White cloud after every gravel vac

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ristin

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I vacumn my 75g tank all most every week. Sometimes I skip a week on purpose, but not to often. Some weeks I take about 50% of the water, other times about 30%, mainly depends on how dirty the gravel is. Within a few hours after vacuming, I have a bacteria bloom causing the water to turn cloudy white. What is causing this and is it an indication of instability in the tank?
Ammonia = 0
Nitrite = 0
Nitrate = 20
Temp = 72

Filtration has been a Fluval 405, but I didn't feel it was enough for my tank of finned garbage disposals so I added one of my spare Tetra 30-60 HOB's.
 

catsma_97504

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You have some hefty waste makers in your tank.

Do you change the filter at the same time you do the water change? Are you getting your nitrate down to 20 PPM after the water change? Or, is that the reading before the water change? What water conditioners are you using? What is your pH level?

You might want to try feeding less and do the water change/vaccumming more often, maybe even twice a week.

Good luck with your tank.
 
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ristin

ristin

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I rinse the Fluval sponge filter in tank water every two weeks, change the carbon every four weeks. The Tetra filter was just installed today. When the time strip indicates changing the Tetra filter, I'll remove the carbon, rinse the media and re-use. I'll only run carbon in the Fluval.

My nitrate doesn't seem to vary. I use the API master test kit, but I absolutely cannot see the color difference between the 10 & 20, they look exactly the same to me.
 

catsma_97504

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If you change the filter media, rinse the sponge and complete a water change at the same time, then this may be why you have cloudy water after every water change. You might try completing your weekly water change as usual. Then, wait a couple of days to change/rinse your filter media. Something else is to use tank water to rinse/clean the filter to avoid losing bacteria, which could cause the cloudy water.

I agree, the nitrate test is difficult to determine the level. To get accurate readings, you need to beat the 2nd bottle to break up any formed crystals. I have beaten it against the counter to break it up.

The extra filtration will definitely help. So will feeding less food to avoid any sitting on your gravel/substrate. So long as you consistently have 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites, changing the filter on a day other than the vacuuming could be enough.

Good luck.
 
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