Frustrated w/continued cloudiness - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-20-2011, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
Angry Frustrated w/continued cloudiness

Okay, let me try to make a long story short.

My 29 gallon tank use to be gravel and fake plants and be stocked more than it is now, and I have had all kinds of cloudiness from so many different reasons.
First it was underfiltration, so in addition to my Marineland Penguin 150B, I added an AquaClear 50. Problem stopped for a while until I dealt with too many phosphates, which I used a liquid phosphate remover that helps when dosed 2-3 times over 2-3 days. Also had a algae bloom. Also had to cut back on feedings. For the most part I had it cleared and under control.

Then last week I re-did the tank with playsand and live plants (kept all filter media and such wet to preserve as much beneficial bacteria as possible so that combined with all the live plants my fish wouldnt, and didnt, feel any re-cycle). Within 24 hours of the switch the sand had completely settled and it was crystal clear. About two days ago the tank started to cloud up as it has in the past. It looks the same as when I have phosphates jump, so yesterday and today I added phosphate remover, still with no help.

My 15g (and when I had my 5g) never have these issues, so I am assuming it has nothing to do with tap water. Stock cant be the issue as stocking levels are lower in the 29g than in the 15g (compared to tank size & filtration). Filtration cant be the issue as I have running 80 gals worth on the 29g (and 20g worth on the 15g that has no issues). I dont know what it is with this stupid tank!!!

So, I am thinking could it be that there is no longer active carbon in either of the filters on the 29g tank?? I had read that active carbon isnt good for live plants, and the tank is fully live planted. (I have had live plants in tanks with active carbon before with no issues though). So I guess tomorrow evening I will go pick up a jug of carbon to put in some bio bags for the tank and see if that helps.

My other thought was maybe it was a bacterial bloom??? I dont know, but I am getting really frustrated. This tank has been set up for a very long time. And this is always an issue and its always a different reason for the cloudiness, and this is the ONLY tank I have these issues with!!!

After a water change, the cloudiness comes back within like 2 days. Water Parameters are all in check (ammonia is 0ppm, nitrite is 0ppm, and nitrate is 10ppm). Before the tank was planted nitrates use to get up to 20ppm, but since its planted they have stayed at 10ppm thanks to the plants I am sure.

Looking for any new ideas as to what the issue could be this time or that its always been and just hadnt been figured out. Its an on and off thing, and its currently happening and driving me mad!!!

Thanks in advance for any thoughts, opinion, advice, help, info, tips.... if needed the stock for the 29g is in my signature and is completely accurate.

*They call me, Amanda*
Tank 1: (29 gal planted) empty
Tank 2: (15 gal) empty
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-21-2011, 02:06 AM
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Well one possiblity is the algae bloom.
see your lightings if they have changed lately since there should be a slight more lighting due to the change of substrate color -.- if you are looking at it in an visual view. not sure if you had such a light substrate. Light colors reflect most colors and absorb very little color giving off more "light" than if you used a dark substrate. since dark colors absorb ALL colors.

as for chemicals, that chemical that you added could also cloud the water, since you added a phosphate remover and it might not even be the phosphate, could help add the cloudy-ness

as for active carbon, i would use active carbon. my plants have not died or decline in health. i believe that the only thing that would affect the plants due to active carbon is that the active carbon will absorb some essential nutrients. and if you are supplementing nutrients to the plant, the carbon will absorb that. just remember the more chemicals you add to the tank the more the carbons will absorb that. and dont forget to change your active carbon. i believe active carbon will help.
some people dont like active carbon because they inject co2, add fert. and active carbon will absorb these causing a downfall effect upon the wallet n plants.


i also think that you should stop any chemicals while you are on active carbon for your cloudyness.

Last edited by Teishokue; 05-21-2011 at 02:10 AM.
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post #3 of 7 Old 05-21-2011, 09:27 AM
exactly why I DON"T use it ^^

38 gallon :
Pelvicachromis Taeniatus Nigerian Red not yet breeding pair
4 Pangio Kuhli
12 Hemmigrammus Bleheri
2 Botia Lohachata
1 Botia Straita
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6 Poecilia Reticulata

The Wet Spot Portland Oregon!!!!!!

ADA: Do!aqua Iwagumi 10 gallon size!
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-21-2011, 02:11 PM
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Since the present cloudiness is not related to ammonia or nitrite, I would sit it out. If this is bacterial, leaving it alone is the best way to clear it; water changes make a bacterial bloom worse. It may be partly connected to the sand substrate, if it has only been a week; my sand, Flourite and gravel substrate tanks did not "clear" fully for longer than that, usually 3-4 weeks before it is what I consider "clear." Sometimes much longer. If the fish appear normal, I don't fuss. Just remind yourself that the fish are doing fine, the cloudiness is no issue to them; it is only the appearance to us that is being affected.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-21-2011, 02:11 PM
The cloudiness could be due to the addition of playsand. It could be because the sand wasn't cleaned enough, so some of the fine dust particles could have been left when you added. This happened to me, so I added some active carbon and it cleared up. Good luck!
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post #6 of 7 Old 05-21-2011, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
Thanks all for the suggestions and thoughts.

I fear the playsand isnt the culprate sadly. As about 2 days after the playsand was set up and all in the tank the water went from sand cloudy to crystal clear. (And the sand was cleaned very very well, and also after adding it to the tank and filling it with water did a 99% water change before adding fish or plants to make sure that it was as clean as possible.)

I just got back from Petsmart a little while ago and went ahead and bought the carbon refills for my AquaClear filter and added it. Also grabbed some Fluval Polishing Pads and stuffed a large one into my Marineland filter. I am hoping that within the next 48 hours I should be able to see my fish again.

I have been losing fish, but not related to water parameters. 4 of 5 neons filled with eggs and 2 of them were unable to lay them and ended up dying from being clogged up with eggs. Two of the remaining 3 are still full but havent died yet and seem to be doing well at the moment. All other fish are fine and dandy, and I am sure the reason for the cloudiness is something that isnt effecting the fish. Thanks for the reassurance Byron, I really appreciate it, at least I know I am not going crazy, lol.

I will post if there are any changes over the next few days, and I will keep an eye on the plants. Which reminds me... could it be a plant that causes cloudiness? I have never heard of Blyxa before and really just know its a mid-high light bushy tall stem plant. Its the only "unusual" plant in the tank, anyone familiar with this plant and think it could be doing the cloudiness somehow?

*They call me, Amanda*
Tank 1: (29 gal planted) empty
Tank 2: (15 gal) empty
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post #7 of 7 Old 05-22-2011, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
Okay, so it has been 3.5 hours since adding the carbon and polish pad, and there is an improvement in visability! YAY! Hopeful for clearity in the coming days!!!
Thanks again everyone!!!

*They call me, Amanda*
Tank 1: (29 gal planted) empty
Tank 2: (15 gal) empty
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