White smoky water in 30 gallon tank

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by FredBjammin, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. FredBjamminValued MemberMember

    Glad I found this forum! Hi, to all my new best friends!
    Anyhow, I had a gold fish for 6 years in a bowl from the ages 8 – 14 so I thought starting a new fish tank at age 29 was going to be easy….. I was wrong.

    I need as much advice as possible… this smoky water issue is driving me nuts!

    Sorry a head of time if this bores somebody, but I would like to be as detailed as possible incase something I did along my 3 month epic journey into my fish addiction is casing this problem.

    3 months ago in august, I took 2 surviving baby pineapple swordtails off my nephew’s hands after his adults gave birth, bought a 10 gallon and an algae eater right off the bat, somehow the algae eater lived and is doing fine still.

    After a few weeks I got bored with the baby pineapple swordtails and bought a couple neon tetras. Then I find out that the neons should be in groups of 4 or more, so I buy more neons. 3 neons got bloated and 2 died. At the same time I notice these 15 to 20 fuzzy things that look like cotton wood seeds floating around in my tank. As much as I netted them out, every day I would find more.

    Around the end of August my father saw a 30gallon tank with a 55gallon stand, heaters and an under gravel filtration system in someone’s garbage while he was doing a landscaping job… long story short it became mine and my fish addiction started!

    Started buying little colorful freshwater fish left and right…. Yeah, I know, at the time I assumed the inch per gallon, meant if I bought smaller fish then I could have more fish in my tank. None of the fish I bought from the mom & pop fish store died, but half the fish I bought from Meijer’s died, all being tetras and female delta guppies. So I started to quarantine the fish from Meijer’s for 3 – 4 days in my 10 gallon tank before putting them into the 30gallon. In late September the cotton wood seed looking things started popping up in the 30 gallon tank & my 10 gallon tank at the same time agian. By this time my nephew told me that they might be duckweed seeds, so I didn’t freak out as much. O’ yeah I almost forgot, I bought an African dwarf frog at the same time. The plaque at Meijer’s said that they play nice with others… I didn’t know any better. The dwarf frog did play nice for about 2 weeks, until I my school of 7 tetras went down to 3 with no bodies to be found. Eventually I found the Frog chewing on 1 body and workers at the mom & pop shop got a good laugh. So I moved the frog to the 10 gallon tank which I divided into halves with a divider so I wouldn’t lose my quarantine station altogether.

    In early October about a week after those cotton wood seed looking things started popping up again my Neon tetras became bloated again. I know this was probably a mistake but I read on a blog about someone treating bloated tetras with table salt. Please don’t beat me up for this but I started putting 2 pinches of salt into my 30 gallon tank for 3 days. By the 4th day the tetras weren’t bloated anymore and I was glad none of them died, but my golden flying fox algae eater turned a bit reddish/pink color and took a few days and 10 gallon water change to get him back to his normal color.
    All has been fine in the 30 gallon tank until about a week ago. My air pump for my under gravel filter died and I got stuck working a 70 hour work week instead of my normal 40 hours, with my above filter still working I thought I would have a little time before having to fix the problem. Now up to this point I’ve been a little scared to clean my tank too much, my nephew over cleaned his 55gallon tank 2 months ago which he has maintained for several years now with very minimum problems and lost half his fish with-in 2 days.
    So with in a week of my air pump dieing the water turned a cloudy green and the algae build up on my gravel became grossly overwhelming. Out side of 5 to 10 gallon water changes and washing 1/4 portions of gravel with warm tap water once a month, I haven’t ever cleaned my tank, the water has always been clear and my glass has always been perfectly clear as well.
    Saturday night/Sunday morning, I vacuumed all the surface the gravel, cleaned the glass, put a new filter pad in my top filter, did a 15 gallon water change (which dropped the water temp from 76 to 72), replaced my dead air pump that was attached to the under gravel filtration system with a more powerful air pump and also added an extra under gravel tube/filter with a less powerful air pump attached.
    Yesterday I got home from work and all of the green in the water was gone, but now there was white smoke and I mean looks just like cigarette smoke rolling around with the current!!!!
    This morning the smoky stuff was still rolling around, I wish I found this forum earlier, but I bought test strips. Everything matched up except “hardness” which shows up a dark pink instead of gray, but the box doesn’t tell me what that color means outside of alkalinity and the hardness is off. Also I bought Crystal Clear for getting rid of the smoke.

