Tropical Fish Keeping banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
I would suspect that it depends on the plant.... Some plants grow well in practically nothing more than water. Others need specific nutrients, and may not be so adaptable.

For example, I've had Pothos survive for years in nothing more than plain tap water. They didn't necessarily thrive, but they grew roots and their leaves were continually dark green.

Do you have specific plants in mind? If you tell us what plants you have, people may be able to tell you what nutrients they'd require in order to survive.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
The forum ate my post, so I'll try again. :roll: First, a disclaimer: I'm not a plant person. Or an algae person, either. But since no one else has replied, I'll give it a try....

Greenwater is a type of algae. It requires light to grow. Doing regular water changes often won't eradicate it, as tap water often contains phosphates, which support its growth. (By doing frequent water changes with tap water, you're actually adding more phosphates to the tank, which along with light, encourage the growth of the algae.)

Methods to control/eradicate it include:
-- Blocking out all light completely for several days (both natural and artificial)
-- Diatomic/micron filtration or use of phosphate absorbing filter media
-- Live daphnia added to the tank will eat it
-- Live plants, such as Elodea, can help control it
-- UV Filtration (but this is expensive)

Two good articles that have more info are:
-- Green Aquarium Water
-- Battling Green Water
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
729 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
bit of an angry rant here.

because it gets to me every time i mention greenwater everyone assumes i don't want it.

perhaps you can clarify where in my post i was trying to get rid of it ?, ... i'm no expert, but i can sure think of ways to get rid of it, and have offered plenty of my own experiences with it, and desperation on "why?, i wanted it, i wanted to keep it"

preferably, i want it healthy

Edit:
i don't mean to take it out on you, ... sorry if it feels like something personal

greenwater, ... the basis of life in the aquarium, ...

from nutrients come greenwater, natural chelating chemicals, food for zoo plankton
from zooplankton feeds larger fish, ...

things that eat greenwater
-clams
-sponges
-fish fry
-live food

so much that this amazing stuff can do. ... and everyone wants to get rid of it :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
If you want to grow greenwater, then just add nutrients, in particular phosphates, and give it lots of light. The two articles that I posted links for still apply - just do the OPPOSITE of what they suggest to eradicate it. Doing the opposite will promote its growth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
729 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
what i have learned over the last ... over a year of searching
greenwater is ...

believe it or not, any and all algae i've noticed peoples inquiries about how to get rid of it...

nutrient issues are not consistant
green dust algae - suggest means of getting rid of this nusance - ignore it
greenwater - blackout, or as one site suggested - ignore it
green spot algae - low phosphates (only consist nutrient issue i've heard concerning any algae)
diatoms - ignore it

other algaes, low nutrients are the culprit, high nutrients are the culprit, high phosphates are the culprit, low or high CO2
between different sites what the nutrient issue is that is responsible for the algae changes, ... between different sites, some times you find those that conflict, one says low on nutrient X, another says high on nutrient X (X=same nutrient)

the only consistant answer i've heard is healthy plants will do more to get rid of algae than anything else, ... but no one wants to wait for healthy plants, they see a problem, they focus on the problem, and the rest of the tank is second, ... they want instant results, ... waiting for plants to become established, strong & healthy takes time.

so then answers on algae treatments are chemicals, excell, or fish/critters known for eating algae
(with lots of excuses of labeling one nutrient or another as the issue - either to high, or too low, ... depending where you ask)

trying to do the opposite of what is suggested to get rid of algae, i tried that, but i couldn't find consistant answers (as i mentioned above) so i had no idea where to start.

---

what i have done instead, ... something totally different
unfortunatly this works really ... well because of the expectation that it's all there. without really knowing if all the nutrients are present in abundantly healthy levels for whatever algae you wish to promote.

plant clippings from the aquarium
dry them
crush them (mortor and pestal is what i use)
add a small handful, or huge pinch to a bucket of water
let it compost, break down,
expect an ammonia spike lasting a couple weeks
add greenwater, ... if the greenwater takes, you're good ... add more composted plant clippings (using a different bucket)

the greenwater gets darker, thicker, great.

the greenwater starts to change color, ... a yellowish/brown, ... now you're guess is as good as mine as to what is going on with the greenwater

can't test the greenwater as by now the water is significantly colored, and can't get a reliable reading with any of the water test kits, ... and test strips don't test much.

