Is algae my problem or something else?

SMurray

Is this algae trying to develop? This 10 gallon tank has been running for around 3 or 4 months. I've used it to quarantine new fish that I eventually transferred to my 55g after 4 weeks. I put the fish that are in the 10g now in there 2 weeks ago. I change water weekly. I haven't had any issues. I use well tap water so there's no chlorine. I use API tap water conditioner when I do water changes. I just changed 75% of water Saturday. I got home this afternoon to a cloudy tank with a film on all sides of the glass and all over the sponge filter. I changed out about 75% water again and refilled it. The posted pics are how it looks now.

Any ideas?

The bottom pic is my 55g that I use the same water and the same water conditioner for. It's very clear. So, I'm confused about the 10g tank.
 

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Silverleaf209

What is the white stuff on the bubbler, do you know?
 

SMurray

What is the white stuff on the bubbler, do you know?
What is the white stuff on the bubbler, do you know?
No idea. It wasn't there yesterday. I squeezed out the sponge but didn't think about that part. I'm gonna take it out and wipe it off now.
No idea. It wasn't there yesterday. I squeezed out the sponge but didn't think about that part. I'm gonna take it out and wipe it off now.
My water looks cloudy, but when I scoop some up in a tube to test, it's clear. I cleaned the bubbler. It was milky like. I posted pics of it and my water. The water was 75% changed this evening
My High PH is about 7.8
My Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrates are all 0.
 

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Silverleaf209

I wonder if that will help some, it might have been spraying whatever that is into the water, or the water clogged that up, either way I am sure the bubbler was not helping your situation. Hope that helps some let me know what happens please!
 

SMurray

StarGirl or CindiL do you have any ideas?
I wonder if that will help some, it might have been spraying whatever that is into the water, or the water clogged that up, either way I am sure the bubbler was not helping your situation. Hope that helps some let me know what happens please!
I just found postings about a bacterial bloom. I am now wondering if that's what it is. It literally happened over night.
 

StarGirl

It does look like a bacteria bloom. It more than likely will go away as soon as it came. Do you have a HOB filter? If not and If you have a spare you can fill it with carbon and floss that should help.
 

V1K

Bacterial bloom would suggest disturbance in nitrogen cycle. Taking fish out would have made the bacteria die off, which is the opposite. Did you add more fish to it after that, forcing the bacteria to repopulate? Or maybe did a deep cleaning recently?
 

Nopsu

Bacterial blooms sometimes appear suddenly and go away as fast after a while like Stargirl said. I would say just take a cup of your favourite beverage and wait patienly for few days.
It should go away by itself so changing more water is not needed and it's not harmful.
"Bacterial blooms are common in tanks with apparently no organics present (for example, where all that is in the tank is water and ammonia for a fishless cycle). This is caused by the dechlorination of the water suddenly enabling the water to support bacterial populations. The heterotrophs immediately get to work on the organics in the water itself. " - from the PrucePets
 

SparkyJones

I've had this happen with a sponge filter, I cleaned it out really good in waste tank water, maybe a bit too vigorously, it didn't crash my cycle but the tank went milky for 3 weeks and a lot of biofilm build up during that period. I'm guessing the balance of the tank shifted and gave an opportunity for heterotrophic bacteria to bloom and take over until the autotrophs in the filter recovered and then it went clear again. Now I just squeeze it once or twice between dipping it in and out of the waste water bucket, not wringing it out, and it seems to work well and not getting the milky water.
 

