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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my second time with this tank now. It's partially dirted but very little topped with black diamond.
I know the first go around I had an Algea bloom because it was green. This I'm not able to tell if it's green or just hazy.

What do you guys think. I just did like a 75 % pwc and it cleared it up a bit but then the next day it pretty much came back.
I know pictures are tough but figured I would give it a shot.

Trying to cycle the filter and some water while the plants finish growing.

It's the a way to test if it's cycle or algae If it is an algae bloom any way to fight it off while the cycle finishes besides a black out?

PS the pictures give a much greener tint than reality
 

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Bacteria colonize hard surfaces, not water. The filter media in the filter and the insides of the filter mostly, but the top 1/2" of the sub and most of the surfaces in the tank also.
That green water usually only happens(in my exp) when there is direct sunlight hitting the tank. Is that the case here?
 

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Causes of hazy water:

Ammonia (also see persistent bubbles somewhat resistant to popping)
Heterotrophic bacteria. These decompose organic matter, and a haze from their growth is very common in a new set up or when the substrate is disturbed.
Green water algae. Growth starts white or grey, but if you put some water in a white bucket or filter it through some white floss you may be able to see if it is green.
Substrate clouding the water.
pH altering materials. (pH Up, pH Down...)
Seachem Equilibrium can cloud the water but it goes away quickly, IME.
 

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as Raymond said cycling a tank the BB grows/lives on surfaces and media..not in the water itself..the water is what keeps it alive.. you can get a UV sterilizer for cheap off of fleabay or amazon to help with the green water..

check this thread and see what others having going with their tanks and looks to be the same problem

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/9-equipment/1044162-13w-uv-sterilizer.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
as Raymond said cycling a tank the BB grows/lives on surfaces and media..not in the water itself..the water is what keeps it alive.. you can get a UV sterilizer for cheap off of fleabay or amazon to help with the green water..

check this thread and see what others having going with their tanks and looks to be the same problem

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/9-equipment/1044162-13w-uv-sterilizer.html
thanks. I was under the impression/memory that water when being cycled gets cloudy, whether by ammonia or bacteria.
I always wanted to grab a UV sterilizer but could never get a good answer on whether it removed or killed off fertilizers in the water as well. I originally wanted one for parasites (still could never get a good answer) and algae. Ill give it a shot.
thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Only time I have EVER been able to induce green water was with ammonia and light present in high concentration's.
Such as during cycling a new tank .
I have never encountered this during cycling but this is my first dirted so Im SURE there are EXCESS nutrients just floating everywhere.
Plus with the cycle going Im sure the ammonia is nuts. I introduced soem filter media I had to boost it but all that was safe was the small pieces you see in the back from my 5 gallon cause the media from my 30 was literally COVERED in MTS. I noticed my co2 system went down for about a week (fixed now) in that tank and the snails literally EXPLODED. I got it running again (was a small leak in a crack in the bubble counter) so Im hoping they will subside again back into the substrate where they belong. They are so friggin gross.

There was a pond UV sterilizer at lowes I wanted a while ago. It was super over kill since its rated up to 2000 gallons but its inline and thats what I would like. Something I can hook up to my canister in line and hide.

Think there is a such thing as to much UV? Im more worried about it over heating than anything but I dont even know how hot these things can get.
 

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Here is the fishless cycle.
If you make sure the parameters are as follows the nitrifying bacteria will grow as fast as possible.

When the nitrifying bacteria are first introduced to a tank, such as from a bottle including Nitrospira species of bacteria, then there will be some bacteria in the water. Within a day or 2 these bacteria settle on to surfaces.
When you add cycled media and are encouraging them to reproduce there MIGHT be some in the water, but I have not found large water changes to slow the cycle, that is, I do not think water changes are removing much of the bacteria.

During cycling:
Maintain the water parameters within the optimum range for growing nitrifying bacteria. Do water changes as needed to maintain these levels.
You could do the fishless cycle in a bucket, just the filter media and a small pump or bubbler to maintain high oxygen levels.

After the cycle:
You can move the filter to a new tank, and you are moving over 50% of the bacteria you have grown. If you did the fishless cycle in a bucket you are moving about 90% of the bacteria. You are losing only those few bacteria that grew on the side of the bucket.
You can do a 100% water change, move the tank, set it up with different water parameters. Bacteria are fine with raising or lowering the GH, KH, pH, TDS after they are established.

