Bacterial bloom

Mudhead

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11 Jul 2008
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Didcot, Oxfordshire
Hello all,

Bit of advice needed please. Just in the middle of a bacterial bloom (white hazy water). Fish and shrimp seem ok at the moment but wondering if I should switch the air pump on and do another water change? Internet advice seems to be a bit all over the shop.

Not sure what’s caused it as all water parameters seem fine. Done the usual weekly clean routine today, change 30% water, remove any dead leaves, dose ferts, feed fish etc. I have installed a new filter last week but have used old media from cycled filter. The tank is 2-3 years old but had a complete overhaul with new substrate 3 months ago.

Any advice welcome. Just don’t want to lose my livestock.

Cheers
 

Zeus.

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Can't see bit being the substrate as was done 3 months ago.
Filter done recently so most likely culprit OFC.
Could of course been a precipitate of Fe dependant on the pH of your water. What is the pH of your water in your tank. Plus are you injecting CO2?
A big WC say 80/90% would be what I would do maximising tank turnover/flow with airstone on during non CO2 injection periods will do no harm and maximise O2 levels. Surface skimmer also if you have one to help O2 levels too.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Fish and shrimp seem ok at the moment but wondering if I should switch the air pump on and do another water change?
I'd definitely add the air pump. Like @Zeus. says more oxygen is always a good thing.

Another water change would also be a good idea. I'm always a little wary of tap water because of possible emergency chloramine dosing, so if it is tap water I would want to use a <"dechlorinator (like Prime)"> that deals with ammonia.

Final thing is going to sound a bit funny, but if you new filter has a lot more filter media in it? including fine foam or floss etc. <"I'd take some of the new media out">.

cheers Darrel
 

Mudhead

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11 Jul 2008
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Didcot, Oxfordshire
Thanks for the reply.

It’s a low tech tank so no co2. Ph is 7.6-7.8 (Live in a hard water area). I have a surface skimmer glass inlet so that is running.

Darrel, just had a read of the new media post. That’s a strong possibility. I’ve probably tripled the amount of media by going from an internal to a larger canister.

Tank already looks to be clearing slightly so will turn on oxygen and if it hasn’t cleared by this evening will do a large WC.

Cheers

Andy
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Tank already looks to be clearing slightly so will turn on oxygen and if it hasn’t cleared by this evening will do a large WC.
Sounds promising.
That’s a strong possibility. I’ve probably tripled the amount of media by going from an internal to a larger canister.
Nitrification is very rarely limited by lack of space for nitrifying organisms, it is nearly always limited by oxygen.What this means is that, if you have enough oxygen, a relatively small volume of media can process a lot of bioload. There is nothing wrong with canister filters (I use them), you just have to always remember that a finite amount of dissolved oxygen enters the canister and it can't be replenished whilst inside.

Hopefully as long as the flow through the filter is good then things will stabilise pretty quickly.

cheers Darrel
 

Mudhead

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11 Jul 2008
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Location
Didcot, Oxfordshire
Thanks again for your help Darrel. It definitely sounds like I’ve caused this. I added the new filter in order to swap tanks to a larger tank in the future. At the same time I switched off the air pump as I was using it previously to get rid of any surface scum in the evening but with the skimmer, I thought I don’t need it.

I think switching the filter off today for an hour or so to do a water change probably tipped it over the edge with a lack of oxygen.

I think it will be ok overnight, it’s already cleared a lot. I’ve never experienced it before. I cleaned the tank (only 50 litres), went to pick my boy up from nursery and came back to a milky mess. Lesson learnt.

Cheers

Andy
 

Zeus.

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Sounds like the bacterial colony in your filter just hit the sweat spot . Most bacteria double every 20-30mins under ideal conditions , the extra O2 and good flow though the filter helps OFC
 
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