Let’s Hear it for Green Water
 
The algae that can plague tank and pond keepers    
 
Amphibians
Axolotls
Caecilian Worm
Chaco Toad
Mud Puppies

Newts General
Newts Eastern
Newts Golden

Newts Mandarin
Salamanders
Suriname Toad
Tadpoles
Terrarium I
Terrarium II
USA Toads
Water Dogs
Misc. Toads

Frogs
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Clawed
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Dwarf
Fire-Belly
Floating
Green Tree
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Pac Man
Pipa pipa
Pyxie
Red-Eyed Tree
Tomato
Misc Frogs 
Misc Frogs II
Misc Frogs III
Misc Frogs IV

Misc Frogs V

Animals
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Bunnies II 

Cat-N-Around Cat Club
Cat-N-Around Cat Club 2007 Annual Show
Hawkeye Cat Club 2004
Hawkeye Cat Club 2005
Chinchillas
Degus
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Ferrets by BOB
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Guinea Pig
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Parasites
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Water Bottles

Bugs
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Crab 04 Results
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Crayfish III
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Shrimp, Algae
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Hermit Crabs II
Madagas Roach
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Mini-Crabs
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Giant Millipedes
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Reiman Butterfly
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Snail, Mystery
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Scorpions
Tarantulas
Tarantulas II
Tarantula Night 2006
TarantulaWeen VII
TarantulaWeen 9
Walking Stick
Misc. Bugs
Misc Bugs II  

Birds
Breeding Tips

Button Quail
Canaries

Cockatiels
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Finches
Love Birds
Parakeets
Pelleted Foods
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Parrot Pictures
Parrot Pix II

Parrot Pix III
Dave's Parrots


Lizards
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Beardies II
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Gecko, House
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Horned "Toads"
Iguana New
Iguana Dragons
Iguana Q&A I
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Iguana Training
Iguana Update
Cool Iguana Pics
Knight Anoles
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Salmonella
Skinks
Skinks Blue-Tongue
Tegus
Uromastyx maliensis
Water Dragon
Misc Lizards
Misc Lizards 2
Misc Lizards 3
Misc Lizards 4
Misc Lizards 5

Misc Lizards 6
Misc Lizards 7
Misc Lizards 8
Misc Lizards 9
Misc Lizards 10


Snakes
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Kids at Pet Expo 5
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Snakes Alive
Snakesgiving
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Misc Snake Pix
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Misc Snakes III  

Turtles/Tortoises
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Box, USA
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Water

Western Painted

Live Foods
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Super Worms

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White Clouds

 

Decorating
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Driftwood
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Plastic Plants
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Miscellaneous
Bob's Acclimation

How to Start
How to Add New Fish
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Which Fish Get Along?
10 Questions to Ask
What is Ich?
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Cool Water Tanks
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Preventing Disease
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Pet World Visit
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More Swords
Sword Plants III

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Java Moss
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Onion
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Watersprite

Different Watersprite

Algae Factoids

Origin

Airborne spores

Temperature

Grows fastest in warm water

Size

Borrow a microscope

Foods

Sunlight, nitrates, phosphates, CO2

Water

Loves moving water

Natural “Cures”

Shade and “higher plants”

Flocculants

Aluminum sulfate

Oxidizers

Potassium permanganate, UV lights

Poisons

Copper sulfate, most algaecides


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..

LA Pic
Moving water in full sun grows algae fast.  Visibility?  About a half inch.

Bad Traits.  Algae keeps us from seeing our fishes in ponds and even in indoor aquaria.  Our rich Iowa waters really encourage all forms of algael growth.  Most farm ponds and golf course ponds turn either green or brown (diatoms) from algael growth.

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 Germany (Black Water Tonic).

  

The Other Brown Water.  Like dead leaves, diatoms also turn your water brown or reddish brown.  These reddish-brown algae incorporate silica into their cell walls.  Some stick to your plant leaves and make them feel gritty as well as look ugly.  They’re more of a problem in aquaria, because you don’t notice them so much in ponds.

Lime Walls.  Lots of algae incorporate carbonates into their cell walls.  Some countries (white cliffs of Dover come to mind) rest on these dead algae walls.  We Iowans live atop a 50 to 100 foot layer of these algae deposits.  That’s one reason our water stays hard and always maintains a pH about 7.5.  Don’t use a water softener to take out the lime.  Your softener adds sodium to the water.  Sodium kills most plants.  By the way, most water changes will give your algae a growth spurt.  They really like the extra carbonates.

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. 

LA Pic

Last 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 fix safely.  LA.

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3600 Sixth Avenue

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