Cloudy all the time.


I have a tank I inherited from my mother when her last fish died.

I think it is either a twenty or twenty five gallon bow front tank.

I have been trying with it for three years.
After one round of a complete tank death, save one black Molly that died less than six months ago finally...
And moving the tank to my new home, and surviving multiple rounds of ick over nine months (what finally got the Molly)

I have whittled my fish down to two types. So far it seems to work. I have eight fish total in the tank.

1 year old blue gourami
Newish golden gourami
2 powder blue gourami newish
2 dwarf gourami, one newish and one about six months in the tank.
And two emerald Cory cat fish. Newish

Newish meaning like two months.

It's not real decorated. I have a volcano and a small sponge bob figurine bubblers (thank you ten year old for the sponge bob.) I have three medium sized plants and two small ones.

I run an Aqueon quiet flow 10 power filter, & the heater that came with it

I clean it regularly. I use water conditioner (top fin). I change the filter every month or month and a half, like I'm supposed to.

Nothing works! The water is always cloudy.

Sometimes it's a yellow cloudiness.

Sometimes it's just cloudy.

It's annoying.

Any help?


Welcome to fishlore!

New tanks (or newly started tanks) often get cloudy water. It should go away soon enough.

I'm worried about your stocking. Gouramis are similar to bettas in the fact, in most cases, they won't tolerate others of their own kind, except in very large tanks. Since you only have a 20 gallon, I'd suggest picking your favorite and rehoming the rest before they start killing each other. Also, emerald cories are pretty much the one cory that gets big; they need at least a 30 gallon tank. If you are still able to return them, you could swap them for a smaller kind of cory.

On a side note- you don't actually need to replace the filter media every month/month and a half. That's just what companies will put in the directions so you but more media and they make more money. It actually messes with your cycle, sometimes making you lose it. Just rinse out the media in old tank water every couple water changes and you should be good!


The store I bought the Cory cats from said they only got to be about 3.5 to 4 inches long. And so far noone is killing anyone.

And the tank isn't new....I don't think....I mean I've had it here with atleast two of the fish in it for a year....

Thanks for the filter tip though.

Though I did just realized I posted this in the wrong place. Woops


Welcome to FishLore!

First things first...Male gouramis mustn't be kept together; they're anabantoids like bettas and males will fight. If they're not fighting now, it's simply because they're too stressed (which is how they can keep males together at pet stores). I would pick one kind you like best. If you want a group, honey and sparkling gouramis are often kept in trios (one male, two females).

Second, unfortunately you are definitely NOT supposed to change the filter monthly. That's just a gimmick to get you to buy more filters! The issue at hand is that, according to your profile, you are not familiar with the nitrogen cycle. I urge you to click on the underlined text and read up on it. Success is impossible without a firm grasp of its concepts. In a nutshell: fish waste decays to produce ammonia, which is toxic to fish. Beneficial bacteria that live in your filter media (the cartridge) consume ammonia and produce nitrite. Unfortunately nitrite is also toxic to fish, but another type of bacteria consume nitrite and produce nitrate. This is why you must not throw away the filter media EVER because you're throwing away the bacteria! This is another reason your gouramis are not fighting; not only are they stressed from being together, but they're stressed from being in a cycling tank.

I'm assuming the cloudiness is likely from the fact that your tank is constantly re-cycling, every time you put in a new cartridge. What I would do:

1. Purchase a bottle of Tetra SafeStart. Read this thread to learn up on the product: It's basically a bottle of the bacteria you need. You dump it in the tank, wait two weeks with no water changes (otherwise you're throwing the bacteria away). If you don't want to pay money on it (it is a tad expensive, $20-$30 depending on the size of the tank) then you'll need to cycle your tank the old-fashioned way. But since you have a tank FULL of fish, then I would spend the money to try and save them.

2. Purchase an API Freshwater Master Test Kit. You can get it at Petsmart/Petco or on Amazon for cheaper. This is how you will know if your tank is cycled. Test the water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. You'll know your tank is cycled if ammonia and nitrite are at 0ppm and you have measurable nitrates. If that doesn't make sense, re-read that article on the nitrogen cycle!

3. Rehome some fish. Even disregarding the fact that male gouramis can't be kept together, your tank is still very overstocked. It's possible that you won't be able to cycle your tank, because there isn't enough room for enough bacteria to process all the ammonia that your fish are producing (IE you have too much fish poop in there!). I would pick ONE gourami and rehome the rest. Additionally, catfish are schooling fish - this means they need a large group to feel comfortable. Once you rehome all but one of the gouramis, and your tank is cycled, I would get more. However, the variety you have gets larger than most - the kind you often see at petstores are corydoras aeneus, while you have brochis splendens - still a catfish, but not a "cory cat." They get pretty big, so you may want to get true cories instead. They sell green cories (I have a few myself) if you like the green ones.

Hope this makes sense! Ask any questions you have and hopefully your tank will be on the right track in no time. I know it seems like I didn't spend any time on the cloudiness you asked about, but there are so many other issues that need to be solved first. Also solving the issues above will probably solve the cloudiness, since it's probably due to a constantly cycling tank.

Edit: I was ninja-ed 3.5-4 inches is pretty huge, considering you need at least six of them for them to feel safe and comfortable.


I'll wait for someone to give their opinions on tank size for emeralds, but I don't think a 20 gallon is appropriate. As for the gouramis, there may not be any dead ones now, but it'll be a bloodbath soon enough. Gouramis can be pretty mean, especially dwarf gouramis. I can't make you rehome them, but I definitely think that would be the best thing to do.

Edit: I think I was the one ninja'd kinezumi!


Hello and Welcome to Fish Lore!

A few links that may help you concerning Cloudy Water:

Yellow water:

Best wishes for your tank and fish and I hope you enjoy the site.



Hello and Welcome!

Sorry to hear you have been having problems. Good advice listed above. I know I have learned a lot from this forum. I used to keep fish a long time ago and thought I had the whole business down pat. But thanks to this forum, my fish are doing much better than they might have otherwise.


Funny story:
I went to the LFS searching for TSS, and took a peek at the fish so I can see what else I would like to stock my tank with. I fell in love with a Gold Gourami and was promptly told that if I buy 1 I'd have to buy 3 or 4 because a Gourami fish simply CAN NOT live in a tank without others of it's species.

Amazing to see how much they care about the fish and not the money they make off them.

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