Brown Diatom Algae Control
March 30, 2010 – 5:48 am | No Comment

What are Brown distom algae? Why do they grow in our aquarium and how to get rid of them. In this post you will find valuable information about this algae and how to control them.

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Home » Algae Control

Solving Green Water Problems In Freshwater Aquarium

Submitted by AquariumsLife.com on May 12, 2009 – 9:12 amOne Comment

aquarium green water
Image by Ron Lutz II

Eugleana, also known as Green Water is a free floating single-celled algae. It is one of the most ambulant forms of life and an essential part of the food chain. With the right conditions, these algae can be very prolific. The name aptly describes its appearance. Aquarists often encounter Green Water problems shortly after the aquarium is setup, in tanks with strong lights and/or after too large water changes or the use of chemicals that affects the biofiltration of the tank.

When summer arrives, I receive phone calls about Green Water problems almost everyday; «My tank is all green» or even better «I must keep the lights off at all time to avoid this problem, can you help?». For me, green water has been a good source of business over the last years.

What cause green water anyway? After a few years in the aquarium maintenance business, I noticed that most tanks
with Green Water problems have the following in common:
1) 75% of the time, the problem happens within the first month after the tank is setup
2) 24% of the time, the problem happens after a major cleaning (large water change, filter cleaning, etc)
3) 1% Others

Green water is generally caused by a spike in ammonia and this is the reason why it happen so often in new tanks and also after excessive cleaning and water changes. I never encounter a Green Water problem in tanks with a good and strong nitrogen cycle. Strong light will help Green Water to grow better but light alone won’t trigger it. After the initial bloom it’s difficult to get rid.

When starting up a new tank, the best way I found to avoid this problem is to either keep the lights on for only a few hours a day or, even better, to use old filter cartridge and water from an old tank. Once the nitrogen cycle has established it self, all you need is to make sure to have sufficient filtration and not flush or kill Nitrifying bacteria.

There are many ways to get rid of a Green Water problem but the following are what I have found to be the best:

UV Sterilizer:
By far the best way to solve this problem. Just turn it on want watch it kill the algae with
ultraviolet light.

Diatom Filter:
I never tried this but I have been told it does a great job. Unfortunately, I can’t tell much about it. If you have experiences using a Diatom Filter against Green Water, please share it with us using the comment box bellow. You can also find valuable informations about diatom filter on Aqua Fish

Blackout:
This can be a good way to get rid of a Green Water problem if you don’t want to invest in new equipment. You will have to cover the tank with cardboards to block out any ambient light for 5-7 days. Leave the lights off and don’t feed the fish for that period. Aquarium plants are strong enough to survive without lights for a good week so don’t worry. After a week, remove all death leaves from the tank (if any) and do a 25% water change. This should solve your green water problem.

Flocculants:
Additives that clumps small particles together might help by allowing your mechanical filtration to remove them from the water.

Micro Cartridges:
Filtering with micron cartridges or diatom filters will successfully remove these algal blooms.

Depending on how severe the GW is it may take the blackout in combination with diatom and/or UV sterilizer.

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One Comment »

  • [...] Green water: Green water is caused by a free floating single-celled algae known as Eugleana or simply Green Water. It is one of the most ambulant forms of life and an essential part of the food chain. With the right conditions, these algae can be very prolific. The name aptly describes its appearance. Aquarists often encounter Green Water problems shortly after the aquarium is setup, in tanks with strong lights and/or after too large water changes or the use of chemicals that affects the biofiltration of the tank. To learn more about green water and how to solve it, please read Solving Green Water Problems In Freshwater Aquarium [...]

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