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Aquarium help please

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Post Sat Jun 25, 2016 6:02 pm
j0sh Level 1 Member
Level 1 Member

Posts: 3
Lately I've noticed my tank water becoming cloudy. Today is definitely worse than it was yesterday. I did some reading and it said it could possibly be infusoria in my tank? If so, that's a plus right? Because I think I have some baby shrimp floating around in there? Also, today my plants in there are pearling like crazy with the cloudy water. What does this mean? What do I need to do, if anything?


Post Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:51 pm
Passionfish Level 20 Member
Level 20 Member

Posts: 12302
Location: apple valley, mn
white or gray cloudy water is most often a bacteria bloom
green cloudy water is an algae bloom
one other possibility is colloids

Algae bloom results from too much nitrogen in water column and too much light. Often new tank lights result in a bloom where there was no issue before. can rid tank of algae with large water change or turn off lights and cover tank or both. The nitrogen has to be present for bloom. When nitrogen is present, it suggests that water change schedule and percent water change needs to be stepped up.

Bacterial bloom mostly occurs with new tanks that have an incomplete bio filter. Bacteria are in water column not on filter yet. With a little more time, filter will colonize bacteria. The issue is nitrogen was building up and this can harm fish from mild to lethal results. Water change is fast and needed to bring nitrogen levels down. High nitrate is toxic too. If nitrate is less than 20 ppm and really do not want to do water change, a diatom filter will clear cloudiness.

Colloids do not drop out of water column because the do not form crystals and they do not bind to each other. Purchase a flocculating agent to bring these large molecules into a larger accumulation. Kent sells one. Once flocculated, the cloudiness disappears. These large molecules need to be removed. Ues either water change or diatom filtration.

Diatom filtration at lowest cost is with HOT filter using a micron sleeve. Slowly add diatomaceous earth close to filter intake. Micron pores will occlude to an even smaller size due to diatomaceous earth. Now the flocculated colloid maybe removed.

Pearling has no direct connection to cloudiness. Pearling is result of photosynthesis (oxygen reduction) and release of oxygen by plant. Pearling suggests plants have plenty of light, carbon dioxide, major and minor nutrients. Plants remove ammonia from water column. This suggests that bio filter is operating well.

Best guess is colloids in a tank that needs more frequent water changes.
Like a complete unknown

Post Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:06 pm
j0sh Level 1 Member
Level 1 Member

Posts: 3
Thank you passionfish. The thing is that it started clouding up right after a water change. And it's the first. Also, my plants, fish, and shrimp all look and seem pretty healthy. And the cloudiness is definitely not debris as it got worse and worse gradually.

Post Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:21 am
Passionfish Level 20 Member
Level 20 Member

Posts: 12302
Location: apple valley, mn
Try adding flocculating agent. I use Kent Pro Clear. Have a bottle that will last me forever as colloids are rare here. If worked out, would give you a dose or two.

Colloids are large particles that are partially dissolved in liquid and another portion of particle is not dissolved, hence the suspension. Flocculating agent attracts colloid particles (likely tying up the undissolved portion) to form a large clump and drop out of water column. Colloids are not toxic but suppose if concentration increased, then toxicity maybe possible.

One possible source of colloids maybe water treatments such as StressCoat, StressGuard, StartRight, AquaSafe, NovaAqua Plus as these products contain colloids to aid in healing fish wounds. However, when used as directed do not expect water to become cloudy.

Another non colloid issue is red-ox balance of tank water. If cloudiness dissipates within a few hours following a water change, then the most likely explanation is loss of oxidizers in tank water due to addition of reducing chemicals to neutralize chlorine and/or chloramines. Directions for use of these reducing chemicals are to neutralize chlorine and chloramine concentrations that maybe found in tap water. Occasionally, chlorine and/or chloramine concentrations in tap water are in excess of EPA guidelines for water treatment plants. If there are living organisms in water passing through a water treatment plant, the amount of chlorine and/or chloramines will be increased to kill these organisms. EPA guidelines are an average value over period of time not spike values. Therefore, companies selling water treatment products will select a dose that will reduce (neutralize) chlorine or chloramines that is four fold higher than the EPA guideline for chlorine/chloramine concentration in tap water.

If a keeper adds even more reducing agent than suggested on label of tap water conditioner, the oxidizing agents in tank water are prevented from breaking down substances by oxidation and tank water becomes cloudy. Within a few hours the reducing agent is spent and oxidizing agents begin to work again, tank water clears up.

If a keeper tests tap water and finds chlorine levels that require double the dose recommended on label, it is safe to double the dose. Even if oxidation potential is lost for a few hours, the fish will survive. Not doubling the dose when chlorine concentration exceeds that of normal dose neutralizing capacity will result in fish death. Most frequent time of year when chlorine and/or chloramine spikes occur in tap water is Spring.
Like a complete unknown

Post Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:51 am
David M. West Level 1 Member
Level 1 Member

Posts: 5
If you are new in fishkeeping then facing cloudy water problem is very common. This is mainly happening due to bacterial bloom. As the new water goes to initial break-in cycle which is why it becomes cloudy or some hazy. Here I recommended you some point which may help you to clean your water properly.

1. First of all, you need to clean your tank very well.
2. Allow 1 or 2 days to float bacteria to settle the water clear up.
3.Recommend to use Rinse rocks, gravels and substrates.

Hope this information helps you to clear your water properly.

Post Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:15 pm
willie Level 9 Member
Level 9 Member

Posts: 1870
Location: Minneapolis
I offer cycled sponge filters to any aquarists on MinnFish. You can use them as a sponge filter or stick them into a canister or HOB filter for instant filtration. No charge.


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