Bacterial Bloom or what ??
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Bacterial Bloom or what ??

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Bacterial Bloom or what ??
Old 08-22-2012, 02:34 PM   #1
 
Exclamation Bacterial Bloom or what ??

Total noob for bumping this, but I'm at a loss on how to proceed with my tank...

For several weeks now it looks like someone poured milk or smoked a cigarettte in the tank. Before this happened the tank was crystal clear. I do a water change weekly, about 2.5 gallons to keep Ammonia levels at 0. When this bloom showed up I did a 5 & an 8 gallon water change, still cloudy !!!

Tank is a 35 gallon high, houses 6 Africans. Runs 1 whisper filter & one massive air pump/filter. I even clean this filter in the water change to keep the good bacteria. The whisper filters I toss and replace but keep as long as I can.

Ammonia @ 0 . Ph is aroud 7.5 or so (as Africans like it a little high)...Temp is 84, Fish are fine, no stress or sickness noticed. Not overfed, and still do a 2.5 gallon weekly clean-up.

What should I do, perhaps a major water change. 10 to 15 gallons maybe ?...........
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Old 08-22-2012, 02:38 PM   #2
 
Exclamation Bacterial Bloom or what ??

I bumped this on an old thread, but since that was almost 2 years old, I'm just making a new post:

Here goes
For several weeks now it looks like someone poured milk or smoked a cigarettte in the tank. Before this happened the tank was crystal clear. I do a water change weekly, about 2.5 gallons to keep Ammonia levels at 0. When this bloom showed up I did a 5 & an 8 gallon water change, still cloudy !!!

Tank is a 35 gallon high, houses 6 Africans. Runs 1 whisper filter & one massive air pump/filter. I even clean this filter in the water change to keep the good bacteria. The whisper filters I toss and replace but keep as long as I can.

Ammonia @ 0 . Ph is aroud 7.5 or so (as Africans like it a little high)...Temp is 84, Fish are fine, no stress or sickness noticed. Not overfed, and still do a 2.5 gallon weekly clean-up.

What should I do, perhaps a major water change. 10 to 15 gallons maybe ?...........

..( Tank is not new, have had it for several years)

Last edited by dstranger99; 08-22-2012 at 02:41 PM..
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Old 08-22-2012, 03:00 PM   #3
 
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First thing, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Second, I moved your post out of the old thread and started a new thread so it will have more prominence. [Edit: I came across your "new" post on this issue, so now I have merged the two threads.]

Now to your issue, cloudy water. And I have a couple suggestions. One is to lower the temperature, assuming 84F is what it is set at (and not just summer heat or something). I will leave it to our more knowledgeable cichlid members to suggest otherwise, but I would not have it above 77-79F. Second suggestion is to increase the volume of the weekly water change. One-third to one-half the tank is advisable.

As to the cloudiness, have you ruled out the tap water? I have had periods when this can be cloudy, this depends upon the source of the water and season, but it is worth mentioning to eliminate one possibility.

Of course, organics do occur in the tap water, they are invisible to our eye, and once the water is dechlorinated then bacteria will quickly multiply to consume the organics. This is the cause of a bacterial bloom, and organics can occur from the tank (insufficient water changes, too many fish, overfeeding, not cleaning the substrate, etc) and/or from the tap water.

Without knowing the species, 6 cichlids in a 38g may or may not be over-limit. And we don't know the amount of food going in the system.

If this is a bacterial bloom, water changes will worsen it for the reason above. But I do suggest you increase the volume as this is likely part of the issue. And the answers to the afore-mentioned questions will help further.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 08-22-2012 at 03:07 PM..
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Old 08-22-2012, 03:58 PM   #4
 
Thanks for the fast response !

And I've been thinking about a larger water change, it's been awhile, I just figured the 2.5 gallons weekly was fine since the water was clear for so long, but now it's been cloudy for at least a month. And as I mentioned an 8 gallon change did nothing to improve it. Clear water products did nothing for it as well.

Would it be safe to do a 50% change?

As far as the water itself, I usually age my tap water for a day or 2 before adding it to the tank, have for years, and there has been no change in the water as far as I know. I even make home brew using it.

regarding temp, I read where African's liked it on the warmer side so I cranked it up to mid 80's, but I can cut it back. Also adjusted PH a little higher as was advised. There are 6 little ones, about 1 1/2 inches each long now, from the Labidochromis genus, yellow lab, Red top, etc. Pet Smart assortment from the same tank.

Now about that word I keep seeing substrate.. This tank has no underground filter so I just gravel the rocks, rinse the decorations, etc. Could I be missing something else ?.........
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:09 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
And I've been thinking about a larger water change, it's been awhile, I just figured the 2.5 gallons weekly was fine since the water was clear for so long, but now it's been cloudy for at least a month. And as I mentioned an 8 gallon change did nothing to improve it. Clear water products did nothing for it as well.
Some of those "clarifiers" work by binding particulate matter together so the filter can more easily grab them. Unfortunately these chemicals also bind the fish's gills, causing stress at best and possibly worse. Don't use them.

The secret to a more successful aquarium is always find the cause and work to fix that, rather than using products that "may" help but can cause more trouble along the way--and even if they work, without the cause resolved the issue usually returns.

