I have an bacteria bloom. Tank is really cloudy (white). need suggestions
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I have an bacteria bloom. Tank is really cloudy (white). need suggestions

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I have an bacteria bloom. Tank is really cloudy (white). need suggestions
Old 06-07-2013, 10:15 PM   #1
 
I have an bacteria bloom. Tank is really cloudy (white). need suggestions

Will this hurt the fish? Its been like this for a couple of days now i havnt done much but change the filter. what should i do? or just let it fix it self?
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:20 PM   #2
 
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We need a few more details to be able to offer useful advice.
How long has the tank been set up?
What size tank and what livestock?
What type of filter(s).
Have you tested the water parameters (pH, ammonia, etc)?
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:10 PM   #3
 
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Bacteria blooms will not hurt the fish. It will go away on it's own, in time, but the fact that you have a bloom indicates that you have excess ammonia in the water, so doing water changes is a good thing. Generally you don't want to replace your filter media until it's falling apart. The cartridges that they sell? Money wasting garbage. Going with custom media for your filter is going to benefit both you and the fish. For starters, it's cheaper. LOTS cheaper over the long run. In addition to that, it will provide a more stable environment for your fish, because you aren't throwing the bacteria away changing cartridges. The last thing that I am going to mention is seeding new tanks. With custom media setups, you can have a piece of media just for that purpose, whether it's for starting a new show tank or setting up a hospital or quarantine tank.

So yeah, if you changed filter pads or cartridges os something then the bacterial bloom is a result of that.

Just do water changes till it's gone. The fish will be happy.
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:42 AM   #4
 
okay thanks! ill do a 15% water change. and the bacteria spike was before i change the cartridge. I needed a new one though. tanks is 3 months old
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:57 AM   #5
 
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15% isn't going to make a dent.


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Old 06-08-2013, 12:11 PM   #6
 
The water level in my tank isnt very high. its a little more than half filled. so when i do the water change then fill the tank up it will be more then 15
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:01 PM   #7
 
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Bradman, without the data asked for by DKRST we are stumbling around for an answer, and it would be advisable to pinpoint the issue as a bacterial bloom is not normal but can occur under certain conditions. While it is not in itself harmful to fish, the cause may be. And water changes will only make it worse. But again, we need to know the data to be more helpful.

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Old 06-08-2013, 01:42 PM   #8
 
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One of the big causes for a bacteria bloom is an excess of ammonia in the water. I fail to see how water changes will make such conditions worse. If there was ammonia in the water and no bacteria bloom, water change is in order. How does the bacteria bloom change that?


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Old 06-08-2013, 02:15 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaysee View Post
One of the big causes for a bacteria bloom is an excess of ammonia in the water. I fail to see how water changes will make such conditions worse. If there was ammonia in the water and no bacteria bloom, water change is in order. How does the bacteria bloom change that?


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Ammonia does not cause a bacterial bloom, it is the reverse. I explain this in my little article on bacteria
Bacteria in the Freshwater Aquarium
but to cut to the chase, I will copy over the bacterial bloom portion.

Bacterial blooms

These are most common in new tanks. Established tanks rarely have them, except when the balance is disturbed [explained below]. Heterotrophs appear sooner and faster. They build many of the biofilms that all bacteria use to adhere to surfaces, and they reproduce much faster, around 15 to 60 minutes, compared to hours for the autotrophs. So if heterotrophs cause the bacterial bloom in a new tank, and yet there is very little if any obvious organic waste, how? Well, when water is dechlorinated, it can suddenly support bacteria, and the "organic waste" in the water itself feeds the heterotroph bacteria and it very rapidly reproduces and clouds the tank milky white. This will occur in fishless cycling with just ammonia. It is usually less likely, or will be minimal by comparison, with live plants because they assimilate nutrients from organics.

As was previously mentioned, heterotrophs are facultative anaerobes—u
nlike autotrophs which need oxygen—so they can switch between aerobic and anaerobic depending upon the environment. This is why they can kill so many nitrifying bacteria in filters when the filter is allowed to get clogged. When heterotrophs bloom in the water they switch to being aerobic and consume vast amounts of oxygen. This is the real danger of a bacteria bloom, as it can starve the fish of oxygen. Increasing aeration may be advisable.

In an established tank, a bacterial bloom is caused by something that upsets the biological balance by increasing the organic matter too quickly, such as overfeeding, excessive decaying plant and animal matter, excess waste from overcrowding, etc. Here, the heterotrophs quickly reproduce by feeding on this organic matter. This produces ammonia as a by-product, and the sudden surge in ammonia overtakes the nitrifying bacteria that need time to "catch up." Live plants again help here, as they can assimilate and/or take up considerable quantities of ammonia faster. Note that the bacterial bloom causes the rise in ammonia, not the opposite as some may think.

A water change is not recommended to clear a bacterial bloom. When the free-floating heterotrophs are removed, the others will reproduce even faster to compensate, thus worsening the bloom. If left alone, they usually dissipate in a few days. In an established tank, however, the source of the problem should be removed. Clean the gravel, remove decaying matter, don’t overfeed, reduce overstocking, etc. And be aware of the oxygen shortage issue.
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:16 PM   #10
 
Tank is 3 months old. I have one tetra and 4 mollies. 80 gallom tank. filter i use is a QuietFlow30 by Aqueon. And i do not know the parameters.
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