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Re: Tank imbalance

 > Wayne replies to me about green water:
> I don't really understand the concept of a balanced aquarium at all. I am
> beginning to wonder if there really is such a thing.

Then what is everyone tanking about, then? I read about balance with regards
to planted aquaria on the APD almost daily. :) Is it a myth?!?

> I know for sure that I
> add every micro and macronutrient that plants need to survive to the water
> column and still I get very little algae. I am pretty sure everything is in
> excees except for light.

I am leaning toward this as well. I may have a very limited system
(nutrient-wise). I don't dose the water column, but yet the plants grow and
so does the algae. Luckily, I do not have a BBA, or BGA problem - just
suspended algae.

> 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.

Would 126 watts be considered "high" over a 40 gal (tall) tank? I tend to
believe that another 30 watts would make it more ideal as this is a fairly
tall tank (24" I believe).

> 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 light
> 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.

I have no disagreement here.

> If it were me I would also add some fertilizer especially Potassium Nitrate
> to you tank even though I don't think it will help you with green water. I
> just figure if I add everything plants need all the bases will be covered. I
> don't specifically add Phosphate but I feed fairly well and I am sure that
> there is Phosphate being supplied by the fish food. If your nitrates really
> are zero some of the time then your plants probably aren't getting something
> they need some of the time. I think this is especially true if you have been
> using a floculant to remove the algae. The green water really seems to scrub
> the water of a lot of nutrients and I think they need to be replaced once
> the algae is removed.

I'm leaning toward this as a possible solution. I am currently filtering
with a micron filter to remove as much algae as possible. After that, I'll
start adding KNO3 and maintain Nitrate levels in the 5-10ppm range. I am
also going to start dosing TMG. Any other thoughts?

Phil Behrends
Colorado Springs, CO