cloudy water no ammonia or nitrites

Discussion in 'Cloudy Aquarium Water' started by madcowsnake42, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. madcowsnake42New MemberMember

    I recently bought some tetras to expand my school... I did not quarantine... now I have cloudy water no ammonia or nitrites nitrates between less than 10ppm... (results confirmed by LFS using different methodology) The fish began to swim erratically as if in pain and breath very rapidly... hanging out near surface,
    I moved some of my angelfish to a hospital tank, they appear better within minutes, none the less I added melafix to the hospital tank (gil flukes???) Today I did a 50% water change today added carbon to filter added another airstone added some bio-boost (couldn't hurt???) also turned on UV sterilizer no white spots I'm lost... I might be able to rig up another hospital tank out of a plastic tub... Tank is 120 gallon and has been sent up 3 months it's running a filter from my old tank and another filter was inoculated with media from my previous tank... Thank you in advanced for any help...

    and fish are not eating...
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2012
  2. OP

    madcowsnake42New MemberMember

    Update: cloudiness increasing, ammonia, nitrites still at zero. The erratic movements have subsided:;dk
    two angels are in my hospital tank, one fairing not so well but improving the other a little better an otocinclus has now passed:;fru
    To the hospital tank I have added peat moss for anti-parasite/anti-fungal properties.... leaning toward gill flukes.... erratic behavior... but like I said that seems to have calmed:;dk any thoughts? some of the bottom feeders have begun to eat again..
  3. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Hi Madcow,
    Cloudy water is often a bacterial bloom of some sort. I (thankfully) have never had to deal with it in my tanks.

    Did you add the water from the LFS to your tank? It's possible you have introduced something from their water.

    My course of action would be:
    A prophylactic double dose of Prime, which also promotes slime coat.
    In addition to the airline, I would point the filter returns to the surface to promote surface movement and gas exchange.

    What temperature is the water at?

    And one last one - is it possible that some form of detergent/spray or other contaminent has entered the tank?

    I'm sorry I can't be more help as I haven't directly experienced the problem.

  4. OP

    madcowsnake42New MemberMember

    I added some slime coat and some "vitamins" that stimulate slime coat production...
    water temp 78F
    As far a spray I was doing some spring clean the other day and some cleaner may have come in contact with the tank I hope if thats the problem that the 50% pwc and activated carbon would help... and I don't know that it would explain the cloudiness... but what course of action should I do to help ensure that if that is the cause that It is treated... continued pwc???

  5. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    What sort of cloudiness? Grey/White/Green?

    What sort of cleaner?

    Is there a correlation between the cleaning and the cloudy tank? i.e. 24 hours after?

    Depending on what cleaner it was, it's possible for it to cause cloudiness, or possibly even kill bacteria, and what you're seeing is bacteria die-off.

    If it is a cleaning product that has done the damage, then more water changes will continue to reduce the concentration. I would prepare for a mini-cycle, as it may have reduced your bacteria colony.

    What areas of the tank would have come into contact with the cleaning products? I would be thoroughly wiping down those areas with a mild solution of warm dechlorinated tap-water and white vinegar.

    Until the cause is identified, I'd leave the temperature alone for now. 78 is ok.
  6. iZaO JnrWell Known MemberMember

    Almost sure it is a bacterial bloom. I've had it when pre-cycling tanks with large amounts of ammonia.

    The reason this happened in your tank is because you increased the ammount of ammonia and nitrite load in your tank. It will clear on its own though :) Your tank will be better after it too:)

    As for the rest, just make sure you keep an eye on the parameters and quality of water. This is often an unstable time in your tank's life but after this it generally becomes perfectly stabilized.

    On a side note, be careful using cleaning products around tanks. Once in there it is difficult to clean. If the cloudiness doesnt go away within 3 weeks, i would move the fish out, and wash out the tank over and over and over with water only, cleaning everything that was in the tank, including substrate and decor.
  7. OP

    madcowsnake42New MemberMember

    Would a bacteria bloom be seen with ammonia, and nitrite below detectable levels?
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  8. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Respectfully - I don't believe that tetras (depending on how many) would increase the load on a 120G tank so much so that it causes a bacterial bloom.

    I also don't think that a bacterial bloom should cause the fish to be gasping at the surface.
  9. AlyeskaGirlFishlore VIPMember

    Do you trust the results from your LFS?

    Cloudy water and fish at surface indicates a problem. White cloudy water means there is a trace of ammonia present. Or some chemicals got in there. I'd do daily water changes with Prime. Keep this in mind if ever in doubt freshwater is the first course of action.
  10. OP

    madcowsnake42New MemberMember

    Thanks umm, the cleaner was most likely cleaner for the tv that sits next to the tank its cleaner for monitors and televisions... maybe some came in contact with the glass and the hood... some febreeze was sprayed throughout the room I do not believe it came in contact with the tank... possibly though
  11. OP

    madcowsnake42New MemberMember

    The cloudiness is white but seems to be becoming more grey I just retested the ammonia with my liquid test kit (API) it still says zero across the board... I did do a 50% pwc today I will do another today I use well water and use stress coat to dechlorinate the water... Is prime better? should the UV sterilizer be turned off???
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  12. AlyeskaGirlFishlore VIPMember

    Yeah, I'd do another 50% or even an 80%.

    I hope things calm down soon.
  13. OP

    madcowsnake42New MemberMember

    Will do!! would the activated carbon help any??? Things have calmed down some... thanks
  14. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning,

    :animal0068:I have moved your thread from Freshwater Fish Disease to Aquarium Water/Cloudy Aquarium Water section of the forum.

    Information on bacterial blooms in the link below:

    If your tank is experiencing a Bacterial Bloom, it will have to run its course. Activated Carbon will not remove the bloom. To my knowledge, water changes will help over time but again, it has to run its course.

    Please do not use sprays/air freshener sprays or any type of sprays around your aquarium.

  15. iZaO JnrWell Known MemberMember

    I see your reasoning. Just exploring all the options :) I did miss the gasping at surface note. Apologies :)

    Then its almost assured to be an issue with the cleaners. I must agree with Ken, dont use any cleaners around aquariums.
  16. OP

    madcowsnake42New MemberMember

    Update after some more water changes things have calmed down the fish seem to be doing better though now eating, they still don't have the gusto they used to at feeding time... the I am keeping a close eye on the water conditions I may have had a small ammonia spike this evening after feeding time... (>0.25ppm... idk maybe my imagination) but will keep a close eye to make sure I didn't destroy my bacteria colony...) Thanks again for all the advice everyone
  17. iZaO JnrWell Known MemberMember

    Keep us posted :):)
  18. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Prime is better in the sense that it detoxifies ammonia for around 24 hours, but still allows the bacteria colony to grow. I believe Amquel + also detox's ammonia (I can't remember)

    I would turn the UV off, only for the reason that UV is known to kill bacteria, both good and bad.

    Great to see that things are coming back to normal. If you can dose the tank with Prime or similar ammonia detoxifier, it'll help get your cycle back in check. Either way, keep up the water changes. Especially you're getting ammonia spikes, even with Prime, you don't want to let the levels sky-rocket.

    You could, if you wanted, add some TSS to help with beneficial bacteria levels (in which case you definitely want to turn off the UV).
  19. AlyeskaGirlFishlore VIPMember

    Glad to hear things have calmed down. :)

    You may have had a trace of ammonia that the first testing couldn't register.

    How many Tetras did you actually add?
  20. OP

    madcowsnake42New MemberMember

    I added 8 tetras probably more than I should have but the tank had a pretty good bioload started so I didn't think I would be too bad...

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