Cloudy Water

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denisak

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Cloudy Water in well established tank (29 gallons)

Hi MCL,

I can tell you, you are not alone in this.
After reading all the posts above I am pretty sure I am in the same situation here.
My water is very cloudy just like yours.
My readings are 0/0/15-25 just like yours.
My tank is 29 gallons just like yours.

This is what happened to me:
My tank was doing fine for a looong time, crystal clear water, no problems whatsoever.
I was running TopFin 60 filter, it had two cartridges filled with carbon, I used to replace just one after every 4 weeks.
The filter was old and noisy so I decided to replace it with a new one.
I have done some research online and decided to go with AquaClear 50.
So about a week ago I removed the old filter and installed this new one.
I was aware of loosing all the good bacteria inside my old Top Fin but confident enough to have plenty of it inside my cycled and working tank.
To help the new bacteria grow faster inside my new AquaClear I even kept one cartridge from my old filter and left it partially submerged in my new filter for 5 days.
Well, in about two days after running the new filter my water gradually became very cloudy. At that time I was kind of expecting that still hoping it would clear up after a couple more days.
So now it has been 8 days and there are no signs of improvement.
All I have been doing in those 8 days so far was gravel vacuuming and partial (6 gallons) water changes every two days.
Just like you I don't know what else to do other that wait and see.

Thanks anyone for any advice.
 

AlyeskaGirl

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denisak said:
Hi MCL,

I can tell you, you are not alone in this.
After reading all the posts above I am pretty sure I am in the same situation here.
My water is very cloudy just like yours.
My readings are 0/0/15-25 just like yours.
My tank is 29 gallons just like yours.

This is what happened to me:
My tank was doing fine for a looong time, crystal clear water, no problems whatsoever.
I was running TopFin 60 filter, it had two cartridges filled with carbon, I used to replace just one after every 4 weeks.
The filter was old and noisy so I decided to replace it with a new one.
I have done some research online and decided to go with AquaClear 50.
So about a week ago I removed the old filter and installed this new one.
I was aware of loosing all the good bacteria inside my old Top Fin but confident enough to have plenty of it inside my cycled and working tank.
To help the new bacteria grow faster inside my new AquaClear I even kept one cartridge from my old filter and left it partially submerged in my new filter for 5 days.
Well, in about two days after running the new filter my water gradually became very cloudy. At that time I was kind of expecting that still hoping it would clear up after a couple more days.
So now it has been 8 days and there are no signs of improvement.
All I have been doing in those 8 days so far was gravel vacuuming and partial (6 gallons) water changes every two days.
Just like you I don't know what else to do other that wait and see.

Thanks anyone for any advice.
Personally I would of gone with the AC 70 for that size tank, you should of ran the new filter with the old filter still running for at least 3 weeks or more. Most of the nitrifying bacteria lives in your filter, media as you know and just replacing the whole filter like that has caused a bacteria bloom & only leaving the established cartridge in there for 5 days, as I understand was not long enough. Water changes will help a little but you just have to wait it out. Don't add any chemicals to clear it because they don't work. Be patient.
 
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denisak

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Thanks AlyeskaGirl for the reply.
I keep doing water changes every two days, still no improvement, water is still very cloudy.
It has been 11 days by now.
I took your advice and I am getting AquaClear 70. I am just going to add it next to my current AC 50 and run both for some time. I am hoping this will help so when the water gets clear I will remove the smaller AC 50 and leave only AC 70 running.
Will post update in a couple of days.

Water still very bad. I have installed Aquaclear 70 today so now I have the two filter setup, Aquaclear 50 and Aquaclear 70.
I am really hoping this will clear up the water soon. Any other recommendations really appreciated.
As you can see in the photos, the water is really cloudy, especially on the side view shot.
 

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raptorsvt79

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when i had this issue...i stopped feeding completely for about three to four days and did partial water changes everyday and that cleared up the tank pretty quick.
 
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raptorsvt79 said:
when i had this issue...i stopped feeding completely for about three to four days and did partial water changes everyday and that cleared up the tank pretty quick.
Thanks raptor, I am going to give it a shot, I will stop feeding them tomorrow.
 

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When my aquaclear was my main filter, after inserting the carbon I reduced the flow to 50%.
A day later the water was clear.
 

