Murky water

smillermom

I have a 20 extra high, basically 2 10 gallon tanks on top of each other. All of a sudden the water is looking murky. It has been fine for the last 6 months. Should I add an airstone for water flow? Love some advice!
 

Joep606

Don't take my word for it, as I am still relatively new, but the same thing happened to me a few weeks back. I did a water change, and the next day the water cleared up. You might want to try the same.
 

smillermom

Hi! Tried the water change, no luck!
 

Gunnie

What are your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels? Have you done some extra special cleaning lately? Have you done anything different recently?
 

smillermom

No, I haven't and that is what is strange. The only thing I have noticed, I had a new front window put in recently. I have noticed around 5:00 pm the sun hits my tank for about 15 minutes. I did not have a bow window before so maybe this? I am off to the lfs today to pick up an air regulator and stones to run some aeration in the tank and thought i'd make a 50% water change at the same time. We'll see what happens. What do you think of the direct sunlight? I was more worried about algae than anything else. Cannot move the tank, have too many other spots taken up with tanks!
 

Joep606

Yes, it might be an algae bloom, that's what happened with my tank. :-\
 

ladylouroll

hello, my tanks water today looks a little murky I can still easily see through it the water levels are fine. I was just wondering what causes it? and what can I do?
 

Beth1965

Have you just done a water change? Added new fish or plants or wood, anything?
Beth
 

corycalogero

could be many things... along with what beth said.... check your filter media, maybe it needs to be changed?? make sure your not overfeeding?
 

ladylouroll

nope, no water change for a week. no plant change, etc, last fish added about a week ago. I don't believe that I'm over feeding they eat it really quickly. the filter seems to be working fine.
 

jdhef

It could just be a bacterial bloom, as you've added new fish a week ago your tank can now support more bacteria. Hopefully it will clear up in a day or two.
 

ladylouroll

thanks _
 

flashybetta

First, a little background:
My mom and I have a 14-gallon tank with 5 harlequin rasboras and an albino cory catfish. We had two serbatI corys until a couple of weeks ago, when they both died. We took a water sample to Petsmart and discovered that our ammonia levels were dangerously high. We went home and did a partial water change and added some Ammo-Lock, which helped a bit. So after another water test, which showed that the ammonia levels were almost back to normal, we did another water change and added a little more Ammo-Lock.

But here's what my question is about:
We did a routine partial water change on Sunday. On Thursday, the water was still relatively clear. But yesterday morning, when I came downstairs and turned on the tank light, I COULD NOT SEE A THING. The water was so cloudy that I couldn't even see the plants at the back of the tank. The catfish was acting like he always has been, but the harlequins were swimming around near the surface with their noses up. I added some Ammo-Lock, just to be safe, and changed the filter cartridge, and we did an emergency water change, and that seemed to help a teeny tiny bit. Today it's still extremely cloudy. Are we doing anything wrong? What can we do to clear up the water? Please help, because we like to be able to see our fish! x
 

Tigress Hill

Have you done a head count lately? It sounds like something is decomposing in your tank to me.
 

flashybetta

All the fish are accounted for. ??? Should we check on the decorations? We have 3 plastic plants, a fake rock arch, and a fake log with plants attached.

We also have a fake stone pagoda.

We may have found the cause. We had a heater in the tank, and someone has been nibbling on the cord. The heater is now out.
 

Junne

HI there!
How long has your tank been cycled? You could be experiencing an algae bloom?

I think for now, your best bet is to keep doing the water changes and dosing with Prime. The prime will help detoxify your ammonia. Also, its probably a good idea to get yourself a liquid test kit - Usually API master kit is recommended. The strips that they use at Petco/petsmart are not very accurate so if your readings on ammonia were high according to them, it might even be higher.

I doubt that the heater going out ( especially for such a short time ) would cause your water to be murky. Usually if you have too much heat or light, that could cause an algae bloom.....
 

AlexAlex

You should make sure you always have a heater in any fish tank. The electrical chord (any of it) should not ever be submerged in the water at all, as that can be a hazard in itself beyond the fish nibbling on it.
 

flashybetta

jwebbe: The tank's been up and running since late July. I don't know how we'd have algae; it's nowhere near a window, and it's kind of a whitish-gray murk instead of something green or brown. We did another water change tonight and it looks a little better--I can actually see the plants at the back of the tank! As for my concern about the heater, I had seen a warning at Petsmart about this particular type of heater leaking whatever chemicals into fish tanks when it was plugged in. On the night in question, the heater was plugged in because the temperature in the tank had gone down.
AlexAlex: It's been several years since my last fish tank. And the instructions that came with the heater suggested putting the heater right at the bottom of the tank... With the cord in the water... So I'm planning to put it back in tomorrow--with the cord out of the water.

Thank you all very much for your help! x
 

Aquarist

Good morning,

Sounds like a bacteria bloom to me:

Be patient. As your tank matures, the bloom will go away on its own via water changes and regular tank maintenance. Bacterial blooms are common particularly in tanks up to 1 year old. They may come and go and should eventually stop.

As for the heaters, all of my heaters are submersible and I have the cords in the water too and no issues. If the cords were not supposed to be in the water, they would not be listed as submersible. For safety sake when doing tank maintenance, everything electrical should be turned off and unplugged to prevent electrical shock.

