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Donna
Regular Member
Username: donna

Post Number: 489
Registered: 02-2003


Posted on Sunday, March 19, 2006 - 07:51 pm:       

I have a 38 gallon freshwater tank, with 4 small gouramies, 5 ottos, 2 small ghost catfishes & 5 small rummy noses... Tank has been up and running for 4 years, just switched from plain well water to a water system (same well water) last year which seemed to help control the algae outbreaks but for the last 2 weeks the waters been turning green. I have been doing large water changes hoping to help it clear but it doesn't seem to help.I do regular filter cleaning, rotating my media changes.... and run regular water tests.. Ph is 6.8.. Nitrite is 0, Ammonia is 0, Nitrate is 40 (has always been a problem as its that way right from the tap) Total hardness (Gh) is 0 (very soft) Kh is 0 (low) What can I do to bring the Gh up and the Kh up to normal ranges and will this help rid my tank of the green water? Any help is appreciated.. thanks
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larry
Regular Member
Username: gomezaddams

Post Number: 786
Registered: 05-2005


Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 12:59 am:       

What kind of filter?The few times Ive had green water Ive found increasing the water movement by adding another filter or powerhead and a few 90% waterchanges wipes it out
Waiting will fill
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cindy
Ancient Plus
Username: cindy

Post Number: 9632
Registered: 05-2003


Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 07:28 am:       

back, Donna!

It's usually overfeeding or high phosphates, sometimes in plant fertilizer, sometimes in a fish food, often in the water itself. If you don't think you've been overfeeding, a thorough vac couldn't hurt anyway, and test for phophates or ask your LFS to. A product like PhosZorb is about all you can do if it comes in with the water:

http://www.thetropicaltank.co.uk/rev-pzrb.htm

It is so inexpensive, under $5, that if I had a bad problem, I would get two to rotate back and forth between, but keep in mind that if it is a planted tank, I've read anecdotes that growth will halt while using it.

and keep us posted...

"The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve." --- Albert Schweitzer

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Donna
Regular Member
Username: donna

Post Number: 490
Registered: 02-2003


Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 09:19 am:       

Thanks for the advice(thanks cindy.. been a while) I don't think its overfeeding as I'm very careful about that.. I have been doing a through vacuuming when I 've done these past few large water changes (70%) I only have Java fern plants as other types of plants die right off whereas the java fern seems to thrive. I will test for the phosphates to start... Larry I use a Fluval 204 and have a bubble wand going as well so the water gets plenty of movement... I will pick up the phoszorb as well... at this point I'll try just about anything to clear the tank up
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Randy
Regular Member
Username: milesteg

Post Number: 192
Registered: 01-2006


Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 11:15 am:       

Hi,
If your Kh & Gh are realy 0 and you want to get them back to a more normal range, you can use "R/O Right". It is used by people thar use Reverse Osmosis. But I think Cindy is on the right track, if you have a high phosphate level PhosZorb will knock it down. worked for me when I had a problem.
If you go through a day without learning something new, you wasted it!
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Donna
Regular Member
Username: donna

Post Number: 491
Registered: 02-2003


Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 01:05 pm:       

Thanks Randy, will look into that as well and yes they really do read 0!
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Randy
Regular Member
Username: milesteg

Post Number: 197
Registered: 01-2006


Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 03:30 pm:       

Hi Again,
Could you elaborate on what your "water system" is?
If you go through a day without learning something new, you wasted it!
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sully
Ancient Plus
Username: sully

Post Number: 8418
Registered: 01-2003


Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 04:34 pm:       

Use of crushed coral/shells will work, I have used what we call Worm Rock around here. Or, the expensive route would be to buy a substrate that will do the job or you.

Baking soda will also help out.
"I usually read the obituaries first. There is always the happy chance that one of them will make my day." -- Richard Ames
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Donna
Regular Member
Username: donna

Post Number: 492
Registered: 02-2003


Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 10:05 pm:       

Randy, water system is a rainsoft system... we have well water here which is very acidic.. it was reaking havoc with our copper pipes... Sully.. Baking soda?? how much?? How often??
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Donna
Regular Member
Username: donna

Post Number: 493
Registered: 02-2003


Posted on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 08:06 am:       

just wanted to follow up: Tested for phosphates and it showed 5.0 (high on their chart) Did a 80% water change (again) and put phos-zorb in my filter. Four hours later re-tested water and it was at 0.5. Water has stayed clear thru the night (at last)... Since I do regular water changes and am careful NOT to over feed my fish, How do I know what to change to avoid such a build up again.... Are all foods low in phosphate? I figure thats the first place to start... Thanks for the turn in the correct direction Cindy!
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Randy
Regular Member
Username: milesteg

Post Number: 220
Registered: 01-2006


Posted on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 08:34 am:       

Hi,
As I understand it Phosphate normally come in with your water. I'm sure one of the more scientific types will be of more help there. As for corective/preventive measures since you said that you were having no problems before installing the water softener, check to see if you have a bypass valve so you can get water for your fish tank un-softened. Then thing would be back to the way you were use to with no added expense.
If you go through a day without learning something new, you wasted it!
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cindy
Ancient Plus
Username: cindy

Post Number: 9706
Registered: 05-2003


Posted on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 08:37 am:       

You're welcome.

