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Cloudy water, established tank, 6 weeks cloudy

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Jason Monette, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. Jason Monette

    Jason Monette Junior Poster

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    I have a 90 gallon with 35 gallon sump. 4 x 55 HO T5 bulbs on 8 hours a day. Substrate is 3 layers, fluorite, organic miracle grow, black SMS. CO2 is injected through an stone in the sump. The sump has that shredded PVC stuff, heater, and pump in it.

    Does with 30ml of excel and 30 ml of Macro micro mix daily.

    Fish and plants are doing fine.

    I have cloudy water. Had it for 6 weeks. Tried no lights, little water changes, big water changes, even have purigen in the over flow box now. Nothing is working.

    This started after I cleaned the sump, and changed the water at the same time. Bone head move, I know. But with the number fish and plants I have, it should cycled back by now.

    I use prime to declorinate my water....any ideas?
     
  2. jcgd

    jcgd Prolific Poster

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    That there is green water. I'm not sure on the cause, which is what you need to fix to permanently cure it, but there are things you can do to help get rid of it.

    - Large frequent water changes, at least 50% but more like 70-80%. Pretty much a full water change. You can start smaller if you have been doing small ones and work your way up.
    - Cut back the light intensity/duration and do a blackout for a about three days. Do a big water change before you do a blackout. I don't like blackouts, but sometimes they do more good than harm. Not always the case IMO.
    - Feed less for a while. It's possible you are overfeeding.
    - Add a UV sterilizer. A decent one should clear the water quickly, in a few days or so.

    If you don't fix the root however, the green water may return. It could have been the large cleaning of the sump causing excess ammonia or something like that.

    Don't clean all the filter media at once, and do a large water change after (like you did) and within the next few days as well if you do a big cleaning.
     
  3. Jason Monette

    Jason Monette Junior Poster

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    I have done a few large water changes, but can't seem to beat it. Not sure what is causing it either. All the food is eaten by the fish, there usually none left after 3 minutes.
     
  4. jcgd

    jcgd Prolific Poster

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    Well, you said you've had the cloudy water for six weeks. I'm thinking do a 80% change every second day for a week or so. If it goes green before the next change do it everyday. If you seem to have it beat and then start reverting back to a normal schedule just to find the green water returns, I would do two large changes one day after the other followed by a blackout for 2-3 days.

    Four bulbs with a tank full of anubias and dwarf sag (?) is quite a lot of light. I'd drop to two bulbs for eight hours. Throw in a mid day burst with four for two hours if you see the need, but with your current plants, two bulbs should do. The light is probably a large factor in the green water.
     
  5. Jason Monette

    Jason Monette Junior Poster

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    The plants I have now in there are Jungle Val, Amazon Swords, and Java fern. I tried to get a carpet plant to take, like microsword, but I have a fish that swims in the gravel and it could never take root....

    I will try the light change, but it was fine with the light for a very long time, not sure why all of sudden, the light would be the cause.
     
  6. Jason Monette

    Jason Monette Junior Poster

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    Ok did a 90% water change of both the sump and tank. Water is cloudy white but better. Pics to follow
     
  7. Jason Monette

    Jason Monette Junior Poster

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    Here's an update.

    I got a UV sterilizer and my water got CRYSTAL clear. I ran it 24/7 for about 3 weeks, then the bulb died. Aquarium is like pea soup again.

    I would like to figure out the cause of this so I don't have to run a UV all the time. I have had planted tanks for 10 years and this is the first time I have ever had green water. Any ideas on the cause of this? How can I prevent it in the future?

    What info do you need from me?

    Thanks for all your help!
     
  8. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    NH4 causes green water. Seems like the nitrogen cycle is broken somewhere, so no NH4 is converted into NO3. Waterchanges don't help. I think you broke the cycle cleaning the sump too much. You could try to use a dirty sponge from another aquarium to inoculate your sump again with nitrifying bacteria. This will kickstart the nitrogen cycle again and the problem should go away, although without a UV it could take some time.
     
  9. Jason Monette

    Jason Monette Junior Poster

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    Thanks for the quick response!

    I cleaned the sump over 6 months ago though. I would think would have settled by now.