Cycle: To grow the beneficial bacteria that remove ammonia and nitrite from the aquarium.

Fish-In Cycle: To expose fish to toxins while using them as the source of ammonia to grow nitrogen cycle bacteria. Exposure to ammonia burns the gills and other soft tissue, stresses the fish and lowers their immunity. Exposure to nitrite makes the blood unable to carry oxygen. Research methemoglobinemia for details.

Fishless Cycle: The safe way to grow more bacteria, faster, in an aquarium, pond or riparium.

The method I give here was developed by 2 scientists who wanted to quickly grow enough bacteria to fully stock a tank all at one time, with no plants helping, and overstock it as is common with Rift Lake Cichlid tanks.

1a) Set up the tank and all the equipment. You can plant if you want. Include the proper dose of dechlorinator with the water.
Optimum water chemistry:
GH and KH above 3 German degrees of hardness. A lot harder is just fine.
pH above 7, and into the mid 8s is just fine. (7.5-8 seems to be optimum)
Temperature in the upper 70s F (mid 20s C) is good. Higher (to 95*F or about 35*C) is OK if the water is well aerated.
A trace of other minerals may help. Usually this comes in with the water, but if you have a pinch of KH2PO4, and trace elements like CSM+B that may be helpful.
High oxygen level. Make sure the filter and power heads are running well. Plenty of water circulation.
No toxins in the tank. If you washed the tank, or any part of the system with any sort of cleanser, soap, detergent, bleach or anything else make sure it is well rinsed. Do not put your hands in the tank when you are wearing any sort of cosmetics, perfume or hand lotion. No fish medicines of any sort.
A trace of salt (sodium chloride) is OK, but not required.
This method of growing bacteria will work in a marine system, too. The species of bacteria are different.

1b) Optional: Add any source of the bacteria that you are growing to seed the tank. Cycled media from a healthy tank is good. Decor or some gravel from a cycled tank is OK. Live plants or plastic are OK. I have even heard of the right bacteria growing in the bio film found on driftwood. (So if you have been soaking some driftwood in preparation to adding it to the tank, go ahead and put it into the tank) Bottled bacteria is great, but only if it contains Nitrospira species of bacteria. Read the label and do not waste your money on anything else.
At the time this was written the right species could be found in:
Dr. Tims One and Only
Tetra Safe Start
Microbe Lift Nite Out II
...and perhaps others.
You do not have to jump start the cycle. The right species of bacteria are all around, and will find the tank pretty fast.

2) Add ammonia until the test reads 5 ppm. This ammonia is the cheapest you can find. No surfactants, no perfumes. Read the fine print. This is often found at discount stores like Dollar Tree, or hardware stores like Ace. You could also use a dead shrimp from the grocery store, or fish food. Protein breaks down to become ammonia. You do not have good control over the ammonia level, though.
Some substrates release ammonia when they are submerged for the first time. Monitor the level and do enough water changes to keep the ammonia at the levels detailed below.

3) Test daily. For the first few days not much will happen, but the bacteria that remove ammonia are getting started. Finally the ammonia starts to drop. Add a little more, once a day, to test 5 ppm.

4) Test for nitrite. A day or so after the ammonia starts to drop the nitrite will show up. When it does, allow the ammonia to drop to 3 ppm.

5) Test daily. Add ammonia to 3 ppm once a day. If the nitrite or ammonia go to 5 ppm do a water change to get these lower. The ammonia removing species and the nitrite removing species (Nitrospira) do not do well when the ammonia or nitrite are over 5 ppm.

6) When the ammonia and nitrite both hit zero 24 hours after you have added the ammonia the cycle is done. You can challenge the bacteria by adding a bit more than 3 ppm ammonia, and it should be able to handle that, too, within 24 hours.

7) Now test the nitrate. Probably sky high!
Do as big a water change as needed to lower the nitrate until it is safe for fish. Certainly well under 20, and a lot lower is better. This may call for more than one water change, and up to 100% water change is not a problem. Remember the dechlor!
If you will be stocking right away (within 24 hours) no need to add more ammonia. If stocking will be delayed keep feeding the bacteria by adding ammonia to 3 ppm once a day. You will need to do another water change right before adding the fish.
__________________________

Helpful hints:

A) You can run a fishless cycle in a bucket to grow bacteria on almost any filter media like bio balls, sponges, ceramic bio noodles, lava rock or Matala mats. Simply set up any sort of water circulation such as a fountain pump or air bubbler and add the media to the bucket. Follow the directions for the fishless cycle. When the cycle is done add the media to the filter. I have run a canister filter in a bucket and done the fishless cycle.

