• Welcome back Guest!

    MARSH is a private reefing group. Comments and suggestions are encouraged, but please keep them positive and constructive. Negative threads, posts, or attacks will be removed from view and reviewed by the staff. Continually disruptive, argumentative, or flagrant rule breakers may be suspended or banned.
  • Hello Guest,

    How would you like to get a Build Thread Contributor title/badge?
    Go here for instuctions.

Cloudy Tank after adding a reactor (1 Viewer)

Illusiveman

Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
27
Reaction score
24
Location
College Station
I added a GFO and Carbon Reactor two days ago to my setup. Its been working great, it cleaned up the clarity of water and I've started seeing the nuisance algae starting to bleach. But this morning, I now have white cloudy water. I'm thinking its probably a bacteria bloom. I had a lot of algae in the display and since its dying, I'm thinking there could be a spike in ammonia from it.

Today is water change day, so I plan on running test to check the levels. Any one care to give some advice on troubleshooting to find the cause?
 

SWCRitt

Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
132
Reaction score
125
Location
Greater Heights
How much carbon and GFO did you add? It does sound like a bacteria bloom, perhaps from stripping the water of nutrients. GFO should be added slowly to avoid shocking the system. Bleaching that soon after adding it sounds like too much. The algae should slowly disappear over time as you add more and more GFO to reach the phosphate levels you want. Going from a lot of phosphate to no phosphate can throw bacteria out of balance and cause stress in corals. I'd test your levels and perhaps pull back on the GFO if you have little to no phosphate. I generally start at 1/4-1/2 what the package says depending on the tank and work up to a full dose over about 2 months.
 
OP
I

Illusiveman

Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
27
Reaction score
24
Location
College Station
Thank you for the reply.

I added one cup of GFO. My total water volume is around 90 gallons. I do not have corals right now, fish only right now with live rock, because I wanted to have the system running for at least one year first and get the algae under control. I was doing 10% water change every two weeks and I recently increased that to every week about 3 weeks ago. The increased water changes I was already seeing the algae stop growing. The algae could have already been on the way bleaching before adding the GFO, but I don't disagree that slowly increasing the GFO would have been a better plan, but I'm kind of committed at this point. Maybe I can increase feeding to help compensate a bit.

My water change is going to get delayed till tomorrow, other projects I had today took longer than I thought. I was working on the Coral QT tank. Working on testing the water parameters now, i'll post soon. I don't have a phosphate tester at the moment, but it is in the shopping cart for the next order.

@SWCRitt Any other thoughts?
 
OP
I

Illusiveman

Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
27
Reaction score
24
Location
College Station
Test Results are as follows:

Ammonia = 0ppm
Nitrite = 0 ppm
Nitrate = 0 ppm
Ph = 7.6 (yikes!)
dkh = 10.5
Salinity = 1.026
 
Last edited:

SWCRitt

Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
132
Reaction score
125
Location
Greater Heights
I don't have as much experience with fish only systems, but definitely sounds like a nutrient issue. Everything in the tank, algae, bacteria, etc., feeds on nitrate and phosphate. Without the phosphate levels its harder to say exactly, but zero nitrate is a problem. You need the right ratio of nitrate and phosphate to properly feed the denitrifying bacteria in the tank without one type becoming dominate. The balance of bacteria is off and so one type has taken over. I'm guessing your nitrate was already low and after the carbon was added it bottomed out and this caused a bacteria to explode in the water column since its competition has no food and is weak/dead. Yes I'd try feeding more, don't go crazy though, and doing things like turn off your skimmer for a few hours a day until your nutrients are back up. I like the Redfield Ration for balancing my tanks. A good ratio will balance your bacteria and will help keep algae to a minimum. A good baseline to aim for is 1 nitrate and .06 phosphate, though I generally see fish only systems at the 10+ nitrate side of the ratio. Doesn't need to be spot on, just in the general area, and it will make a big difference.
1622376728965.png
 
OP
I

Illusiveman

Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
27
Reaction score
24
Location
College Station
Nice, I like the charts!

This morning the cloudiness improved a bunch, its almost all gone. Algae still dying, so much so that the power heads are blowing it off the rocks and it's clogging up the filter socks that I just changed out yesterday. Even with the water parameters pretty good, I still want to do a water change today and remove most of the algae by hand.

I'm planning on buying coals next month to go in the QT tank. I should have a good grasp on the nutrient issue by then. I'm more worried now about the Ph so low. Myself, wife, two kids, three basset hounds, and a cat, I'm sure pretty sure its a CO2 problem in the house. We also have spray foam insulation in the walls to make matters worse. I ran the protein skimmer airline outside, we'll see if that helps.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top