Can't Clear White Swirly Water

Discussion in 'Cloudy Aquarium Water' started by Tildy, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. TildyNew MemberMember

    Help Please!
    I apologize for the length of this!
    It's been quite a number of years since I've had a tank but I am happy to say I have one again! But I have never experienced this problem before. I recently moved and my husband says the water here is much higher in chlorine than where we moved from if that makes a difference.
    I do use water conditioned during changes and when adding water.

    I have a 30 gallon tank that has been set up about 4 months - since early April. Double whisper filter.
    I set the tank up for about 2 weeks before adding 1 medium Oranda, 1 medium Lionhead and a small Pearlscale goldfish. They were all hanging out fine and the water was perfectly clear and all levels were fine. Guess I should have quit while I was ahead.
    I bought these fish from a big pet store 2 hours from my house since I recently moved and didn't now of any local store any closer.
    A few weeks later, I found a tiny local pet store and added 2 more little goldfish (not sure what they are called but they look like feeder fish and I felt bad for them) and 2 mini aquatic albino frogs.

    A day or two later - I noticed my initial 2 medium fish had the beginning of anchor worms. I thought maybe the stress of the long ride maybe? Anyway, I panic'd and did all sorts of things that the local store told me to do. Maracy2, PraziPro, water changes, quarantine tanks, etc.
    Between all the stuff this woman gave me, my $7.99 fish cost me over $200. :)
    Whatever I did, they all survived and now they look great.

    Then an acquaintance who knew about my tank showed up at my door one day and brought me a medium size fantail goldfish (I still have no idea why but she did say she wanted visitation rights.....very strange! She does not have a fish tank by the way so I couldn't give it back to her.) Which irritated me because I wasn't sure if that would be too many fish in the tank and then I had to quarantine and then when I did put it in my tank - it was aggressive for a few days.
    In any case, all the fish and frogs get along fine now and to this day they are all alive. They are, however, starting to go to the top more often for air. This is just starting today as I type this.

    My water is my big problem!

    I admit I made mistakes.
    My tank started growing brown sludge on the filter (no where else) so I kept cleaning the filter cartridges..........with hot water........
    Then I disconnected the filter so I could do a big water change at the same time I changed all my gravel from light color to black (because I couldn't see the albino babies)..........
    Ok, so maybe I also washed the plastic plants and the bridge thinking maybe it was leaching something into the water.........
    When I did that, the motor stopped turning and my husband said it was because of all the sludge and so I thoroughly cleaned the whole filter with hot water(this was before I read about the "good" bacteria") - it worked as the motor started up again..........
    So I know all you experienced fish people are rolling your eyes now and know what happened.

    I have swirling clouds of white. This is about 3 weeks now. I have read everything about the "bloom" and have thus far tried everything and nothing.
    I haven't touched the filters. I have only added water as it evaporates.
    I added some Start Zyme" yesterday. Not sure how long this is supposed to take. I see no difference.

    My levels are all within range.
    Nitrate = 0
    Nitrite = 0
    Chlorine = 0
    Alkalinity = 120
    pH = 7.4
    Ammonia = 0
    I have very hard water.

    Oh - and I also have a light on one side of the tank currently as I read that maybe a little heat will help the bacteria grow?

    I don't know if anyone can help me or give me any advice. I feel terrible for these fish - it must be like looking through filthy glasses. I couldn't stand it!
    Thank you all in advance!
  2. GgAcE

    GgAcEValued MemberMember

    You didn't read EVERYTHING then =P

    You gotta wait. If you read up on the good bacteria you probably read that part that says good bacteria is not typicailly free-floating as the larger colonies attached to the filtration, plants, gravel, etc. By removing everything but the water, you triggered yet another cycle.

    Please don't add chemicals other than maybe all natural safe start to help get a small boost. Ammonia-away, cloudy water products, etc.. will likely delay the process.

    Just monitor your fish & your levels. I assume you don't have a quarantine tank set up?
  3. OP

    TildyNew MemberMember

    Apparently I did not read everything! I do not have a quarantine tank set up but I can do that. It would be a small 10 gallon if that would be ok. I also have a small octagon thing that I could use as well - maybe for the frogs? If you could tell me what to do I will do it. Even if I need to go get a bigger quarantine tank for them.
    Thank you for answering, I was getting worried no one would.

  4. hollie1505

    hollie1505Well Known MemberMember

    Hi there :) Welcome to Fishlore!

    I get swirly white with new tanks. Leave it be, it'll go away on it's own.

    You will need to be performing water changes of at least 75% per week, with your current stocking I would be doing 50% every day/every other day.

    You can wash your filter in old tank water or dechlorinated water, just swish it around when it begins to get sludgey :)

    I have never used start zyme but highly recommend tetra safestart.

    I hate to be the one to point it out but your tank is overstocked which may add to the issues you are having. Fancies need 20G for the first and 10G for each one there after and common goldies need large ponds. Adjusting your stocking/upgrading should be on the to do list.

