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Old 07-18-2009, 02:14 PM   #1
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Newbie with Algae Bloom and some equipment questions

Hello,

I just returned from a business trip and my wife's friends were taking "care" of my aquarium while we were gone.

Anyway, the fish were obviously overfed (by the looks of the greasy fingerprints all over the lid, their kids got to feed the fish), and the light was never turned off.

Obviously I need to do a major water change and clean all of the decorations.

I have a 36 gallon, bowfront, with tropical community fish and have never had any issues. I have an Emporer 280 Bio-Wheel and run API Ammo Carb in the extra media slot.

In the past 4 weeks leading up to my trip, I noticed that the water has been becoming more cludy, more quickly though.

The water has always been crystal clear, and normally, I would only have to do 25% water changes every 2-3 weeks (I use an Eheim Gravel Vacuum every week)

So, my questions are:
-Would adding an additional Emporer 280 filter help with water clarity?
-Can I "over filter" my tank? So, would it be bad?
-How much water can I safely change to get rid of the Algae?

Thanks so much! This seems to be a great forum!

Jeremy
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Old 07-18-2009, 02:41 PM   #2
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I'd be more concerned with light than filtration to get rid of algae. Is this a planted tank? Consider turning out the lights and putting a couple layers of dark blanket over the tank for 3-5 days.

Cloudy water could be a few things. Most common is a bacterial bloom. Was there a death or change in feeding recently? Any medications given?
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Old 07-18-2009, 02:52 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response.

The idea of adding an additional filter was to help with the cloudy water I was having leading up to my trip, not for the algae. I realize that light and overfeeding led to this.

There have been no deaths (that I know of since the water is so green right now) and I have introduced no medications. Just the Amquel+, NovAqua+ that I use during water changes (which were weekly for the last month or so) and a maintenance dose of Algaefix once a week. (which was NOT used last week...I didn't trust a stranger with any additives.

Thanks for the idea about shutting the light completely off for a few days.

Can it hurt anything to add an additional filter? Will it keep the tank cleaner?
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Old 07-18-2009, 03:03 PM   #4
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The extra filter won't help the cloudiness if it is indeed a bacteria bloom (which I agree, is most likely based on the onset of it out of nowhere).

YOu can't overfilter, IMO, so it wouldn't do any harm, but it's not going to help you either I don't think. How often do you change the media in your filter?

For water changes, I do 50% regularly. I have done as much as 75% with fish in without any bad side effects. THe larger water change you do, tho, the more critical it is that you match the temperature better when replacing the water.

Also make sure you're using a really good dechlorinator - I prefer Prime myself.
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Old 07-18-2009, 03:04 PM   #5
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Oh, and Welcome to AA!!!
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Old 07-18-2009, 03:09 PM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback. Obviously this water change is going to be pretty intrusive. I'll probably go 75% today and see what it looks like in a couple days. And I will match the temps.

If it can't hurt, I think I will add the extra filter anyway (I have some cash waiting to be spent)

And I'll look into Prime, thanks for the tip!
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Old 07-18-2009, 05:52 PM   #7
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Regular water changing and absolute darkening for about 5 - 7 days (depends on the water condition) will give good effect. And don't feed the fish more often than once a day. Good luck!
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Old 07-18-2009, 06:27 PM   #8
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It is possible to over filter. I blew some fish away once. But you can safely double or triple your filtration over the recommended amounts with most types of fish.

I also like Prime. You can get it in larger bottles to save money, and it does both declorination and ammonia detoxifying. (I don't normally feel the need to add an ammonia detoxifyer, that's what my bacteria and plants are for, but in an emergency it can be a lifesaver.)
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Old 07-18-2009, 08:02 PM   #9
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Many are offering advice about a blackout. If what he is experiencing is a bacterial bloom, the blackout will have no effect. If it's green water algae, which also causes a cloudy look, then it will help.

Try placing some of your tank water into a styrofoam cup. If the water is green, then it's an algae issue. If the water is a milky white, it's most likely a bacteria bloom, and only allowing the bacteria to settle and recover from whatever event caused the bloom will allow it to clear up. I've had blooms last a day, I've also had them last for a week.
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Old 07-20-2009, 06:06 PM   #10
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Again, thanks for all the input.

I have added an additional filter. Still plenty of structure and hiding places from the current for my fish.

I also did a 50% water change (yes the water was green) and have had the lights off since Saturday (other than the evening feeding time).

The water was a milky colored cloudy the week prior to the friend watching the house. So maybe I had the 1-2 punch of bacteria followed by green algae.

Water was still pretty cloudy as of this morning. I may run another 50% change sometime this week.

I have switched from the Nova products to Prime as well!

Thanks so much for the help, and this is a great site!
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