Originally Posted by shaynaglover
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.