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Re: Slight Green Water Problem

David Cooke wrote:

>Well my 90G plant tank has been up for 2 weeks now.  Everything seems to be
>OK, although the water is cloudy, with a slight green tint.  I am assuming
>that this is a slight case of green water, but was wondering what the best
>course of action was to help clear things up.  Here are the specifics, as
>tested last night:  PH: 7.5, KH: 3, GH: 5, PO4: 1 mg/l, NO3: 0, Fe: .1 mg/l,
>Temp: 80 F.  I know the PH is a little high, I have not had a chance to get
>the CO2 connected and running yet.  The tank inhabitants are 4 SAE's, 10 otos,
>2 platys, and 2 molly's.  I haven't fed anybody yet, and there is certainly
>enough algae to keep everyone fed for a while :>)  Lighting is 6 SPX50 T8
>bulbs, x 10 hours (it was 12 hours - I fixed that last night).  I started PMDD
>this week at 1 ml/day, but boosted that to 5ml/day, after the test results
>from last night.  Plants include: 5 swords, several bunches of hygro & tropical
>hygro, a couple of apon, limnophilia, several crypts & anubias, several bunches
>of macaya, 2 small barclaya bulbs, java moss & java fern, vals, sagittaria,
>cabomba, and a couple of unidentified ludwidgia's.  The plants are doing OK,
>but not showing incredible growth.  The substrate is laterite with UGH.  I did
>a 25% water change last weekend, and will probably do another one this weekend.
>Should I just be patient and wait for things to clear on their own (I hate
>waiting :>) or do I need to be proactive here?

I have recent experience with new tank green water to share with you.  I
set up my 37 gal tank with laterite substrate and a hanging heater on about
March 10.  The water soon greened up, and I combatted it by doing a 50%
water change every 3-5 days.  I went on vacation from April 1-14.  On April
8, a friend reported that the water was green enough that she could not
easily see all of the plants in the tank.  I told her to do nothing.  When
I returned on April 14, the water had turned crystal clear, even when
viewed in a white bucket. <g>

What happened to clear it up?  I think that my plants finally caught up
with the initial nutrient load in the water column.  But here is another
important factor.  The only light that the tank got during April 1-13 was
3-4 hours of direct sunlight during the early morning.  From April 1-8, we
had our usual bright sunshine in Boulder.  After the 8th, however, the sky
was grey and overcast for much of the time until I returned.

I say be patient, and don't start adding nutrients for your plants yet.

Macon Cowles             | Trial Lawyer representing people
1680 Wilson Court        | and citizen's groups in environmental
Boulder, CO 80304        | toxics, civil rights, employment,
(303) 447-1332           | consumer and class action cases.