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green water

Steve wrote:

>One reason you probably can't test any nitrates or phosphates in the
>green water is that they are in the biomass of the algae. The algae are
>continuously being consumed and the nutrients recycled. What you want to
>happen is for the nutrients to become locked up in the macrophytes, the


>This is also why, if there aren't sources of nutrients (ie decomposing
>material), then flocullating and filtering the algae is a good way to
>remove those nutrients from the system! Better than shutting off the
>light because that kills the algae but doesn't remove the nutrients. The
>plants, even in the dark, are still dutifully absorbing nutrients.

Yes, but you leave even one cell behind, and it quickly multiplies again.
Unfortunately, many "green water" organisms thrive under exactly the same
conditions where our higher plants thrive.  That's why the best approach,
IMO, is to reduce the amount of suspended algae in the water column, (use
whatever means you like... I prefer large water changes because there are
other benefits, but use flocculants and/or micron filtration if you prefer)
 THEN black out all light to the tank for 5-7 days.

One last thing about green water:  It's not dangerous, just annoying.  And
it tends to go away eventually even if you do nothing.  I think lots of
people try lots of different things.  In the midst of their scurrying
around, eventually the green water "disappears" one day.  They attribute
this disappearance to whatever remedy they tried last.  It might have been,
but it's just as possible that it was ready to disappear on its own!<g>

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association