New Tank - Cloudy Water Trouble
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New Tank - Cloudy Water Trouble

This is a discussion on New Tank - Cloudy Water Trouble within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> On my new 60g aquarium I setup on Saturday, I was attempting the fishless shrimp cycle with one frozen raw shrimp. I had fashioned ...

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New Tank - Cloudy Water Trouble
Old 04-04-2011, 09:11 AM   #1
 
New Tank - Cloudy Water Trouble

On my new 60g aquarium I setup on Saturday, I was attempting the fishless shrimp cycle with one frozen raw shrimp. I had fashioned a bag of gravel from my 10g tank and used it in the new Aquaclear filter in place of charcoal (so filter has sponge, gravel, then ceramic). I added 4 capfuls of Topfin bacteria supplement and 4 capfuls of Jungle Start Right. (These are quantities are less than recommended for 60g new tank, but was taking a modest approach to these additions).
Also note that I believe we rinsed the gravel very well in colander as I realize that new gravel can often carry a lot of 'fines'..

By Sunday, the water was very cloudy and a bit foul smelling so I removed the shrimp. I added my Aquatech 5-15 power filter to the tank with a fresh filter cartridge for some extra filtration (yes I know a 5-15 is too small to carry a tank this large, but it flows a a good rate and is extra along with my AquaClear 70).

At this writing, the water is still very cloudy.

I'm thinking this may just be a bacteria bloom and I should be patient, but if it doesn't seem to clear soon, I'm thinking of partial water change or starting over!

Thoughts?
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:58 AM   #2
 
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Fine substrate particles will not foul the water. I would defiantly do a water changes until it clears up and recommend that you do not use either additive... cycle the tank"el natural". Just use prime and be mindful of the nitrogen cycle.
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Old 04-04-2011, 12:35 PM   #3
 
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I had the same exact problem. My tank's been set up for about a month now. I started with the fishless cycle but through fish flakes. Big mistake. I can't imagine what the shrimp method smells like because the flake method smelled horrible! The tanks in my bedroom and I coudln't even sleep at night. It was horrible gunky and dirty and cloudy. Well I just started over. I did a complete water change, filled it back up and cycled with feeder goldfish. I guess it isn't recommended to use goldfish if you plan on going tropical because they might carry diseases and don't do well with tropical fish or the higher temperatures but they were the only fish that survived. I tried Zebra Danios because I've read they are very hardy but they died over night. So the goldfish worked for me. Then I discovered a lot of people on here use Seachem's Prime, a water conditioner that detoxifies ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates and doesn't interfere with the cycling process. It converts toxic ammonia into harmless ammonium. My goldfish were alive and well but a bit sluggish, not eating very much and hiding most of the day. The next day after putting the Prime in they were active and eating and doing a lot better. The only thing is the Prime wears off after about 24 hours (found that out thanks to this site). So you would have to add it every day. I can't do water changes to get ammonia down because my tap water has ammonia in it so I have no choice but to use it every day but it seems to be working ok for now. But when I got my goldfish the tank was cloudy for like a week and then one day suddenly it was crystal clear like literally over night.
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Old 04-04-2011, 12:42 PM   #4
 
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Cloudiness may occur from several factors, some are bad, most don't matter. The more important thing is the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

I am not a fan of putting dead matter into a tank to cycle it. I prefer seeding the tank with live bacteria (with fish in it) or live plants, or both. They never fail, and the fish are never stressed if it is done properly.

If you ask, I will go into the method more.

Byron.
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Old 04-04-2011, 12:55 PM   #5
 
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Cloudiness may occur from several factors, some are bad, most don't matter. The more important thing is the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

I am not a fan of putting dead matter into a tank to cycle it. I prefer seeding the tank with live bacteria (with fish in it) or live plants, or both. They never fail, and the fish are never stressed if it is done properly.

If you ask, I will go into the method more.

Byron.
Bryon,

Yes, Id appreciate your further input.

I only tried the fishelss shrimp method because it was posted here and 'seemed' as viable as 'feeding' the empty tank with fish food. On the other hand, I think this tank is large enough so that starting with fresh water, I could transfer my 6 neon tetras and 2 platy's from the 10 gallon tank and never see an ammonia spike (as I installed gravel from the established tank in the filter...)

Anyway, please describe your process.

Thanks,
-Mike
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Old 04-04-2011, 12:56 PM   #6
 
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But when I got my goldfish the tank was cloudy for like a week and then one day suddenly it was crystal clear like literally over night.
Yes, my research on the web suggests that often a new tank in cycling will have cloudy water as the result of a bacteria bloom and that once compete, the water will clear, often overnight.
I just wasn't expecting it and perhaps am being too impatient..However, in hindsight, I wish I had NOT put the shrimp in there.
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:40 PM   #7
 
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Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
Bryon,

Yes, Id appreciate your further input.

I only tried the fishelss shrimp method because it was posted here and 'seemed' as viable as 'feeding' the empty tank with fish food. On the other hand, I think this tank is large enough so that starting with fresh water, I could transfer my 6 neon tetras and 2 platy's from the 10 gallon tank and never see an ammonia spike (as I installed gravel from the established tank in the filter...)

Anyway, please describe your process.

