Green Aquarium Water – Causes and Cures

Green aquarium water
Care & Maintenance

How to Get Rid of Green Aquarium Water

When we initially set up our saltwater aquariums, we think of beautiful vibrantly colored fish swimming around in the pristine water. Unfortunately, from time to time anyone involved in the hobby of fish keeping will have to deal with green aquarium water or cloudy water. For a beginning freshwater aquarium owner, cloudy water can be baffling and confusing. There are so many different causes for this, it is vitally important for a new fish aquarium owner to do the proper research on the different causes and remedies.

Causes of green aquarium water:

Dirt in the Water

dirt in fish tank water

The green aquarium water may merely be collectible dirt in the gravel. It has either settle down or become immersed in the outside filtration.

When setting up a new aquarium, one of the first mistakes a new tank owner makes is forgetting to rinse the gravel which leads to one of the initial causes. Any gravel that is to be used as substrate should be rinsed with cool water thoroughly to get rid of any debris or residue. If someone places the gravel in the tank before rinsing it, all the residue from the gravel will float in the water making for unsightly, cloudy water in the tank. In order to remedy this problem, they should empty the tank, thoroughly rinse the gravel and attempt it again. If you have a yellowish or brown tone to the body of water then you have excessively organic substance in the system and this can be done away with by utilizing a carbon additive.


aquarium algae

Even in an aquarium that is kept spotlessly clean, with crystal clear water, there will be at least a few single-celled plants, known as algae. These can be both suspended in the water or may attach securely to hard surfaces. When natural sunlight is allowed to enter an aquarium, quite often the organism that benefits most, and most rapidly, is the algae population. Just like live aquarium plants rooted into the tank as part of the decor, algae cells will use the power of the light they receive to photosynthesize their own food.

This energy permits them to reproduce, sometimes absolutely out of control. The outcome of such an uncontrolled blowout of suspended algae suddenly replicating without any limits can be very green water. This creates aquarium water with the consistency of a bright green soup. In extreme cases, the green water can be so dense that it can effectively hide the fish completely from view.

Once started, green water in an aquarium is almost impossible to eliminate. It is much better to prevent its occurrence before it has the chance to get started. So, you must be very careful when locating the aquarium right from the beginning. It is much easier to move an empty tank around than it is to have to tear an established one down and rebuild it somewhere else where the light is minimized. Besides the extra work, it is much less stressful on the established inhabitants, fish, and bacteria, as well.

Over feeding

overfeeding fish

Feed sparingly. Your fish’s stomach is normally smaller than their eyes, and they should be capable of eating all the food they require in under two minutes. Monitor the feeding rate to see if some reduction by one-half or one-third is necessary. You are able to also rid cloudy water by interchanging the gravel and adding new fish to a tank.

How frequently Should You Change the Water in Your Tank

Many aquarium owners want to keep their fish tank water clear and many of them will change the water in their aquarium ever 3 weeks. People with more than one tank will change the water a lot often. The most beneficial process is probably to do a 25% water alteration each week for freshwater aquariums. Changing the water entails not only are you preserving your tank in the best possible condition but also that your fish will stay healthy.

Dissolved constitutes.

One of the unknown causes for cloudy water is dissolved constitutes. If you test your tank’s pH and find it to be high, or alkaline, you most probably have a high level of dissolved metals and phosphates. This is easily remedied by purchasing a water conditioner.

Many tank owners decide to take on the responsibility of having live freshwater plants in their aquariums, but if they do not take proper care of these plants then the dead, decaying matter can cloud up the water. If any dead plants are seen, or plants with a large number of dead leaves are present, remove all the dead matter.

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