10 Gallon Tank Water Cloudy

TankTech

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My fish are healthy, but my water is cloudy. My water has been cloudy for a several weeks now. It is a white cloudiness, that gets worse as the week goes on. I have done 5 gal water changes, and the last two times 6.5 gal water changes. The water almost clears up, but goes back to being cloudy.

The Fish Store first told me to cut back on the lights to 5 hours, cut back on feeding, and use charcoal in the filter. I already use charcoal in the filter, so I did cut back lighting and feeding as recommended. This made no change to the cloudy conditions. Last week the Fish Store sold me a Wonder Shell to put in the tank to help make the water clear. It did seem to pull some stuff out of the water that settled to the bottom, but the same cloudiness has occurred during the past week. So the Wonder Shell did not help my problem either.

This cloudiness first occurred after I added some API PRIMAFIX, which was to treat a fungal infection on one of my fish. The fish died, so I stopped adding the PRIMAFIX. At first I thought it was the PRIMAFIX that caused the cloudiness, but after several weeks and water changes, I do not believe that could still be a cause.

My water parameters are good:
Ammonia = 0 ppm
Nitrite = 0 ppm
Nitrate = 5ppm
pH = 7.6

The water hardness has gone up because of the Wonder Shell:
KH = 5 degrees
GH = 751.8 ppm

I have no idea what this is, or what to do about it! Any suggestions?
 

hanra85

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Are you overfeeding the tank, heterotrophic bacteria blooms are caused by excess organics in the water, lighting periods won't affect it. It's usually not an issue in cycled tanks, how long has the tank been running?
 
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TankTech

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Are you overfeeding the tank, heterotrophic bacteria blooms are caused by excess organics in the water, lighting periods won't affect it. It's usually not an issue in cycled tanks, how long has the tank been running?
My tank is several years running, and the nitrogen cycle is good.
 

Celestialpearl

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It sounds like a normal bacterial bloom to me.

Primafix is mainly anti fungal, but that doesn't mean that the bay oil in it isn't messing with other bacteria within the tank. By other bacteria, I mean other than the biological filtration as that stuff shouldn't really effect it, but it may be disrupting some of the bacteria in the tank.

It sounds as if your tank is established if it has been running for a few years. The only factor you changed is you recently introduced primafix. This suggests to me that there is now an imbalance in bacteria causing the bloom. Again, your cycle should be fine.

I've never really had to handle a bacterial bloom. You can keep doing water changes to clear the water, but this will still trigger the bacteria too reproduce. (which may be the slump you are stuck in now weeks later) Maybe try slowing on water changes so the bacteria can become reestablished? You water will get cloudy yes, but it may help clear it sooner than later. Of course monitor the health of your fish as you do this to make sure all is well with them.
 
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TankTech

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It sounds like a normal bacterial bloom to me.

Primafix is mainly anti fungal, but that doesn't mean that the bay oil in it isn't messing with other bacteria within the tank. By other bacteria, I mean other than the biological filtration as that stuff shouldn't really effect it, but it may be disrupting some of the bacteria in the tank.

It sounds as if your tank is established if it has been running for a few years. The only factor you changed is you recently introduced primafix. This suggests to me that there is now an imbalance in bacteria causing the bloom. Again, your cycle should be fine.

I've never really had to handle a bacterial bloom. You can keep doing water changes to clear the water, but this will still trigger the bacteria too reproduce. (which may be the slump you are stuck in now weeks later) Maybe try slowing on water changes so the bacteria can become reestablished? You water will get cloudy yes, but it may help clear it sooner than later. Of course monitor the health of your fish as you do this to make sure all is well with them.
I just bought something called the Green Killing Machine. It is supposed to kill algae and bacteria in tank water. It is actually way too big for my 10 gallon tank, but if it works I may try a similar one with a smaller design I saw on Amazon. It uses UV light to kill the algae and bacteria. I will let you know if and how it works. Considering the size of this unit, verses the size of my tank, it may work faster than the two weeks some reviews have given it.
I think you may be right, this may be a bacterial bloom. I sure hope this works!
 
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TankTech

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Did you change anything in the tank recently? The substrate perhaps? A picture of your tank might help
I did not change anything, other than adding the anti fungal. I am wondering as another posted here that it may be a bacterial bloom. The fish seem to be healthy. I am trying out a Green Killing Machine unit, and will report back if this helps or not. Thanks.
 

hanra85

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I just bought something called the Green Killing Machine. It is supposed to kill algae and bacteria in tank water. It is actually way too big for my 10 gallon tank, but if it works I may try a similar one with a smaller design I saw on Amazon. It uses UV light to kill the algae and bacteria. I will let you know if and how it works. Considering the size of this unit, verses the size of my tank, it may work faster than the two weeks some reviews have given it.
I think you may be right, this may be a bacterial bloom. I sure hope this works!
Should do the trick.
 

Celestialpearl

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I bought one of those last year...I got it for diatoms.... the diatoms won, but it did help slow them and the water seemed pretty darn clear when I used it. But that was probably because the brown algae from the diatoms didn’t cover the glass as fast lol

I think they make 3 different models. If I remember correctly the large one is too big to fit into a 10 gallon. So if you have the smaller one it should be fine as the flow rate isn’t that strong.

I thought they also made a mini, but the contact time with the UV bulb isn’t very long in that model so I don’t think it’s very effective to actually sterilize the water.

It’s not something you should have to use all the time so I would unplug it when you don’t need it that way you can save your bulb since they become less efficient over time.
 
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TankTech

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After 24 hours, the water is noticeably clearer. I think the Green Killing Machine may be doing its job! I did not do a water change to see if this thing is working with the tank at its worst. Plus I am so tired of making water changes. So far so good, will keep you all posted.
 

Fashooga

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10 gallon tank, and Aqueon Quiet Flow 10 filter.
I’m glad it’s working out. If it clouds up again I would look at the filter. If the filter is stock with what you got I’m thinking that the filter isn’t good enough.

I’ve seen people who have bigger tanks but weak filters and often complain about the white cloud. Most of the time it’s homeless bacteria looking for a place to stay but your filter (house) doesn’t have enough space to accommodate.

You should consider buying a bigger filter or supplement your tank with a sponge filter in the side.

Good luck.
 
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TankTech

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The interesting thing is that I have been using this same filter for years, and this is the first time I have experienced anything like this.
 
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TankTech

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Well, I was sick for a couple of weeks with a cold, and did not have the energy to do anything with my tank. So with just The Green Killing Machine in place, it did clear up about 90% of the cloudiness of the water. There was also a lot of algae in the bottom of the tank from when the Wonder Shell pulled a lot of particulates out of the water which appears to have had algae on it.

The algae continued to grow and got worse on the bottom of the tank, and also on the plants and a little on the silicon. So The Green Killing Machine has its limitations. I did a 50% water change last Sunday, and put algae killer in the water along with the Machine still in place. The water is now very clear, and so far algae is in check. I will keep adding algae killer per the label until it is gone. I think the two types of ways to attack the algae is better than any one single way.

The other odd thing is that there was some kind of fungus growing on a plastic tube. White stringy fluffy fungus. That is really odd, since I thought fungus only grew on dead organic matter. I cleaned it off of course, and I did not see any other signs of fungus growth.

All in all, I sure hope that this takes care of the algae and fungus problems. My whole cloudy water problem started when I had fish that were dying from fungus infections, and I added something in my tank to kill the fungus. So this is a lot of information that may be of interest to others, or help someone else who encounters a similar problem. Hope it helps.
 
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