Did you test your tap water also, or just the tank water? It may be coming in with the well water itself, in which case you need to continue to use the PhosZorb for a day after each water change, but can continue to use the same foods.

If it's not the tap water, read your nutritional info on each food to see if any of them are the culprits.

"The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve." --- Albert Schweitzer

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Randy
Regular Member
Username: milesteg

Post Number: 221
Registered: 01-2006


Posted on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 08:45 am:       

Hi Cindy,
I don't know how water softeners work. It's not likely that phosphate is coming from that process is it?
If you go through a day without learning something new, you wasted it!
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Randy
Regular Member
Username: milesteg

Post Number: 222
Registered: 01-2006


Posted on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 08:48 am:       

Cindy,
Will the addition of salt from the water softener be undesirable in her freshwater tank?
If you go through a day without learning something new, you wasted it!
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sully
Ancient Plus
Username: sully

Post Number: 8449
Registered: 01-2003


Posted on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 09:09 am:       

Donna? on my gosh, Donna! I am such a dummy. I never look at names--lol.

Hope you are doing well. No, Hope you are doing great!


"I usually read the obituaries first. There is always the happy chance that one of them will make my day." -- Richard Ames
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cindy
Ancient Plus
Username: cindy

Post Number: 9707
Registered: 05-2003


Posted on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 09:27 am:       

Randy, we must have been typing at the same time, I missed your post between Donna's and mine.

Water chemistry is not my strong suit. Dan could answer these Q's better than me. I have liquid rock for water, and my fish and family are acclimated to it and have never felt the need to alter it, so I don't have any first hand experience to share either.

I believe it is more common to substitute sodium or potassium for the calcium or magnesium in the hard water, but assume that they might use phosphorus in there somewhere, just maybe not on purpose. The extent of my knowledge in that area is that elements from the first two columns on the Periodic Table are combined with elements from the 7th column to make "salts", and the ones in the first two columns can be somewhat interchanged, Na for Ca or K for Mg, etc.

P is way over in the middle, so probably only dan knows...

"The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve." --- Albert Schweitzer

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Donna
Regular Member
Username: donna

Post Number: 494
Registered: 02-2003


Posted on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 09:50 am:       

Cindy, did test my tap water and it showed zero..
So I'm thinking its the food because like I said I do regular water changes (40%) every week. I feed only what my fish devour within a minute, usually they are at the front of the tank begging for more.. and I only feed them once a day... So I guess I'll be label reading.
I do have one outside tap that i will test as well thats untreated but if the tap water has zero content.....
Hi Sully! Long time, No "see".... Am doing good, just needed some time to collect myself. Hope your doing great as well... good to be back amongst friends..
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Randy
Regular Member
Username: milesteg

Post Number: 223
Registered: 01-2006


Posted on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 10:21 am:       

Hi again,
I looked up how water softemers work on the "howstuffworks.com".
===========
The idea behind a water softener is simple. The calcium and magnesium ions in the water are replaced with sodium ions. Since sodium does not precipitate out in pipes or react badly with soap, both of the problems of hard water are eliminated. To do the ion replacement, the water in the house runs through a bed of small plastic beads or through a chemical matrix called zeolite. The beads or zeolite are covered with sodium ions. As the water flows past the sodium ions, they swap places with the calcium and magnesium ions. Eventually, the beads or zeolite contain nothing but calcium and magnesium and no sodium, and at this point they stop softening the water. It is then time to regenerate the beads or zeolite.
===========
I'll ask a few people where I work (I just keep the computer working) about water softeners and phosphate.
If you go through a day without learning something new, you wasted it!
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flyingfish
Regular Member
Username: flyingfish

Post Number: 357
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 11:43 am:       

Sodium swap is not an ideal way of softening water. Especially drinking water. For whole house systems this is fine, for showers and such.

If the KH and GH are zero then there is most likely a reverse osmosis system in the house. 0 reading would make me think deionization as well. If your using a test strip then its most likely not dead on 0 because my test strips read 0 when my water is up at 70ppm TDS.
Something like R/O right must be added to maintain a proper buffering capacity, to avoid pH swings...crashes. It also adds the trace elements back into the water. Thats taken right off the R/O Right label.

If the water is as pure as I am assuming it is, adding more "stuff" to it wouldnt be my solution. Personally, I try to add as little "stuff" to my tanks as possible. Without a more thorough analysis of the water I cant really say whats right or wrong.

Foods can be messy, I water down my messy foods in a cup of tank water before putting them in. The leftover junk in the glass goes down the drain, not in the tank.

More frequent water changes with a lower % of water being changed would be my first move. I would be sure to clean up any debris in the tank as well with these more frequent changes.

