Possible bacterial bloom? (pic)

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Kydra
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Possible bacterial bloom? (pic)

Post by Kydra » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:33 pm

Have been super busy, but was changing food and water before work and took a picture of the substrate.

Mix of EE and playsand... clearly not the most even mix lol, but I had set up this new tank a few months ago maybe and I had slightly too much saltwater added to the sub. I've left a sizeable corner of the mesh lid open to air as the humidity always above 80% and usually around 90% still without spraying or anything extra.

Was hoping as it dried out a bit with the saltwater that I'd be ok RE any bacterial bloom. Never had one, still kinda new, and not even sure if this is anything of concern. I really hope not, but thought I'd post a picture to see what you all think.

Not sure if it's in the picture, but did the straw test a while ago when I was concerned and still holding shape with no standing water. I lightened up the picture slightly where there is an off-color line (yeah I kinda used paint in the pic to make it more obvious as to what I am seeing).

Thoughts? Appreciate the help! ImageImageImage

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Re: Possible bacterial bloom? (pic)

Post by Hermiesguardian » Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:17 pm

It looks green so I would say algea. Which is fine. Means you have a healthy tank.
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Re: Possible bacterial bloom? (pic)

Post by CrabbyLover77 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:21 pm

Kydra wrote:Have been super busy, but was changing food and water before work and took a picture of the substrate.

Mix of EE and playsand... clearly not the most even mix lol, but I had set up this new tank a few months ago maybe and I had slightly too much saltwater added to the sub. I've left a sizeable corner of the mesh lid open to air as the humidity always above 80% and usually around 90% still without spraying or anything extra.

Was hoping as it dried out a bit with the saltwater that I'd be ok RE any bacterial bloom. Never had one, still kinda new, and not even sure if this is anything of concern. I really hope not, but thought I'd post a picture to see what you all think.

Not sure if it's in the picture, but did the straw test a while ago when I was concerned and still holding shape with no standing water. I lightened up the picture slightly where there is an off-color line (yeah I kinda used paint in the pic to make it more obvious as to what I am seeing).

Thoughts? Appreciate the help! ImageImageImage

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I've never experienced it myself, but from what I'm reading on previous HCA threads, a bacterial bloom would probably smell bad and be gray/black in color. On my phone the area actually looks green to me, maybe like algae. I'm not sure if an algae bloom is possible, but maybe with enough nutrients and light present it could be. Is it possible to maybe scoop out the affected area and add fresh sand on top? Sorry I'm not more help!

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Re: Possible bacterial bloom? (pic)

Post by Xenocrab » Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:53 pm

We have had bacterial blooms in 2 tanks. They smell awful. One smelled like rancid ammonia, the other like rotted eggs/sulphur. They were grey and black. It's an unforgettable smell. We lost 2 crabs, one was Eddie that we tied to save. If this is your case, we and other members will help you through the process. But it just may be algae. Use your nose. Smell your substrate.

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Re: Possible bacterial bloom? (pic)

Post by wodesorel » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:21 pm

I would dig down in one spot and check it. The way it's straddling the line between mostly sand and mostly EE makes me suspicious of bacterial growth. It might be staining or algae, but it doesn't seem right.


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Re: Possible bacterial bloom? (pic)

Post by Kydra » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:27 pm

Thank you all. Was truly dreading reading the replies. As I wrote, I did lighten up the photo sightly to make it more visible. Will have to take another look, another pic maybe, and a good smell in the tank lol.

This is just what I can see on the outside so I don't think this is anything I can remove unless I do an entire substrate change. It was def more moist than I wanted initially, but no pooling and nothing at the bottom either, but knew this was a possibility. Will get another picture up when I can.

Thankfully no molters right now (🙏 not jinxing them), but this is prob the worst possible time if indeed it is bacterial. I'm hoping it is just algae as posted, but want to take another look and def wanted to see thoughts on this here as well.

I did search bacterial blooms here a while back just to kinda know what to look out for. Kinda odd to me that it is the way it is though from what I have read here with darker colored sub towards bottom of tank and smell being more typical from my searches.

