Welcome to Our Community

Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

Cloudy Aquarium-New(Ish) Setup

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by Bashy, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. Bashy

    Bashy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    SE Essex
    Hi all,
    I have a RIO 125L tank running a bioflow 600 internal filter. I bought the setup at the end of November. Started with a fishless cycle using ammonia, but on New years eve, bought my first fish (5x baby black ruby barbs)
    Last week, my tank was suffering from a suspended algae problem (Due to direct sunlight-oooops). This was overcome by leaving the tank lights off for a couple of days and daily 25% water changes.
    Yesterday (Friday) I added 3x swordtails.
    My last water change was Thursday morning, and then the tank water was pretty clear (not crystal, but close). Last night I noticed the water is gradually getting cloudier.
    My tank has been running since end November, with the 5 black ruby's added new years eve.
    Before the suspended algae problem last week, I did some water tests with results below:
    Ammonia-0
    nitrite-0
    Nitrate-20ppm

    I done another lot of tests Thursday night...results below:
    ammonia-0
    nitrite-0
    nitrate-5ppm
    I put the above results down to my daily 25% water changes (???)
    I have done some searches for cloudy water and a lot of explanations are a bacterial bloom.
    I've got no problem with carrying on the daily water changes, but is this detremental to the cycling process? I obviously want to keep the filter doing it's thing.

    A couple of days ago I added a juwel air diffuser (it has a cap on the top with a piece of what looks like wire wool in it. The cap has dissapered, but doesn't seem to do anything anyway, so I took the wire thing out). Is this beneficial for the tank?

    Also, I have read so many conflicting things about rinsing the filter media. I haven't done this at all. The guy in my lfs yesterday told me to rinse all sponges every water change (obviously in the tank water removed).
    Should I do this?
    He also told me to replace the carbon filter every 10 weeks (which he obviously would say as it's more money for him :rolleyes: ).
    I have also not done a gravel clean either (I intend on starting this today with my gravel vac)

    Thanks for reading my noob questions.
    PS.Am loving my fish
     
  2. Gilli

    Gilli Gilli

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Messages:
    1,904
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    England
    Water changes will not make any difference to a bacterial bloom - it will clear on its own in time when the tank is balanced. Dont rinse your filter sponges every time you do a water change - this will slow your cycling down as the bacteria are quite delicate. Sponges only ever need to be rinsed when your filter flow lessens indicating a need to clear debris! I have an external filter and only ever rinse my sponges in it about every 2 months! There is no need for carbon either. Only time thats ever really useful is if you have had to dose the tank with meds and want to remove any traces afterwards to add a different lot! If I were you I would go to another fish shop for advise !

    You may find some help reading the 'cycling a tank with fish in' article on this forum

    cycling a tank
     
  3. Skins

    Skins A new swimmer in the tank

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Messages:
    2,049
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Uk
    It does sound like bacterial bloom which will proberly settle down soon. I can't comment on the air diffuser as i don't use that type but i'm sure one of the other members will help.
    As for your carbon you only want to use this when removing meds out of the tanks water, would not hurt to swap your carbon over for sponge or noodles/ceramic rings(biological media).
    Filter maintance can be done once monthly, your current fish are not that messy. If for some reason your filters return flow becomes sluggish then some maintance will also be required. Like your LFS advised the media can be lightly swished around in some old tank water(never tap water), if any media needs to be disgarded never remove more than a third of your filters media you don't want to loose to much bacteria.

    Hope that has helped in some way, Keith.

    P.S do love those black ruby barbs.
     
  4. waterdrop

    waterdrop Enthusiastic "Re-Beginner"

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Messages:
    13,813
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC, USA
    Hi Bashy and Welcome to our beginners section!

    It may be that your bacterial bloom (and that diagnosis seems most likely since you've been running the tank for a bit.. is is milky/gray/whitish as if a little milk is in the water?) was caused by the organic material available to the heterotrophic bacteria after the algae cells died off, combined with the gravel and filter not having been cleaned yet. Heterotrophic bacteria are different from the autotrophic bacteria in the filter that we always talk about. The heterotrophs are in greater numbers out in the water and can respond to any organic molecule source by reproducing very quickly into a "bloom" of cells that can be seen with the naked eye. They are a natural component of a good freshwater environment and the bloom will go away once they've consumed the excess organics they are finding.

    The problem can come in that they are converting some of the atoms of the organic molecules into ammonia. Sometimes in very old neglected tanks we see bacterial blooms large enough to create a wave of ammonia that can overcome and kill the fish. This won't be the case for yours though, as mild bacterial blooms are common during the first 6 months of new tanks and are much less severe. It's true that water changes by themselves do little to immediately clear bacterial blooms up.

    Instead, as has been advised, you want to perform the types of maintenance that help remove some of the available organic material and the great majority of that will be in the substrate (thus the beginner habit we try to teach of the weekly gravel-clean-water-change after the tank has cycled (even more of them if still fish-in cycling)) and in the filter (thus the beginner habit, as stated, of starting out with monthly or two-weekly filter cleans (where biomedia is freed of it's debris in tank water, as outlined above.))

    Are you still fish-in cycling? This would be indicated if you are still seeing any traces of ammonia or nitrite in your log of daily test set results. The end of a fish-in cycle comes when you continue to see both ammonia and nitrite(NO2) remaining at zero ppm each day for a week, despite not water changing on those days.

