Babysitting my neighbors fish and the tank is suddenly very cloudy.

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Meljohns, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. MeljohnsNew MemberMember

    so my neighbor is on vacation for 2 weeks and she brought her fish to my house for me to take care of. I don't know anything about fish. She has a decent sized gold fish and then a sliver and gold fish (smaller then the gold fish) and she has one of those black fish that suction to the side of the tank. She took about half the water out of the tank to transfer the fish to my house- when she re-filled the tank it was cloudy at first but cleared up throughout the day. The fish have been here for 5 days and now yesterday the tank started looking cloudy and today - it's very cloudy.

    She instructed me to feed the fish a small pinch of flake food twice a day- so that's what I do. The tank is infront of a window on my desk- could the daylight be the problem? I really don't want her fish dying on my watch. The fish are still active and seem fine but I'm just worried. Anything I could have possibly done to cause the cloudy water? Anything I should do to fix it?

  2. Mom2someWell Known MemberMember

    Did your friend leave you any way to test the water parameters? I would try to block the sunlight.

  3. MeljohnsNew MemberMember

    No she left me nothing but food. I've been keeping the curtains closed but my house just has a lot of natural daylight. Her fish won't die from cloudy water will they?

  4. ZedNew MemberMember

    if its next to a window, it's possible that algae is growing in the tank (on the glass, and in the water column) is it a green cloudiness,or is it white/milky - white cloudy water is usually due to a bacteria bloom. It could be that you're putting too much food. feeding twice a day is ok, but they have to be very small feedings; fish stomachs are approximately the size of their eye, and any unconsumed food turns into waste and lowers the quality of the water. Anyways, if you're looking for a remedy, you can do a water change, but make sure you add a dechlorinator so that the fish isn't harmed.
  5. AichmalotizoWell Known MemberMember

    It's horribly improper stocking, and nothing to do with you. Plecos (that black sucker fish ) and goldfish essentially need ponds to thrive, and if that tank was small enough that it could be moved with half the water in it without breaking, than it has to be 10-20 gallons. In other words, it's essentially a glass box of death waiting to happen
  6. codyrex97Well Known MemberMember

    I second this. The tank is likely way too small if there's goldfish and a Pleco in it and you moved it with half the water in it.
  7. Mom2someWell Known MemberMember

    Probably accurate, but does not help the current problem since the poster cannot fix that...

    When you all re-set up the tank at your house... Did you use your own tap water? Did your friend put anything in the tank water? My shot in the dark guess is the tank is going through a mini cycle and you are seeing a bacterial bloom like you would in a new tank. Can you contact your friend? I might ask if you can cut back the feelings to once daily (don't fall for the pleading looks they give you) to try and help stabilize the water quality. I would also wonder if you could do a water change. Do you know if you have any chlorine in your source water?
  8. MeljohnsNew MemberMember

    Ok so her tank is pretty small it's 7.4 gallons. But yea nothing I can do about that. She didn't use any of my water to refill the tank. She brought the tank over half full then another 2 large tupperwares of water and just put it all back in the tank. She didn't put anything else in the water.

    I'm too afraid to do a water change and somehow end up killing her fish- like I said I don't know anything about fish and I don't want to accidently end up doing something wrong.

    It's possible that I'm feeding them too much. She never showed me how much she feeds just said "a small pinch twice a day." So if I cut back to once a day- is it possible the tank will clear up on its own? Also the water is kind of a white/green murky color.
  9. Mom2someWell Known MemberMember

    I would definitely cut back the feedings to once per day, and still keep them small. Since nothing new was otherwise added to the tank, I don't have any other suggestions sorry. I would keep an eye on the fish for signs of distress. In that case a small 10-20% water change may be necessary.
  10. MeljohnsNew MemberMember

    I got ahold of my neighbor and she thinks it's the daylight from the window that caused this. Which is strange then that she was the one that put the tank right infront of my window. Anyway she wants me to remove half the water and refill with new water from my tap. She said to make sure to get the new water temp close to the temp of the tank water.

    I'm scared to do this and somehow cause her fish to die.
  11. MothercrowWell Known MemberMember

    Did she leave you any water conditioner, a bottle that would say that it removes chlorine and cloramines?
  12. MeljohnsNew MemberMember

    No she left me nothing. I'm worried about my water too bc it's pretty hard water here. She seemed to think its fine but she's also new to fish- only got them about 6 months ago. I went ahead and did it and it looks a little clearer and the fish are acting fine.
  13. codyrex97Well Known MemberMember

    You'll want water conditioner, any simple small bottle of water conditioner can do if you can run to a pet store. Otherwise the chlorine in your tap water will kill the helpful bacteria in the filter.

    If you'd like to make a little sense of this, look up "the nitrogen cycle" on YouTube and there should be a simple video explaining the process that goes on in a fish tank to stabilize it.
  14. Skyy2112Valued MemberMember

    Cloudiness is probably a mix of green (sunlight algae bloom) and the white (bloom from food)

    Fish can be fasted for a few days, (some people only feed twice a week, I suggest once daily, for your scenario, I'm taking into possibility that the water was from the tank, and added back in, do you know???) I'd skip every other day of feeding, yes they may beg, but they will be fine. Dont do any drastic waterchange, a lot of tap water contains chlorine. =\ But it really needs it when your neighbor gets home.
  15. MeljohnsNew MemberMember

    Well I already did the water change bc she asked me to. She said to take 50% out. Now if I don't buy the water conditioner will the fish be ok? I'm leaving for the weekend ( she said fish will be fine w out food for 3 days), anyway I'm not sure I would make it to the pet store before leaving. It's a good 20 mins from my house- but if it's necessary so that they don't get sick then I will make the trip to the store.
  16. codyrex97Well Known MemberMember

    I know it seems a bit rude but you should let her know we said that there is a big stocking problem with her tank (none of those fish should be in a 7.4 gallon tank. You'd be looking at something way bigger to house them as they grow, bigger than a 40 gallon I think. Not sure but way bigger than that 7.4 in any case) and she should remedy that whenever she gets back home. She can even make an account on here and people will be glad to give her the advice she needs and go through the specifics of all the reasons they need a bigger tank and all the ways she can go about fixing it.
  17. PeacefantasyWell Known MemberMember

    Theres no doubt the tank is too small for those fish. But a picture of the fish will help us ID them and give you (your friend, really) an idea of what size they need.

    I would immediately get a bottle of Seachem Prime. Youll want to dose the tank ASAP. This will protect the fish and Beneficial Bacteria.

    Blocking the sunlight will definitely help at least algae growing. But as a previous user said, white milky cloudiness is most likely a bacterial bloom.

    Definitely get your friend to read the Nitrogen Cycle. Lead her here for more helpful advice
  18. MeljohnsNew MemberMember

    Ok I'll let her know and I'll buy the water conditioner. Thanks everyone.
  19. Mom2someWell Known MemberMember

    You are a great pet sitter!
  20. azbevValued MemberMember

    Does this little tank have a filter? If not, couldn't that contribute to the trouble? Also, a thermometer?

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