Cloudy Water and Small Nitrite/Nitrate spike
I have a 10 gallon tank that I have had for almost a month now. Everything was great for the first 3-4 weeks. Then one day, I seen that my water in the tank had become hazy and cloudy. So I decided to test the water and everything was good, besides I now had a small bump in nitrites and nitrates in my tank. It was reading at around .5 to 1 ppm of nitrates but staying at 20 ppm of Nitrate? (I'm using the API 5 in 1 aquarium test strips). The pH had stayed fine for the whole time, around 7.5, until today when it got up to between 8 and 8.5. I have done a 25%, and two 40% water changes in the last 5 days and the cloudy water is still present as well as the spike.
I have one dwarf gourami and a peppered cory and two other cory of similar size that I can't remember their names for the life of me. I just recently added the two other cory and not soon after, the change in the water occured.
I also have another 10 gallon guppy and small cory tank sitting directly beside it and have done water changes in it with no problems in water clarity.
If anyone could give suggestions on what to do or why this is happening (I have read about bacterial blossom and what not and I only let my tank sit for about 5 days before adding fish). I just want to know what to do and how to fix the problem.
p.s: the fish seem to be doing fine, the DG is still active as well as the cory, just cloudy water and water parameters spike. No noticeable decay of the fish or illness present.
where is your ammonia sitting at? the tank could be going through a mini cycle (common in new systems) youron the right track with the w/c's though. do you happen to have any rates coming from the tap?
the cloudiness also from a bac blom of organics being brken down. do you notice it gets cloudy after w/c or when sub is disturbed?
stop adding food and kill the lights until the tank is clear.
I wouldn't worry directly about the cloudiness, but the sudden rise in both pH and nitrite is serious and must be dealt with; these may or may not be related to the cloudiness. I'm assuming the .5 to 1 ppm is in fact the nitrite, with nitrate at 20ppm (you typed nitrate both times, but earlier had them distinct).
What water conditioer are you using?
Up until this happened, i.e., during the previous 4 weeks, were you doing regular water changes? How often, and what volume?
Have you tested the tap water (alone) for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? And pH (shake tap water very briskly for a few minutes before testing pH to outgas the CO2; this is not necessary with the aquarium water pH test)?
How often do you feed, and how much?
And I haven't checked the water I have been using, but like I said I use the same water in my 10 gallon guppy tank that sits beside this tank and the nitrite and nitrate levels are at 0 as well as the pH staying at or around 7 - 7.5.
I do not have any live plants in the tank itself, just artificial plants with an air hose for bubbles and a random bridge decoration I have had in the tank since I sat it up.
I will say that I have been feeding about twice a day. The tank with the DG I have been feeding freezedried brine shimp once every two days as well as flake foods once or twice a day. I usually give a small pinch of whichever food I am using since I just have the DG and three cory fish.
The fish still seem to be swimming around fine, no less active than before. The DG still swims around freely but does stay in his corner of the tank.
I did a WC about 2 hours ago (about 30%) and I just checked the water and the water parameters read as such:
GH: 120 ppm (where it always is)
KH: 120 ppm (where it always is)
pH: between 7 - 7.5
Nitrite: above 0.5 but below 1 ppm
Nitrate: between 20 and 40 ppm, but closer to 40.
I used prime in the whole tank and have had the lights off since the water change.
Prime can be contributing to the cloudiness.
I would stop doing water changes, stop adding Prime, kill the lights (which you already have), stop adding food. And see if it clears up in a few days to a few weeks.
I would also add anacharis to help condition the water and consume the nutrients. even just floating so they can get some ambient light.
I partly agree, but stability is key as well as reducing this nitrite. Prime is good, glad you are using that at water changes as it detoxifies ammonia, nitrite and nitrate but only for its effectiveness which is 36-48 hours. More frequent water changes would have helped initially, no less than once each week (7 days), and change half the tank; this is the schedule you should get back on once we clear up the current issues. Some floating plants would be very good too.
It would be useful to know your tap water pH, remember to shake the tap water briskly for several minutes before testing. I would want to know the exact pH of the source water for comparison. If it is rising as it did previously, we must find out why. But it is possible the CO2 is giving a false initial reading, and the bubbling in the tank is correcting this. The pH may remain lower in the other tanks for some other reason so that is not a good comparison. Please test your tap for pH and report back.
Aside from the pH, the other may have been the addition of the new fish. This is still a new tank, only 4 weeks old, so increases to the ammonia from a fish or two may be more significant that they would in established tanks or tanks with live plants which would easily take up the ammonia increase. Here the nitrite increase may be due to this.
Stop feeding for a couple days, it will not hurt the fish. This will significantly decrease the ammonia/nitrite. Then when you resume, only once a day, preferably in the morning if you can after the tank light has been on for at least 30 minutes. Fish are naturally at their most active and rested then, and can more easily digest food.
I've never seen Prime or any other conditioner for that matter, cause cloudiness in a tank.
Like others have said, you can cut down on the feeding and see if that helps.
Your tank is in the new stages; hang in there and keep up with maintenance and you'll have a crystal clear tank in no time.
And welcome to the forum :wave:
GH: between 120 - 180 ppm (I have hard tap water)
KH: about 160 ppm
pH: it read at 7.5.
I will be going to the fish store on Monday, and I will look to buy the living plant that was recommended to me in the above post (I can't remember its name).
Are there any other plants I should get? I just have a gravel bottom too. Will plants live with that?
I appreciate the help a lot. You did make a good point that when I added the two extra cory that is when the tank became cloudy. I also just have the filter that came with the tank (I got it from a fish store as a set with filter conditioner and so forth). I did recently buy a Tetra whisper 20 gallon filter for the tank as a friend suggested buying a filter that was bigger than my tank. Anything else that will help with my tanks I would GREATLY appreciate it. I'm open to just about anything as I have recently got into fish keeping and I have a large passion and love for it.
I agree. I've never had issues with Prime before either. Sounds like you are almost thru the cycle which sounds very fast to me. It's usually 6-8 weeks. I also would advise keep up with the water changes, test your tap water to know your source water numbers and feed no more than once a day. You can even skip a day once in awhile it won't hurt. Good luck, keep us posted on your progress. And Welcome to the Forum!!
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