B) The nitrogen cycle bacteria will live under a wide range of conditions and bounce back from minor set backs. By following the set up suggestions in part 1a) you are setting up optimum conditions for fastest reproduction and growth.
GH and KH can be as low as 1 degree, but watch it! These bacteria may use the carbon in carbonates, and if it is all used up (KH = 0) the bacteria may die off. They use the carbon from CO2, and this is generally pretty low in water, but can be replenished from the air and from carbonates. Keep the carbonates up to keep the pH up, too.
pH as low as 6.5 is OK, but by 6.0 the bacteria are not going to be doing very well. They are still there, and will recover pretty well when conditions get better. To grow them at optimum rates, keep the pH on the alkaline side of neutral.
Temperature almost to freezing is OK, but they must not freeze, and they are not very active at all. They do survive in a pond, but they are slow to warm up and get going in the spring. This is where you might need to grow some in a bucket in a warm place and supplement the pond population. Too warm is not good, either. Tropical or room temperature tank temperatures are best. (68 to 85*F or 20 to 28*C)
Moderate oxygen can be tolerated for a while. However, to remove lots of ammonia and nitrite these bacteria must have oxygen. They turn one into the other by adding oxygen. If you must stop running the filter for an hour or so, no problem. If longer, remove the media and keep it where it will get more oxygen.
Once the bacteria are established they can tolerate some fish medicines. This is because they live in a complex film called Bio film on all the surfaces in the filter and the tank. Medicines do not enter the bio film well.
These bacteria do not need to live under water. They do just fine in a humid location. They live in healthy garden soil, as well as wet locations.

C) Planted tanks may not tolerate 3 ppm or 5 ppm ammonia. It is possible to cycle the tank at lower levels of ammonia so the plants do not get ammonia burn. Add ammonia to only 1 ppm, but test twice a day, and add ammonia as needed to keep it at 1 ppm. The plants are also part of the bio filter, and you may be able to add the fish sooner, if the plants are thriving. 1 ppm twice a day will grow almost as much bacteria as 3 ppm once a day.
 

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From my experience with green water, you will know within a week if that is what you are truly dealing with. Once it gets going it really takes off, producing ever more opaque green water, each day worse than the last. I've had success with using a product, such as clarity to clear bacteria blooms. I've tried the same product with a green water bloom with zero effect.

Took me about a month to clear the green water. I use RODI for water changes and added phosphate removing media.

The more I read on UV the more I think they will eventually be included standard in most filtration devices. The bacteria responsible for the nitrogen cycle attach and live on surfaces so I don't see a problem there. The one thing I have read is the impact uv filters have on the microorganisms that are beneficial(???).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
well its been a while and the water has gotten no better and no worse. Still cloudy

I did the water check and it seems like the ammonia is tapering down and Im getting into the nitrite stage. I picked up an inline UV sterilizer to try so Ill let everyone know how that works out.
I would like to put a purigen in there but I honestly do NOT want to open my canister up. Think just rubber banding it to my intake would work at all?
 

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Keep on feeding the bacteria. Test the water and add enough ammonia once a day to return it to 3ppm, if your plants are OK with this.
Test the NO2, and do enough water changes to keep it under 5ppm. If the cycle is going well, you should not have to do water changes. Maintaining the ammonia at 3ppm maximum usually does not generate excess NO2.

Purigen would be OK that way. As long as the water is flowing through it, that is fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Def not algae.
Picked up UV sterilizer and ran it for a few days with no issues.
What i noticed during installation though was a lot of grime inside the tubing on the outlet side of the filter.
I actually think there is some muck inside the filter and I'm going took have to pull it apart and really clean it out.
For the most part though this is def a cycle bloom.
Looking up pictures online is def what I'm seeing now

As for the UV sterilizer though I got one from Amazon that was an inline version that's going back because I personally don't care for it.
Anyone have any suggestions for a nice affordable inline one that isn't huge
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
well not to keep this going but just letting everyone know this was def a cycle bloom.
I went to check on everything yesterday and it was crystal clear, so that part of the cycle must have finally finished. This is also after i sent the UV Sterilizer back. I still have the other one coming in and will keep it as an extra piece of equipment to use when needed though.

Thanks everyone.
 
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