Cloudy water comes and goes, but I don't know what's causing it.

KatHasAFish

Member
Hello!
So I have been having a cloudy water problem for quite a while now, but It comes and goes. I would describe it as being sort of misty. Currently, my tank is perfectly (Maybe not PERFECTLY, but mostly) clear, which is actually quite rare for my tank, so I'm going to try and find a past picture and post that. My water parameters are optimal, both now and when the water was cloudy. I don't think it is because of waste buildup, although it very well could be... I say that because there were times when I didn't clean the tank for a little longer than I was supposed to or food dropped to the bottom and the water didn't get cloudy again. Currently, my tank doesn't have any fish in it, and I have not cleaned it in over two weeks (I'm going to just get rid of all the water, I'm asking for future reference). I would think it would be cloudy by now, though there aren't any fish in it, so no waste. Any ideas on what this could be? (Picture below, I hope it helps a little)

IMG_20201108_191429138.jpg
 

Betta'sAnonymous

Member
What kind of filter do you have?
 
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KatHasAFish

Member
I use the filter that comes with my topfin retreat tank, but it wasnt very good so I added a small sponge filter and they run together. I continued running the filter that came with it since it had carbon and I wanted to try and polish the water, but also because my fish was on meds.
 

Betta'sAnonymous

Member
KatHasAFish said:
I use the filter that comes with my topfin retreat tank, but it wasnt very good so I added a small sponge filter and they run together. I continued running the filter that came with it since it had carbon and I wanted to try and polish the water, but also because my fish was on meds.
Ok. Was wondering, because if you were changing the cartridge, that could cause a bacterial bloom over and over.
 

CuddlyOctopus

Member
Betta'sAnonymous said:
What kind of filter do you have?
I was having this problem too with my new set up. I know it can be caused by over cleaning. That misty milky isn't necessarily bad, most of it is good bacteria and natural flora settling in. It may take a few days to clear up at the most. My sponge filter seemed to have fixed the problem as well. If you haven't already, try and get an air stone for the sponge filter it makes them more efficient and my fish seem to like it. Hope it resolves your issue
CuddlyOctopus said:
I was having this problem too with my new set up. I know it can be caused by over cleaning. That misty milky isn't necessarily bad, most of it is good bacteria and natural flora settling in. It may take a few days to clear up at the most. My sponge filter seemed to have fixed the problem as well. If you haven't already, try and get an air stone for the sponge filter it makes them more efficient and my fish seem to like it. Hope it resolves your issue
And I replied to the wrong comment and don't know how to delete it oops
 
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KatHasAFish

Member
I replace the cartridge ever 3-4 weeks like it tells you on the package, though it gets gross pretty quickly with all the algae. My tank has been running since September, so its not really new. And yup! I have an airstone in my sponge filter. Thanks for your responses, by the way!
 

StarGirl

Member
KatHasAFish said:
I replace the cartridge ever 3-4 weeks like it tells you on the package, though it gets gross pretty quickly with all the algae. My tank has been running since September, so its not really new. And yup! I have an airstone in my sponge filter. Thanks for your responses, by the way!
You should only replace the cartridge when it is falling apart...literally. Rinse it off in tank water when you do a water change. Not the tap water. When you throw them away your cycle will pretty much start over again every time. The package tells you that so you buy more cartridges sadly.
 

CuddlyOctopus

Member
KatHasAFish said:
I replace the cartridge ever 3-4 weeks like it tells you on the package, though it gets gross pretty quickly with all the algae. My tank has been running since September, so its not really new. And yup! I have an airstone in my sponge filter. Thanks for your responses, by the way!
I would recommend getting some snails and cory catfish. Cory's aren't good with gravel, but they're good with soft sand. They really do a great job keeping the bottom clean so there's no left over food at the bottom. My betta and them get along well, and he schools with them at times. They will also eat debris and algea off the sponge so it does help keep the sponge more efficient as long as your betta is good with them, that is definitely a great option. If not, then for sure snails.
That's my albino cory. He's a tad tinier than my other 2 but they're all about the same size as my betta
I would recommend getting some snails and cory catfish. Cory's aren't good with gravel, but they're good with soft sand. They really do a great job keeping the bottom clean so there's no left over food at the bottom. My betta and them get along well, and he schools with them at times. They will also eat debris and algea off the sponge so it does help keep the sponge more efficient as long as your betta is good with them, that is definitely a great option. If not, then for sure snails.
That's my albino cory. He's a tad tinier than my other 2 but they're all about the same size as my betta. I also changed the substrate since that photo.
 
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KatHasAFish

Member
Ugh, I hate how companies do that! I do have the sponge filter though, so that should still keep the cycle going.
Are you sure having corys wouldn't overstock a 5 gallon? I was hoping I could get amano shrimp, but unfortunately there is a 1/4 inch space between the tank wall and my lid all the way around
I used to have a zebra nerite, but she didn't really solve the problem (she was cute though lol)
 

CuddlyOctopus

Member
Oh my bad I didn't see that you had a 5 gallon.. I thought it was a 10. Nevermind then although snails would be good. Maybe two otocinclus catfish for the sides of the tank
 
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KatHasAFish

Member
CuddlyOctopus said:
Oh my bad I didn't see that you had a 5 gallon.. I thought it was a 10. Nevermind then although snails would be good. Maybe two otocinclus catfish for the sides of the tank
Sorry about that, should've clarified!
 

StarGirl

Member
I think snails and shrimp are most suited in a 5g tank. A lot of fish need to be in groups or just get too big. Unfortunately.
 

RayClem

Member
Changing the water in the tank will help keep the water clear. Changing a portion of the water weekly is recommended.

However, do not overclean the glass, substrate, decorations, etc. I like having two filters in a tank as I can clean one without disturbing the other. That keeps the cycle going strong. When you clean, never clean more than half the tank at one time. The biofilm on tank surfaces contains a lot of the bacteria responsible for the nitrogen cycle.

I try not to use the replaceable cartridge filters. You can use the frame as a backer and cut a piece of filter pad to the same size as the cartridge and use that. It will do a much better job than the OEM cartridge. Rinse the pad out periodically and only replace it when absolutely necessary.
 

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