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ranchu_man

Cloudy Water...

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You are doing great. :D I know it is a lot of work but if you want to do something right, you gotta do it right the first time. ;)

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Hi Captk and Betty,

Thanks for the information on heterotrophic bacteria issue. I think that's the most likely cause of the problem due to the fact that I have cleaned (disturbed) the filter and did a large water chage for a few times causing the unbalance of the water chemistry. My tank is still very cloudy and getting worse everyday. It looks a little "green" but I doubt it is algea bloom possibly because the amount of light that is able to penetrate the water is much lower compared to the usual clear water making it looks green. I have also reduce the lighthing from the usual 10hrs to 4 hrs.

Water parameters are still within the norm with very low nitrate due to large water change earlier.

I had very little algea on the parts of the tank but I will normally remove it before it grows out out of proportion. Meanwhile, I am cleaning the first layer of the filter every 2 days to remove the some trapped poops and dirt and syphon out fine poop debries at the sump area. How long will it usually take for the heterotrophic bacteria to reduce the population or for the tank to stabilize in this type of situation?

Cheers........

Edited by ranchu_man

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RM, that is a right tough question. It totally depends on your tank environment. I had one new tank with cloudy water that clear after a short time and then another tank that went on for days and days. All I can say is that the bacterial bloom is harmless to the fish and you just have to wait it out.

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Guest ThugLife

well atleast i kno im doin it rite

im going to rinse it a lil more today

and leave it drying in tha sun for 12 hours or 24 hours

in sum other tread i posted

ppl said that "topfin filters" are not good?

is that true?

i just bought mine like couple days ago

and if it is bad i wanna return it bfo i cant

wut brand is good for a 30 gallon?

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Certainly the smaller size topfin have questionable merits as a biofilter. The popular choices for HOB filters are whisper and aquaclear. :)

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Guest ThugLife

thankz bro

now i have cleaned the tank 7 more times with water

i had wiped it with paper towels and now it is super clean and cant smell no bleach

it is sitting out in the sun

how long should i leave it?

2 days? 10 days?

thanks again fo responding quickly

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If you have a good spell of warm sunny weather than 3-4 days would be fine. If it is just undercover and air dry slowly then a week to 10 days would be better. :)

OBTW, don't let it sit outside in the cold night air as dew drops will form on the tank walls and kinda defeat the whole exercise. ;)

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Guest ThugLife

even if my sundeck is cover with a roof

i cant leave it outside? in tha cold night?

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In that case, just throw a towel over it at night. :)

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I think my tank could be having the algea bloom syndrom. The water is turning "green" after 4 days since the last water change. It is still very cloudy and I am not certain it is algea. Could bacteria bloom occurs followed by an algea bloom? I have never encounter algea bloom before as most of the algea in the tank is brown algea. I have another plastic tank for my frys which has lots of brown and green algea stuck to the sides and bottom of the tank (located at the back of my house) and the water is very clear.

My tank now looks green from the sides but nothing sticking to the glass wall. The tank looks horrible now and still patiently waiting for it to stabilized :( Hope it will not take too long. Should I do small partial water change to improve the conditions or just leave it alone for another few day.

Edited by ranchu_man

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If it's green it could be an algae bloom. I had pea soap in the 55 for a while. I got rid of it with massive partial water changes and cutting back on the amount and duration of light. Daphnia in a breeder net also helped.

Green water can cause pH swings cuz it uses up CO2 when the lights are on and produces CO2 when the lights are out, so plenty of airation would be good.

So how much of what kind of light do you have over the tank and for how long? Is it getting any indirect sunlight? How's your nitrAte running?

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Good advice, DG. I would have suggested reduce lighting as well.

One interesting question for RM, your tank is exhibiting all the symptoms of a cycling tank but it can't be cycling, can it? Very odd indeed.

While the algal and bacteria bloom are very unsightly, it does little physical harm to the fish.

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I am also puzzled what is happening to my tank. The tank is fully cycled till now with all the water parameters pointing to a cycled tank. I have however cleaned the first stage filter media twice but with tank water thus should not "kill" the good bugs.. but maybe I have cleaned it too well probably removing most of them but again the 2nd stage filter media was untouch and should still have some good bugs in there.

DG, the lighting I used is a full spectrum light made by Hitachi (30W X 1) and the usual duration is 12 hours. I have switched off the light completely for 2 days and ON for about 2 hours today. Nitrate is low due to frequent change of water. I measured 2 days ago at 15ppm. I have just checked the nitrite level at 0ppm and Ammonia also at 0ppm.

You mentioned "massive partial water change" means partial water change everyday and what is the percentage? I think I will leave the tank alone for a few more days to see whether it improves and if not I will change some of the tank water.

