Cloudy Tank (and Cuttlefish Eggs)

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by magnetar68, May 30, 2013.

  1. magnetar68

    magnetar68 Guest

    My nitrates were getting higher from all of the shrimp feeds for the cuttles. At 40ppm, I noticed that the biopellets had been largely consumed so I added another cup full (Two Little Fishes NPX Biopellets). The next day the tank was all cloudy. WIthin a few days, the nitrates were back to 0, but the cloudy water did not go away. It has been 11 days and the tank is still cloudy. I noticed this weekend that the biopellets had solidified on top, so on Monday (3 days ago) I cleaned the reactor and pump and changed my reactor setup to get more flow. The flow is still great about 30% of the biopellets I added 11 days ago seemed to have been consumed. I have had cloudiness before, but it never lasted more than about 5 days. Any ideas? Also, some of the corals don't like it (I may lose the Anthelia), but the cuttles do not seem to mind it.

    Here's a video (that also shows the very far along and viable cuttlefish eggs).

  2. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Sounds like a bacteria bloom.
    I have never run biopellets, but that is supposedly an occasional issue.
    Key for bacteria blooms : Make sure your O2 levels do not drop. Keep skimmer cranking, make
    sure there are ripples and turbulence on surface.
    Suggest google : biopellet bacteria bloom.
  3. siokoy

    siokoy Supporting Member

    +1 on rygh.... Also make sure the efluent from the biopellets is going to the skimmer, water change also helps. This is the reason why I switch to sulfur media, in my opinion its easier and less maintenance.
  4. gimmito

    gimmito Guest


    Have you ever tried adding micro bacter7 from Brightwell aquatics to the bio pellet reactor ? I hear a lot of hobbyists use that in conjunction with bio pellets.
  5. Thales

    Thales Past President

    Sounds like you added too many biopellets or the flow is too high through the reactor. I hate, hate biopellets.
  6. magnetar68

    magnetar68 Guest

    I have googled this and did not find any posts that were super helpful. I do have the output going to the input of the skimmer, although I could probably rig something that is better than what I am doing now (I have seen people add "T" inputs to the skimmer input). One of the posts suggested using Microbacter7 which is what I used when I started the tank, so I added a small amount, but this morning the bloom is worse. I guess that makes sense: add more of what is causing the problem, so the problem got worse. Hopefully it will disapate by the time we have the East Bay tank tour, otherwise everyone will get to see my milky tank :).
  7. Thales

    Thales Past President

    No one really knows what to do with biopellet reactors. It's all guesswork and anecdote, which is part of the reason I hate, hate them. :D
  8. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    The solution to pollution is dilution.
    No reactor needed!
    Just do the water changes
  9. gimmito

    gimmito Guest

    Sorry to hear adding MB7 made the matter worse Ray. :(
    Cloudiness was one of the reasons I took my bio pellet reactor off line and looking into vodka dosing. I left a message with Dr. Tim Hovanous regarding the matter and hope to hear back soon (or before the East Bay tour). It can't hurt to do water changes also (as Erin suggested).

    On a side note...this would be a great question to ask Craig at the meeting.
  10. 650-IS350

    650-IS350 Supporting Member

    One reason why I never ventrured out to Bio Pellet usage... heard too many issues. I am also thinking about Vodka dosing instead.
  11. Thales

    Thales Past President

    Ray, have you reduced flow through the reactor or removed pellets from the reactor? That should cut the cloudiness in a couple days at least.

    At home, and a lot of us at work, play with dosing Vinegar spiked Kalk, but mostly because we want more kalk and less or no CaRx. You have to start slowly (and make changes slowly) and ramp it up like all carbon dosing methodologies. None of these carbon dosing methodologies seem to be particularly helpful for PO4 over time (or in the short term) at least in a major way, but do seem to impact Nitrate strongly. However, Nitrate seems to figure itself out without any carbon dosing at all, so I am not sold on needing to dose carbon. There is a lot of anecdote out there, but I can't find any side by side study/test/experiment so if anyone knows of one I would be very interested in it.
  12. magnetar68

    magnetar68 Guest

    I think there is something about this tank/reactor setup that is different. I added the same pellets from the NPX bag to two different reactors on two different tanks 12 days ago. The cuttle tank (175G water volume) got about 500ml of new pellets added to the 250ml that were already in the reactor. The other tank (40G total water volume) got about 250ml of new pellets to the 100ml that was already in that reactor. I have been running reactors on these two tanks for over a year. For some reason, the cuttle tank clouded up. The other tank is crystal clear. Granted it got an additional cup of biopellets, but 750ml vs 350ml given the water volumes seems reasonable.

    I will try reducing the flow, but before the flow was so low that the pellets caked up and the water still got cloudy. I will also try running some new carbon this weekend. I don't think a water change will help in the long run. I would have to do several water changes to clear the water over several days and the cloudiness may just come back. When I think about how much food is being introduced into the tank with 6 cuttles eating 2 med size shrimp every day, it seems like that might have something to do with this. The other tank, on the other hand, gets 20-25 mysids a day. That is a lot less in terms of the volume of food going into the tank. The higher volume of food in the cuttle tank is probably generating a lot more nitrate and phosphate waste for the bacteria to feed on. With all of those pellets, the carbon is not likely the limiting nutrient.
  13. magnetar68

    magnetar68 Guest

    I noticed the skimmer was not doing as good of a job skimming, so I think maybe the "heavier" bacteria laden water needs a little more lift, so I cranked up the skimmer. Maybe that will help clear the bacteria out of the water.
  14. euod

    euod Supporting Member

    Biopellets need to be tumbled vigorously. I usually fill mine 1/2 to 3/4 full to allow movement. What pump output you got on there? And you may already know that biopellets take time to work and the side effect is cloudy water.
  15. magnetar68

    magnetar68 Guest

    When I first ordered my equipment for my big tank, I had order a Aqua 25W UV filter. I had never set it up. But after just one night with the UV filter, most of the cloudiness that I have been dealing with for 2 weeks is gone.
  16. BAYMAC

    BAYMAC Guest

    Well the bacteria is dead, but that will translate into nutrient load.
  17. magnetar68

    magnetar68 Guest

    yes, need to keep an eye on it, but i just checked the nitrates and they are 0 with the API and Salifert test kits.
  18. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Keep an eye on ammonia as well.
    Not a high probability, but it could spike.
  19. gimmito

    gimmito Guest

  20. magnetar68

    magnetar68 Guest

    Quick run of the API tests: ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and phosphate are all 0. The tank has still not cleared up all the way, but I am exporting a few days worth of skim in 12 hours, so it may take some time. The worse part, however, is that the corals are not happy. Maybe they were too far gone, but I had hoped they would bounce back once the water cleared up, but that has not happened. :-(

Share This Page