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How To Cultivate Green Water From Scratch

It's really quite simple. Just bare in mind a couple of things:

1. BB (Beneficial Bacteria) found in an established filter/tank's water will compete with algae for ammonia and usually win the battle. No BB in your setup please.

2. Provide natural sunlight. If you need to use artificial lighting, make sure the lamp's output is "daylight", (6500 Kelvin). You're on your own if you think "bluish overcast sky" (> 10000 Kelvin) is natural daylight. The lamp must also be intensely bright. Ideally use a Metal Halide lamp if you can bare the heat or have a large tub. You can use a compact florescence lamp (PL Lamp) too if your tub is relatively small and shallow. Most, if not all, normal florescence lamp (FL lamp) will not work, as their output intensity is not strong at all. Make sure there's UV shield protection; UV kills algae.

3. Go for high ammonia level initially. To some extend the high ammonia level will inevitably stress your fish so start off with some cheap healthy fishes please.

So long as you bare the above in mind, cultivating green water is easy. You just need a little patient as green water does not appear overnight, or we'll have puddles of green water all over town -- areas around your neighborhood wet market, by the Fountain of Wealth at Suntec City, etc. Give it about 2 weeks to appear. Once you get green water, they will bloom much quicker when you use some old green water to seed fresh clean tap water.

Clean your tub/tank. Scrub it clean using detergent/alcohol/atomic bomb or whatever method you desire making sure you have killed all the BB that were previously thriving in it. All right, washing the tank with tap water should do it nicely... but if you're kiasu, soak the tank with a solution of a few hundred grams of PP to make sure.

Next, fill up the tank with clean, duly de-chlorinated, tap water. Don't use any of your old water! (Refer point no. 1)

Put an air-stone in the tank to aerate and circulate the water. (Refer point no 1 again and you should know your old air-stone is a bedding ground with BB in it. Thoroughly clean it, or just buy a new one. Doh.)

Put a few cheap and healthy fishes in it. If you use sick feeder goldfish, the water will turn brown instead! Use good cheap and healthy fish only!

Turn on the lamp for as long as you like. Oh great, we're stressing the poor fishes again. I am covering up my backside by reminding you, once again, to use your cheap fishes! tongue.gif

Okay you're ready and all you have to do now is wait patiently. Feed as per normal. Ideally feed with bloodworms, or Hikari Lionhead pellets. Don't take your chances by feeding pellets containing PSB (such as Chroma.) Observe carefully over the following days. Discard the water if it turns brown. When the water is lightly tinted or you're somewhat colour blind, green can looks brown. So how? Just find a small all-white ceramic cup and fill it with about 1 inch of your green/brown water in it. The true colour will show up clearly especially when you compare it with another identical cup filled with clear water.

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After about 2 weeks you should get intensely green water. Siphon out 10% into a small pail. Discard the rest and start again. This time you should get obvious green within 3 days.

Once you're satisfied that you can reset your green water reliably, i.e., changing intense green and seeding 10% to restart again and having to repeat it in a week's time, you can finally put your prized fishes in it.

Er.... hello... no where in my above rumbling did I mention anything about the use of an OHF, canister filter, IOS filter, sump filter, coffee bag filter etc. So... bury your expensive bio-filtration toys in the storeroom if you want to use green water. Why? Refer to point no. 1 again. mad.gif

Oh yeah, read up the various discussions in this board on green water to understand its behaviour as this post merely touches on how to cultivate green water. Using it correctly is beyond its scope.
Thanks HB for a great article.

I am going to buy some new tubs for outdoor green water cultivation. Lot's of room on the patio floor outside.

Now I just have to do a sun dance. "come on sunshine". happydance.gif
WOW! Thanks HB! good_very.gif This is a very detailed complete list of steps compared to others that I have been reading. I have been reading threads on green water but bo jee to start. Now with this, I can have more confidence!

