Cloudy New Tank

  1. K

    KyleJ New Member Member

    I just set up my tank about two and a half Weeks ago. Yes I have a decent amount of fish in there already. I understand the cycle, to some degree, but my tank has been pretty cloudy the last week or so. To the point where I cannot see anything looking across the tank (side to side, long ways). I changed 25% of the water a week ago and will probably do another change Tuesday. I have read its common to have a cloudy tank during the n cycle, but how long did yours last? I'm getting sick of my tank looking dirty when I know that it's not. Help appreciated.
     
  2. goplecos

    goplecos Well Known Member Member

    If you don't have established media it could take months. I was waiting for almost 2 months for my first tank to cycle completely. There are 2 answers get cycled filter media and/or buy beneficial bacteria.
     
  3. Laxin10

    Laxin10 Valued Member Member

    Definitely buy some bacterial additives such as tetra SafeStart or Stability. How big is the tank and how many fish do you have?
     
  4. Fashooga

    Fashooga Fishlore VIP Member

    If it's the cloudy water is white it's a bacteria/cycling. This means your tank is either going through a cycle or a mini cycle. Check your parameters. Daily water changes might be needed until the tank is cycled since your doing a in fish cycle.

    If it's grey color cloud it's a dirty tank.
     
  5. liberosis4170

    liberosis4170 Valued Member Member

    If this problem shows up again after your tank is cycled I suggest doing more water changes until the water clears up. If you have an extra filter laying around that wouldn't hurt to have more filtration. I recently had problem with white water when I changed my landscaping and moved the substrate too much. (different situation, but same problem) So I did 50% water change and the next day did 20% water change and all the while did a blackout (turned off the lights for two days. This did the trick for me and it is now clear as day.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    K

    KyleJ New Member Member

    Thanks everyone! Its a fifty gallon tank, and about 80% capcity of full stock of fish. (i got anxious). I have used Tetra safe start plus when I started the tank, as well as the recommended amount for water changes as well. Still cloudy tho (not dirty).
     
  7. liberosis4170

    liberosis4170 Valued Member Member

    Huh, well if it persists, hate to say it, but have you considerd taking the fish back to the LFS and try a fishless cycle so you don't loose what you've put into it if the fish die? *the main reason for this is you might have put too many fish in that short span of time causing spikes in the water conditions thus ending up with cloudy water.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    K

    KyleJ New Member Member

    Hmmm well if that's the case these tetra safe start products are full of crap.. "Add fish instantly, if you use this product".
     
  9. toolman

    toolman Well Known Member Member

    I wouldn't worry about the cloudiness, it will go away after your tank cycled. What I would be worried about is the conditions for your fish. I understand it's hard to be patient, but you have two choices now.

    1.Keep the fish dosing with prime to detoxify the ammonia and nitrites while doing daily water changes.

    2.Return the fish until cycled.

    I would recommend just doing a fish-in cycle, they came done responsibly but are a lot of work.
    What are your water conditions?


    Test water everyday..
    If ammonia plus nitrite is under 1ppm dose with prime and check again in 24hrs.

    If ammonia plus nitrite is greater than 1ppm do a water change and dose with prime. Check again in 24hrs.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    K

    KyleJ New Member Member

    Good advice. Yes water conditions are good. Nitrates and nitrites both safe and very low. Also tested the water for ammonia at my local fish store two days ago (when water was still very cloudy) and there was no ammonia.
     
  11. toolman

    toolman Well Known Member Member

    Do you have your own test kit? Even 0.25 ammonia and nitrites can be harmful. Very low us not safe, 0 is.

    That's why the prime is used prime will detoxify ammonia and nitrites below 1ppm. Low levels untreated will lead to water quality issues.

    Also what's your stocking? Filter?
     
  12. OP
    OP
    K

    KyleJ New Member Member

    Ammonia at the store was a zero. Nitrates and nitrates I don't know the number but the test kit identified the color as VERY SAFE. I have a top gun internal 40 filter. Came with bio rings and again I used tetra safe start as well. Fish are all beginner fish and Hardy. Platies swordtails and about 6 glofish tetras
     
  13. OP
    OP
    K

    KyleJ New Member Member

    I also noticed the top fin has a plus minus gauge on it. It was all the way negative so it wasn't filtering as much. Got it all the way on the plus now and it seems about double the water is getting pumped through.
     
  14. dansamy

    dansamy Valued Member Member

    We just started two Betta tanks. They were both cloudy for a couple days. They're both clearing up now. We started them using AquaSafe and SafeStart Plus. AquaSafe, left to sit up for 24 hours with filter on, TSS+ and then a Betta. We're only 3-4 days in so no water testing yet.
     
  15. toolman

    toolman Well Known Member Member

    Be wary of advice from lfs, mine is very good but they still give bad advice and not all employees are equally knowledgeable.

    Don't know what test they used but any that have a "safe zone" would make me wonder, again the only safe reading is 0 otherwise I use Prime until 0.

    I would recommend getting the api freshwater master test kit to test your own water, that's the only way to know what's going in your tank.
    To much bioload with tss+ can cause the cycle to fail. That's why they give you a recommended amount of fish to start.

    How many platys and swordtails do you have?

    I'm not certain if your tank is cycling or uncycled. A bacteria bloom is a certain indication of one or the other.
     
