Hear it for Green Water
The algae that can plague tank and pond keepers
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Origins. Any sun-drenched vessel containing water (other than unopened de-ionized water) or canned water will probably grow green algae in one form or another – either green water, stringy algae, or sheet algae -- or a combination. The spores float in the air on breezy days and wind up in the water where they grow -- fast -- and turn your water green..
Bad Traits. Algae keeps
us from seeing our fishes in ponds and even in indoor aquaria.
Love that Algae. Green water (and other algae) saves your fishes’ lives by eating ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, phosphates, and carbon dioxide – that could otherwise kill your fishes. In ponds algae also eat the nasty substances coming from the rotting food and dead nightcrawlers on the bottom.
Algae as a Food. Health food stores sell many algael foods – spirulina and chlorella come to mind (and don’t forget Soylent Green -- popular in the 80s). Algae make an even better food for the organisms our fishes love – rotifers, daphnia, gammarus, cyclops, and clacoderms to name a few. Plus, the bivalve filter feeders (like mussels) love single cell algae (green water).
More Good Traits. Baby fishes eat algae in their first days of life. Euglena makes a great first food – especially for the labyrinth fishes. Algae also helps babies hide from their larger (hungry) pond mates and tank mates. Hungry larger fish can’t see baby fishes in the pea green soup of miniscule food organisms.
pH Changers. Green water can radically alter your pond’s pH levels. Morning readings of 6 pH can jump to 9 or even 10 on a sunny afternoon. Your algae suck in CO2 during the day and exhale it at night – swinging your pH like a green Yoyo. Don’t fool with your pH yourself. Let the little green guys take care of it. They’ve been doing it lots longer than you. And they know how to do it right.
Brown Water. Most brown
water comes from too many leaves on the bottom.
Dead leaves give off tannic and humic acids (free) that would cost
you a bundle to buy from TetraWerkes in
Lime Walls. Lots of
algae incorporate carbonates into their cell walls.
Some countries (white cliffs of
Suggestions. Whether you love green water or abhor it, realize that it usually grows explosively, eats up all the food, and then dies back to a reasonable level. If you learn to live with it, it will normally recede on its own. Much like Tribbles, the harder you try to get rid of green water, the faster it grows. Want to kill it for sure? Try culturing it in a separate container.
Word. In the last couple years, a product called Algae Fix came
on the market . Algae Fix works 95% of the time. All the other algae killers also kill anything green.
Keep your lawn leprechauns away from them. Leprechauns can drink Algae
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