knm2798 asked in PetsFish · 1 decade ago

HELP!!! Green water in fresh water fish tank!!?

We have a 10 gallon fresh water fish tank which we have had since December. We have several guppies and an algae eater in the tank. There have been no problems until now. In the last 2 weeks, the water has turned very cloudy and green. The water is testing fine by both our strips and the store's tests. We have performed 40% water changes every 3 days at the suggestion of the store where we purchased the tank. We started to use a tap water conditioner and "Cycle" with every water change, but nothing is working. It is not in direct sunlight, we are very careful with the feedings and we have vacuumed the rocks and cleaned the glass and plants with each water change. We have a carbon filter in the tank and a heater. My daughter is upset she can no longer see her fish and, quite frankly, it looks disgusting. I have followed all of the suggestions given with no success. Anyone got any new ideas?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    First off, adding salt will feed the algae not kill it. Stop adding cycle to your tank secondly.

    Algae is not always a bad thing. It is good to have some algae which shows the tank is healthy. Before you start dumping chemicals into your tank, understand how algae works and what you can do to control it.

    Algae are mostly-photosynthetic organisms that sometimes resemble plants but are not plants, having no true roots, stems or leaves. Algae grow in freshwater and saltwater. Saltwater algae are sometimes referred to as "seaweed." Like plants, algae require light and nutrients to grow. We supply plenty of both in our aquariums, with several hours of aquarium lighting a day and nutrients like nitrates and phosphates from fish waste.

    Algae come in many forms. There are microscopic, one-celled algae, filamentous algae that resemble hair, algae that grow in sheets, and macroalgae that look like plants. There are even algae that live inside the outer integument ("skin") or calcium shell of some corals, anemones, and other sessile invertebrates called zooxanthellae. There are slimy-looking algae that are often not algae at all, but a colony of primitive photosynthetic organisms known as cyanobacteria. There are also very hard-to-remove little dots of green that sometimes grow on aquarium panels which also are not algae, but diatom or radiolarian colonies (microscopic, one-celled, animals with hard shells) with algae incorporated in their matrix. With all that said, let us answer some common questions right up front:

    Algae growth is inevitable in an aquarium.

    Algae consume nutrients in the aquarium that if allowed to accumulate, are harmful to fish. Algae can be a good thing.

    The presence of green algae in an aquarium indicates a healthy environment for fish.

    There is absolutely no way to completely prevent algae from growing in an aquarium, without killing the other life in the tank.

    Chemicals should never be used to control the growth of true algae in an aquarium, and should only be used in rare circumstances to control cyanobacteria.

    Correcting a severe algae problem requires time and patience.

    Natural methods of controlling algae are the best and most effective.

    Algae removal from the tank panels can be done on an as-needed basis, but no more than once a week. Removing algae involves either correcting negative water conditions to control or slow excessive algae growth, or an age-old process known as "elbow grease" (scrubbing it off!). Algae removal in an aquarium should be done only when necessary. We have seen many aquariums where daily removal of algae resulted in fish that were so stressed, most had diseases and were dying. You should never remove all of the algae from your tank. Allowing some algae to grow in the aquarium can be beneficial to the aquatic environment. When algae is removed from aquarium side panels, care should be taken to select an algae scrubber that will not hurt the finish of an aquarium. Be careful not to get gravel caught in an algae scrubbing pad where it can scratch the aquarium. Never use household cleaning pads to remove algae. They contain fungicides that kill fish.

    First, test the water you are filling up your tank with. Many public water supplies (our homes) have a concentration of nitrates at around 7ppm or higher. (Bottled water is no better).

    This could be the start of your problem.

    Be sure your tank is not within direct or indirect lighting such as a window or in a room where the lights are on constantly. Is you tank near a heat source. Sometimes we do not take into consideration a fishtank is near a heat register which can and does add additional temperature changes to your tank.

    Did you clean the filter as well? Be sure the entire filter is cleaned and free of algae.

    Use a razor or scraper and gently scrape all sides of your tank. Clean your gravel and return it to the tank as well. DO NOT wash the gravel in the tank. The residues of the algae will remain.

    If you have a stick on thermometer, get yourself a floating one. The stick on thermometers pick up ambient air temperatures from OUTSIDE the tank and can be up to 10 degrees off. DON"T trust them. Try keeping your tank at 72 for a couple of days.

    You can also purchase phosphorus pads for around $2.00 at your local pet store. These can be cut to fit with your filter and remove large amounts of phosphorus. These can be reused over and over just remember to rinse them out well when you clean your tank.

    Test your water. If you find your water quality is all your tank isn't near a heat or light source, ok but still getting algae turn the temperature down or off and let it run. (Saying you don't have fish that is) You will want to scrape the sides of the tank and do a water change no more than 20% every other day. This should only be done if the algae returns in a heavy form.

    If you need any more help, you can im or email me.

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  • Doreen
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Hm... well, goldfish tend to be very messy fish and will dirty up your tank in an instant. That could be why your tank is getting cloudy first. Regarding the green water it does sound like algae, even though it is not on the side of the tank. Acrylic tanks grow algae more because they scratch easier (making a nice home for the algae to grow). I got a glass tank and don't have near as much trouble. You could try an algae killing liquid but make sure you have no invertebraes, I believe it can hurt them. The most important thing is... keep your tank out of direct sunlight! That will cause excessive algae growth. Hope this helps!

