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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I read through some old threads on this, but I'm not really satisfied with the explanations I found.


I have a low tech 54 gallon that's been running for 7 months with medium stock rate, medium plant density, and a Marineland 220 canister filter. I've noticed that after water changes, a white-ish haze develops that lasts a few hours then clears up. The fish don't seem bothered at all, and I've never had any losses. My water is usually crystal clear. I never service my filter on the same day I do water changes, and I rarely do more than a 15-20% water change. I do WCs every couple weeks. I serviced the filter about a week ago and rinsed everything in tank water.



I don't test my parameters religiously, but everything is normal today:

Nitrites and Ammonia: 0

Nitrates: 10? 20? Orange on the API Freshwater Master Kit
pH: 7.6 (it's always this high, just is what it is - I live on Karst limestone)



Today, I just topped off, no WC, with an addition of only a couple gallons, and within a couple hours, the haze showed up. The kicker is, I also topped off my 5 gallon planted betta (+1 baby platy and a snail) tank with the same batch of treated tap water, and that tank did not develop a haze. Today I used Jungle Start Right just to use up a small bottle, but I've had this same result with Prime.



So am I doing something wrong here? Can anyone shed any light on why one tank reacts differently to the same water? I gather that temporary white hazes are usually bacteria blooms, so does that mean that something is amiss with my bacterial colonies? Is this bad for my fishies, even though they seem unfazed?



As I've been typing this, the water has mostly cleared up.



Thanks in advance for your input!
 

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I read through some old threads on this, but I'm not really satisfied with the explanations I found.


I have a low tech 54 gallon that's been running for 7 months with medium stock rate, medium plant density, and a Marineland 220 canister filter. I've noticed that after water changes, a white-ish haze develops that lasts a few hours then clears up. The fish don't seem bothered at all, and I've never had any losses. My water is usually crystal clear. I never service my filter on the same day I do water changes, and I rarely do more than a 15-20% water change. I do WCs every couple weeks. I serviced the filter about a week ago and rinsed everything in tank water.



I don't test my parameters religiously, but everything is normal today:

Nitrites and Ammonia: 0

Nitrates: 10? 20? Orange on the API Freshwater Master Kit
pH: 7.6 (it's always this high, just is what it is - I live on Karst limestone)



Today, I just topped off, no WC, with an addition of only a couple gallons, and within a couple hours, the haze showed up. The kicker is, I also topped off my 5 gallon planted betta (+1 baby platy and a snail) tank with the same batch of treated tap water, and that tank did not develop a haze. Today I used Jungle Start Right just to use up a small bottle, but I've had this same result with Prime.



So am I doing something wrong here? Can anyone shed any light on why one tank reacts differently to the same water? I gather that temporary white hazes are usually bacteria blooms, so does that mean that something is amiss with my bacterial colonies? Is this bad for my fishies, even though they seem unfazed?



As I've been typing this, the water has mostly cleared up.



Thanks in advance for your input!
My thought was a bacterial bloom as well. You have a strain of something that likes to eat whatever is in your tap water. Probably not a problem but it could also be some really fine silt (sand bottom tank?). You could buy some water clarifyer and see if that helps. After bottled bacteria (which it seems you already added) it would be the next thing I would try on one of my tanks.
 

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What do you do different on the water change on the larger tank than the smaller one?

I find that doing a 50% water change on my 220G tank and adding new water directly with a hose that the tank is whitish for approx. 24 hours then clears right up. However on my 30G tanks with a 50% water change and adding new water with a hose I experience no whitish water at all.

The only difference is that on the smaller tanks, the incoming water is below the tank water level and on the larger tank the incoming water is not. I do have untreated well water so maybe something to do with dissolved gas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I got rid of that problem years ago by getting rid of inefficient media and changing to more efficient media.

Would you mind elaborating on the specifics of both of those? I currently have foam pads, the plastic balls that came with the filter, and ceramic rings in the canister filter. The tank has slate, wood, and both submersed and floating plants.

@minorhero, My substrate is Eco Complete, so it's fine gravel. Definitely not silt. Since it clears up on its own, would you still suggest adding bottled bacteria? That there's a strain in the tank that likes something in the tap water is a really compelling idea. But I wonder why it wouldn't be present in the smaller tank; I used media and water from the big tank to start up the small one. The only differences are there's no slate in the small tank and different substrate. I do have municipal water, but it's a very small system for a very small rural area. Our water is extremely hard because we're on limestone here. Do you think these bacteria could be particularly fond of the dissolved minerals?


@deeda I don't do anything different at all. With both I just siphon water out, about the same percentage, then pour in temperature matched treated tap water from the top. I service the small tank less frequently since it's less populated.
 