    As of now I have 6 small neon tetras, 4 small glolight tetras, 1 male yellowtail guppy, 1 male fancy guppy (that looks a lot like a cobra guppy), 1 male delta guppy, 3 female fancy guppies, 2 glofish, 2 female pineapple swordtails, 1 female redwag platy and the Algae eater. The Platty is the only fish that is acting funny now; he barely moves and just hangs out on the bottom of the tank. He was the only fish that didn’t go after the fish food this morning.

    Can someone help me out, give me some advice? Am I on the right path? Is there something else that I am missing or I did wrong?
  2. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    wow welcome to fishlore!!!!!! quite the thread ;)

    first off, heres a link that will probably do you a TON of good to let you know what every tank should go through to have sucess... https://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm its allot of reading, but if you take the time to do it, you will always have a great sucess with our obession in fish keeping ;D

    next you need to know what your ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates are..do you have a reliable test kit? if so, what are you using? an api liquid master test kit rocks and does 100s of tests for you..and has everything you need in one box...if you have a good kit, list the readings for the above mentioned, and we can go from there....sounds like you might have a mini cycle going on or the tank never properly cycled to begin with....

    as far as your plants, and the bloating, that could all have been from the tank and its cycle..so again, if we can get your accurate readings, we can all go from there...

    im sure other members will have more info and I hope things look up soon!!
  3. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    :) Hi welcome to FishLore
    Personally, I don't care for under gravel filters. Gunk can collect pretty quickly under the plate.
    Could be that stuff had a chance to float around when the air pump went out vausing spikes in your readings.
    Do you know what your readings are for ammonia nitrite and nitrates?
    When fish aren't acting right, the first thing to do is rule out water problems.
    Usually white/cloudy water is attributed to a bacteria bloom, but thats usually in new tanks.
    African Dwarf Frogs won't usually go after fish, at least not the size of neons. Are you sure it's not an African Clawed frog?

  4. OP

    FredBjamminValued MemberMember

    P.S. 8 hours after putting the crystal clear in my tank, my water is a darker cloudy color and is no longer rolling around like cigarette smoke. Is this normal?

  5. OP

    FredBjamminValued MemberMember

    Not sure about the dwarf frog, I was going off what the plaque said at the store... but he can die for all I care, I was hoping to give him away. The neons that disappeared on me were very young only 3 to 4 cm long each. The frog is still the same size as when I bought him and there was 20 other frogs that looked the same in the tank, he looks just like the picture on wiki. The funny thing about him was that when I bought him 10 baby feeder guppies and moved him to the 10 gallon tank he never ate them. I ended up giving the feeders away. Now I'm wondering if the tetras died first then he ate them.

    But let me get back to the water testing kit, it is a Jungle brand test strips. It test 6 kinds of levels. Nitrate, Nitrite, Hardness??, Chlorine, Alkalinity and PH. All the colors match, except for "Hardness". But the stupid box doesn't tell me if the water is too hard or soft. And they talk about "hardness" & "Alkalinity" as though it's the same thing but there is 2 seperate pads. The alk pad reads just fine. If I found you guys earlier I would of bought a real test kit.

    Let me check out the link Shawnie told me to check out and I'll get back with you guys. Thanks!
  6. DRock914

    DRock914Valued MemberMember

    When I had an ammonia outbreak in my 2 gallon tank the water turned completely cloudy like cigarette smoke. It happened about a week or 2 after I set it up so the tank wasn't cycled. How much are you feeding the fish in that tank? Mine was due to over feeding and I had to stop feeding them for 3 days to get the water to start to go back to normal.
  7. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    If you feel that way, yes, please give him away to someone who cares. :-\

    That makes more sense.
  8. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    wow ...thats not something any of us would wish upon you or your froggie ..please do give him away!

    hmmm frogs are too slow/bad eye site to catch feeders to eat them...they would have to be sick, or dead for him to be able to even have a chance to snack on one...

    hard or soft water isnt an issue..an uncycled tank is..test strips are too unreliable to rely on and a liquid kit will be much better...otehrwise, you wont ever know where your tank actually stands....
    bottom line is the tank needs to be properly cycled or with water changes every day to get through a mini cycle, and things will look up for you and your fish in my opinion :) and the temps need to come up a bit as the tropicals you are keeping, prefer a 76-80 F
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2009
  9. OP

    FredBjamminValued MemberMember

    Thanks for the link shawnie, I will pick up a real tester kit tomorrow.

