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Cloudy Freshwater Tank???

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Cloudy Freshwater Tank???
Old 10-26-2009, 09:11 AM   #11
 
ok i did my water change with a gravel vac this weekend...had great results. i can see through the tank now. hopefully the bloom doesnt come back. i also shortened the amount of time the lights are on during the day to about 8 hours. i didnt want to bc then i cant see my fish as much. i also bought an amazon plant to control the water quality and increase the amount of oxygen in the water. hopefully the tank remains clean and stable.
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:07 PM   #12
 
Cloudy freshwater tank... Need help please!

Hi, I have had a 60 gallon tank now for about three months... I have about 13 guppies, five mollies, two algae eaters and four bottom feeders in it. It seems that my water is always merky and cloudy. Sometimes it gets to the point where I can hardly see into the tank. I have done water changes. I have cleaned the filters and yet the water still stays cloudy. I have used that water clearer crap and it does not work(I have just read from another poster that it is not good for your fish so I will stop using it) I just dont know what to do anymore. I know it's bad to do this but I did a complete water change about a month ago and the water stayed clear for about a day an then went back to cloudy. What can I do to find out why my water is soo cloudy? All my levels are fine and the temp is kept at 81 degrees. Could it be the temp of the water? I am kind of new to this whole situation but I am just becoming more and more frustrated because nothing is working! Please someone help me before I rip my hair out!
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:26 PM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaynaglover View Post
Hi, I have had a 60 gallon tank now for about three months... I have about 13 guppies, five mollies, two algae eaters and four bottom feeders in it. It seems that my water is always merky and cloudy. Sometimes it gets to the point where I can hardly see into the tank. I have done water changes. I have cleaned the filters and yet the water still stays cloudy. I have used that water clearer crap and it does not work(I have just read from another poster that it is not good for your fish so I will stop using it) I just dont know what to do anymore. I know it's bad to do this but I did a complete water change about a month ago and the water stayed clear for about a day an then went back to cloudy. What can I do to find out why my water is soo cloudy? All my levels are fine and the temp is kept at 81 degrees. Could it be the temp of the water? I am kind of new to this whole situation but I am just becoming more and more frustrated because nothing is working! Please someone help me before I rip my hair out!
I can't give the ultimate solution, but I can offer suggestions to hopefully get us there. I would lower the temperature (not suggesting this is the problem by any means), 81F is high and the fish you list will do well a bit lower, say 78F. Partial water changes, even if most all of the water, are not bad, they are good. The nitrification bacteria colonize hard surfaces in the aquarium--grains of gravel/sand, plant leaves, wood, rocks, tank walls, and obviously the filter media and tubing, etc. Changing the water will not disturb the bacteria. What water conditioner do you use?

You're right to not use the so-called "clarification" chemicals. The work by binding the suspended particulate matter which usually "clears" the water because the filter then traps them, but the chemicals also bind the gills of the fish. Years ago I used one of these in a problem tank; the fish all swam to the opposite end within seconds, and I did a significant partial water change or I might have lost them. I have learned and changed my views considerably since then.

Can you post the test results of your water parameters? Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH and hardness (GH) if you know them. Also, which test kit (and liquid or test strips)? We may get a clue from the numbers.

Are there any live plants in the tank, and if yes, are there lots or just one or two?

Are any other chemicals or "tonics" aside from the water conditioner being put in the tank, and if so, for what reason?

Last question, when you clean the filters, what do you do? Rinse the media or replace it, same with the pads, in tap water or tank water, etc. And what media is in the filter (carbon, pad, biomax...)?

With this info I or others should have some suggestions.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 10-28-2009 at 08:28 PM..
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:34 PM   #14
 
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Some good info from Byron. A few more questions that may help us. Do you have any driftwood in the tank? What type of filtration are your using? What color is the water? Is it greenish or tea colored or milky white? (it's sometimes easier to tell the color of the water after you've drained some water into a bucket during a water change) If you have new driftwood it will leech tannins into the water and turn it a tea color. Green water suggests an algae bloom and milky white suggests a bacterial bloom. Answer these and Byrons questions and we will try to figure out what's going on.
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:53 AM   #15
 
i agree with byron and jean...the temp is def too high. how often are you doing your water changes? once a week? 2 weeks? month? more? are you vac'ing the gravel when u do? and do you have enough gravel to have a sufficient amount of beneficial bacteria build up in the tank? also i found out that i had the lights on too long possibly causing my algae bloom so maybe u have ur lights on too much?
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:58 AM   #16
 
