Mysterious Cloudy Water

dymmig89

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Ok, this has stumped a reputiable (hopefully I spelt that right) fish store. I purchased a 20 gal tank with a aquatech power filter and let it run for two weeks with no fish in it, at the end of the first week it began to get cloudy. I went to the store and lowered the ph to around 7. I let it run when I went on vacation and when I got back it was almost to the point where I could not see anything. I went back to the store and the manager was there. He said it may be the start up tabs made by jungle that I used in the beginning, so he gave me some water from an established tank to put in and said it may be healthy for the tank to put some fish in. I got 2 gold barbs, a tri color shark, a ruby shark, and a coby catfish. I put the water in and the fish and they seem to be fine but the water is still cloudy. It got a little better and then stopped. Can anyone help me get rid of this? I have pictures if anyone needs them to diagnose the problem.
 

Isabella

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First, welcome to Fish Lore

Do you you have a test kit? What are your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate readings? The tank may get cloudy during the cycle, so it's nothing to worry about (unless the cause for cloudiness was different - which is why I ask for your test readings).

As for the pH, you shouldn't be trying to change it with commercial products, as this may cause more harm than help. A lower or higher - but stable - pH is far safer than a constantly fluctuating one. By adding commercial products to your water to alter the pH, you cause the pH to fluctuate - and this can be very harmful to fish.
 
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dymmig89

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I got the water tested yesterday, the PH was 7.2 he and he said nitrates and ammonia was fine. The tank was cloudy after I cycled it then It got worse once I started adding things.
 
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dymmig89

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jungle start up tabs which he said may have caused the problem, but that was a week and a half ago, and I have done water changes. and I do not know the ammonia and nitrates, but he said they were in the right range.
 
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dymmig89

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They were disolving start up tabs that were supposed to clear your water of any impurities and balance out the chemicals in the water to make the water adaptable for the fish.
 

Isabella

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I think the tabs may have caused the excessive clouding. Whatever the chemicals you add to the water, may disturb the balance and cause cloudy water. Are you performing any water changes? If not, you should be. Perform regular weekly water changes - this way you'll remove the cloudy water and possibly nitrite (if there is any in your water - since you haven't tested for it). During the cycle, people perform larger and more frequent water changes. Afterwards, regular weekly 15-30% water changes are OK (depending on your fishload).
 
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dymmig89

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I changed some of the water and it cleared a little, but got cloudy again. Could this mean anything?
 

Isabella

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It shouldn't be dangerous. The clouding SHOULD eventually go away. If you had the tank for less then a month, it may be clouded for up to a month if it's still cycling. Change the water regularly, and change more of it if you want the cloudiness to go away. Don't add any tabs or pH adjusters. Let the tank cycle naturally. It would be good if you got yourself a test kit. Aquarium Pharmaceuticals master test kit is really good and reliable. It can get expensive at local fish stores, but you can buy it online very cheap. Here:



Even with S&H fees you'll pay less for this test kit than you would have paid for it at your local fish store.
 

Isabella

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I'd also like to add that clouding may well be caused by bacterial blooms - which occur during the cycle, and which is a normal process in a new tank. If your tank is (or was) still cycling, that's where the cloudiness might have come from (if not from the tabs).
 
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