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Balanced Tank/Green Water

Here is a very _un_-scientific study of green water culturing. I could not 
grow green water if my life depended on it (and I was trying to breed 
daphnia, so I did want green water). I grow lots of other types of algae 
really well, especially in window tanks, but not green water.

OTOH, my neighbor had green water with one lone 15 watt generic aquarium tube 
over a 15 gallon tank with plastic plants, a few fish and 2 large snails. 
She'd never had a problem with green water in the past. The snails had been 
acquired within approx. 6-8 months and the green water occurred during 
seasonal change/spring.  She was sick of the green water after numerous 
episodes, and being unable to keep it clear, tore the tank down. I happily 
inherited the green water (and the snails and fish). I put the green water in 
a bucket in the sun, and the snails in a window tank with one betta. The tank 
turned green within a week or so, and persisted. Since it was a relatively 
new setup, I dismissed the coincidence, although I only got profuse 
filamentous green algae in the tank previously. The bucket of green water 
slowly seemed to clear.

The snails were moved out and with water changes over time, the water cleared 
up (though I didn't necessarily want it to). After a recent leave-of-absence 
I returned to find the tank smothered in cottony green algae growing 
everywhere but NO green water. Without the snails I get different algae 
growth. With those apple snails, the algae that took over was the green water 

As I said, unscientific, but more than coincidence. What would be the 
clincher is if the pond they were sent to, turned green . . . Brenda?


> I have noticed that people that have high light levels tend to have more of
>  a problem with green water than those with lower light levels. I have no
>  idea what causes green water but once it is there playing with the nutrient
>  levels just doesn't seem to do anything. I think the explaination lies in
>  the shape of the algae cells and the fact that they are floating. The algae
>  cells are spherical and are therefore ideally suited to absorbing diffuse
>  light coming from all angles. The more algae you get floating in your tank
>  the more diffuse the light is and the less light that reaches the lower
>  levels of your tank. The algae always gets a crack at some nice bright 
>  at the surface of the tank but the plants do not. This condition seems like
>  it will persist  for a long time before it will spontaneously go away.