Wow! Thanks for all the great replies! Well ok so I now know to turn my temp down. I was told to keep it at 81 by a friend so my guppies would start dropping fry but really Im stupid because I know guppies can drop fry in colder temps lmao...
This is a list of the stuff I have put in my tank
- Nutrafin waste control (don't really know if it works there really has not been a big enough change for me to notice)
- Multi- Purpose Aquarium Water Conditioner (Big Al's brand) I only put this in when I am doing water changes.
- Stress Coat (I put this in a couple times when I thought my fish were acting a bit funny. I also put it in when I have done recent changes because I have run out of the multi purpose stuff.
- Crystal Clear (does not work so dont even try it lmao)
- Parasite Clear (but ran out)
- Lifeguard all in one treatment to replace
I know this may be a little weird but I don't ever want my fish to get sick so I do a treatment of one of these two products atleast once every week or two. Specially if I put new fish in. I have to run to Big Als soon because I just tested my water and the levels are out of wack. Which they were not two or three days ago. My ammonia is high and both my nitrates and nitrites are high :S Ahhhhh lmao I don't want anything to happen to my fish! I turned the temp down in my tank as well. I will answer the rest of your questions when I get back from Big Als... Sorry guys!
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:03 PM   #17
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaynaglover View Post
Wow! Thanks for all the great replies! Well ok so I now know to turn my temp down. I was told to keep it at 81 by a friend so my guppies would start dropping fry but really Im stupid because I know guppies can drop fry in colder temps lmao...
This is a list of the stuff I have put in my tank
- Nutrafin waste control (don't really know if it works there really has not been a big enough change for me to notice)
- Multi- Purpose Aquarium Water Conditioner (Big Al's brand) I only put this in when I am doing water changes.
- Stress Coat (I put this in a couple times when I thought my fish were acting a bit funny. I also put it in when I have done recent changes because I have run out of the multi purpose stuff.
- Crystal Clear (does not work so dont even try it lmao)
- Parasite Clear (but ran out)
- Lifeguard all in one treatment to replace
I know this may be a little weird but I don't ever want my fish to get sick so I do a treatment of one of these two products atleast once every week or two. Specially if I put new fish in. I have to run to Big Als soon because I just tested my water and the levels are out of wack. Which they were not two or three days ago. My ammonia is high and both my nitrates and nitrites are high :S Ahhhhh lmao I don't want anything to happen to my fish! I turned the temp down in my tank as well. I will answer the rest of your questions when I get back from Big Als... Sorry guys!
Not sure where to begin--put blunty, your good intentions in preventing the "problems" are in fact doing far more harm than the problems themselves would if they existed.

Nothing in the way of chemicals should ever be added to an aquarium containing fish unless it is absolutely necessary. Using a good water conditioner is essential to detoxify chlorine, chloramine, heavy metals and ammonia if these exist in the tap water (they often/usually do). But don't add medications for diseases that are not even present, it will not prevent them. These chemicals stress out the fish to varying degrees depending upon what they are, and that in turn makes the fish more susceptible to disease and parasites because stress weakens the immune system by causing the fish to work harder against the stress and less doing what it otherwise would. Hope that makes sense.

Nutrafin Waste Control is totally unnecessary. The normal bilogical and bacterial processes in an aquarium handle the "waste" along with the weekly partial water change. This chemical actually causes ammonia to rise, and your bacteria need time to multiply to handle it, so it is counter-productive. There are probably other side effects I'm not sure of. And "waste" will not be a problem unless you overfeed, overstock, or fish/plants die and are not removed.

Stress Coat is unnecessary; the water conditioner will work fine,use it every pwc. The fish are acting "funny" because of all the stuff they are being subjected to, esp the Crystal Clear stuff as I've previously explained.

Parasite Clear will do nothing good when there is not an obvious parasite infestation, but it does harm by subjecting the fish to another chemical that further stresses them out. Don't buy any more.

Lifeguard is another medication that should not be used without good reason, and even then there may be better alternatives.

