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Re: Right or wrong?
Travis Kinney asked about intervention during cycling on new
Intervention is both right and wrong. You have two broad
groups of bacteria establishing in your tank: Nitrifying
bacteria for oxidizing excreted ammonia to nitrite and
nitrite to nitrate, and heterotrophic bacteria and algae and
fungi who are eating everything else.
Your green water is from that second group obviously, and
IME these episodes of cloudiness that come to new tanks are
as likely to be intensified by water changes as not.
However, if extended or so severe that fish are oxygen
deprived, your solution of diatom filtration is correct. It
does not mean there will be no recurrence, but it will aid
the temporary situation. These episodes will fade as the
system matures and all the microflora and infusoria resolve
into a dynamic balance.
The nitrifying bacteria are another matter. It is routine,
all but standard, for LFS to tell new tank folk to do
nothing. After all, when your fish die, or worse are
permanently damaged, they will sell you more, or more plus
assorted water treatments to add to your tank to "handle"
the toxic metabolites. In the best case you would have test
kits for ammonia and nitrite, doing water changes sufficient
to keep each below hazardous levels. In the very best case
your plants will absorb all the ammonia before it builds to
risky levels, but you cannot tell that by looking.