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Re: Aaargh...white haze is returning!

Travis Kinney asked:

> After using a friends UV filter for three days, my tank water was crystal
> clear. For a couple weeks now things have been growing great. Been using
> PMDD, lots of perling, fish happy, kids happy, dad happy. But, the water is
> starting to haze up again! I forgot what some of the thoughts were with
> regards to this issue. Tom, did you think it was bacterial? What did you
> think it was, Ed? I guess I could borrow the UV filter again. If the haze is
> caused by freshwater plankton multiplying, can I not do a water change for a
> week or two and let the population exhaust itself and die off? Last time I
> had this, I tried doing a bunch of water changes, but it just kept growing
> back. What to do, what to do? And to think I have to stare at this over the
> long weekend.

Man, am I honored! You put me in the same paragraph as Tom Barr! I
really don't think I deserve that, and I know that Tom doesn't! ;-)

Anyway, yes the general consensus seemed to be that it was some kind of
growth of bacterial organisms, but no-one could identify it of
course without a microscope. That conclusion was reached when you said
two things. First that the "white haze" was hitting the front glass in
waves like smoke. This suggested that it was not something dissolved in
the water which would be less noticeable in waves. The second tell-tale
sign was the sudden disappearance of the "white haze of death" as soon
as you added a UV sterilizer.

Anyway, identifying the specific variety of creature also does not end
your problem of getting rid of it. To be more specific, one needs to ask
what conditions do you have that are leading to this, and what do you do
to make it go away? I suspect it is overfeeding with too much food
available for the "little buggers" to grow with. Can you give us some
idea of the amount of fish load you have and the amount/kind of food you
give the fish? Also, how much other decaying matter is in the tank for
this culture to thrive on? Do you have a good amount of water
circulation and filtration happening? Water changes will help some, but
if you have lots of food available for bacterial growth, then they will
just keep mulitplying again. Also, I remember you saying that you use
CO2 from a DIY yeast system. Is any of the mixture from the bottle
finding it's way into the water? You could also try bubbling up the CO2
through another bottle of clear water to see if that makes your tank
clear up. How does the tank smell during the white haze phase?

Tom, any other thoughts?

Ed Dumas