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Thread: Maybe not algae, but I'm stumped
10-06-2012, 06:55 AM #11
Originally Posted by dmagerl
Also, I lack a magnifying glass or microscope so I can't get a close-up look. But looking at the shapes of vorticella and rotifers via the magic of Google image search, I can tell you that from what I can see doesn't fit the look of either and appears a lot more like bryozoans. Rather like this instead of this or this. The... flagellae, I guess, are much longer and appear pretty brush-like. Whatever they are, they're dying back what with the major upset in the tank, and their presence far preceded that of the "fungus".
10-06-2012, 07:02 AM #12
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im not sure what it is, just recently my tanks were in complete darkness for 5 days, when the lights came back on i noticed a white film very similar in looks but not quantity as your. i scrubbed it off my wood and just stirred it out of my gravel, and did a good wc, havent seen it agian....
what are your lighting habbits for the tank?KING OF THE GOLD BARBS RAWR!!!!
I wonder if i plant one of my tiger barbs would the demon seed grow to a full tree?
gotta love them bunnies!
I.R.S.: We've got what it takes to take what you've got!
10-06-2012, 11:48 PM #13
Right now, my habits consist of a long period of light daily. It's 6 gallon tank with a 15 watt fixture, so I get a steady low-moderate light on it, for 12 or 13 hours.
I figured that if the stuff is a fungus, it won't grow as much in light (and the light serves to fuel its competition), especially seeing as one of the fundamentals I learned way back in grade school is that molds and other fungus grow best in low light (or darkness), warm and damp conditions. With that in mind, I was already keeping the tank at a pretty steady 76°F, though the damp obviously can't be helped!
10-10-2012, 01:39 AM #14
Sorry but 12 - 13 hours of light is WAY too much! Use 6 - 8 max. Even this might be too much. Additives will NEVER speed a bio-filter - utter waste of money. Anti-ammonia chemicals are very useful and a very good idea. A pH of 6.0 will stop any bio-filter. Anything at 6.1/6.2 will nearly stop it. You need water changes - near 100% when the ammonia and/or nitrite are non-zero and 50% every day to keep these values below o.1 ppm until the bio-filter kicks in. If the pH stays below 6.5 you will never get bio-action to work well enough and only water changes will work OR an algae filter. A water fall (or bubble fall) algae filter, I would think, is the best option if you have low (acid) pH.
10-10-2012, 01:48 AM #15
The additive most likely was long dead and being sealed, very bad bacteria grew in the oxygen free enviroment. Your filter should never have been able to allow that to grow unless you had a very low oxygen area in the filter. That would mean that filter is very poor quality - consider a better filter.
Long light periods using an aquarium light will do little to hurt fungus (its protected by water. Natural sunlight has UV and that kills fungus, not visible light.) However, you will get a huge algae growth with light that long. Fungus needs food and that can be fish waste building up (your high ammonia/nitrite levels, for instance.)
Hope things get better.
Last edited by Cermet; 10-10-2012 at 01:56 AM.
10-18-2012, 04:23 AM #16
It appears that the ammonia levels were what was interfering with the recovery of my biological filter (not low pH, since that cleared up with a water change and since I began to float a cuttlebone in-tank to help buffer the water's hardness) -- a few days after I began using some API Ammo-Lock to detoxify the ammonia, I noticed the nitrite levels rising slightly. Later on I realized that this tank was churning out or had accrued a lot of ammonia to the point that daily and bi-daily water changes plus ammo lock did little to stem the tide (didn't have much detritus buildup until after the fungus -- perhaps the dead algae and bryozoans added to it, and then the fungus' waste or remains during and after its blooms -- now I have a relatively small but still noticeable amount of mulm sitting on top of the plant substrate, below the gravel line and disturbing the waters too much will churn some of that up, like during water changes).
