Murky water, any ideas?
Well, I have murky water. I'm pretty sure it's not an algae bloom or filth, but my sand substrate! I have Black Kuhli loaches, Emerald Green Cory cats and some platy and molly fry, also pregnant females in there as I use it for the birthing tank...Anywho, the Loaches and Cories are very active little things and they stir it up...problem is, it doesn't like to go back down. lol I am new to sand substrate and have only had it for about two months(This problem is actually recent, my cories decided to get into breeding mode and murked it up pretty bad, and it hasn't fixed in the week since they did it, even the weekly 25% water change did very little, though it DID help somewhat I can't exactly do a 100% water change lol), so I'm probably making some rookie mistake. Do I need to buy a new biomagnet? I don't know if I'm supposed to replace them or not. If not, any ideas on what I can do to get rid of that? I mean it isn't horrible, it just looks like semi-cloudy water and it bugs me.
You can see from the photo that's it's murky, but not horrible. I am afraid it might get horrible though. Some of the sand likes to hang out at the top too, but very little.
Did you wash your sand thoroughly before adding it to the tank?
What kind of sand is it? Pool filter, play sand, etc?
I did wash it thoroughly before using it. And I think it was CaribSea Aquarium Sand Supernaturals.
I have no idea what a biomagnet is... care to explain?
There's a large chance that this is due to cories and loaches stirring up sand residue. How often do you do water changes?
Is that particular sand labeled for freshwater aquariums?
I would consider this likely a bacterial bloom. I see it in new tanks and in tanks where I change the substrate, and in these it dissipates in perhaps a day or two, several days, several weeks, even a couple of months, depending upon the aquarium, each of which is different. I often see this after a water change, and it usually clears overnight. And after cleaning the canister filter, when it may take a couple days.
The fact that in your case this is recent suggests it may be due to an increase in organics, which is what the bacteria feed on. And we are not talking nitrifying bacteria specifically, but the host of other bacteria. More frequent water changes or larger volume water changes will usually worsen it, so see if that occurs; this is because the fresh tap water is loaded with organics that cause the bacteria to multiply much faster, thus clouding the water.
If it is a bacterial bloom, maintain regular weekly partial water changes (half the tank), stir up the sand a bit to vacuum off debris during the WC, don't overfeed, don't overcrowd (fish). Beyond this, let it stabilize which it will do.
What is the tank size, what filter (is the flow strong? Are the pads/spong being rinsed weekly?), and how many and what fish? These answers might give us a clue.
A biomagnet is something you put in for sand substrate that pulls the sand down quicker instead of letting it float around. And it is for freshwater tanks. =)
Also, the tank is about two years old, but I did change the substrate for my loaches and cories about two months back. I initially had only two cories when this started, and eight Black Kuhli Loaches(I couldn't find more cories to make a proper group that didn't have issues of somesort like fungus or finrot or ich until recently), but I recently got more cories to make a proper group(Honestly this issue has lessened since I added in the new guys, that's why I thought it was them messing up the sand because they were stressed without a proper group). I keep my molly fry in there for their first two or three weeks as well. It is probably due to a little over-crowding, the tank is only a ten gallon and was meant for my nursery only to begin with. When I get a 55 gallon tank, the cories and kuhli's will probably be moved over there and let the kids have their nursery back, it's far too small for my cories and loaches(It was kinda an emergency switch thing from my twenty gallon when I heard gravel can hurt them). lol I did my weekly water change, though I never do half the tank, I usually do about 25-30% of it, and I rinsed out my filter, so it's already looking a bit better(I don't rinse my filter as often, I was told not to do that because it hurts the bacteria, is this info wrong? I usually rinse it out every two months or so, change the cartridge every three weeks). If that's the case...>>; Probably from my filter in the first place! My water parameters are where I want them aside from the General hardness, though I'm working to lower that, it really needs to be lowered for my Kuhli's, it's between 120 and 180, and that's the only problem I have water parameter-wise for my tests anyways.
Bah, I'm having one of those months where I just can't keep things where they need to be! lol
Filter media can be rinsed weekly. Somewhat depends upon the tank and how fast it accumulates debris. As particulate matter is caught in the foam/sponge/floss media, which is the fine polishing, it clogs. If it gets too clogged, the water can't pass through effectively and may find another way around it. This media should be kept rinsed so the water continues to flow through it effectively.
The issue with not rinsing the filter frequently has to do with using tap water and killing the bacteria. Though that is now being seriously questioned. It is also due to a misunderstanding many have about bacteria to begin with, assuming the majority (or all some will say) lives in the filter. Not so. There is more bacteria in the substrate than in any filter. I have never rinsed my filters in tank water, always under the tap in hot water. Now, in a brand new tank I wouldn't suggest this to others for the first few times perhaps, just to be "safe." And i have planted tanks so there is no issue with ammonia and nitrite anyway.
I posted this ink recently in another thread, but it is pertinent here too:
Think you know filter bacteria? Dream on
As for changing the cartridge, I assume it has carbon in it? Carbon does give out, the time varies depending upon how much stuff it is adsorbing. With live plants, carbon is not necessary and is actually a detriment. Without plants, maybe.
So I still seem to be doing quite a bit wrong, but I am learning thanks to all the help I've gotten on here. lol You know, I do a bit of research before I get fish usually, and on tank care to boot, but a lot of times lately that research has given me a lot of false, or questionable info. x.x Well, I'm working on it! And...my tank settled down, very, very little "Cloud left" after I took some advice. =) Now to deal with my over-stocked tank! But I first need to cycle my giant. ;D
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