Aquarium Care

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Posts Tagged ‘Green Water’

Sticky: Controlling Aquarium Algae

Most aquarium hobbyists have to contend with the problem of algae growth sooner or later. The problem can come over time or burst out suddenly as algae bloom.  Understanding the kind of algae you might get in your tank is a big step toward fixing any problem that might arise. The first thing to do is to learn how to identify the algae and then follow the protocol to control it.

Kinds of Algae

Brown Algae – This kind of algae is the most common and is usually found in new tanks or low-light aquariums. You can recognize it by the soft clumps that they form on aquarium walls and fittings.  They are also referred to as diatoms and can be removed by scrubbing. Because they feed on nitrates, adding live plants will help as will algae eaters like the Otocinclus catfish or aquarium snails.

Cyanobacteria – Although cyanobacteria are often referred to as blue-green algae, they are really microbes that float through the tank as blue-green sheets.  They are easy to remove and need to be controlled as they can cause the death of fish or plants in the tank.

tank with green algae

Green Algae

Green Algae – Green water in the tank is usually the result of this kind of algae and often comes because of poor water quality.  This is the kind of algae that is referred to as algae bloom and will grow in tanks that are getting too much light or haven’t cycled properly. It usually forms a film on the tank walls and fittings and can be wiped off. Once the water in the tank has stabilized the algae will usually disappear. If it doesn’t, more drastic methods are necessary.

Thread Algae – Long threads (up to 30 cm) hanging on leaf edges are thread algae.  Low iron is usually the reason for this condition. Threads can be removed by taking a toothbrush and twirling the threads around it. Another way to control this growth is with Siamese algae eaters.

Green Spot Algae – Hard green spots on tank walls and on aquarium plants are the difficult to remove green spot algae. They usually occur in tanks which have too much light or are low in CO2 and phosphate. Normally, they are removed by scraping with a razor blade.

Red/Brush Algae – Red algae or brush algae are most likely to develop on slow-growing plants. pH does not affect them and they are hard to remove by hand. The only control known are Siamese algae eaters.

How to Control Algae

The best ways to avoid algae problems is to limit organic waste and keep good conditions in your tank. Regular water changes and limiting fish food to about as much as they can eat in a minute will help. Live plants also use up the nitrates which feed the algae which will keep them from growing. Algae need light, so keeping the tank out of the sun and only using artificial light for up to 12 hours a day will also discourage growth. Another simple and easy way to reduce the likelihood of getting an algae problem is by the addition of beneficial bacteria, which keep the tank clean and non-conducive to algae growth.

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Here Is How To Beat Cloudy Aquarium Water

Cloudy aquarium water is disgusting to look at, dangerous for the fish to live in, and may even smell bad. What kinds of cloudy water are there and why does it happen in the first place? How do you get rid of cloudy water permanently?

There are four types of cloudy water: green, yellow, brown and white. Each comes from a different cause.

Green Cloudy Water

When a tank has too much decaying material, things like fish waste or uneaten fish food, this sets the stage for waking up to green water in your aquarium one morning. The decomposition creates nitrites. The nitrites are blue-green algae’s favorite food. Cloudy green water is created by an algae bloom.

Yellow Cloudy Water

Occasionally an aquarium owner will notice that the water has turned yellow. This can be caused by driftwood secreting tannin into the water. It can also be caused by dead plant decay or a build-up of fish waste.

Cloudy Brown Water

You may notice brown water in your tank. This is caused by brown algae overgrowth. This overgrowth is due to a lack of light in the tank.

White Cloudy Water

New aquariums may develop white, cloudy water. This is due to a bacterial bloom caused by the imbalance of bacteria and nutrients in the water. Another cause for white or grey cloudy water is dust from the aquarium decorations or gravel settling to the bottom of the tank. This is most often seen when a tank is brand new, even before fish have been put in. Be sure to rinse any new decorations prior to adding them to the tank. Gravel should be vacuumed occasionally to keep waste and uneaten food from accumulating.

Getting Rid Of Cloudy Water

To avoid getting most cases of cloudy water in the first place, it is very important that you not overfeed your fish. Fish eat whenever food is presented, so should be fed twice a day an amount that they can eat within 1-2 minutes. Use a net to take uneaten food out of the tank if it has not been eaten quickly.

A very simple way to clear cloudy water forever is by placing EcoBio-Block in the tank. EcoBio-Block will completely clear cloudy water without using chemicals and it will keep the water clean and odor-free.

Each piece of volcanic rock has live bacteria living within it. As they multiply, they disperse into the water. These bacteria are beneficial to the tank’s environment, breaking down nitrites from the waste products in the water, maintaining clear water and clearing cloudy aquarium water. One EcoBio-Stone will last about two years. Aquariums with this product will need fewer water changes and generally be much less difficult to maintain. For a totally natural way to ensure the health of your fish tank, this product is really a must.

Long time aquarium keeper, Leonard Boyler’s favorite products make aquarium care and maintenance really easy from start up to clarifying your cloudy fish tank. To learn more about keeping your aquarium water clear and your fish healthy, please visit ONEdersave.com.

