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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had my 55 gallon tank for almost 3 years now and I still cannot figure out why it's such a pain. My water is continuely green. I try to do regular water changes and it seems that I cannot keep up with how fast it clouds up. I've tried an algae eater, but even with 2, it didn't seem to help. I've tried chemicals. I do have a kit to test the water and when I have tested it, it's been fine.
Also - I cannot get fish to survive. I stopped buying goldfish because I had read that they were "dirty" fish and thought that was my problem. I've recently tried two different sets of convicts and cichlids - and they don't last over 2 months. A few I know had ich and I tried to treat them - but the others have no sign of sickness.
What could I be doing wrong? I love my tank and don't want to get rid of it!
 

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service cart captain
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Hi and welcome !
Tanks should'nt be a pain so I hope the members here can help .

How long do you keep the lights on each day ?
what kind of substrate do you have?
How much water do you change and how often ?
What do you feed your fish ?
what sort of filter do you have?
Are you still using chemicals/meds ? If so ,what kind?

I'm sure that if you answer those questions you will be well on your way to a beautifull , healthy tank .:)

Do you have any pics?
Pete
 

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To add to Pete's very good questions -
Does sunlight hit the tank at any point of the day through a window?

A U/V sterilizer is used to clear green water, there's some on the market now for under a hundred bucks. If you want it clear bad enough, that would do the trick.
The way it works is this:
It's a tube with a light bulb inside. A pump passes water from the tank, over the light, and back to the tank. Exposure to the light kills basically anything suspended in the water, green algae included! :) But lets hear your responses to the survey, perhaps something else can be done with your regime to fix the problem, before resorting to spending more $$.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Okay - here's my best attempt at answering your questions. I did upload pictures and hope you can access them, if not I'll try to link them to this forum. I have one fish left that I've had for a year now and I've pretty much let the tank go, as you can tell.
Lights - usually on from 7 am to 10 pm
Substrate - gravel, is that what you mean?
Water changes - I try to change at least 15 gallons every other week. What is your best advice on how to change water quick and easy? I do siphon the gravel when I change water.
Feeding - cichild flakes - only a pinch - and I've cut down to every other day, once a day.
Filter - Penguin Bio Wheel 350
Chemicals - none anymore. Have API Algaefix and Amquel Plus when needed
Tests - Ph: 6.8, Alkalinity: 80, Hardness: 425, Nitrite: 0, Nitrate: 20, Amonia - 0
 

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service cart captain
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Your filter looks brand new!
If your cleaning it , especially the bio wheels , you could be killing your benificial bacteria .
Try doing weekly water changes of 20-25% and leave all the chemicals out . Let the bio-wheels stay 'dirty'.
If your not growing plants you could leave the lights off during the day and turn them on in the evening so you can enjoy your tank .
Plants would be a good idea as well ! They will help to "export" nutrients from the water and compete with the algae .:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I looked into the UV sterilizer and the smaller one works for up to 53 gallons - do you think that would work for mine, since it's so close? Or would you recommend going for the one that cleans up to 106 gal.
 

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Whats the difference in price? Is there certainly a difference in wattage?
The more powerful one perhaps would clear it faster, you have a lot to kill back, but the smaller one could perhaps do it, it would probably eventually clear it and keep it clear.
I always like to overkill my UV lights, I have a couple of them from systems over the years. I would put a 25w on a 55 gallon tank! I also have a 15 watt. Both "aquanetics" brand, but really they all work the same. Your tank I would suggest going for the more powerful one if the price is close and not a big object. You can fine tune the effects of the lamp by adjusting the flow that goes through it. You want good contact time, but also you need to turn the amount of water in the tank through it often enough, its a finer balance with a lower wattage lamp.
Anyway, I'm glad to hear that your considering it. It's a great investment and you will really enjoy your tank the way you always wanted it to be.
Hope to hear about your success story! It only takes a couple of days... set it up, keep the lights off for a couple of days, and you will be amazed at the results :)
First thing that came to mind when I saw the pictures was "UV" :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've purchased the UV sterilizer and the green has gone away!!!!! Thank you so much for your advice! The only thing that remains is that my water is still pretty cloudy. Once I do some regular water changes will this disappear?
 

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AWESOME!!!
Very glad to hear about your success story! You made the right decision!

The cloudiness will go away, a healthy tank is clear. You can speed it up with the clarifying drops to bind the particles together to make them larger and easier for the filter to trap. I personally use micron filters to help with cloudy water at times. Marineland makes a great product called the Magnum, one model hangs on the tank (H.O.T.) and can be easily installed temporarily on the front and used to clear or help clear cloudy water in an hour or so, depends... They have a permanent models that sit on the floor, and you can also put the HOT on the back, if you have room. I also use a larger kind, an Ocean Clear Filters (OCF) brand micron filter is permanently plumbed to my reef, and I occasionally pass the water through it as needed by flipping some valves.
Hate to tell you to spend more money on filters and gear for the tank though.
The drops might do it, water changes might do it also. The drops should only be a couple bucks and they really work right before your very eyes.
Regards
 

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Remember that any algae needs two nutrients, without which it cannot live/reproduce.

Nitrate and Phosphate. I suspect you might have a phosphate problem. Although all the other suggestions above would help alleviate the symptoms ie. green water, it does little to fix the cause.

Phosphates are introduced mostly by feeding, tap water and some cheap GAC (granular activated carbon).

I suggest the following:

1) If you have plants, cut your lighting in half. If you don't, switch your lights off for two weeks.

2) Change your GAC weekly. rinse it thoroughly with R.O. (Reverse Osmosis) water before adding it. You can get R.O. water at most good LFS's. While changing it weekly, two tablespoons is enough for 100L (per week). Using more could introduce more phosphates.

3) Cut your feeding in half for two weeks. No matter how little you feed currently. The fish will be ok ;)

4) Most importantly, get a good quality granular phosphate remover to add to your GAC. Follow the manufacturers instructions.

5) Don't use any chemicals/fertilizers for at least 4 weeks.
 
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