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Bacteria Bloom ?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by nmullens, May 21, 2009.

  1. nmullens

    nmullens Prolific Poster

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    Well I have no experience in this area but my tank has been getting very cloudy. It is weird though because nothing in my tank is doing bad. All parameters normal, plants growing better then ever, no algae attacking, fish and shrimp look very happy. I did my weekly 50% water change yesterday hoping that it would help but today it is cloudy again. When I had the water drained last night the tank had a white film on it. Should I keep doing water changes till it goes away ? If it is a bacteria bloom what can I expect and how should I deal with it?

    thanks in advance for any help.
     
  2. Henry Hatch

    Henry Hatch Guru Class Expert

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    If you have a bacteria bloom then they will normally resolve themselves in 1-3 weeks. How long ago did you set up your tank ? Blooms are common in newly set up tanks. The surface film suggests excess organics in the water. You might try doing 2 water changes a week for a couple of weeks and cut back on feeding. If you're feeding brine shrimp stop that for a time.

    One other thing. Do a head count. You might have a dead fish in the tank. It is amazing how difficult it can be to find a dead fish in a planted tank. Do more than look. I stick my hand among the leaves and around the roots.
     
  3. nmullens

    nmullens Prolific Poster

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    My tank has been setup for about 5 months now. I will do a check for dead fish when I get home today. And start doing a couple water changes a week till it is gone.

    Thanks.
     
  4. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Check your NH4/NO2 while you're at it. Cloudiness can happen when your nitrifying bacteria culture dies off. One good water change or filter rinse without dechlorinating is all it takes.

    -Philosophos
     
  5. nmullens

    nmullens Prolific Poster

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    I have been watching NH4 ever since it started and it hasn't move from 0. Not sure how to test NO2. I have also been very careful to always use dechlorination when doing water changes. Also something I forgot to mention is that it started when I started to add an air stone at night.
     
  6. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'm stumped on the cause then. If you can't find the cause, there's always a treatment. Try using a UV sterilizer for a couple days; borrow one if you can. Kill it all off, wait and see if it comes back. I've always liked keeping one around for emergencies, even if it doesn't run most of the time.

    -Philosophos
     
  7. nmullens

    nmullens Prolific Poster

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    My theory: I was killing off some of the beneficial bacteria by not having enough oxygen in my tank (speculation), I had very little by the way of ripples on the surface of the water and with all the extra co2 I am adding now I wanted to make sure I wasn't killing all the beneficial bacteria in my aquarium. I thought that more surface agitation at night might help. That is way I added the air stone at night. With in two day of adding the air stone at night my tank started to cloud up. I have now removed the air stone at night and added another power head close to the surface so the tank always has some surface agitation to keep 02 level up.

    I will ask around my local forum to see if I can find a UV sterilizer to borrow.

    Thanks
     
  8. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    If you were killing off the heterotrophic bacteria enough for cloudiness, I'd assume that NH4 would pop up. If your fish aren't dead, then there was enough O2 for the bacteria.

    A couple other ideas came to mind; Cloudiness can happen from ADA aquasoil. If you're using it, and switched water sources or the KH went up for any reason, the milky appearance could show up pretty quickly. SomeWwater conditioners and I believe certain fertilizers can give a foggy look as well. Any changes of that type?

    -Philosophos
     
  9. nmullens

    nmullens Prolific Poster

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    I was actually thinking the opposite, that I had a low bacteria count before I added the oxygen at night and once I added it my good bacteria went nutz creating a bloom. But I am talking out my you know what, its just a guess. I have eco complete for a substrate but around the same it started to cloud up, I did do some plating of HC over a few days probably stirred up the mulum a bit. I am using Prime for a water conditioner.

    But I will stick with a couple water changes a week and try to see if I can find a UV sterilizer I can use in the mean time.

    Thanks Nmullens.
     
  10. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    NH4 is required for cycle related cloudiness as far as I know. I've never seen nitrifying bacteria reproduce fast enough to create water cloudiness; they tend to attach to growth mediums like the substrate or filter sponges.

    stirring up newer eco-complete can do it. Aquariums with new eco-complete can take a month or more some times just to get the pH down and the cloudiness out. 5 months is a bit of a stretch, but if it hasn't been disturbed since day 1, I wouldn't think it too unlikely.

    Your white film on top also seems to corelate nicely with an undisturbed substrate getting poked at. Been feeding them worms by chance? Some times when I disturb the mulm/detritus in my substrate with low surface agitation, a white sheet of film appears that looks like tissue paper. The consensus is generally fats and proteins combined with low agitation will create a film. Some blame iron bacteria, I think this would be the rare exception.

    -Philosophos
     
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