AlyeskaGirl

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The water looks greenish to me or is it just the light and it's white? lol

https://www.fishlore.com/CloudyWater.htm

You may want to get a mod to start you your own thread on the subject as this is an old thread. I believe they can move all posts that are toward you.
 

raptorsvt79

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are you running an air stone? i heard that helps too..
 
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denisak

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raptorsvt79 said:
are you running an air stone? i heard that helps too..
yes, I am running two air stones, I have them on timer so they bubble twice a day for about 4 hours total. Should I keep them running more often ?

AlyeskaGirl said:
The water looks greenish to me or is it just the light and it's white? lol
it is just the photo, the water is not really that green in real, it is more milky
 

raptorsvt79

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yeah i would
 

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welcome to fishlore!!!
have you tested recently for ammonia/ nitrites/ nitrates? whats the lot#s on your api test kit? sometimes the kits are expired without knowing....I think you are just in a mini cycle (from throwing out some of your filter media) and running some fresh carbon and water changes for a couple weeks, should clean you right up
 
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update:
I am running my air stones most of the day now and I reduced feeding to a minimum.
I also bought new API Master kit today and did some tests.
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 5 ppm
pH 8
I was really shocked seeing pH so high.
In my last pH test two weeks ago it was still 7.2.
I tested my tap water and it came out as pH 8 as well (I never tested my tap water for pH before thinking it was ok because pH in my aquarium was at 7.2)
I added a dosage of "API Proper pH" buffer to the tank to get it down to 7.0.
Water still very cloudy, hoping it will start clearing soon.
 

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https://www.diatomfilter.com/products/diatom_d1_filter.htm

Good morning.

If you are interested in making an investment, the link above to Diatom Filters will help. A Diatom Filter will remove green algae in a matter of minutes. This isn't something that I usually recommend but if you happen to have multiple tanks then they're great to have. I have the Vortex D1 and the Vortex XL. These filters will filter your water down to the micron.

For a cheaper solution try using micron filter pads, link below:

Choose the 50 and not the 100. The 50 filters smaller particles than the 100.

Of course finding the cause of the algae could be the cheapest way out of this


I HIGHLY recommend that you stop using chemicals to alter your pH levels. They are very unstable and can lead to a pH crash resulting in fish loss. Most fish for the home aquarium will adapt to pH that we have to offer right from the tap. These chemicals can also lead to cloudy water.


To get a true pH from your tap, fill a bucket with water and let it set over night. Add an air stone for circulation and test after the water has been setting for 24 hours. This will give you a more accurate reading on where your pH is.

Good luck!
Ken
 

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You dropped the pH from 8.0 to 7.0 at once When you use pH adjusters and drop the pH quickly, it stresses your fish. I'd watch them closely for pH shock as this could lead to losses.

Your profile shows that your 29 gallon tank is stocked with Leopard Pleco, 2 Emerald Catfish, 1 Chinese Algae Eater, 6 Red Neon Tetras, 2 Emperor Tetras, 4 Harlequin Rasboras, 1 Angelfish, 1 Mystery snail. Your tank is overstocked and creating a very large volume of waste which is feeding your algae. If it weren't for the algae, I'd suspect that you'd have ammonia and/or nitrite. You may need to move some of your fish into another tank. The algae eater alone can get around 11 inches and would become overly aggressive and stressed in such a small tank.

To deal with the algae, you could try to leave the lights off for a week or more. With an overstocked tank you will need more air stones running 24x7 in order to get enough oxygen into the water for all those fish. The algae is competing for oxygen and the fish could suffocate. Also, you'll need to do 20-50% daily water changes.

Good luck.
 
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aquarist48 said:
I HIGHLY recommend that you stop using chemicals to alter your pH levels. They are very unstable and can lead to a pH crash resulting in fish loss. Most fish for the home aquarium will adapt to pH that we have to offer right from the tap. These chemicals can also lead to cloudy water.

