Cloudy White Water: Bacterial Outbreak? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 05:40 AM Thread Starter
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Cloudy White Water: Bacterial Outbreak?

I have a 20 gallon tank, with 48W T5HO lights, 10 Neon Tetras, 4 Red Cherry Shrimp, and 5 Assassin Snails. Feeding is once or twice a day, usually flakes but I go with Brine Shrimp or Bloodworms once a week.

I dose Excel every day, 2.5 ml. I dose Flourish Iron and Comprehensive supplement the same amount, twice a week. I dose 20 ml of Nutrafin Cycle during my weekly water change.

My nitrite and ammonia is 0. The outbreak seemed to have happened after doing some rescaping so I thought I might have released toxins from the substrate but there's no nitrite or ammonia.

Last week I performed two 50 % water changes and went dark for three days. That brought the tank back to normal but this week, it's back to being cloudy.

All I can think of is that my lights are on too long. I put them on around 7:30 am and they're on for about 12-14 hours. Since I'm not home until 6-6:30 pm, the earliest I could turn them off would be after around 11 hours. Maybe I should invest in a timer?

The tank is two months old and this is the first time cloudiness has become an issue. I didn't think lights would affect bacteria, only algae but it's definitely a murky white, not brown or green. The critters don't seem affected though.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 06:04 AM
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A mild greenwater bloom can appear milky white in a tank.

So put some tank water in a tall, clear drinking glass or similar container. Then put it on a piece of typing paper, or other white surface in room lighting, and look straight down. See if you can detect a green tinge then.

I bet you can. That's both a lot of light, and a long photoperiod; too much for a tank without real CO2 and heavy fertilization. A timer would definitely be a good thing, maybe with a dual-photoperiod (lighting siesta) to better fit your viewing schedule.
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