SMurray

It does look like a bacteria bloom. It more than likely will go away as soon as it came. Do you have a HOB filter? If not and If you have a spare you can fill it with carbon and floss that should help.
Thanks! After I started reading everything I could find, the bacterial bloom made more sense. I do use a HOB filter and also the sponge filter. I don't have any carbon on hand I don't think. I just ordered some that will be in Thursday. Do I run my regular sponge and floss in the HOB with it or just the carbon and floss until it's clear then put my regular sponge and floss back in?
Bacterial bloom would suggest disturbance in nitrogen cycle. Taking fish out would have made the bacteria die off, which is the opposite. Did you add more fish to it after that, forcing the bacteria to repopulate? Or maybe did a deep cleaning recently?
2 and 1/2 weeks ago (Saturday June 4th) I put a dwarf gourami, 5 guppies, and 6 cory's. Some of the cory's are moving to my 55g once the quarantine is over. The tank has been cycled for a few months because I used it to quarantine new fish before moving them to my 55g. I did have 1 guppy die recently and it took me a little bit to find it because it was down in the gravel, but I believe it's because it was really small. Maybe the start of decay from that was the trigger. There hasn't been any signs of disease or stress. I done approximately 75% water changes on Saturday June 11th (without gravel cleaning because I was waiting on a smaller cleaner) and Saturday June 18th (with gravel cleaning). The pics are what I came home to yesterday. I guess when I cleaned the gravel it threw everything out of whack. I've never dealt with this, so I really had no clue.
 

SparkyJones

Thanks! After I started reading everything I could find, the bacterial bloom made more sense. I do use a HOB filter and also the sponge filter. I don't have any carbon on hand I don't think. I could order some, but I'm hoping it doesn't last long.

2 and 1/2 weeks ago (Saturday June 4th) I put a dwarf gourami, 5 guppies, and 6 cory's. Some of the cory's are moving to my 55g once the quarantine is over. The tank has been cycled for a few months because I used it to quarantine new fish before moving them to my 55g. I did have 1 guppy die recently and it took me a little bit to find it because it was down in the gravel, but I believe it's because it was really small. Maybe the start of decay from that was the trigger. There hasn't been any signs of disease or stress. I done approximately 75% water changes on Saturday June 11th (without gravel cleaning because I was waiting on a smaller cleaner) and Saturday June 18th (with gravel cleaning). The pics are what I came home to yesterday. I guess when I cleaned the gravel it threw everything out of whack. I've never dealt with this, so I really had no clue.
this issue usually comes from too much protein or carbohydrates in the water (uneaten food or a dead fish, dead plants, proteins in fish waste, uneaten food) and then a change to the filter or the bioload, as far as I can tell (like cleaning it at the wrong time and reducing the colony some, or adding a bunch of fish or removing a bunch of fish at once, a fast bioload change) when it happens on a cycled tank.
Sometimes during cycling it can happen when there is like new driftwood in the tank that's soaking in the water and releasing sugars (carbs), Heterotropic bacteria like Bacillus bacteria, multiplies rapidly (like every 15 minutes, compared to the nitrifiers which multiply every 15 hours), So what the Heterotrophs do is if theres a carbohydrate or protein source,(even dead nitrifying bacteria) they consume it and multiply rapidly and bloom, and eventually their population crashes, too big to sustain and they deplete the resource. As they consume proteins and carbohydrates, they produce ammonia which feeds the nitrifiers who multiply and eventually take over as the heterotrophs run out of resource to consume.

There's always some of the hetrotropic bacteria around, in low numbers, they are decomposers, just not a lot unless a situation occurs where they can bloom and cloud up the water and leave a white film as they do their thing.

Doing nothing gets rid of it faster than water changes trying to clear it up, water changes just knock the population down, slow their consumption of the resource and give them more room to reproduce, lengthening the problem.
Clean up real well to remove hopefully what they are consuming, and wait for the water to clear on it's own, then clean up again real well to remove whatever film is left from them and it's done.
I've done waterchanges and clarifiers in the past, it all just makes it go on forever (months) and worse than it was initially., A good clean up and then just let it run it's course is the fastest and easiest way to resolve it. then a clean up afterwards. .

