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mst_mugen

Cycling Shrimp Tank - Brown Coloured Water

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mst_mugen

Hey All,

 

I started cycling my shrimp tank since Sunday night and have used the following substrate/additives:

  • Benibachi Black Soil Fulvic - Normal
  • Benibachi Mineral Powder
  • Benibachi Super Bacterium Bee Max

The only other thing that has been in the tank since it has been setup is a sponge filter.

 

Initially, the water was quite cloudy but cleared up nicely overnight and remained clear up until I last checked this morning. However, I came home from work tonight and the water has now turned a brown tea colour. It doesn't seem cloudy though, the water is just tinted as if driftwood had been placed into the tank and the tannins had leached out.

 

Is this all part of the process when cycling a tank with fresh Benibachi Soil?

 

I am tempted to do a 50% WC, but I figure I'll just wait it out and hopefully it will go away in a couple of days?

 

If anyone can please provide any suggestions as to what may have caused this, that would be much appreciated!  :bow: 

 

 

 

 

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newbreed

Had the sponge filter been in a tank with new driftwood recently? How much bee max did you put in?

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mst_mugen

Sponge filter is brand new.

 

I lightly coated the bottom of the tank with Bee Max, followed by minerals then finally I placed the substrate.

 

Too much Bee Max can cause brown coloured water?

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mst_mugen

Oh yeah, the water smells like something is fermenting as well? Kinda like a fruity/wine sort of smell to it!  :unhappy:

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Squiggle

The Bee Max has that fermented smell to it so it might have something to do with that. I'm not sure what the tea colour would be from, is the filter brand new? I've had a used sponge filter turn my water red before, maybe this is what's happening. Also, what other stuff have you got in the tank? :thumbsu:

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mst_mugen

The Bee Max has that fermented smell to it so it might have something to do with that. I'm not sure what the tea colour would be from, is the filter brand new? I've had a used sponge filter turn my water red before, maybe this is what's happening. Also, what other stuff have you got in the tank? :thumbsu:

 

Hmmm... perhaps it could be the Bee Max? The sponge filter is brand new/never used/first time using haha I am more concerned about the colour of the water though, not so much the smell. But I guess if I am able to smell the Bee Max, would that mean I put too much on the bottom of the tank and perhaps that could be causing that could be why my water has gone brown?

 

At the moment, nothing else is in the tank besides the sponge filter and the substrate/additives.

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slin1977

Hey mate,

What size tank ?

What depth substrate?

There are many ways to cycle a tank :-)

Quick ways include using mature filter media and the addition of live Bacteria , with weekly water changes.

Or the longer 4-5 week wait that follows the nitrification cycle of ammonia, nitrite then nitrate.

By doing water changes this can slow your cycle and might not benifit your quest to populate your filter with Bacteria.

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newbreed

I had a bit of bee max stirred up when I added the water to one of my tanks a little too enthusiastically! Stirred up the substrate. It left a film layer on the top of the water but can't say the water went brown though.

Maybe a water change is in order. Have you any other filtration going too? Canister, etc.

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mst_mugen

Hey mate,

What size tank ?

What depth substrate?

There are many ways to cycle a tank :-)

Quick ways include using mature filter media and the addition of live Bacteria , with weekly water changes.

Or the longer 4-5 week wait that follows the nitrification cycle of ammonia, nitrite then nitrate.

By doing water changes this can slow your cycle and might not benifit your quest to populate your filter with Bacteria.

 

The tank is 17L and the substrate depth is about 2cm.

 

I had a bit of bee max stirred up when I added the water to one of my tanks a little too enthusiastically! Stirred up the substrate. It left a film layer on the top of the water but can't say the water went brown though.

Maybe a water change is in order. Have you any other filtration going too? Canister, etc.

 

I currently am and only plan on using a single sponge filter driven by an air pump, thats it. I'm assuming that should be enough interms of filtration and oxygen supply?

 

Perhaps I should wait it out until my tank is cycled before I do any water changes to correct the water if it hasn't already cleared up by then? As the person above has mentioned, a WC will only slow the cycling process down...

 

Nevertheless, I would still like to understand why my water has gone brown!? haha

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slin1977

Tannins in the mineral and bac powder have caused your water to brown, soon to follow by a bacteria bloom and die off.

Lets cycle the tank keeping tabs on ammonia for the first two weeks, as they convert to nitrite the bacteria will establish and convert that to nitrate. At the end of four weeks we can do a 50 percent water change. The following week the same, and stick some test shrimp in on week 5 or 6.

If tannins persisting you can put a bag of Purigen or activated charchol in to mop up any left overs for crystal clear water.

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jayc

Maybe a picture might help us determine the extent of the water colour, and whether it is normal or not.

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mst_mugen

Ok, to my surprise, I woke up this morning to a tank with water more clearer than what it was before it went brown.

All I did last night was increase the pump rate and add two drops of ADA Green Bacter. Would the brown in the water have been caused by a bacterial bloom sparked from insufficient oxygen levels?

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Squiggle

I'd say it was a bacterial bloom from the start of the cycle & now you've increased the filter turnover it has caught up to the waste products in the tank. Awesome news dude! :thumbsu:

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jayc

It's not uncommon for a cycling tank to go a bit tanned like weak tea, from the natural tannins released during cycling.

