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Old 04-25-2013, 05:56 AM   #1
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Question Persistent Bacterial Bloom

I'm new to the forum but have been doing a lot of reading and just can't find the answer I'm looking for. Short Story Long...

I started my first tank about three months ago and as many other people do, I had no idea about cycling. I filled my 60 gallon hex, treated for chlorine, and let it set for two weeks as I knew I couldn't put fish in right away. (Still had no clue what the nitrogen cycle was)

After two weeks, I added three Bala Sharks, 6 Tiger Barbs, and 1 Upside down Catfish. As I'm sure you know, after about two weeks I ended up with 1 lone Barb. I decided to figure out what was going on and I learned all about the nitrogen cycle and decided to re-home my barb and let my tank cycle. I waited three more weeks, as I had already been up and running for a month, and added 6 Zebra Danios... I waited two weeks and added two Chinese Algae Eaters...Two more weeks and 6 Amano Shrimp....A week and one Julii Corey...Well all seemed well until the next morning the Cory was dead. This was when I, again like so many other beginners, discovered water testing.

I started testing my water and discovered I hadn't cycled my tank at all and was still stuck on Ammonia. I began the task of multiple water changes, using Prime, and adding Start Zyme and Stress Zyme. (I also started using RO water with added RO Rite) Much to my excitement about three weeks ago I found Nitrite in my tank. I continued water changes and Prime and very rapidly the Nitrite peaked and within a week my ammonia went to 0 and my nitrite to 0 with Nitrate reading about 5. YEAH!!!

After achieving a cycled tank, I added a Rainbow shark and the very next morning I noticed a white cloud starting. Within 24 hours, I couldn't see the back of my tank. I quickly tested all the water parameters and discovered my ph is off the chart high, my ammonia is 0, Nitrite 0, and Nitrate between 5 and 10. I did a 25% water change and the cloud became worse but the ph dropped slightly.

I did a lot of reading which indicated I was experiencing a bacterial bloom, not to worry. Well 10 days later, I still can't see the back of my tank and am still getting readings of high PH (off the chart) 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 5 to 10 nitrate, and Phosphate 0.

My Questions:

1) Am I missing something?
2) Do I really have to wait this out?
3) Is a UV sterilizer an option? Pros? Cons?
4) Are my fish in danger?
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:26 AM   #2
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Just to start as an FYI Bala Sharks get to over a foot long....a 60 gal would not have been big enough anyways
What kind of filter are you using? and what are you using in it?
How often do you do water changes?
What all is in your tank as far as substrate decor plants(live or fake)

A bacterial bloom should go away after awhile.......doing water changes should help....I had a problem with cloudyness on a new tank i am running come to find out i had a white film or slime all over the place...read it was either bacteria waste or fungus....i cleaned most of it out wiped the glass clean and is doing better now....i was leaving the light on for way to long.
So how long do you keep your light on your tank and do you have a similar white film slime all over the inside?
Are you using only RO water? i know you shouldn't use just RO water as it has no other minerals in it...Buffers and what not
I am going to assume your fish are dying off from a swing in the PH or it being that high..if it is off the charts...
Are you using liquid test kit or stips for water testing? strips are useless FYI
I would let it finish the cycle first before adding more fish...figure out why your PH is so high. Also test your tap water before adding chems to it to see what your PH is at normally..... And importantly read up on fish before just adding whatever to the tank.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:12 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudhp8 View Post
Just to start as an FYI Bala Sharks get to over a foot long....a 60 gal would not have been big enough anyways
What kind of filter are you using? and what are you using in it?
How often do you do water changes?
What all is in your tank as far as substrate decor plants(live or fake)


A bacterial bloom should go away after awhile.......doing water changes should help....I had a problem with cloudyness on a new tank i am running come to find out i had a white film or slime all over the place...read it was either bacteria waste or fungus....i cleaned most of it out wiped the glass clean and is doing better now....i was leaving the light on for way to long.
So how long do you keep your light on your tank and do you have a similar white film slime all over the inside?
Are you using only RO water? i know you shouldn't use just RO water as it has no other minerals in it...Buffers and what not
I am going to assume your fish are dying off from a swing in the PH or it being that high..if it is off the charts...
Are you using liquid test kit or stips for water testing? strips are useless FYI
I would let it finish the cycle first before adding more fish...figure out why your PH is so high. Also test your tap water before adding chems to it to see what your PH is at normally..... And importantly read up on fish before just adding whatever to the tank.
I agree on the Bala Sharks and discovered this after buying. Unfortunately I accepted the advice of an employee at the local pet store. I've since learned this is not always reliable and have been doing my own research. Is there something else with my stocking you are referring to? I also discovered Chinese Algae Eaters grow quite large and aren't the best to have a pair of. I have the intention of re-homing at least one of them and am planning a new larger tank that I will put the other in eventually.

