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Cloud in not started aquarium


12 Feb 2009
West London
I have recently bought a modified (no lid) Juwel 125 with EHEIM 2222, skimmer and modified lighting system (4 24t5 tubes). It was used as marine aquarium, I want to have a freshwater one.

To check the system after cleaning in pure water I installed whole equipment (no gravel or anything - clean glass only) and switched on for few days. The filter had only a clean cloth os a substrat. I was measuring PH only (tap water 7.5, in aquarium after 2 days 8.0). Water was crystal clear for 2 days, on the third day it started to look misty and after 4 the back lid is not visible.

Could it be something with the water or is it because the equipment was used in marine aquarium? I'm living in Perivale, London - Three Valleys Water company.

It sounds like a bacteria bloom, what did you say the filter media was?
It was cleaned properly (at least I think so).
In the filter there was a clean kitchen towel (synthetic). This water is going out anyway.
I connected the skimmer only to test if it is working. It gives a nice waterfall ...
From what I've read I'd also say it's bacteria bloom, but from the water itself?
Yep! Water contains all kinds of bacteria. They check its not bad ones but there are always gonna be some. There could also have been some on the tank glass or silicone. Or any of the equipment, no matter how well it was cleaned.

Blooms aren't really anything to worry about if you've not got any fish or invert in the tank and should go of their own accord. It was probably just a symptom of being re-setup again after having been empty.


I've put the Summatra driftwood into the tank yesterday, so it is slightly brown now. That's the only "water holding device" in my house which fits them :)
On the other hand - I can't find in the articles on the forum - how to make the filter mature - will it get into mature now with these bacteries or should I wait with putting the bioballs until I've got some living creatures inside? Maybe should I borrow some bacteries from other aquarist?
zalun said:
On the other hand - I can't find in the articles on the forum - how to make the filter mature - will it get into mature now with these bacteries or should I wait with putting the bioballs until I've got some living creatures inside? Maybe should I borrow some bacteries from other aquarist?
Do a google (other search engines are available) search for fishless cycling there should be plenty of 'how to' sites :)
Thanks Egmel - that gave me a lot to think about.

BTW Is there anyone in West London who'd give me sponge squeeze?
You need some bacteria in your filter as you know and also a source of ammonia for them to feed on. You can use household ammonia from somewhere like Homebase and a squeeze of a sponge as you mentioned. If you can't get hold of any bacteria from a sponge there are places (though not many) that sell something called Bactinettes (or something like that) that are a source of bacteria "off the shelf" - actually from a fridge. These have had good results. The filter start bottles you see on shelves are generally worth the money.

Hope that helps.

I planted the aquarium and I'm cycling it now for 3 days (and properly for 1 - forgot to shake the bottle with bacteria before :oops: ).

Lighting 2 x PowerPlant 24W T5 (125l) for 5h a day. Is it good?
Filtration it with EHEIM 2222 and add the flow using Fluval
CO2 - 2lt of yeast/sugar/water combination gives me a nice 1 bubble per second (I think)

It was 'foggy' but today morning it looked way cleaner
It's completely redundant and a waste of money to buy bacteria products or to add ammonia, especially if you have plants in the tank. You would have to try very hard to stop your tank from cycling. I mean didn't you just say you had a bacterial bloom that made the water cloudy within days of adding water? I never understand why people suggest this. The tank will not mature any faster using these products and it just adds complications.

I replaced the water after that old bacteria bloom - it was in "just glass" design (a new minimalistic technique :idea: - just add water and switch on all equipment - perfect for bacteria lovers I suppose). Althought two days after I planted it water again started to be cloudy.

Hmm. just few hours after I added the bacteria the whole situation started to change - the water started to clear much quicker than before, Ammonia (which I added 2 days before staying at 5.0 mg/l(?)) dropped to 3.0. I will test the water for Ammonia later on today, I hope it will drop again. This morning the water looked almost perfect. Maybe the bacteria which bloomed was some bad ass one? And the new one came for the war and killed the bad ones? :)

There are some bacteria colonies (at least I think it is that) on the driftwood. It is visible as a "white blob" with some bubbles in weakest parts of the driftwood. I hope some living creature would eat it or it will disappear after a while. Some of that found the place to live on the bottom of the CO2 "ladder". Do you think it would be dangerous to fish and shrimps? When removed it is floating and quite quickly disappears either in the filter, disolved or on other place.
The white blobs are just fungus so you can scrape this off. They are not a big deal, they are just unsightly. You can wipe them off.

It will take months for your tank (or any tank) to mature regardless of whether you add these items or not. Adding ammonia to the tank while having the lights illuminated only encourages algal blooms. The ammonia levels will peak regardless of whether you add ammonia or not and this will be followed by a nitrite peak. Any organic material in the tank will decay and generate ammonia which then will foster the development of the appropriate bacteria. You would do much better to add organic matter such as mulm or detritus to the tank because otherwise the bacterial populations will simply be limited by the lack of carbon. Adding more ammonia won't help if this is the case.


So I shouldn't remove the dead leaves at all...

Anyway - I think I'll end the cycling ... Just add some fish like ottocinclus and maybe few shrimps as soon as the ammonia and nitrites will go down. If they will survive two weeks in health I'll add 5 angelfish.

Do you think it is "well enough" option?
Well, while leaving the litter does contribute carbon supply to the bacteria, at the same time it also contributes ammonia and other organic waste as it decays which fosters the development of algae, so this is not really the best way. It would have been better to mix plenty of mulm into the substrate at the beginning. The idea now is to keep the tank as spotlessly clean as possible and to remove fouled water as quickly, and as often as possible. The bacterial populations that do the bulk of the work live in the filter media and in the substrate.

Really, I don't understand why everyone is in such as mad rush to add fish. There's certainly plenty of time to add them later but the priority now is to figure out how to optimize the plant growth, such as how much CO2 to add, how to get best flow, best nutrient dosing schemes and so forth. This is much less complicated if there are no fish to worry about.

It is the only one aquarium in my house - maybe that's why :)

I have the substrate from JBL (don't remember the name - I have it somewhere on the picture).
Tomorrow I'll change half of the water.

BTW. It's crystal clear at the moment, ammonia went a bit higher again (between 3 and 4), CO2 yeast reactor is bubbling, I created a bell from the bottom of the plastic bottle to not let them run away (connected to powerhead - if co2 in the bell reaches some level it is spread across the tank). I'll also add Java moss during the water change as the driftwood will be above the water level.