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  • 1 decade ago

    The algae needs two things to grow, light and food. Too much of these and you will get an algae bloom.

    Unless you have live plants in the tank, you should only have the light on when you are actually there to watch the fish. If there are live plants, they still only need about 8 hours of light a day. Live plants will outcompete the algae for any nutrients in the water and help eradicate the algae.

    Next is nutrients in the water. You should only feed your fish once a day no matter what it says on the fish food package. The people who sell fish food want to sell lots of fish food and the way to do that is to tell you to feed lots and lots. I feed mine once a day and skip a day once every week. My fish are fine, some are over 5 years old and very healthy.

    The excess food that is not eaten decays into ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Nitrates are what plants use for food and algae is a plant, even the green water algae.

    This problem can be controlled by doing 30% water changes every week. This will remove most of the three toxins and will keep your tank and fish healthy and happy.

    The last resort is to completely cover the tank for about 10 days. Without light, the algae will die. If you have live plants, remove them for this time and keep them in another container with water from the tank. Leave the fish in the tank, they do not need light. Only uncover and turn on the light for about a half hour when you feed the fish.

    Good luck!

    Source(s): 26 years of keeping and spawning many different species of tropical fish and cichlids. 25 tanks up and running at present (partial water changes done every week to 10 days). Mostly cichlids and scavengers right now with 5 tanks devoted to various freshwater crustaceans. I have worked in both the retail and wholesale tropical fish business. The Greatest Enemy of Truth is not the deliberate lie; Rather it is all those things we know to be true...that are not.
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  • 1 decade ago

    I had the same problem and I was told to cover the tank for 4 days and it worked. It's been algae and green water free. Don't use the lights during the time of covering the tank either. After wards reduce the amount of time you do use your lights to 4-6 hours daily. Keep the tank away from all sunlight also. Put the tank in a room with only North lighting. The sun comes up in the East, is highest in the South position and sets in the West all are not good choices to put a fish tank. The North only gets indirect light

    Like I said, keep the tank covered with a towel, I feed mine only once every other day, and also keep the filters and air stones on for water circulation. mine are kept i the bathroom with only indirect light and artificial light, the sun can't come in due to frosted windows and I had the murky green tank too, my other had algae growing on everything.

    Source(s): Small animal rescuer and owner/caregiver of 66 pets including 2 tanks of fish (3 in each).
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  • 1 decade ago

    First, test strips are useless since they lose their ability to test correctly with time and you cannot tell (there is no expiration date) how long they have been sitting on the store shelf and before that in the manufacturers storage. Buy test kits with the chemical reagents.

    Green water is an indication that there is too much phosphate and nitrates in the water--if you have enough plants in there they will suck up a lot of that stuff (it's plant food and algae are plants). Supposedly they sell algae eliminating chemicals but I don't advocate using any more chemicals in a tank then you absolutely must. Another way to eradicate green water is to buy a breeding net and put some daphnia in there (maybe 100 or so). Those little daphnia thrive on greenwater and can clean your tank in maybe a week (and when they are done, you can feed them to your fish as snacks).

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  • 1 decade ago

    The green is algae (a plant). You can get an algaecide that will kill the green but if you turn off the light while you are not viewing the fish it will do the same thing (unless the aquarium is near a window and getting sunshine). You have a light source somewhere that is allowing the algae to grow and the algae eater can not eat the green until it starts to grow on the ornaments.

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  • xxx
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Too much LIGHT and /or temp and PH are too high.Light and high Ph along with warm water help algae to proliferate.One other main problem would be placing an aquarium near or in front of a window to the outside.

    To control algae first you must control the light in the aquarium too much light is the primary cause of algae growth,adjust temp to about 68 degrees algae like warmer water and lower the PH to 7.0 algae like alkaline water, siphon half the water and replace it, wait three or four days and if improvement is not evident ,remove some of the plants.

    Good luck with your aquarium.

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  • 1 decade ago

    This might sound strange, but get some Aquarium salt from you pet store. We had a similar problem 2 years ago,and I found out about using Aquarium salt in fresh water tanks, on the internet. It has done wonders!! It prohibits algae to begin with, it helps balance ph, and it also helps prevent and treat sick fish. It may take a couple water changes or so, but itl'll work. Just follow the directions on the side of the box for amounts to add per gallon, and add a tablespoon or so each water change. Our tank has been perfectly clear ever since. Algae doesn't even form. Also, we had two very sick fish with fungus, ick, problems, before we started using salt. Completely cured them. They haven't been sick since.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Are you leaving the light on all the time? if so cut back on lighting to about 4 hours a day. your tap water might be high in phospates with can feed the free floating algea. A cheap solution that sometimes work is a product made by jungle called velvet guard.also cut back on your feeding to every other day until your problem is solved.The tank doesn't have to be in direct sunlight for free floating algea to form.It can be in a very bright room and green water conditions can still happen.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You probably leave your light on too long or all day. Try turning it off at night and that should help. Also if you over feed your fish it could be that is the problem. But you change your wate. So that can't be it. Other than that, that's all I can say. Hope it helps.

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