Thanks,
-Mike
When you set up the tank, plant it. Lots of plants, by which I mean not just a couple. Floating plants and stem plants are good because being fast growers they need (= use) a lot of nutrients, one of which is ammonia/ammonium, essential for plants. Put in a fish or two, something you want in the tank, but a hardy species preferably. Don't know what you want in your 60g, but in that size tank you could have a group (7-9) of tetra for instance, or rasbora. With live plants they would be fine.

Seeding is also an option, with the plants or on its own. If you have an existing established tank (established meaning fully cycled, and then running a couple months after that), you can use the filter from it, or media from the filter, or some of the substrate, or wood, rock, decor from the tank. Don't wash any of these, and keep them wet, or the bacteria will die; also make sure the water in the new tank is conditioned to get rid of the chlorine etc before adding these items. Bacteria colonizes hard surfaces under water, so there will be some attached to any of these items, and in the new tank with the few fish, the ammonia from the fish will feed the bacteria and they will multiply according to the available food (ammonia and nitrite). Another seeding method is a bacterial supplement. I have used Seachem's Stability, and there is also Tetra's SafeStart. Both these are 100% live bacteria, and they work. They do not miraculously "cycle" a tank, they merely seed it with live bacteria to start the cycle faster with no impact to the few fish.

I have set up many new tanks and had fish in them from day one with never an issue. Only this past month I tore down and reset 5 of my tanks, each in one day, using new substrate and filter media in all of them, moving all the fish in the same day (80+ fish in the 70g for instance) and not one loss.

Byron.
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Old 04-04-2011, 03:12 PM   #8
 
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When you set up the tank, plant it. Lots of plants, by which I mean not just a couple. ...
Seeding is also an option, with the plants or on its own. If you have an existing established tank (established meaning fully cycled, and then running a couple months after that), you can use the filter from it, or media from the filter, or some of the substrate, or wood, rock, decor from the tank. ...
I have set up many new tanks and had fish in them from day one with never an issue. Only this past month I tore down and reset 5 of my tanks, each in one day, using new substrate and filter media in all of them, moving all the fish in the same day (80+ fish in the 70g for instance) and not one loss.

Byron.
Bryon,

Thanks for your feedback. I hate to, but may drain and start over. Although I may add some floating plants, I don't really want to plant real plants at this point. I'd prefer to use plastic for decor allowing me to aggressively perform gravel vacuuming, rearrange at will, not worry about light and plant fertilizers, etc...

I can't really say that my 10g is well cycled. Prior to two weeks ago it contained goldfish (UGF). I tore the tank down and 'cleaned' the gravel in hot tap water (well water, no chlorine) then put it all back together with a heater and a power filter (in addition to the UGF) and added 2 red wag platys and 3 neon tetras. I have an ammonia alarm in the tank and it has been fine for these two weeks. It is difficult to know to what degree bacteria survived in the hot water 'cleaning' process, although most bacteria is pretty resilient.

I think I'll drain and see if I can get the bacteria starter you recommend, then add my hearty platys, perhaps along with a pair (or 3) new swordtails and go from there.

Thanks again,
Mike
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Old 04-04-2011, 03:23 PM   #9
 
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Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
Bryon,

Thanks for your feedback. I hate to, but may drain and start over. Although I may add some floating plants, I don't really want to plant real plants at this point. I'd prefer to use plastic for decor allowing me to aggressively perform gravel vacuuming, rearrange at will, not worry about light and plant fertilizers, etc...

I can't really say that my 10g is well cycled. Prior to two weeks ago it contained goldfish (UGF). I tore the tank down and 'cleaned' the gravel in hot tap water (well water, no chlorine) then put it all back together with a heater and a power filter (in addition to the UGF) and added 2 red wag platys and 3 neon tetras. I have an ammonia alarm in the tank and it has been fine for these two weeks. It is difficult to know to what degree bacteria survived in the hot water 'cleaning' process, although most bacteria is pretty resilient.

I think I'll drain and see if I can get the bacteria starter you recommend, then add my hearty platys, perhaps along with a pair (or 3) new swordtails and go from there.

Thanks again,
Mike
Rather than drain it, just clean out the shrimp bits. There is probably some bacteria in there. Unless there is another reason I'm not aware of for tearing it down.

A few livebearers will work, you have space. Don't overdo it with fish. Has to be slow so the bacteria has time to multiply. Nitrosomonas bacteria takes 9 hours in optimum conditions, nitrospira about 20 hours, to multiply which they do by binary division if ammonia/nitrite respectively is present. Nitrifying bacteria will be present at the level needed to handle the available ammonia/nitrite; if it increases they multiply accordingly, if it decreases they die off within hours. Which is why one always adds a few fish at a time.

Live plants of course negate all of this, as they assimilate ammonia/ammonium fast, and in their case there is no nitrite/nitrate resulting. Provided they are sufficient in number to balance the fish load.
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Old 04-04-2011, 03:36 PM   #10
 
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Rather than drain it, just clean out the shrimp bits. There is probably some bacteria in there. Unless there is another reason I'm not aware of for tearing it down....
Well there are no shrimp bits as I had it inside a nylon stocking tied on a string for easy removal.
I'm reluctant to put a couple of fish in such cloudy water, hoping it will clear up. If I do and a week later it's still cloudy, what then...?
I'd think, as much as I don't want to haul another 120 gallons of water, I'd rather start with clear, clean water and then go slow adding fish...?
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