Ofcourse everyone doesnt have alot of time for more frequent changes.
Filter and heater $80
65 gallon aquarium $280
Gazing at your Apistogramma for hours on end.....
PRICELESS!!!
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Donna
Regular Member
Username: donna

Post Number: 495
Registered: 02-2003


Posted on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 10:16 pm:       

Are there any fish foods that are low in phosphates? I was reading labels at my lfs and I didn't find any? Any one make a recommendation?
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flyingfish
Regular Member
Username: flyingfish

Post Number: 363
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 11:05 pm:       

No real answer to your question except to look at the content on the label. Sorry I cant provide more assistance.

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/phosphates.php

"Phosphates can be removed from your aquarium through good maintenance."

That is taken right from the article. Being the person I am I press that resolution.

I do find this interesting, this phosphate issue, it is leading me down another path of research.

This is a extremely important issue for me to learn more about. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.
Filter and heater $80
65 gallon aquarium $280
Gazing at your Apistogramma for hours on end.....
PRICELESS!!!
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cindy
Ancient Plus
Username: cindy

Post Number: 9713
Registered: 05-2003


Posted on Saturday, March 25, 2006 - 06:39 am:       

I forgot about inexpensive carbon being a source. Maybe switch to that black diamond stuff, or eliminate it completely for a while, and find out what kind of salt your softener is using.
Until then, upping the water changes is your best bet, and easier and less time consuming than constantly recharging the PhosZorb.

"The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve." --- Albert Schweitzer

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russ
Ancient Member
Username: rasaqua

Post Number: 3939
Registered: 01-2003


Posted on Saturday, March 25, 2006 - 04:58 pm:       

Hi Donna

You and Flyingfish may want to review this article:

http://www.marineland.com/articles/8phosphorus.asp


"For every difficult question, there is an answer that is clear and simple and wrong."
(George Bernard Shaw)
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Donna
Regular Member
Username: donna

Post Number: 496
Registered: 02-2003


Posted on Sunday, March 26, 2006 - 11:19 am:       

Russ, very interesting article... but now I'm even more confused... My tank was clear for a day, now its starting to cloud back up... going to do another water change... not sure what to do now to clear it up. Tested my phosphates this morning and it reads zero... Don't know if adding the phos-zorb was a good thing or not...
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flyingfish
Regular Member
Username: flyingfish

Post Number: 382
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 26, 2006 - 11:48 am:       

Ditto on the article Russ. Thank you. SRP's MMMM

Could it be in a never ending series of mini cycles because of the amount of water being changed?
Ive only had trouble with cloudy water during a cycle or startup. Sorry of this leads back into the phosphate thing again
Filter and heater $80
65 gallon aquarium $280
Gazing at your Apistogramma for hours on end.....
PRICELESS!!!
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Donna
Regular Member
Username: donna

Post Number: 502
Registered: 02-2003


Posted on Sunday, April 02, 2006 - 08:15 am:       

Am still having trouble with this... no matter what I try nothing seems to work. tank will clear for a day or so if I'm lucky then gets green again real fast. Its a bright "kelly" green color... did a phosphate test (zero) and a Nitrate test yesterday(10) am ready to just give up at this point...
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flyingfish
Regular Member
Username: flyingfish

Post Number: 457
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 02, 2006 - 11:01 am:       

Sounds like a job for...your friendly neighborhood DEman!

I assume you dont have a diatom filter...this for sure would clean up anything. There are a few models meant for smaller tanks, I have the Vortex model XL.

Are you sure its the water this color and not the glass? I have never seen green water like this......Oh boy....did I just jinx myself...

Oh check this out!
http://www.algone.com/greenwater.htm

I am nt supporting or recommending the product...but the light idea seems valid. Is there alot of natural light? Is it possible to leave it dark for a few days?Being that you have soo many organisms in your water still after conditioning I would be concerned. You may want to look into UV filtering for your well.
Filter and heater $80
65 gallon aquarium $280
Gazing at your Apistogramma for hours on end.....
PRICELESS!!!
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cindy
Ancient Plus
Username: cindy

Post Number: 9840
Registered: 05-2003


Posted on Sunday, April 02, 2006 - 12:19 pm:       

If the tank does get direct sunlight, barley straw would probably work, as it does in ponds. It is ineffective without direct sunlight though, so maybe a couple freshwater clams could filter it all out?

"The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve." --- Albert Schweitzer

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Donna
Regular Member
Username: donna

Post Number: 503
Registered: 02-2003


Posted on Monday, April 03, 2006 - 09:20 am:       

I darken my tank now for two days, covering it with a dark table cloth... Flying fish the tank in the Algone ad looks exactly like mine... that bright green color... I'm seriously thinking of buying that product because its to the point where I don't know what to try.. I hate seeing my tank look this way... This all started when I drained it to move the set-up because we were putting down hardwood flooring in the kitchen.. Had no problems before that... my lights are only on for 7 hours and though the tank does not get direct sunlight it is in a bright spot in my kitchen/ dining room. Freshwater clams??
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