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Re: right or wrong?

> I went to my local LFS to rent a diatom filter because my tank is greening
> up fast. I also brought in some water from the tank for them to test. I have
> had the tank running for 4-months now. We started with Goldfish, switched
> over to small fish (neon's zebra striped danios etc) and plants (goldfish
> were ripping them up so I gave the fish away). LFS told me I didn't allow my
> tank to cycle through. I had been doing weekly water changes, but they said
> I needed to leave the tank without touching it for 6-8wks for the ammonia to
> spike and the nitrate to spike then the bacteria will have had time to form
> and the level with drop and the cycling will be complete.

After 4 months it ain't going to get much better than it is now. It's just
going to take some time to settle after you messed with it.

> I didn't realize
> that making water changes would eliminate all formation of biological
> build-up.

It doesn't, it simply reduces the food for it. Bacteria is the back up for
the plants. This is not so much about bacteria, it's about plants. This is
the problem when folks talk about cycling planted tanks, they forget that a
plant can remove NO3, NH4, PO4 etc faster than the bacteria in these
systems. Bacteria and cycling are not as important in a planted tank. That's
why we add NO3, K+ and PO4 etc... to feed the plants, not  for the bacteria.

> I did move the tank once right before giving away the goldfish and
> drained about 95% of the water out, moved the tank and then filled it up
> with new well water.

Well there you go, GW inducement. A large disturbance to the substrate is a
major cause of GW blooms or low biofiltration/circulation and sometimes
adding a lot of fish when the plants are not growing as good as they could

>< I have (2) 40w compact fluorescents. Plants were doing
> great before the algae bloom, lots of pearling etc.

So you have CO2 etc?
> SO, they are telling me not to touch the tank for 2-1/2 wks. No water
> changes, no diatom filtering. Keep feeding the fish, use lights for only
> 4-hrs a day, don't clean trickle filter pads etc. Bring in new water sample
> in 2-1/2 weeks for them to retest, then they will tell me what to do.

What, when you still have GW?

Try the lighting idea, but turn the lights off for 3-4 days(cover the tank
with blankets etc), do a large water change before the treatment/turn off
CO2 during this time/increase circulation, add airstone etc. Make sure you
have good CO2, nutrients in the tank afterwards for plant growth.

If this does not work consider UV or diatom. GW is tough. If you give it
some light everyday it will hang on. Bacteria will not cure it. 95% water
changes will not cure it except in mild cases.
> What do ya-all think? If you think this might be the right approach then
> I'll do it. I just don't want all my fish and plants to die in the next
> 2-1/2wks. I think she is basically telling me I need to allow for bacteria
> to grow in the substrate.

Just keep an eye on your fish. Plants are slow to die and are not subject to
fast death like fish. Good CO2,light and nutrients are what they need. Fish
need decent O2 levels, low absent NH4, moderate to low NO3 levels, some
food. Water changes are a good thing unless you are trying a non CO2

Low to absent light for 2 weeks will weaken plants perhaps. They will
respire and use remove O2 if they don't get enough light. A few days is
fine, weeks? I'd pass. Algae and plants rot also and this along with
bacterial and fish respiration will also reduce O2. Just keep an eye on the

I'd rent the diatom, do a water before I set it up, let it run for 2-3 days.
You can black the tank out also if you wish during this time(not needed
Add more plants, good CO2, nutrients etc. Be careful when you do big changes
to the substrate in the future.

Tom Barr