55 Gallon Tank Incredibly Frustrating Cloudy Water

Madchild57

My 55 gallon has been running and cycled for about 1.5 years now, so it's well cycled. However, off and on, more often than not, I've been dealing with hazy water. It's somewhat gray/cloudy. I tried cleaning my filters but that did nothing. I can't figure out what is going on, and my uncycling quarantine tank awaiting some new plants is perfectly clear using the same water so it appears that there's something in the tank causing it to be cloudy. The cloudiness started about the time that I added a stronger air stone, so perhaps it's due to air bubbles in the water? My stocking and plants and such are in my profile, but it's remained pretty constant throughout time, only a few gudgeons added since the haziness began. Thanks for any help!
 

Passionfish

My 55 gallon has been running and cycled for about 1.5 years now, so it's well cycled. However, off and on, more often than not, I've been dealing with hazy water. It's somewhat gray/cloudy. I tried cleaning my filters but that did nothing. I can't figure out what is going on, and my uncycling quarantine tank awaiting some new plants is perfectly clear using the same water so it appears that there's something in the tank causing it to be cloudy. The cloudiness started about the time that I added a stronger air stone, so perhaps it's due to air bubbles in the water? My stocking and plants and such are in my profile, but it's remained pretty constant throughout time, only a few gudgeons added since the haziness began. Thanks for any help!
Could you get a picture of the cloudy water? This will help determine if they are tiny bubbles, or something else. What kind of substrate do you use, and what kind of fish do you have?
 
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Madchild57

Could you get a picture of the cloudy water? This will help determine if they are tiny bubbles, or something else. What kind of substrate do you use, and what kind of fish do you have?
I can try, it's not a lot of haziness so hopefully it shows up.
I use standard black gravel, nothing new, I've had it for the entire time I've had my tank. The tank is filter by 2 aquaclear 50 HOBs which have kept it clear until now. Stocking is 1x angelfish (her mate died), 10x cories, 16x Pristella tetra, 4x peacock gudgeon, 1x sunset gourami, 3x honey gourami, 1x BN pleco, and 1x apistogramma hongsloi. The stocking stayed constant throughout this except for 3 gudgeons. I also have a bunch of java ferns and anubias in the tank. So it's been clear the entire time except for the past 2-2.5 months.
EDIT: I think I'll turn off the air stone tonight and see if it goes away, should've done that before I posted this but I wanted to see others' perspectives.
 
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Passionfish

I can try, it's not a lot of haziness so hopefully it shows up.
I use standard black gravel, nothing new, I've had it for the entire time I've had my tank. The tank is filter by 2 aquaclear 50 HOBs which have kept it clear until now. Stocking is 1x angelfish (her mate died), 10x cories, 16x Pristella tetra, 4x peacock gudgeon, 1x sunset gourami, 3x honey gourami, 1x BN pleco, and 1x apistogramma hongsloi. The stocking stayed constant throughout this except for 3 gudgeons. I also have a bunch of java ferns and anubias in the tank. So it's been clear the entire time except for the past 2-2.5 months.
That's a really good stocking choice IMO. Do you gravel vacuum? And how many times a month?
Honestly, at this point I can't really do anything until I can see the cloudy water in a picture. I'm just trying to eliminate options right now that could be causing it.
 
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Madchild57

That's a really good stocking choice IMO. Do you gravel vacuum? And how many times a month?
Honestly, at this point I can't really do anything until I can see the cloudy water in a picture. I'm just trying to eliminate options right now that could be causing it.
I clean the water 50% every week, gravel vac the entire thing and the plants too in case anything fell into them. I can get a picture soon, it's still morning and the fish don't like the light being on this early so I'm turning on room lights to prepare them haha
 
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Passionfish

I can get a picture soon, it's still morning and the fish don't like the light being on this early so I'm turning on room lights to prepare them haha
I know exactly what you mean lol. I never turn the aquarium lights on first. Always the room light to help them adjust slowly.
 
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Madchild57

Passionfish here are the pictures

1616684307611.png
You can kind of see it, but it's very tough to see unless you look down the long side of the tank.

1616684407252.png
 
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Passionfish

Have you recently switched what media you use for your HOBs? That might be a good idea to stop the air stone. Did you rinse it before you put the airstone in? It could be dust or particles, but I don't see how your HOB's wouldn't have filtered that out.
 
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Madchild57

Have you recently switched what media you use for your HOBs?
I switched the carbon every month but I'm careful to keep the other media hydrated in tank water while I do the switch. I've been doing it that way for the past 1.5 years too and not a problem until now.
 
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Passionfish

I switched the carbon every month but I'm careful to keep the other media hydrated in tank water while I do the switch. I've been doing it that way for the past 1.5 years too and not a problem until now.
I edited my last post, a little too late lol.
 
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Madchild57

I edited my last post, a little too late lol.
Oh I see it now, I did rinse it, it's a small air stone too although the pump is quite strong. I used to run the tank without an air stone for over a year with using O2 made by plants and exchange from my HOBs but then for some reason in January I had a few fish die of hypoxia so now I air stone it.
 
