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Foamy Water & Cyanobacteria

This is a discussion on Foamy Water & Cyanobacteria within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> 25% a day would probably be plenty, at least until ammonia and nitrite are 0. Vacuum the gravel if possible, and look in your ...

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Foamy Water & Cyanobacteria
Old 03-02-2012, 02:02 PM   #21
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25% a day would probably be plenty, at least until ammonia and nitrite are 0. Vacuum the gravel if possible, and look in your plants for bits of decaying food.

Serpae tetras can be aggressive.. I would assume the eye-loss was from a fight.

Lastly, don't feed your fish as much. ;) I feed mine 4 times a week, and small amounts when I do. They're perfectly happy and healthy.

Last edited by redchigh; 03-02-2012 at 02:05 PM..
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:07 PM   #22
Well the fish didn't lose its eye, but both of them are bugged out of the head like goggles. 4 times a week! I guess I really am overfeeding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:12 PM   #23
Could water changes, if it has high levels of nitrates (say 20ppm) add to the cyano problem?

I had something similar to Byron and the OP. I was overfeeding and had too much light. I reduced both and the algae problem I had went down to almost none left now. I had cyano at a time, but it seems to be getting better. Right now the only issue I have to algae or something in the sponge for the filter. I rise it very often and that seems to help but it hasn't disappeared.

I ask about the water as mine was high and I saw somebody post in a different tread about getting a baseline of the tap water to see what it contains. I don't know if the nitrates in tap would add to the issue here.
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:12 PM   #24
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My 4 times a week is a little extreme, I believe the most common consensus is small amount 6 times a week, and not feeding on sunday.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:11 PM   #25
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My understanding of cyanobacteria is that it is caused by organics, period. This has certainly been my experience, both the recent issue I've previously mentioned but also a fairly severe bout in a former tank. Nitrates on their own will not cause cyano. However, nitrates are usually high if organics are over the limit, so it is easy to see a parallel. But one shouldn't lose sight of the fact that it is the organics, not the nitrates, causing cyanobacteria. Light does not cause it, but it needs light being photosynthetic.

And cyanobacteria is not an algae, it is a bacteria, just in case there is confusion there, since we have been dealing with both in this thread.

On the cloudy water, this is caused by bacteria, and they feed on organics. So we're back to the high organics. I explained this in my article on bacteria here
so all I'll say now is that the bacteria feeds on organic matter which can be waste or it can be DOC (dissolved organic carbon) which occurs even in tap water for example, which is why one almost always has a bacterial bloom in a new tank. See the article for more on that. And here again it is not ammonia causing this, but ammonia often occurs as a result.

We sometimes confuse things, incorrectly assuming the reaction is the cause. I think it is important to understand the root cause of these issues, since that is the only way to effectively deal with them.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:26 PM   #26
Thanks Byron and Redchigh for the information. Sorry if I side tracked your thread Sarah, it seems as if we had very similar problems. Mine occurred a few months ago, but it appears to be the same result.

It looks like we both need to find the source of the organics.
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:19 PM   #27
Ok, I took everyone's advice and got an API Master Text Kit. These are the results... obviously I have a problem with nitrates and my PH is super high.

PH - 8.2 - I originally did non-high PH and it was the top one so I tried the high ph.
Nitrate: 40ppm
Ammonia: 0.25ppm

I am going to do another water change RIGHT NOW and I have some new tools to tackle the algae. Hopefully afterwards it lowers some of these numbers. Any other suggestions?
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:54 PM   #28
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Honestly, I'd worry more about the presence of ammonia than the 40ppm of nitrate. 40ppm nitrate is a little high, but the ammonia is more of a threat to the fish! One of my tanks had nitrate at 160ppm+ (oops on my fertilization) and, while the fish were not happy, I was fortunate not to lose any of them.
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Old 03-03-2012, 03:00 PM   #29
I bought some tank buster, do you think I should put some of that in to reduce ammonia if it doesn't come down after this water change I'm currently in the middle of??
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Old 03-03-2012, 03:57 PM   #30
Okay, so I finished my water change (about 40-50%). I also used my awesome new tools for algae removal. The tank looks great. The foam is not back yet, so that's a good sign. It was REALLY bad this morning. I tested the water again and these are the results:

pH- 8.0
Ammonia - can't tell if it's 0 or 0.25 ppm, probably still closer to 0.25ppm
Nitrate was 20 ppm.

I haven't put any Tank Buster in yet, since I have no idea if that is something useful to do or not.
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