  16. OP
    OP
    K

    KyleJ New Member Member

    I'm using the marineland test kits, or have been which is what offers a safe zone for nitrites and nitrates, and the ammonia was at a 0 at the store. (marineland test kit doesn't show ammonia). I have 4 platies and 2 swordtails. I am hoping it's cycling appropriately,
     
  17. bopsalot

    bopsalot Well Known Member Member

    Ok, you are getting some solid advice here, and I will throw in my 2 cents. The water cloudiness is likely from a bacterial bloom. Not the nitrogen cycle bacteria, though. Different bacteria, but very likely harmless. These blooms are common in new tanks, occasionally they can cause oxygen deprivation, but it's not likely. I wouldn't be overly concerned with this very temporary problem.

    Of far more importance: ammonia is a big issue here. The reading of zero ammonia at the local fish store is quite suspicious, if not impossible. Unless you did a 100% water change right before you went in. Tetra safe start is nice, but it is hardly an instant cycle. You can put TSS in with a very few fish, and if you follow the directions, things will likely be ok. But you added lots of fish. It's ok, I understand. But they are there now, and we have to account for the ammonia they are producing. I highly highly recommend you get the API Freshwater Master Test Kit ($24 on amazon, lasts a loooooong time). You will be able to accurately test for ammonia (very important), nitrite (very important), and nitrate (still pretty important). There will be ammonia and it is highly toxic if it builds up.

    It could take several weeks before you have a fragile baby cycle. It will be delicate for months. In the meantime, while your tank is cycling, there will be large partial water changes to remove the toxic waste when indicated by your tests. Yes, your fish are "relatively hardy", but cycling is very stressful indeed. "Hardy" fish die all the time or get very sick in cycling aquariums, which is why most experienced fishkeepers do fishless cycles these days. It's ok to do fish-in cycles, but it is only humane to make sure you are doing it properly to minimize the stress on the animals. I know some of this seems complicated at first, if you have any questions at all, feel free.

    And please try not to get any information from anyone at a pet or fish store. There are a couple informed people here and there, but in general most employees will tell you absolute nonsense. Same goes for the internet. Good luck, I hope this helps!
     
  18. OP
    OP
    K

    KyleJ New Member Member

    Wow. Thanks!!! Sometime I get overwhelmed posting a question on here. I am new to the hobby and have done a lot of research to do the best I can, but when asking a question on fishlore, I have heard everything from "completely normal" to "take your fish back immediately". I will get the recommended tests you mentioned in Amazon and will do water changes frequently until the tank has settled. Sounds like stocking the fish was a mistake, but I am hoping I can manage it without killing this fish. I started with 6 glofish tetras about 3 Weeks ago and they are still going strong.
     
  19. bopsalot

    bopsalot Well Known Member Member

    Yeah, fishlore is great for learning. As far as internet forums go, it is the best. Carefully moderated, everyone's pretty polite. But relative newbies do chime in from time to time when maybe they shouldn't. Sometimes people are curt or even a little rude. Many experienced members are very helpful and give solid advice, but don't take the time to be thorough and explain stuff. I remember what it was like to be new, so when I help someone out, I try to be very clear and thorough, and even try to explain contradictory advice if I've seen someone being pulled this way and that. Many times, both members have valid points, but one may be more important than another in a specific situation.

    Your fish will very likely be fine if you keep the ammonia and nitrite low during the initial cycle. The forum has tons of "stickies" - permanent threads to guide novice fishkeepers, in the beginner's forum. Many fish species have their own stickies and care sheets too, in their dedicated forums. If your fish are Glofish tetras, then they are genetically modified black skirt tetras. They like to hang out in schools of 6+. I'm no expert, but I think your particular mix of fish may do best in the lower range of tropical temperatures. Someone correct me if I'm mistaken, but 73-74 degrees sounds about right for a mix of black skirts, platties, and swordtails? Swordtails might like it slightly warmer, but I think 73-74 will minimize any temperature stress. There is a lot of misinformation floating around about temperature, even the glofish website says 80 degrees is fine for glofish, but that's really just for sales. And those beautifully mutant fish are pricey, so I'd want to protect them.

    Until you get your ammonia test kit, you may want to up your water changes to be safe, but I think the tetra safe start directions may tell you not to do this. Changing water may eliminate some of the added beneficial bacteria. That's the one thing I don't really like about that product. Because if your ammonia spikes, you really do need to change the water, whatever the effect on the starter bacteria. The cycle will establish itself in time however much water you change. But it's totally up to you.

    Remember the cycle bacteria live mostly in the filter media/floss. Depending on what kind of filter you have, you may not want to disturb these bacteria with unneeded filter rinsing or cartridge changing. Not until you are well-established. Good luck!
     
  20. dansamy

    dansamy Valued Member Member

    I'm new again too. I used to keep an aquarium ages ago and things were a lot different. Undergravel filters were the most common and HOB filters were just starting to trickle into local ordinary pet stores. I'm trying to remember where I even got my undergravel filter because all Walmart had was super basic stuff and I didn't have a PetSmart or a Petco or anything like it. I remember that I checked out a couple books on fishkeeping from the local library and bought a couple issues of a magazine. I do remember that I started with an air pump and stones. No undergravel filter. I remember being mad that I had to break everything down to install it.