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green water

(8 Posts)
feelathome Thu 01-Sep-11 21:54:57

my tropical tank has gone green! there is no visible algae growing in it, just green water.

Any suggestions?

EauRouge Fri 02-Sep-11 09:44:35

Have you checked the nitrAte and phosphate levels? Can you give a bit more info about your tank- how big is it, how long has it been set up, how many and what species of fish, what filtration do you have and how do you clean it all out?

Green water is normally a sign of high nitrAte and/or phosphate. You can get chemical stuff to clear the green but it's pointless really, you have to figure out the cause and then prevent it from happening to completely stop it.

feelathome Sat 03-Sep-11 20:18:29

Well, its a tiny, 28l tank. Its been up and running for about 6 weeks.
First we had a problem with ammonia levels. I put 4 tetras in and 3 died. Found there were dead earwigs in the tank, so they were somehow getting in and drowning, and that was causing the problem. Was advised by the shop to double dose with cycle, then 1 dose every day for 1 week. It seemed to sort the problem, and a week after that the remaining fish was still alive and the levels back to normal.
So I got 3 platties. Put them in on Friday, seemed fine. By Tuesday the water was really green and on Thursday one of the platties was dead, and I found another earwig, so they are obviously getting in again.

So I seem to have 2 problems, 1 green water, 2 dead insects .
I don't know if they are linked, or which one is causing the fish to die.

EauRouge Sat 03-Sep-11 20:48:31

28 litres! That might be part of the problem. That's too small to keep fish in really, small tanks are so hard to maintain good water quality in. It annoys me that tiny tanks are sold but there's no law against it. I wouldn't keep any fish in anything less than about 50 litres.

Your shop has not given you very accurate information, they ought to have told you to do a fishless cycle and then you wouldn't have had problems with ammonia levels and lost the tetras. I doubt it was the earwigs that killed them. Adding 3 platys would have caused an ammonia spike again, especially in such a small tank.

If your tank has been set up for 6 weeks then I imagine the cycle will have just finished. This probably means the nitrAte level is sky-high which is what would be causing your green water.

Another problem is that platys and tetras need different water conditions so they're not really compatible anyway. I think you need to start going to a different shop!

If you want to keep your fish I would suggest getting a much larger tank for a start. If you've got neon tetras then a tank of 60 litres plus would be OK for a shoal of 6 (shoaling fish need to be in a group of 6+) Platys are larger so would need a bigger tank.

Here are some articles you might find useful-

Choosing a tank and filter

Nitrogen cycle

As for the earwigs, they would probably cause a small ammonia spike but nothing compared to what the fish are producing. Your fish will probably try and eat them, I don't think it will do them any harm.

feelathome Sat 03-Sep-11 22:08:27

Thanks for your advice. Unfortunatley I dont have the luxuary of getting a bigger tank. I work in a nursery and that is what I have to work with. My boss wanted to keep a few goldfish in there, but I managed to talk her out of that.
However, she has told me that if any more die she will take out the heater and put goldfish in, cos apparently "everyone knows they are easy to look after"
I'll check the nitrate levels when i go in on Monday, and hope no more have died in the meantime.

EauRouge Sun 04-Sep-11 08:41:05

A few cherry shrimp would be happy in a tank that size or you could drain it and use it for invertebrates like beetles or small stick insects. I really can't recommend any fish for it though, you'll be constantly fighting poor water quality so it'll be no fun for either of you sad

feelathome Tue 06-Sep-11 22:08:53

well, my fish are now refugees. My boss got sick of them dying, so she has thrown them out (well, I have taken them home) and we are now going to get some goldfish.

I think she will have just as many, problems with them, but she is confident they will be fine.hmm

EauRouge Wed 07-Sep-11 08:38:43

Could you show her the RSPCA info on goldfish? They recommend a tank of at least 10 gallons, lots of info here. If reading is not her thing then you could just show her Howie.

Too bad she's your boss, I suppose it would be awkward to remind her of the Animal Welfare act. sad

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