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Old 04-15-2004, 04:24 AM   #1
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Holy Bacteria Bloom Batman!!

First off, "Hi all!" got lots of good help here so far, but had to tell this one...

2 month-old 50 gal, everything was going fine, just had a nice diatom algae bloom, so I decided it was time for some Ottos. 2 days later, after they cleaned most the algae out of the tank (efficient little guys!) I'm in the middle of a HUGE bacteria bloom, even worse than when the tank cycled the first time. So bad, in fact, it's clogging my filter! Luckily I caught it and turned down the flow before it overflowed itself. Could the Ottos (who have been described as "poop factories" by some here) or the ProperPH 7.0 I added triggered the bloom? PH was 7.8 before, so I figured I'd make the tetras and rasbora more comfy.
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50 Gal. All Glass, TetraTec PF300 w/HC200

6x Neon Tetra
6x Rasbora Heteromorpha
4x Otto Cat
2x Mickeymouse Platy
1x Pineapple Swordtail
a few Ghost Shrimp
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Old 04-15-2004, 07:14 AM   #2
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If its the white bloom, you are overfeeding your fishies. If its green bloom, hope somebody else can chip in as I dont know much about the green bloom
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Old 04-15-2004, 08:18 AM   #3
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I can't help much (at all), as I haven't had to battle this yet...
But I did want to interject that I haven't found Ottos to be "poop factories". Now Plecos, well, let's just say mine trails 3 foot long poo at some times...
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Old 04-15-2004, 09:04 AM   #4
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Otos only create waste by eating stuff that is already in the tank. Same thing with Plecos. Any fish can be poop factories if you overfeed
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Old 04-15-2004, 10:45 AM   #5
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It cleared up a bit this morning, could've been salts precipitated out of the water due to the ProperPH (San Diego water is a bit hard), but two days later?
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50 Gal. All Glass, TetraTec PF300 w/HC200

6x Neon Tetra
6x Rasbora Heteromorpha
4x Otto Cat
2x Mickeymouse Platy
1x Pineapple Swordtail
a few Ghost Shrimp
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Old 04-15-2004, 12:04 PM   #6
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[center:0691618d9a] Welcome to AA, I_Machine!! [/center:0691618d9a]
For the most part, no one on this site will recommend using chemicals to regulate the pH of the water. There are natural ways to do it, including adding driftwood and/or peat to your tank/filter.
I'm not sure why the bloom came on suddenly, or why it cleared up already. I do have some Qs that may help solve this mystery:
-How often do you water change and gravel vac?
-When you do water changes, how much water do you remove?
-What are the water parameters (ammonia, nitrites and especially nitrates, which are basically plant fertilizers)?
-Does the food you feed contain phosphates?
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Old 04-15-2004, 01:17 PM   #7
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Weekly 20% changes, don't have a vac yet (saving up for a python ) so I stir up part of the gravel and suck it up with the siphon.

Ammonia's been zero since cycling, and my strips said the fish should be dropping dead from the nitrites, so I took a sample to the lfs to double-check. Nitrates were a bit high (40 ppm) but nitrites were fine. I expected the nitrates to be a bit high, considering the algae (I really like my Ottos). All fish seem fine and lively (it's like the Rasbora 500 during the day ) Food is TetraMin, which does contain some phosphates.
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50 Gal. All Glass, TetraTec PF300 w/HC200

6x Neon Tetra
6x Rasbora Heteromorpha
4x Otto Cat
2x Mickeymouse Platy
1x Pineapple Swordtail
a few Ghost Shrimp
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Old 04-15-2004, 02:44 PM   #8
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I'm pretty sure it's just precipitated salts.

I touched the filter media, and it started dumping cloudy water back into the tank. So I took out 10 gals, removed the filter cartridges, rinsed them in the buckets of tank water, and hopefully it'll clear up over time. This water is quite hard, like around 200ppm GH, and it leaves a white crust around the open parts of the cover.
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50 Gal. All Glass, TetraTec PF300 w/HC200

6x Neon Tetra
6x Rasbora Heteromorpha
4x Otto Cat
2x Mickeymouse Platy
1x Pineapple Swordtail
a few Ghost Shrimp
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Old 04-15-2004, 02:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
I touched the filter media, and it started dumping cloudy water back into the tank.
8O EW
Nitrates are normal--higher than 40ppm is not good.
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Old 04-15-2004, 08:32 PM   #10
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you should use tetra or stress coat. both of them remove harness... it reallly helps
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Old 04-16-2004, 01:20 PM   #11
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krap, what are you talking about?? Neither of those products will reduce hardness (?), nor will they stop salts from precipitating out of the water. In addition, the white crust forms outside the tank water. I have noticed you have posted a few very odd messages lately--PLEASE reread your posts before posting!! That would help everyone
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Old 04-16-2004, 01:45 PM   #12
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I'm generally against using chemicals too, with the exception of obvious needs like tapwater treatments and such. So I'm treating the ProperPH incident as a "let's not do this agin"-type thing, even though it did say in the instructions that the salts will precipitate, and that the filter will take care of it. Didn't think it would be this bad...sheesh!

Water's crystal now, tho the filter is almost completely clogged, so I have to take it out and give it a good cleaning, taking care not to disturb the bio-sponge too much. Don't want a real bloom to happen.
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50 Gal. All Glass, TetraTec PF300 w/HC200

6x Neon Tetra
6x Rasbora Heteromorpha
4x Otto Cat
2x Mickeymouse Platy
1x Pineapple Swordtail
a few Ghost Shrimp
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Old 04-16-2004, 01:54 PM   #13
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As long as you don't jump up and down on the filter to unclog it, you will not loose that much bacteria on the sponge.
I'm glad to hear the water is clear again!!
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