If I am unable to smell anything should I try to dig that area a bit and see if I smell anything at that point? I hate to do this when I'm finished work late tomorrow night considering I barely have enough playsand/EE for a few inches at most right now.

That area and the one side of the tank does get light, I'll definitely take a closer look as soon as I can to check for anything on the sides that do not get much light. I'm on a really rough schedule deliriously tired at the moment (healthcare) and I truly appreciate the thoughts/advice. Thanks again!

Will update as soon as I can.


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Kydra
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Re: Possible bacterial bloom? (pic)

Post by Kydra » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:37 pm

wodesorel wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:21 pm
I would dig down in one spot and check it. The way it's straddling the line between mostly sand and mostly EE makes me suspicious of bacterial growth. It might be staining or algae, but it doesn't seem right.
I was likely typing as you wrote this. Appreciate it though. You think I should just dig down on the side there where that darkish/green line is? If so, what exactly am I looking for? I mean if it does smell obviously a huge problem, if not though... Just let it be? As I wrote, I'm kinda stuck with working crazy rotating shifts though I will check back and update as soon as possible.


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Kydra
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Re: Possible bacterial bloom? (pic)

Post by Kydra » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:45 pm

I thought I deleted the original picture I took, but here it is if helpful. Thank you all again!Image

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Re: Possible bacterial bloom? (pic)

Post by Kydra » Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:59 pm

Ahhh Help! So I dug to where the line was and didn't smell much until I really got to that area and, using a plastic spoon kept digging and the smell changed from usual substrate to a weird rotten egg type smell. Now what??

Edit: I really had to put the spoon with sub right to my nose, but def a change in the smell from good to bad. Ughhh

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Re: Possible bacterial bloom? (pic)

Post by aussieJJDude » Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:13 pm

It's an onset of a bacterial bloom.


In the past, when I had a bacterial bloom, I took out pretty much all the sand in the affected area, and washed it throughly.... after that, I baked it all till it was bone dry on a bbq, allowed it to cool and then put it back within the tank...


It killed all the bacteria between the washing (adding dissolved oxygen, which anaerobic bacteria doesn't like) and baking (cooked bacteria doesn't grow)... if the bacteria produced spores, these were also unlikely to germinate due to being light and fluffy when adding back to the tat, and rectified the situation - a flood - by reducing amount of water in substrate.

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Kydra
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Re: Possible bacterial bloom? (pic)

Post by Kydra » Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:18 pm

Thanks for replying. What about everything in the tank?? I knew this was likely what it was. Just had hoped not. I did post in emergency forum as I already have a bunch of sub dug out. Just feeling overwhelmed right now thinking about dealing with this for the rest of the night!

Edit: My background in healthcare has me feeling really pessimistic even if I replace all the sub and clean everything. Just feels impossible to get all bacteria out. heck... I prob already have some on my hands. So frustrated atm.
Last edited by Kydra on Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Possible bacterial bloom? (pic)

Post by aussieJJDude » Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:19 pm

It's honestly a lot easier to throw out all (affected) substrate and start new. Less likely to run into issues.


As for decor, crabs and such, you may need to keep them in a small bin, toss out bad substrate, mix up the leftover so it's well aerated, add new substrate (mix in if needed) and add crabs and decor back in.
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Kydra
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Re: Possible bacterial bloom? (pic)

Post by Kydra » Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:23 pm

Thank you again for replying. Would be way too convenient if I already had extra playsand and EE around. Still feels like a huge project.

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Re: Possible bacterial bloom? (pic)

Post by aussieJJDude » Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:29 pm

It can take up a bit of a Saturday Arvo, and be a bit of heavy lifting and whatnot.... but it's rather simple, straightforward and in a way, very relaxing.

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Re: Possible bacterial bloom? (pic)

Post by wodesorel » Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:29 pm

Anaerobic bacteria dies off when exposed to oxygen, so it's not a huge issue when working with it. I have had several blooms in different enclosures while I figured things out, and never had much issue when retaining the clean sub and reusing it with new sub to fill the remaining space. Bacterial blooms need darkness, wetness and low oxygen to really take off growing, so as long as sub stays uncompressed and at a good level of moisture it won't happen again, even with previously affected substrate.

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