Bacterial blooms are usually white, not brown.

Algal blooms are usually green.

 

The brown would have come from the Fulvic grains in the Benibachi substrate and/or the Bee Max.

And possibly any other carbon sources, either carbon media or pieces of wood/bark in the substrate.

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smicko

Good to hear the problem is going away.

Now the important stuff, what are you stocking it with, and we need pics lol.

Cheers mick

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mst_mugen

It's not uncommon for a cycling tank to go a bit tanned like weak tea, from the natural tannins released during cycling.

Bacterial blooms are usually white, not brown.

Algal blooms are usually green.

 

The brown would have come from the Fulvic grains in the Benibachi substrate and/or the Bee Max.

And possibly any other carbon sources, either carbon media or pieces of wood/bark in the substrate.

 

Yeah, there is every chance that the brown came from debris within the substrate material. Either way, I'm definitely happy its all cleared up!

 

 

Good to hear the problem is going away.

Now the important stuff, what are you stocking it with, and we need pics lol.

Cheers mick

 

In time my friend, in time... Haha.... Nah, its just a bare tank ATM. But I do intent on adding a piece of driftwood and hopefully grow some Mini Pellia off it. Will post pics once the wood is in. 

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mst_mugen

OK, theres been a discovery guys!

 

Last night just before bed, I was tampering with the air pump valve to quieten down the bubbles. I ended up shutting the valve to about half way which reduced the noise but at the same time maintained a sufficient supply of oxygen to the tank.... Or so I thought!

 

I woke up this morning and the water inside the tank was brown again!!! I promptly loosened the air valve as much as I could and luckily when I came home tonight, the tank was back to full clarity!

 

So I now know that reducing the oxygen supply will spark a bloom of some sort, but I wonder what the brown actually is??? Nothing else has been added to the tank as yet.

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mst_mugen

Also, I have been "blessed" with some white fluffy fungus/mould. YAY for me! Its been there for the past week or so and has now covered about 80% of the substrate surface. I stopped dosing ADA Green Bacter since I first noticed it.

 

20140717_215701_zps5imdymz4.jpg

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2OFUS

Try wrapping your air pump up in a old shirt or something

That's Wat I do and it stops the humming noise

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OzShrimp

wow man you cant cut a break can you lol

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jayc

Fluffy white fungus is normal for a cycling tank.

Should disappear by itself after the tank is cycled. If you can't wait, syphon it out, and wash the gravel in clean tap water and H202 (hydrogen peroxide).

 

This is a symptom of a lack of water flow.

 

Apart from the sponger filter, do you have any other filters (eg canister) that will generate water flow?

Extra flow from a canister might solve your brown water as well.

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mst_mugen

Try wrapping your air pump up in a old shirt or something

That's Wat I do and it stops the humming noise

 

Thanks for the suggestion. Although the problem isn't my air pump (the air pump I purchased is dead silent due to its double casing design) making too much noise, its actually the bubbles that are starting to get a little irritating. But only a little though! 

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mst_mugen

Fluffy white fungus is normal for a cycling tank.

Should disappear by itself after the tank is cycled. If you can't wait, syphon it out, and wash the gravel in clean tap water and H202 (hydrogen peroxide).

 

This is a symptom of a lack of water flow.

 

Apart from the sponger filter, do you have any other filters (eg canister) that will generate water flow?

Extra flow from a canister might solve your brown water as well.

 

That a relief!

 

Hmmm I don't have any other internal or external canister filters, or any other flow devices. The tank just has one air pump. Is it common for a shrimp tank just to have a single air pump with no other devices/mechanisms in place to increase flow/aeration?

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mst_mugen

wow man you cant cut a break can you lol

 

I know! But always enjoy a challenge.... To an extent... Haha

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Squiggle

Totally agree with @jayc, the fungus is a normal part of the cycle, when it slowly reduces & turns to dust is a good sign that your cycle is almost finished. You are right, shrimp tanks generally don't have a lot of flow but the shrimp can handle it if there is. :thumbsu:

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      I don't boil the driftwood when I put it in the tanks as JayC says, the tannins are good for the shrimps and it has never made the water so brown it becomes a problem, only slightly brown! I guess though that it may be a safe/good precaution to boil it anyway! Some countries are very strict about importing shrimps, from what I hear on here I think it is illegal in Australia to import shrimps/crabs etc so that is why people needed to know where you are based. Being based in UK I don't really know much about buying shrimps in the US so hopefully someone will come through with this. There are lots of youtube videos made by Flip Aquatics (I think they are Ohio based???) which is based in the US though!   Simon
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    • jayc
      That was quick. I see you have sourced some driftwood. Don't be too worried about removing the tannins. Its actually good for the shrimps. 
    • Steensj2004
      On the 4th rinse/boil of the new drift wood, water is looking much less brown. Rock coming out tonight.
    • Steensj2004
      Sorry, I assumed mentioning that I plan to order online made this answer fairly universal. I’m in the US. My bad. I assume that I still need to be at least a bit careful with where I source driftwood. Boiling and removing tannins is obvious, but trying to avoid any further issues when I replace this rock. 
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