Throwing in the towel!!

  • #1

OK folks... I am so completely disheartened, I can't stand it, its verging on depressing.

My 26 gallon has become a nightmare of hellish green water. I did a reconstruction in December, and ever since then the tank has gone completely haywire!

Ive tried everything. Black outs, water changes, backing down the light... the whole lot. The best result came from using Algone pads, with daily water changes and the water cleared and stayed crystal for about... a week. (however, I don't want to depend on Algone, and I don't want to do daily water changes either).

Now its back... the yuky, murky green, swamp water! Test results are normal, and fish "seem" fine... so I don't get it! I'm stumped, and disgusted. There are only 6 fish in the tank, and no bio-loading fish either.

UHHHH... I just wanna :'(

(do you think that there might be algae spores in my bio-wheel that keeps reinfecting the water? I just rinsed the bio-wheel today, it was green and slimey... in the process I think I killed all the good bacteria on it cuz I rinsed it in hot water to get the green off)
  • #2
Check out the link Butterfly gave us today.

You will find your algae there, and maybe some suggestions.

I feel for you.

I once read an article on zebra clams, a freshwater clam that cleans up green water like you describe. They were introduced into water ways and now are a pest, but they would sure clear up your tank!
  • #3
Does that tank get any direct sun light or light from a window at all?
Green water can be really maddening and difficult to get rid of. Personally what has worked for me in the past was putting floss (untreated quilt filler) in the filter then throwing it away when it would get full and then add some more and turn the lights off. The fish won't mind and plants won't be affected for a good while.
While the lights are off reduce feeding amounts, do extra water changes and gravel vacs. Hang in there Hope that helps
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  • #4

There is a large window on the opposite wall. The tank doesn't get direct sun, but the room is well lit... there are no real plants in the tank, yet. I am in the process of getting a floater... I hope it helps. Also, the tank has a large root ornament in it. I don't gravel vac under it since I would have to dismantle the entire tank, do you think that could be the source of the problem?

Should I replace the bio-wheel with a new one to be sure there are no spores on it, or just boil it maybe? Should I try a poly filter pad?
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  • #5

I have heard of golden clams and filter feeding shrimp, but I can't find any locally... I can try to find them online, but I wonder if its ok to ship with the miserable weather we are all having...

  • #6
I read an article 5 or more years ago on zebra mussels and algae, but just googled it and there are huge problems all across the US with this, and contrary to what I had read before, I would say they actually cause more problems with algae, than they solve.

Google zebra mussels and algae, and read what it says there is one article especially that may actually give you some clues as to what you could do to contorl your algae, it is:

I don't know, there must be some balance between CO2, nitrates, light and preditor fish in your tank that would end in a clear tank!
  • #7
This is why I asked about the sunlight

  • #8
I kept trying to keep a small aquarium in my kitchen. There was no direct sunlight, but very bright natural light conditions. Both a 5 gal eclipse w/biowheel, and a 6.6 bookshelf w/hob filter. Only ever one fish per tank. I could never compete with the algae, so I no longer have a tank in my kitchen.
It drove me looney... so I know what your'e going through.
  • #9
Could you lower the light wattage? and time you are giving the fish light? I know that was the alge issue with my moms tank and when she finally started going down on her time and wattage the alge went away... I would also recruit some housekeepers like suggested above to eat the alge that's in there up.....
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  • #10
thanks for brainstorming with me guys...

well, I constructed yet another battle plan, this time will be as follows...

I'm going to get the tank clear, again, with the algone and the water changes. Once clear, I will take the algone out, replace the old bio-wheel with a new one, lessen the light to 6 hours, draw the blinds to reduce natural light, try to get a food with lower phosphate, discontinue frozen foods for now, add a live floating plant, use a fasting day and possibly add more filter media, such as either a poly filter pad and/or a phosphate pad and see how it goes...

I'm am also going to try to find some filter feeding shrimp or live daphnia, which ever comes first... and add them as well.