I did talk to my LFS and he said I should cleaned everything in the tank including the filter with PP and salt killing all the good and the bad bugs at one go and let the tank cycle by itself again. I think that is a bad idea as I have 9 medium size gf in the tank and the ammonia build up will be very high during the cycling process and that sacres me. I think I will change the tank water every other day :) just to keep the ammonia down. I had ammonia problem earlier due to low PH and I was a bit worried not knowing what to do. Luckily you guys helped me out and by increasing the PH with BS, it stabilized and no more ammonia after that. Now with another set of problem, I am still learning from you all. the experts and I am sure the problem will be solved. Thanks for your helps.

Cheers............

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Well, I'm no expert. DG is the water chem guru. :)

It is 12:35am here so my brain has seized up but I'll sleep on your problem. Hopefully DG will come up with something positive in the mean time. :)

OBTW, can you do us a favour and run all the waterQ tests again. I just want to confirm that you tank is not undergoing a mini cycle. Tank temp and GH, KH as well, thanks. Your filter is a home made wet/dry setup, right? Can you take a pic of the tank from the green lagoon? ;)

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Capt: LOL... It's afternoon here and my brain's already toast! I don't know if I'll EVER get this report done! *groan*

Ranchu: You can edit one of the duplicate posts and delete the text that's in it. I can't do it... I'm not a mod.

When did you set up your tank and when did we get the pH/ammonia issues resolved?

My 55 bloomed after I added a lot of light to it and some ferts. by massive I mean, I all but drained it to start over with minimal algae and extra nutrients. LOL

I had 60 watts over it for 10 hours a day when I was trying to get rid of the algae bloom.

30 watts really isn't much light and your nutrient levels don't sound high either.

A UV unit might help. The pond folks use them to combat pea soup algae. They kill anything in the water column. I'm thinking about adding one to my goldie tank to make sure I have the parasite problem licked that's been bugging my goldies for the last month.

Another thing you could do if it's an algae bloom is add floating plants like frogbit or maybe hornwort. They help shade out the algae and don't have to compete for CO2 cuz they get it from the air. as I mentioned before, daphnia in a breeder net would help. Those little critters LOVE to eat pea soup algae, and afterwards your goldies would have a treat. :)

IMO your LFS guy is FULL OF IT. a petstore ninny. There's NO WAY I'd nuke a tank unless there was a bad bug killing my fish in it I couldn't get rid of otherwise.

Tho if you bypassed the filter, pp could be used to kill the algae. I'd consider that a way last resort tho cuz you gotta be careful with PP or it'll toast the fish too.

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Taken care of the double post, so continue on with the very interesting thread! :)

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Ranchu Girl, thanks for your help to delete the duplicae post.

:rofl LOL...DG, thanks for the advise. I started with this tank in Oct 04 with a fully cycled filter using feding fish. All went well until Feb 05 when ammonia starts appearing. Frequent water change could not bring it down until I tested the PH to be 6.4 Finally added BS and 2 days later, ammonia was zero and water became very clear. Lighting was always at 12 hours daily cause a lot of brown algea was forming after 2-3 days. With extra lighting, the algea seems to have reduced but still present in parts of the plastic ornaments and suction tubes. I have to clean the ornaments weekly using bleach.

Slowly, the water was getting a little cloudly and I did a few water changes in a week (25%) and it was not improving much and still slightly cloudly. I then start cleaning my filter media part by part as I was a little worried to have remove too much good bugs at one go. Since I started cleaning the media, the situation became worse and the more water change I do the cloudier the water became after 2-3 days. The water looks green now and I am still allowing it to stabilize but I clean the 1st layer media every 2 days. The tank is indoor fully shelthered from the sun.

I will try to get some daphnia to digest some of the pea soup but the daphnia source in our place don't survive very long. I remember using it to feed my frys and it could survive in an areated tank for about 20 hours the most. I will post the picture of the tank and filter tonight and you guys can tank a look what went wrong.

Cheers..........

Edited by ranchu_man

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Thanks Ranchugirl for the housekeeping, you can join in on the fun, y'know. No need to lurk around. :D

RM, at this point in time, I'm suspecting your filter. If you are going to post pics, can you get some good ones focused on each stage of your filter. I can't help but think that something strange is happening in there and it is making your tank a frankinstein. By your WQ readings, it should be happy and clear but it isn't. It acts like a cycling tank but it isn't and shouldn't. Very strange.

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The water parameters today are as follows:-

1. PH 7.6

2. KH 6dKH (107ppm)

3. Nitrite - 0ppm

4. Nitrate - 20ppm

5. Ammonia - 0ppm

6. GH - 100ppm

Below are some pictures of my green pea soup tank :) The tank pictures are taken without the aquarium light ON to give a better picture of the "greeness". As you can see from the pictures, the 1st stage filter consist of 1 layer of floss media on the uppermost layer where it is cleaned every 2 days and replaced once a month. A bag of ceramic balls are now used which is supposingly used to buffer the water. I have place this bag in the filter 1 week ago as the ealier material used was crushed corals. There are lots of "powder" debris at the bottom trap of the 1st stage filter and these debris are vacummed out once a week. All the media in this section has been cleaned throughly with tank water.

