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Fri Oct 19, 2012, 12:28 PM

can I ask an aquarium question?

I have an established 20 gallon aquarium with some tetras, swordtails and algae eaters. I don't know what happened--whether it was because my one huge algae eater finally died and it took a few days to get two new little ones, but suddenly the tank turned green. The water was cloudy green, and there were little blobs of (I think) algae all over all the plastic plants. (Well I couldn't see them because the water was so cloudy--not until found them when I cleaned the tank this morning.)

There are also little dots of algae stuck on the glass. I usually try to scrub these down with a scratchy pad every month, but I never get them all.

So what can I do now? I cleaned the tank, replaced almost 4 gallons of water, have the plants out, soaking in salt water and will try to get all the blobs off before I replace them. I scraped down the glass, and put 20 drops of an algae inhibitor into the tank.

The fish seem quite happy in their green water. It is just that I can't see them very well!

Any ideas as to what happened, and how I can fix it? What conditions can cause an overgrowth like this? Just the one algae eater dying? The water is still greenish, even with the cleaning and water replacing.

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Reply can I ask an aquarium question? (Original post)
ginnyinWI Oct 2012 OP
Hav Oct 2012 #1
ginnyinWI Oct 2012 #2
ginnyinWI Oct 2012 #3

Response to ginnyinWI (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 12:50 PM

1. Hi

Not that I can really help you, but I have the same problem. Once it started, I never got rid of the algae. Like in your case, the fish don't seem to mind but it doens't look pretty and one always worries about the quality of the water. I also tried stuff specifically against algae, but it keeps returning.
What I once read was that changes in the lighting (for example a new or stronger one) could have influence on algae growth. Maybe it really was the death of your algae eating fishing that made the whole system go out of balance.

I only have the advice to google. One site I found googling recommended changing the water daily (but never more than 20% per change!) until it gets better. After it gets better, do it twice a week and finally the normal rhythm (every two weeks? not sure here).

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Response to Hav (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 01:01 PM

2. I was thinking that might have to happen

Just to get the percentages down. I guess it won't be so bad to just replace water--not as bad as doing the whole siphoning the gravel, scraping the glass, replacing/rinsing filters thing.

I don't think overfeeding the fish can do it, because I've done that before and only end up with a lot of crap under the gravel.

edited to add: as far as lighting, it has had the same light, and the same spot near a north-facing patio door. Only thing that might have changed is the angle of the sun--the exposure is actually slightly north-west. But it's been there several years with no problems.

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Response to Hav (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 01:16 PM

3. here's something else I found


Green water is called "algae bloom" and you can control it with a special filter, or getting a little critter called a daphnia which will eat it, (then the fish eat them), or just covering the tank completely for three days so that the lack of light kills the algae. Hmm. I could do that maybe. I'd turn the light on for 5 min while the fish got fed, then keep a black cloth on it the rest of the time.

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