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My substrate is Eco Complete, so it's fine gravel. Definitely not silt. Since it clears up on its own, would you still suggest adding bottled bacteria? That there's a strain in the tank that likes something in the tap water is a really compelling idea. But I wonder why it wouldn't be present in the smaller tank; I used media and water from the big tank to start up the small one. The only differences are there's no slate in the small tank and different substrate. I do have municipal water, but it's a very small system for a very small rural area. Our water is extremely hard because we're on limestone here. Do you think these bacteria could be particularly fond of the dissolved minerals?
We simplify things when we talk about aquariums but the reality is that there are likely dozens, possibly hundreds of strains of bacteria active in our tanks at any time. You have a strain active in one tank that blooms after a water change but perhaps its out competed by other bacteria already established in your smaller tank so you don't see a bloom there. If you have not tried to add a bottled bacteria product that is definitely my go to for first potential solution. Tetra Safestart is available in most any pet store. There are other bottled bacteria out there like fitz if you prefer.
 

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Would you mind elaborating on the specifics of both of those? I currently have foam pads, the plastic balls that came with the filter, and ceramic rings in the canister filter. The tank has slate, wood, and both submersed and floating plants.
This may be a little long but this is what happened including my one year test. My canister 370 gph had the same media as you, course, medium, fine pads on the bottom, bio balls and ceramic rings. All worked ok as no ammonia but water was never crystal clear. So I got sucked into the hype of Matrix. Changed the bio balls and ceramic and now a 350 gph HOB with all Matrix, six liters worth! For the next year it was worse. Water changed once a month and cleaned the filter media and cloudy water for up to the next 8-10 days. Nitrates never went down, but did not have any ammonia issues either. Purigen and Chemipure Blue did nothing.

Then I found a web site that explained it all and much more. I decided to test what the author said to do. First 75 gallon tank with about 25 community fish, used to be cichlids, not planted, all fake.

At the same time, I changed my canister to 10/20 ppi foam on the bottom tray and all simple plastic pot scrubbies for the next two trays (about 16 in each). Fill the HOB with 10 and 20 ppi foam and turned it all on at once. Poret foam was used and after talking with Dr. Tanner, he suggested the 10/20 ppi foam.

As the web site author stated since my media was changed, I had no ammonia spike at all even after testing for 5 days straight. Have not had any cloudy water in over a year now, and just like the author said, crystal clear water now.

I have now followed the advice on this web site for over a year now, stop thoroughly cleaning your filters and stop using inefficient media. I just cleaned my canister for the second time in a year and this can now go 8-9 months. The HOB is easier to clean so I do a quick rinse of the foam under water around 6 months or so.

No filter floss and no chemicals ever now.

So, here is where I found the information that worked for me… and many others now too. Suggest you read all the links and just poke around the site using the search at the bottom. Your mileage may vary.

https://aquariumscience.org/index.php/7-filter-media/
https://aquariumscience.org/index.php/6-2-3-bacterial-blooms/
 

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I’m experiencing the same thing. Vaguely cloudy water with water changes. Can’t get it crystal clear at all. I have two tanks as well. The smaller one LOOKS clear. I attribute that to the fact that I am looking through less water. Just a thought regarding the difference in the waters appearance in different size tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@Somefishguy, Thanks for those links. I did service my filter about a week ago and indeed dumped some of the brown gunk in the bottom, so I wonder if my colony is maybe still recovering. That would make sense, since I don't mess with the small tank as frequently. Taking inspiration from the information in those links, I'm going to replace the plastic balls and ceramic rings with some 30ppi foam since I have several on hand.

I am happy to report that the water is crystal clear today:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Yqi7JHkuyz7vtwyukyCFW7ISR6e892TR/view?usp=sharing
 

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I'm going to replace the plastic balls and ceramic rings with some 30ppi foam since I have several on hand.

I am happy to report that the water is crystal clear today:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Yqi7JHkuyz7vtwyukyCFW7ISR6e892TR/view?usp=sharing

Great. Just remember that 30 ppi foam will clog much quicker than 10 or 20 ppi. My conversation with Dr. Tanner at Swiss Tropicals recommends 10/20 ppi as it does not clog as quickly. If your talking about your canister, just replace everything with plastic pot scrubbies like the article says.
 

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What size did you get 1-2 inches thanks Ed
I assume you are asking about the Poret foam.


The trays of my canister is 3" high. You can only put in 2.5" of foam since the next tray sits inside by about 1/4" and the foam does not compress.


I used two 1" 10 ppi foam and one 1/2" 20 ppi foam on the bottom tray. Next two tray filled with all pot scrubbies.
 
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