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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #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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Discussion Starter · #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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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.

Byron.
 

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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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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
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-general-articles/bacteria-freshwater-aquarium-185721/
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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Discussion Starter · #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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Well, it certainly doesn't appear to be overstocked with so few fish in 80 gallons!
First, you don't have enough water turnover using such a small filter, although with so few fish, you could just about go filterless (not recommending that though). If that hang on back (HOB) filter is all you have, then every time you change the cartridge, you basically reset that filter to scratch. You don't need to go get anything expensive, but you'll want a filter with more capacity than that little filter.

I'll assume the tank doesn't have live plants? My guess is when you feed, you overfeed. That's not intended as any negative, as I know I still tend to overfeed my fish - most of us on the forum probably overfeed!

Here is what I'd suggest in the absence of any water parameter measurements:
* Go ahead and do a good size water change (50%+ new) and fill the tank up. I'm not sure how you can run the HOB filter if your tank isn't filled up all the way, as you indicated in an earlier post. I agree with what Byron said about the bacterial bloom, but at this point, lets just get reset to a known point.

* as you do the water change, either use a gravel vacuum device of just get your hands down in the gravel/sand and stir it around vigorously. If you get a big nasty cloud of "stuff" when you stir the gravel, after the tank only being set up for 3 months, then you are overfeeding. Siphon out a good bit of this stirred up organic matter. The other option is to stir it up, let it settle and then suck it off the bottom as you do the water change.

* having a dead fish in the tank a couple of days will cause a problem if you don't have enough filtration. You don't have adequate filtration for that tank size. Plan on adding some more filtration. It could be a second, larger HOB, a large sponge filter that's driven by and air pump or powerhead, or if you have the $$ a canister filter is an option. For teh fish load you have, you actually could probably get away with the single filter you have if you are careful not to overfeed.

* Regarding the fish deaths. Unfortunately, when purchasing any new fish, you have to assume it is infected with all sorts of diseases and parasites. This is particularly true if you buy from stores that "move" a lot of fish like the Wal-Marts and big-box pet stores. It's not a negative on them, they simply run so many fish through their tanks, that disease transmission is inevitable at some point.
You need to either A) set up a small (10 gallon) quarantine tank and/or B) treat your big tank for internal parasites and external parasites. NOTE: this advice goes counter to those who advise against the "shotgun" treatment. It's not what you normally want to do, but I'd bet you have something nasty in the tank. I had a huge problem with fish deaths (lost over 13 juvenile Angelfish until I started quarantining and treating for parasites as a routine precaution).

I'm sure others here will have more to add, but that's my $0.02 worth! Good luck and be patient!
 

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I would not now treat this tank for any disease. DKRST is not suggesting you do this now, but I just wanted to make sure that was clear. The death of the CAE may be for the better, as this is not a good community tank fish anyway, as it mentions in the profile; don't get another.

And I will certainly agree on problems with fish from chain stores. I have never seen this so bad. I now only acquire fish from two or three sources, due to the considerable losses I had a couple of years back.

Treating the main display tank is something that should never be done unless you are certain of a specific issue. Medications do stress fish, and if the selected treatment is not going to assist with a specific issue it will make things worse and could kill fish. Plus many of these remedies affect the bacteria. It is the same as human sickness; don't take any "one size fits all" remedies because they rarely work, and may be quite the opposite. Prevention is the better way, and providing clean water allows fish to build their immune systems and fight off most problems. It is a known fact that almost all fish disease is directly caused by stress; eliminating stress by having a proper environment, suitable fish, regular water changes, etc is the only way to go.

A QT is a wise investment. Give the new fish 4-5 weeks in QT. Even if you lose most or all of them (I have had this occur), at least you haven't risked losing all the fish in the main tank (I have had this happen too).

Byron.
 

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Agree - If you've only lost one fish, it's not time to "carpet-bomb" the tank with medications. That will mess things up more! Sorry that wasn't clear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I did water change recently but didnt seem to do anything. but i did not stir the gravel. if i were to clean the the bottom or excess food/waste what could i use? and i have no live plants
 

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How do you change the water? Do you siphon/drain it using a hose or just scoop out in a small container?
If you use a hose, just stir things up and suck out the old water, the trash will, at least partially, come with the water. If you use a container, same principle, you just need to stir up the "crud" so it's suspended in the water column.

A better way is to use a "gravel cleaner", especially if you have no live plants. It's just a larger diameter tube attached to a drain hose that allows you to suck up the crud in the sand/gravel without sucking up the sand/gravel itself. Available at just about any pet outlet. Makes the job a lot easier. You don't have to do all the substrate stirring-up!
 

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i just scoop it up with a container. and i will look into that! thanks for the help!!
Get a gravel cleaner and a couple of 5 gallon buckets (depending on how muscular you are!). If 35lb buckets full of water are too heavy, the home improvement stores also sell 2 or 4 gallon buckets to drain your water into. You can also get some long clear tubing and connectors from the big-box stores, make your drain hose longer, and then drain into the yard.
 
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