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Discussion Starter #1
1. Size of tank - 29g

2. Water parameters
a. Ammonia - 0
b. Nitrite - 0
c. Nitrate - 20
d. pH, KH and GH - 8.2ph
e. Test kit - API liquid

3. Temperature - 77

4. FW (fresh water) or BW (brackish) - FW

5. How long the aquarium has been set up - 5months

6. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them 4 Bloodfins(5months), 9 Zebra Danios(5 months), 2 Odessa Barbs(2months), 1 Male Betta(2 months)

7. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants) - No just were acclimated for an hour

8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants? - 3 live plants and 3 fake
b. Sand, gravel, barebottom - gravel
c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors - 2 real rocks, 1 fake rock formation, 1 small castle

9. a. Filtration - Aquaclear 70
b. Heater - Jager 100w

10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used - 8,000k Tank hood, 7 hours a day
b. Any sunlight exposure? How long - No direct sunlight, but in sunlit room

11. a. Water change schedule - once a week
b. Volume of water changed - 15%
c. Well water, tap water, RO water - Well water
d. Water conditioner used - Prime
e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) - vacuumed with every water change

12. Foods - Tetra Flakes
How often are they fed - once every 3 days

13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms No
b. Appearance of poop?
c. Appearance of gills?

14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis? No
b. What meds were used? None


So here's the entie backstory. I got what I call "the originals" to cycle the tank(yes yes i know better now), Well they all survived (5 Bloodfins, 10 Zebra Danios). Then 3 months later I purchase a Pleco and 2 Odessa Barbs(not QT) The Pleco dies in a month, he was very bloated and had a red spot on his tummy. I was away and noticed when his corpse was pretty well gone. Since then a Zebra Danio and a Bloodfin Tetra have died. The bloodfin had his eyes bugged out but not sure if it was due to the intake or not. This morning I find another Bloodfin stuck to the intake not dead but barely breathing and not moving at all. I quickly seperated him from the tank. What should I do at this point to the little bloodfin and the rest of the tank. Is there an infection going around? I have also used Accurel all natural drops in an attempt to cure the VERY green water. The PlecoPet Supplies) and Odessas(LFS) were from different fish stores. There are no signs of fin rot, ich, anything really externally. Thank you so very much.
 

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Can you post a clear photo of the tank please? I need to understand what you mean by "very green water". If this is suspended algae there could very well be a lack of oxygen content in the water column, which can also make for a breeding ground for bacteria... but without a photo there's not much to go on.

Thanks.
 

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ph 8.2 ????? are you sure???? that's crazy. my sw tank is set at ph 8.3
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Here are some pictures of the tank after putting the Accurel Drops in which clears it up a little bit. It's usually so much more green. The second one is from the top. Not even close to seeing the bottom.

And it's been 8.2 since I first started the tank. The pH has always been like that(doesn't go up or down at all) and the fish don't mind.
 

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That is a suspended algae bloom and I would have to suspect that your problems are at least partially coming from lack of oxygen in the water due to the algae bloom. Have you tested for phosphate? The trick in getting rid of an algae bloom (any kind of algae) is to first figure out what is causing it and what is feeding it. Algae needs 3 things to grow.. light, nutrients, and oxygen.

How long has the algae/green water been happening? How long from starting the tank to putting the fish into the tank before this happened? Does this get better or worse within 24 hrs of a water change? Can you test your tap/well water for me please? Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, and phosphates if possible.

Please be sure to do water testing properly (use enclosed vial caps before shaking, not fingers or hands to cover vials, test water promptly when it is removed from the tank and/or tap, measure drops of test solutions carefully - even 1 drop off can cause inaccurate results, and be sure to rinse vials well in tap water and then tank water before filling with water to test from tank, and rinse well in tap water before the tap water to be tested, and be sure to measure water level in the vials exactly to the line or use a small syringe to measure it to exactly 5ml). Accurate test results are important.

What media is in your filter? How often is this changed or cleaned? Can you explain anything you do to clean it between changes or in place of changes?

The more info you can provide about your tank and fish the faster I can be of help to you in resolving your problems. No detail is too small or too trivial to mention, everything plays a role in the health of your tank and fish. I will check back tomorrow for your reply and we can move forward from there.
 

