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New Tank - Cloudy Water Trouble

This is a discussion on New Tank - Cloudy Water Trouble within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I purchased this same tank however I used the water and filter from an old 50 gallon. Everything else in the tank is new ...

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New Tank - Cloudy Water Trouble
Old 04-06-2011, 11:43 AM   #31
 
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I purchased this same tank however I used the water and filter from an old 50 gallon. Everything else in the tank is new including the rock and decor. I had about 12 mature ciclids that I moved from old tank to new. My water is also partly cloudy however no fish deaths and they seem to be doing okay. Id hate to lose some of these mature ciclids as the are large and gorgeous. Im guessing that I moved approx 40 gallons of my old water and added 20 gallons of new, much the same as a water change. What should I expect, is this the same as a new tank?
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:10 PM   #32
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BradSD View Post
I purchased this same tank however I used the water and filter from an old 50 gallon. Everything else in the tank is new including the rock and decor. I had about 12 mature ciclids that I moved from old tank to new. My water is also partly cloudy however no fish deaths and they seem to be doing okay. Id hate to lose some of these mature ciclids as the are large and gorgeous. Im guessing that I moved approx 40 gallons of my old water and added 20 gallons of new, much the same as a water change. What should I expect, is this the same as a new tank?
Transferring water is more detrimental than beneficial--except in cases where there would otherwise be a very significant and sudden pH or hardness shift. But in terms of bacteria and cycling, there is no real benefit. The additional ammonia, nitrite, pathogens, waste, pheremones, etc. are not beneficial. And nitrifying bacteria colonize surfaces, so they will only be transferred if hard objects containing a colony of bacteria are transferred (filter media, substrate, rock, wood, decor, even plants).

When I set up new tanks, or reset existing ones, I always use fresh tap water entirely, with conditioner of course. Wood/rock and plants from the existing tank to the new tank are sufficient. Without live plants, I would also recomend a good bacterial supplement. Tetra's SafeStart and Seachem's Stability are both 100% nitrifying bacteria and they work to seed the tank.

Byron.
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:21 PM   #33
 
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Originally Posted by BradSD View Post
I purchased this same tank however I used the water and filter from an old 50 gallon. Everything else in the tank is new including the rock and decor. I had about 12 mature ciclids that I moved from old tank to new. My water is also partly cloudy however no fish deaths and they seem to be doing okay. Id hate to lose some of these mature ciclids as the are large and gorgeous. Im guessing that I moved approx 40 gallons of my old water and added 20 gallons of new, much the same as a water change. What should I expect, is this the same as a new tank?
You may be fine as long as you transfered the filter media along with the filter???
A few water changes will remove the old water (as though they never moved). On the other hand, if you also replaced the filtering media, you may need to monitor closely to ensure the ammonia & nitrites are being managed. You may need some extra water changes as things get settled in ~
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:00 PM   #34
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Transferring water is more detrimental than beneficial--except in cases where there would otherwise be a very significant and sudden pH or hardness shift. But in terms of bacteria and cycling, there is no real benefit. The additional ammonia, nitrite, pathogens, waste, pheremones, etc. are not beneficial. And nitrifying bacteria colonize surfaces, so they will only be transferred if hard objects containing a colony of bacteria are transferred (filter media, substrate, rock, wood, decor, even plants).

When I set up new tanks, or reset existing ones, I always use fresh tap water entirely, with conditioner of course. Wood/rock and plants from the existing tank to the new tank are sufficient. Without live plants, I would also recomend a good bacterial supplement. Tetra's SafeStart and Seachem's Stability are both 100% nitrifying bacteria and they work to seed the tank.

Byron.

