Cloudy water Question

  1. Sweet-lu84 Initiate Member

    I know that this happens a lot for many people, but I am having an intermittent cloudy water problem in my tank. There is a number of reasons why this is puzzling to me though. One of which is that normally, my tank water is pretty crystal clear. I have a 20 gallon tank which is being filtered by a 55 gallon marineland emperor set up. I change my water at least once a month (which is all it typically needs with this size filter). I also do not over feed my fish, so I do not see this being a problem either. However, sometimes after I change my water I get a severe cloudiness problem for a week or two before it clears up. This doesn't happen all the time, just every once in a while, but when it does happen, like I said it takes a while for it to clear up. Any suggestions on where this is coming from? Input would be great. Thanks for your help!
     
  2. STLBluesFan Member Member

    the first thing that came to my mind was maybe its the substrate, do you possibly have sand?
     

  3. Sweet-lu84 Initiate Member

    No I actually do not in this tank. It's a larger size pebble bed. When I syphon the substrate, it usually comes up pretty clean. I also did a water change right when I saw this cloudiness. The water change had zero effect on it, which I just find a little bizarre.
     

  4. Wendy Lubianetsky Well Known Member Member

    You are new to Fishlore, Welcome.

    Water cloudiness is usually a bacteria bloom and changing the water will not help it. The bacteria grows back as fast as you change the water. Usually you get a bacteria bloom when you are cycling; maybe you are having mini cycles for some reason. Do you check the parameters of your water with an API test kit once a week? If so what are the readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

    On another note, I really think you need to do a water change in your tank more than once a month. You don't change your water because your filtration is bad (ie yours is good so you don't have to change the water). You change the water because the filtration and the media in it are doing their job and the nitrate levels are building up in your tank. I would highly recommend you test your water parameters if you aren't already. Hand in hand with that would be to do a 50% water change once a week.
     

  5. STLBluesFan Member Member

    have you cleaned your filter lately? i know sometimes when i turn off my filter and do a water change, if the filter is dirty it will put out some debris
     
  6. Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member

    Good morning,

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

    First, I would increase my water changes from Monthly to Weekly. Nothing beats freshwater for your fish! Without frequent water changes your fish are swimming in their own waste, cycled tank or not and regardless of your filtration.

    Are you using Activated Carbon in your filters? If not, I would add it and change it out for fresh every 3 weeks.
    http://www.kensfish.com/product2679.html

    Ken
     
  7. Sweet-lu84 Initiate Member

    So just as an update to all this cloudiness issue, I think I found out the problem and would like to share with those of you who may have a similar condition and know your water quality is sound but have cloudiness. So I do use activated carbon and I have a very good filter set up. Lots of biological media and such. I did test the water quality at the time that this was occurring and it was perfect (before and after the water change). So after some observation on my water change I think may have found the contributing factors.
    1. Air bubbles. This sounds silly, but I had my bubbler near the intake of the filer at one point (must have gotten shifted during a water change). Now this added extra bubbles to the tank (that became much more polydisperse) but couldn't be the soul cause.
    2. I think I was using too much water conditioner. Now this in combination with the bubbler issue causes a foaming at the top of my tank and throughout. Yes, again I checked the water at this time and it was perfectly fine.
    So just as an FYI to people who know they have good water quality and can't diagnose the problem, it may be something totally odd and random. I have corrected those things and *magic* I'm back to a clear tank again. Just thought I'd share my insight into my problem to help others.