Bacterial Bloom....... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-05-2012, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Bacterial Bloom.......

I have what I believe to be a baterial bloom in my 29 gallon tank. It has been going on for 2-3 weeks now and it is now just starting to look a little better. It still though pretty cloudy. Does anybody know of ways to help speed up the process? I have used a UV sterilizer, multiple large water changes, added a bacterial product claiming it will help reestablish a healthy bacterial filter, I have siphoned out most of the dead plant matter and I have left the filter alone. I might try a water clarifier soon.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-05-2012, 09:24 PM
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Tell us more about your tank:
How long has it been set up? Is it cycled?
What is in the tank? Plants? Fish? Shrimp? Other?
What are the water test results? Are these results pretty much normal for this tank or has something changed?
What sort of additives do you add? (Dechlor, plant fertilizer, pH adjuster...)

Cloudy water can be from any of several issues, here are a few ideas:

Hetertrophic bacteria can grow so fast they cloud the water. Mostly they feed on dead matter, such as fallen food. You can continue what you are doing, vacuuming the tank to remove whatever might be feeding these bacteria. UV might kill the bacteria, but they will only grow right back as long as there is a food source. They are all around, and will land in the tank from the air and anything that goes into the tank. Try to find and stop the source of their food. Are you feeding the fish too much? Is this a new tank with garden soil as a substrate? Did your children dump something in the tank?
Try feeding just 1/4 of the regular amount. Normally these bacteria live in the tank, decomposing things, but their population is stable, and this does not cloud the water. When there is an increase in their food supply they multiply really fast.

If you are also having problems with ammonia or nitrite, then adding Nitrospira species of bacteria (the real cycle bacteria) will help. Otherwise, not. It is not bad to add these bacteria, but if there is nothing for them to eat they will just die. All other 'cycle bacteria in a bottle' products are a waste of money. Wrong bacteria.

The few times I have had ammonia problems the tank has been just a bit hazy. Not much (but then the ammonia had not gone up much). Definitely monitor the ammonia. If it is ammonia, then keep up the water changes and try to find the dead fish or whatever is contributing to the problem.

Trying to alter the pH can lead to cloudy water. If you are trying to do this, then please give us all the details: GH, KH, pH of tap and tank. Why you want to monkey around with the pH.

Some decorations can do this. Rocks that are high in calcium or magnesium carbonates are usually the ones that do this, but I have heard of other things that react with the water and the water gets cloudy.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-05-2012, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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The tank has been setup since january 2012. I don't have any testing liquids left, so I can't tell you the parameters. I use the full line of Aquavitro Plant chemicals, and I do a 40% water change a week. I use 100% RO/DI water for top offs and water changes. I have never tried to alter the PH. I have 5 rummynose Tetras, 8 black neon Tetras, and 6 neon tetras. I also have two oto's. It is a heavily planted tank with organic top soil capped with 1.5-2 inched of 20-40 black diamond blasting sand. The filtration is two Marineland Magnum H.O.T.s. The light is a 30in zoomed t5ho with, 1 24watt 6700k and 1 24watt 10,000k bulbs. I have pressurized co2 at around 2-3 BPS. And the temp is right around 74 degrees.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-05-2012, 10:19 PM
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Do you add any minerals back to the RO water? My 8 month old tank just went through one for some reason, it eventually cleared itself up.

20g platy, , 2 x 10g shrimp, 3 x 20g shrimp, 7.5g shrimp and 1 great dane/mastiff puppy.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-05-2012, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GeToChKn View Post
Do you add any minerals back to the RO water? My 8 month old tank just went through one for some reason, it eventually cleared itself up.
No I don't add anything back to the water. I kind of thought that the aqauvitro mineralize that I add to my tank 1 time a week would counter act that.
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