Cloudy Aquarium

ncljohnson96

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I have a 20 gallon aquarium and have had nothing but problems with it since I got. At this point, I'm pretty sure it's possessed or something. (The last guy that had it had problems with it too).

I've had this tank up for about 2 months. It was doing really well up until 3 weeks ago, when my water turned really cloudy. Not sure why. I did a partial water change. No help. I bought a new filter, Fluvel C3. (I've had the filter in for less than a week and is telling me I need to change it out.) No help. I did a full water change. For about 12 hours it was fine. After 24 hours, it's back to the same state. I use Tetra Aquasafe and Tetra safe start in it. But I don't put anything else in it. All my levels have been fine. Before my change ammonia was at .25 and my nitrate and nitrite was at 0. pH was at 7, perfect for tropical fish. I keep my water at a toasty 80 degrees F.

I have a Betta, 2 glowlights, and a snail in this aquarium.

What am I doing wrong!? Or is my aquarium haunted?
I keep my 5 gallon in perfect condition. I am really close to selling this one and getting another 5 gallon for my Betta.
 

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AWheeler

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You may need to just rinse the filter out in some tank water when you do a water change. If it is cloudy it could be substrate wasn't rinsed thoroughly enough, bacteria bloom, lots of things really. Try putting a piece poly sheet or even some poly fill in behind the regular filter for some extra filtration of the fine particles in the water.. I'd also pick up some prime to use for dechlorination and to help with the ammonia levels.
 

clk89

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Did you cycle the tank before the filter change?
Why did you buy a new filter?
Did you do anything to cycle the new filter, if not you probably aren't cycled which would be one issue. The fact that you have zero nitrate and some ammonia is more proof that you may not be cycled.
 
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ncljohnson96

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Did you cycle the tank before the filter change?
Why did you buy a new filter?
Did you do anything to cycle the new filter, if not you probably aren't cycled which would be one issue. The fact that you have zero nitrate and some ammonia is more proof that you may not be cycled.
I had cycled the tank the first time around. I had him in my 5 gallon so I was in no hurry to transfer him into the new 20 gallon. For about 5 weeks my tank had been completely fine! I'm not sure why it started.
I bought a new filter because the guy who I bought tank off of had a crappy Walmart filter and I didn't think it was doing the job. When I started the new filter up I washed everything in old filter water since I changed it in a partial change.
 

AllieSten

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Ok so since you got rid of your old filter media, you have lost your cycle and will have to start over. All of your beneficial bacteria live in your filter media, not in your water.

Do you need help doing a fish-in cycle?

As far as the cloudiness, I would do daily water changes for a few days and see if it clears up. It reminds me of when I added sand to my tank. I didn't rinse it well enough. The two ways to get rid of it, whatever it is, is water changes and a cycled tank.
 

MikeRad89

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The cloudiness is a bacterial bloom. The nitrifying bacteria trying to repopulate itself, leave the tank alone and allow it to adhere to the filter media and it will clear up.

Dose seachem prime to keep your levels in check during cycling.

Never change your filter cartridge, just wash it gently in a bucket of tank water or dechlorinated tap water.
 

clk89

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I had cycled the tank the first time around. I had him in my 5 gallon so I was in no hurry to transfer him into the new 20 gallon. For about 5 weeks my tank had been completely fine! I'm not sure why it started.
I bought a new filter because the guy who I bought tank off of had a crappy Walmart filter and I didn't think it was doing the job. When I started the new filter up I washed everything in old filter water since I changed it in a partial change.
Yeah I have to agree with the others, it sounds like you lost your cycle then with the new filter. For future reference what you can do is either put the old filter media in the new filter or have the new filter running in the tank at the same time as the old filter for a month before taking out the old filter. Basically you are now doing a fish-in cycle, so watch your parameters and do water changes when you need to.
 
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ncljohnson96

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Yeah I have to agree with the others, it sounds like you lost your cycle then with the new filter. For future reference what you can do is either put the old filter media in the new filter or have the new filter running in the tank at the same time as the old filter for a month before taking out the old filter. Basically you are now doing a fish-in cycle, so watch your parameters and do water changes when you need to.
What exactly does a fish-in cycle entail? I'm assuming I did it with my 5 gallon. Started it up, let it run for 24 hours, put in my safe start and plop goes my fish. Is it similar to that? I know I should know more but my 5g was so much easier than my 20g. I was not expecting to get a 20g. It was $40 for everything and I couldn't resist!
 

clk89

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What exactly does a fish-in cycle entail? I'm assuming I did it with my 5 gallon. Started it up, let it run for 24 hours, put in my safe start and plop goes my fish. Is it similar to that? I know I should know more but my 5g was so much easier than my 20g. I was not expecting to get a 20g. It was $40 for everything and I couldn't resist!
Fish-in basically means that you cycle the tank with your fish in the tank, like what you did with your five gallon. You can do this with or without a bacterial starter like stability or tetra safe start plus.

Just for additional information when you do a fishless cycle you don't have fish in the tank while you cycle instead you use something for the ammonia like pure ammonia, or fish food. With fish-in cycle the ammonia is produced via the fish poop. Hope that all makes sense.
 

Angelfish4Life

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For future reference, here is a list of all the things people like you and I need to know about begining fish keeping. It explains a lot. If it doesn't make sense, just make a post like this and everyone will gladly assist.
READ FIRST: Freshwater Beginner Important Topics

Also, for fish-in cycles, a lot of members dose seachem prime to help detoxify the water, so they don't kill fish.
 
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ncljohnson96

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Also, as an update for y'all, I woke up this morning and my tank was crystal clear like nothing happened. So that is 48 hours after I redid my tank and 24 hours after it was cloudy again. Not sure why but I'll take it!
 
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