White Cloudy Water---HELP!!!!

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ewiz06

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About 3 weeks ago I did what I later heard was called a binge tank cleaning >.  I changed about 35-40% of my water, cleaned my gravel, put new charcoal media in the filter and cleaned the bio-wheel from my filter pump.  My water, which was green cloudy to begin with, soon became white cloudy after the change.  I learned from the folks at the local pet shop  that I had depleted most of the useful bacteria from my tank, and now it has to cycle again.  One shop said I should do 15-205 water changes every week, while another said I don't need to change the water.  I added a solution that claims to place "good" bacteria into the tank.

My question is how long will it take for my tank to clear up?  It has been 3 weeks and I see no difference.  Also, what suggestions do you have to speed up the process or to simply help me get a clear tank again? :'(

I need some assistance badly.  THANKS!
 

Gunnie

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Welcome to FishLore! It's great to have you with us!

It sounds like your local pet shop actually has some folks that have a clue. That is a good thing! I agree with them, so let's get this situation under control.

First off, all of those products that claim to cycle your tank are junk. Some will help speed up the process some, but if it's been 3 weeks, then the stuff is not working. Bio Spira is the only product that actually cycles your tank immediately, and it's expensive and hard to find. Most folks will use cycle in their tanks, and I had zero results with that stuff when I tried it as a new hobbyist. I have read good things about stability made by seachem, but it won't help instantly. I know the cloudiness is ugly, but it's not hurting your fish by being cloudy.

In order to figure out what's going on with your cycle, you are going to need good test kits for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates. Aquarium Pharmaceuticals makes a great master test kit that has everything you need to get started and it's economical. They usually cost about $30.00 locally, but you can find them online for around $15.00. Having these tests is absolutely necessary in keeping your fish alive and your tank healthy. We won't be able to tell you anything about what's going on in your tank until you can post the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. Continue doing weekly water changes (probably more once we know your ammonia and nitrite levels), and don't change the filter media or clean the bio wheel unless the water flow is seriously restricted. Then just rinse them in old tank water instead of water from the tap. Let us know what your levels are so we can help you. Once the balance is achieved again, you will suddenly wake up one morning to a tank that is crystal clear.
 
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ewiz06

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Gunnie.

Thanks so much for your quick reply. I did have my water tested at the pet shop and they said that the amonia and nitrate levels were fine, but my Ph level was high. I've been adding some acid buffer to lower the levels and it has come down to close to 7.0. I guess I will need to get a complete kit in order to give you accurate measurements.

My tank is 46 gal, so I don't know if size matters in how long it will take the tank to cycle. Also, should I avoid adding any new fish until my tank clears up?

Again, any ideas or suggestions to help me are very appreciated. ???
 

Gunnie

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If you click on the link below and print the page, you should probably be able to take the page to your local petsmart and get the master test kit for their online price.  The page is a little confusing, but it looks like the master test kit is $13.49.   



Don't add any more fish to the tank!  You don't want to complicate your problems you are having right now.  Only add fish when everything is under control.  It's all about balance, and your balance is off right now. 

If you were fishless cycling, you would be adding ammonia to the tank to keep the level up to between 4 and 5.  It wouldn't matter how big or small your tank was because you would be doing the same thing but with different amounts of ammonia.  Since you are cycling with fish, the amount of fish in the tank determines how quickly the ammonia rises in your tank.  More fish = more ammonia.  With that said, it's really not something you can determine with a lot of accuracy.  Plus everytime you do a water change while cycling, you set the cycle process back some.  But with fish in the tank, water changes will be necessary to keep your fish alive.  I would say the average time it takes to cycle a tank is 6 weeks, but there are so many variables.   
 
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ewiz06

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Thanks Gunnie. I will go to PetSmart today and buy the kit and then report my results. Another question for you, how often should I change my water and water water% should I change? I assume I should not clean the gravel, as this will remove some of the bacteria I need.

Again, thanks!
 

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Do a water change when your ammonia or nitrite levels get above 1.0. Then start with changing out 1/3 of the water to see if it brings the level down enough. Don't vacuum the gravel unless it's really nasty. You can hover your vacuum tube just above the gravel to pick up stuff laying on top.
 

