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Constant Bacterial Blooms


Trinket

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This is just totally wierd. i am having constant what I presume to be "bacterial blooms" in my fry tank. the fry are fine and do not seem affected. My nitrites and ammonia continue to be zero and nitrates usually between 5 and 12.

This is what happens. I change anywhere between 20 or 30% in the 33 gallon tank every 3 days. Is it too much? Maybe it is. They are tiny and produce little waste. However I am feeding heavily. I have not once read any nitrites or ammonia in this tank since it was cycled about a month? ago. After I change out the water and add the new water...10 minutes or more later...BOOM...the tank is completely cloudy!!!!!!

This has happened many times. Countless times. I have repeatedly, over and over again checked nitrites/ammonia and get zeros.

Today I tried this. After the cloudy appeared after a 30% water change, I squeezed a sponge from my main tank filter(good solid cycle, disease free tank) soaking and brown with muck into the cloudy water/fry tank.

:bingo: In a matter of minutes clear water.

Do I have to do this every time :idont ??

Anyone know whats going on here?

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Because it really looks bad. Because I want to see my fish - because I worry that it is harming them in some way -& because I want to know why this is happening in this tank and not in others. I suppose I just want to understand what is going on and then correct it.

What exactly is happening when bacteria blooms?

Thanks for the reply...

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I remeber you saying about this a while back Imogen, it is puzzling - I mean it doesn't happen on any of your other established cycled tanks, right?

The only times I have seen that happening are during as you say, a "bacterial bloom" - usually in a new set-up on or with an immature filter colony. My understanding of a bacterial blloom is that this is when the good nitrfying bacteria are trying to become established and some of them die off too (hopefully, sombody can give a more detialed explanantion than that! :rolleyes: ).

I suppose you've kinda proved thats what's happening because the cloud settles when you seed the new water with extra bacteria from another established filter? :hmm

I wonder if there would be any benefit in dosing with a basic biological supplement after water changes (such as Cycle for example, yeah I know some people don't believe it works in start-ups but it may help to re-establish/hold up a cycle) Yet, on the other hand your readings are fine - what a puzzle?!

Any wild temperature changes - maybe this is triggering it? What type of dechlorinator are you using? Have you tried another brand - just to see if it makes a difference.

Anyhow, I guess I'm just pondering really. Hopefully, somebody can give you some more solid answers :exactly

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Well thats the curiosity factor. that I have good readings from the cloudy water. I agree that there probably is not enough good bacs in here but it must be enough because I still have a cycle. I just don't understand.

And yes it is very hot in this corner where this tank is now you mention temperature. It is the only tank I have that is not by a window so the water is very very hot as we are over 100F here right now. Temp in tank is touching 30c :yikes but plenty of aeration. Could that be it :unsure: The water going in is a little colder but it has been sitting out so not more than a few degrees different.

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I'm not sure if you've seen this before Imogen?

http://www.bioconlabs.com/nitribactfacts.html

Somebody posted it a while back - I think it forms part of the instruction leaflet of an aquarium product - but there is some very interesting detailed infomation about nitrfying bacteria in it. It doesn't directly answer your problem, but I thought the stuff about reproduction rates was interesting and after all I think that is basically what bacterial blooms are :)

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That was a very interesting read MrB thankyou very much. Binary division takes me back! (It turns out -as you suspected- at the end- it is in fact a promotion for Fritz-zyme cycle product!!)

But nonetheless I took note of a few things that are relevant. First, that the nitrifying bacs die at 32C -something I didn't know. I dont always check the temp on the thermometer, perhaps it is at that sometimes. I seem to be on a threshold, a very dodgy borderline with the supporting beneficial bacteria in this tank :(

Also how much aeration nitrifying bacs need and how slowly they reproduce cf. the bad guys.

The trouble is if I add media from another tank that will soon die off without the feeding of nitrites that the fry waste is just not producing enough of. I'm beginning to think the answer may be to add more fish or to do less water changes :)

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I will discuss base on the fact that nitrifying bacs die at 32.C

If this is the case, I would try to cool down the tank instead of add more fish or do less water change. Adding more fish mean adding more ammonia to the tank. But if the bacterial are dying constantly because of heat, you are giving more stress to the fish because of increase amount of ammonia. Doing less water change doesn't stop them from dying either. It will accumulate nitrate and you won't like it for you fry either.

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Just to avoid any confusion, I just read back - it says Nitrifying bacteria will die at 32? F ( which is 0? C - freezing) not 32C at one end of the scale and Nitrifying bacteria will die at 120? F (49C) at the other. Although, I think the bacteria start to "die off" or reduce, way before they approach the extremes. Although, it also says the optimum level for grow is actually around 30C. Your tank's not getting warmer than 30C right? I think if temperature has anything to do with triggering the blooms it's more likely to be due to a sudden drop (if only a cupld fo degrees) and then re-warming of water that was already fairly warm to begin with. Interesting stuff, init?! :)

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Thanks small ranchu. I agree that if the bacteria are dieing off due to heat then I shouldn't add more fry. But according to mrb that was not 32C but rather 32F cold and for celcius the top range is 49 so I am still safe. In fact based on those numbers it seems the nitrifying bacs actually do better at a high temperature.

I think Im going to try smaller water changes at 20%. The times Ive done that I dont remember seeing the bloom.

Many thanks guys for your input- its really appreciated :)

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Thanks. Yes, it seems to have but I'm watching closely and trying to do smaller water changes more often.

I think in my case it was that I didn't have many fry in there- just 4 small fry in a 33 gallon, So the BBs had died back but the water readings were still okay. I've added a few more fry to this tank.

If your water readings are fine then it doesn't seem to be a big problem. The Bbs jus take a long time to level out to meet the exact tank requirements I guess.

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