Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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squiggles 12-01-2006 08:33 AM

another cloudy tank complaint
i have a 12g eclipse tank with a fantail goldfish (approx 3 1/2 in) and a betta. now this tank ran fine for prob 6 months. well by fine i mean with constant water changes and stuff. but now the water is so cloudy it's like milk. no matter how much or how often i change it it gets the same way. i took apart the entrie, and i mean everything, tank and scrubbed it with a slt water solution, then rinsed it thouroughly and put it back together. throwing away the old gravel too. 1 week later it was the exact same. it's not cycling because i have 4 other tanks in the house that i've seen cycle and this isn't the same. now i've had an eclipse tank before that didn't end up well, i'm starting to think that the filtration is inadequate. but this has to be something more. I've never seen anything like this. i've added water clearing stuff with no effect, added cycle, nothing, no amount of water changed doesn anyhting more then dilute it for a day or two. I'm at a loss. My water here is fine, no nitrates out of the tape and the ph is fine. my other tanks flourish but this one seems doomed to dismantling. any ideas?

girlofgod 12-01-2006 08:43 AM

first of all, i would have to say that a 12 gal tank is inadequate for a goldfish because they are very dirty fish and also get quite large, so they should probably be given a minimum of 30 gal tank. also, when you cleaned your tank out entirely, did you reuse the water that came out of the tank? or water from your other tanks? Because if not, your tank is probably cycling again, and cycling with goldfish is not wise because the newly establishing bacteria cant handle the bio-load and you will have ammonia/nitrate spikes, which will kill your fish. =( could you please test/have your water tested (ph, alkalinity, hardness, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite) and post your results here? we wil really need to know more before we can begin guess at what's going on in your tank.

also, do you have live plants in your tank? are they decaying/rotting?

as for the cloudy water itself, I would make sure that you have an adequate gravel bed (i.e. 1 lb. of gravel per gallon) and no rotting plants...and post those parameters as soon as possible so we can help! Good Luck!


squiggles 12-01-2006 09:34 AM

here are the readings: KH50, GH120, PH7.4, ammonia0.25, nitrite0, nitrate40. Now I did that big cleaning at least a month ago, and I added cycle to it when I did. I've been doing weekly water changes and I did one 1/3 about 3-4 days ago. I'm careful not to overfeed. The water gets a brownish tint to it after a couple days and in the filter tube is slimy clumpy brown ooze. But the filter media itself never seems dirty, at least not what you would expect. I know gold fish are dirty little guys but the tank is my father-in-laws and he put the goldfish in thereso we couldn't really move it. plus it wouldn't go in our other tanks, our 30g has some slightly aggresive fish and i didnt want to put him in there. i've been trying to convince my husband to give him away but he doesn't want to cause he likes him. i'm pretty sure we started having this cloudy problem after we gave the fish goldfish pellets. after we put those in there for some reason the tank started it's downward spiral. we've long since stopped feeding that but it won't clear.

girlofgod 12-01-2006 10:31 AM

you're ammonia reading is high, as even a slight reading could kill your fish, i would suggest a water change to bring down your nitrates as well, they are also getting high. also, if you are using tap water are you conditioning it to remove chlorine/chloramines?

this brown ooze you describe, could it be brown algae? that would be likely for a newer established tank ...i have a little brown algae in my tank and its been set up for about 4 there any way you could post a picture of your tank?

it is quite possible that you have a bacterial bloom...has the milkiness come back since the large change a month ago?

squiggles 12-01-2006 11:17 AM

yes the milkyness is there right now. it almost looks like particles in the is so bad if i look at the tank i can barely make out the back wall. there is algea on the glass and i think thats prob what some of the ooze is, the rest may be waste. it's just strange that it collects in the tubes and motor and not really in the filter sponge. it's time for a water change today anyway, since i have to change it aot just to keep the fish ok. he acts all right, appetite is good, very active, no sign of the bleeding in fins that i know can happen under poor conditions. we dont have any live plant in that tank. also our water doesn't have chlorine in it as it's well water. i just don't understand how all our other tanks can be so healthy and this one so bad. our others are a 5.5g sw, 12 g brackish, 10g tall fw, and the 30g fw. the other fw don't even have any algea in them. the goldfish tank is across the room froma east facing window so does get a fair amount of sunlight but the other tanks get some too.

butterbean 3 12-01-2006 11:58 AM

When you look at your tank does it look kind of like fog moving in another words can you see it move?

jones57742 12-01-2006 12:17 PM

This one is a real "stumper".

It is possible that you have brown algae (as GOG noted).

This is very, very pesky and nasty stuff.

This may some "perverse" algae growing, algae dying cycle.

Cleaning with a saline solution would not be a sure rid (as would a mild chlorine solution).

IMHO what is going on is that you may be overfeeding and overlighting.

If it were my problem I would try very little feeding and 4 hour lighting for approximately 3 days (as well as 33% WC's) and see what happens.

Two additional items:

Your nitrates are to high.
They should be maintained at 20 or preferably less.
The nitrates are feeding the algae.

As you are aware and you noted without adequate biological and mechanical filtration once this problem is "under control" another is "around the corner".


squiggles 12-01-2006 12:34 PM

yes it does look like a fog, swirling around in there

butterbean 3 12-01-2006 01:45 PM

Well as stated above your tank is likely in a little cycle and your numbers for ammonia and nitrates are way to high but it also looks like you have an algae bloom. I would do 25% water changes daily for a while and turn off your lights. The algae bloom most likely came from the big scrub you gave your tank along with the mini cycle, with water changes and no lights it should right itself in a few days. Did you take any filter media from one of your other filters after you re set up the tank with new rocks etc.? If not I would put some in and about a half a cup of rocks from a cycled tank and that should speed it up a bit.

btw except for water conditioner I would not put any more chemicals in the tank. I find that they don't help much are very expensive and usually cause more problems than I had to start with... been there done that :lol:

squiggles 12-01-2006 02:22 PM

thanks for all the suggestions. ill try them and hope for the best :)

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