View Full Version : Bacteria Bloom

02-16-2003, 05:08 PM
Well, I went and did it. I got so overexcited about getting new fish that I mucked up the filtration in my 135g causing a massive bacterial bloom. :oops:

It didn't help that one of my cycled Emp 400s burned out on me so that I had to go with one cycled Emp 400 and one uncycled AC 300. Will those two provide enough filtration when things get back to normal?

After about four days, I noticed that the water was a little cloudy when I left for work. When I got back, the water was opaque, but the five julis seemed fine. Two hours after that, the julis were in serious distress and had to be removed to my 55g (it'll work for now, but it's less than optimal for them).

The water in my 135g is just like milk and the ammonia tests out sky high (too high for the test to register). I have yet to find any measurable nitrate in it. It's been that way for about 5 days. I've trained draining the tank down to about 4" of water, and refilling it to dilute. I've added some Cycle to it, but it obviously has plenty of bacteria. Is there anything else I can try doing to get the bloom under control? Or, am I just going to have to wait and let nature take its course?

Oh, the cycled Emp had to be removed to provide enough filtration for my 30g which is now a holding tank for the rest fo the fish who are waiting to move into their permanent home. So, I'm really only operating on the AC 300 at the present time. :cry:

02-16-2003, 05:53 PM
I would keep doing water changes. A 25-40% once every 3 days if it is really bad. Make sure you add conditioner. Monitor the Ammonia levels and see if they go down, they should abruptly spike and go down.

It will take a few weeks to get it back in good condition. You can try to get stuff that claims to take out the Ammonia.

02-16-2003, 09:12 PM
I did try some Ammo-Lock, but I can't tell that it's really had any effect. I think I'm just going to have to wait and hope the tank stabilizes with time and water changes. Thanks.

02-16-2003, 09:19 PM
You may (if you haven't already) consider doing a large 40%-50% water change and then play with removing the Amoonina and eventually nitrates. Unfortunately you will have to re-cycle your tank (so it sounds). It is possible that when you did your reading the Ammonia was spiking.

Unless there something else wrong you should be able to ride it out in a week or two. Just be glad its not salwater.

You may run into a serious algea bloom as well for a month or so. I have noticed a trend between the two.

Hopefully you haven't lost any fish.

02-16-2003, 09:48 PM
If its still good I would try to recycle anything in the filter media (from the non functional filter. Put it anywhere you can....for now at least.

02-17-2003, 11:59 AM
Buy some NiterBacter liquid to help it cycle faster. This has worked for me in the past.
I also think jnorris is right. Take any filter material out of a cycled filter, put it in the new filter, or somewhere in the tank, and let nature do the work. Make sure you do the water changes too. It helps remove the bad bacterial colonies, giving strength to the good ones.

Good luck!

02-18-2003, 03:25 PM
No, I haven't lost anybody, but they're all crammed into other tanks for the time being. I was hoping that things might clear out faster then a few weeks but it doesn't sound good.

I think we'll all survive until then, but I feel bad for my fish.

I'll keep doing regular water changes. In fact, it may be starting to die away a little since it doesn't look as bad as it did over the weekend.

Thanks for the help everyone.

02-20-2003, 09:06 PM
How are things going with the tank??? Hope all is well! :D

02-21-2003, 03:01 PM
I think we're past the crisis. The ammonia's still too high, but the bloom has conmpletely cleared out.

It's weird. All weekend all you could see inside the tank was a vague pinkish glow off the tops of the rocks. You couldn't even tell they were rocks. I have a dark blue background on the tank and you couldn't tell. It was all milk-white. But in about 48 hrs we've gone from that to almost completely clear. (Obviously, I've not had much experience with blooms.)

I haven't tested the nitrates or the pH, but I figured that could wait until the ammonia is under control. Since there aren't any fish in there, I haven't been testing everything.

Thanks for the advice.

02-21-2003, 09:32 PM
Glad to hear it! I know it's a nuisance, but it does pass eventually.

After a week or to the ammonia should drop off and test out to zero.
While the ammonia is high, chances are the nitrites and nitrates will be high too.

02-23-2003, 07:08 PM
Tested my ammonia and nitrites/nitrates today:

ammonia 3.0 mg/l
nitrates somewhere between <0.3 mg/l and 0.3 mg/l

If I'm going to have a spike there, I haven't seen it yet, and the ammonia has dropped drastically in the last four days. It used to be so high I couldn't figure out how much was in there. There are some nitrates and nitrites in the tank, but I haven't seen an increase yet. Still the ammonia has a lot of dropping off to do before I'd consider trying a few fish in there.

02-23-2003, 11:18 PM
That was probably your spike then and it's continuing to fall.

Great! Do you have your fish already, or are you going to get new inhabitants? To me setting up a new tank is so exciting. I love to pick out fish. It must be an extension of the shopping thing they say women have.

My husband told me tonight that I'm banned from the lfs! :roll: :shock: :lol: