Water Won't Clear Up!

Jay-93

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Basically I've recently bought a tank, 250l which started off as 90% fresh water, (pre heated, aerated, etc). But over the past couple of weeks I've found it very difficult to keep clear. I did a 40-45% water change yesterday and already it looks very murky and green, and I can't figure out why the water is getting dirty so fast. I have a Fluval Powerhead 402 in there as well as a Fluval 203 canister filter. Any advice on how to clear this up besides continuous water changes? The last one clearly didn't work..
 

Xraymark

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Maybe double up your filter floss and see if that helps.

Products like carbon and seachem purigen can be added to your filter to clear/polish the water. Purigen is meant to be good. Don't use myself though.
 
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Jay-93

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There is already plenty of filter floss and carbon in though :unsure: that was cleaned on Friday.
 

Xraymark

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Hmmm. Thats all I've got. ????

If this is a relatively new setup, my tanks from the start took several weeks for the water to clear. They had that murky look. I never ran carbon in my tanks.

I don't know if the filter just needed time to bed in but after a while the water just cleared. My only advice is to leave and it may just resolve itself.
 
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Jay-93

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Yeah probably. Just don't like the idea of having nasty looking water when I have Discus in there, feels like I'm playing with fire just to leave fish that sensitive in there, haha.
 

Lady J

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I'm not completely sure about this, but my 1st thought is that it's algae (some stay in the water column, or so it seems). Would you be willing to keep your lights off for 3 days? If it's algae, it will be much, much more clear after 3 days. You can turn the lights on to feed your fish and turn them off as soon as they're done feeding.

Also, do you have driftwood in there? If so it's probably tannins (turns the water kind of a yellowish/brown). I just went through this with my driftwood and added a bunch of carbon. My tank is quite clear now.
 
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Jay-93

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Im used to the bogwood tannins, literally just put them back in my tank today. highly likely it is algae, because my lights have been on for prolonged periods of time lately. Thanks for the help! :)
 

drobbyb

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It's an algae bloom, yes. Green water is free floating algae triggered by ammonia and light. The 3 day blackout method works well, but unless you take care of the ammonia the problem will more than likely return. Overfeeding, too high of a fish load, an improperly cycled tank, a dirty tank can all contribute to the presence of ammonia, or direct sunlight and the trace amount of ammonia in a normal tank can also trigger green water. In the case of direct sunlight, you may have to move the tank, or put in blinds or curtains to prevent the sunlight from hitting the tank.

Sorry for the abrubt replies, not a lot of time for my normal replies.
 

Lady J

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It's an algae bloom, yes. Green water is free floating algae triggered by ammonia and light. The 3 day blackout method works well, but unless you take care of the ammonia the problem will more than likely return. Overfeeding, too high of a fish load, an improperly cycled tank, a dirty tank can all contribute to the presence of ammonia, or direct sunlight and the trace amount of ammonia in a normal tank can also trigger green water. In the case of direct sunlight, you may have to move the tank, or put in blinds or curtains to prevent the sunlight from hitting the tank.

Sorry for the abrubt replies, not a lot of time for my normal replies.

It seems like algae comes from everything---grrrr. :crazy: I agree that you need to get to the source of what's causing the algae and another probable cause is high phosphates. An extended photoperiod will also cause algae. Here's a weird thing about sunlight: 2 years ago I was upgrading the size of my reef tank and the little one sat directly in front of a window; I had no increase in algae outbreaks at all. I know of other people who also have their tanks in direct sunlight with no algae issues so I really wonder about that. I would go back to all of the basics and start from there.

How old is your tank? New setups take a while to get crystal clear.
Are you making sure the canister is very clean?
What is the length of the photo period?
Have you tested the water you're using to do water changes?
Have you tested the water that's already in the tank? Nitrogen feeds algae.
Are you overfeeding?


Keeping the lights off for 3 days will help as it will kill much of it. I've seen people do it(myself included), and it doesn't all come back.

My tank is still cycling at 4 weeks and no algae present, but I have live plants so they are consuming everything that would otherwise cause algae.
 
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