2014 08:50 AM

on the bucket with a stable greenwater culture, ... water top-up only, no added nutrients, sitting by the window, clear sterilite 5 gallon tub.

has not crashed in ... since i started that culture
water taken from a local creek a year ago.

in tank, ...
-no water changes
-4x T5HO 6500K lights (old - time to be replaced)
-8 hours of light to 15 hours of light (depending on timer settings (close to mimic outside lighting schedule)

greenwater culture got thick enough i could not see through the tank (standard 29 gallon) then it crashed.
despite repeatedly adding new greenwater to the tank it has not re-established itself and dies within 3-6 days
(3 days standard, 6 days after left alone for 3 months, then 3 days in repeated attempts since)

adding seachem equilibrium allowed the display tank to have greenwater last about a week before the water was crystal clear again.


as the bucket & the display tank are operating drastically differently in regards to greenwater, i felt it beneficial to describe both.

as i mentioned in the second post, the guy who was trying to maintain a culture was able to solve his issue by increasing his fertilizer regime (about 3x recommended)

nutrient levels in Seachem Equilibrium are
high in potassium (i know i have deficiency of)
calcium (i know i have excess of)
magnesium (i'm not sure about in tank)
Iron (i think i have a deficiency)
Manganese (i'm not sure about in tank)

GH/KH testing i should have numbers this evening

sandybottom 03-28-2014 09:02 AM

green water needs to be recultured every week to two weeks. next time try saving a couple cups of green water from your tank.replenish the rest of the tank water and innoculate the tank with the greenwater you set aside. add a pinch of miracle grow/fertilizer and turn the lights on for 15 hours minimum.if there is no water movement,make sure you stir up the water to keep the phytoplankton suspended.

Flear 03-28-2014 09:37 AM

i'm pretty sure (strickly guessing) the phytoplankton i have has flagella to propel itself through the water

little test i did (not conclusive) of having some of the greenwater sit in still water, ... none settled
-actual test was to test for something else, but still nothing settled


as for fertilizers, ... trying to identify a decent hydroponic fertilizer (for nutrient ratios), ... not easy most basic fertilizers are for terestrial gardening, ... so commonly lack at least one of the nutrients plants need for complete requirements.

and my chemistry knowledge is definitely lacking to go a more DIY route

jaysee 03-28-2014 09:47 AM


Originally Posted by equatics (Post 4193834)
I refer to this blog about problem algae, Aquarium Algae ID (updated May6th '10 Surface Skum)

Maybe reading about how you can get rid of green water will help to maintain it.

just because you know how to kill something doesn't mean that you can keep it alive :-) But you're right, it should be able to be reverse engineered.

Flear 03-28-2014 10:15 AM

Jaysee, that was my thought too, ... but couldn't figure out what imbalances were related to particular algae types. (aside from personal experience)

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