tank is beginning to look contaminated

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by AnthonyC4C, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. AnthonyC4CWell Known MemberMember

    So, I had looked around at a bajillion forums and fishlore seemed to me to be the most informative on many topics...So this is where I feel, I will get thee best answers from actual knowledge. So on to my issue and concern...


    I have a 60 gallon tank with an under gravel filtration system, I have several types of live plants (8 total) a large bubble stone bar, 1 heater, 1 plastic large withered tree stump, small stones, a pink & purple castle (gotta make my daughter happy), 4 Angel fish (1 large zebra koi, 3 cobalt blue angels) and 5 snails (4 are smaller than 1/16 of an inch and 1 is about a quarter inch)


    Water seems to have miniscule things IN the water, AND is getting worse... Tank water is beginning to look cloudy...( Not over feeding either)

    What has been done;

    Emptied and cleaned tank, stones, filtration, objects...EVERYTHING! Had water tested at 3 different pet stores, tested water myself, EVERYTHING with the water is fine....


    What is going on? How do I get my tank clear? If anyone knows EXACTLY what is going on it would be highly appreciated to know and resolve this problem.

    Thank You...(Pictures Attached)


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  2. YeoyWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore! It is by far the best forum I have visited.

    Firstly, be careful of overcleaning your tank. The waste your fish produce is absorbes by bacteria in the tank, and by cleaning too much you can upset this balance.

    If you don't know about the nitrogen cycle then there is lots of information on here. It is limely that your tank is mot cycled, rather than contaminated. Cycling is simply giving the bacteria that eat the waste time to build up numbers. If you put your fish in a brand new tank this is the problem. Do daily water changes of 30% or more for now.

    Also, if you could post your water test results here? "Fine" is a very broad term. With the numbers, someone here can help.solve your problem.

    The angels look great by the way. Hopefully it all works out.

  3. oscardudeValued MemberMember

    No clue. But if you figure it out let me know. I have 5 tanks and one looks like that. I dont do anything different with it. No matter what I do I cant get rid of it. It looks like almost microscopic white particles. Millions of them. Stick around you will get better answers soon.

  4. EiennaFishlore VIPMember

    Keep a close eye on your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate after such a thorough cleaning. Hopefully you did not remove too much of the essential nitrifying bacteria. Do you use test strips or liquid? Strips are terribly unreliable. Are the ammonia and nitrite levels at 0?

    I can't see the creatures you're referring to. Someone else may be able to advise you on what they might be and what to do about them.

    Your tank actually appears quite clear to me?

  5. FashoogaFishlore VIPMember

    How long has the tank been running? Also do you have a API freshwater test kit?

    When I think of cloudy water I think of the tank starting to cycle. When you clean everything it can start to cycle.

    How do you clean your tank? What do you do? Do you change your filters? Do you completly scrub it clean and suck everything out?

    How you clean can cause chaos to the tank. Hopefully theres answers to this. Others might chime in as well.
  6. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!

    I see from your aquarium info that you are not aware of the nitrogen cycle. I highly recommend you read up on it. I think because the term nitrogen cycle was already used in post #2 it will not turn into a hyperlink in this post, but if you click on the words in post #2 you will be taken to an article that explains it. The nitrogen cycle is really the most important thing to understand when keeping fish.

    When a tank is in the process of cycling (and as soon as you add fish to water the process begins) it is not uncommon for the water to become cloudy. So I would not be surprised if that was the source of your problem.

    The whole nitrogen cycle can seem confusing at first (although once grasped, it's a pretty easy concept to understand...it's just not intuitive) so if you have any questions about it feel free to ask away. Everyone here is eager to answer questions.

    Good luck!
  7. shelliecaValued MemberMember

    What do the miniscule things look like? As for the cloudy water, I've had it twice, one when the tanks was less than a month old, a bacterial bloom that cleared up in less than a week. Second time I had cloudy water I found out I wasn't vacuuming the gravel deep enough, haven't had cloudy water since.

    Teeny tiny white worms? The teeny tiny white worms are harmless, some fish will actually eat them & are due to left over food or overfeeding. Feed less often & do water changes w/ a good vacuum & they clear up.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2012
  8. oscardudeValued MemberMember

    This tank does have some planaria. Could the cloudyness be the larva floating around? This is an established tank. 0,0,15-20. I do regular WC's and gravel vac.
  9. shelliecaValued MemberMember

    Hmmm, I wouldn't think they'd cause cloudy water. If you're feeding daily, I would feed every other day & see what happens. As for vacuuming, are you sticking the vac tube all the way down into the gravel until hits bottom? I wasn't doing that when my established tank got cloudy, now I make sure I do it, there's a lot of gunk that gets down in there. If you haven't moved decorations & vac'd underneath them you might do that.

