The Planted Tank Forum - View Single Post - Chalky water with protein film - bacteria issue?
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post #25 of (permalink) Old 11-13-2019, 11:34 AM
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Think youíll get along great with frogbit. Now that Iíve seen your tank, keep it about 1/3 of tank on left end over mosses. Mayaca nice plant, keep it high light over that area. Think to maintain this tank youíll need frogbit as main high metabolism plant. They are supercharged water cleaners and your just starting to see cleaning effect of them. Their roots are also loaded with beneficial bacteria and fungi which will help age/season your tank. Predict in about 7-10day youíll probably be ready to order OEBT.

Boiling your cones? Donít. When you go to mix up some change water drop a fresh cone and a fresh oak leaf in there and leave them long enough to get a slight pale yellow tint to water, then pull them out set them out on a small towel and let them dry. I use a white 5 gal bucket so I can see my waters color. Then add your SS to spec, wait couple/few hours for humic/fulvic compounds to bind and waters ready. Reuse those same leaf/cones to prep your change water 3-5 times, then they go in tank and get fresh pair to prep your change water.

Basically use them for 3-5wks for water prep and theyíll be ready to add to tank. You have no wood to add organic compounds to tank so just leave them there to breakdown, donít take them out. Get a phosphate test, only if you see phosphate levels rising will you need to remove organic matter from tank. Your Mayaca and frogbit along with 20% (+-???) water changes should take care of any excess phosphate or DOC.

People get carried away with fear of organic decomposition in aquariums when in fact itís #1 carbon and nutrient source for plants in a low tech aquarium like your trying to setup. Healthy plant metabolism, healthy substrate/bacteria metabolism via proper circulation flow/patterns in tank and nutrient management/tank husbandry builds a big picture where everything just falls into place. If you donít know how to prep your change water that 75% water change is actually going to do more harm than good for your tank.

Hereís what my change water for my Betta and Neon/Ember Tetra looks like.

In my 7 gal with big betta and 11 tetra Iíve only changed 2 gal of water in last 5 months, these fish actually like old water, I also since last April have only cleaned glass once. No brush algae, no fuzz algae, no hair algae.

2 plants, RRF and R. Rotundifolia and a Marimo Ball. Plants grow so fast I can hardly keep up with them. Nice colony of pink pearl ramshorns. Fish are vibrant and super healthy.

And to shock you, here is what bottom of this aquarium looks like, big layer of mulm and organic material I actually installed on setup, was no cycling to this tank, it was functional 4 days after setup, zero ammonia, zero nitrites and 8ppm nitrates. This pic was at 2 weeks and I already had to thin rotala out because it was taking over whole tank. Note huge roots drilling down into subtrate. Filthiest looking tank Iíve every kept but absolutely the lowest maintenance tank ever.

The whole point of showing you this is not that you need to take your tank there but to show you there are all kinds shades of grey in keeping a aquarium, itís all about finding a equilibrium that works for your special snowflake of a tank, no 2 tanks are exactly same unless you purposefully set them up that way. But you have to truly understand biological processes and how to control and implement them to make it work.

Iím really kind of disappointed with myself for not seeing your solution all along. You basically had a excess of nutrients in water column, green cloud was forming but white cloud came in and was feeding on green cloud and using excess oxidized Ca/Mg/etc in water as fuel. If we had hit it with a 1-2 punch of adding humic/fulvic acids and also installing a colony of floaters at same time weíd be about week to 10 days ahead of where your at now. In a bright shiny new tank redox potentials are high so that added fuel to white cloud energy uptake via higher oxidation of hardnesses in water. When we added organic acids white cloud ran out of fuel via lockout and green cloud came forward. Now floaters are starting to limit green cloud by sucking up water nutrients and blocking photons hitting water column.
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