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Re: green water saga....

Hi, all.  Long time lurker, first time poster.  Anyway, every time I let my
nitrates drop to zero for more than a day or two I get a nasty green water
outbreak.  To get rid of it I maintain the nitrate levels in the tank at 5 -
10 ppm and turn the lights out except for when I feed the fish (I don't
completely cover the tank like others do).  After a few days the green water
disappears literally overnight.  The last time it happened I tried a 50%
water change first, but that didn't seem to speed things up.  In fact, it
took longer to clear than previous outbreaks.  The diatom filter should
clear things up for you, but unless you keep the nitrate levels up it will

Deb Dowding

> From: "Kinney, Travis" <kinney at pdtarchs_com>
> Subject: green water saga....
> Well, this saga isn't as exciting as Episode II or sonic speed needle
> valves, but....
> The green water continues. Ed Dumas has been very helpful in walking me
> through different tests and explaining things to me. My problem is what
> being told by my local LFS. I rented a diatom filter unit from them today,
> and of course the lady there that has been giving me advise (I kind of
> to avoid her, Ooops) asked what my readings were. I gave her this
> May 24, 2002 pm
> Tank water
> GH 8
> KH 5
> Co2 37mg/L
> NH3/NH4 0mg/L
> Ph 6.6
> NO3 0
> NO2- <.3mg/L
> Fe .5mg/L
> 73 degrees F (just turned it up)
> She thinks my tank hasn't finished cycling. Ed and I both think it has and
> that I just have an algae bloom to get rid of. I told her that I made a
> water change the day before this test and she said that has set the
> back to day one. I asked how making a water change could set me that far
> back? Isn't there good bacteria built up in the filter system and the
> gravel, not just the water column? She replied that because I took some of
> it out of the water column that the biosystem has been shocked and the
> bacteria has been setback. She said I should be showing amounts of nitrate
> as a sign that there is good bacteria eating up the nitrites. I told her
> that my tank if fairly heavily planted and the plants have been growing
> quite a bit. I told her that after doing a significant water change (over
> 60%) that I could see lots more elodea and bacopa, all the plants have
> quite a bit. My co2 levels have been above optimum for the last week and
> plants are pearling a lot. I told her that I thought the plants would
> all the available nitrate. She said it wouldn't absorb all of it and that
> you would still detect some traces. Just before increasing co2 I did get a
> 10mg/L nitrate reading, but with the higher co2 it's back to zero. My
> and I think Ed agrees (correct me if I'm wrong Ed) that by doing some
> changes and using the diatom filter I can gain lead of the algae bloom and
> out compete it with good plant growth. After doing that large water change
> my water looked a lot better, but three days later it was quite cloudy
> again. I'm running my two 40w compact 3500K lights for 10 hours. Any
> thoughts from the group? Is my Nitrate story flawed?