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Old 08-26-2011, 08:20 PM   #1 
Hooperman42
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Exclamation Bacteria Bloom won't go away!!!!!

Guys I have had tanks all my life... ussually very large with many freshwater fish. But this is interesting. I have a three week old set up that continues to have a bacteria bloom (?) Here is the deal:

1. One happy and healthy betta very active and eats just two pellets a day

2. Two Cory Catfish that get 1/2 of an Algae wafer a day that they eat relatively quickly. All of it.

3. It is a 10 gallon tank with a heater that is a constant 79-81 degrees. Mostly right at 80ish.

4. Filter was a 10 gallon Top Fin but just replaced it with a 20 gallon model thinking it would catch this stuff. No difference. So plenty of filtering and not any real left over food.

5. I syphoned the stones once to check and not much garbage in there lying dormant.

6. Seems to be quite allot of algae as you will see in the pics and much to the pleasure of the catfish.

Again all fish seem to be healthy and very active. The beta leaves the cats alone and only now and again chases em off. No problem.

SO what is the deal? The pics here came after in desperation tried a Tetra (normally dont buy their stuff) fizz thingie to clear it up and of course no real change (its been about three hours and this is the way it tends to look).

I have done partials and even a complete change. Perhaps I am still disturbing the bacteria and its looking for something to latch to. The plants are all plastic. No real ones.

What gives, why the bloom and how in the world do I get rid of it. Its only three fish in a 10 gallon with a super filter, heater and I use tap water that is treated with Stress Coat as I did in the old days with no problems. I mean these things can live in a hoofprint!

See pics. Any advice is more than welcome and appreciated. Thanks.

Hoop
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:26 PM   #2 
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note that I forget to mention that the test strips reveals everything is just right including Ph and Ammonia levels.
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:29 PM   #3 
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Any overcleaning can cause a bloom, most especially in the younger stages of a tank. You don't want to heavily disturb either your gravel or your filter at this point. Replacing your filter with another probably set you back some.

With fish in you'll need to do water changes to keep them safe; but don't be vaccuming constantly, nor washing off any decor, nor wiping the sides of the tank too much. Bacterial blooms begin to clear as the nitrifying bacteria have sufficiently colonized your tank; and if you overclean you are making this process take longer. As you've discovered, water clarifiers will not work, as they are designed to clump up particulate matter (not bacteria) so it can be caught by your filter.

That being said; is it the trick of the light, or is your water tinted green?

Milky white cloudiness is likely a bacterial bloom.

Green cloudy water is probably unicellular algae, and another matter entirely.
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:35 PM   #4 
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thanks!

Its a milky color not green. I have florescent lights on it and maybe it looked green with the plants and all. But its white. Is the algae growth normal on the piece you saw? Seems to be a bit more than I would think. But yes I have been messing with it much to get it clear!!!!


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Originally Posted by dragonflie View Post
Any overcleaning can cause a bloom, most especially in the younger stages of a tank. You don't want to heavily disturb either your gravel or your filter at this point. Replacing your filter with another probably set you back some.

With fish in you'll need to do water changes to keep them safe; but don't be vaccuming constantly, nor washing off any decor, nor wiping the sides of the tank too much. Bacterial blooms begin to clear as the nitrifying bacteria have sufficiently colonized your tank; and if you overclean you are making this process take longer. As you've discovered, water clarifiers will not work, as they are designed to clump up particulate matter (not bacteria) so it can be caught by your filter.

That being said; is it the trick of the light, or is your water tinted green?

Milky white cloudiness is likely a bacterial bloom.

Green cloudy water is probably unicellular algae, and another matter entirely.
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Old 08-26-2011, 09:14 PM   #5 
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Well other than what I thought might have been green water, I don't see any other algae for now. ;) You will though, over time. I wouldn't worry about that as long as you aren't being taken over by it. A small amount of algae is normal and healthy as a tank matures.

As far as the bloom, to me it sounds like you are just being a bit overzealous. Watch your parameters and do water changes (just water though) as necessary. You can lightly vacuum the waste but do so gently...I'd say once a week for the vacs? Others might have a better recommendation for that. And as was mentioned, there's no need to rinse anything off; and I'd be careful with wiping the insides of the tank too. While I know it isn't pretty, the bloom won't hurt your fish. It will clear up as your nitrifying bacteria colonize; and they adhere to all surfaces. So just be gentle with all the surfaces in your tank. :)

The only other thing I want to mention is that the O2 content in the water can be lower during a bloom; and while both cories and bettas have adaptations for taking O2 from the air, it might not hurt to add a bit of aeration for now until it clears.

*oh! keep forgetting things lol. Feed lightly while this is happening, though it sounds like you're already doing that. 10g tanks can be fickle.

Last edited by dragonflie; 08-26-2011 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 08-27-2011, 01:30 AM   #6 
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You can try adding a bacteria supplement to your tank to boost the number of bacteria. I'd recommend Cycle. It's what I use when I start up new tanks. It usually works to shorten the bloom time, sometimes down to as little as a couple of days. If you google "new tank syndrome", that's what you're going through. It's normal and causes a lot of people to panic and overclean and add unnecessary chemicals to their tanks. It can take anywhere from a week to 2 months to clear up. Other than the low oxygen levels it can cause, it won't harm the fish. If you're planning on adding more fish into the tank, I'd wait until the bloom clears up or it'll take even longer to clear because of the added bioload.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:05 AM   #7 
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Please see my new post called Can florescent lights cause bloom?And other blooming questions. For update.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:07 AM   #8 
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Here is what it says

I have another post on the bacteria bloom I have experienced .Irwin my 10 gallon with one happy betta a d four happy cory's, filtered heated etc. I was told it was new tank syndrome from my too much cleaning etc and to wait it out.in ever overfeed either. As I wait it out knave notice an increase in green algae. I am wondering if me replacing the incandescent bulbs 15 watts each) with the 10 watt fluorescents could cause this.they are Ito able brighter and much nicer looking but could this causetgebloom and bacteria growth? Another person told me to put adark towel over it for several days. It's driving me nuts...every advice from doing partials, using cycle, covering it and just plain waiting it out. I am tempted tikes the gravel and filter remove all the water and start it as a new tank using e cycle and bacteria that are in the stones and filter since it is 30 days old. Opinions? Dragon flywas especially helpful previously to me maybe your getting this message Roland might advise.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:08 AM   #9 
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Sorry for non spellchecked message above
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