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Passionfish

Oh I see it now, I did rinse it, it's a small air stone too although the pump is quite strong. I used to run the tank without an air stone for over a year with using O2 made by plants and exchange from my HOBs but then for some reason in January I had a few fish die of hypoxia so now I air stone it.
Hm. I'm stumped lol. I have no idea what's wrong. Let me see if I can find a guru who can help you.
AvalancheDave
 
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Madchild57

Hm. I'm stumped lol. I have no idea what's wrong. Let me see if I can find a guru who can help you.
I'll try to unplug air stone so I know whether it's bubbles or not.
 
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Redviper

One of the more pleasant things I've learned recently is that surface agitation is a superior way to aerate AND raise my ph. I''m waiting to see what the downsides are, if any, but as of now my water is peaches!
 
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Madchild57

Hm. I'm stumped lol. I have no idea what's wrong. Let me see if I can find a guru who can help you.
AvalancheDave
I think I figured it out. After I change the water, for some reason, everything is fine then a few hours later the water gets extremely hazy. I guess my filter takes most of it out or it dissolves back into the water, but some doesn't? I saw a ton of this white stuff trapped on my pre filter sponges and took them off and the water quality is starting to improve. So I guess the haziness is from particles too big to fit through my pre filter sponges. So now I need to choose between unclogging my filter every week from large food/poop getting sucked in or clear water.
The real question is what is this white precipitate after I change the water? I used to think it's calcium carbonate but my water is extremely soft- to the point I need to cuttlebone it when I get snails again.
 
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mrsP

That looks like bacterial bloom, and it should go away on it's own. It doesn't harm your livestock. I know it's annoying, I had the same problem when I had (bit? Well, a lot) too small filter in my 250 litre (66,something gallon) tank. After I got Fluval fx4, it disappeard.
 
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Madchild57

That looks like bacterial bloom, and it should go away on it's own. It doesn't harm your livestock. I know it's annoying, I had the same problem when I had (bit? Well, a lot) too small filter in my 250 litre (66,something gallon) tank. After I got Fluval fx4, it disappeard.
A bacterial bloom on a 1.5 year old tank that's last 2.5 months?
 
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mrsP

Yep, that is possible. I had same problem in my well established tank too, until I got better filter. Someone explained it to me as bb is just living in water as it is needed, but "doesn't fit" into filter. No idea if that's the case or not, but mine just disappeard after filter change. On the bottom line, I think the most important part, is that it's harmless for fish. Unsightly, definetly, but harmless.
 
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Nickguy5467

noob chiming in. i added carbon sponges to my hob filter back in the day when it was cloudy one time and it cleared up pretty fast. but since then ive never had any cloudy issues
 
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fallfever

Agree with mrsP on this. I had the same thing happen to a five year old tank just recently. Added filter floss and an extra sponge (my answer to everything), did an extra water change and cleaning and it cleared itself up. I do like your stocking, btw. Very nice selection.
 
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Redviper

Yep, that is possible. I had same problem in my well established tank too, until I got better filter. Someone explained it to me as bb is just living in water as it is needed, but "doesn't fit" into filter. No idea if that's the case or not, but mine just disappeard after filter change. On the bottom line, I think the most important part, is that it's harmless for fish. Unsightly, definetly, but harmless.

The fact that I'm experiencing mild cloudiness while cycling a new filter on a tank that already has a completely cycled filter in-line lends serious credence to what you say, mrsP. The two are balancing bb load between them. Beautiful fish in your avatar too. What is it?
 
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mrsP

Thank you Redviper. Fish is Hillstream loach. I bought 6 in total, now I have no idea about how many I have, they breed like rabbits... but I like them, so that's fine by me.
 
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Redviper

Thank you Redviper. Fish is Hillstream loach. I bought 6 in total, now I have no idea about how many I have, they breed like rabbits... but I like them, so that's fine by me.

I'll buy just one then. The last thing I want is a population explosion. It was recently pointed out that I have lot of bioload overhead. Sounds like an excuse to get into pleco like fish to me.
 
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mrsP

Eh, one is not enough, they are schoaling fish, and I've been told they rarely breed in aquarium. Why in mine, I have no idea. But if you get 3, that should be ok, and try to get only males or females, even better. Males fins near head leave body from sharper angle, usually around 90 degrees, when females fins and head sort of blend together without any sharp angles.
 
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Redviper

Since spring is approaching, a retail fish shipper should be able to ship to order. 3 of these beauties sounds great. Are there any temperament issues I should be concerned with?
 
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mrsP

No, they are peaceful, but could be bit timid in small group, 3 would be minimum of them. They do love strong current, and do eat aufwuch, not algae, so not a solution for that. They do love to eat Hikari sinking algae wafers, I do recommend them. Enjoy your fish!
 
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Redviper

Great, I'm Mr. Current over here. It'll be 4 of them then, all male. Thank you.
but I don't see how your HOB's wouldn't have filtered that out.

Wouldn't this depend on the HOB flow through and mats used, etc.?
 
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Madchild57

Alright back again once again to this thread. So I'm trying to resist dropping $100 on brand new filters. This haziness doesn't dilute with water changes either. Could API Stress Coat be causing this haziness? I may try a water change with less of it and see what happens. Other than that, it may be bacteria but my fish eat everything I put in there and I do 50% or more water change every week. Other than that, something in my tank may be letting these particles out? I have an uncycled 10 gallon holding some plants rn and it is crystal clear, and I do everything the same between them, so I really can't figure this out.
 
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