Forever cloudy

Kristen4050

Hey friends

I’m trying to gauge why my aquarium is not crystal clear.


061E840E-5930-4F12-A6B4-F97CA97FE9A3.jpeg29 gallon (tall)

Weekly water changes (10%-20%) depending on need, that’s my typical

Nitrates 10-20ppm

Nitrites 0ppm

Ammonia 0ppm

Phosphate 0.00-0.25

I use an air stone

Double filtrating to include a skinner on my Tidal35 ( I keep the flow on this filter pretty low)

X2 goldfish

X2 Golden Dojo’s

Cycled and established going on 5 months

I use filter floss

Sponges



Things I have tried
Water polishing aquarium filter pads (fine)

Water changes

Letting it go longer between changes

Cleaning filters

Using API Accu-clear

Decreasing food

Adding second filter/skimmer

Waiting and waiting

My tank hasn’t been clear (without this haze since the dawn of dinosaurs); okay, it hasn’t been clear since set up. Maybe three times that lasted a few days at the most. But it’s been well over two months since I have seen clear water.

What are your recommendations?

Also, I did change to that fine powdery sand a few weeks ago, BUT I cleaned the out of it and my water was cloudy even before the change. H E L P

Thank you in advance all who come to ponder

xx Kristen
 

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A201

My guess is the Goldies are kicking up tiny residual sand particles, which is contributing. Upping the weekly WC's to 30% - 50% might help. I double up on filtration. Adding another Tidal 35 might help as well. Btw, nice tank & pretty Goldies.
 

mattgirl

Since goldfish tend to produce a lot of waste over filtration is often needed. I read up on the filter you have on this tank and in my humble opinion it isn't enough filtration for this tank. I know it says it is for a 35 gallon tank and your tank is 29 gallon. Unfortunately the makers of HOB filters over rate them. I recommend a filter rated for no less than twice the size of the tank. A filter rated for a 75 gallon tank wouldn't be too much for this tank.

I suspect if you upgrade your filter and start changing out no less than 50% of the water each week this cloudy water will soon be behind you. You can never have too much filtration. Too much water movement is possible but never too much filtration.

There is more to water changes than just keeping the nitrates down. There are things we don't normally test for building up in our tank. Some minerals in our tap water get used up while others don't. Those others gradually build up in our tanks if we don't change out enough water.

Edited to add: Ninja'd by A201 :D
 

SotaAquatics

Yeah, agree with A201, I think the problem is the substrate, it looks like extremely fine sand, very find sand if not rinsed well, can cause cloudy water for week+ before it settles. With gold fish in there, it will never settle. I would consider using a flocculant with some filter floss or rinsing/replacing your substrate.

I set up a tank once with too fine of sand, cloudy even after a week, finally got tired of it and replaced the substrate, had crystal clear water 30 minutes later.
 

mattgirl

I too would have leaned toward the sand causing the cloudy water if not for the fact that the water was cloudy before this sand was added. It could be adding to the problem but I have to think it isn't the whole problem.
 

SotaAquatics

Woops, missed the part where that was added later and well rinsed.
 

ruud

I am not sure how real fake plants can look these days. Given your tank I would at least double the number of plants you have, your water will be crystal clear in no time. If those are fake plants, then well....I would run to the store. It is really hard to get cloudy water in tanks that have lots and lots of live plants.

Do look for plants that can flourish in fine sandy substrate or that should be tied to decoration. I have Hygrophila siamensis in sandy substrate that does very well. And you can't go wrong with java fern attached to whatever you have in the tank.

By the way, is it possible for food and waste to build-up in the diver's helmet? Just questioning.
 

StarGirl

Maybe try some Purigen in a separate empty filter?
 

Kristen4050

My guess is the Goldies are kicking up tiny residual sand particles, which is contributing. Upping the weekly WC's to 30% - 50% might help. I double up on filtration. Adding another Tidal 35 might help as well. Btw, nice tank & pretty Goldies.
You are so speedy in response thank you.

I am currently using two filters. I have a Aqueon 55 that I have modified to include pre filter on the intake, sponge in the filter and a polishing pad

Then in the tidal I have two sponges, fine polishing filter pad and some bio media.