Good luck!
Ken
Thank you very much for a lot of good info.
I have learned about pH and I will gradually stop using the pH buffer so the fish can slowly adapt to my tap water.

aquarist48 said:
Of course finding the cause of the algae could be the cheapest way out of this
I am starting to think my lights are what has caused the enormous algae growth. I have had my tank since January and everything was fine for a couple of months. That was the time I was only using 1x14W fluorescent tube. Once I replaced that with my current 2x18W Aqualight fixture (36W total) I started noticing something black growing on my artificial plants, the closer to the light source (high in the tank) the more of it. I thought of algae. There was no algae on the walls and water was crystal clear with good readings so I thought everything was fine.
Is it possible the tank was just growing more and more algae because of the strong light until it crashed and my current algae bloom happened ? ???

catsma_97504 said:
You dropped the pH from 8.0 to 7.0 at once When you use pH adjusters and drop the pH quickly, it stresses your fish. I'd watch them closely for pH shock as this could lead to losses.
Oh, my mistake :-[
It has been three days now and all my fish are ok so I am hopeful they will stay that way.

Your profile shows that your 29 gallon tank is stocked with Leopard Pleco, 2 Emerald Catfish, 1 Chinese Algae Eater, 6 Red Neon Tetras, 2 Emperor Tetras, 4 Harlequin Rasboras, 1 Angelfish, 1 Mystery snail. Your tank is overstocked and creating a very large volume of waste which is feeding your algae.
I worried about overstocking but based on 1 gallon = 1" of fish general rule I am having about 25" of fish (based on current measurements) in 29 gallons so I am hoping I am still on the safe side. When my fish grow bigger, I am planning to move some of them out and donate them.

To deal with the algae, you could try to leave the lights off for a week or more. With an overstocked tank you will need more air stones running 24x7 in order to get enough oxygen into the water for all those fish. The algae is competing for oxygen and the fish could suffocate. Also, you'll need to do 20-50% daily water changes.
Good luck.
Thank you for advice. I am pretty sure it is algae now because when I was dumping some water out last night it was clearly green in my white bucket.
I am leaving lights off now and running air stone 24x7. I am feeding only a little food every night. Fish are crazy hungry. I am doing 30% water changes every two days. Hopefully all that will help. Will post update.
 

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Your fish can go for several days without food. They have us well trained to feed them every time we approach the tank.

Good luck working through your algae problem.
 
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Thanks everyone for a lot of good advice. x
Miracle happened.

This is what I did. I bought Hagen Fluval Water Polishing Pads and put a layer of those inside my Aquaclear 70 filter. I put the recommended dosage of Algaway 5.4 Algae Control for Aquariums in.
After about an hour the water was CRYSTAL clear !
I took out and threw away the polishing pads, they were totally green and dirty.
I took out the sponge cartridge which was also very green and dirty and washed that in my aquarium water and put it back.
My light has been off for the last 3 days.
I did some measurements: pH 7.2, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 5 ppm.
Everything seems to be fine and I am hoping it will stay that way.
I am going to put new polishing pads inside my Aquaclear, they seem to work pretty well.

Now I have a dilemma. Next week I am leaving for a trip and I will be gone for 4 weeks. Should I leave the light off for all those 4 weeks to prevent potential new algae growth or should I just replace my current two tubes (36W total output) with smaller single-tube 14W fixture and leave it on a timer ? Could leaving the light completely off for so long do any harm to my fish ?

Thank you for your comments and recommendations.
 

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Glad to hear that you were able to get rid of the algae bloom. Your measurements look good now.

The Algaway 5.4 is a chemical additive which can change the chemistry of your water. You should retest in a few days to determine if there is any negative impact. Also, Algaway is not recommended for use with snails, shrimp, mollusks or other crustaceans. Your profile lists a mystery snail in your tank. This chemical additive may kill the snail. I hope you removed it before adding the Algaway product.

If you have a timer available, you should have your lights on a few hours each day. What about fish food? Will you be setting up an automatic feeder? Will someone be checking on things once in a while? The water column will not be healthy for its inhabitants if there are no water changes for a month. You could come home to a smelly tank full of dead fish/plants.
 
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catsma_97504 said:
What about fish food? Will you be setting up an automatic feeder? Will someone be checking on things once in a while? The water column will not be healthy for its inhabitants if there are no water changes for a month. You could come home to a smelly tank full of dead fish/plants.
Yeah, my friend will be coming once a week to check on the tank, he is also going to do water changes once in two weeks and I will have automatic feeder running on the tank. I will put my low wattage light on a timer than.
 
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