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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #1100

Subject: Green water

Alan Novitt wrote:

>I've had a hellacious greenwater problem in one of my tanks that would
>not go away.  I tried it all, eretromyacin, kyacin,

These don't work because it is _not_ a bacteria.

> water clearing
>products, Magnum filters, Diatom powders and super water changes with RO
>water up to 25% a day. 

These don't work completely (although they can temporarily clear the water)
because if there are _any_ algae cells floating in the water, the algae
will rapidly reproduce if the basic conditions still are conducive to its

> What finally did it was that that freeze dried
>bacteria that people add to their tanks at startup.  

Occasionally green water is a side effect of a tank running in.  But it is
by no means a given.  I have never had a green water problem while a tank
was running in.

>The only time I've
>heard of greenwater of this magnatude is in planted tanks. 

While there are certainly incidents of green water in fish only systems,
(you should see some shots of Discus grow-out tanks in the far East) it
does tend to be less of a problem for one good reason.  Light leves are
much lower in fish only systems.  Green water thrives in strong light.

>Actually I
>don't think its BG algea at all but rather floating bacteria. 

No one has ever suggested that green water was blue green algae
(cyanobacteria).  It's not bacteria either.  It is free floating plants
(algae) of the family chlorophyceae.  

>I think
>that plant may give off into or deplete from the water a chemical that
>interfears with the normal establishment of an attached nitrobacteria

And what makes you think that?  I suppose, in a way, you could say that the
uptake of ammonium by the plants "interferes" with the establishment of
nitrobacteria, but I think this is a stretch.  Both organisms are competing
for the same nutrient.  Most aquatic gardeners would prefer for the plants
to be the winners.  It is when the plants are not able to use _enough_
nitrogen products that aquarists have "nitrogen cycle" related problems.

> Anyway it is alot cheaper to try than a Magnum filter.

Maybe, but do nothing (other than provide proper care for your plants) and
your green water will in all probability spontaneously abate at some point.
 That's the cheapest of all.  (but patience is a hard commodity to come by<g>)

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association