Water Clarity Problems


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Pipe fitter 455

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Hello. I set up my first 55 gallon tank a month ago. My goal is to have a community tank I currently have 4 dwarf gouramis, 6 neon tetras, 3 loaches, and a pleco. Every thing was going fine, until 4 days ago. Tank had been getting bi weekly 30%-50% water changes. I have a hang on back marineland penguin 350 bio wheel filter,and a under gravel filter,with 2 power heads. I noticed a strong fishy smell coming from the tank 4 days ago, so I did a water change and replaced filter media because it was a month old. I use a gravel vac to clean the gravel, when I do my water changes. I don't think my biological filter has been established yet, because I'm still getting ammonia and nitrite fluctuations, 0 ppm,and as high as .5 ppm, on ammonia and 0-5 ppm on nitrite. nitrate is almost always 0 ppm ph is always steady at 7.8. so now that my tank history is done, my problem is after my last water change/filter change 4 days ago, my water got really cloudy, and you can see a lot of particles floating in the water. so I did a 75% water change today, and water clarity has not improved. What am I doing wrong?
 

Pipe fitter 455

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Thank you. So I am starting over from scratch cycle wise then. What do you recommend to stop the odor,it was really strong, I thought there was a dead fish on the floor when I got home, because the smell was so bad?
 

AmnScott

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Thank you. So I am starting over from scratch cycle wise then. What do you recommend to stop the odor,it was really strong, I thought there was a dead fish on the floor when I got home, because the smell was so bad?
Activated carbon (charcoal) will help reduce the smell. But carbon media only lasts about a month before it becomes practically useless, so it needs to be changed out monthly.
 

Katie13

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Activated carbon (charcoal) will help reduce the smell. But carbon media only lasts about a month before it becomes practically useless, so it needs to be changed out monthly.
It doesn't work AS good at all after a month. That's why I stock packs of carbon. I dump the old stuff out of the media as needed and add a new packet.
 

Pipe fitter 455

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Thank you. That's why a changed the filter it was a month old and is a media filter with activated carbon inside the media. The smell went away a changed it but now my water clarity is terrible. Brand new to fish keeping, and I'm going to make mistakes along the way. Thanks for te response any other tips would be appreciated.
 

AmnScott

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It doesn't work AS good at all after a month. That's why I stock packs of carbon. I dump the old stuff out of the media as needed and add a new packet.
Yeah, carbon has a saturation point and once it reaches that saturation point it can no longer absorb particulates or chemicals. They're similar in properties to a sponge.
 

Katie13

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Thank you. That's why a changed the filter it was a month old and is a media filter with activated carbon inside the media. The smell went away a changed it but now my water clarity is terrible. Brand new to fish keeping, and I'm going to make mistakes along the way. Thanks for te response any other tips would be appreciated.
Approximately 90 percent of you beneficial bacteria lives in the filter media. I would recommend buying some Seachem Prime as it detoxifies ammonia and nitrites specifically.
 

Pipe fitter 455

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Thank you katie13 and amnscott I will be purchasing activated carbon and leave the media filter in and just wash it with my used tank water. Is there anything I can do to make the water clear again
 

el337

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If it's a milky cloudiness, it's most likely a bacterial bloom which is what happens when you're cycling. I wouldn't worry about it as it will go away on its own.
 

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It is a milky cloudiness thanks for your help I feel a lot better now.
 

AllieSten

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Hi there. As @Katie13 said when you throw away your filter media, you throw away your nitrogen cycle. So you are basically starting over.

As far as water clarity goes, I would take apart your filter, rinse everything in dechlorinated water. It doesn’t have to be old tank water, just dechlorinated. Get any gunk out of there. You can also add filter floss. It is basically poly-fil pillow batting. You can get a big bag at Walmart for $3. It filters out all the little particles.

If your water is milky white, that is a bacteria bloom, green is an algae bloom, and greyish is over feeding.

What are your water parameters? The fishy smell can be associated with ammonia. Carbon can be used to help with odor, but you will need to fix the problem, not cover it up.

Here are a couple videos on filter media. I find using reusable filter media works best. Saves money in the long run. Lasts for years without needing to be replaced. Since you have to start over, it’s the perfect time to switch your media.


 

Katie13

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Hi there. As @Katie13 said when you throw away your filter media, you throw away your nitrogen cycle. So you are basically starting over.

As far as water clarity goes, I would take apart your filter, rinse everything in dechlorinated water. It doesn’t have to be old tank water, just dechlorinated. Get any gunk out of there. You can also add filter floss. It is basically poly-fil pillow batting. You can get a big bag at Walmart for $3. It filters out all the little particles.

If your water is milky white, that is a bacteria bloom, green is an algae bloom, and greyish is over feeding.

What are your water parameters? The fishy smell can be associated with ammonia. Carbon can be used to help with odor, but you will need to fix the problem, not cover it up.

Here are a couple videos on filter media. I find using reusable filter media works best. Saves money in the long run. Lasts for years without needing to be replaced. Since you have to start over, it’s the perfect time to switch your media.


As a side not, personally, I steal old dog toy stuffing (they never last long with either of my dogs) to use in my tanks.
 

Pipe fitter 455

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Hi there. As @Katie13 said when you throw away your filter media, you throw away your nitrogen cycle. So you are basically starting over.

As far as water clarity goes, I would take apart your filter, rinse everything in dechlorinated water. It doesn’t have to be old tank water, just dechlorinated. Get any gunk out of there. You can also add filter floss. It is basically poly-fil pillow batting. You can get a big bag at Walmart for $3. It filters out all the little particles.

If your water is milky white, that is a bacteria bloom, green is an algae bloom, and greyish is over feeding.

What are your water parameters? The fishy smell can be associated with ammonia. Carbon can be used to help with odor, but you will need to fix the problem, not cover it up.

Here are a couple videos on filter media. I find using reusable filter media works best. Saves money in the long run. Lasts for years without needing to be replaced. Since you have to start over, it’s the perfect time to switch your media.


Great videos learned a lot thank you for the help
 

AllieSten

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Great videos learned a lot thank you for the help
They are my favorite 2 videos. I have had my big tank only set up since April. Both videos taught me so much about my filter. I use 2 different sponges, ceramic rings, crushed coral (for my pH) and filter floss. Sometimes I add carbon, only if I need to do some water polishing but I don’t leave it in there all the time. I end up rinsing my media about once a month, and haven’t had to replace anything since April. Well except my filter floss. I change that out every week.

Aside from the filter media in the filter, I run 2 sponge filters in my tank separately. They are good to have as extra filter media. Just in case you ever need some extra filter media for a hospital tank. It is already seeded with bacteria. Plus it also will give additional surface area to cycle the tank with. More surface area the better.

@Katie13 hahahaha. Dog toy stuffing certainly will work. Same exact stuff. Only thing I would worry about is if it is treated with flame retardants. You don’t want that stuff in your tank. It shouldn’t be with it being used for dogs.
 
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