So then I ended up realizing that hey, actually bringing in some chemical filtration will do wonders here (I had been avoiding it since I jumped on the biological bandwagon). I bought a cheap Whisper 10 gallon filter (no room for more media in the pithy little Eclipse filter) and filled it with zeolite and foam for extra mechanical filtration. Two days later and it's dropped from obscene levels of ammonia (that by all rights should have killed most things in the tank since it often climbed so high within 24 hours that my drops-and-phial-based ammonia test kit often showed dark blue-green -- not even shown on the chart, but definitely way too much) to between 0.2-0.5ppm. I wish I had thought of that far sooner!
The only downside is that as I said, the biological filter's recovery was really stymied by the high ammonia concentration, so during that ammonia plunge the bacteria began working overtime. Nitrites shot up within a day to ~1-2ppm and I lost three shrimp in the mess (RIP, you otherwise bizarrely hardy little guys ). The guppy-mommy has also developed a case of gill flukes the day after introducing the extra filtration, so I'm treating her for that. As of now, she's hanging near the bottom less than in the previous two days and has stopped flashing, but hasn't been gasping for breath much overall -- only looking as if she's trying to cough something up.
I also made some other discoveries in regard to the "fungus" -- what was causing it to bloom back was not the water changes, but the water conditioner I was using as well as an additive to help beat back a couple mild cases of fin rot I encountered (API Stress Coat and Pimafix). Switching to Seachem Prime alleviated this issue and I have no reason to use the Pimafix any longer, so now I don't have to worry much about that white junk creeping back. I guess that something in those were really beneficial to its growth.
Overall this ride has definitely been a learning experience, and I hope things continue to improve!
10-18-2012, 11:35 AM #17
Excellent and a good idea to use an ammonia absorber - remember that the zeolite will slow down and stop working after it absorps its max amount of ammonia; so, keep an eye on the levels and replace the zeolite as needed. However, still do large water changes daily until the filter fully cycles (or ammonia is under 0.25 ppm) and nitrites drop to zero (good news that you reached that stage.)
Once your water parameters stay in line, the fish illnesses will most likely stop. Consider a tsp of salt per 10 gal water to both help the fish with nitrite and deal with the fin rot. Just remember that only water changes remove salt (and it needs replacement according to the amount of water you remove to hold levels steady - once the nitrites are zero/near zero, stop any salt and let water changes remove it.) Check the instructions on the meds you are using - salt my not be allowed. If instructions are not clear on this issue, then don't use salt. One minor point - did you see flukes? Nitrite burning will cause red gills and make the fish close a gill/struggle to breath and this looks just like gill fluke issues. If their gills are hurt, then salt will help a lot (improves waste removal by the gills.)
Also, extra oxygen - by an air stone - is needed if nitrite has exceeded 0.5 ppm and is a good idea until they heal (a number of weeks) and nitrite levels drop to zero.
Seems like you are doing good - best of luck
Last edited by Cermet; 10-18-2012 at 11:42 AM.
10-18-2012, 02:35 PM #18
Doesn't the salt cause zeolite to exchange the ammonia it's absorbed back into the water? I know that's how you recharge the stuff. I may still need to keep at least a bit of zeolite in the filter for a while more if the source of the ammonia spike hasn't decomposed far enough to stop puking out more of it yet.
Also thanks for the nitrite burn info -- guppy-mom's not really responded to the medication in the ~3 days I've been treating (API General Cure) so nitrite burn is likely the culprit as I haven't actually seen any parasites in her gills or on her. I did shift her into a net box at the top of the tank right near the zeolite-filled filter outflow, so she'll be getting more oxygen there and less sitting near the likely ammonia-factory in the gravel -- plus a bit of respite from the males. :)
Last edited by Taweret; 10-18-2012 at 02:46 PM.
10-18-2012, 10:39 PM #19
You are correct about the zeolite and salt - boy, did I miss that ! You are sharp . If the ammonia levels are under 0.25 ppm, you don't need the zeolite and could then switch to salt and water changes. However, do what you feel is best - your seeing what is going on.
In any case, you want the filter to cycle so do water changes large enough so the ammonia does not exceed 0.25 ppm and with your nitrites developing, keep those as close to zero as possible. The fish will produce enough ammonia to keep the bacteria growing even if you do two 90% water changes a day.
An air stone would help both the fish and cycling bacteria.