Also to prevent electrical shock I recommend having GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupters). Either outlets or strips:


Note, GFCI is different than power surge protectors or power strips where you can plug in multiple electronics. The GFCI is designed to protect you from electrical shock where power strips are designed to protect your equipment.



My apologies for going a bit , but I want you to be safe and to feel safe as water and electricity do NOT mix.

Ken
 

AlexAlex

That's what I meant, Ken... The safety measures of the electrical occurrences.
 

Tohya

Okay so here is the skinny, I recently changed the pads in my fluval filter as well as the carbon, after a day my water turned a little milky and I figured maybe a minor bacterial bloom, but that was two weeks ago and my water is still cloudy, is it a matter of I need to clean things out or something along those lines? please please please give me some insight because I miss my crystal clear water
 

junebug

Can you tell us a little more about the situation? What type of filter is it? Did you change all of the filter floss at once? Is there another media on which BB can grow? What are the water parameters?
 

Tohya

okay so my water readings are all in the safe zone....I use the strips (I know not super accurate)

I have a Fluval canister 206 that I changed the carbon, the polishing pad and two of the four foam screen pads. I also have an Aqueon 75 that I didn't change any out when the murkiness first appeared.

As for other things for BB to grow on, would you consider the décor in the tank? if so I have two log type items and a hippo skull as well as several fake plants and two live plants all bought at my LFS which were all in the tank before the murkiness appeared as well.

We had done our regular water change swapped out the above mentioned filter parts and later in the day it got a little milky which I assumed was maybe a small bacterial bloom caused by changing the filter parts few days it cleared up about half way and its been that way ever since and its driving me bonkers
 

Teleost

Completely off topic here..
Is it a real Hippo skull? That's so cool. I want pics!!

Back on topic - If you have got a real skull, the sinuses will be a fantastic place for bacterial growth. They're like sponges made from bone.

Can't help you with the cloudiness though. Sorry about that.
 

Tohya

haha no its a decent sized fake one bought at my LFS
 

junebug

If it's white cloudiness, it probably is a bacterial bloom. How long has the tank been set up? These things are common in new tanks.

As a side note: changing out your filter media such as sponges, foam pads, etc, should only be done every few months. They can be rinsed in between. When you remove these items, you remove the BB that keeps your tank healthy
 

Tohya

It has been set up for geeze ummmm 6 months maybe more, nice fat healthy fish, this is the first time that I have changed the filter items in the fluval, I was going on the suggested routine replacement. usually if I have to unhook that filter I just rinse it all out (had a massive outbreak of unwanted snails and found eggs in the filters )
 

adive

Just throwing another question: Would it be too much light? I am battling green water/cloudiness in my tank currently and definitely I had excess photo which I've reduce since 5 days but its not getting too much better yet.
 

ricmcc

Just curious, how do you do your rinsing? Ideally, I think you want to do minimal rinsing (i.e. just enough to allow good water flow, using treated or aquarium water) so as to leave as much BB as possible. It is rather strange, tho, as any disruption of the BB should have altered your water values; is there anything else that might have changed in the tank? and, in the really stupid question category, you did do a very thorough rinse of your new carbon, I assume?
Quick note to Teleost: Few years ago, a moose fell through the spring ice, drowned, and washed ashore at my cottage. My wife's cousin is a vet, and decided to prepare it so as to have a complete moose skeleton--after moving all the bones (various beetles and such ate the flesh) to the top of our sleeping cabin to bleach in the sun ,he gave up on the project. This is why I now have a complete moose skeleton in my garage--never thought to use any of it in a tank though--might try a bit in a hard water tank now that you mention the Hippo skull This is further evidence that I lead a weird life, BTW ------rick
 

Aquarist



Good morning,

If you are experiencing a Bacterial Bloom, give it time and it will go away. It may take a while.

Ken
 

Destanie

My water is sort of murky. You can still see through it but it's not as crystal clear as it used to be. It could be algae. We have one pleco but he only eats the algae on the sides. Is there a freshwater fish that filters the micro algae that's floating around my tank or will I just have to buy some water clearing stuff?

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
 

Destanie

Wouldn't that kill the good bacteria as well though?

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
 

TyGuy320

Wouldn't that kill the good bacteria as well though?

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
Not at all, your BB is not free floating in the water, so it should never get sucked into the sterilizer.
 

Anders247

Is it green or milky white?
 

zaraspook

What color is the water. Milky or greenish
 

Destanie

Milky white. I would say it's been this way ever since our fish store reccomended we put good bacteria in the tank. After we did that it hasnt gone back to normal crystal clear.

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
 

Anders247

Milky white. I would say it's been this way ever since our fish store reccomended we put good bacteria in the tank. After we did that it hasnt gone back to normal crystal clear.

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
Then it's bacterial bloom. Doing water changes will infuriate the problem. Mine went away, after no water changes for a while......
 

Destanie

Do you think that changing the filter and letting the excess bacteria stick to the new filter would help? Or should I just leave it alone and give them less food?

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
 

Anders247

Do you think that changing the filter and letting the excess bacteria stick to the new filter would help? Or should I just leave it alone and give them less food?

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
No, the bacteria in the water is not the same as in the filter. The cloudiness you see is from heterotrophic bacteria, and the ones in the filter is autotrophic bacteria. Heterotrophic bacteria is useless in the aquarium.
 

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