I use an Aqueon 55/75 that contains two biobags. I have small gravel, artificial plants, and an artificial wood structure. I've been doing weekly 20% to 25% water changes. None of the fish are dying right now and seem to be doing quite well...I haven't had any die since I discovered water testing and got my tank cycled. I use RO water with the additive "RO Rite" by Kent Marine to replenish the essential minerals and have been doing that for quite a while. I use API liquid test kits and I have no clue why my PH is so high. It's right around 6.8 to 7.0 out of my RO system. I don't have any slime or excessive algae growing right now and I have my light on a timer for 8 hours a day.

As far as waiting for my tank to cycle, I was under the impression that once I reach 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and testable nitrate my tank is cycled? Is this not correct?
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by respy View Post
I agree on the Bala Sharks and discovered this after buying. Unfortunately I accepted the advice of an employee at the local pet store. I've since learned this is not always reliable and have been doing my own research. Is there something else with my stocking you are referring to? I also discovered Chinese Algae Eaters grow quite large and aren't the best to have a pair of. I have the intention of re-homing at least one of them and am planning a new larger tank that I will put the other in eventually.

I use an Aqueon 55/75 that contains two biobags. I have small gravel, artificial plants, and an artificial wood structure. I've been doing weekly 20% to 25% water changes. None of the fish are dying right now and seem to be doing quite well...I haven't had any die since I discovered water testing and got my tank cycled. I use RO water with the additive "RO Rite" by Kent Marine to replenish the essential minerals and have been doing that for quite a while. I use API liquid test kits and I have no clue why my PH is so high. It's right around 6.8 to 7.0 out of my RO system. I don't have any slime or excessive algae growing right now and I have my light on a timer for 8 hours a day.

As far as waiting for my tank to cycle, I was under the impression that once I reach 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and testable nitrate my tank is cycled? Is this not correct?
Your PH isn't high. Infact, that is actually a very neutral level you have. Mine sets at 7.0 from the tap and shoots up to 8.0 something after it sits in the tank. Water changes of a little over 1/4 knock it down to neutral it seems. So don't worry about your PH as much as your other levels.

Btw, yes the 0,0,20 and under 20 is a roundabout cycled tank. Keep nitrates 20 and under for best results to fish. Keep an eye on those levels for a bit incase anything happens to change.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:03 AM   #5
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Just to clarify, my PH starts around 6.8 to 7.0 and then jumps up above my API test kit which maxes out at 7.6. Is this still okay? Does anyone have any comment on a UV Sterilizer?
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:11 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by respy View Post
Just to clarify, my PH starts around 6.8 to 7.0 and then jumps up above my API test kit which maxes out at 7.6. Is this still okay? Does anyone have any comment on a UV Sterilizer?
So you are testing just before you add water, between the water you are going to use without chemicals and then test right after you treat and add to the tank?
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:21 AM   #7
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I've tested my RO water straight from the system at 6.8 to 7.0 with the added minerals. I add that water during a pwc. Then about a day or so after the pwc, my tank PH is up off the API chart. I'm guessing by the shade of blue, it's probably right around an 8.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by respy View Post
I've tested my RO water straight from the system at 6.8 to 7.0 with the added minerals. I add that water during a pwc. Then about a day or so after the pwc, my tank PH is up off the API chart. I'm guessing by the shade of blue, it's probably right around an 8.
Well, as long as your fish show no sign of stress it should be ok. Alot of fish seem to adjust especially after a few days. Like most say, PH isn't so much your concern if fish are fine with it. Some have specific levels to live by when breeding or as far as softer water, but it is mainly maintaining a constant PH compared to trying to fix what we think is normal. Every tank is different.
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