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Freshwater pH in nature can vary from around 3-11, so it's much more varied than the ocean. :-D
Can you even buy phosphate tests? I never knew. Is this tank near a window?
Seachem does have products for dealing with phosphates, I know their products are highly recommended for pretty much anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have had the severe GW for about 2-2.5 months now. I had the tank for 2 months before it started occuring. I am using two foam pads and a biomax for my aquaclear 70. I had a Carbon in there but took it out. I try to rinse the foam pads once every other day as a lot of brown "stuff" comes from the rinsing. When i let the water i rinsed it out in sit over night the brown stuff is sitting at the bottom and the water is clear.

I already tested my tap water and it is 0 ammonia, 0 nit, very low nitrate, pH is the 8.2. The water gets more green after a WC so this has led me to believe that my tap water is the source perhapds.

There is also a slow development of brown on the intake tubes and where the waterfall comes out. I cleaned it thouroughly 2 weeks ago and it is starting to come back.

I also have 3 live plants in the tank - 1 Amazon Sword, a grass, and an Anubias.

I plan on ordering a Phosphate Testing kit soon or would that be unwise?
 

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The best/most accurate of the phosphate test kits is Sera brand. (unless you get a digital meter which is much more expensive) This is also a pretty simple test to perform. I'm not aware of any liquid test that measures to the decimal in regards to phosphate, but that is usually not needed, either. If the test is read under a fluorescent light and set on a white piece of paper (such as computer printer paper), any trace of blue in the results will indicate some level of phosphate in the water, which is all that is needed.

IF phosphate is the culprit or one of the contributing factors there are a number of very good filter medias for removing it easily. If your water tests positive for phosphate I can then suggest those to you.

While addition of tap water seems to increase the problem that doesn't necessarily mean that the tap water itself is actually the origin of the problem. It could be as simple as the clean water having more oxygen in it that contributes to the renewed algae bloom. I would suggest testing both tank and tap water for phosphate, but test immediately after removing the water from the source. The longer water is let to sit out the more altered the test results will be. Water chemistry is ever changing.

I am concerned about the mention of the brown debris coming from the filter media. I am wondering if this is algae, algae die off, or some other type of organic matter, and at present there isn't enough information to determine that accurately.

In regards to the live plants... 3 live plants in a tank aren't going to do much in way of removing nutrients from the water. It takes a lot of plants to utilize a small amount of nutrients.

I'm going to suggest we wait for those phosphate results before taking any further steps in correcting this problem because we want to find the source and eliminate it rather than treat it only to have it start again. I also suggest doing smaller and more frequent water changes in the mean time... instead of 15%/wk try 5 - 10% each day. This will lessen the amount of change in the water each time and will also help to add oxygen for the fish more regularly which will help to sustain them until we get to the root of the problem. If you have the ability to add an air stone I will also suggest doing that, but with an air control valve so you can regulate the rate of bubbles being produced. You want slower bubbles instead of a faster stream. The faster they rise to the top the less oxygen they diffuse into the water. Fast bubbles will increase the rate of gas exchange at the surface but will do little to nothing for adding oxygen into the water column. Faster bubbles may also further stress the fish.

I will check back here tomorrow.
 

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Have you considered running carbon to clear up the green water?

Can you look up the expiration date on your API test kit? They're usually very reliable, but they to lose accuracy when they get old. Can you take a water sample to a pet store to confirm your results?

Green water screams excess nutrients, but I would double-check that it's not nitrogen before going out and buying a phosphate test...
If your results confirm your original parameters, can you call your water department? They'll be glad to tell you how much phosphate is in your water.

The pleco death could have been a coincidence- When did you start the Accurel? Can you post a picture of the bottle?
 

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While any test kit can lose accuracy when it gets old, API has a shelf life of years. I have 1 API kit here that is more than 8 yrs old and still reading with the same accuracy as the new kit I purchased only a couple of months ago. I agree with double checking the results if the kit is more than a year old, but wanted to put this info out here for others who have API kits.

In case you haven't been following the whole thread redchigh, this is well water, which means there is no water treatment plant that is going to offer any kind of chemistry report. That would have to be done by a private company which can be very expensive.

For those with municipal water supplies, however, it's also important to keep in mind that the results from the treatment plant are not going to be accurate for each and every customer's actual tap water. Where the treatment plant does their testing is on their end, before the water travels through the sewer/pipe system and is exposed to a great many things, from bacteria to fungus to heavy metals to fungus, to nutrients, etc. Water treatment plants also don't check for everything that is important for fish keeping as their regulations only require them to test for human consumption. The standards for human consumption are not all safe conditions for fish.
 
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