01-12-2010, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Angel079
This can well be a bacteria bloom.
I was just about to suggest the same thing. However, I would recommend continuing with doing large water changes. The bacteria that result in these sorts of blooms are aerobic bacteria, which means they need oxygen to survive. Huge amounts of them can seriously deplete your oxygen levels. While your cichlids especially can withstand some pretty low oxygen levels (especially for fish their size) it's best not to subject them to that. There are several reasons why blooms like this happen, probably the most common of which is a mini-cycle that results in a lot of ammonia in your water. Under normal conditions there's nowhere near enough food to support these numbers of bacteria so as your tank stabilizes the bloom will go away on its own. You might want to consider doing something to increase the surface agitation on your tank to help get more oxygen into your water. Add an air stone or lower your water level so that your filters break up the surface of the water better.
Of course, this is all assuming that your problem is definitely a bacterial bloom, but since it seems like the sand has already been in the tank for quite some time and you did your water change the same way you always do (avoiding disturbing the sand) not to mention that you said that the sand is blue (which I don't think would result in a milky looking cloudiness like you've got there) then I'm leading toward bacterial bloom.