Habitat - Indoor :: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

Turtle tank setups and other indoor configurations.

Post Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:48 pm   Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

Okay. Going to get down to business because I am clueless here and have no idea what to do.

Description of problem: Green water, cloudy in Krush's tank.

Noticed this about 2 months ago, so we changed the water, cleaned filters, etc. and the tank looked great for about 2 weeks. Then it started looking 'off' and the water temp went up to 80-F tho heater set at 77.

Kept an eye on it because the temps here were higher than normal, so we thought it might have been weather-related and the tank gets direct sun also, although a good 15 feet away from the window.
Never has happened before, however, the last 3 Summers have been warm, not hot, like this one. Also, before that, we had only the side of the the tank getting full sun but we moved it so the entire side gets the morning sun now.

As well, around the first time we noticed the cloudy green water, we were having problems with our well's filtration system. Our water has high concentrations of iron mostly, and probably other minerals and we had the system even before we had Krush, and never had a problem til now. For a period of two weeks, we basically had no reliable filtration and our water tasted and smelled of iron. I don't know if that would matter, but it did effect the wine I make (!) so I thought maybe that was the iron in the water issue also.

We still believe there is something wrong with our well's filtration system, however, because we still have more iron than we should have and will be getting someone in to test our water for iron and minerals soon.
Other than what I have mentioned, nothing else has changed in the way Krush lives and how we take care of him.

Today I tested the Ph, Nitrate, Nitrite and Ammonia levels. We had these scores: Ph- 7.5, Nitrite- 0, Nitrate- between 5 and 10, and Ammonia- 0 but I am unsure about what acceptable levels are okay for RES turtles.

Maybe the green water is algae build-up from the high water temperature ?? It stayed high for a good month at least and we even added ice cubes to try and bring it down.

Krush looks and acts a healthy and happy as ever.

So I would appreciate some help to figure this out and then a solution to this problem. Thanks!
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Post Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 7:19 pm   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

The temp of 80* is ok especially for babies and adults are hardy and really don't mind. I keep my tank year round 78-80* for my Piggley , keeps him active all the time no slow downs in winter as some may experience.
If you done too large of percentage on the water change it my have affected your "cycle" (killed it off) in the tank causing an bacteria/algae bloom ? Several smaller water changes every few days may help to recover it , that is unless it's a result of the "well" water.

Something I keep on hand is a UV sterilizer. I have a sunsun cup-613 and it only gets used maybe once a year for my 125 gallon tank if that often. Yes it's oversized for what I have but within an hour clears my tank up killing off any bacteria/algae blooms. But handy to have one to me. Also it being matched to its own build in pump the flow rate is balanced to the 13watt lamp , a must for a UV sterilizer to work , proper flow rate over the UV lamp.
How long the well been up and running? When last time your system tested? The smallest change in ground water temp's will change the bacteria level.

Look at the chatrs for sizing one: http://www.aquaultraviolet.com/sites/de ... 0Water.pdf

Also a good read : http://www.clean-water-for-laymen.com/b ... water.html

That is until you have your well water tested. If you read up on UV sterilizers you will find some that will kill off the blooms / bacteria / parasites all in one. Or you can try several smaller water changes every few days but to me sounds like your well water should be tested if it's been awhile.

A UV sterlizer now will help Krush's tank until you get the well tested. It will kill off the alage... so your filter can remove it easily. I say this because you state even 15' from window and it never happened before. And to me a UV sterilizer is something nice to have for what it can do.

Some people use one when they maintenance there tank's ,just over night, that is if it sized properly to get super crystal clear water. There are other ways for super clear water ,yes, but it helps to take it to the next level. Always a good filter (flow rate) with media matched for a turtle setup helps.
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Post Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:30 pm   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

The well has been up and running for 18 years. Last well water test was about three years ago. The softening system was looked at about 2 months ago but we are calling them back for more testing since the iron taste and smell is still strong.

So the UV sterilizer clears up the algae in the meantime? And most important, is Krush okay in the meantime?
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Post Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:20 pm   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

Yes a UV sterilizer will if you size it up properly to Krush's setup. Read up on them to see all the different types. The flow is very important over the lamp so I suggest one that has it's own pump instead of you trying to match an "inline type" to your system's flow rate.

Take your time and study up , find the right one for "your" setup , meantime this will not hurt Krush because turtles breath like us . If you have some nice fish with him it does in time hurt the gills on fish causing problems. More so unpleasant for you to look at.

Some people have UV sterilizers and run them all the time because they have water problem's or can not hold a cycled tank , that will not hurt a turtle. Myself use it once in a blue moon or if I have to extend my maintenance.


Good read : https://aquariumadviser.com/how-to-use- ... -aquarium/


Also a must read : https://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/arti ... icleid=435

This gives you an idea on the flow rate chart what size watts kills what for tank size.
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Post Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:28 am   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

How many gallons is in the tank? Warmer temps will contribute, but regular maintenance should resolve most of those issues.
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:23 am   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

Sorry, I was away for a while. 75 gallons of water. Today I am doing a water change. Leaving a little though and rinsed everything in tank water. But I want to try changing all the media. Just to make sure. I have difficulty with knowing what to change and when.
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:28 am   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

Weird though because this is the first time ever I have had this green water issue. And that it coincided with a large amount of iron and minerals in our water due to the water purifying system for our house being down for a couple weeks. And then the hot weather was very unusual for this area where I live. AND since the high iron content messed up my wine fermentation, I wondered if it was the house's water that was messing with Krush's tank. Checked for all the nasties: nitrate, nitrite, ammonia and pH and the numbers looked good.
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:32 am   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

I'll keep you all posted and thanks for the reassurance and help!
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:07 pm   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

That's a plan. It will not hurt a turtle doing a very large water change since they breath like us . Any beneficial bacteria will be killed off and any cycle too. Be like starting all over again. More frequent smaller water changes a cycle will stand a better chance to survive. That's why I suggested a UV sterilizer , any bacteria bloom / algae bloom can be gone over night if sterilizer sized correct without starting all over again. Also they are nice to have around when needed.

