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Old 09-01-2005, 12:27 AM   #1
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Cannister Filters and other things

I recently stocked my 90 gal with 9 Tiger Barbs, 5 Albino Pink Tinfoils, and 2 Female Paradise Fish. I had first thought they were males but after closer examination they are identical to pictures of the females. And they have divided the tank half into as far as each other is concerned and occasionally they will pick on a Tiger who flips around and nips on their tail fins.

Problem is I used a single XP3 and for a while it worked, now for a week I have had bacteria in the water because they have no place to call home. So I started up the old Magnum 350 and filled the media holder with bio glass rocks that are supposed to provide a home for all the bacteria.

I think there is not enough o2 in the smaller amount of water flowing through it to support the bacteria in the XP3 cannister, partly because there is so much bio material in it. The flow is too slow now. The 350 is also putting good agitation to the surface water which should add more o2 and with the addition of the bio material in it, and the water can move through much faster in the 350. The XP 3 has two coarse mechanical filters, two fine mechanical filters, a liter and 1/2 of ceramic rings, a extra fine filter before leaving the cannister. Oh yes I did put a pre-mechanical filter on the intake. All of this has slowed the water flow to some extent, so that the smaller amount of water passing through cannot carry enough o2, so the bacteria moved out into the water where more o2 is present --my thought anyhow.

I am hoping that with the addition of the noisy 350 that does have a higher rate of flow carrying more bacteria in the water through it's bio material so perhaps more bacteria can find a home there.

This problem came about after I added the pre-filter which slowed the water flow a great deal and another 1/2 liter of ceramic rings. I am adding a much larger pre-filter which should let more water flow through the XP 3 before it stops up.

Comments - thoughts welcome.
caudelfin
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Old 09-01-2005, 07:44 AM   #2
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*holds my head after reading all the technical stuff about filters at 6:30 in the morning* @____@ sounds like fun lol

Also, it sounds like it might work, good luck with that ^____^
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Old 09-01-2005, 01:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
bacteria in the water because they have no place to call home
small correction, the bacteria won't be free-floating in water. they definitely need a surface to thrive.

as long as there is fresh oxygenated water flowing through the xp3, you have nothing to worry about. if you are worried about flow rate, give the media a thorough clean with old tank water. you might even reduce the media by certain amount, since you have the 350 going.
i don't know the flow rates of the xp3, but even if its barely 100gph, the total turnover in your tank would be 5x. and that would be able to handle a medium bioload easily.

BTW, this is tomk2's department. if you have further questions, shoot him a pm .
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Old 09-01-2005, 04:19 PM   #4
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Fin,
What do you mean by "I have bacteria in the water", and what is the the exact problem? is it a water clarity problem or are your fish reacting?
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Old 09-01-2005, 08:36 PM   #5
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Contrary to what some may think, I believe that bacteria can be free floating in the water and cause the water to appear to cloudy (white). If it comes and stays a few days and leaves it is called a bacteria bloom. But if it does not disappear and remains it means the bacteria are free floating in the water and on the sides of the aquarium and on all the gravel and ornaments, etc. etc. This is because the canister filter media for bio conversion is loaded or does not have enough o2 to grow because of the reduced water flow through the canister, which is basically the same as using a filter that is too small in an aquarium. I have added the 350 canister with another liter of bio material and it is working because this canister is free flowing at very near its rating. The bacteria are finding it and the bio material that they can live in and the water is slowly clearing up. In another 2 or 3 days they will be at work in that material converting ammonia and nitrite into nitrate inside the canister instead of in the water.

By the way I did clean the glass walls of the aquarium, and more bacteria became free floating and you could see them in the output of the XP 3. As it blew them down range, it looked as if white smoke was coming from the XP 3, it was not smoke only bacteria in the water.

Doctor Cliff Emons writes a section in Dr. Axelrod's Mini Atlas on Aquarium maintenance and under filtration he writes the objectives of filtration are:
the 3rd one states " to occasional remove bacterial blooms which cloud the water and make it Opaque, green, or milky..." Mine is milky.

