Water Change and Bacteria Bloom

Frank Lawler

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Apr 15, 2009
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After several years, my tank has developed hazy water and bacterial blooms twice after recent cleanings and water changes. I may have triggered the first one by replacing too much filter media all at once, although it was certainly no more than I had done before. A subsequent water change only made things worse, so I just had to wait it out and let it take care of itself.
The second bloom is even harder to figure out. I had just replaced the old HOB with a canister filter and the tank water now looked exceptionally clear. However, after a much smaller water change and filter media rinse in old tank water, a mild bit of haziness has returned again. It doesn't seem so bad this time, but I'm wondering what has changed recently. Over the years I've often done water changes as large as 80% without this reaction. Might anyone be able to figure this out? Thanks.
 
H

Htomassini

Guest
The second one is easy. You went from a hob which the filter is your bio filter to a new canister which was not seeded. The bacterial bloom is die to a mini cycle.


Henry tomassini
www.theplantedaquariumstore.com
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Frank Lawler

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Apr 15, 2009
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My mistake: I neglected to mention that all of the old HOB media was placed inside the canister, in addition to the new media that had been supplied with it.
 

aquabillpers

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Jan 24, 2005
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I think the bacteria bloom that often occurs after an aquarium cleaning is due to the fact that a lot of nutrients are "unlocked" from the substrate and other places. The resident bacteria take advantage of this abundance and multiply, causing grey cloudy water, until the excess has been consumed. Then the water clarity returns.

Filters aid in converting ammonia to nitrates and in removing particulate matter. I doubt that they could remove significant numbers of bacteria or their food supply.

The bacteria that cause cloudy water are not the same kind that help to convert ammonia to nitrates.

Good luck!

Bill
 

dutchy

Plant Guru Team
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Jul 6, 2009
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Maybe you are causing PO4 to react with chelate from traces if you dose this at the same time after you change water.
 

Frank Lawler

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Apr 15, 2009
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Thanks Aquabillpers and Dutchy, food for thought. Another thing that just occurred to me is that I never seemed to have these blooms until I cut way back on my fertilizer dosing and as a result no longer experienced the severe algae problems that I'd had for so long. I'm trying to figure out if there might be some sort of connection.
 

Frank Lawler

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Apr 15, 2009
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Just found out that my tap water contains 0.25 ppm NH3/NH4+! This is very surprising, to say the least, and has not happened before. Surely this would cause either a bacterial bloom or green water? What can I do about this so that subsequent water changes don't exacerbate the problem?
Will call the local water company tomorrow to see what's going on.