Good luck to you and Krush.
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:26 pm   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

Thank you very much, litefoot!
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:44 pm   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

[ what to change and when ]

Piggley's filter setup is lots of coarse foam media 325 sq. in's and lots of bio media ( about 2 gallons worth of bio alone) and bi monthly water changes in summer when he eats more and monthly in winter when less , at 20% for 125 gallons water. This for ""my"" tank , keeps it cycled and crystal clear all the time. About once a month I rinse the foam and the bio media . With care the foam could last a year and the bio rings even longer , just a squeeze is good for the foam. That lite brownish stuff is the good bacteria . You don't have to pressure wash it to be white foam again just a simple squeeze is all. Never use tap water to rinse it , that will kill off beneficial bacteria. Use the percentage of water you take out for the water change to rinse it off. A good cycled tank will help keep Krush's tank naturally clean so your filter can work better. Since Krush's is well water you could add a cup of carbon for any toxins and about 8 oz's of purigen for organic waste should be a good combination for Krush. I believe and trust in cycling along with the correct percentage of water changes that works for a tank. And all setups are a little different so that percentage will be a little different for each setup.
You could also look at the media thread on this forum too.
Just a note , a few read and think if a UV sterilizer kill's bacteria it kills all bacteria.
No , Good healthy beneficial bacteria attaches itself to the gravel , decorations , rocks and bio media....
The bad is "free floating" bacteria / algae that clouds the water. The flow over the UV lamp is what kills it (free floating/bad type only) not the attached good bacteria.
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Post Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 3:34 pm   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

Thanks, this is great advice! When I last cleaned the tank, I forgot to rinse off Krush's rocks and other habitat decor, so when I put it in the water, all this brown stuff came off of them, but you tell me that is the good stuff. That is lucky for me then. I was worried! Now I know that the bad stuff was the algae which caused the green water. I will see how his tank looks when I go home on the 5th. Right now, I am many miles from home and my daughter is looking after Krush. Also, for the advice on media, I thank you. Krush got all my attention for a couple of years and then we got a dog and that attention diminished but I do like to take him outside for a while when it's sunny and warm. I let him crawl in the grass and stretch his neck to look everywhere, for about ten minutes or so or until I get tired of chasing after him, then he goes back inside his water home. He still has a much better life than at the Animal Shelter and from the looks of it, his previous owner, who dropped him off with a tiny tank and nothing else! I tell myself that whenever I feel guilty about not giving him the same attention I used to, or when he has to spend time in his tank when it's full of green water ! :wink:
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Post Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:10 pm   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

All this takes time to get down. Once you find the correct balance of water changes all will balance out , then it's your job to maintain a cycle. On those occasions you do too large of one and get an algae bloom several small water changes does help but that's why I keep a UV sterilize around , that get's rid of it over night if size correct to your system. Over the years you will be able to just look at your water and tell what's wrong , yes that day will come.

NOTE: if you start to see blackish / very dark brown stiff on decorations that's diatoms (aka brown algae) it's harmless but unsightly. The good nitrifying bacteria if you have lite color rocks will be faint brownish even in color and if dark rock's you may not even notice it. Some may never achieve a well cycled tank especially if it's a small tank and it's like starting all over every week or two as a new setup. Larger the water volume the easier !


Keep on the top of your water changes , If you see any blackish areas just rub it off , don't full on wash the ornaments or gravel as you will get rid of the good bacteria in your tank. Wash them with the water you're changing out don't even let them dry off. Keep that good bacteria alive and once a cycle is steady you will see a difference. A test to do is get a white coffee cup. Dip it in your water today , bet it's yellowish to green ? In time once your cycle is set dip that coffee cup in water again and you will only see the white bottom of the cup , all clean and clear !

I'm now in this hobby 55 years and cyclying did not come over night for me , it takes time , and you will get it for Krush. I think Piggley's home in his videos tells the story about cycling. Also a good test kit helps so you can watch the number's to achieve your goal. Those test strips are to inauccurate , get a good drop kit helps. In time you won't even need a test kit , you will know by just looking on whats needed. There are some good articles on cycling to help you understand it better.
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Post Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:28 pm   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

Shoot! Changed the water as I told you, replaced EVERYTHING...went on a 5 day trip, came back and it's green again. :cry: Had water tested and the pH has gone up, since 2015, but not that much. Tested for hardness, and it's not at all hard and no iron in the water. I am wondering if my tank's pump is not working correctly. And how would I tell that anyway? I tested the pH today and it was around 7-7.5. I use the good drop kit and not the strips.
I keep apologizing to Krush for not being able to see him very well. :cry:
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Post Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:39 pm   Re: Green, cloudy water again, even after a water change

IMG_0597 tank.jpg
Krush's tank
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