Bacterial Bloom/New tank Syndrome

OhKay13

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Ive had my 4 gallon planted tank set up for about a week now and the bloom has gone down a little but my plants, substrate, and hardscape are completely covered in bacterial colonies. Most forums say to wait it out and it will eventually balance out. I ended up adding some ceramic pieces to my filter and a lava stone to hopefully give the bacteria another place to colonize.

Should I continue to wait it out? And for how long? Or Should I add anything else (I.e. stock, substrate)?

Right now I have 2 types of wild mosses, java fern, Anubias nana, rotala, duckweed and some grass and foreground plant I can’t remember the name of. The substrate is Aquasoil only.
 

OhKay13

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My initial plan was to let the aquarium cycle for 1 month, add shrimp and rams horn snails, and after the shrimp have breed and the babies are established adding 6 endlers


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Edvet

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Waterchange, waterchange, waterchange.
50% per day, combined with (gently) removing algea.
Planted tanks are "cycled" when the plants are groing healthy and steadily, just add livestock slowly. You filter is mostly for flow in a planted tank, pack it lightly with filtermedia. preferably as course as possible, no need for expensive "bacteria housing"media. Plants, their rootsystem end the substrate eill house most of your bacteria.
 

OhKay13

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I had heard that doing water changes in a new tank is actually the #1 thing you don’t want to do during a new tank bloom. With no root system, no pre-introduced bacteria, and new water doing a water change doesn’t allow the bacteria to get a hold where they need to and can make the bloom last longer than it needs to.

I could see how doing a water change and deep cleaning in an old aquarium with stock that’s bloomed would be beneficial because it likely caused by excess ammonia.

Thank you for your help. Just the overall consensus online on the topic is to let the colonies get settled before doing a water change. I would just hate to make it last longer. The majority of the bacterial are not in the water anyway. They’ve colonized on the surface of my hardscape and plants, which isn’t harming the plants at all so far.

My question was more on is there a good way to encourage colonization on some surfaces (not all).


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dw1305

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Hi all,
Just the overall consensus online on the topic is to let the colonies get settled before doing a water change.
I had heard that doing water changes in a new tank is actually the #1 thing you don’t want to do during a new tank bloom. With no root system, no pre-introduced bacteria, and new water doing a water change doesn’t allow the bacteria to get a hold where they need to and can make the bloom last longer than it needs to.
Honestly listen to what @Edvet tells you. Don't listen to who ever is telling you not to change water. If they also tell you to add ammonia to cycle your tank? don't listen to that either.

Scientists now know huge amount more about the microbial processes that go on aquariums, it is just that very little of that scientific knowledge has trickled down to most forums. The past <"truly is a different country">, but forums and LFS advice hasn't always caught up.

Have a look at page 4. of <"Bedside Aquarium">.

Water changes
The micro-organisms that you have in the tank aren't the same as the ones that are responsible for nitrification. They are opportunistic "heterotrophic" bacteria and fungi that have bloomed due to the availability of easily digestible sugars and nitrogenous compounds (from the wood and substrate). You just need to keep syphoning the obvious bloom out when you change some water.

Water changes will dilute the these compounds and as they go your bacterial bloom will decline. If you don't change any water you run the risk of low oxygenation levels occurring as the bloom declines, and those nutrients being continually re-cycled within the tank.

Cycling
The traditional view is that nitrification is carried out by a limited range of bacteria and that there is a temporal sequence where the level of ammonia (NH3/NH4+) oxidising bacteria has to build up and only after that will the bacteria the oxidise nitrite (NO2-) to nitrate (NO3-) occur, and that you need high levels of ammonia and carbonate hardness for this process not to stall, but none of that is true in aquariums.

cheers Darrel
 

OhKay13

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Thanks Darrel. This is very helpful.

However, I might add that it wasn’t like I was just listening to one forum. I almost always look for scholarly articles when starting my research into new tank things and most said what I stated above. I just didn’t come across the article you gave me.


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Iain Sutherland

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Darrell summed that up pretty well.
If you can do daily water changes as big as possible during start up you 'should' have a pretty trouble free aquarium

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dw1305

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Hi all,
I did 100% water change and used water from my established tank and it’s already
That looks much better, I change a <"small amount of water regularly">, other will go for larger, but more infrequent water changes.

Once the plants are in active growth they will need some feeding, I use the <"Duckweed Index">, a technique where you use the colour and health of a floating plant as an indication of when to add fertilisers.

Once the plants have grown in you start adding the livestock.

cheers Darrel
 

OhKay13

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Once the plants have grown in you start adding the livestock.

Thanks for the advice!! Any good ferts that are lead and copper free? I plan to add shrimp which are sensitive to metals


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dw1305

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Hi all,
Any good ferts that are lead and copper free?
They should all be lead (Pb) free, but all micro-element mixes have some copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn), this is because they are essential micro-nutrients for both plants and animals. Crustaceans actually have blood where the oxygen carrying pigment is copper based (haemocyanin).

Have a look at <"How Copper affects Dwarf Shrimp">, and <"DIY fertiliser formulae">.

cheers Darrel
 

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