This is a discussion on so I'm pretty much a moron within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; -->
Siphoned 10% of my 10 gallon tanks today and replaced the filter cartridge in the "sorority tank" (the nursery tank has a sponge filter). ...
Siphoned 10% of my 10 gallon tanks today and replaced the filter cartridge in the "sorority tank" (the nursery tank has a sponge filter). I cleaned the nursery one first and wasn't in much of a hurry. When I was cleaning the second tank I noticed the time and I had a date I needed to get ready for, so I rushed it. Siphoned out the normal amount of water and added new......and forgot to use the tap water conditioner in the new water. When I got home from my date (around 10 pm) I noticed the water in my tank was extremely clouded, panicked and busted out the testing kit. pH is normal (7.2 and high 7.4), ammonia level is at .25ppm, nitrites 0ppm, nitrates 5ppm. I murdered the beneficial microorganisms with one little mistake.
Luckily the fish seem to be doing just fine. They came out begging for food like they always do when I walk in the room. I turned up the air pump for my bubble stone a little to help oxygenate the water while it tries to balance itself out. I'm just grateful the date went well or all of that rushing around and almost killing my fish would have been for nothing.
Trust me, I know how lucky I am. And apparently I took that picture too soon because I got up at about 3am to get a drink of water and the whole tank was so clouded over I could only see the outline of the fake plants and the rock I have in there. It reminded me of the movie The Mist.
But it's pretty clear now. Still a little cloudy but at least I can see everything in the tank. The fake plants and surface gravel are covered in a white film. The fish are fine, one of them was showing a little bit of stress but she calmed down after I fed them. For a while I was adding salt to the tank to treat ich, and I think that might have something to do with the sludge in the filter turning white, and everything now being covered in white. But I'm not sure, it's just a hunch. The salt and the florescent light are the only things that I've added to the environment that would change anything, and I'm not sure which one it is.
If the water is seriously cloudy and you've still got ammonia readings, more water changes would be helpful. It'll help add some oxygen back to the water, too, which the bacteria in that bloom are likely putting a serious dent in.