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Suspended dirt or Bacterial bloom?

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G'day,

Last Sunday I emptied my tank into a bucket, fish and all, then replaced my substrate. It was river sand capped with 3mm pebbles, I changed it to 1 part peat moss, 3 parts laterite and capped with the old river sand I had removed. I then filled and vacuumed the tank dry 4 times, replanted, filled with 50% old water 50% new and restocked the fish.

The water was cloudy so on Tuesday I did a 25% WC and washed the filter wool, the tank cleared significantly, now its Thursday and it appears cloudy again.

My question is - Does this look like a bacterial bloom from all the new nutrients in the tank or is the muddy Peat/Laterite mix seeping through the sand?

PS - The mess of plants up front is just a test to see what ground cover grows best in my tank.

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Seems like bacteria to me, also. Don't worry about doing water changes to clear it.
Monitor ammonia & nitrite and do whatever water changes are needed for these reasons.
Usually substrate will settle within the first day or 2, and suspended particles will come out in the filter, so you might check the filter again, especially the floss.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the quick replies. I did wash the filter in the old water, it turned the whole bucket a muddy red colour. I just took a couple photos with the tank lights off but the room lights this afternoon to better show the water colour.
Ammonia is still 0ppm
Nitrate is stable at 10ppm
Nitrite I don't have a test for
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
After a week and no change to clarity or water parameters I decided It must be suspended matter from the new substrate.

It is Monday of the second week and for the last 3 days I have been doing daily 60% water changes. The fish and plants seem to be doing ok except for my forever dying unknown Crypt, but I just moved it into the shade to see what happens.

The water is looking a lot better although it is hard to show in the photos as they are always washed out.
 

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Given that the filter media was so full of debris, have you been rinsing that, too?
There is no reason cloudy water cannot have 2 or more sources- you might be dealing with both cloudy water from suspended particles from the substrate as well as heterotrophic bacteria.

Very interesting piece of wood!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Diana, the wood is a local tree root from NT, Australia.

I have been parts of the filter very couple of days in old tank water but the last 2 times almost nothing came out.

Having it from two causes would explain it better, I think I'll do one more WC tonight and leave it for another week, see what happens.
 

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It is very pretty! We don't see that variation much in aquariums for sure.

The rosette looks a bit flat in the other picture. Wondering if it is an iris of some sort, but I expect those would prefer emergent conditions. Hoping your plant is a true aquatic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I don't have very good water movement as the wife will splinter if I ask for another "fish tank toy" also my substrate is 3" deep and I don't run air in my tank.

When you say emersed do you mean you has part out of the water?
 
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