Technically part of the "cycle" also really. they are decomposing dead proteins and stuff the nitrifiers don't touch into ammonia so then the nitrifiers can do their thing.

it an be a disturbance in your cycle like a percentage die off of nitrifiers, it can be extra proteins or carbs/sugars from a death that caused a bloom, or a whole lot of waste and uneaten food in the gravel. Your nitrifiers are fine and as they were even, but the speed at which the hetrotrophs reproduce they can sometimes overwhelm the nitrifying bacteria colony's capability to process ammonia or nitrites and the ppm climbs as it backlogs, or they can cause oxygen depletion in really severe cases like a large dead fish left to decompose completely and the autotrophs capable of multiplying to almost infinity in a small space of a fish tank.

A whole lot of times, it just looks bad for a week or so, and there's a big pile of nitrates at the end and a film on everything that needs to be cleaned up.
 

SMurray

this issue usually comes from too much protein or carbohydrates in the water (uneaten food or a dead fish, dead plants, proteins in fish waste, uneaten food) and then a change to the filter or the bioload, as far as I can tell (like cleaning it at the wrong time and reducing the colony some, or adding a bunch of fish or removing a bunch of fish at once, a fast bioload change) when it happens on a cycled tank.
Sometimes during cycling it can happen when there is like new driftwood in the tank that's soaking in the water and releasing sugars (carbs), Heterotropic bacteria like Bacillus bacteria, multiplies rapidly (like every 15 minutes, compared to the nitrifiers which multiply every 15 hours), So what the Heterotrophs do is if theres a carbohydrate or protein source,(even dead nitrifying bacteria) they consume it and multiply rapidly and bloom, and eventually their population crashes, too big to sustain and they deplete the resource. As they consume proteins and carbohydrates, they produce ammonia which feeds the nitrifiers who multiply and eventually take over as the heterotrophs run out of resource to consume.

There's always some of the hetrotropic bacteria around, in low numbers, they are decomposers, just not a lot unless a situation occurs where they can bloom and cloud up the water and leave a white film as they do their thing.

Doing nothing gets rid of it faster than water changes trying to clear it up, water changes just knock the population down, slow their consumption of the resource and give them more room to reproduce, lengthening the problem.
Clean up real well to remove hopefully what they are consuming, and wait for the water to clear on it's own, then clean up again real well to remove whatever film is left from them and it's done.
I've done waterchanges and clarifiers in the past, it all just makes it go on forever (months) and worse than it was initially., A good clean up and then just let it run it's course is the fastest and easiest way to resolve it. then a clean up afterwards. .

Technically part of the "cycle" also really. they are decomposing dead proteins and stuff the nitrifiers don't touch into ammonia so then the nitrifiers can do their thing.

it an be a disturbance in your cycle like a percentage die off of nitrifiers, it can be extra proteins or carbs/sugars from a death that caused a bloom, or a whole lot of waste and uneaten food in the gravel. Your nitrifiers are fine and as they were even, but the speed at which the hetrotrophs reproduce they can sometimes overwhelm the nitrifying bacteria colony's capability to process ammonia or nitrites and the ppm climbs as it backlogs, or they can cause oxygen depletion in really severe cases like a large dead fish left to decompose completely and the autotrophs capable of multiplying to almost infinity in a small space of a fish tank.

A whole lot of times, it just looks bad for a week or so, and there's a big pile of nitrates at the end and a film on everything that needs to be cleaned up.
Glad to know it's something that will straighten out. I was worried. So, do I need to run carbon briefly or not? Also, since I changed the water yesterday, should I just keep a check on my nitrates and wait until it's cleared up to vacuum and change the water again?
 

SparkyJones

Glad to know it's something that will straighten out. I was worried. So, do I need to run carbon briefly or not? Also, since I changed the water yesterday, should I just keep a check on my nitrates and wait until it's cleared up to vacuum and change the water again?
unless you used meds and want to remove them, carbon won't do much to clear it up. they will bloom, consume the abundance of whatever it is and then die off to normal numbers again.