The marine biologist with That Fish Place in their catalog writes this under the topic biological filteration page 18 of this version of catalog:
"most complaints of a cloudy tank are due to a lack of biological filteration. Insufficient bacterial surface area force the bacteria to float freely in the aquarium causing hazy milky water." If in the US you can get the catalog by calling 1-888-842-8738. Not only does it have items for sale but much good information in it also.
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Old 09-01-2005, 09:33 PM   #6
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i'm sorry i wasn't more clear in my last post. there are two types of classification of bacteria - one by the source of food (autotrophic and heterotrophic), and the other by oxygen uptake (aerobic and anaerobic).
by bacteria, i meant the commonly-referred nitrosomas and nitrobacter, both of which are aerobic bacteria. their growth rates are not fast enough to cause a milky water in your tank.
but you are right when you say that bacteria can be free-floating in water. the bacteria that cause the milky water are indeed free-floating. whet you see are heterotrophic bacteria - which utilize carbon-sources in your tank's water to grow exponentially. but they have no connection with the nitrogen cycle in your tank. it's just the abundance of nutrients (nutrient-rich water, unclean gravel, too much food, organic oils from the skin etc, new water, extra water-conditioner) that causes their growth. they'll disappear when the nutrient-source is exhausted.

so i think your filtration is quite ok. no need to worry. if you really want to get rid of the bloom, do daily pwc's for 2-3 days, and all should return to normal.
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Old 09-01-2005, 09:39 PM   #7
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Very good information, thanks much.
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Old 09-01-2005, 09:51 PM   #8
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caudelfin - give this a read...
http://www.marineland.com/science/ar...irstthirty.asp

actually i should be thanking you. i didn't have this clear an idea till you made the post :P .
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Old 09-01-2005, 11:06 PM   #9
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I read may of Dr. Tim's articles, however I missed that one. But perhaps he is not entirely right. The marine biologist of That Fish Place stated that these blooms that occur and stay are the result of insufficient biological filtration and so does the Dr Cliff Emmons. I am wondering if they both cannot be right according to the time and conditions.

IF you filter is too small or the water coming through is not enough and the bacteria cannot grow there, it will continue to grow somewhere no matter how slowly. The conditions are ripe for its growth. It was almost two months before my milky white water began to accumulate and then it did so very slowly. And as it is aerobic bacteria they can grow in the water if there is enough o2 present in the water. They grow on the gravel, ornaments, aquarium glass walls, in fact any where it can get food.

When authorities disagree I tend to continue my research. Guess that is where I go from here. Back to the books for a spell. LOL

You are right it could very well be heterotrophic bacteria. However, they are disappearing since I put the new filter in place. That would tend to give some evidence that they might be from the nitrogen cycle bacteria. On the other hand if indeed they are heterotrophic bacteria then they will disappear completely following a few water changes.

What makes me think it is or might be heterotrophic bacteria I did add extra Weiss Organics Bacter Boost which is loaded with Vitamins, trace minerals, and of all things some Cayenne Pepper. LOL. I am just thinking out loud now. I added some, not the required dose, of Tetras "Easy Balance" all rich with Organics at about the same time that I added all the ceramic rings and things to the XP 3. And with such a tank of fish I feed three feeding of 10 secs each for a total of 30 secs and each one is gone before I add another.

So it could have fooled me into thinking it was the nitrosomas etc. One just has to think of every thing you do in the aquarium, the slightest thing you add or fail to add can cause some changes. I notice that I have some diatoms appear on the leaves of the ornamental (fake) plants. They do rub off easy but come right back. I will add a silicate remover to the XP 3 and some phosphate remover. Silicates feed the diatoms and when they are removed no more brown diatoms.

Thanks very very much for your input, really is appreciated
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Old 09-01-2005, 11:24 PM   #10
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you are welcome.
i used to have a small bacterial bloom for a night everytime i used a water conditioner (i forgot the brand) after a pwc. i didn't realise that i had a bb. just thought it was light diffracted from tiny air bubbles due to using the python. i probably used excess conditioner that triggered the event.
i haven't had a problem after i switched conditioners (currently using prime).
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