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Green Water Die Off


Marc
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I had a set up a 29g tank near a window a few months ago. It quickly became filled with green water. I had intended it to be a tank for misfits and extra fish instead of culling them. I started it with a some danios, 2 plecos and a Gourami, recently I added over a dozen Endlers and Swordtails from another tank. I could barely see the fish but I could see enough to tell they were doing fine. I routinely checked the water parameters and never saw nitrites and nitrates above zero. I figure the algae was eating it all up. I also had a sponge filter from the beginning and recently added a HOB.  I left for a week over Thanksgiving returning just yesterday. During that time, the tank completely cleared up. It is the clearest tank I've ever had now. Crystal clear. Also, the bad news, I tested the water as soon as I returned and as I feared the nitrites and nitrates had spiked, once all the algae died off they could not consume the nitrites and nitrates and the bacteria was not at sufficient levels to consume convert them. Surprisingly none of the fish had died and were not even acting weird. I have added more plants, done about a 50% water change and added some Prime trying to give the beneficial bacteria time to catch up. 

I will also reduce feeding and may even remove some fish if the nitrites don't go down.

I did not find a lot of good info about green water on the internet.

Anyone had a similar experience? Am I off base on my assumptions?

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The three things that I have had that make my green water go clear are:

  • Lack of light
  • Lack of food
  • Daphnia or cyclops or rotifers

Plants can compete with green water for food. The increase in nitrates and nitrites could be from adding the additional fish or sometimes I get that for no apparent reason. If the fish don't mind I don't care either. But that being said all that nitrogen should be more food for the green water.

If you had rotifers come in with the new fish, the rotifers would definitely eat all the green water and yet you would never seen them as they are microscopic.

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Assuming the lighting was normal the whole time, then something likely ate the algae in the water. Once whatever it was that ate the algae ate it all, they likely died of starvation and that could account for your nitrite/nitrate spike. The algae would be flourishing in higher nitrite/nitrate levels so the lack of algae rather strongly implies it all got eaten. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

@Danielso.... i just checked my 29 gal that has been growing green spot and a bit of black beard, my water was lightly green (only visible with water changes in my white bucket).  I decreased my bright lighting in half and put in my 4 ghost shrimp.  I have a few small plants, last easy green was 12/2 (decided to increase root tabs based on plants and not dose easy green) -

my parameters are wacked out! ammonia 0.25 (has been 0 since cycling), nitrites over 2 ( I haven't seen them since the last time I added fish), and nitrates stable at 40 (was keeping them around 30/40 for plants)-

I can't figure out what happened. My fish are fine -

I only had water & time to do 25% water change ( no green in the water) and the numbers didn't move - I also added Prime 2gtts/gal into the tank ... just when I thought I was getting the hang of this water stuff

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7 hours ago, Tami said:

my parameters are wacked out! ammonia 0.25 (has been 0 since cycling), nitrites over 2 ( I haven't seen them since the last time I added fish), and nitrates stable at 40 (was keeping them around 30/40 for plants)-

I can't figure out what happened. My fish are fine -

If your fish are fine, that is the best indicator.

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On 11/29/2020 at 8:53 PM, Marc said:

During that time, the tank completely cleared up. It is the clearest tank I've ever had now. Crystal clear.

On 11/30/2020 at 5:43 AM, gardenman said:

Assuming the lighting was normal the whole time, then something likely ate the algae in the water. Once whatever it was that ate the algae ate it all, they likely died of starvation and that could account for your nitrite/nitrate spike. The algae would be flourishing in higher nitrite/nitrate levels so the lack of algae rather strongly implies it all got eaten. 

Now we just need to learn to culture rotifers, and make them shelf stable. We can sell them bottled like stability and make a million!

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