Habitat - Indoor :: Weird bacteria bloom when stirring/moving sand around

Turtle tank setups and other indoor configurations.

Post Posted: Mon Jun 20, 2022 8:28 pm   Weird bacteria bloom when stirring/moving sand around

Maybe someone can help or know what’s wrong. I’ve always used pool filter sand as a substrate, same brand bought from the same place. In his 40g, 75g, and now his new 125g. Something I’ve noticed is when he stirs up the sand or if I’m moving the sand around myself, the tank expierences what looks like a bacteria bloom or “new tank syndrome” The tank is fully established, both my FX6 and FX4 came from the 75g recently cleaned but fully established. I’ve tested the water to confirm the tank is fully established also, ammonia 0ppm, nitrite 0ppm, and nitrates are always kept low. pH is 8.2 If that matters, water from the tap here is super hard and full of junk. Anyone know why this happens? Never had this issue before on my previous tanks. FX6 has the normal foam and the entire center is ceramic bio media, FX4 has the normal foam, one tray of ceramic rings, 1 polishing pad, 1 fine pad, 1 bag of purigen and two bags of chemi-pure blue. Pictures of normal water quality vs how it looks after I’ve moved the stirred up the sand after moving stuff around. Anyone know what’s up? Pretty frustrating especially since he loves to move his sand around and the tank looks bad after he’s been doing it for awhile. The water clears back up after a few hours.
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Ranger- 13 year old Red Ear Slider
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Post Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2022 6:32 am   Re: Weird bacteria bloom when stirring/moving sand around

I'll be curious to know as well. We do weekly water changes (sand bottom) and as of late, we've been having cloudy water as well. Ours developed after about a year. Previously, it was fine.
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Post Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2022 12:24 pm   Re: Weird bacteria bloom when stirring/moving sand around

I'm thinking the sand might just need a through cleaning on occasion.
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 6:22 am   Re: Weird bacteria bloom when stirring/moving sand around

Funny thing. at least in our case; there is minimal sand in that (40g) tank. There is quite a bit more sand in our 125g with two turtles, yet that tank is crystal clear.
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 11:27 pm   Re: Weird bacteria bloom when stirring/moving sand around

I wonder if it is because the different turtles are creating different kinds of waste. For instance my female RES creates a lot more fine waste in her tank, from both food and the way she eats.
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Post Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2022 6:50 am   Re: Weird bacteria bloom when stirring/moving sand around

Not certain on that one. The 40g has a male YBS, while the 125g has a female Peninsula Cooter & male RES. The cooter is just an eating machine. The sliders don't eat near as much.
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 25, 2022 11:21 am   Re: Weird bacteria bloom when stirring/moving sand around

I didn’t rinse the sand before putting it in, but I’ve never had to in the past. Maybe I got unlucky this time with a dirty batch of pool filter sand. I think I’m just going to have to let my turtle stirring it up and the filter clean it overtime cause I don’t know how I feel about pulling 300lbs of sand out to rinse it or spend another $90 to replace it lol. It actually hasn’t done it in a few days so I think it’s getting better overtime. I test the water every few day just to keep an eye on it and it’s always 0 for ammonia and nitrite, nitrates vary but they’re always in the single digits and I actually just tested the phosphate and it tested 1ppm so I’m assuming that’s fine.
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 25, 2022 11:02 pm   Re: Weird bacteria bloom when stirring/moving sand around

While I don't use sand, there will be waste collecting over time. Most will settle on the surface, but I would expect some to work its way down. If you can't or don't want to take the sand out, then rinse it in the tank. Make sure you take your turtle out and disconnect or change your filter accordingly for the cleaning.
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