    Sorry OP for the hijack!
  10. AnthonyC4CWell Known MemberMember

    I am grasping the basic concept of this nitrite from ammonia etc slightly... I feed them VERY little once MAYBE twice one in a great while.... I understand the breakdown of waste, etc causing ammonia if 7 or higher ph balance...I still have a lot of reading to do...

    So should I leave the tank alone OR empty 30% daily with vacuuming the tank daily ugh .... lol thanks for the welcome as well
  11. EiennaFishlore VIPMember

    Let me see if I can help you out. Take a look at this video, for starters.

    When the bacteria that accomplish this cycle have grown in enough to keep the ammonia (or ammonium, if your pH is low enough) and nitrite at 0, your tank is said to be cycled. You need to get your water tested with a liquid kit (what you really need is to get your own kit - we recommend the API Master liquid kit) and get the actual numbers, Let us know what they are and we can give you a better idea of where you're at.

    Until you know, I would do as much of a change as you can daily, somewhere in the neighborhood of 50%.
  12. AnthonyC4CWell Known MemberMember

    Well.... Honestly I seem to need more plants in my environment... Ph is 7.0... Ammonia, Nitrates,says 0.0 Safe
  13. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to the forum.

    As your test results state "Fine" and "Safe" I assume that you are using test strips. The problem is that paper strips are often inaccurate and are always misleading. Without knowing the exact measurement it is a guessing game as to what is happening in your tank.

    How long has this tank been running? I do agree that it sounds as if the tank is not cycled, if it ever was, and the cloud is a bacterial bloom. The way to tell is to look straight down into the tank. What color is the water? Does it look like someone poured milk into the tank? This is a bacterial bloom. Nothing to be concerned with in an uncycled tank. Or, does the water take on a green tint? This is an algae bloom.

    A cycled tank will have no measurable ammonia or nitrite; and will have some nitrate. Until this occurs you will need to do daily water changes. But tread very lightly with the gravel vacs. You have an undergravel filter and this is where the bacteria will be collecting.

    I also recommend using Seachem Prime as a water conditioner. Angelfish do not tolerate a build up of nitrogen waste (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) for long. They rarely survive being in an uncycled tank. Prime will help to detox the waste and your water changes will help to minimize it to give them the best chance.

    Best of luck.
  14. AnthonyC4CWell Known MemberMember

    So stick with 30% to 50% water change daily?
  15. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    Yes. And, as soon as you can purchase an API Freshwater Master Test Kit. It will run around $35; but this kit is very accurate and will last well over a year, making it cheaper in the long run.
  16. AnthonyC4CWell Known MemberMember

    Thank You :)

    Sorry, I forgot to tell you that the tank has been up and running since the day before Thanksgiving (November 21, 2012)... I also have a 16 ounce bottle of Kordon AmQuel Plus Ammonia Detoxifier Conditioner
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2012
  17. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    If you wouldn't mind, please provide complete Aquarium Profile Information. This information will help the members to gain an understanding of your tank. Just click the Forum Action link at the top of this page and select Edit Profile. Complete the information on your aquarium, including tank size, filtration, stocking, lighting, water parameters, etc. And save your changes. Then you won't be inundated with answering questions about your tank.

    For example, are you using only AmQuel+ or are you also using NovAqua+?
  18. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Hi AnthonyC4C, Welcome to FishLore. Up until yesterday I was a firm believer in Amquel+ along with NovAqua+ (they need to be used together). But recently I lost a bunch of fish in a mass die off that appears to have been caused by a pH crash. It turns out (with priceless help from Catsma 97504...the 97504 not being her zip code as I had origonally thought, but apparently her IQ) that it was caused by long term use of Amquel+ (I'd been using it for about 4 years). So I will be switching over to Prime.
  19. MatildaLjungbergValued MemberMember

    Not meaning to hijack the thread but I had the exact same thing happen to me! Amquel+ caused a huge pH crash & almost killed my fish. I won't use it again. I had an email conversation going on with Kordon for awhile about it but to no avail.
  20. AnthonyC4CWell Known MemberMember

    Thank goodness, I have only used it once

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