Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Stonesy 08-02-2012 01:39 PM

What is a bacteria
bloom, is it harmful and why does it happen? I have fresh filters in and di and my usual 2x a week, 60% water change. Two days lateter the tank clouded up. I haven't experienced this before and the tank has been set up for three years now.

Thank you for any information given.

Mikaila31 08-02-2012 02:09 PM

if you changed the filter cartridges then you removed a lot of the good bacteria living in your filter cartridges. This disrupted your cycled tank, what you are now experiencing is likely a mini cycle. Its not uncommon to have a bacterial bloom in the water during this time. However the minicycle is dangerous and can easily be life-threatening to the fish in the tank. The filter pads are more or less the heart of the tank once they have established a good population of bacteria on them to handle the fishes waste, establishing the bacteria on the filter pads takes time and without them the waste builds up poisoning the fish. Your best bet now is to get a test kit and be ready for daily water changes until the tank is able to establish the filter again. Typical rule of thumb is you rarely replace filter pads/cartridges in a tank, simply clean then in old tank water and reuse them. If they need to be changed you should do only one at a time or run the new and old pad together for a few weeks before removing the old one.

Stonesy 08-02-2012 03:30 PM

Thank you so much. I've really learned something! I'll start working on it!

Thanks again,

AbbeysDad 08-02-2012 03:49 PM

The bacteria bloom that causes cloudy water is most often the result of organics in the water and a bloom of facultative (decomposition) bacteria. It is not uncommon to see this following a water change when the water contains organic compounds (and other times as in resulting from over feeding). It has nothing to do with the N2 cycle. The cloudiness usually clears up in a couple of days.

Just to why you are doing 60% water changes twice a week?
50% weekly is more than sufficient - I actually do much less (long story) but with extra filtration/purification measures.


Stonesy 08-05-2012 03:46 PM

Well, to be honest, I have nitrates in our well water and my 75 gallon is overstocked. I do these water changes to maintain the tank. I've tried a couple of additives and wasn't pleased with the outcome. I know I need to lighten the load in the tank and am calling the lfs to see if they have room.

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