This will be my last effort. If I cannot clear this darn tank, I will tear it down and start over... pathetic.

:'( :-[
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  • #11
Could you lower the light wattage? and time you are giving the fish light? I know that was the alge issue with my moms tank and when she finally started going down on her time and wattage the alge went away... I would also recruit some housekeepers like suggested above to eat the alge that's in there up.....

I'm sorry, but I didnt notice your post earlier...

the light bulb is the original bulb that came in the hood. I'm unsure what the wattage is (but ill ckeck). I have backed the light down to six hours. There isn't any algae growing in the tank, on ornaments and things... just the water is green...

Is that wierd?
  • #12
Sounds like a plan! Good luck!

Zebra mussels in a tank setting would not increase the algae as there is not phytoplankton blocking sunlight to the bottom in a tank. HOWEVER, Zebra Mussels are EXTREMELY invasive, here in the Tennesse and Virginia basins where the largest diversity of mussels in the world is located, they are causing many species of mussels to go extinct. If they reproduced in your tank you would have major problems, you think green algae or even snails are bad... your filter intake would be clogged in a matter of months along with any crayfish, snail, or other hard bodied critter you may have.

Never release anything from your tank into the wild! This isn't directed at you just anyone reading this that has the idea to go collect some zebra mussels and put them in their tank to try it out... then change their mind and go release them in Bob's lake!

I've worked for the Game and Inland Fisheries Department so I feel it is my responsiblity to reiterate susitna's second comment, ZEBRA MUSSELS BAD IDEA!!!!
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  • #13
Trio, do you know anything about the goldden clam? Is it the same situation with them? I know I have read a brief article about them in AFI, however, I don't recall them saying anything negative... other than some fish like to eat them...Either way, as I had said earlier, I can't find them locally... along with the filter feeding shrimp.

I hope my new battle plan works this time around... or, Ill just trow in the towel and tear the thing down.
  • #14
I believe this is the clam you are talking about which is also a widespread invasive known as the Asiatic Clam. There seems to be a lot more people out there that have put this guy in there aquarium. I can tell you that you would need to feed them after they cleaned up the water though. Depending on where you are in the east coast, you could probably find some in just about any river or lake below Pennsylvania. They act a bit more like the native mussels in that they burrow into the substrate instead of covering any hard surface. They do not use fish as hosts during their life cycle so you don't have to worry about them clogging your fishes gills with their babies. I also am not sure about this but really doubt they would propigate in a tank as it is so far from their ideal conditions. From what I've read, they die on most aquariest (from starvation usually). Oh ya here is the distribution -

Again though if you used them don't ever release them even back into the water you got them from!!! It is illegal in Virginia and probably else where.
  • #15
Perhaps try live daphnia? They may be able to clear the water before they get eaten by the fish...
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  • #16
Thanks Trio. I really appreciate the information, thanks!!

I have done some digging too, and I don't think I am too keen on the clam idea. I'm am going to go with my battle plan, and see how it goes. In the meantime, If I can find some filter shirmp and/or live daphnia to aid in the clean up whilst the process is underway, Ill give them a go as well...

  • #17
Duck weed can be an annoying floating plant, but works wonders on algae and nitrates. Each plant is like the size of the tip of a pen, but they multiply and cover your entire surface area quickly. They don't stay sunk, so once your surface area is covered that should be as far as they go, and the other fish will munch on them and get a little extra vegetation in their diets. That's also a good plant for fry to eat the microfauna off of, since the original plants are so plentiful there are plenty of plant-surface-area for the fauna.

Best of luck Laura, and we hope things work out for the positive.
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  • #18
Thanks, this is a bit of a nightmare!
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  • #19
well, progress is very slow... painfully slow...

we are cloudy now, with a slight green haze...

I think we are going to reconsider the state of the tanks in the house. Instead of having multiple smaller ones, I think we are going to get another larger tank and start eliminating...

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