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ManinOZ

Bacterial Bloom + New to fish keeping = My daughter and wife very upset at me. HELP!

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Hello,

I know this had probably been asked 1000000000000000 times on this forum and I do apologise for asking again but i can't seem to find a solution.

Lets start from the beginning

WE got my daughter a:

Blue Planet 'Classic 20' 20L tank (inbuilt filter and light)

Bag of pretty pink gravel

Used:

quick start

water ager CN

(had no idea was cycling was...)

Fish added:

2x white cloud minnows

1 x Shukbukin Goldfish

long story short:

1 minnow and goldfish died (backend floated up fish could get deep)

got a bad algal bloom

took last minnow out kept it in a vase for 3 weeks.

emptied tank cleaned it with tap water (including the activated carbon in the filter.) left the glass and the gravel in the sun for a few days.

Put it all back together

tried to cycle water (again without knowing what i was doing...[no boilogical material to create ammonia{i know. i know}])

added prime, quick start, ph balanced,

placed minnow back in

bought a heater (defiantly big enough for little tank)

added 2 x guppies and 1 x BN catfish.

guppies ate minnow's tail. it died.

one guppy died. (within 3 days of adding to tank)

all good for a few weeks.

Went away for weekend, over fed fish.

came to the tank so cloudy that you can even see 5 cm deep into the water.

PH 6.4

Ammoina 8+ppm

nitrare 0

nitrite 0

been like this for over 2 weeks. fish seem fine (when i can actually see them)

been adding prime, quick start and ammolock every 2 days.

10% water changes (tap water)

no change to water levels or cloudiness.

added a bag of Purigen to filter box a week ago

Wife very angry, daughter too,

Please help.

sorry for the long message tries to be short!

(my wife keeps saying a cat would be cheaper)

THANKS

Edited by ManinOZ
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Wow, where to start.

Forget adding fish for a while you need to grow some bacteria in your filter to eat the amonia generated from the fish and fish food.

So the nitrogen cycle is what you want to reed up on.

what media do you have in the filter?

most importntly dont wash anything in tap water use aquarium water from when you water change.

the fish you currently have are most likely going to die, sorry.

best thing to do right now is keep dosing with prime and your 10% w/c make sure you are dosing the total volume of the tank not just wht is removed.

cycling a tank can take a 4 weeks there are ways to cheat but that will come with experience.

best of luck

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the filter is a box that has 3 zones.

Zone 1, some white tubular things,

Zone 2, a bag of black rocks (it think its carbon), a bag of Purigen, all wrapped in a white spongey cloth

Zone 3, 5 black balls that have grooves in them.

one aquirium place said if i can keep the PH below 7 the ammonia is actually ammonium which is less toxic?

Also there is foam floating on the top of the water.

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Below 6 ph creates ammonium but prime does the same thing to detoxify ammonia.

Stop adding quick start, you already have more than enough ammonia to start the cycle. You also won't need ammo lock if you're using prime.

Do 10% waterchange every 2 days for a week then test the the water again.

Then go to 2 waterchanges in the following week and test again.

You want the ammonia to disappear and nitrite to appear then nitrite to disappear and nitrate to appear once that's happened the tank is cycled and you use waterchanges to remove nitrates. You could put some elodea or val (plants) in to help keep levels down.

Maybe someone local could give you some water with a squeeze from a sponge filter, it looks bad but works well.

The foam would be from all the chemicals.

Since you have purigen you don't need carbon and the black circle things with lines on them sound like bio balls which aren't very effective in the type of filter you have so you would be better using the spot for more ceramic rings and some dacron for water polishing.

Dacron will need to be changed weekly.

If you get a chance try to get to age of aquariums at browns Plains, they can help with advice and it's also the cheapest place on the southside for dry goods.

Cheers mick

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I've reduced the feed to once every 4 days

Less is always better. Fish can easily go two weeks without a feed. They often go longer in the wild. When you do get new fish ( I agree the ones you currently have, probably won't make it), only buy one or two to start off with. Also where are you buying your fish ? If it is a Pet Barn like place forget it. Go find yourself a good Local Aquarium shop, plenty on the west side of Brisbane that I would recommend.

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We get people with this exact same problem every day.

Its simple really, the supplied filter media can support the waste of a single guppy.

If you want more than that, then you need to upgrade the filter media. Your focus should be 99% on biological filtration.

As it stands only the white ceramic media is really doing anything helpful.....

So,

1) keep the white ceramics

2) keep the purigen BUT combine it with coarse filter sponge.

3) replace plastic bio balls with ceramic rings. I often find it more efficient to crack the rings in half. That way I can fit more in.

This is a long term fix with a focus on moving away from consumable filter media and increasing population density of waste eating filter microbes.

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Keep it simple man, some ceramic rings and a bit of coarse foam would do the job nicely.

In a perfect world the rings would come from a mature filter.

I cant add links to products as my post will get deleted.

But yea you want as much hard bio as possible. Then some coarse foam and yea that purigen as the cherry on the top.

Make sure you only clean ceramics and coarse sponge using water taken from aquarium. Tap water would kill all the good guys with chlorine.

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Just curious why do you need to use prime for the entire tank volume, not just the volume you changed?

it depends on a lot of things.

in this case you are trying to bind ammonia and other nastys in the tank, as well as the new water being added. so if you only added for the amount you replaced you would not have enough.

also this applies if you are filling a tank from a hose of of mains water and not pre mixing your water. as the amount of neutralizer added will bind to other chemicals in the tank before you have re filed the tank thus leaving chlorine in the tank.

now if you were to pre mix and treat your water before adding it to the tank as some do with water storage then you only need to treat the amount you are replacing.

e.g i remove 10L of water from the tank and have a 10L bucket of tap water and i add the prime to the bucket i don't need to dose the total volume. as i have treated the new water separate from the aquarium.

but like i said in this case you are trying to neutralize nastys in the tank as well as the new water.

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Some great advice in this thread!

Surely there is a member close by that can squeeze some crap from a filter to help you get started, if someone offers it, take them up on the offer. It's definitely a good idea and a simple (though ugly) way to boot you filter into doing what you need it to.

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Too bad i am just setting up a tank yesterday after years away of having fish tanks.

Might be best just leave it along and it should clear soon.

Could be a stupid suggestion but you could go buy 2 9L bucket, fill them up, add prime, leave it for hour and change the water. But do not clean the filter, gravel etc. You will have a clear tank then.

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Too bad i am just setting up a tank yesterday after years away of having fish tanks.

Might be best just leave it along and it should clear soon.

Could be a stupid suggestion but you could go buy 2 9L bucket, fill them up, add prime, leave it for hour and change the water. But do not clean the filter, gravel etc. You will have a clear tank then.

then you have the issue of no food source for your developing bacteria in your filter as well as a ph swing and possible temp swing (which can knock bacteria around). which then leads to you having to add another sauce of ammonia to feed the filter ect ect.

best to just let it do its thing

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