Cloudy Water

OneMom

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HI Everyone:

We moved Angel to an un-cycled 10 gallon tank back on Nov 3rd. (She was sluggish & wouldn't have lasted in the unheated bowl much longer.) We added Bio-Spira to quick cycle it. All of my readings (ammonia, nitrite, nitrates) are now at zero except my ph is at 8.0. Is this why my water is cloudy? We've had cloudy water for two weeks, even after water changes.

We've been making 25-30% water changes on a weekly basis. We don't vacuum the gravel - should we? (We didn't want to interfere with the cycling process.)

Angel is energetic, happy, & healthy. The cloudy water hasn't seemed to affect her at all.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!
 

Timesdragonfly

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I have heard that cloudy water can be the result of a bacteria bloom in the water that is harmless to the fish and just needs time to clear up. I'm still a newbie though, so let's see what some more experienced folk have to say!
 

chickadee

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A lot of newly cycled tanks will go cloudy for a time and no one really knows why.  It could be the bacterial bloom of the new tank and nothing to be concerned about.  I would not do large water changes.  Just do regular tank maintenance.  You could do a light gravel vacuum but I would not do anything extensive as the gravel is still very new and establishing its own coat of the beneficial bacteria.  Your tank may have started with Bio-spira which makes it cycled technically but it still takes time for the bacteria to settle and grow on the surfaces of the tank and on the gravel so it would be okay to just leave it alone for the present.  I would say that what is happening is perfectly normal and one day you will wake up and find a pristinely clear tank.  Large water changes may just prolong the problem if it is the bacteria trying to settle and grow.  Just do the regular 25% to 30% weekly changes.

Hope this helps and don't worry about the pH, your betta can handle it.  You are just in a transition phase and things will settle down.  The pH will probably go back to tap water levels also when the cloudiness goes away.  You are not using anything other than a dechlorinating agent in your water are you?  If you are, I would stop.  Also, please do not try to artificially alter the pH.  That is much more dangerous to your fish than to just let it settle out on its own.  Angel will be able to handle it as it adjusts slowly enough for her to adjust with it.  Using chemicals will be dangerous as they unstable and too rapid a change.

Please keep us informed on the progress.  It sounds like she is a lovely little girl.  Can we expect some pictures when the tank clears?  We do love pictures!!    We welcome you and her to our little betta community.

Rose
 
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OneMom

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Thanks for the info Rose. And, to answer your question, we are only using a dechlorinating agent in the water, nothing else.

I'm sure this is a stupid question, but should we ever vacuum the gravel? If so, after what amount of time & how often?

I also have to confess to something else REALLY stupid...we realized that we hadn't changed the biobag in the filter for almost 6 weeks. DUH! I'm sure that hasn't helped with the cloudy water issue either!!

Oh well, I'm sure we'll get the hang of this "fish stuff" eventually. ;D

Wendy
 

Butterfly

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Don't change the biobag until it is falling to pieces, this is where the majority of your beneficial bacteria is growing. Just rinse it in used tank water to get some of the gunk off.
Carol
 

gammerus

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Generally you should vaccume the gravel when you do water changes. Of course this is after the tank has been established
 

chickadee

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It really is much to early to worry about vacuuming the gravel and changing the bio-bag. Rinsing the bio-bag like Butterfly says is okay but that bio-bag can last you a year or more. Just make sure that you never use new water or hot water, just water that has been taken out of the tank. You will use it until it is so ragged that it is almost embarassing to keep using it and even then it will be your best friend. When you put a new one in, you will take a hefty chunk of the old one and place in the filter with the new one and it will "seed" the new one in a couple of weeks so you do not have to cycle your tank all over again. NEVER throw away an old bio-bag until you have a chunk of it in the tank next to the new one.

You will learn these things as you go along and if you have questions, please ask them before you act. I assure you that someone here has gone through something similar in the past.

Rose
 

Timesdragonfly

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Your questions aren't silly or stupid. I wish I had started asking questions a lot earlier than I did... it took us six months to get our 29 gallon tank cycled b/c we kept messing up!
 

Butterfly

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But now Timesdragonfly you have experience to share with others so they won't do the same thing believe me we've all been there at one time or another, and I don't know what I would've done if not for friends who helped me along with experience from their first mistakes
Carol
 
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OneMom

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OMG! Here we felt like total dopes that we forgot to change the bio-bag, now we feel totally dopey because we DID change it! Yikes!

I just want to double check with all of you though, that bio-bag was pretty gross. It looked like it had algae growing on the outside of it. Is that normal? We are also wondering..what about the charcoal in the bag? Should we change that?

Angel's tank still is really cloudy. There is a thin film on the top of the water. When I put my fingers in the film & stir it around, little white flecks float from the top of the water into the middle of the tank.

Meanwhile...Angel is "happy as a clam". Ha-ha. Whenever we sit next to her tank she swims around like crazy. She eats out of our hand & does a little "jump" trick for food. If we leave our finger in the water she swims against it. It's almost like we can pet her. A very goofy fish!

Thanks for all of your help,

Wendy
 

chickadee

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Most of us only use the charcoal to remove medications when they have been used as the charcoal loses its effectiveness after a couple of days no matter what. No do not worry about changing it. Just leave it there and if you need to use medicine then you can add some if you need to. Otherwise just forget it is there.

They are get to looking REALLY gross. You have not seen gross until you have seen what a Bio-wheel gets to looking like. All you do is just take the USED TANK WATER when you change your water in the tank and swish it through the water softly and just knock off the worst of it. You do not even do that every time. Believe me, unless it has a lot of stuff on it, some of the algae stuff is not going to hurt anything and some of the bacterial growths can look like algae growth.

You may want to do a 30% water change and try to concentrate on taking the top water if you can. Just to get the film off the top of the water (or try to) - skI'm the top off the water. It is not going to clear the water but it may help a bit with the film.

What is the dechlorinator that you use? If it is StressCoat you may be using too much. It contains aloe and it does not evaporate and sometimes if it is not measured carefully the water can get "slick" with the aloe.

Angel sounds like an"angel" indeed. She is a keeper for sure. Enjoy her. She obviously loves you and feels safe and contented or she would not act the way she does.

Enjoy.

Rose
 
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OneMom

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HI Rose:

You are so nice to guide all of us - our Bettas really live a quality life because of you!

We use a water conditioner called "BettaSafe" by Tetra. I hope that is a safe one.

Wendy
 

chickadee

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Oh yes that is a safe product, but kind of expensive here. If you ever decide to change there are the others that may be a little more cost effective. They probably cost more in the store but if you read the bottle they go a whole lot further.

BUT BettaSafe is an excellent product.

In another post, a member happened to mention to me a film on her betta's tank. Do you happen to have a water softener? If so then you should make sure that you only use water out of the cold water tap when you do water changes and heat some of it and mix with the cold water as salt from the water softener can cause a problem in a fish tank if you are using hot water from the tap.

Rose
 

Butterfly

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Also if your feeding foods high in protein it can cause a film on top of the water. For the time being you can use a paper towel to re,ove the film from the top of the water.
carol
 

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