Yeah, if you have fish in there keep an eye on ammonia, nitrites and nitrates and water change if any of them get too high, you can let nitrates run up a bit though if the fish are adults and not juveniles, it won't affect adults as badly as it would affect juveniles growth and development.

if your cycle is handling the ammonia they produce you don't have to do anything, if you get an ammonia or nitrite spike you might want to dose a water conditioner that binds ammonia and nitrites as non-toxic and do a water change to bring it down. The less you do, the faster they hit their max population for the resource that caused the bloom and naturally downsize again and the water will clear, so if you can hold off and let it do it's thing, you'll have a bigger nitrifier colony, and then you can reduce nitrates.

With fish in, as long as you keep an eye on the ammonia and nitrites and catch a spike starting if it happens, it should be fine. if there isn't a spike on either of those, then it's not even close to big enough of a bloom for an O2 depletion to occur. Fish can handle a short term nitrate build up.

if no fish in the tank to worry about a spike, just come back in a week or so and clean up and do a water change to reduce nitrates and good to go again.
 

SMurray

unless you used meds and want to remove them, carbon won't do much to clear it up. they will bloom, consume the abundance of whatever it is and then die off to normal numbers again.

Yeah, if you have fish in there keep an eye on ammonia, nitrites and nitrates and water change if any of them get too high, you can let nitrates run up a bit though if the fish are adults and not juveniles, it won't affect adults as badly as it would affect juveniles growth and development.

if your cycle is handling the ammonia they produce you don't have to do anything, if you get an ammonia or nitrite spike you might want to dose a water conditioner that binds ammonia and nitrites as non-toxic and do a water change to bring it down. The less you do, the faster they hit their max population for the resource that caused the bloom and naturally downsize again and the water will clear, so if you can hold off and let it do it's thing, you'll have a bigger nitrifier colony, and then you can reduce nitrates.

With fish in, as long as you keep an eye on the ammonia and nitrites and catch a spike starting if it happens, it should be fine. if there isn't a spike on either of those, then it's not even close to big enough of a bloom for an O2 depletion to occur. Fish can handle a short term nitrate build up.

if no fish in the tank to worry about a spike, just come back in a week or so and clean up and do a water change to reduce nitrates and good to go again.
No I haven't used meds. So, since I do have juvenile fish in there, I will leave the water as is but monitor daily just to be safe. Then once it's cleared up, I'll do a vacuum and water change. Thanks a bunch!
 

SparkyJones

No I haven't used meds. So, since I do have juvenile fish in there, I will leave the water as is but monitor daily just to be safe. Then once it's cleared up, I'll do a vacuum and water change. Thanks a bunch!
If juveniles, Don't let nitrates go past 20ppm without a water change. From my experience, stunting can happen when nitrates go up unchecked beyond there and stay up there for a while. development issues, smaller sized fish, ect.

You can just do small water changes to keep it where it's cool. the ammonia and nitrites are the real big problem if they spike and what to watch out for. if that doesn't happen it should be fine, even nitrates shouldn't get "crazy" out of hand without the nitrifiers getting overwhelmed by the ammonia production.
 

SMurray

If juveniles, Don't let nitrates go past 20ppm without a water change. From my experience, stunting can happen when nitrates go up unchecked beyond there and stay up there for a while. development issues, smaller sized fish, ect.

You can just do small water changes to keep it where it's cool. the ammonia and nitrites are the real big problem if they spike and what to watch out for. if that doesn't happen it should be fine, even nitrates shouldn't get "crazy" out of hand without the nitrifiers getting overwhelmed by the ammonia production.
Ok. I'll definitely check those every evening when I get home. Hopefully, it will straighten itself out soon.
 

SMurray

Well my 10 gallon bacteria bloom cleared up. It didn't take it very long. Yesterday I cleaned my 55 gallon and took out the decorations on one side and done a thorough gravel cleaning and then changed out about 80% of the water. And low and behold, now there is a bacteria bloom in it. It's not quite as bad. I hope it clears in a few days.
 

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