The 2nd stage trickle filter had 2 bags of ceramic bio rings on the top followed by 150pcs of plastic bio balls and 2 layers of course media. This media is produced by the Japs usually used in Koi ponds and it is good for the cultivation of the nitrifying bacteria. This section is usally quite clean but I did rinse with tank water half of the bio ball and the 2 bags of bio rings 2 weeks ago and the course media was left untouched.

The sump had a new bag of carbon in it plus a pump to return the water back to the tank.

I am quite puzzled what can go wrong with this simple setup as most of the "items" in the system have been cleaned. The tank is bare bottom and I have remove all the ornaments and the tank is really naked. You will also notice that I have included a power head (on the right corner) and a 5 micron filter to polish the water but no signs of improvements. The filter is those used in domestic water filtration to filter rust and soots and usually had to be used with a housing. I did some modifications to the filter to fit to the powerhead. The filter is used once and discard cause I can't clean it. It quite cheap at USD2.00 for 3pcs. Hope you guys can analyze the pictures..... Hope I am not overloading you all :D

Cheers......

tank_front.jpg

tank_side.jpg

filter_front.jpg

1ststagefilter.jpg

poopsdebris.jpg

trickle_filter.jpg

sump.jpg

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These are the picture of my tank before and after the "bloom". You can see the very big difference in the water clarity.

Tank picture dated Nov 04

maintank.jpg

Tank picture today with lights on

tank_light_on.jpg

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Man, I just LOVE your sump! Looks to me like it could handle a small pond. :)

You know what'd be neat. If you could make a home for the daphnia and they'd keep the pea soup under control and provide a continual source of live food. That would be sweet.

I'd bet that since you don't have the plants to outcompete the algae for nutrients, you'll hafta either go the daphnia or UV route.

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I am wondering whether I should discard the floss media in the 1st stage and replace with new ones leaving the rest intact to reduce the bacteria population? Do you think this is sensible? I bought another type of media today, they call it bio-sponge. It has very course pores in it and very soft and I think the marine system uses a lot of this sponge for filtration. Apart from this should I do water change anytime sooner?

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Isn't your bloom algae and not bacterial or are you thinking you have both happening? Looks like pea soup algae to me. If it's algae, it wouldn't matter whether or not you replaced the filter floss with the sponge unless the sponge was able to mechanically trap the algae.

As I understand it, algae need light and nutrients to grow. Since you don't have any plants to speak of, there's nothing competing with the algae.

You could add a UV unit hooked to the outflow of your sump. That should kill any algae, bacteria or parasites in the water if you get one that's big enough. I was looking at some at Dr Foster and Smith today.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/NavR...m?N=2004+113778

They also have some articles linked in the upper right corner on them and how to choose the right size.

Daphnia in a breeder net would be the way I'd go... or in the last stage of your sump if there's a prefilter on the pump. Cheap and natural.

You don't have much light over the tank, but cutting back to less than 10 hours a day is supposed to help.

There are algicides. I haven't read up on those and would hesitate to use them.

Here's some green water links

http://freshaquarium.about.com/cs/maintena.../greenwater.htm

This one's interesting... tho they're trying to sell you something.

http://www.algone.com/greenwater_pf.htm

I wonder if it's possible to buy zooplankton (the article says they eat pea soup algae). guess what... daphnia are zooplankton. :)

Here's some more about them

http://ebiomedia.com/prod/algaeguide1.html

http://lakes.chebucto.org/zoo.html

http://www.venturenorth.com/tlca/doc7_6.htm

http://www.wildsidepetsinc.com/GreenWater.html

http://www.aquariumpros.com/articles/algae.shtml

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Hi Betty, thanksfor the very informative links. From the readings of the articles, my tank bloomed is likely caused by a series of events and eventually causes the algea to bloom. Starting from high nitrate, big water changes and distrubing the filter might have lead to the problem. You are right that changing the media will not help as the algea is everywhere in the system. I will try the Daphnia method and I am sure it will work as I did see drastic improvement in my fry tank. The only problem is I have not seen a Daphia net and my filter system might not work. How would you propose to add Daphnia with the filtration system on or switch it off for a few day? I will have to bypass the filter system to prevent the bio bugs from dying. Can I use the fine mesh fish net to house the Daphnia temporarily?

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Hi RM, sorry, have been sidetracked for a little while. Betty has been a fountain of good advice, as usual. :)

Yes, fine mesh netting (breeder net/cage) will do fine to house the daphnia.

No thank you to algicides. It works but more problem than it is worth. You will find that most of the algae will be dead and you have a large rotting bio-mass to deal with. Ammonia spike, DO2 fall through the bottom. Yuk!

You can also try a short cycle lighting regime. Like 3 hrs on and 3 hrs off. Apparently, algae don't like that but I don't have hard proof. It is a fairly harmless thing to try though. :)

Leave the filter alone for now. You have lots of filter capacity so you don't need to clean it every second day. Relax. :)

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