Help with cloudy, frustrating water!!

  1. Evan1 Initiate Member

    I have a 10 gallon tank that my brother and I recently re-assembled(from a year of non-use). Our water in the tank became cloudy within days, so we cleaned it and everything in the tank thoroughly. The tank became cloudy so we again cleaned. The tank went from crystal clear to all cloudy again only hours after cleaning, but we cleaned everything well. This is obviously making us quite frustrated, and we do not know what to do. We use a Cascade 100 filter and have 3 fish: Albino cory, Velvet Sword (had two, one "jumped ship"), and a Rainbow shark. They all live well together, please help, clear and clean tank much wanted!!!  ???
     
  2. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    You are probably cleaning your tank too well, and any bacteria you have in your tank is being eliminated. The cloudiness is probably the good bacteria trying to catch up to the ammonia being produced by your fish, and should disappear in a few days. If you don't already know about cycling a tank, here is a good article to get you started. Don't change your filter media unless it is so clogged, you are not getting a good flow of water back into the tank. If the flow is not good, see if you can "clean" the dirty filter by sloshing it in something filled with old tank water and try and get the gunk to come off. Then just put the filter back in even though it looks dirty. That's where most of your good bacteria is that keeps your tank cycled. Are you conditioning your water you are adding into your tank? This can also be a problem with killing the good bacteria if you are using tap water that has chlorine and chloramines. Make sure you always condition your water unless it does not contain chlorine or chloramines, like from a private well. Eventhough your fishies don't look like much in that tank, your rainbow shark will get quite large, and will outgrow your tank pretty quickly. Also, if you don't already have one, it would be wise to purchase a master test kit such as the one sold by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals which contains all the tests needed to keep your tank healthy. If you already have the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate tests, please post your current readings so we can help you further. ;)
     

  3. Evan1 Initiate Member

    Hey Gunnie.
    Thanks alot for your advice and time put into your response. I found it quite helpful, I probably would have ended up just cleaning it forever lol. Just kidding. I do not condition the water because my water supply is straight from a private well. The filter is brand new and has a good clean flow, it's just the water in general looks cloudy througout the tank. But i will give it a few days like you suggested and hopefully prove wrong the skeptics in my house. I will consider your suggestions and try some things. Still open to any other advice that you think may help. Please write back much!!Thanks! :)
     
  4. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    If your tank is not cycled, you will continue to have cloudy water until it is off and on. Make sure you check your parameters, and if the ammonia gets over 2 or the nitrites over 1, do at least a 50% water change. Those are lethal levels to your fish. ;)
     

  5. Evan1 Initiate Member

    Hey Gunnie.
    I may not be an expert what-so-ever but I understand the simple operations of tank upkeep. The link your provided is quite specific with information but tended to lose me after the first few paragraphs. Perhaps you could sort of some up what exactly "cycling" is and how i would go about doing it. Any other suggestions and responses to getting rid of the cloudiness is muchly appreciated, keep the message coming!! Thank!! :)
     
  6. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    The nitrogen cycle is basically what your tank has to go through to keep your water healthy for your fish. When you put fish in a new tank, they produce ammonia which a certain bacteria considers food, and continues to reproduce to match the supply of ammonia. The ammonia consumed by this bacteria is turned into nitrites which are also consumed by another strain of bacteria which in turn turns the nitrite into nitrates. Nitrates are the final waste products in your tank, and when your tests read zero ammonia, zero nitrites, and some amount of nitrates, your tank is cycled. The cloudiness you see is probably the bacteria multiplying to meet the demand of the ammonia or nitrites present in your water. Since your tank is so new, My guess would be you are still in the 1st phase of your cycle which takes about a month to 6 weeks to establish. During your cycle, ammonia and nitrites get to above toxic levels, and when there are fish present in the tank, you have to keep these levels down somewhat. That is why testing is so important. Many folks in the hobby consider it much more humane to cycle a tank with clear ammonia instead of using fish, where you just add enough ammonia to the tank to keep the level at 4 or 5 until the cycle is completed. Once the tank is cycled, you do a large water change, and then you can add all the fish intended for the tank immediately. Since you are cycling with fish, any new fish you may wish to add to the tank after it's cycled will have to be added slowly so the bio bugs can adjust and multiply to meet the demand. Another way to cycle future tanks is with bio spira, which is basically the bacteria found in a cycled tank. You just pour the bio spira into your tank with a full bio load of fish, and you should have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and detectable nitrates within 24 hours. I have used this product 3 times with excellent results. However, I recommend all newbies to cycle a tank either with or without fish the 1st time, so they understand how the cycle works. It makes you a better fishkeeper in the long run because you know when there's a problem and how to fix it. Make sure you get a good set of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate tests so you know where you are in your cycle, and to keep the tank balanced later on. Aquarium Pharmaceuticals makes an excellent master test kit with all the tests you need at a very reasonable price. Big Al's sells 'em for $13.99 USD. ;)
     
  7. Evan1 Initiate Member

    :)Thanks so much for your help Gunnie! It has helped alot and I will look into your suggestions. Anymore suggestions helpful!!! Thanks everyone!! :)
     

  8. Evan1 Initiate Member

    I have also been reading up on this cycling stuff and am strongly considering purchasing 2 or 3 Zebra Danios for my tank immediately. Would this be a step in the right direction?? Suggestions Please!!! :)
     
  9. 0morrokh Fishlore VIP Member

    Don't add any fish until your tank's totally cycled. Your current fish may not make it through the high levels of ammonia and nitrites. Cutting down on food, and using the product Cycle can help. When your tank is cycled, I'd get more Cories and Swords since they like company. And as Gunnie said, your shark will outgrow your tank. You could either return him to the store or set up another, bigger tank to move him to (cycle it without fish!). Be sure to research any fish you plan to get so you know their size and requirements. Good luck with your tank!
     
  10. Evan1 Initiate Member

    Thanks! :)
     

  11. Evan1 Initiate Member

    Ok. I bought an ammonia testing kit. I bought 3 zebra danios which i read were good fish for cycling. Water still quite cloudy. Ammonia reading between a .5 and 1 on my ammonia scale. One zebra died. Very concerned. Feedback please??? Help.