Bacteria bloom?

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Steviesmommy

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I've read several different solutions to a bacteria bloom in a newer tank. One solution is to do nothing and wait it out. The second is to do 50% water changes every other day. What is everyone's thoughts on this?
 

gwand

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I've read several different solutions to a bacteria bloom in a newer tank. One solution is to do nothing and wait it out. The second is to do 50% water changes every other day. What is everyone's thoughts on this?
I just had a bloom as I cycled my tank. It resolved on its own.
 

Byron

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Water changes may or may not help, depending. By "newer tank" do you mean it is cycling and there are no fish, or are ther fish in the tank now?

The cause of the bacterial bloom in new tanks without fish is a high level of dissolved organics in the source (tap) water, and the bacteria that feed on these multiply very rapidly, every 20 minutes or so. They thus cloud the water. If left alone, once the organics are basically gone, the bacteria will be too. So it is easy to see how a water change bringing in more dissolved organics will not help. If the organics are from within the tank, then a water change might help because it is removing and not adding.
 
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Steviesmommy

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Water changes may or may not help, depending. By "newer tank" do you mean it is cycling and there are no fish, or are ther fish in the tank now?

The cause of the bacterial bloom in new tanks without fish is a high level of dissolved organics in the source (tap) water, and the bacteria that feed on these multiply very rapidly, every 20 minutes or so. They thus cloud the water. If left alone, once the organics are basically gone, the bacteria will be too. So it is easy to see how a water change bringing in more dissolved organics will not help. If the organics are from within the tank, then a water change might help because it is removing and not adding.
Tank has been set up for almost a month. We have 2 fish in there currently.
 

Byron

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OK, so obviously thre are dissolved organics from the fish being fed. This should not normally cause a bacterial bloom unless they are fed more than necessary, and assuming regular basic maintenance. The dissolved organics in the tap water can add to this, and these can vary depending upon the season and the source of the tap water. Over the years, I have had periods of very heavy rains and the tap water comes out of the tap cloudy, let alone in the aquarium. Could be this, or both.
 
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Steviesmommy

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OK, so obviously thre are dissolved organics from the fish being fed. This should not normally cause a bacterial bloom unless they are fed more than necessary, and assuming regular basic maintenance. The dissolved organics in the tap water can add to this, and these can vary depending upon the season and the source of the tap water. Over the years, I have had periods of very heavy rains and the tap water comes out of the tap cloudy, let alone in the aquarium. Coul
Basic maintenance is being done. Check water parameters constantly. Use RO water. Which I've been told is bad but I've also been told it is good. I don't know what to do. Change the water every day? Not as cloudy but by next day - cloudy. Don't do anything? Cloudy but gradually gets worse every day. Bought new filter. Nothing. I've about given up. We had a great tank for maybe a week or so. Been all down hill since. It's depressing.
 

Byron

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Basic maintenance is being done. Check water parameters constantly. Use RO water. Which I've been told is bad but I've also been told it is good. I don't know what to do. Change the water every day? Not as cloudy but by next day - cloudy. Don't do anything? Cloudy but gradually gets worse every day. Bought new filter. Nothing. I've about given up. We had a great tank for maybe a week or so. Been all down hill since. It's depressing.

RO can be good or it can be bad. What fish species?

What are the water parameters for your tap water. These refer to GH, KH, pH. Temperature is the fourth parameter, but what is it just to have the data.

Water conditions, have you tested for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, and if yes, what are thee numbers. Check the tap alone for these too, just to ensure that is not a source of any.

Live plants? If yes, any plant nutrients?

What is the substrate?

Which conditioner, and any other water additives going in?
 
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Steviesmommy

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RO can be good or it can be bad. What fish species?

What are the water parameters for your tap water. These refer to GH, KH, pH. Temperature is the fourth parameter, but what is it just to have the data.

Water conditions, have you tested for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, and if yes, what are thee numbers. Check the tap alone for these too, just to ensure that is not a source of any.

Live plants? If yes, any plant nutrients?

What is the substrate?

Which conditioner, and any other water additives going in?
One is a neon tetra. One is a guppy. I was gravely misinformed at the pet store about fish. I don't have a kit that gives parameter numbers yet, but all the colors on the testing strips are in ideal for nitrites, nitrates and ammonia. I am having a ph problem tho - water is acidic. I tried to put some API proper ph in the tank, but as soon as I added a fraction of the dose a guppy died. So I stopped adding that. I use API water conditioner when I change the water. I added Tetra cleaning bacteria as well. No live plants. Gravel on bottom which I cleaned thoroughly before putting in tank. Our tap water is softened and I was told that was not good for fish so I don't use it.
 

Byron

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One is a neon tetra. One is a guppy. I was gravely misinformed at the pet store about fish. I don't have a kit that gives parameter numbers yet, but all the colors on the testing strips are in ideal for nitrites, nitrates and ammonia. I am having a ph problem tho - water is acidic. I tried to put some API proper ph in the tank, but as soon as I added a fraction of the dose a guppy died. So I stopped adding that. I use API water conditioner when I change the water. I added Tetra cleaning bacteria as well. No live plants. Gravel on bottom which I cleaned thoroughly before putting in tank. Our tap water is softened and I was told that was not good for fish so I don't use it.

I can see why you are having these issues now. First, you must get the numbers for the GH and pH. Check the website of your water authority for this. You mention a softener which I assume is in your house, so you want to know the GH and pH of the water before it goes through a softener, as this may be preferable. It depends upon the numbers.

Second, for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, we don't know what "ideal" may mean to you so please always give numbers for these tests.

Neon tetra, like all tetras, are soft water fish. Guppies need moderately hard water, but we could find a middle ground but we need to know the numbers. Tetras are shoaling/schooling fish that must have a group, what size is this aquarium--volume and dimensions length and width?
 

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