    I feed the fish a large pinch of fish flakes in the morning and at night before going to bed a small pinch of flakes and 4 to 5 Algea crisp. Is that too much, should I cut back?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2009
  10. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    Hi fredbjammin ..i merged your back to back posts so it wont take up space..right under each thread, theres an edit button if your last comment had no replies in betweek :) ..and your welcome for the link :) I hope it helps

    as far as feeding, that sounds fine..but until you know if your tank is truely cycled, id maybe feed just once a day to cut down on waste and ammonia ...
  11. OP

    FredBjamminValued MemberMember

    Off topic a bit, but once I get cloudy water issue and the cycle figured out, I wouldn't mind putting my frog back in the 30 gallon if I could know for sure he would play nice. I enjoyed him until the fish started disappearing and I changed his name to hannibal. I've sneaked up on on him in the middle of the night and I caught him eating fish flakes before I moved him to the 10 gallon tank. I've never seen him eat the tadpole bites that the mom & pop store people gave me, but the bites do disappear. Is it normal for him not to eat with an crowd watching? And is it smart to try putting him back into the 30 gallon tank once I get the tank's problems worked out?
  12. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    he would only eat sick unhealthy fish as ive mentioned..he cant see well and isnt fast enough for healthy fish....most of the time, we recommend them on their own as they starve to death with fish in the tank from being so slow...and they dont like deep tanks...if it were me, id keep him in the 10g and maybe get him some other froggies ..but lucy is the frog queen and can help more in that :)
  13. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    ADF's do best in tanks that are no taller than about 24". The need to be able to get to the top for air.
    They really are peaceful, heck they don't even have teeth. lol
    They're eye sight isn't that good and will scrounge off the bottom. Flakes aren't a very nutritious diet for them.
    I feed mine mostly thawed frozen blood worms, about once a week I give them the bites.
    What fish are the 10g? It's hard for them to compete for food with faster fish.
    Mine are in a species only tank.

    Edit: Frog queen? :shock: lol
    I don't know if that's good or bad. lol
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2009
  14. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    :whistling:very good :giggle::;nw
  15. speed0factory

    speed0factoryValued MemberMember

    hi welcome to fishlore sad to hear for all the dead fishes, i'm sure that ppl here can help you alot, as they had helped me too.
  16. OP

    FredBjamminValued MemberMember

    OK, I'll have to figure this quote thing later. He is by himself in the 10 gallon which is seperated into 2 sections now. 1 section I use for him and the other I use for quaritining new fish/which I haven't used in a month. I never purposely fed him fish flakes when he was in the 30 gallon. I would never see him eat, and he was always aware when I was in the room. His body would always facing me no matter where I moved in the room, which kind of creeped me out..LOL. I fed him tadpole bites and once or twice a week I would put the blood worms in, but stopped because he wouldn't touch them. Anyways I never seen him eat, so I started sneaking into the room in the middle of the night with and altraviolet flashlight and caught him eating a left over fish flake. When the tetras started disappearing I did the same thing for 4 nights straight and on the 4th night caught him chewing on a dead tetra. That's when I moved him to the 10 gallon tank, but I still have never seen him eat even though the tadpole bites do disappear overnight.
  17. DRock914

    DRock914Valued MemberMember

    Is his frog a lot different then albino frogs? Reason I ask is because long ago when we first got an albino frog he was put in the community tank and started eating all the fish. Then we separated him and got a sailfin molly as a tank mate that was the same size, maybe even a little bigger, and the next morning the sailfin was sticking out of the frogs mouth.
  18. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    great point...i was going on what the op said that it was an ADF..if its something different, it could be a new ballgame..
  19. OP

    FredBjamminValued MemberMember

    I'm 99% sure it's an African dwarf frog, I asked about it by name. The plaque said African dwarf frogs on it, the other 20 some frogs looked identical in the same tank. The albino's were in the tank next to the dwarf frogs. The pics on wiki for African dwarf frogs look identical to it, too. It spends 90% of it's time at or near the bottom of the tank, once in a while it will swim to the top of the tank and gulp air. Which kinda throws me off, cause wiki said they were the only frog that breaths underwater.
  20. DRock914

    DRock914Valued MemberMember

    Do you have an air stone? Maybe there isn't a good amount of oxygen in the tank?

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