 

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Sticky: Aquarium Care Series: Real-life Problems with Algae

by Ruby Bayan, OurSimpleJoys.com

Green Algae

Green Algae

Problems with algae are some of the most common concerns I hear about. Below are actual questions posted by our visitors, followed by my suggested solutions.

~ Green Water ~

Question: I have just performed a water change to my 230l tank, and the water has turned into a greenish hue. Nitrate levels are okay, I tested them. Could you tell me why this has happened? Will it harm the fish? – Therese

Answer: Hi Therese, green water doesn’t harm fish — and some people actually like the color. It’s an algae bloom. You may be exposing your tank to too much light. And there’s enough nutrients in the water to feed the algae. If you don’t like the greenish color, you can reduce the lights a bit, do another water change, or add plants to absorb the nutrients that feed the algae. You may also want to consider using a diatomaceous filter.

Follow-up Question: I still have that green water problem which started about 2 weeks ago. I have been keeping the neon light of the aquarium off, and I have performed a 50% water change, but the water is as green as ever. I can hardly see the fish. I am considering using a green water treatment. I have heard that this could be harmful to the fish. What is your opinion of this? Should I add some live plants, although my fish make a meal of these? -Therese

Follow-up Answer: Hi Therese, here’s something a bit radical — daphnia. These are minute crustaceans that are actually a favorite of fishes. If you can find a supplier of live daphnia, they will eat off your green water in no time — that is, if the fishes don’t eat the daphnia first. :) Yes, live plants are always a good option because they absorb the nutrients that the green algae will otherwise thrive on. And, this is just me, but I’ve never liked using “chemical treatments” for algae.

~ Brown Algae ~

Question: I have a well established 6 year old temperate goldfish tank. It is a 29 gallon acrylic with a aqua clear 300 filter. I have 4 oranda gold fish and 2 black moors. In the past i have had an algae issue that has since been taken care of but now i have a brown sludge like fungus growing constantly in my aquarium. It got my fish sick and i gave fungus medication, cleaned the tank very well and have been feeding every other day rather than every day. i do about a 30% water change every week and the fungus (?) keeps coming back. My question is how do i get rid of it and is it even fungus or am i going about taking care of it the wrong way because its not what i think it is. thanks, AP

Answer: Hi AP, I have a suspicion that you’re dealing with brown algae. Goldfishes are notorious for polluting the water. It’s possible that your filter and water changes are not able to cope with the waste products they produce. These waste products are food for algae; add to that a low-light situation, and you have the perfect habitat for brown algae (diatoms). Just vacuum them off and try raising your illumination level a bit. I know it’s tricky because too much light will encourage green algae. Have you considered adding plants? Another solution worth exploring is a water-conditioning product called EcoBio-Block, which releases beneficial bacteria that helps address water pollution and algae buildup.

~ Red Algae Hybrid ~

Question: I have had my tank set up for a while. The inhabitants and such can be found under the 46 gallon section of www.geocities.com/aqua_ajb. In my tank I find these little stringy balls of grey matter. They started to appear after I upgraded my lighting from 60W to 124W. I do not know what these little grey things are, but would like to know what cause them so I can fix it. I also would like to what they are. Sometimes they are very easy to pull from the leaves of a plant, and come in a big mass. Other times they are attached to the plant leaves and don’t come of very well at all. It is my guess that these stupid things are algae, but I would like to know for sure. Thank you for your help. AJB

Answer: Hi AJB, I’ve heard about a hybrid of red algae that looks blackish and collects mostly on plant leaves. This may be your culprit. I see you already have a Siamese algae eater — want to consider adding a couple more? Or maybe a couple of Otos. If the algae (ye, I tend to imagine this is algae) doesn’t come off from the leaves easily, cut off and throw away the affected leaves. Then next time you clean out your filters, be sure to wash them thoroughly to eliminate algae spores. Let me know if any of the suggestions work. Good luck.

~ Algae Attack! — A Recap ~

Question: HELP…I have a 10 gallon tank with 3 cherry barb fish. We are having a terrible time with algae growth. We will do a complete water change that includes new rocks, filters, and decorations. The tank will be troughly scrubbed. Within 5-7 weeks, algae starts growing. I have used the algae destroyer and some type of tablet to try to control the growth. No luck. The light is only on for 4 hours a day and that time is in the evening. No direct sunlight on the tank. We do feed the fish at night. We are getting ready to get rid of the tank. Any suggestions on how to keep the algae from coming back. thanks – LLP

Answer: Hi LLP, these things can be annoying, huh? Do you have plants in the tank? One trick is to add a few plants to consume the nutrients that the algae are feasting on. If the plants use up the nutrients, the algae won’t have enough to live on. A more reliable solution is algae eaters — my recommendation is the Otocinclus. They’re small, peaceful, and should be happy to keep your tank algae-free. Also, try this new aquarium-conditioning product called EcoBio-Block to control the nutrients that promote algae. Good luck.

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