Water turned yellow after change

Discussion in 'Water Changes' started by seannami, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. seannamiNew MemberMember

    Hi All- first timer here

    Had a strange happening in my fish tank. I have a 20L with one black moor (I know, I got my fish before I knew better), I perform an ammonia test and water change every Tuesday and Saturday (30 - 50%, depending on levels). This morning I did my change, his ammonia was heading for .75. I did a 30% water change with a gravel siphon as it was very silty. I also cleaned the casing of the filter under tap water because the silt had blocked the grill, but cleaned the sponge in tank water. Ammonia is down to about .25 or so.

    Now after the change, the water is kind of yellow, like watered down Mountain Dew. It happened instantly. I've had greyish cloud after a water change before from silt, but never yellow.

    I put ager, aquarium salt and a half dose of ammonia neutralizer in the water as recommended by a guy at the fish shop- none of which are yellow tinged. The plastic plants and decorations have been recently replaced but were cleaned in tank water before I put them in, this is the third change after I put those in. The tank has been relatively recently cleaned from scratch, was fast-cycled chemically and I left the filter mucky for the first few days to try and recolonize the bacteria. The water was perfectly clear (give or take) before the change.

    My fish keeping ignorance (coupled with a power surge leading to a week with no filter) led me to an unfortunate ammonia related fish massacre, leaving 2 fish dead and the black moor the sole survivor (who, in true zombie-fish fashion, was pretty much dead at that point but was resurrected with an empty flour container and an oxy block).

    The only thing I can think of is that a little bit of the ammonia or ph testing fluid leaked into the water change bucket or something, there was a little bit of food-dye like substance in the sink after I packed up the fish cleaning stuff, but no evidence of it in the bucket. All the resources I could find online said that yellow meant it hadn't been cleaned, nothing resulting immediately from a clean.

    ETA: I should add there's no driftwood or anything like that in the tank, and the gravel is natural colors with some blue pebbles mixed in so it can't be coloring from those. There's also no light cause it blew with the power surge as well, and I haven't had the money to get a new one.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  2. Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    I want to Welcome you to Fishlore. We try to help as much as we can here.

    A possibility is that you are experiencing very fine particles or bacteria in the water. It it is bacterial, everytime you change the water, it will just grow back. Changing the water will not help. You could use a very fine filter medium an external filter packed with floss. This will take out the particles no matter what they are.

    I assume you do not have any wood in your tank, that can cause tanin in the water that turns it yellow. Or you could be having really bad ammonia spikes again.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  3. ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to Fishlore!!!!

    Sounds like it could be some leftover waste stirred up when you were refilling the tank. Add some more filter floss to see if it cleans up over night. Also see if you can find some prime or amquel+ to do your water changes with until the tank cycles. Ammonia/nitrites can kill fast and you have lost a few already :(
  4. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    G'day, welcome to fishlore :;hi2

    Agree on both of the above.

    Ammonia build-up can cause your water to turn yellow, as can left over food etc.

    Does the tank smell different? A properly cycled aquarium should smell 'earthy' (nitrates). The smell could help guide you to the cause.

    And as suggested by Shawnie, try and grab a bottle of Prime (easier to find than Amquel + here in Aus). It seems expensive by comparison to other water conditioners, but the concentration of it means it goes a long way.

    Oh - and for what it's worth, I'd also stop using the aquarium salt. There's no need for salt in a tropical aquarium ;)
  5. seannamiNew MemberMember

    Thanks for the advice guys

    The yellowness has dissipated overnight, I guess whatever it was filtered out.

    Question about salt- the "salt" I'm using is aquasonic goldfish water conditioner, cause the people at Coburg aquarium said my local water wasn't hard enough- should I still stop?
  6. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Ahh, that's a little different, personal opinions aside, the guys at Coburg (yes I go there regularly) actually do know what they're talking about. Our water in Melbourne is extremely soft, and the salts you've been sold are most likely to be for hardness (General Hardness), these are fine to use, but you should test your water (or have it tested) for hardness levels. Water supply's vary around Melbourne, and it's best to know what you've got.

    FYI - I'm in the Eastern suburbs, and my tap water is pH 6.8-7, General Hardness (GH) about 3 degrees, Carbonate Hardness (KH) of 0-1. I use conditioning 'salts', although I prefer to call them crystals to bring GH up to around 7 degrees, and a powder to bring KH up to around 3-4 degrees (which gives a pH around 7.2-7.4)

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