Bacteria bloom?

sarajwinter

Member
Hello! So excited to be a new member of Fishlore. I've had a 25 gallon tank for 2 years. I have 4 black skirt tetras, 3 mollies, a cory catfish, and a gourami. As I said, I've had this tank for 2 years, but I'm still learning so much. I just did a total gravel change with a 50% water change about 12 days ago. I did this because my tank was infected with ich and took out several of my fish. My fish are happy and healthy, swimming all over the tank. My question is, why is my tank so cloudy? Would this be The tank cycling again?
 

SotaAquatics

Member
Looks like a bacteria bloom. If you replaced all your gravel along with a 50% water change you probably got rid of most of your beneficial bacteria, especially if you were also treating the tank with meds just prior. I would watch your ammonia/nitrite levels just to make sure they aren't spiking and things should settle soon enough. Water changes don't usually help much with this type of bacterial bloom, it adds new silica to the water which the bacteria use, they will just come right back.
 
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sarajwinter

Member
SotaAquatics said:
Looks like a bacteria bloom. If you replaced all your gravel along with a 50% water change you probably got rid of most of your beneficial bacteria, especially if you were also treating the tank with meds just prior. I would watch your ammonia/nitrite levels just to make sure they aren't spiking and things should settle soon enough. Water changes don't usually help much with this type of bacterial bloom, it adds new silica to the water which the bacteria use, they will just come right back.
Thank you so much for the reply. So, it's better to just let it do it's thing than try to treat the cloudy water? Also, I just checked my ammonia and you were right, it's high. I treated it with ammonia lock.
 

SotaAquatics

Member
The cloudy water could be treated with a UV filter if you have one. Typically bacterial blooms have no impact on the fish however really big ones can lower oxygen in the water. As long as your filter is running you should be fine, an air stone can be added if it gives you peace of mind but sounds like the fish are doing well.

I would make sure to watch the ammonia levels and keep dosing ammonia lock as needed, sounds like the tank is going to need to recycle. You can still do water changes to help lower the ammonia/nitrite levels, it just wont do much to get rid of the cloudy water.
 

DoubleDutch

Member
Bacterial blooms are in most cases caused by different species of bacteria (heterotrophic). Best is to do absolutely nothing.
 

ZachG

Member
I used a UV filter and the water was crystal clear after a week.
 
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sarajwinter

Member
SotaAquatics said:
The cloudy water could be treated with a UV filter if you have one. Typically bacterial blooms have no impact on the fish however really big ones can lower oxygen in the water. As long as your filter is running you should be fine, an air stone can be added if it gives you peace of mind but sounds like the fish are doing well.

I would make sure to watch the ammonia levels and keep dosing ammonia lock as needed, sounds like the tank is going to need to recycle. You can still do water changes to help lower the ammonia/nitrite levels, it just wont do much to get rid of the cloudy water.
Thank you so much! I went to Petco and got an air stone this morning. The fish seem totally happy and unphased by the cloudiness, in fact they look better than ever! My ammonia is still high, would the ammonia lock from yesterday still be working? Or should I dose again?
 

SotaAquatics

Member
sarajwinter said:
Thank you so much! I went to Petco and got an air stone this morning. The fish seem totally happy and unphased by the cloudiness, in fact they look better than ever! My ammonia is still high, would the ammonia lock from yesterday still be working? Or should I dose again?
I am not sure on ammo lock. I use Seachem Prime as a dechlorinator and ammonia inhibitor if there is a spike. I know with Prime it has to be dosed every 24 hours.

The below is what I see from API's website on Ammo Lock.

Add 5 ml. per 10 gallons of aquarium water. Add every two days until ammonia is not detected.
 

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