    Lots of luck.x
  5. Flowingfins

    FlowingfinsFishlore VIPMember

    I agree with hollie. TSS works really we'll when doing fish-in cycles. and your tank is very overstocked, you will need at leafs a 50-70 gallon for all your fancys, and a large pond if the others are commons. Can you give us some pictures? We may be able to Identify the unknown fish.
    :sign0016:to fishlore!
  6. OP

    TildyNew MemberMember

    Tried to take a picture but I couldn't get a good one yet because of the white. I think I found what kind it on line and Uh Oh - it's a "common."
    I'll be asking around if anyone has a pond they could go to.

    I have another 30 gallon tank that I guess I'll be starting up to divide the fancies into until I can upgrade to a much bigger tank.

    I feel an addiction coming on.......who needs furniture in the house when you can have fish tanks instead?

    Thank you all, I've changed some water and touched nothing else. Still looking at thick fog but hoping with some more water changes I'll begin to see (no pun intended) a difference.
    Am I correct in thinking that with the water changes I am getting rid of the floating bacteria while not disturbing the good bacteria that is hopefully growing in my gravel and filter?

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  7. Flowingfins

    FlowingfinsFishlore VIPMember

    Yup, that's a common/comet.

    Sounds like you are starting to get MTS, don't worry most people on this site have it too:)
  8. hollie1505

    hollie1505Well Known MemberMember

    Sounds like a good plan, commons are just too big and messy and need too much space for an aquarium!

    You have an empty 30 gallon tank!? Of course you should put the fancies in there ;) You can't have an empty tank lying around... Must. Fill. Tank....

    Anyway, you would need 60+ Gallons for the fancies (I am counting 4 fancies, 2 commons and 2 frogs, right?) and I would use the octagon thingy for the frogs as the goldies are much faster at getting their food and will likely starve the froggies and we wouldn't want that, would we? :)

    I think you're on to a good plan to get the commons moved out, and put two fancies in each larger aquarium. You wouldn't need to upgrade at all, you could just keep them separate. Although, having MTS myself I'd say get a huge goldie tank and have two little (30G isn't so actually little really) communities!

    the fog should begin to clear up in time. Perform small, daily water changes, increase aeration if you can (either by adding air stones, goldies love them! or ensuring your filter output is agitating the surface of the water, feed the fish minimally whilst you have the bloom (every other day would be sufficient) and remove all waste (either by turkey basting waste out or vacuum waste and water change after feeding time)

    Lots of luck.x
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  9. OP

    TildyNew MemberMember

    Well thank you, thank you everyone for all your advice. MTS setting in. Moved the froggies to their own 20 gallon with the little Pearl goldfish. They seem happy - but really, how would I know?

    Setting up my other 30 gallon to move 2 of the other fancies into which will leave one fancy in the original 30 gallon once I find a good home for the 2 comets.
    Will the Pearl get bigger? If so, I will eventually move that one into the 30 gallon as soon as the comets relocate.
    My cloudy water has finally cleared!! But only after I thought about removing the ammo-carb I had in the filter. Sorry I failed to mention that. I recently read that the beneficial bacteria initially needs some ammonia to I took that stuff out and just put in regular carbon, did water changes for a few days and Voila! Sooo happy.

    But now I can see how overstocked the tank looks, didn't realize how big the 3 fancies are (maybe they grew while the water was cloudy and I just couldn't see?)
    Anyway, I measured where their tank is and figured I could fit a 75 gallon in that spot............
    So one 20 gallon, two 30 gallon and a 75 gallon.............too much for a newbie? :)
  10. hollie1505

    hollie1505Well Known MemberMember

    Yay! One of us! One of us! One of us!!!

    So glad to hear your water has cleared up. A crystal clear tank is much more awe inspiring :)

    Your plan sounds great! Sorry, I am a bit unsure about the pearl, is it a fancy Goldfish (is it chunky with a double tail or thin and long with a single tail?) and how big is it now?

    Yup. Ammo-carb will have stopped the ammonia feeding the bacteria. I generally just leave it without that kind of stuff, or use Prime/Amquel Plus which turn ammonia into ammonium which the same bacteria will eat. It keeps the levels more stable and your bacteria happy :) Just keep up your water changes.

    Your Goldies probably have had a growth spurt. They've probably got more space in the tank they're in now then they ever have so they're just enjoying the room. It's a good sign :)

    I would keep an eye on the frogs in with the Goldie, they're much slower at getting to food than Goldies. And Goldies can be such clumsy fish!

    It's never too much if you are willing to maintain it. It is a commitment but it is very possible. I have 16 tanks including a 75G and an 85G and a toddler and I do all maintenance manually, alone in the evening. That means 3x40% water changes on the Goldie tank using a regular siphon and a 10L bucket. If I can do it, anyone can, you just have to be willing to keep it up!

    Lots of luck to you! Have you any photos? I love seeing set ups!xx

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