What's new

Bio Damage - Cloudy Water

dazbud

Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2012
Messages
150
Reaction score
0
overnight my water has turned cloudy white.
 
Stats this morning are Amonia 0, Nitrite 0.25, Nitrate 20, PH 6.6
 
The tank is established and the normally has stats of Nitrite 0 and PH 6.8. I've never seen Nitrite since cycling more than 18 months ago.
 
Obviously, I have a bacterial bloom. However, I'm not sure what could of caused this. Two possibilities:
 
1) I dosed the tank with Interpet Fungus and Finrot med two days ago because a couple of my neons had white fungal type bump on their noses. I've used this before with success, although just added straight to tank. This time I followed the instructions on bottle and added the med to a litre of warm tap water and then added to tank. I'm wondering if the litre of tap water had enough chlorine in it to destabalise my filter.
 
The tank is 250 litre, so would 1 litre of chlorinated water be sufficient to kill off some of my filter bacteria? Also, would it have taken 2.5 days for me to observe the nitrite peak and cloudy water.
 
2) For the last month or so, I have been rinsing two out of four of the overhead trickle filter pads on water change day and the other two mid week. I rinse them in tank water. Could I have over cleaned them. Again, they were last rinsed 4 days ago, could this have contributed to the nitrite spike today.
 
I'm planning on doing say 30% water change today. Maybe again tomorrow. I won't touch the filter pads for a couple of weeks. Will not feed the fish today.
 
Typically how long will it take for the filter to restabalise after a mini cycle and how long will the water take to clear. Shoud I do anything else in the meantime?
 
I did think about adding some activated carbon. However, my four filter trays are packed full of noodles, biomax and bioballs. So I would have to remove some established media to make room for the carbon and I'm thinking this would not be wise today..
 
I'm guessing the slight drop in PH is due to the med or the bacterial bloom and will come back up when the nitrite drops. any advice on this too?
 

techen

Wolf Overlord
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
3,279
Reaction score
7
Location
GB
It's possible that mixing both of the meds has uncycled the filter. They recommend not mixing meds as it can be quite deadly.
 
Unless it's just an all in one bottle then I could understand.
 

DoubleDutch

Member
Joined
May 7, 2013
Messages
792
Reaction score
64
Location
NL
Agree with that. Carbon won''t do a thing. Bacteriabloom and filterbacteria are different species. For both it's important to leave them going. But you have to do waterchanges for nitrite. Do WC and measurements and no more than that !!
If you have one, put in am airstone. It will help the oxydation from nitrite into nitrate.
 
OP
dazbud

dazbud

Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2012
Messages
150
Reaction score
0
The Fungus and Finrot is one med. It treats both. So only one med used.
 
I do have twin airstones. I will turn up the airflow on them. Just completed a 30% change.
 
I have seachem prime which can be used as emergency nitrite detoxifier, so wil continue to monitor nitrite levels and use that if necessary.
 

eaglesaquarium

Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
Staff member
Moderator
Global Moderator
Joined
Apr 4, 2011
Messages
12,890
Reaction score
361
Location
US
The chlorine from a single liter of water should not effect your filter. However, something seems to have, potentially. It's possible that the water company spiked the chlorine for a brief bt of time, coinciding with your addition. But I've done up to a 20% water change before without dechlorinator in an established tank.


http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?/topic/246850-bacterial-blooms-explained/

If it were my tank, I'd probably go for a very thorough cleaning/water change. I'd pull the big decor and try to remove every bit of organic matter out.
 

TwoTankAmin

Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2004
Messages
4,422
Reaction score
13
Location
On Another Site
I am going to do a bit of guessing. I do not think the meds hurt the nitrifying bacteria. For sure an anti-fungal should not and their bio-film gives them protection against many meds that might otherwise be much more harmful. However, there are more kinds of bacteria in a tank than the nitrifyers.
 
It is more likely it killed something else that did two things- provided food for the bacteria responsible for the cloudy water and also created a bit of excess ammonia, which was already converted to nitrite by the time you tested. The good news is the nitrite should clear itself up pretty fast as well.
 
Here is your dilemma. If the meds are helping the fish, changing the water dilutes the meds. You can try to compensate by replacing the amount of meds removed by a water change. But trying to deal with nitrite via water changes while keeping the right amount of medication in the water can be a nightmare.
 
Because you test no ammonia and the level of nitrite is so low, I would do nothing here, at least for the next day or so. I would monitor the nitrite to insure it is not rising. I would watch the fish for any sign they are having any problem breathing. This is what nitrite would appear to effect. If either the nitrite rises or you see the fish showing difficulty, I would then do an immediate large water change and consider adding a bit of salt to the water. The salt is a temporary measure that will help block the effect of the nitrite on the fish. I would also stop medicating if the salt is going in. Finally, do not feed the fish for the next few days. Fish food often tends to feed the bacterial bloom.
 