Last week I do do 50% water change. I will continue to see if larger water changes will help. Thank you A201 and my gold fish are Super sassy
Since goldfish tend to produce a lot of waste over filtration is often needed. I read up on the filter you have on this tank and in my humble opinion it isn't enough filtration for this tank. I know it says it is for a 35 gallon tank and your tank is 29 gallon. Unfortunately the makers of HOB filters over rate them. I recommend a filter rated for no less than twice the size of the tank. A filter rated for a 75 gallon tank wouldn't be too much for this tank.

I suspect if you upgrade your filter and start changing out no less than 50% of the water each week this cloudy water will soon be behind you. You can never have too much filtration. Too much water movement is possible but never too much filtration.

There is more to water changes than just keeping the nitrates down. There are things we don't normally test for building up in our tank. Some minerals in our tap water get used up while others don't. Those others gradually build up in our tanks if we don't change out enough water.

Edited to add: Ninja'd by A201 :D
Thank you for taking the time to write in such detail. As I told A201 above, I do have a double filter and what the are customized with. I have only had the soft sand Substrate for a couple weeks now. prior to this I had rocks but I noticed my dojo‘s did not like them. my water literally has been cloudy since April.
Do you still recommend I get a larger filter? I will be upgrading my tank to a 55-75 gallon. but for now on this tank do you still recommend a new filter? I'm so appreciative of you mattgirl
Yeah, agree with A201, I think the problem is the substrate, it looks like extremely fine sand, very find sand if not rinsed well, can cause cloudy water for week+ before it settles. With gold fish in there, it will never settle. I would consider using a flocculant with some filter floss or rinsing/replacing your substrate.

I set up a tank once with too fine of sand, cloudy even after a week, finally got tired of it and replaced the substrate, had crystal clear water 30 minutes later.
I did add in a bio magnet clarifier would that be the same thing in which you were speaking of? I literally took small scoops of sand and rinsed the heck out of it before adding it to the tank the water was clear while rinsing the sand.
I had a problem with cloudy water prior to the Substrate change. The only thing I feel I have not replaced or changed on the tank has been the initial filter, which seems to be working fine I don’t know. I do question the way the flow pours in to the HOB. Almost as if it's only skimming the top.

You are appreciated thank you
 

mattgirl

You are so speedy in response thank you.

I am currently using two filters. I have a Aqueon 55 that I have modified to include pre filter on the intake, sponge in the filter and a polishing pad

Then in the tidal I have two sponges, fine polishing filter pad and some bio media.

Last week I do do 50% water change. I will continue to see if larger water changes will help. Thank you A201 and my gold fish are Super sassy

Thank you for taking the time to write in such detail. As I told A201 above, I do have a double filter and what the are customized with. I have only had the soft sand Substrate for a couple weeks now. prior to this I had rocks but I noticed my dojo‘s did not like them. my water literally has been cloudy since April.
Do you still recommend I get a larger filter? I will be upgrading my tank to a 55-75 gallon. but for now on this tank do you still recommend a new filter? I'm so appreciative of you mattgirl
With the new information it sounds like you have the filtration covered. I do agree with StarGirl 's recommendation about the purigen. It has been known to help with cloudy water. Hopefully running it in your filter and the larger water changes will finally give you clear water.
 

Kristen4050

I too would have leaned toward the sand causing the cloudy water if not for the fact that the water was cloudy before this sand was added. It could be adding to the problem but I have to think it isn't the whole problem.
This I completely agree with. I'm just beside myself with why my tank has conspiracy been could for months.
I am not sure how real fake plants can look these days. Given your tank I would at least double the number of plants you have, your water will be crystal clear in no time. If those are fake plants, then well....I would run to the store. It is really hard to get cloudy water in tanks that have lots and lots of live plants.

Do look for plants that can flourish in fine sandy substrate or that should be tied to decoration. I have Hygrophila siamensis in sandy substrate that does very well. And you can't go wrong with java fern attached to whatever you have in the tank.