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It's interesting you brought up the cleaning the gravel. I was at a friends house for a cook out yesterday and her son was telling me when he cleans his tank, (5gallon) he removes the fish, empties all the water and washes the gravel. Yikes!!!! That is the biggest mistake people make and they totally reomove most of the bacteria. When you get your test kit, check the ph level of your tap water. It is very difficult to lower your ph and should be done by more natural products such as peat moss in your filter. All else fails, when you stock a tank, stock with fish compatible to your ph levels. Another thing that is very hard when cycling a tank, chemicals. If you are adding lots of different chemicals such as ammonia reducing ammoloc, different cycling products, ph reducers, you are extending the time needed for the cycling process to complete. The water cloudiness will clear when it stables out, even then every 2 weeks for adding fish is better and don't add a bunch at the same time. If your water is green cut down the time your lights are on and feedings. Both will cause excess algae. I have used Bio-Spira twice with great results. I set my tanks up, ran the filters for a week, added the Bio-Spira and the fish at the same time. Excellent results but boy, expensive because if you have it shipped, you want it immediately as it needs refrigeration and comes packed in ice. The only reason I did this was because of a tank prob with a friend who gave me some fish from her 29 gallon. It was stocked with fish that were not compatible such as 2 female convicts in a community tank! I pulled out a 20 gallon and 37 from storage, set them up, ordered Bio-Spira, and added the fish when all was set. I checked the levels and they were excellent right from the get go. I have high ph and was lucky I received hardy fish!
 
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ewiz06

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Thanks smillermom. I will definitely keep this in mind. I will post all of my test readings once my kit arrives. I'm hoping that the water is a little less cloudy by then. I won't be adding anything additional or doing anything to the tank (except wiping the algae off of the glass) until I know what condition my water is in.

I'm just a bit impatient. It's been 3 1/2 weeks since I cleaned the tank and I am really hoping to get clear water soon!
 

vin

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ewiz06 said:
Thanks Gunnie.  I will go to PetSmart today and buy the kit and then report my results.  Another question for you, how often should I change my water and water water% should I change?  I assume I should not clean the gravel, as this will remove some of the bacteria I need.

Again, thanks!
Just a quick note - the PetSmart price is only good on line....The in store price is $30......So even if you pay $5 for S&H you're still ahead of the game.
 

Gunnie

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vin said:
ewiz06 said:
Thanks Gunnie.  I will go to PetSmart today and buy the kit and then report my results.  Another question for you, how often should I change my water and water water% should I change?  I assume I should not clean the gravel, as this will remove some of the bacteria I need.

Again, thanks!
Just a quick note - the PetSmart price is only good on line....The in store price is $30......So even if you pay $5 for S&H you're still ahead of the game.
I have read many hobbyists have taken the add to PetSmart and they honor the online price at the store.
 

fish_r_friend

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yep i did that they also will honor the price of a competitor if you have proof
 
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ewiz06

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I did go into the store yesterday in hopes of purchasing the kit, but all they had was a similiar kit from a different company.  They only had individual tests from the manufacturer from the online ad, which would have cost about $35.00 if I purchased them separately.  I ordered the kit from the ad online yesterday and I'm tracking it through UPS.  It is scheduled to arrive on Thursday, 06/01/06.

I will post the test results as soon as I get the kit.  In the interim, I assume I should not do any type of water change.  The water is still cloudy, although not quite as bad as it was a week ago.  It is still far from being clear.  I'm wondering, is the tank just going to all of a sudden clear up once the bacteria level reaches normal or will I have to do serious water changes or add something to the tank??    ???
 

Gunnie

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It will all depend on what your readings are. Hopefully your kit will arrive tomorrow so we can help you unravel the mystery.
 

vin

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Gunnie said:
vin said:
ewiz06 said:
Thanks Gunnie.  I will go to PetSmart today and buy the kit and then report my results.  Another question for you, how often should I change my water and water water% should I change?  I assume I should not clean the gravel, as this will remove some of the bacteria I need.

Again, thanks!
Just a quick note - the PetSmart price is only good on line....The in store price is $30......So even if you pay $5 for S&H you're still ahead of the game.
I have read many hobbyists have taken the add to PetSmart and they honor the online price at the store. 
Didn't know that - thanks for the info.....
 

Gunnie

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No problem. We are here to share.
 
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ewiz06

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Just got my kit. It is the exact same one that was in the store for $27.99. I paid a total of $21.64 w/ shipping, so once you figure in sales tax I saved about $8.00. If you order items that cost over $40.00 the shipping is free, which will save you another $6.50. In any case, I have performed all of the tests and here are my results:

Ph level approx. 7.5
Nitrate approx. 4.0
Amonia approx. 0 to .25 (closer to 0)
Nitrite approx. 0 to .25 (closer to 0)

I know my Ph level is definitely high. I will add some acid buffer to lower the Ph (after I get suggestions). Both the amonia and nitrite levels are closer to the 0 (normal level) than the next closest shade.

My tank is still considerably cloudy, although not as bad as it was 1-2 weeks ago. I would love to be able to have it clear again.

I would appreciate any help I can get to make my tank clear ???
 

fish_r_friend

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your pH is not hight at all i strongly recamend not to change your ph thoubht
 
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ewiz06

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Thanks Fish f friend.  I know Gunnie was awaiting my test results before providing recommendations.  Any suggestions on how to clear up my water?  This cloudiness is driving me crazy.
 

Mmmsushi

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Might try it. I haven't had to use this myself as i am still new to this whole thing myself.
 
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ewiz06

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Thanks mmmSushi but this product won't help my cloudy water issue. I actually have it already.
 
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