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RE: 2nd call

>Hi everyone!
>I posted a message last week about cloudy water.  The postings at that time
>were all about c02 and virtually nothing else!  For a Newbie like me, it is
>interesting, but I need help with algae.  My tank has taken a bit of a turn
>for the worse since last week.  Despite 2-3 water changes a week, the water
>is turning green now.
>I think the plant mailing list is wonderful for experts and newbies alike.
>If there is another archive that could help a new comer like myself, could
>you let me know, too?

The Krib and the archives both.
You'll see plenty on algae! I believe Blackout is the method for Green

>To save time, here are the conditions of my tank from last week.  They
>haven't changed much (except the colour of the water) since then.  I really
>feel that the water changes are only treating the symptom not the cause!
>Here are my (which have been quite stable for a while now):
>- 48 gallon aquarium
>- Eheim professional series canister 2224
>- 120 watts of fluorescent lights (1 powergrow and 2 fluorescent plant
>lights from Home Depot)  Lights are on about 14 hours per day

Try less, say 11 or even 10, you have plenty of light BTW!

>- Temperature 78 F
>- pH fluctuates from 6.6 - 7.0, but today it is 6.2 (after adding ph balance
>a week ago) I canšt seem to keep it up to 7.0.

Do not add these Ph buffers. Add more baking soda for KH or SeaChem's
Equilibrium for adding hardness to your tank. Some folks use oyster shells
etc. I have a feeling your water is soft.

>- Ammonia is 0, Nitrites are 0, Nitrates are 12.4 ppm (same as always)
>- ph, ammonia, nitrites, kH, gH are from Freshwater Master Test Kit
>(Aquarium Pharmaceuticals).  Nitrate kit is Tetra.

Lamott makes a great but pricy NO3 kit. Much better and worth the $.
Green water has many times been traced to low NO3 levels. The only time
it(GW) came for visit that was my problem anyhow. Other's have a similar
story but in may be fact or just a notion/myth....... 

>- kH is 3, gH is 1 (always about the same)

Here, I was right! You do have soft water! Add Equilibrium till you have
about 4-6 GH and a KH of 4-6 also. You will have less swings in  your Ph but
you'll also have use more CO2 to bring the PH down against the added
hardness. You may need to add less hardness to get a decent stable ph.
You'll need test till you get it in a range that you can maintain. Add the
Equilibrium and or baking soda in small steps and see what happens to your
ph. Be careful and observant. You won't need to be later after you get a
good "feel" for it. It's about balancing the Ph/Kh/CO2 and having some Mg/Ca
for the plants too. Move things up in the GH/KH area say from 3 to 4 and see
what happens etc.......your ph will/should go up.

>- C02 injector (DIY brown glass jug jobs.) It lets off bubbles at about
>- There is some green algae starting on some of the driftwood that I have in
>the tank
>- Water is a cloudy whitish to green colour, but not like pea soup (Išve
>seen that beforeŠwhere I had ammonia build up due to loss of biological
>My Flora and Fauna are as follows:
>- About 25 to 30 plants ranging from Java Fern to Wisteria
>- I use a little laterite in each area where a plant is growing
>- I fertilized with a no name brand of aquarium plant fertilizer, but
>switched to Tropica Master Grow recently
>- 5 Clown Loaches
>- 3 SAE, 2 CAE, 1 Pleco
>- 2 Weather Loaches
>- 10 Neons
>- 5 Rasboras
>- 3 High Fin Tetras
>- 3 red ball Mollies
>- 2 very big Black Skirt Tetras
>- 4 Lemon Tetras
>Things I'm considering:
>1. Ripping out the 4-6mm gravel and putting in a substrate of kitty litter
>and cover with some new smaller gravel.  A lot of people say that feeding
>the plants from the roots deprives algae a chance to grow in the water
>column.  This option will be a major one and I'm worried about breaking my
>biological cycle.  It might be worth it though.

2-3 mm size has proved very well. Flourite has proved very well also.
Kitty litter got two thumbs up too. It's up to you but the old standard of
2-3 mm gravel with some laterite in there works every time too. Soil is good

>2. Live with it and see if it heals itself.

Good idea too. Especially if you've done some big changes or it's a new tank

>3.  See if the Fairy weed from my friend's outdoor pond begin to grow in my
>tank to take up the excess nutrients in the water column.  The problem is
>that light is precious and I don't want this to become a problem either.
>4.  Take out the c02.  God bless Disky for taking the time to talk to me on
>ICQ.  I need more info about this one.

You should consider using gas tanks. You spent a chunk on that filter and
lighting did you not?
Gas tanks are better at shifting CO2/ph levels around. The flows are more
reliable and consistent. You can take it out but you have almost no
buffering capacity in there. The plants are going to use the CO2 and there
will be the same amount of ph swings going on with the CO2 so your tank
still won't have a **stable ph**. A stable ph in a good range is your goal.
(.2 + or -) You'll have less algae problems. GH of 1 is too low IMO. Bring
this up and you'll supply some needed Ca/Mg and buffer your water more at
the same time. 

>5. Cut the light back to 9-10 hours of day.  I don't like this one because I
>won't get to see much as I work as a teacher from 8-4...

Set the time "ON" for 12pm to 9 pm.

>Any other suggestions to help out?  Looking forward to your comments!
>Grant Miller
>grantmiller at home_com