You can also clean the filter media, especially that for trapping solid waste. You can use tap water for this- just make sure it is close to the tank water temperature and that you add a bit of dechlor to it before rinsing your media.
 
One least general observation. Test kits are based on color matching. When the water is turbid, which is certainly the case with a bacterial bloom, it effects how the colors look. This can make it difficult to get accurate readings.
 
OP
dazbud

dazbud

Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2012
Messages
150
Reaction score
0
Thanks for you comments above. I didn't think it was likely that 1 litre of chlorinated water would have been sufficient to upset the filter, but I'm just kinda grasping at ideas.
 
The med should be fully degraded after 4 days acording to the bottle, so I'm not bothered about replacing them as I am at day 3 now anyway, so I'm sure they've done their thing by now.
 
I do use a gravel vacumn weekly and take out 5 buckets full (which is around 25% change). I vary which bits of the decor I move to clean beneath. Last week, I took out the large pebbles and bleached them, of which there are about a dozen pieces about the size of satsumas. I'm now wondering if I didn't wash all the bleach off thoroughly and this could have upset my filter? Possibly causing an amonia spike which I've missed and now the nitrite spike which I've seen.
 
The other thing that came to mind after I'd submitted my post, was that about a week ago I added a bit of very fine polywool over the top of the filter trays. I did this because I had heard it helped to polish water crystal clear. Today, it was brown and I threw it away, as I bought a massive bag full with the ntention of disposing of it weekly. I'm wondering if the addition of the poly wool (probably about 48 cubic inches worth in total) caused extra bio surface, which boosted amonia to nitrite production quicker than the nitrifying bacteria could cach up with?
 
Another, thing is that a rummy nose tetra (about 1.25 inch long) went missing about 2 weeks ago. I'm assuming it got eaten. However, I'm now wondering if it laid somewhere and rotted. Again, not sure whether a fish that size would be sufficient to cause a nitrite spike.
 
Fish keeping is such a precise science. lol
 

TwoTankAmin

Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2004
Messages
4,422
Reaction score
13
Location
On Another Site
.25 ppm nitrite would be more aptly called a mini-spike :). I think you just found your answer as to what is up. It explains both the nitrite and the cloudy water.
 
Therefore you can assume you lost little or no good bacteria. What happened was the dead fish made a bit more ammonia than the established bacteria could handle. You missed the ammonia part but managed to detect the nitrite part. However, this means your bacterial colonies are large enough to handle the normal bio-load. They are catching up to handle the bit more caused by the rotting fish.
 
So doing a big water change should bring an end to the nitrite and not cause you to come up short on needed bacteria. this will also leave you free to deal with the cloudy water part in the normal way. Hopefully the meds have dealt with the sick fish side of the problem.
 

eaglesaquarium

Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
Staff member
Moderator
Global Moderator
Joined
Apr 4, 2011
Messages
12,890
Reaction score
361
Location
US
From the article I linked above:
 


A bloom in an established tank indicates that there is a problem which has allowed a build-up of organic waste, usually in the substrate. This can be caused by excess dead plant matter, over-feeding which leaves food lying around the tank, or leaving dead fish in the tank. None of these are desirable in an aquarium and a bloom in your established tank will certainly indicate one or more of these causes present in the tank. If you experience a bloom in an established tank, improve your husbandry.
 
Bingo...
 
OP
dazbud

dazbud

Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2012
Messages
150
Reaction score
0
Thanks for the advice. Following receipt of your post, I've had a good explore of the tank. Moved the large decor and still haven't found the dead fish. Would it have decomposed completely after two weeks?
 
I've always found any dead fish on the bottom, so really surprised I've not been able to find this one. But it does sound like the most likely cause of the bloom.
 

eaglesaquarium

Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
Staff member
Moderator
Global Moderator
Joined
Apr 4, 2011
Messages
12,890
Reaction score
361
Location
US
I think its almost certain...
 
OP
dazbud

dazbud

Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2012
Messages
150
Reaction score
0
I,m pleased to report that nitrite was back to zero when I went to bed at midnight. At 8am I,v woken up to clear water and no dead fish. Thanks everyone for advice
 
OP
dazbud

dazbud

Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2012
Messages
150
Reaction score
0
just an update on this thread. I used Interpet Fungus and Finrot treatment again this week and the same thing happened. Slight ammonia reading after 1 day. Slight Nitrite reading within 48hours. Cloudy water on day 3. Its definitely the treatment that causes a mini cycle. beware !
 

eaglesaquarium

Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
Staff member
Moderator
Global Moderator
Joined
Apr 4, 2011
Messages
12,890
Reaction score
361
Location
US
dazbud said:
just an update on this thread. I used Interpet Fungus and Finrot treatment again this week and the same thing happened. Slight ammonia reading after 1 day. Slight Nitrite reading within 48hours. Cloudy water on day 3. Its definitely the treatment that causes a mini cycle. beware !
Do the meds mention anything about affecting the beneficial bacteria?
 
Search tags for this page

would biomax make the water really cloudy

Top