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Any ideas on how to get the water in my 90gal SA Cichlid tank clear? Im very new to fishkeeping. I inherited this tank a few months ago. I vacuum the gravel, do water changes, clean the filters etc. I have two external hang over filters, not exactly sure what they are, I think one is a aquaclear something or another and the other has some kind of flat cartridge that slides down into it. The water is a greenish murky color that I cant ever seem to get clear =(
 

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nope not that green. It doesnt really look green unless you look straight thru from one side to the next and the water isnt totally clear with a slight greenish hue.
 

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could be the start of GWA, this was what happened after about a week of too much fert and too much light. just curious does your tank recive any sunlight? what type of lights do you use and how long are they on for? plants? ferts?

what are your nitrates and when is the last time you wiped the inside glass clean?
 

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I have no idea what the nitrates are... I dont have any plants, I dont know what ferts are and it is exposed to indirect sunlight on the side of the tank, about 4 feet from balcony door. As for lights, I didn't know there were different types?? ANyways they are but they are on from about 7am-10pm. I should probably know this stuff =(
 

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ok well im just guessing at this point with the info, but with 14 hrs of lights and indirect sunlight without plants using any nutrients from the tank algae has developed to use the light and nutrients that occur naturally in the tank.

I can make a more accurate diagnosis once we figure out nitrates
w/c frequency/amount
 

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Any ideas on how to get the water in my 90gal SA Cichlid tank clear? Im very new to fishkeeping. I inherited this tank a few months ago. I vacuum the gravel, do water changes, clean the filters etc. I have two external hang over filters, not exactly sure what they are, I think one is a aquaclear something or another and the other has some kind of flat cartridge that slides down into it. The water is a greenish murky color that I cant ever seem to get clear =(
Kill the lights and stop feeding the fish until the water clears.

then resume with less lighting and feeding and adjust until the tank looks clear and things are healthy.


my .02
 

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Kill the lights and stop feeding the fish until the water clears.

then resume with less lighting and feeding and adjust until the tank looks clear and things are healthy.


my .02
This, I'd also cover that side that gets sunlight (black poster board works). The blackout will kill the algae.

SA cichlids you generally can not have many plants with, they'll tear them apart. A few species can work but I don't think they're fast growing ones.

No amount of regular filtration will help you with this particular issue.

As a final note, if you do not own a water test kit I would suggest buying one. The liquid API Master Test Kit is what most people recommend as it works better and is more accurate than test strips.

A UV filter can clear up green water, however that only fixes the symptom and not the problem.
 

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This, I'd also cover that side that gets sunlight (black poster board works). The blackout will kill the algae.

SA cichlids you generally can not have many plants with, they'll tear them apart. A few species can work but I don't think they're fast growing ones.

No amount of regular filtration will help you with this particular issue.

As a final note, if you do not own a water test kit I would suggest buying one. The liquid API Master Test Kit is what most people recommend as it works better and is more accurate than test strips.

A UV filter can clear up green water, however that only fixes the symptom and not the problem.

Some people actually do use plants with Cichlids. But keep the plants in some kind of refugium (even just a simple partition) to keep the fish and plants seperate.


The underlying problem is that your fish are producing plant nutrients which cannot be removed at normal water change levels. Like 10% a week or so. Some do maintain "open" system where fresh water is constantly replacing the tank at the 100% changes per day level. Those system also are totally dependant on the quality of the water source.

So to me what would be best is to increase the nutrient consumers to prevent the algae problems. In planted tanks killing the lights allows the green water to clear up (die off) faster then the plants then adjusting lighting and feeding helps keep the tank in balance in the future.


my .02
 

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. The liquid API Master Test Kit is what most people recommend as it works better and is more accurate than test strips
not true, there is no factual evidence to support that strips are more accurate then liquid or vice versa, all comes down to user perception ^^
 

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Most of this has been covered, but I may have a bit more background for you to answer those questions in post #5.

Organics occur in any tank with fish. With live plants, most if not all of these can eventually be utilized. But without plants, these just accumulate. Algae is quick to take advantage, and there are many types of algae. Most are beneficial in the absence of plants because they perform some of the same task--using nutrients from organics and produce oxygen. But there are types that are not good, such as green water.

This is caused by unicellular algae that proliferates in the presence of nutrients (its food) and light (algae is photosynthetic). Photosynthetic simply means an organism that synthesizes carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water using light as the energy source. The more light, the worse it will be.

Partial water changes and removing the organics in the substrate will help to prevent this, but with as much light as you have on this tank you are fighting a losing battle. First eliminate the direct sunlight; this is not good on any aquarium due to the heat aspect, but it also is very strong light. Reduce the duration of the tank light; as you have no plants, the light is solely for viewing the tank, so use a timer set to be on when you and whomever are normally home to view the aquarium. The fish will be perfectly happy with no overhead light at all, so limiting it is not going to harm them. Another aspect is the light intensity; again for solely viewing the tank, the light should not be bright, as this is stressful on fish and they will show their best colouration in less rather than more light.

Some floating plants which are easy to cultivate would be a good idea; they take up a lot of nutrients, and are close to the light so they shade the fish too.

Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you everyone, I will start puttering away at the different suggestions and see if I can tackle this!
 
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