Heavily Clouded Water With High Ph


I have a well-established tropical freshwater aquarium. It is 65 gallons and planted. It was doing beautifully, then after raising the temperature temporarily to fend off ich (luckily only one fish was lost), it developed a pretty intense green algae problem. I brought the temp back to normal, scraped the tank and did a partial water change but the algae still needed treatment. I decided to treat with liquid Tetra Algae control – I did two cycles of it. Each time, per the instructions, I removed the carbon filters for 8 hours after treatment, then added them back in. I let that work for about 36 – 48 hours, then did a 25% water change to remove anything that had died off. The new water was treated with water clarifier and then after about half an hour of that circulating, I added stress zyme. I waited about a week between the two treatment cycles.

After the second round of treatment, the algae seems to be gone, but my water is incredibly cloudy. It’s a milky cloudy, not green. It’s been about 5 days since I completed the last algae treatment and partial water change. I was hoping the cloudiness would clear up on its own if I let it settle, but it doesn’t seem to be getting any better and it’s heavily clouded. I tested the water this morning and all the levels are spot on, except for the pH which is higher than I’ve ever seen it, at 8.4. I plan to go get pH down to get it back within normal levels today, but I have read conflicting advice about this. Some say the high pH shouldn’t cause cloudy water. Others say it can, but that the pH stabilizer will only put a “band-aid” on the problem and I could cause my tank to start swinging the pH back and forth which is hard on the fish. I am officially at a loss for what to do, and I feel so awful for my fish. Any advice you can give me would be GREATLY appreciated!

Thank you so much for your time!

Hmmm... your levels are good, so I'm afraid I can't be much help now. Let's hope someone with more experience can give their input.

Have you done a water change since the last round of treatment?
I wouldn't use an algae treatment again - often they don't work and some are toxic to fish and/or inverts.

What's the pH of the tank normally?

How often do you normally do water changes, and how much do you change? What's the stocking of the tank?
I didn't want to use an algae treatment to begin with and tried to get rid of it naturally, but it was so bad I felt I had to try it. Luckily it seems to have worked to rid the tank of the algae without harming any fish, but clearly now my tank is unsettled.

Normally the pH is around 7.4, and all fish have been happy and comfortable in that range.

I normally do a 25% water change once a month if the water levels are testing in the ideal range, just to make sure the gravel stays vacuumed regularly. I know a lot of people advocate for weekly water changes, but in my belief and experience if it is testing in ideal range as far as water levels go, I would rather not disrupt the system and the fish more than necessary. Obviously if water levels take a bad turn, I do a weekly partial water change until they are back on track, but that's very rare. My tank typically maintains good levels and this is really the first major issue I haven't been able to resolve by making minor tweaks.

The tank is stocked with the following:

5 neon tetra
2 Mollies
3 Glo Tetras
1 Dwarf Gourami
1 Killifish
1 Albino Bristlenose Pleco
1 Longfin Bristlenose Pleco
1 Raphael Striped Catfish
I would definitely also recommend weekly changes. 25% once a month isn't nearly enough. There are many things you can't test for that need to be removed/changed, and fresh, clean water is always good. You won't be disrupting the system, but making it better. Think about it - these fish don't live in tiny, stagnant puddles, they live in bodies of water that with regular flow of new water. You're going to run into issues with your tank crashing, and you're starting to already see issues with the pH and the algae.

You have stocking issues, if you'd like to discuss them. What kind of killifish do you have?

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