water getting very dirty? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 37 Old 03-16-2012, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
water getting very dirty?

Over the last couple of days the water in my aquarium has been getting quit dirty? The tank is fully cycled, and has been running since early November. My fish all look very healthy, but the water looks like it has all kinds of tiny particals in it? I do weekly water changes, but I don't vacuum the gravel very much because I have live plants I'm my tank. Any ideas?

25. G
2 glow light tetras
5 guppys
3 swordtails
3 balloon Millie's
2 Otto's

Nitrites 0
Ammonia 1.0 (started creeping up today)
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post #2 of 37 Old 03-16-2012, 08:20 PM
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Do your water changes when you vacuum. With plants I always find that you should vacuum more instead of less. It's harder to, but the plant debris can really dirty up a tank. See if that helps.

Last edited by Exterrestrial; 03-16-2012 at 08:23 PM. Reason: Typo
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post #3 of 37 Old 03-16-2012, 08:27 PM
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Hello!!! I'm new at this, but if I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that there's too much waste in your tank! Bust out that vacuum, friend! The fact that you even have an ammonia reading in your tank is very dangerous, and the ammonia is caused by fish waste/decaying plant matter/leftover food. . .etc. Anything rotten. It's good to do weekly water changes, but with the fish you've listed in a tank that size, my guess is that you're overstocked, and should re-home some of your fish :( If you can't rehome them, maybe you can add a second filter and do your water changes twice a week, instead of only once - with vacuum.

Again, I'm not nearly an expert, hopefully someone else can chime in here and give you better direction. Good luck!
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post #4 of 37 Old 03-16-2012, 08:30 PM
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how often do you change your water and how much do you change at a time livebearers do tend to be heavy waste producers. Also make sure that nothing has died in the tank, and I would make sure to remove any dead leaves that may have fallen off of your plants decaying plant material can also cause problems.
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post #5 of 37 Old 03-16-2012, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
I do a 20% water change once a week, and only feed the fish once. Every second day. And there is no dead plant material or dead fish everyone is accounted for. I'm pretty sure it's just that the bottom of my tank needs a real good cleaning and I'll start doing water changes twice a week. And I can't really re home any of the fish, I have a nice 10 g but it's full of baby guppys. And your right about the live bearers being heavy waist prouducers, they are always taking a c%$p.
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post #6 of 37 Old 03-17-2012, 12:37 AM
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cleaning your substrate well will help areas where your plants are at I would be careful not to disturb the root systems too much, areas where there are no plants would clean well. Also another thing you could try is instead of doing two water changes is do one water change that is larger. Many do one large water change around 50% This is something you may want to try once you have the ammonia under vinyl. Also do you know what your nitrate levels are? What type of test kit are you using to find out your water parameters?
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post #7 of 37 Old 03-17-2012, 01:41 AM Thread Starter
I use the Nutrafin liquid tests kits, and I don't have the Nitrate test kit. I tested the ammonia again tonight after work and it's still and 1 or a little above, and I noticed one of my female swordtails dosn`t look well so now IÓm really getting worried!! Man it took me 3 and a half months to get this tank cycled and I thought I was in the clear! I think on Sunday I`ll do a major tank cleaning, but not touch the filter for a few weeks after.
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post #8 of 37 Old 03-17-2012, 02:07 AM
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couple of things first I would do a water change as soon as possible and not wait until Sunday, doing a water change now will help to dilute the ammonia in the tank, you can also use prime which is a water conditioner along with converting ammonia into a form that will not be harmful to your fish. I would also look into picking up a nitrate test, I know that api sells them individually, as for the test kit you have now I don't know anything about that particular brand. Many here use the api master test kit which gas tests for ammonia nitrites and nitrates along worth test for ph and high ph, this is the test kit that I recommend to others.
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post #9 of 37 Old 03-17-2012, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
Thank you for the help BarbH, I will do a water change as so as I get up tomorrow. I would do it now but I had a few cold ones, lifting a 5 gallon pail full of water at the moment would'nt be good lol. I had a long shift! And I have a pH kit also, but did'nt think it was that important with this post but my pH is 7.5. And I've been using Prime for 2 months now.
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post #10 of 37 Old 03-17-2012, 03:07 AM
I agree with Barb, doing a large water change is better then 2 smaller ones. When doing the Vac just skim the surface of the gravel dont go digging into it, unless you're sure theres not going to be any plant roots in the area.
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