Remove green algae from fresh water fish tank – DIY

January 2nd, 2014

No chemicals, fast results.

Once I put some fertilizer tabs in my planted fresh water fish tank, the green algae started growing and in a matter of days the water was crowded with them. A greenish color, milky water, I couldn’t see through my tank. The plants were also not getting enough light.

I changed about 50% of the water once in 10 days. Tried it twice. This was supposed to clear the algae/nutrients so new algae would not form. Didn’t work. Two days later and I was back to a green water tank.

My solution: paper towels(!).

First I used my small acrylic fry tank, put a double layer paper towel in it and placed it under the filter return. I thought – maybe the kitchen paper towel would be good enough to filter the algae. Result: overnight the water got significantly clearer.

You can see the fry tank padded with the double paper towel right under the filter output. Basically just another filtering stage. (yes, those are superglued ping pong balls to help with the flotation)














As I realized the next morning that the paper towel filtering was working, I updated the process with the intention to get rid of the fry tank. I mounted the paper towel inside the filter, on the intake side of the filtering cartridge. I assume I could have put it on either side, as long as it covered the cartridge surface (view images below).

This filter paper has been sitting in the tank filter for just a few hours (about 5). With both filters in place (fry tank and inside tank filter) the water is almost back to clear in just a few hours. I replaced the main filter paper towel just to get a bit better results.



There are two filter towels in the tank filter: one over the filtration cartridge (main algae filtering purpose) and one in the overflow section.

This is what happens: main filter towel gets clogged fairly easily with algae/other things, as its pores are very small. The water starts rushing through the overflow on the left side instead of going through the main circuit, bypassing the filter. This is why I need the second folded towel to stop the water from going through the overflow and actually directing it through the main filter.


This is how the two towels look like (the one in the fry tank after 20 hours and the one from the main filter after 4-5 hours).


I didn’t use the fry tank anymore, just a paper towel in the main tank filter. I won’t leave it there too long, as it clogs pretty fast and prevents the water flow through the main cartridge. Anyways, used the method, it works excellent, with really fast results.

I don’t know how long it will last until algae will be back to make my tank water green, but this way I am not using any chemicals in the tank (this was my main goal).

It should last for a few days, and then I’ll have to repeat the process – until those plant nutrient tabs are totally gone from the system and won’t help any more algae growth.


Mic review – for podcasts, video tutorials – under $100 – Samson Meteor vs M-Audio Producer

July 21st, 2011

Short version:

1. Good sound quality really matters!

2. Don’t go cheaper than $50 for a microphone.

3. Go for a USB microphone.

4. Samson Meteor


  • good sound quality
  • high amplitude signal (higher volume)
  • just plug it in and it works
  • nice, fancy design
  • mute button, volume knob
  • LED indicator for mute/active/overload


  • due to high gain, almost impossible to have the speakers and mic on at the same time (really bad distortion)
  • headphones work as an output from the soundboard, delay between your voice and what you hear in the headphones is inevitable

5. Avid M-Audio Producer USB


  • sturdy construction
  • good sound quality
  • headphones plug, the signal to headphones comes directly from the mic amplifier, so practically zero delay
  • USB cable a little short, but seems really good quality
  • LED power indicator
  • comes with a nice mic stand, and two types of threads
  • comes with an audio editing software (I’m not a big fan though)
  • low distortion


  • a bit bulky and heavy (if you were to hold it)
  • the software has no video editing section
  • no volume knob for headphones
  • no mute button

6. Conclusion – go with the M-Audio microphone – better sound, instant monitoring, low feedback sound from speakers (low distortion). Read the rest of this entry »

Toshiba Satellite L655-S5150 wireless adapter problem

February 27th, 2011

Bought a new Toshiba Satellite L655-S5150 laptop. Everything seemed to be fine, wireless working perfect. After about two weeks, I changed the wireless access point (router) and the wireless network stopped working, all of the sudden.

Symptoms: wireless network working every now and then, with large and frustrating interruptions. I tried with multiple wireless access points, same behaviour. Tried to change literally all the settings of my wireless adapter and most of the wireless router settings, without success.

Solution: after 4-5 days of really trying, I found the solution – I changed the power plan from balanced to high performance. Of course, afterwards, you can change the brightness, or other parameters of the plan, but I would not recommend changing the wireless settings (which should be on high performance). Anyways, it was really frustrating and not easy to find a cure.

If this is successful for you, please leave comment and let me know. Thanks.