Originally Posted by knix
Hi, my name is Kyle....up until yesterday I have owned a 25 gal tank with community fish and I have had good luck with water. Yesterday I purchased a 90 gal tank used from a family that has had it for a couple years, it came with 10 African cichlids full grown (I think; they're pretty big). Now obviously I drained the tank to transport and brought it home, I then cleaned the tank and purchased new gravel. I was advised not to change the filter sponge as it has essential bacteria that I would need. I set up the tank, put in the salts and other additives that I went to the pet store and they told me to put in, I let it circulate for 3 hours then added the fish.....everything was going good up until the 12th hour and it started to become cloudy, now its been 18 hours and its getting worse, please help explain what I did wrong and how I should correct this?? I live in the country and I use well water......I set the tank up under a full window in my basement and the sun directly was on it for about 3 hours this afternoon if that maybe has something to do with it.....I may have been a little excited watching them eat but I cant imagine that being the cause so quickly.....I appreciate your help!!
Is possible that what you are seeing is a bacteria bloom (good kind). Bacteria colonizes not only the filter material but also the substrate. By replacing the substrate with new substrate,a considerable amount of bacteria was removed with the old substrate and it will take time for the bacterial colony to re-establish itself in proportion to cover the load placed on it by the fishes waste.
would keep close eye on water parameters for the next couple weeks and perform water changes any time ammonia or nitrite levels rise above .25.
Could also be that the new substrate was not rinsed before use well enough and will need to settle for cloudinesss to subside.
If your water is hard ,alkaline water there may be no need for the salts or powders the fish store recommended but without knowing what your source water used for water changes is, or fish species,,t is hard to say.
Will say,, that the less salts,powders,or adjustments made inside the aquarium,, the better the fish will be and the easier it will be for you to provide stable water chemistry.
Would have my water tested to see if it is suitable foir the cichlids without the additional salts.powders,etc. and would not use them unless I had to.
Would have water tested for pH,Gh,Kh,and measure this against what water chemistry is recommended by books or online resources for the fish you have rather than just accept the fish stores word that adjustments are necessary.
Might also consider reducing the amount of sunlight that hits the tank for this can encourage an algae bloom as well as possible bacteria bloom.
If the filter material you saved was not allowed to dry out for more than an hour,then perhaps enough bacteria is still present to prevent ammonia spikes but as mentioned,,i would test the water once a day and feed sparingly until the bacteria can once again develop in sufficient mass to handle the load from the fishes waste and foods offered .