Bacteria/Algae bloom. I'm pulling my hair out!!
I have a 55 gallon freshwater tank that I have had for almost 8 months now and I have never had this kind of problem. About 3 weeks ago, the tanks started getting foggy, and before I knew it I had a bacteria bloom that made my water look like pea soup!
On top of that, the algae is flourishing as well. I've tried waiting it out, but I've seen no progress. What do you recommend to do?
There is a product called allgone which is a little pouch and works very well at clearing up water. By all means it seems like a great product however you are best finding the root of the problem so that it doesn't come back once you have used allgone. A problem like this could be caused by too much light getting to your tank - especially the algae growing as algae needs light to grow. If you have very high light for plants you may need CO2 to control algae growth.
What color is the fog? If it's white fog, that would indicate bacterial bloom. Check your water params for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH. I have noticed that in many blooms you will also see a nitrite spike. Using a product like "Cycle" or "biozyme" will help to clear it up a little faster most of the time. Don't do drastic water changes, as this will only make the problem worse.
If the fog is green, this would be suspended algae, and the treatment is a bit different...
If you post your water params, temp, size of tank, type of fish in it, species and number of fish in the tank, type of filter you're using, feeding and water change schedules, list of any live plants in the tank, and as much other information as possible, we will be better able to help you.
Julie was correct when advising finding what caused the problem before trying to fix it. If you fix the symptoms, there is usually no way to correct the original problem that is causing it, which makes more more new problems to develop later on. We'll help all we can, but we need a lot more detailed information to be of any real help to you.
Re: Bacteria/Algae bloom. I'm pulling my hair out!!
You said it looks like pea soup though so i'm guessing its algea. Most common cause of this is because people thing the light needs to be on 24/7...it doesn't. Excess nitrates in the tank can also spur on an algea bloom. If you think this could be the problem, do a 25% water change and keep the lights down for awhile. Block any direct or high indirect sunlight getting to the tank too.
I have a 10-gallon planted tank, and it was recommended to me to put down plant food fertilizer tabs in the substrate and to use a liquid fertilizer at each water change. Well, all of this overfeeding of the plants resulted in algae - tons of it! I now only use the plant food tabs about every 6 weeks or so and I did away completely with the liquid fertilizer. My plants are happy, and my algae died way back.
I also started using a timer on my lights, and I have a two-hour "siesta" period each afternoon. Someone mentioned that this would also help keep algae in check, since algae likes to have continuous light in order to grow. The interruption is supposed to stunt the algae's ability to populate.
Keep an eye on your biological filter, though, by way of daily water tests. I got some sort of red algal bloom that looked like red pea soup, and it swiftly destroyed my bacteria and I had to completely recycle the tank. Since your color is green, it is probably not the same thing I had, but daily checking is just a good idea until the problem abates.
I'm with Julie, I personally use Algone all the time. It has cleared up algae and bacterial bloom in both my tanks. Just a little pouch and it works great! It's supposedly all natural, like a "plant in a pouch" so have no worries when using it.
The point is still the same, though... it's important to find what is causing the bloom to prevent it from coming back and so that it doesn't mask the development of other problems.
For instance, if a high nitrate level induces a bloom and all you do is put the pouch into the filter, the algae bloom may clear up, but the nitrate level remains high, thus having a huge effect on the health of the fish. Then, suddenly the fish begin to get sick and/or die, and there are no "warning signs" because they have been masked by treating the symptoms with the pouch. There are many possible causes for algae blooms, but if you remember that algae basically needs two things to thrive... light and food, then you've got a start on figuring out where the problem is. Water testing can tell you a lot, and if you'd like to post your water params for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH, we'd all be happy to help you sort out the problem and get to the bottom of it so you have no other worries in the future.
You are so right. I was in a rush when I typed that reply...I forgot to mentinon that Algone isn't a solution to the cause, but more of a fix and a preventative. Also forgot to mention that to me personally, it sounds more like algae, but if there is also bacterial bloom it may be hard to see through all the pea soup.
I had perfect water paramters and still had a mild bacterial bloom and algae. Never did find out what caused it, but a minor water change and the addition of Algone cleared up the problem in about 7 days and it's never come back.
i would limit the light, as suggested by everyone else- add some algone, and also start limiting the excess nutrient problem by adding some plants, , and maybe feeding just once a day until it clears up. i had this happen once, and then it cleared up only to cloud again a few days later...i had about 6 weeks of on again, off again issues with cloudiness. get to the route of the problem, and it won't happen very often.
algae needs light and nutrients to prosper. chances are your tank has too much of one of these.
the fog was white at first , so I knew that I had a bacteria bloom, but then it started turning green, so I also have an algae bloom
Thanks for all of the replies. I'll look for that allgone and try that. My dad suggested putting in an undergravel filter to help clear the water, but I don't know if that's just like sweeping it under the carpet?
To help, my 55 gallon tank is at about 75 degrees fahrenheit. My fish that I have are:
1 japanese betta
3 goldfish(2 comets and one that is a fancy goldfish)
2 silver dollars
I realize that that is a wide array of fish to put in one tank, but I have had this arrangement for about 8 months now and have never had this problem, so I don't think it's because of the variety. However, if this does look like the problem, please feel free to comment. I did just get the guppies about 3 months ago. I have usually fed them twice a day, but now i only feed them once a day.
I don't usually change the water. Only when I see that one of my fish is sick do I actually change it, and then it's about 25%. The type of filter i use is a carbon filter, and i replace the filters every 2 weeks. No live plants. I tried that once and my fish shredded them.
Does that help?
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