cloudy water after bio ball replacement

Discussion in 'Algae' started by tanker, 23 Apr 2008.

  1. tanker

    tanker Member

    Joined:
    23 Feb 2008
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Malaysia
    My tank has cloudy water!
    last weekend, i replaced some of the bio balls in my filter. then within 2-3 days, the water had become very cloudy. the bio balls had been there for almost 18 mths, so i replaced almost half of it with new ones thinking it would provide larger area for bacteria and be more efficient in filtering ammonia.. I also ditched some of the bio balls, and the bio balls in my filter are now actually slightly less than previously.

    few weeks back my aquarium was in a very bad shape (now bad, but not that bad), and it had very cloudy water despite several large water changes. but after i've vacuum and cleaned the filter, it was ok until last weekend's bio ball replacement. i couldnt think of a better explanation.

    i've also increased CO2 and dosing about 10 days back since i've been underdosing all these while. previously, i've been feeding the fish once every 2 days, recently once a day. my filter's filtering rate (published) is 380l per hour. tank capacity 27litres.

    Any advise? should i just wait for a couple more days and see if condition improve?
     
  2. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Joined:
    3 Jul 2007
    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    By Bio-balls do you mean the black plastic media or a ceramic / sintered glass media? Did you rinse the media thoroughly before adding it? If not then it may simply be some particles coming off the media and everything should settle down in a day or two.

    To help it clear you can do a couple of large water changes too.
     
  3. tanker

    tanker Member

    Joined:
    23 Feb 2008
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Malaysia
    Its ceramic bio ball.... Hmm, i did rinsed it, but not that thoroughly though.. I'll see what happens in the next few days and update again. I do hope that it is not some algae outbreak due to inefficient filtering.. :)
     
  4. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Joined:
    16 Nov 2007
    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    Never seen a ceramic bioball before. Any chance of a picture?

    It's just bacteria bloom since you change half the bioball to new ones which means the filter capacity has been reduced by half in that initial period. Once the bacteria start colonising the bioball again the cloudy water should go away. You sure you not getting green water right? Because if that's the case the outcome will be totally different.
     
  5. tanker

    tanker Member

    Joined:
    23 Feb 2008
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Malaysia
    hmmm... how do i differentiate green water from cloudy water. argh, shows my lack of experience in troubleshooting my tank.

    my filter media is EHEIM substrate. its small and round..looks like some cereal. i think its substrate PRO,since i've thrown away the box. is it ceramic in the first place :D i've probably described it wrongly
     
  6. tanker

    tanker Member

    Joined:
    23 Feb 2008
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Malaysia
    its still not getting any better!there's also some dust algae coming back every 2 or 3 days...
    there could be another source of the problem. i'm using a 36W light. i've read that too much light force the uptake of plants and if my CO2 or ferts are not enough, then i will get algae problem... should i lower the light to say half of it? maybe 18W? any general rule for lights?
     
  7. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    11 Jul 2007
    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi tanker,
    Cutting the light will always help. Is that 36watts T5 over a 7 gallon tank? If that's the case you are in overdrive. The general rule for lights is that you should keep it between 2-3 watts per gallon for a CO2 injected tank and below 2 watts per gallon in a non injected tank. The smaller the tank, the lower these numbers ought to be due to the proximity of the light source to the plants. Add more CO2 and continue to do more frequent water changes. The filter capacity sounds good so it will take a few weeks for the cloudiness to abate.

    Cheers,
     
  8. Ray

    Ray Member

    Joined:
    31 Oct 2007
    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    Switzerland
    18w is much more like it, like Clive says 36w is overdrive. I have 13w over a 25L tank (but no CO2) and it is borderline to the level beyond which CO2 is necessary rather than just Excel. I'm sure with CO2 things would grow like crazy because they are already going great guns. I think 13w or 15w T5 over a 27L with CO2 would be just nice.
     
  9. tanker

    tanker Member

    Joined:
    23 Feb 2008
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Malaysia
    Thanks cegipedia and ray :D
    i dont think my light is T5. its a philips fluorescent tube, it actually has 2 parallel tubes, about 40cm in lenght. It also has 4 connector pins. i read that T5 consists of a few tubes..if T5 tubes are expensive then mine is definitely not. it cost me about 5pounds. i'll try to take a picture of the light this weekend.
    Anyway, i could not actually switch off 1 tube separately. so what i've done is i covered part of the light so that the amount of light directed into the tank is reduced.
    Then i'll try to do 25% water change every 2 days and see how things develop. the downside is the piece of paper that i stick below the light is ugly.
     
  10. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    11 Jul 2007
    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Tanker,
    If your lamp looks like the ones on this page then it is almost certainly a T5 Compact Fluorescent =>http://www.lampspecs.co.uk/Light-Bulbs-Tubes/827-Very-Warm-White_32

    The diameter of a T5 tube is exactly 5/8 inch or about 1.6cm.

    Cheers,
     
  11. Ray

    Ray Member

    Joined:
    31 Oct 2007
    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Yup, it sounds like a compact flourescent - my Malaysian light is the same - very powerful and cost (as noted in another thread) very little. If you have a reflector (mine does) you could remove that. If you have the cash get yourself another in the 11 - 18W range. I'm not sure if you could just change the bulb or not.
     
  12. tanker

    tanker Member

    Joined:
    23 Feb 2008
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Malaysia
    yeah!! remove the reflector, tats a good idea. in that case my light is very likely to be T5. unless i can find a 4 pin 18W, i dont think i'll spend on altering the fittings at the moment

    i tried my luck connecting just 2 pins so that only 1 bulb lit up. :D it didnt work.
     
  13. tanker

    tanker Member

    Joined:
    23 Feb 2008
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Malaysia
    some updates...
    you're right ceg, my light measured 1.6cm. so it can be concluded that its a T5. so i've covered part of the light fitting, leaving less light directed to the tank.
    after a few days, with several water changes, the water dont seem to get cloudy anymore. need more time to confirm that it wont return.
    On the downside, i've noticed that plants seem to pearl less... will it still grow slower, most importantly will it healthily? is it a transition period for the plants to get used to the lower light?

    other changes i've made:
    i've changed the position of the pollen glass and filter, as according to the recommendation in Ed's article on setting up a high tech tank. With the change, i can see the CO2 bubbles actually flow better compared to the older position (pollen glass near the filter water intake). So i dont think the less pearling is a result of this.

    Anyway, i've a good feeling that the cloudy water problem is resolved :lol: thanks guys
     
  14. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    11 Jul 2007
    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi tanker,
    I wouldn't worry too much about the reduction of pearling. With full 36 watts your were headed for an algae train wreck sooner or later so this lower lighting helps to give you some breathing room. With the change in light the plants have to adjust the level of chlorophyll and become more efficient at collecting light. They should be fine in a couple weeks.

    Cheers,
     

Share This Page

Facebook Page
Twitter Page
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice