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Green Water and Newbie Questions

Paul wrote:

>To get rid of persistant green water I net out my
>fish and add Daphnia.  After they clear the water, I keep the fish out for
>several months longer, allowing the plants to grow more.  Then, when I
>return the fish, the water has always stayed clear for at least a year. 

>Another low tech solution is the Daphnia cage, a cage of monofilament
>polymer cloth where the mesh size is just small enough to keep Daphnia from
>getting out.  The water circulates through, and the Daphnia clear out the
>algae but are protected from the fish.  It works quite well for me and
>requires very little upkeep.  See TAG 5:3, pp 50-54 for an article on the
>Daphnia cage.

Paul, a friend of mine maintains a number of aquariums in commercially.  He
has one that he recently took over that had a terrible green water problem.
 Obviously in this instance, removing the fish wasn't an option that would
be popular with the client.  He had done a series of water changes to
reduce nutrient levels, and had diatomed the tank several times.  Each
time, the tank looked good when he left, only to green up again quickly.  

He was discussing the problem with me, and I mentioned that you had had
some success confining daphnia in a net within a fish tank.  Since he sells
net style breeder traps in his store, I suggested that he throw some
daphnia in one of those and give it a try.  What could it hurt?

Within a week, the tank was crystal clear.  He then moved the daphnia back
to their tub at the store, and the the tank has remained clear with no
further problems.

For a more "high tech approach, I have another friend who maintains a 600+
gallon planted tank in a restaurant.  The owner insists on running the
lights from 8AM until 12 midnight.  As a result, the tank was plagued with
green water.  My friend was running multiple diatom filters on the tank
continuously, and changing them at least twice a week to keep the tank
presentable.  He finally resorted to the pond solution of buying a UV
sterilizer.  The tank cleared quickly, and he now only needs to run it
intermittently to keep the problem at bay.  

I think this solution is overkill in most applications, but it might be of
use to someone with else with a really big tank that needs to be lit for
long periods in a display situation. (public aquariums come to mind)


Subject: Newbie Questions

>what I've read on the web, it seems as if the main thing is live plants need
>a lot of light.   I read something like 2 watts per gallon. 

That's not quite all it takes.  You need good light, good subtrate and
proper nutrient levels.

>My question is
>what type of light should be used with live plants how much is neccessary?

Any type that appeals to you as long as you have enough.  The most
expensive bulbs will not necessarily give you commensurately better growth.
 2-3W per gallon is adequate for any plant I've ever worked with.  

>My second question is in regards to CO2 injection.  I've read that it is not
>absolutely necessary for plant growth, but is very helpful.  

At 2w/g you _might_ need supplemental CO2, at 3w/g you _probably_ will.

>What goes into
>creating a homeade C02 injection system for my tank and what different
>methods are there?  Is there a FAQ or how-to on the web someplace that
>instructs you on how to build them?  TIA for any feedback.

Yes there's a web page, and I'm sure some one who knows the address offhand
will chime in.  But I'd suggest you pick up a copy of the December issue of
Aquarium Fish Magazine (now on the stands) and read George Booths excellent
article on the subject.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association