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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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!
 

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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.

my .02
 

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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
 

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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
 

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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!
 

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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.
 

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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 :(
 

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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.
 

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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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i've never heard of anyone clearing up greenwater with water changes :(

i have heard lots of people at a loss trying to deal with this by preforming water changes, ... after awhile when they're at a loss and about time to give up, either that it's a problem they'll always have, or give up the hobby they start asking questions and find a blackout is recommended ... but not always successful. those who have had success with it swear by it, ... my guess, they're using thicker blankets.
 

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UV is a guarantee.
 

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Thanks everyone. I did a little more research last night trying to solve my problem and I'm coming up with very little new information. I can't figure out what type of algae this is. Flear, it doesn't appear to be any of the ones you listed and it's not green water. This attaches to the glass, plastic and very little to the gravel. It doesn't appear to be attaching to the driftwood (or the critters are keeping it at bay there). And, it's very easy to wipe off and doesn't need to be scrubbed.

From what I read a UV sterilizer works well on green water but not on algae that attaches to surfaces. Thanks for the suggestion, though, Jaysee. I still need to do more research on letting the algae bloom crash, though.

At this point I think I'll start a new thread for lighting recommendations and just clean the tank more frequently. The water is crystal clear when you can see it through the glass!
 

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I know the OP had green water - I thought that you did too. I know there are people who think that UV helps prevent other kinds of algae too, by killing the cells in the water before they can get a foothold somewhere. Admittedly that's not something I've looked into very much.
 

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Yes, I'm sorry...I hi-jacked Willertac's thread. From what I read the UV could be a good option for them.

Flear, you mentioned cyanobacteria and I think that nailed it. I found this description that is dead on since I know my lighting is too strong and my water is hard:

An aquarium may occasionally break out with an infestation of cyanobacteria, a slimy growth that grows more rapidly than algae. It may be green, blue, black or red in color. Unlike algae, cyanobacteria is extremely easy to remove but very difficult to control. Even if every bit is removed, it can quickly grow back in only a few days. Cyanobacteria thrives in well-lit aquariums that have excessive levels of phosphate in the water. Cyanobacteria can also plague marine aquariums in which the coral is cleaned frequently. In order to bring cyanobacteria under control, the aquarium must be cleaned thoroughly. The amount of light the tank receives is dramatically reduced for several weeks. An organic chemical such as **** is also added to the water to inhibit the growth of cyanobacteria. Several treatments may be necessary before the problem is brought under control.
 

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adventurelady, ... try green dust algae, ... only other one that comes to mind, ... very easy to wipe off the glass

another one to ignore and will kill itself if left alone.

as for cyanobacteria, ... all i've got to go on is guesses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I actually didn't mind being hi-jacked. It was enlightening. I'm going to try the blackout for my Greenwater. I also had easily removable growth on my tank that grew so much it looked like hair, but that was removed when the Greenwater came around. And now I shall wait.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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

Should I leave the tank running while covered? I don't want a fire hazard or anything. The fish have been relocated; it was 2 tiny fish in a pretty big tank for their size.
 

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To control cyano (and most nusiance algaes for that matter) you kill the light and suspend all feeding.

that usually clears up the tank in a few days but it cand take a couple of weeks in "stubborn" cases.

Then after it has all died off you have two points. One with lighting and feeding which grows the cyano/algae and one with no lighting and feeding where the cyano/algae dies off.

From that point you resume with 1/2 lighting and 1/2 feeding and adjust until you hit a point where plants (corals in marine systems) thrive but the cyano/algae does not.

So actually IMHO it is fairly easy to control.

Still that's just my .02
 

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i'm not a big enough expert on clearing greenwater aside from personal experience (ignore it and the greenwater crashes itself)

the blackout method, ... if you're removing the fish i would be less enthusiastic, ... as the fish come out, the chances of bringing with them some phytoplankton (your greenwater) ... and having greenwater come back with the fish when moving it back into the tank, ...

just my concern.

otherwise, i'm just going with hunches as for personal opinions (just personal options really) i won't advocate the blackout method after hearing so many people try it and for one reason or another it didn't work.

doesn't mean the method was unsuccessful, doesn't mean that at all, they never went into details about why it didn't work, ... like anything, if your tank crashes, if you knew why you would correct the issue instead of asking "why, what happened, i'm so devastated", ... it's one of those things, that the people who tried the blackout method didn't know what went wrong and the greenwater continued.

as for what i would do (if you haven't cleared your greenwater problem already)

turn off the electrical, (heater lights, etc.)
water filter &/or airstones if you have them i would leave on.

or simplify everything (i think this has been mentioned somewhere)

...

get a quality UV sterilizer.

i say quality (again going on what i have heard) they move too much water through not enough UV to do it's job properly for the cheaper ones (either too fast of a water flow or not strong enough UV light - some combination)

so get a quality one.

do i know if this will work, no
do i think it would help, ... yes, ...
do i know how long it would take, ... no idea.

if you are concerned about additional benefits, (redox/ORP) it is also known to help in these areas to provide a healthier tanks, = healthier fish

---

as your greenwater is similar to bacteria in the water (i'm oversimplifying things), ... it will eventually run through the UV sterilizer and die off is the idea behind this
 
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