Agree with much of this, When moving fish from established tank to new tank with or without seed material from established tank, one must not only consider the size and numbers of fish moved,,but also waste created by same and frequency and amount of foods offered along with volume of water.
Best in my view, to use as much borrowed seed material as possible and reduce feedings both in frequency, and amounts offered for a week or two and or,, simply perform smallish frequent water changes perhaps twice weekly for the first couple weeks (more often maybe without seed material).
Ammonia from fish waste ,fish food,and as by product of fish respiration will ALWAYS increase much faster than bacteria develops and is how so many wind up with problems when starting a new tank.
Lot's of seed material and water changes are your friend until the bacteria can multiply to accomodate the load.
Bacterial supplement's, or cycle in a bottle products, are in my view/expierience,a hit or miss proposistion and I stopped using ,suggesting, these product's long ago.
The bacteria needed (nitrifying) needs oxygen and product in sealed bottle and possibly setting on store shelf for weeks,month's, cannot in my view be of any real benefit but other's feel differently.
For myself,,I use only tapwater and dechlorinator period.
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:10 AM   #35
 
I think Brads mistake was not so much in the water transfer, because as he points out, it was much like a water change. However, if I had a tank with cloudy water and was upgrading to a larger tank, I wouldn't transfer the problem water. He does need to be concerned about the biology since an upgrade like this may lose much of the bio-filtration that was going on in the original tank and the new cycle could be detrimental to the fish relative to the population and the tank size. So take heed Brad. Monitor your new tank closely and be prepared to perform more frequent partial water changes (and seek to seed some biology) until the tank stabilizes.

1077 - I'm uncertain about your theory regarding the bio additives. Here's why...I do a fair amount of organic vegetable gardening, so I make lots of compost and vermicompost annually. I live in the Northeast and come winter, instead of disappearing forever, the decomp bacteria goes into a status like suspended animation and when the temperature warms in the spring, things pickup where they left off. Oh, I'm sure some bacteria perishes, but certainly not all.
Similarly, I debunk the theory that if/when a tank with a UGF filter suffers a power outage, all of the aerobic bacteria dies and is quickly replaced with anaerobic bacteria and the tank fouls. In reality, it would take a very long time for such a thing to happen.
Likewise is the theory that since bacteria colony populations are directly proportional to the food source, if the food source is depleted, there is genocide. Perhaps in time, but it would take a very long, long time.

Bacteria has survived eons of adverse condition and is a much 'tougher customer' than some believe.

So the biology in the bottle will reduce over time and become somewhat less effective...but it will or should have value well into the future. Instead of relying on the scant few bacteria that come along for the ride on fish and plants and rocks, it makes good sense to me to seed the new system with biology to jump start the process. But I don't think I'd do it with a brand new setup...but rather wait a couple of weeks (depending on the fish population) to allow the environment to enrich some to develop a food source... this is not unlike hot composting, where you need the right (green/brown) food source, air and moisture and get a resulting firestorm of biology (which is always much faster when seeded with culture).
Just some food for thought.
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:31 PM   #36
 
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I been changing about 30 to 35% ever three days or so. The fish seem okay but the tank still has a slightly cloudy look to it, not terrible though. The water from old tank was fine, I guess I should have done some reshearch before making the change but I had a guy wanting to buy my old tank and the timing was right for a quick change. I had seen the Pet Smart ad and jumped on it, a much more beautiful tank and stand plus an extra few gallons of space. Anyways, no fish loss so far and I am happy as some of the cichlids I have are larger than the $25 ones at Pet Smart. 12 * 25=$300 would be a costly error.
Thanks for all the information you guys on this site are a huge help and it keeps if fun. I been a lurker mostly of late maybe I will get more involved with the site again.
Brad
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:20 PM   #37
 
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Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
I think Brads mistake was not so much in the water transfer, because as he points out, it was much like a water change. However, if I had a tank with cloudy water and was upgrading to a larger tank, I wouldn't transfer the problem water. He does need to be concerned about the biology since an upgrade like this may lose much of the bio-filtration that was going on in the original tank and the new cycle could be detrimental to the fish relative to the population and the tank size. So take heed Brad. Monitor your new tank closely and be prepared to perform more frequent partial water changes (and seek to seed some biology) until the tank stabilizes.

1077 - I'm uncertain about your theory regarding the bio additives. Here's why...I do a fair amount of organic vegetable gardening, so I make lots of compost and vermicompost annually. I live in the Northeast and come winter, instead of disappearing forever, the decomp bacteria goes into a status like suspended animation and when the temperature warms in the spring, things pickup where they left off. Oh, I'm sure some bacteria perishes, but certainly not all.
Similarly, I debunk the theory that if/when a tank with a UGF filter suffers a power outage, all of the aerobic bacteria dies and is quickly replaced with anaerobic bacteria and the tank fouls. In reality, it would take a very long time for such a thing to happen.
Likewise is the theory that since bacteria colony populations are directly proportional to the food source, if the food source is depleted, there is genocide. Perhaps in time, but it would take a very long, long time.

