Green water in the aquarium its cause and elimination
Has this ever happened to you? Your aquarium is running smoothly, the water is crystal clear, the fish are happy, everything is great! Suddenly, out of the blue, you wake up one day to find that your beautiful display piece has turned into GREEN SOUP !! The water is green and you can hardly see into the tank. You frantically do a big water change and put a new cartridge in the filter. Things get better for a day or two, but then it’s back. What’s going on and how do you fix it?
Green water is caused by a sudden population explosion of suspended algae known as phytoplankton. Unlike other types of algae that grow on glass or aquarium objects, green algae float in the tank and multiply by the billions in a short period of time. As a rule, they are not harmful to your fish and other animals in the aquarium, or to you, but they are unsightly and serious cases. Interestingly, some phytoplankton are beneficial. Many marine aquarium enthusiasts grow or purchase phytoplankton cultures specifically to feed their corals. Freshwater farmers grow phytoplankton called infusoria to feed small species of certain fish. But for most aquarists, these algae are something that must be eliminated immediately and quickly.
What causes green water?
Excessive light Algae are plants and plants love light. However, excessive light in the presence of a nutrient source (discussed below) can send the algae into hyperdrive. Too much light can result from placing the aquarium near a sunny window, lighting the tank for too long, or using too bright an aquarium light.
Nutrient imbalance Plants need nutrients for their growth. For most algae, this means nitrates and phosphates, which usually come from fish food, fish waste, but can also be in tap water. Overfeeding or having too many fish for the tank size or filter capacity also leads to nutrient build-up. Performing a water change using tap water will have the same effect.
Bad maintenance habits Lack of changed water and proper maintenance cause gradual deterioration of water quality. Over time, this will create an ideal environment for algae growth. Because we can’t see the nutrients, we have no idea how bad the conditions are until something bad happens, like sick fish or algae blooms.
How to prevent the outbreak of green water (Green water its cause and elimination)
Avoid placing the aquarium near a sunny window. If this cannot be avoided, install appropriate shading during the day to prevent excessive sunlight. If your aquarium does not receive direct light but is in a bright room, leave the tank light off during the day. Suitable light for the size and depth of the water in the aquarium. If you don’t have live plants, you don’t need a super bright light. Install a timer to control the number of hours the light is on and ensure a consistent day/night cycle. Planted aquariums need 8 to 12 hours of light per day, while non-planted aquariums only need 6 hours or less.
Good maintenance habits
Regular water changes are necessary to maintain a healthy aquarium and prevent algae outbreaks. A good starting point is 10% weekly or 25% twice weekly. Vacuum up unconsumed food and other organic material and gently vacuum the gravel. (Do not vacuum gravel if you have a newly established aquarium or a planted tank that uses substrate fertilizers.) Make sure the replacement water is free of nitrates and phosphates. Replace the filter inserts every month and clean the filter containers regularly. Every 4 to 6 weeks, flush or replace the mechanical filter media and replace the activated carbon or other chemical media.
Test your aquarium water regularly for nitrates and phosphates. Take steps to correct levels that are too high. Tap water can also contain high levels of nitrates and phosphates, so it is advisable to test your water before using it in the aquarium. If your tap water contains high levels of nitrates or phosphates. Use reverse osmosis (RO) or deionized (DI) water with Tetra AquaSafe added.
Proper stocking and feeding
If you have too many fish in your tank or feed them too much, it will increase the levels of nitrates and phosphates which the algae love! Keep 2.5 cm of adult fish in clean 3.5 L of water and only feed what your fish will consume in 2 minutes or less, once or twice a day. Many experienced aquarists skip feeding at least one day a week.
Because aquatic plants consume the same nutrients as the algae that cause green water outbreaks, they are a very effective way to prevent them. In addition, floating plants help reduce the amount of light penetrating deeper into the water. Well stocked aquariums almost never experience algae problems.
We often make mistakes when dosing liquid plant fertilizers, especially if you don’t use CO₂ or don’t have many plants. Remember that algae are plants too and will use up any excess supplements that your plants are not receiving. Also remember that there is never as much water in the aquarium as it is designed for. Example: A 200 liter aquarium usually holds about 160 liters of real water after taking into account gravel, rocks and other decorations. Dose accordingly.
How to cure green water (Green water in the aquarium, its cause and elimination)
The most effective and easiest way to get rid of green water is to install an ultraviolet sterilizer in your aquarium. As the water passes through the UV chamber, suspended algae are eliminated along with many disease-causing organisms. Crystal clear water will appear within a few days. Ultraviolet sterilizers are completely safe for fish, invertebrates and plants and have become more affordable and easier to install in recent years. With a UV sterilizer on the tank, you should never have a problem with green water again.
Excess light often triggers algae growth. One way to get rid of the focus is to temporarily or completely remove the light. Turn off the aquarium light and cover the tank with cardboard or black trash bags and leave it covered for a few days. Cover the aquarium only long enough to feed the fish each day and then cover it again. In many cases, the algae will disappear within a few days, but you will still need to address the cause of the growth. If results do not arrive within 48 to 72 hours, another procedure is recommended.
There are many products effective at getting rid of algae, but it is important to note that chemicals should always be a last resort. For one thing, they don’t address the cause of the problem, and you can never be sure of their effects on the fish, plants, or balance of your aquarium. Tetra AlgoStop depot is effective against many types of algae, including those that cause green water outbreaks. For any chemical treatment, remove activated carbon and other chemical filter media from the filter, maintain good water circulation in the aquarium, and dose according to the net volume of water. Taking into account the volume of water displaced by gravel, decorations and other objects in the tank.
By maintaining a healthy and balanced aquarium and understanding the causes of algae, (green water) should not be a problem in your tank!