    ~~waterdrop~~
     
  5. Bashy

    Bashy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    SE Essex
    Thanks everyone.
    Definitely looks a milky white colour. As I have never done anything with the filter sponges, did a 10% change today and swished around the sponges in the discarded tank water. Quite a bit of bits came out of them. Also, started to do a gravel vac. Didn't know whether I had to do ALL the gravel, or just the bits not covered by plants/rocks or ornaments, so just done the parts that I could easily get to. Should I remove ALL the decorations and vac the whole lot?
    Didn't know whether to 'vaccum' the top or actually get down into the subsrate, so dug right down into it with the vac...hope this was correct.
    Whilst vaccing, noticed some greeny (I presume) algae on some of the rocks. The barbs were 'pecking' at it...should I wash these when I do a next water change in the discarded water, or leave well alone.

    On a side note, the swordtails seem to be having a bit of a fight sometimes. The LFS sold me 2 males and 1 female (who has a surprisingly large belly :rolleyes: ), but I have since read that the ratio should be 2 females - 1 male...does this mean I'm going to wake up 1 morning to find 1 of them dead?

    Cheers
     
  6. Bashy

    Bashy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    SE Essex
    WOW...this is a busy forum - BUMP!
     
  7. waterdrop

    waterdrop Enthusiastic "Re-Beginner"

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Messages:
    13,813
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC, USA
    Sounds like you might be thinking you'll get results from the things you're doing faster than you're seeing and that you're worrying about a number of details related to that.

    I think you're doing the right things and no, you don't have to get to all of the gravel every time. It -is- nice to occasionally do more thorough cleans in various areas when you have the time though. Yes, it's good to go deep into the gravel to clean (just be careful not to damage the roots of live plants when and if you have them.) No, you don't need to worry too much about there being some algae on your gravel, it will die from being turned over by the gravel cleaning.

    Of course, you always need to resolve an over-lighting problem if you have one. Absolute minimum light hours would be 4 and max about 10 perhaps and within that broad range you can work on having plants grow well but not having algae, it can takes to know the results of a lighting change though. Unless you are running pressurized CO2 injection, your watts per gallon on the tank should probably be in the neighborhood of 1, definately not more than 2 w/g.

    ~~waterdrop~~
     
  8. Bashy

    Bashy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    SE Essex
    Have done another ammonia and Nitrite test on tank tonight (48 hours later), and still 0 readings. That's good but the thing is, the tank is still getting cloudier...am I just being impatient? Or can I do something?
    Cheers
     
  9. Aqua Tom

    Aqua Tom Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2010
    Messages:
    2,643
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    It will clear up soon, I promise you will go to bed one night with a cloudy tank & wake up the next morning with a crystal clear tank.
     
  10. This Old Spouse

    This Old Spouse TOTM Winner May 2013

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    6,093
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    US
    I ended up 1) putting a second filter in for a time and 2) removing the large quartz rocks from the tank. It is indeed now crystal clear, but I don't know if anything I did remedied the cloudiness or if it just happened on its own. [​IMG]
     
  11. backtotropical

    backtotropical Retired Mod
    Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Messages:
    4,479
    Likes Received:
    4
  12. Bashy

    Bashy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    SE Essex
    Thanks BTT, great info

    Have just done a COMPLETE gravel vac (took out all rocks/silk plants and ornaments). The tank looks even cloudier now, but I expected this.
    Done another batch of tests as follows:
    Ammonia-0ppm
    Nitrite-0ppm
    Nitrate-10ppm

    The rocks and ornaments have quite a lot of algae on them. I have never cleaned these and presume you need to do it in discarded tank water when doing a water change, so will do this on Thursday on my weekly WC.
    Any tips on cleaning these rocks and ornaments?

    Have I done everything correct?
    Is it now just the waiting game?
    Are my fish in danger at all?

    Thanks
     
  13. waterdrop

    waterdrop Enthusiastic "Re-Beginner"

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Messages:
    13,813
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC, USA
    Hi Bashy, sorry not to get back to you earlier, my PMs are always full so I sometimes don't see the other comment things. Anyway, it can take several days after taking corrective actions before bacterial blooms clear up and they kind of have to do this on their own, as water changes and more filtration don't usually do it, just time does.

    The other possibility though is that it is not a bacterial bloom but something from one of the ornaments. I remember being rather surprised myself on this myself early on at TFF, thinking that of course the ornaments sold by an LFS would be checked out as being appropriate for use underwater in a tank. But the experience people here said that's not necessarily the case and sometimes various statues and other constructions will leach stuff into the water. The approach when this is bad is to place each object in its own container of tap water for a week or more until you decide whether one of them might be the culprit - might not be a bad idea for you since things are pretty well disrupted by now anyway and if its the bacterial bloom and it clears up you can just put them back in the tank.

    ~~waterdrop~~
     
  14. Bashy

    Bashy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    SE Essex
    Thanks waterdrop. Will try taking out the rocks and ornaments this morning, but I bought them when I set up the tank (beginning of Dec), but it may be because of the algae on them??
    What's the best way to clean them when I do my water change tomorrow?
     
  15. Bashy

    Bashy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    SE Essex
    Could it be my aeration?
    I fitted a juwel air diffuser, but the water was already getting cloudy when I fitted this. It doesn't seem to have made a difference
     

Share This Page