Bacteria has survived eons of adverse condition and is a much 'tougher customer' than some believe.

So the biology in the bottle will reduce over time and become somewhat less effective...but it will or should have value well into the future. Instead of relying on the scant few bacteria that come along for the ride on fish and plants and rocks, it makes good sense to me to seed the new system with biology to jump start the process. But I don't think I'd do it with a brand new setup...but rather wait a couple of weeks (depending on the fish population) to allow the environment to enrich some to develop a food source... this is not unlike hot composting, where you need the right (green/brown) food source, air and moisture and get a resulting firestorm of biology (which is always much faster when seeded with culture).
Just some food for thought.

Would suggest some reading on Beneficial and detrimental Microbes in aquaculture paying particular attention to Anerobic,and aerobic bacteria.
Bacteria needed to oxidise ammonia,and nitrites(nitrifying) cannot develop in absence of oxygen.
It is recognized Science, not theory.
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:15 AM   #38
 
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Would suggest some reading on Beneficial and detrimental Microbes in aquaculture paying particular attention to Anerobic,and aerobic bacteria.
Bacteria needed to oxidise ammonia,and nitrites(nitrifying) cannot develop in absence of oxygen.
It is recognized Science, not theory.
We were talking about survival in shelf life, not development.
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:36 PM   #39
 
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I'd like to offer a few comments on the issue of how long it takes before the nitrifying bacteria will die off, since this is a reality that should be understood by aquarists.

Nitrifying bacteria require oxygen constantly. Nitrification cannot occur if oxygen levels are at 2 ppm or lower. The autotrophic bacteria (nitrosomonas, nitrospira, etc) cannot multiply or convert ammonia or nitrites in the absence of oxygen. When the oxygen is depleted, the bacteria enter a state of "suspended animation" so to speak, or dormancy. During periods of adverse conditions they utilize stored materials within the cell. But once those reserves are depleted, the bacteria die. From my reading it seems this occurs within a matter of a few hours. Some sources say 6 hours, some are more general and say within a day at most.

Aside from the actual die off, there is another concern, and that is the explosion of heterotrophic bacteria (such as the denitrifying bacteria, anaerobic bacteria, etc) that occurs when oxygen is depleted in the filter or substrate. "In an extended power outage, the oxygen content of the water inside the canisters will expire resulting in the beneficial bacteria shutting down and entering hibernation. In addition, many species of heterotrophic bacteria can continue to function in an absence of oxygen. Since these bacteria can multiply quickly, they can easily over run the autotrophic nitrifying bacteria we are trying to preserve. It is entirely possible, depending on the amount of organics contained within the filters, that these heterotrophic bacteria will cause putrification, which will result in the death of the autotrophic nitrifying bacteria within the canister. If nothing else, remove the media from the canisters and place it into the main tank, where the autotrophic nitrifying bacteria stand a better chance of survival." This citation comes from: Autotrophic Nitrifying Bacteria and Their Practical Application in a Freshwater Tank

With respect to the effectiveness of bacterial supplements, rather than cite individual studies by scientists, here is quite a good summary posted on Aquarium Wiki.
Bacteria bottles, do they work? - The Free Freshwater and Saltwater Aquarium Encyclopedia Anyone Can Edit - The Aquarium Wiki
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Old 04-10-2011, 05:44 AM   #40
 
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[quote=AbbeysDad;643183]We were talking about survival in shelf life, not development.[/quot



Matter's little to me and other's, what the shelf life is of a product that contains nothing of benefit considering what I'm after when starting a new aquarium.
Product could just as easily be dead organics that would encourage nitrifying bacteria to develop by providing food source.
Is possibly why some,,record nitrate readings along with ammonia and nitrites when using some of these bacterial additives.
I prefer to keep things as simple as possible by limiting as much as possible, unknown's in the aquarium.
Opinion's vary.
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