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Levels seem to be within the proper range, however my water has become cloudy.

The temperature has also dropped during the past week and the water temperature went from the 80's into the 70's

Any suggestions or ideas?


Regards,
Bob

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What's your pH??

PH was between 6.0 & 6.4 and the High PH ranges between 7.4 & 7.8 and the other levels seemed within range. Why did you ask about the PH?

Bob, I'm gonna take a stab at this until Rupert gets back to you...If you happen to use an API pH test kit, when ever it reads 6.0 you could actually be much lower...since it only reads down to 6.0. Apparently when a biofilter starts to "crash" (like due to the system waters pH being too low...say mid to low 5's or below) the water often takes on a "milky" or "cloudy" appearance... 

I'm sure Rupert will know more about this than I (if that is indeed why he asked...If it is Rupe, could you please tell us what it is that causes a crashing bio-filter to produce that "milky" appearance)?

AND... also what I can do to corrent this problem I would hate to loose my fish. Thanks

Vlad Jovanovic said:

Bob, I'm gonna take a stab at this until Rupert gets back to you...If you happen to use an API pH test kit, when ever it reads 6.0 you could actually be much lower...since it only reads down to 6.0. Apparently when a biofilter starts to "crash" (like due to the system waters pH being too low...say mid to low 5's or below) the water often takes on a "milky" or "cloudy" appearance... 

I'm sure Rupert will know more about this than I (if that is indeed why he asked...If it is Rupe, could you please tell us what it is that causes a crashing bio-filter to produce that "milky" appearance)?

Well, other than buffering and keeping your pH in a nice and readable range (like the mid to low 6's) I wouldn't really be sure what else to tell 'ya. You might want to keep a close eye on your other water parameters for a while...to make sure your NH4 doesn't spike (which is probably the next logical thing to happen after a "partial" or total crash...not that I think your bio-filter totally crashed or anything, so don't get the wrong idea. I was just sayin'... :)

Humm I will take a guess here also and say the milky appearance is some sort of bacterial bloom starting???? But Rupert will know for sure.

Ok folks I was going from memory the other day and misspoke the levels so here are the levels as of yesterday;

PH             7.6
PH (High)   7.8
Ammonia    0.0
Nitrites       0.0
Nitrates      5.0

As you can see the levels are ALL within appropriate levels.


I did discovery a possible reason for my problem and will try and describe the issues.
When I discovered the problem I immediately put in place my M-F-B (makeshift filtering bucket). What you say?

I have a small bucket in which I have drilled 1/4" holes all around the bottom and 4 - 1" holes around the sides near the bottom. Inside I have a mesh bag filled with glass flat stones. On top of that I have added a mesh bag with fiber filter from the pet store to catch the small particles. I then re-route my bed feed up and into the bucket where the water filters down through and back out to the grow bed.
After 24 to 36 hours my water was relatively clear again.

So I removed the bucket filter to clean it and allowed the water to flow directly into the grow bed. When I returned the water was cloudy again ... SHEESH !  So yesterday I put my M-F-B back in place.

What do you all think I can do, other than leaving the M-F-B in place? Have any of you found a similar problem with tiny particulates going from your grow beds into your fish tank and clouding the water?

Regards,
Bob

Indeed Vlad, et al... I suspected the "couldiness" could be a sign of bacterial crash due to low pH...

But not the case it would appear...

Bob, if, as your use of a filter and results show... the cause is due to suspended particles... it tends  suggest.. that you don't have enough filtration in place to cope with your feed rate/stocking density...

How many fish do you have, and what volume of grow beds do you have?

I have 18 tilapia in about 200 gallons of water and a 4' x 4' grow bed. This system was made from a 275 gallon tote.

Why would, all of a sudden, the system that has been working flawlessly since April change so radically? My levels seem to be correct and the fish have been growing as are my plants in the grow bed? It is perplexing and I am wondering if it is weather related?

Regards,
Bob

RupertofOZ said:

Indeed Vlad, et al... I suspected the "couldiness" could be a sign of bacterial crash due to low pH...

But not the case it would appear...

Bob, if, as your use of a filter and results show... the cause is due to suspended particles... it tends  suggest.. that you don't have enough filtration in place to cope with your feed rate/stocking density...

How many fish do you have, and what volume of grow beds do you have?

Bob, per my math you should have around 53 cft of media for the 200 gallons (200 x .266 = 53.2).. most of the totes ive played with are only 3.5 x 3.5 and that would give you only 10 cft of filter/media, if the bed is at 12" deep... most likely you have less than that. ...still, unless the18 fish you have are 5 lb monsters, you should be fine.

Bob, you had said..."PH was between 6.0 & 6.4 and the High PH ranges between 7.4 & 7.8" ...not sure how you would get these readings...

Rupert, et al,correct me if im wrong, but you only use the "high" test if the "low" test is maxed out on the lolw chart and vice versa...

Bob, i think you may actully have a low ph and thus a bacterial crash... would you say that this "milky" look is different than the tipical "cloudy"  or dirty look?

you can try a product called BioZome, it contains Archea, which can handle a wider ph range and temps down into freezing. it will help clear the water and add bio filtration. i use it in my out door systems evry winter.

 

 

 

I corrected my levels after writing them from memory the other day instead of from my records.

These levels were taken on Friday 11/9/12

PH             7.6
PH (High)   7.8
Ammonia    0.0
Nitrites       0.0
Nitrates      5.0

As you can see the levels are ALL within appropriate levels.

Yes Rob you are correct the grow bed is 3.5 x 3.5 just easier to round up to 4 x 4



Rob Nash said:

Bob, per my math you should have around 53 cft of media for the 200 gallons (200 x .266 = 53.2).. most of the totes ive played with are only 3.5 x 3.5 and that would give you only 10 cft of filter/media, if the bed is at 12" deep... most likely you have less than that. ...still, unless the18 fish you have are 5 lb monsters, you should be fine.

Bob, you had said..."PH was between 6.0 & 6.4 and the High PH ranges between 7.4 & 7.8" ...not sure how you would get these readings...

Rupert, et al,correct me if im wrong, but you only use the "high" test if the "low" test is maxed out on the lolw chart and vice versa...

Bob, i think you may actully have a low ph and thus a bacterial crash... would you say that this "milky" look is different than the tipical "cloudy"  or dirty look?

you can try a product called BioZome, it contains Archea, which can handle a wider ph range and temps down into freezing. it will help clear the water and add bio filtration. i use it in my out door systems evry winter.

 

 

 

Ok folks  ... here is the latest observations about the problem I am having. Today I checked my fish tank and it was crystal clear except for some crap on the bottom of the tank.

I removed my makeshift filtration bucket and re-routed the water back to the grow bed as it was before all of this cloudy water started and low and behold my water was again full of tiny debris and started to become cloudy again.

I believe that the worms, in my grow bed may have broken down most of the organic matter and made it so small that it clouds the water. I immediately replaced my makeshift bucket filtering system so my water will clear up again.

Any suggestions on what I might do, short of tearing down my entire grow bed and washing it all? There has to be another way of solving my dilemma? I can't imagine that fish can breath in such a cloudy environment and we've come so far together I would hate to put them at risk.

I guess I could continue my filtering bucket system, however I wonder if my plants are getting the nutrients they need under these circumstances?

If I had a companion tank I could remove the fish from the main tank and flush all of the crap out and refill it with new water and start all over, however I am afraid to do that since the fish and plants seem to be doing so well at this time.

I really could use some fresh ideas on how to solve this issue from those of you who have been doing this for a long time. I would appreciate any and all suggestions that you may have for me.

Regards,
Bob

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