Quote:
Would it be safe to do a 50% change?
If the tap water parameters are reasonably close to the tank's, yes. I have been doing 50% water changes for over 15 years, and I have 7 tanks at present. The more water changes you do, the more stable should be the aquarium's water chemistry. And the fish will thank you with brighter colours, better health, probably more spawning... can't beat a water change.

Quote:
As far as the water itself, I usually age my tap water for a day or 2 before adding it to the tank, have for years, and there has been no change in the water as far as I know.
This is fine if you want to do it, but unless there is something seriously wrong with your tap water that requires adjusting before it can go into the fish tank, I wouldn't myself. Chlorine will dissipate out in 24 hours, but chloramine will not, if your municipality adds chloramine (many now do). So a good water conditioner is needed, and running the water from the tap via a Python hose is not an issue. Up to you, just so you know.

Quote:
regarding temp, I read where African's liked it on the warmer side so I cranked it up to mid 80's, but I can cut it back.
Marc Elieson, a name known to most cichlid hobbyists, writes that the optimum temp for rift lake tanks is 74-78F and he keeps his tanks at 76F.

The thing about higher temps is that it makes the fish work harder to maintain their internal equilibrium. At higher temperatures, the heart works harder, the fish's metabolism rises, oxygen in the blood decreases, the fish has to respire faster--and all just to keep going. This wears the fish down, weakening it health wise. With few exceptions, I always recommend maintaining fish at the low-to-mid range for the species.

Quote:
Also adjusted PH a little higher as was advised.
That's good. The Labidochromis genus is endemic to Lake Malawi, which has a pH in the range of 7.4 to 8.6 and with these fish higher is always better than lower, so a pH in the high 7's to low 8's is ideal. The afore-mentioned author maintains his tanks at 8.2 to 8.4 for all species from the three lakes. More on this below.

Quote:
There are 6 little ones, about 1 1/2 inches each long now, from the Labidochromis genus, yellow lab, Red top, etc. Pet Smart assortment from the same tank.
This is not overcrowding at this stage, so likely not a contributor to the bacterial bloom.

Quote:
Now about that word I keep seeing substrate.. This tank has no underground filter so I just gravel the rocks, rinse the decorations, etc. Could I be missing something else ?
Is the tank bare with no substrate? Most of the cichlids from L Malawi like to dig or sift the sand. This is a freshwater case where the marine substrates work well, thinking a crushed coral/aragonite sand. These being calcareous will raise the GH and corresponding pH, easily and steadily for years. End of pH and GH issues. A bare tank floor is also a probable issue with the bacterial bloom, as the substrate in any tank is the main habitat of bacteria of all sorts. You might want to peruse this article:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/

Byron.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:22 AM   #6
 
Hi Byron !

I did the 50% water change and BAM!! Problem solved. This morning the tank is a little cloudy, but still much better, probably started a mini cycle with that water change, should clear within 24-48 hours.

Fish are ecstatic, very active & happy, Ammonia of course still @ 0.00 - PH around 8.2, temp @ 74.

And substrate.........Of course I have gravel!! lol......About 2 or 3 pounds of black pebbles, along with decorative plants and a large tree house like ornament they swim thru....I must have been defining that word differently.


Thanks again....
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:25 AM   #7
 
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Originally Posted by dstranger99 View Post
Hi Byron !

I did the 50% water change and BAM!! Problem solved. This morning the tank is a little cloudy, but still much better, probably started a mini cycle with that water change, should clear within 24-48 hours.

Fish are ecstatic, very active & happy, Ammonia of course still @ 0.00 - PH around 8.2, temp @ 74.

And substrate.........Of course I have gravel!! lol......About 2 or 3 pounds of black pebbles, along with decorative plants and a large tree house like ornament they swim thru....I must have been defining that word differently.


Thanks again....

Ok, well so much for that post. Something must be with the water itself ??.....I did the 50% change last Wednesday, thinking by Friday it would get clear. Today is Monday and It's still cloudy!! Ammonia is 0, PH is fine, Temp is 74, Fish are fine !!!........I'm at a total loss now ........What the hell is going on with this tank ??.....
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:52 AM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dstranger99 View Post
Ok, well so much for that post. Something must be with the water itself ??.....I did the 50% change last Wednesday, thinking by Friday it would get clear. Today is Monday and It's still cloudy!! Ammonia is 0, PH is fine, Temp is 74, Fish are fine !!!........I'm at a total loss now ........What the hell is going on with this tank ??.....

Might consider upsizing the filter, for what may have worked well for smaller fish ,might not be keeping up with the growth of fish,and waste produced.(Aquaclear70)
Might also try removing the treehouse ornamnet and see if this helped any.
Some paint or plaster,ceramic,etc from artificial decor, could be coming loose from the ornament and clouding the water.
If bacterial colony was disturbed and it is indeed bacterial bloom,,the water changes will make little improvement until bacterial colony adjust's/increases to level needed for organic's present.
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:57 AM   #9
 
I checked both filters last night, the whisper (size Large) was working fine, the other is a power head that contains a mesh like filter that slips over the tube. This was loose, and I snapped it back into place, I'll see in the next few days if that had anything to do with it. I'm still not sure.....
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:44 PM   #10
 
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If this is a bacterial bloom, it is due to an increase in organics. Vacuum the gravel during the weekly water change. Then just let it work its way out.
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