The fish are confined to the aquarium, and every chemical substance that you put into the tank is going to have an impact on them. The less the better they will be, less stress means better health. Think of it as you being shut in a small room, and someone keeps pumping gasses into the room; you can't escape, it weakens you, and eventually you will be severely harmed if not killed.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 10-29-2009 at 12:07 PM..
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:00 PM   #18
 
Thanks for the great info.... I actually thought I was doing a good thing in trying to keep my fish healthy but what you have explained makes sense and I will discontinue anything that I put in my tank unless it is absolutely necessary. I have come to the conclusion that I am over feeding my fish so I definitely have to watch that. My fish are still happily swimming and playing around in my fish tank, they are showing no signs of stress or anything, but my nitrite, nitrate and ammonia levels are high.... I am going to be doing a partial water change in a couple minutes and I am going to vaccum the gravel. Hopefully my levels will go back to normal after that but I will keep you posted. I just dont like sitting at my fish tank and not being able to see in because it is sooo cloudy :( Anywho thanks for the great info I will keep you posted...

Answers to last repliers
- my water does look like a cross between greenish and milky
- I do leave the lights on too long so I have limited the time I keep it on
- I do not use driftwood in the tank
- I have all fake plants
- I have two filters I actually dont know what kind they are due to me buying it from someone else not brand new.
-
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:25 PM   #19
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaynaglover View Post
Thanks for the great info.... I actually thought I was doing a good thing in trying to keep my fish healthy but what you have explained makes sense and I will discontinue anything that I put in my tank unless it is absolutely necessary. I have come to the conclusion that I am over feeding my fish so I definitely have to watch that. My fish are still happily swimming and playing around in my fish tank, they are showing no signs of stress or anything, but my nitrite, nitrate and ammonia levels are high.... I am going to be doing a partial water change in a couple minutes and I am going to vaccum the gravel. Hopefully my levels will go back to normal after that but I will keep you posted. I just dont like sitting at my fish tank and not being able to see in because it is sooo cloudy :( Anywho thanks for the great info I will keep you posted...

Answers to last repliers
- my water does look like a cross between greenish and milky
- I do leave the lights on too long so I have limited the time I keep it on
- I do not use driftwood in the tank
- I have all fake plants
- I have two filters I actually dont know what kind they are due to me buying it from someone else not brand new.
-
You're welcome. Let's see if we can resolve this for you.

Your tank after three months should be cycled. The high ammonia and nitrite readings probably result from all the disturbance due to the chemical additives. Stopping them and doing a significant pwc will help start the restoration. You haven't said the exact numbers, I'd like to know the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Nitrate is not important, but it should be less than 40ppm, preferable at 20ppm or less, once things are settled. The ammonia and nitrite are more critical.

Do the pwc, and vacuum of the gravel; the good bacteria colonize the gravel, so you don't want to disturb them, but if there is an excess of mulm and detrius you should get rid of it to help clear the water. Rinse the filter pad--you probably have a white pad in the filter? It traps the suspended particles and can be rinsed in water taken from the tank in a bucket.

I've had new tanks remain unclear for weeks, others clear within a day or two and stay. Different biological/bacterial things I suppose. But clear it will with time and good maintainance. Let us have the readings when you've time, and good luck. You're now on the right track.

Byron.
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:37 PM   #20
 
Hey,

Thanks again! I did a pwc and vaccumed the gravel which took a lot of uneaten food and stuff out of it... Which in turn the water was still cloudy... When I checked my levels they were really high (I can't remember what they were) when I went to Big Als I asked the person there what I should do about my Nitrates and Nitrites being hight and they gave me nitr zorb. I put the nitro zorb in and did the partial water change and the vaccuming of the gravel and the tank cleared up mostly. But not all the way. So I just did a second testing and my levels are still high.
Ammonia: 4.0
Nitrate: 80
Nitrite: 1.0
The levels are really scaring me although my fish are not acting weird or anything. They are swimming around happy and chasing each other as if there were nothing wrong. The water is clearing but my levels are still high. Could it be giving me false readings? I am using the water solution test kit not test strips so I thought it would be a little more better... PLEASE HELP! I dont want to lose any of my fish. And also a good sign my guppies are still dropping fry as we speak so the water condition should be good a little bit I would think lmao....
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