Cloudy Water And Frustration Help

Discussion in 'Cloudy Aquarium Water' started by ScottsTots, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. ScottsTotsNew MemberMember

    This is my first time posting but have spent about a month lurking on here and have found it to be very beneficial. I've had several small tanks in the past with no issues but this new one has me in fits. I got a 20 gallon tank about 2 months ago. My kids were eager to get fish in it so I didn't let it cycle properly. Obviously this was a mistake and I lost all but one of the fish. The problem I'm having now is my water turned cloudy about a week ago after I did my weekly water change. My local pet store suggested an air pump to help circulate the water. I installed that and now my water is still cloudy and the fish I currently have are all staying at the top of the aquarium opposite the bubble wand. I have also tested the water using the API master test kit. The ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are all 0 ppm. I read about the issues with the nitrate test so I violently shook and beat the bottle before testing. I'm sure I'm leaving details out but I would love any help you could give.

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  2. FrankieflowazValued MemberMember

    Nitrate at 0 ppm means you have no bacteria colony built up and after 2 months thats a bit bad you want 5-10 ppm i believe for nitrates how often do you water change?? How much % wise? Do you condition your tap water to make it safe??

  3. ScottsTotsNew MemberMember

    I was doing a weekly water change of about 25% and then last weekend I did a 50% water change. I use Tetra AquaSafe Plus when I do my water change. I also used the Safe Start a few days ago thinking I needed the good bacteria to help with the cloudy water.
  4. IslandvicWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to fishlore forum.

    You probably from "new tank syndrome".

    Ensure the fish are not being over fed and do a vac of the substrate when changing the water. Removing the build up of organic matter helps reduce the "food source" of the free floating bacterial bloom.

    It is a different type of bacteria than the beneficial bacteria needed for your cycle.

    What is your current stocking?

    Also, here is a (LINK) to a thread on the forum that you may find useful regarding filters and how to boost their mechanical and biological filtration ability for $10 or less. has a clearance sale going now. Take a look at their   on sale for $2.50 and  . The sponge filters are over 50% off. A pair of #5's or #8's ($3.00 each) placed in the back corners can be ran off your airpump and really increase the surface area for your beneficial bacteria to colonize.

    The Tetra bacteria may help jump start your nitrogen cycle.

    I just recently bought both and other items from their sale.

    Once your Tetra Aqua Safe starts to run low, consider using Seachem Prime. Usually you can find a 500mL bottle for about $12.49. It is very cost effective because it is so concentrated.

    1mL of Prime treats 10 gallons of water.
  5. ScottsTotsNew MemberMember

    Thanks. I will take a look at that website. I just assumed that after 2 months I had finally established good bacteria. Did my 50% water change destroy the bacterial balance?
  6. IslandvicWell Known MemberMember

    No. All of the beneficial bacteria colonizes on the surfaces within the tank, not the water column.

    I routinely do 40%-50% changes on my 10g and 20g tanks, and do 50%-60% changes on my 75g tank. Never a problem.

    If all your #'s are zero for parameters, that seems strange to me. You should at least be registering nitrates.

    Have you replaced your filter media or cartridges recently?

    Take a look at the link I gave to the filter media thread I gave. It can be a long read, but a ton of useful info.

    Air wand will not improve the cloudiness, but it's not hurting either.

    How is tank stocked now?
  7. ScottsTotsNew MemberMember

    I have not replaced my filter. I obviously need to add something besides the carbon filter after reading your thread.
    The tank has 3 mollies and a platy. Those 4 seem to be able to handle what my son now calls the murder box. I've been too afraid to add anything else until I get this tank right.
  8. IslandvicWell Known MemberMember

    Use a couple of tips from the linked thread, and you should be able to easily colonize more beneficial bacteria to support more stock.
  9. sy2505New MemberMember

    Apology for the cut-in. If beneficial bacteria is not in the water then why I heard changing of water during tank cycling is not recommended?