I will start it shortly! happydance1.gif

Thanks again bro! I am sure this post will be of much use for newbies like me to refer to.
I have written a pictorial journal on cultivating of Green Water from scratch under indoor conditions.

I hope this helps in answering some frequently re-asked FAQ that newbies have.
GoLD FInger
sry for bringing old thread but i wanna ask u wat is PSB in "Don't take your chances by feeding pellets containing PSB (such as Chroma.)"
PSB = Photosynthetic bacteria.

More info here:;#entry28468
GoLD FInger
QUOTE(CP @ Sat, 10 Feb 2007 9:37 am) *

PSB = Photosynthetic bacteria.

More info here:;#entry28468

damn it no wonder i cant get greenwater for months i had been feeding my ryukin saki hikari which contain probiotic. i got a few more question for u

1.does hikari wheat germ got any probiotic? u consider the picture below as greenwater? this water looks green in the tank but when i scoop it out from the tank and put it above a white base, it does not look green.

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It has been discussed here before, that having anything that encourages BB growth in the same tub with green water, will inhibit the green water algae from thriving.

The reason being, both BB (existing in your filter) and green water both fight for the same kind of food - Ammonia. So looking at your setup, there is high chance that the BB in your sponge filter is competing nutrient with your green water. So it goes back to point #1 of the first post here:

1. BB (Beneficial Bacteria) found in an established filter/tank's water will compete with algae for ammonia and usually win the battle. No BB in your setup please.

That is on top of the possible problem from the food that you are feeding.

So, please pay special attention to HB's note:
"No BB in your setup please."

PS: Of course another issue is with your light source - you have to be sure that it is producing enough light for the algae.

i just want to share with you my surprise about the green water. green water is great.

i have been putting my ranchu in a tank with with EHEIM filter for year, and the nitrate levels is around 20-45 ppm. and i thought thats the best i can have (with weekly water change 80%)

somehow i got worry with nitrate and growth of my fish. so i started using green water. it is INCREDIBLE!!! the nitrate level hardly beyond 2.5ppm and i havent even change the water for more than a week... the amonia level also okay...

and i notice some of the white stuff/slime on my fish wen are all gone, cause i think the fish is not stress anymore...

i think all goldfish lover should keep their fish in green water!!!!

but one thing i am still wondering, why those japanese breeders in the photos dont put their fish in green water, how do they keep the nitrate down?? their ponds are quite big... are they changing the water on daily basis to keep the nitrate down??
Tnx for the most detailed cultivation process of homemade greenwater, however, I have a query suggestion, is the water in Bukit Batok Reserve GuiLin green pond water? can we just get the water from there? immediate and natural, right? please advice.

kekeke...Well it's the same as keeping marine fish .Can we just go to our nearest coast to get the saline water for our marine fish keeping??????

Guilin water looks green but it may contain more than just green to make you blue if you use it for your gold.
peter porker
QUOTE(egwinh @ Sat, 15 Sep 2007 6:49 pm) *


i just want to share with you my surprise about the green water. green water is great.
are they changing the water on daily basis to keep the nitrate down??

All you have to do for the home aquarium is make more frequent water changes.
Wow great info! I think Im gonna run down to the local hardware store and get two 55 gallon drums and do the green water cultivation I will then (once established) start my lionhead breeding project.
Hi me name is kelvin tay,

Why is it that my goldfish stays at the bottom of the fish bowl and remains motionless, breathing heavily?
This happened after i changed the water with tap water treated with Tetra safe water (dechlorinating product),but i used to use ocean free super fish guard.And i also wash the box filter aquarium wool.

My friendly fishshop uncle told me to add some cooking salt inside the fish water. Very soon, my goldfish starts waking up to swim round its bowl and amazingly comes alive! Can anyone please explain what happened to my oranda goldfish? Why is salt the treatment in its case???

What is green water?

Can the fish experts help me?
Hello greenwater masters, I just need help on choosing a light for my tank that is 20 inches high. What would be the watts of light bulb do I need? Do i need normal output or high output?

Thank you very much
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