Cloudy Water after Tank Move

nrtguy

Hi everyone. This is my first post here on this website. About a month and a half ago, in order to move my 20-gallon aquarium (please see attached picture) to another room, I filled up a bucket with tank water and then transferred all my fish into it. I then drained all the other tank water into other buckets until just the gravel was still immersed in water. I then moved the tank to the other room (while still on its stand), poured the buckets with tank water back into the aquarium, and then put the fish back in. At first, everything was fine. However, the tank water gradually became cloudier and cloudier. It has been at its current level of cloudiness for about 4 weeks. No fish have died. The water parameters as of a few days ago are as follows:

nitrate: 20
nitrite: 0
total hardness: 75
total chlorine: 0
total alkalinity: 40
p.h.: 6.8
ammonia: between 0.0 and 0.25 (colour of water sample has always been between these 2 numbers even when there were no problems) (using API Ammonia test kit)

I have cut back feeding to every other day and am feeding them more gradually when I do feed them so as to minimize the amount of the flake food that would sink away from the fish and not get eaten.

How can I get the water to become clear again? I have read advice such as "don't do anything" and it will just fix itself. However, what exactly does this mean? I can't imagine truly not doing anything (i.e. no water changes, gravel vacuuming, filter cleaning, etc...). Wouldn't this make things worse by allowing pollutants to build up and decrease the water quality? Also, some water would have to be added due to evaporation; I've read that you should never just add water, but do so in conjunction with a water change, right?

My tank is not overstocked as everything was just fine for a long period before the move. No fish are dying. The water parameters are good. The water just looks very cloudy. Obviously draining the water to move the tank is what caused it. I would appreciate any advice as to timelines to wait, whether I'm doing the right things or not, etc...

Also, I ordered a 3W Mini AA Aquarium Green Killing Machine to clear up the water and am still waiting for it to arrive. In my case, since the water parameters are fine and fish aren't dying, after this machine hopefully clears up the water more quickly than not using it, should my tank continue like before I moved it?

Any help would be appreciated. Thank you!
 

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BigManAquatics

1) the move and subsequent adding of water may have kicked up a bunch of stuff and

2) when was the last time you rinsed filter media? Also, maybe try adding some poly-fil
 

nrtguy

1) the move and subsequent adding of water may have kicked up a bunch of stuff and

2) when was the last time you rinsed filter media? Also, maybe try adding some poly-fil
I cleaned my Marina s20 slim filter s20 about 3 weeks ago. Should I leave it alone for a while (longer than the 1 month that I usually do between cleanings)? Also, how could I add Poly-fil to my filter? Where could I buy it? I'm not familiar with it.
 

BigManAquatics

Should be able to get some at a place like walmart. Can rinse it and put it in your filter for awhile, does great at picking up the fine particles.
 

nrtguy

Should be able to get some at a place like walmart. Can rinse it and put it in your filter for awhile, does great at picking up the fine particles.
Do you mean I should just stuff it in the empty spaces on either side of the existing filter cartridges? Would I need to not completely stuff it so as to leave sufficient free space in the filter? If this is a bacterial bloom (what do you think based on the picture? It looks like white clouds moving through the water), will it help with that?
 

BigManAquatics

I have never had a bacterial bloom last for more than a week. I think it is mostly small particles. And yes, just stuff it in.
 

nrtguy

I have never had a bacterial bloom last for more than a week. I think it is mostly small particles. And yes, just stuff it in.
Will any Poly-fill do? Or are there only certain types that are safe for aquarium use?
 

CindiL

How often are you doing water changes, vacuuming the substrate and rinsing the filter?

The green killing machine will help a lot but so will more frequent water changes and rinsing the filter media out good in old tank water.
 

Hpup456

I had green water in my tank. The filter slowed way down to a drip and then things cleared up. I'm pretty sure I found mosquito larvae in the filter once it started back up. I think as water slowly passed by them they ate the algae. Just something to think of. Live Daphnia would also eat green water.
 

OutsideFoodBlob

Have you tried using a water clarifier? I haven’t had the need to use myself but pretty sure Seachem, API and such have versions of these products that might help speed up the process of declouding water.
Also, because they are so low cost, if you live somewhere with a pet smart nearby get a Top Fin MF10. They are basically little internal/impeller driven boxed sponge filters and they clear up water fast! I have used as a primary filter but also as a water polisher. $12-14 USD.
 

nrtguy

How often are you doing water changes, vacuuming the substrate and rinsing the filter?

The green killing machine will help a lot but so will more frequent water changes and rinsing the filter media out good in old tank water.
I do a 20% water change once a week. While I do each water change, I vacuum 1/3 of the gravel each week and scrub the glass clean for a total of 3 weeks. On the 4th week, I clean my hang-on-the-back filter and scrub the glass. For the 4th-week water change, I just suck out water but don't vacuum any gravel. I rise the filter media in the tank water that I suck out. This routine has served me well for years.

Only this last week, because I saw some advice to simply "not do anything" in response to my cloudy water, I didn't do my usual water change and gravel vacuuming. I monitored the water parameters, though, in case they necessitated a water change.

I started using my uv sterilizer on Friday. It has made a definite difference. From what I have read, it takes about a full week for it to make the maximum difference. I was thinking of waiting until the week is up before going back to my regular cleaning and water change routine.

Thoughts?
 

CindiL

I do a 20% water change once a week. While I do each water change, I vacuum 1/3 of the gravel each week and scrub the glass clean for a total of 3 weeks. On the 4th week, I clean my hang-on-the-back filter and scrub the glass. For the 4th-week water change, I just suck out water but don't vacuum any gravel. I rise the filter media in the tank water that I suck out. This routine has served me well for years.

I started using my uv sterilizer on Friday. It has made a definite difference.
I'm a believer in more is better with water changes and fresh water is always a good thing (assuming tap and tank ph are close) and always opt for weekly 30-50% water changes depending on the tank size. I rinse my filter media along with my water change.
Glad to hear the UV sterilizer is working! Love those things. I always get Crystal clear water with them.
 

OutsideFoodBlob

Ditto on hearing that the uv sterilizer is working. If you test your water parameters the day you usually do water changes and are good then maybe give the uv the few extra days it needs and water change. Agreed that water changes generally are first/best course of action. All around it sounds like your lovely tank will be truly just that very soon!
 

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