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29 gal 1 month later - algae or bacteria bloom?

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 10:38 pm
by boet
My 29 planted turned 1 month old on the 14th this Nov. and water parameters are looking so very good with healthy and happy looking fish but water continues to be cloudy.

API Tube testing:
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0
pH 7 (strip was testing as 6.6 but API tube tests say 7!)
Temp 76-77
I use a Satellite fixture with a 64 watt 10,000 K bulb over an all-glass versa top. No C02. I dose with Flourish Excel 1/2 cap every other day after the initial dose of a 1 fat capful. I also use an entire capful after a weekly 40 % WC. Maybe I need to dose more?

I was initially having trouble with diatoms all over the place but that appears to be going away now. My problem is with continued cloudy water. I have lots of algae covering the tops of my driftwood and rocks as well as some of the plants - some of the sediment looks like bits of algae but it does not make the water look green. I see all these tiny whitish specs making a cloudy appearance - they even appears to spit come out of the whisper 30 filter. Is it too early to expect the water to clear since this is a new tank setup?

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 11:58 pm
by William

Patience my friend - your description sounds typical of a new setup, yes 1 month is still a new setup (IME). The Algae you are describing is normal and as long as it doesn't get out of hand. If the algae becomes a real concern cut back the photo-period, BTW what is your lighting schedule?

The cloudy water will clear as the tank ages. If water clarity bothers you bump up the water changes until the issue dissipates. Whatever you do resist the quick fix in a bottle the LFS may offer, avoid excess cleaning of the filter, maintain a strict water change regimen and be patient.

Best regards,


PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 12:10 am
by Mr. Firemouth
Flourish Excel is a biocide product.

This product delivers a unique carbon source to plants in tanks lacking CO2. Overdosing can have detrimental affects.

A better route IME is to start over and add soil to the substrate. A 1" laye of soil under 2" of gravel in a 29g will offer your plants everything they need.

This can be somewhat sloppy at first but water will clear. Make sure you keep the soil covered by gravel so it doesn't cloud the water.

Your tank is new and if cloudy water is present, it represents bacteria unless it is green. Then it is an algal bloom.

The use of a strong airstone will eliminate the cloudy water. It will also degass CO2. So not a good option for a planted tank.

A water change of 20% will help also.
William is right about your tank being new and to be patient. When in doubt perform a water change. Try to refrain from adding chemicals to a new system. Only dose when necessary.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 12:59 am
by boet
Thanks to both of you. I will be patient :whistle: Before I received this response I removed the AC from the filter and added new floss. I also hung my aquarium vacuum cleaner for a while to pick up some of the floatings. I did a partial WC 2 days ago and with good water parameters I chose to not do another at this juncture.

My lighting schedule is on a timer and has been the following:

On: 6am
Off: 11am
On: 2:30pm
Off: 7:30pm = 10 hours

I decided today to change this as well to:

On 9:30 am
Off 7:30 am = 10 hours

Is this better then breaking up the light schedule as before?

Regarding my soil. I have a mix of Schultz Aquatic Plant Soil (Arcillite), never used ceramic media from BiOrb, small amt of black gravel and all topped with a 20 lb bag of Eco-Complete for Planted Tanks. Tahitian Moon Sand beach in front 4 inches - 1 inch deep for cory cats which they love :)

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:03 am
by boet
One more tidbit on my tank. In addition to the HOB Whisper filter I have a sponge filter. I plan on upgrading to a Filstar XP1 soon.