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?