Jump to content

Spiderwood and 2 months of Cloudy Milky water


Recommended Posts

Hello.  I am new to this forum and have been setting up my first ever tiger shrimp tank.  

The tank had been going through some incessantly BAD thick milky cloudy water issues for almost 2 months.   I have two large pieces of one-hour boiled spiderwood that I’ve covered in mosses and bucephalandra that are coated in the normal amount of spiderwood fungus.  I am thinking the thick cloudy water issue is related to this too.  I have to rinse the filter out a LOT, and do lots of water changes or tubing gets clogged and water gets super milky thick to a point where I cannot see the plants at all.  

 

 A lot of people on the internet say for normal bacteria blooms to not do large water changes and just be patient but my tank would have crashed by now if I haven’t done tons of full tank water changes and filter cleanings.  I have done partial water changes for a few weeks previously just to see if it’ll work itself out but it never does.  

 

Its the worst cloudy water battle I’ve ever had in a new tank.  I have another shrimp tank I setup around the same time right next it but with lava rock instead of spiderwood and it’s been crystal clear with growing plants since day 1.  It hasn’t caused me any stress or drama yet.  

 

The spiderwood tank has no detectable bad water parameters,  ph 6.4, gh 7, kh 0-1 

Ada Amazonia powder type, Caribbean sand (all pre rinsed and pre cycled).  Fully cycled eheim canister filter, no co2 or added ferts.  

 

Has anybody else used spiderwood and experienced this milky water problem? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi! Welcome to shrimp spot!

 

Personally I've only used spiderwood in one of my tanks and the water is usually clear. The only whiteness  I see is usually stuck on the wood in the form a fungus like you mentioned. As for the cloudiness the most likely reason should be a bacterial bloom and rinsing your filter media excessively could actually worsen the problem as the bacteria is often displaced into the water column. I cant foresee any other causes as of now. Hopefully someone else could chime in and help out! All the best

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, edwin_the_elder said:

Hi! Welcome to shrimp spot!

 

Personally I've only used spiderwood in one of my tanks and the water is usually clear. The only whiteness  I see is usually stuck on the wood in the form a fungus like you mentioned. As for the cloudiness the most likely reason should be a bacterial bloom and rinsing your filter media excessively could actually worsen the problem as the bacteria is often displaced into the water column. I cant foresee any other causes as of now. Hopefully someone else could chime in and help out! All the best

 

 Thanks for responding!  Since I posted this I have talked to a few people who have used spiderwood and experienced that same issue . I am not cleaning the filter excessively.  What happens is after a week or two with the cloudy water the canister filter clogs to the point the flow stops completely and bacteria starts to die off.  Last week this happened so badly and I didn’t noticed it shut itself off for a day or two (also running fans and An HOB so it’s hard to tell when the canister stops flowing) and it stunk horribly and I had to save the filter and get all the dead bacteria and stuff rinsed with RO water asap.  This would happen every two weeks if I didn’t rinse the filter.  It’s really a pain.  I removed the most coggable parts of the filter (aka the fine filter polishing pads).  The pre filter sponge collects a lot of things and it’s easier for me to squeeze out on a regular basis than pull the canister open.  Hopefully this helps.  

 

Someone i I was talking to yesterday about the spiderwood experienced the same cloudy water issue to the point they removed the spiderwood and the water problems cleared up within a day.  I really love my current driftwood plant scape (plants fully rooted to the wood now too) and I would hate to remove it at this point but would be willing too.   The spiderwood sticks out of the tank in several spots too so I am a little worried about psycho tiger shrimps crawling out too.  

 

The only other possible cause of the cloudiness I ran into yesterday.  I discovered my new month old RODI filter stopped removing ammonia/ chloramines from the water so I had been unknowingly using it.  I am lucky I didn’t kill my tiger shrimps.  But I am working on fixing it and did seachem prime and good LFS RODI water water changes today so hopefully solving this will make the bacterial bloom go away.  The bacteria population most likely has exploded to consume all the high ammonia which was almost dark green with an API test kit tested straight out of the RODI filter.  So BAD!!! 😭😭😭

 

anyway I really hope this was the cause of the bloom but maybe a combo of the wood and the bad RODI water.  There is an incredible about of debri floating in the water and I can’t get it all out.  I attached a short video of the cloudiness.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is my tank without cloudy water (post large water changes after the filter crashes.  Added more fresh purigen and carbon to help it clear up.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This seems odd to me. Is it the entire water column or just surface film? I've never experienced milky water from the use of spiderwood and I have a couple forest scapes that have more than a little bit of this wood... all from various sources and never boiled (at least by me). Just the usual white fungus during cycling process. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, madcrafted said:

This seems odd to me. Is it the entire water column or just surface film? I've never experienced milky water from the use of spiderwood and I have a couple forest scapes that have more than a little bit of this wood... all from various sources and never boiled (at least by me). Just the usual white fungus during cycling process. 

