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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

So I've got a heavily stocked and heavily planted 75 gallon hi tech tank that's been up and running for almost a year now. I've been trying to perfect my water parameters and keep my nitrates low in order to reduce GSA, which I've just about done. However, I've seemed to make the mistake of dosing Seachem Pristine, and now I get cloudy water and a dusty white buildup on my glass within hours of a WC.

On that note, I do a weekly WC of 50% with RO water remineralized with Equilibrium. This cloudiness has been going on for about a month after discontinuing Pristine. You can see some mulm buildup in the substrate (really not bad) and the tank is fairly clean otherwise.

So my question is (if my diagnosis is right), how is this problem solved? Do I need to not do the WC for a bit and let the bacteria normalize? Or do I need to do a bunch of daily WC? Taking the tank down and boiling everything isn't an option for me. Tank is still beautiful though, just frustrated with getting this nice of a planted tank (finally!) only to have a bacteria bloom mess up the water quality. I'll also add that this wasn't a problem I had prior to Seachem Pristine.

Any questions on parameters or equipment (or pics) just let me know. I've learned a lot from this forum, I know this is the right place to ask. Thanks all.
 

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Is your tank TDS and GH where you want them? It almost sounds like the cloud is from the equilibrium GH coming out of your RODI water when it hits the tank water... If it's rodi water change water with just the inorganic equiilibrium, it doesn't seem like there would be anything in it to feed or trigger a waterborne bacterial bloom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just checked it, TDS is around 240 (about where I want it) and the GH between 1-2. I've had my suspicions about Equilibrium too but I've always thought it shouldn't be an issue because i keep the dosage low.

What do you mean about the inorganic equilibrium? Is there a different type than what I'm using? Or do I just need to find a different gh booster?
 

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Just checked it, TDS is around 240 (about where I want it) and the GH between 1-2. I've had my suspicions about Equilibrium too but I've always thought it shouldn't be an issue because i keep the dosage low.

What do you mean about the inorganic equilibrium? Is there a different type than what I'm using? Or do I just need to find a different gh booster?
Sorry, I was just using "inorganic" to describe the product as not containing organics or other food type things that could trigger a bacteria bloom. I think the seachem Equilibrium is probably just as good as any other GH booster, and with the lower tank tds and GH, I wouldn't think that the Equilibrium is causing cloudiness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'll add a few things here so we can see if any of it is relevant to this discussion:

1) The cloudiness is more of an issue on the glass than in the water column. The water WAS crystal clear at one point, running a Fluval G3 with matrix and Purigen as a polisher.

2) The buildup on the glass tends to taper off in intensity after the WC but doesn't go away completely. I feel fairly confident it's not some sort of transparent algae, because I can wipe it off with my fingers.

In the short term, just to rule out the gh booster, I might just mix some tap water with the RO just to see what it does.

How would the presence of oxygen in the water column affect the possible bacteria bloom? This tank with its lights on full has heavy pearling, and I also have a Twinstar Yotta Plus on which sits behind a wave maker to circulate everything.

Just tested the Gh and it's at 4, much higher than I had anticipated. I purposely underdose Equilibrium to try to hit a target of 1-2 GB, so I was a bit surprised by the result. Just goes to show you: keep testing your water!

Anyways that got me wondering. I recently upgraded my RO unit to something with more gallons per day, but when I upgraded it didn't come with a DI component. What extra filtering does the DI do that regular RO does not? I grasp that it takes TDS out but does it leave enough minerals behind to leave behind GH?

The deeper I delve into this the more questions come up. Sorry if this all over the place.
 

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I don't think the RO water would have enough TDS to register anything on our hobby type GH test kits. It seems like the molecules that make it through the membrane should be the smaller ones like sodium and chloride, but it could be possible that some calcium and magnesium make it through. I cannot find anything searching the net for the water chemistry of finished RO water, so I guess we would have to take a gallon or so of water and let 90% of it evaporate at room temperature, then try to measure GH on the remainder.

So besides stopping the use of the Pristine product, you also switched your water change water from RODI to just RO? Since then, you see the temporary cloudiness after water changes, and we still don't know if it's a precipitation event or a bacterial bloom?

Since you mentioned that the GH is actually a little higher than you wanted, could you try to do your normal water change where you get the cloud, but the only change would be to skip adding the Equilibrium into the RO water change water?
 
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