Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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outpost 04-12-2010 05:58 PM

Been going for two weeks
My 10 gallon freshwater tank has been set up since the first of April. I have a betta, zebra danio and a feeder guppy in it. My water has been cloudy since day 3. I did some water changes in the past to reduce the ammonia. Should I still be doing changes? The fish all seem fine so if I didn't do water changes would the cloudiness eventually go away?

Byron 04-12-2010 07:28 PM

What is the ammonia and nitrite at present?

outpost 04-13-2010 03:50 PM

I don't know but I am going to the fish store today to get my water tested. Last time I went he said that I shouldn't be doing any water changes.

redchigh 04-13-2010 04:19 PM

Well you should be doing them at least a little... maybe 30% every two weeks minimum. assuming no plants? Also, watch him test it. If he uses strips, the numbers he gives you are ALMOST useless. My lfs uses strips- it's sad really. strips are so innaccurate- makes you wonder what the store fish are swimming around in.

karjean 04-13-2010 09:08 PM

If you could invest in a Master liquid test kit, you could check the water parameters as needed.

outpost 04-14-2010 04:01 PM

I really trust my LFS guy, he is a nice guy and no he doesn't use strips he uses a liquid test kit. I tested the water yesterday and he said that I was free of ammonia and my tank looked good. I told him that my tank was really cloudy. He said that replacing my carbon could help but if it doesn't he has some stuff to clear it up. As of right now I have what looks like moeywort. (I forgot the name) and 3 betta bulb plants that are growing like crazy. I got the "moneywort" when I got my new dwarf Gourami. right now I have that and a zebra danio. I put the batta back in his bowl.

Byron 04-14-2010 04:40 PM

Outpost, next time you have water tested by the store, make sure you ask them for the specific numbers. While I don't doubt that your lfs guy may be honest, saying that the ammonia "looks good" doesn't really tell us anything; "good" to him might be .25 or something, and this could be the cause of the cloudiness. Or the latter could just be the new tank settling, it is only two weeks old. Or it could be a bacteria bloom. Not knowing the exact ammonia results makes it hard to pinpoint, but the cloudiness while unsightly is most likely far less of a concern than the effects of the normal cycling.

Did he also test for nitrite? This is the next toxin to appear once the ammonia has peaked and subsided which may or may not have occurred yet. This cycling process takes anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks and varies from aquarium to aquarium. Ammonia and nitrite are both highly toxic to fish, and at any sign of trouble (fish stress, like lethargy, heavy breathing, gasping) an immediate 50% water change is recommended. If you use a conditioner like Prime it detoxifies ammonia and nitrite (for 24 hours) without harming the bacteria that are slowly colonizing the surfaces.

The plants will certainly help, they grab a lot of ammonia, and with only two fish in the tank they might even get you through this without serious ammonia or nitrite spikes. Keep an eye on things.

I would myself ride out the cloudiness, at least from what we know so far. Adding carbon might help, but with plants I would not as carbon also removes plant nutrients, and frankly the plants are your best protection during all this so good growth is important.

outpost 04-14-2010 08:09 PM

sorry, I meant to say that my ammonia is zero and he said that the rest of my params look good. My danio and gourmi both are doing great and are not showing any signs of stress or sickness. The cloudiness in my water is tinted green. would you suggest taking out the carbon and riding out the cloudiness?

Byron 04-14-2010 08:42 PM

"Green" suggests either green water (commonly considered with algae) or it may be from gravel. Cloudiness from gravel is common, and some gravel is worse than others. I have dark gravel in my 90g and it takes a good 2-3 weeks before the water clears comparable to what it is like with the natural buff gravel in 3 days.

If it is green water (algae) then it is a sign of high organics and too much light. Carbon would do nothing for this. Lessening the light (duration) would help, and not overfeeding or over-fertilizing for the plants. I myself would not expect green water so quickly in a new tank, so I am more inclined to think it is going to dissipate.

If the carbon is in, leave it; it doesn't last al that long before it will cease to remove whatever, and the plants are unlikely to suffer any setback from this.

bettalover2033 04-14-2010 09:00 PM

you have to take out at least 50% of the water and add the same amount back in and keep doing this until u see no more cloudiness

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