RE-Cycling a 55G - Cloudy - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 2 Old 05-06-2010, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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RE-Cycling a 55G - Cloudy

Hi. I've had a crystal clear 55G tank for the last 3 years or so. I recently decided to give it a new look including changing all of the substrate. I did not clean the tank during the new substrate process to allow for much of the beneficial bacteria to remain. The ammonia spiked and I added SMART START - I lost 2 of 12 fish (both my tiger barbs) but everyone else looks ok. But the water is still quite cloudy after 7 days. What's the next step? Water change?


3 Silver Dollar
1 Kribensis
2 Guoramis
3 African Cichlids
1 Pleco

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post #2 of 2 Old 05-06-2010, 01:47 PM
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Cloudiness can occur from different sources. A new substrate can cause cloudiness for several days depending upon the type of substrate; this would usually be a light or whitish haze. I have one type of gravel that always causes this for a couple of weeks. It is best to just let it settle out.

Ammonia can cause a cloudiness, which would be identified with an ammonia test. An immediate water change may be necessary if ammonia is high, and using a good water conditioner that detoxifies ammonia and nitrite (like Prime) is advisable in such situations.

Bacteria can cause a whitish cloudiness that should dissipate in a few days. This could occur as a result of a new substrate. Water changes will not help this but make it worse. Unless it is caused by ammonia/nitrite spikes, it is not harmful and can be left to fade away naturally. Regular weekly partial water change is sufficieint.


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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