    I also have 2 gallons of this:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001EHCSH6/?tag=barrreport-21

    in my sump to help with biologic filtration which I only rinse off, no heavy cleaning.

    Should I stop doing water changes? I just hate seeing so freakin' green. At lease when I do a major water change 90%, I get semi clear water for a day :)
     
  10. Jason Monette

    Jason Monette Junior Poster

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    I mean look at this pea soup!

    [attachment=1357:name]
    [attachment=1356:name]

    photo 1.jpg

    photo 2.jpg
     
  11. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    How often are you doing this? I have NEVER rinsed bio-media in a sump. If you are rinsing it with tap water, you could be killing the bio-bacteria with chlorine or chlorammines...you need to leave the media ALONE....I only replace the foam pad in my sump and that is it..

    I would use only 1 or 2 of your tubes. There is NO NEED for 4 tubes on your sized tank. Or if they can be raised 12-14" above the tank that would help as well.

    Another suggestion is to buy some water wisteria or other quick growing plants. Let them float on the surface, stick them in the substrate, etc. See if this helps at all.

    I think in summary you have way too much light and are disrupting the cycling somehow. You should not need 6 months to cycle a 90 gal tank.

    Can you please advise on fish stocking? Type, size, etc. I see some angels....
     
    #11 Gerryd, Dec 17, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2012
  12. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Months? But you said weeks......

     
  13. Jason Monette

    Jason Monette Junior Poster

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    Not very often, maybe once every couple of months.

    I have tried that as well, but no change. I will put turn 2 of the tubes off for now. When I do that though, I notice my plants start to wither.

    Half my tank is jungle vals. What are some fast growing plants you recommend?

    I have 4 Angles, 2 Clown Loaches, 15 Platy's (these things bread like crazy), 1 salt and pepper molly, 10 Carnal Tetra's, 2 Gorumi's, 1 Spotted Raphael, 2 Cory Cats, 2 Fish that swim in the gravel, I am sure I am forgetting some of them. I have a good fish load.

    It was six weeks when I started this thread, but that was back in August. It has been a LONG TIME now.
     
  14. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    Please note that it most likely a combination of things. I doubt it is JUST the lights for example. The fact you tried this once with no improvement doesnt mean it is not a contributing factor.

    When you say the plants 'withered' due to this how long did you keep the change?

    Water wisteria, water sprite, many hygrophila and rotalas also grow quickly.....

    IMO, green water for this length of time points me to some large underlying factor which I just do not see based on the info provided. It is very difficult to diagnose another tank long distance via the web....

    There could be some small detail you think is unimportant that may in fact be a contributing root cause...
     
  15. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    How much of this did you use? and what type?
     
  16. Jason Monette

    Jason Monette Junior Poster

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    If I remember right it was this:

    [attachment=1358:name]

    I did about a 1/2 inch of fluorite, 1.5 inches of the Miracle Grow, and an inch of SMS.

    A0KR_1_20110910_10975451.jpg
     
  17. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    I think it may be the amount of miracle grow you used. I have no experience with it unfortunately..Same with green water. Never had it so not sure how much help I am.....I think the flourute and miracle grow amounts should have been reversed.

    Not sure what is in miracle grow but it is NOT designed for aquarium use..although folks do..
     
    #17 Gerryd, Dec 17, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2012
  18. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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  19. Jason Monette

    Jason Monette Junior Poster

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    If the Mircle grow is the problem, why did it take 6 weeks after the tank was established to have green water? Others have used this setup with no Problem.

    This is why I am so confused.

    I appreciate all the suggestions!

    Lets come up with a Plan of attack.

    What should I try first? Here are my thoughts, let me know what you think.

    1). Kill the Algea, uv sterilizer
    2) major water change 90% once water is clear
    3) get some fast growing floating plants
    4) EI dosing
    5) pump in tons of co2 and dose with excel
    6) once good growth is established, remove uv
    7) see what happens next
     
  20. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Jason,

    As I stated, I am GUESSING here as I have never used miracle gro or had green water...

    I am trying to help but am a bit out of my element here as I have no experience with either.

    I think you list is fine but should be done together. Don't do one, wait 2 weeks and do another if that makes sense...

    I sure wish someone with experience with either green water or miracle gro would chime in already... I am reaching the end of my ability to diagnose at this point.
     
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