 

If you read my latest update it’s posisble it was high ammonia (API 3-4ppm from chloramines) somehow coming through my RODI filter.  But yah it’s the entire water column, white bio film funk all over every surface of the filter, tubing, plants, wood, and glass.  The only thing not affected seems to be the Ada Amazonia substrate.  The water surface does not have film built up because it has lots of agitation.  Some kind of mass scale bacteria bloom breakout . I’ve been dealing with this for almost two months since I set up this tank.  I boiled the spiderwood for an hour before use and it sunk after one week in the tank and then everything went bad.  No nitrites or nitrates luckily. 

 

Most of the white film is attached to the driftwood in big globs.  I have moss attached to all the spiderwood that I hope survives this.  Some of the moss is so coated with film.  I do my best to keep it off the plants but it’s a battle.  

 

I did purchase the aquatic life chloramine carbon block filter add-on for $60.  It’ll get here in a few days and I’ll see if It will work.  

 

Ive thought about plopping Amano shrimp or ghost shrimp or a nerite snail in there to see if they eat it all but the ph is pretty low for them (ph 6.0-6.2).  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you using any kind of aromatherapy / aromatizer in the room? I could only guess that the fan you have cooling the aquarium could be blasting something into the water this causing this bacterial bloom. I would either try not having the fan on for a while if that doesn't work, then just take the wood out...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, hcuellart said:

Are you using any kind of aromatherapy / aromatizer in the room? I could only guess that the fan you have cooling the aquarium could be blasting something into the water this causing this bacterial bloom. I would either try not having the fan on for a while and then just take the wood out...

 

I don’t use any kind of aromatizers or chemical sprays or fumes in my aquarium room.  None is used near the door or hallway either.   The room smells like bad bacterial bloom tank stinky 🤢.  The tanks can hit 26-27 C without the small computer fans cooling the tanks down to 23-25 C.  All my other tanks in the same room run these same fans too and never had this problem.  But yah I would consider removing the wood but I have 12-15 types of buce plants and rare mosses attached to the wood.  It would be a huge pain to remove them and find a way to re-plant it all but I’m not totally against the idea after dealing with this mess.  🙄😭😭😭

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you have an extra empty tank/container, place the piece of wood in the tank/container do a water change on your main/original tank and run everything. Since you state that the tank gets cloudy in a couple of days you will have a clearer idea where the culprit is, before you go and disassemble the wood piece. A couple of days in a separate container shouldn't be detrimental to the moss or buce....

Just a thought...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, hcuellart said:

If you have an extra empty tank/container, place the piece of wood in the tank/container do a water change on your main/original tank and run everything. Since you state that the tank gets cloudy in a couple of days you will have a clearer idea where the culprit is, before you go and disassemble the wood piece. A couple of days in a separate container shouldn't be detrimental to the moss or buce....

Just a thought...

 

Hey that’s actually great idea! I like your thinking.  The tank actually clouds up in half a day after 40-50% WC’s.  I sometimes collect plants for new tank setups up to a month in advance just sitting in open too plastic containers under a light haha so I’m use to it.  I keep on imagining more and more ripping the spiderwood out.  It’ll be really sad but oh well.  If I can remove the mosses and sort them out they’ll take a really good cleaning to get all the gunk off.  

 

Im thinking I’ll probably just use cholla wood, one small Malaysian driftwood piece, leaf litter and some moss and buce plants instead of the Spiderwood. Keep it more simple.  Right now it’s kind of crowded with hardscape in the 5 gallon for shrimp breeding.  I just enjoy aquascaping so I sometimes go overboard.  

 

Thanks for the help.  I’ll give it a try 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, hcuellart said:

Let us know how that goes, it's definitely intriguing, two months battling that problem must be hard... Good luck!!

 

I definitely will update the thread as I figure it out.  It’s such a pain.  I’ve heard of people not having problems with spiderwood and some people have a lot of problems with it.  Maybe it is where the wood is sourced from or maybe pre-boiling the spiderwood makes it a lot worse or boiling makes it leach sugars or resins or saps that cause this.  

 

A 5 gallon shrimp tank is already a very water parameter sensitive environment for shrimps.  I don’t need all the unnecessary hardscape-inflicted headaches.  

 

Someone on my Instagram mentioned they had this problem and they did frequent WC while dosing seachem stability and they said it worked really well.  But I’ll probably end up taking it out. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Quick update.  I did what a friend suggested and instead of removing the spiderwood entirely I just did 7 days of seachem stability doses.  The tank cleared up pretty fast and there isn’t much debris except left for some normal white fungus on the driftwood and I should probably rinse out my eheim filter now.  So glad the thick milky water is gone.  I do not know if it will return but I hope not.  Also since my driftwood emerges out of the top of the tank I am going to pull the wood from the tank just to trim off this stems.  They make it harder to do maintenance and I am pretty sure it will lead to suicidal shrimp crawling out.  I always get mold on emergent driftwood anyways and it looks bad and I can’t clean it off.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...