By the way, is it possible for food and waste to build-up in the diver's helmet? Just questioning.
Hey ruud thank you
No, my plants are fake. I have been looking into live plants. I get worried because I see stuff about CO2 and with live plants. Need to keep researching. What started me into looking at live plants was my Nitrates I can't ever get below 10ppm even after water changes. Also I do keep an eye on the Helmethaha. I clean it in a cleaning rotation. The helmet gets cleaned about every two months. Not much collects in it or on it. I don't think my Dojos will allow haha. Padded a photo of it. It's been about 4 were since last clean. My Fisher photogenic and they usually get themselves into any photo Haha.
E32E8F62-D69D-4ACA-B47E-1CA2869548A7.jpeg
Maybe try some Purigen in a separate empty filter?
StarGirl hey, thank you for your helpful tip! I haven't heard of Purigen before. Maybe have seen it but overlooked it. Would it be the same as Nitra Zorb which I have used in the beginning. Maybe I should try it again (it didn't work the first time) or just try Purigen.

I have, not even kidding so many products, mostly due to trail and error for answers. Researching over time I roll my eyes at some of the stuff I used and bought lol.
 

ruud

Lots of cleaning and water changes can actually be the reason why your water remains cloudy...
You have the opposite of my tanks; yours looks so clean and fresh! My tanks look as if they were taken from a pond outside, but with one exception; the water in all my tanks are crystal clear.
In case the cloudiness is not caused by dust particles from the sand, throw in extremely low maintenance plants that don't require additional ferts and CO2 and your tank will become crystal clear in no time. You can't have any problems with java ferns. You can even tie these to suction cups and place these on the sides and back of your wall.
Given the looks of your tank as well as your fish, I would go with broad leaves varieties of Java fern. Just make sure you have plenty of fern.
 

MasterPython

If you pull out some water does it settle or stay cloudly?
 

Kristen4050

Lots of cleaning and water changes can actually be the reason why your water remains cloudy...
You have the opposite of my tanks; yours looks so clean and fresh! My tanks look as if they were taken from a pond outside, but with one exception; the water in all my tanks are crystal clear.
In case the cloudiness is not caused by dust particles from the sand, throw in extremely low maintenance plants that don't require additional ferts and CO2 and your tank will become crystal clear in no time. You can't have any problems with java ferns. You can even tie these to suction cups and place these on the sides and back of your wall.
Given the looks of your tank as well as your fish, I would go with broad leaves varieties of Java fern. Just make sure you have plenty of fern.
Thank you for your help, so much appreciated. I’m looking into getting some live plants from aquarium co-op online. Also I refrained from cleaning to see if that would help some. I noticed it’s caused a thick layer of muck on the glass. Still see through. I get that a lot of that is beneficial bacteria. The water still seams to be murky. I feel I have tried everything. Fish are happy, and sassy, my water parameters are on point. But aesthetically, the tank looks like . But still just cloudy. A few days ago I replaced my old Aqueon filter with a Aqua Clear 70. And I still have my Tidel 35 running on a lower setting. (I mostly use it for skimming). And there is literally no change to the water.
If you pull out some water does it settle or stay cloudly?
Hey MasterPython the water stays cloudy. I have seen it clear just a handful of times over the past several months that lasted a day or two. One day I will have crystal clear water. Just drives me nuts getting there lol
 

Pfrozen

White cloudy water is usually due to a bloom of beneficial heterotrophs responsible for the breakdown of organic waste products... these are different species of bacteria and microorganisms that aren't visible to the naked eye... they aren't directly involved in the nitrogen cycle but they do contribute to a tank's overall biological balance... typically they would colonize on various surfaces within the tank but I've seen this issue more commonly where the environment is mainly artificial... I'm not sure on the exact science here but it seems that this is a contributing factor

The good news is that it can be remedied by dosing Seachem Stability... add 1 capful daily for 2 weeks... Stability is marketed as nitrifying bacteria but it is quite diluted... it contains heterotrophic strains as well... if that doesn't work then there is also Seachem Pristine which is purely heterotrophic... however the issue with Pristine is that it is actually too concentrated... you need to be careful about overfeeding or the bloom will return afterwards

Hope that helps, let me know how it works out for you... its worked for myself and others in the past so hopefully it works for you
 

otterblue

I had the same problem when I set up my own tank. It drove me crazy! It didn't start clear and didn't become clear. I'm certain part of my problem was not rinsing the substrate well enough and disturbing the substrate when I added the water.

I ended up siphoning out all the water, replacing the substrate and changing the way I added the water (I also put Poly-fil in my filter).

Since then my tank has been crystal clear.
 

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