... so, ... why is the greenwater not green anymore ? is something too high ?, is something too low ?, can't test ?

could dilute it, let it grow back, does the color go green again, or stay the yellowish/brown it was before, ... or get worse ?

there's trial and error and there's this, ... it's guesswork, ... and bad horrible guesswork at that.

---

from the plant clipping/composting i suggested above, ...

i've got a greenwater culture that has lasted over a year, no crashing, the color has gone off a time or two, do i know why ?, ... nope, not a clue, ... dilute, add more composted clippings water, ... something or another the color would get more green again.

the PH is high, ... nope, i can't test it, i just know the snails that are surviving in it have nice healthy shells, the malasian trumpet snails have nice long pointy shells with no erotion (can't test the water otherwise)

-snail shell health
-color of the water

the absolute extent of any reliable information i have as to the nutrients in the tank

---

now the tank, plants have a few issues
potassium deficiency symptoms
i think sulfur deficiency symptoms (others suggest other things, iron, magnesium, others)
green spot algae is fading, so i think phosphates are getting to healthy levels

got a fish fry container i'm growing/farming algae in in the tank
this grows very very well, right by the light, sucking nutrients from the water, ... i pull out pinches and the flagfish love me for it, and the algae grows more.

so there's plenty of nutrients in the water right ?, algae is growing wonderfully right ?
greenwater dies within a couple days every single time no matter how much i add. :(
the water goes from a light cloudy green to crystal clear within a couple days.
the algae (hair and cladophoria) are still growing very well, and the flagfish still get pinches of it every couple days.

so what's going on ?
the million dollar question no one has answers for :(

i had greenwater in the tank at one time, ... it's amazing stuff, food for clams, sponges, fish fry, zooplankton, ... amazing stuff :)

then it died, and no matter what i do, it's not coming back, i add more, and that dies off as well, it doesn't even get a chance before the water starts clearing up.

the million dollar question, what is going on
no one has answers for

---

so every now and again i try asking the question in a different way, seeing if someone reads the new question and it stricks a response, a memory, and idea of "what about ....?"

i've inquired with biology labs as well on the subject, ... the answer back is "nutrient deficiency", ... well what one ?
and if thats the case, why is everything else doing well in the tank ?

then again, these are the same people when i inquired about culturing algae i got a surprisingly honest answer, that amounted to (can't remember the exact wording) "we add what we think would be a perfect mix, and the algae grows a little, ... and people in their aquariums at home algae grows out of control"

so the lab trained, 4+ year highly educated, and many years of practice and experience on the job biologist is stumped
and the hobby professional with a large community of support and many years of personal experience, ...
and "Nutrient deficiency", ... but can't explain why everything else is doing well.

---

so i can kill greenwater, and i can keep it alive, ... do i have a clue why, don't know what the difference is, not the slightest, honestly i don't have the slightest idea what is going on, no guesses, i could be just as correct to say maybe some rat in russia is meditating on it. i really, honestly don't know why and haven't gotten any closer in the last year of searching for answers.

well for a 29 gallon tank that greenwater isn't surviving in, ... from the 5 gallon bucket i have that is so stable it hasn't crashed in over a year, ... i haven't tried adding all 5 gallons to the tank to see if that takes. but 1L at a time dies every time.

would free up a bucket to use for culturing hair algae and cladophoria that the flagfish love.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
I'll give a longer reply later, but I did some research. Several people recommended using Miracle-Gro fertilizer as it contains urea. (Other brands don't always contain this.)

I'm also going to send you a link via PM. It's someone's tutorial on greenwater. It's from another forum, so I can't put the link here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
729 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Miracle-Gro organic fertilizer is what's recommended, ...

i've found plant clippings (as i described it) work great too

so much of culturing algae is trial and error, ... but in writing the big post i did earlier, i realized "hey, i could probably do the exact same thing to grow other algae types as well, ...

yay, next project :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
729 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
did a search on "healthy greenwater"

"There is sometimes a need to get rid of greenwater in a show tank and/or water garden because you can't see past a few inches into the water once greenwater starts to bloom."

not exaggerating, i can't see an inch into the water of the greenwater bucket, ... less than 1" visibility, ... if it's not at the surface i can't see it.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top