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hms2009 05-16-2010 01:24 PM

Cloudy Water? (white)
Ok so yesterday morning my water was fine. I had tested my water (Ammonia: 0, Nitrite: 0, Nitrate: 0, pH: 7.6) and did a weekly water change of 50% (normally I only do 25% but I decided to use the cycled aquarium water for another tank so I could separate a nippy dwarf gourami from my betta).

For the new water, I used water conditioner, aquarium salt, and NutraFin Cycle (as always, I used the amounts listed in the directions... and I have never had this problem). One thing I did do different was add a pH thing (trying to get my pH to 7.0... I think it was called True pH or something for tropical fish). I added the amount the directions told me to.

The water was looking a little blurry last night, but I didn't think anything of it. When I woke up this morning, the water is REALLY cloudy... like a whitish cloud... I can barely see the plants in the back of my tank (fake plants, this is not a planted aquarium).

I haven't rinsed my media filters in tap water.

I haven't been overfeeding.

I'm not sure what to do... I was reading that it may be a bacterial bloom (maybe from changing so much water? I did vacuum the gravel, but I do that weekly and have never had this issue). I'm not sure if I should change the water (if its from the new pH chemical I used -I know, chemicals are bad, but I don't know how else to lower the pH right now, the water here is very hard) or let it do its thing.

I tested the water this morning (only pH: 7.6 and Ammonia: 0)

My fish are all swimming, happy as can be.

Thanks for any help or advice!

Here is a picture of whats happening... the first one is what I woke up to, the second one is normal.

iamntbatman 05-19-2010 04:40 AM

That does look like a bacterial bloom to me. How long has your tank been set up? Is there a reason you're using the aquarium salt and Cycle? Cycle shouldn't really be needed once the tank is cycled. The salt isn't really needed and might be stressful to soft water fish like your gourami.

How does the water look now? Sometimes brief ammonia spikes can cause these kinds of blooms, but often the ammonia is back down to zero by the time you notice the bloom and subsequently the bloom goes away pretty quickly (especially with the help of water changes).

hms2009 05-19-2010 05:06 AM

thanks for the reply :)

i did a water change and it cleared up... and i don't think it was a bacterial bloom now because when i was vacuuming there was a lot of white sediment in the gravel (idk of that's a sign of bacterial bloom or not, but it seemed weird). i was thinking it may be due to all the recent rain stirring up the aquifer but idk if thats logical, really.

anyways its crystal clear now... and all my fishies are doing fine.

i was using the aquarium salt because the pet store said my albino red fin shark needed it, but i didn't know it would be stressful for my gouramis :( do you think this is this a bad combination?

thanks :)

iamntbatman 05-19-2010 06:17 AM

Very strange advice. Your shark definitely does not need it. I think they were just trying to sell you some salt. You can keep it on hand as it can be useful for treating ich but otherwise there's no need to keep it in your tank on a regular basis and it can be detrimental to some of your fish.

If you found white precipitate in the gravel the sediment thing does make sense to me. Whatever it was, it sounds like it's cleared up now and it wasn't really problematic in the first place, so that's good.

A couple of other things: what test kit are you using for your pH? I ask because a pH of 7.6 always raises red flags for me because API's standard pH test kit only goes up to 7.6 and anything higher will still only register as 7.6. You need the high-range pH kit to measure pH values higher than that. Also, I wouldn't mess with pH-changing chemicals. Ones designed to lower pH are literally just sulfuric acid in a bottle; adding these to your tank certainly does lower pH but it can also destroy your water's buffering capacity and using them will likely result in a pH crash at some point. Some of the fish you have would be best at a lower pH than 7.6 but none of them jump out at me as really, really needing to be in more acidic water. Also, your snails do need to be in water with a pH of 7.0 or greater or else their shells will start pitting. In other words, unless your pH turns out to be like 8.6 or something like that I think you're just fine leaving it where it is.

Byron 05-20-2010 02:08 PM

Just want to say I fully concur with what iamntbatman has advised.

Salt is not necessary in freshwater tanks and should never be used regularly, only as a treatment for a specific issue and even then not with certain fish. Won't go into the details except to say salt affects the internal metabolism of all fish, and this is not good long-term.

The pH adjusting chemicals rarely work because the natural "buffering" capacity of your source water, determined by the degree of carbonate hardness (KH), will continually work to maintain the pH where it is coming out of the tap. The pH adjuster lowers it, then it goes back up; the result is fluctuating pH which is far more stressful on all fish than a steady pH that may not be within the preferred range. Please do not use these chemicals.

Take a test of your tap water hardness, either yourself with a reliable test kit or ask the fish store, or contact your water board. Make sure you get the exact numbers, not broad terms like "moderately hard" which tells us very little about the buffering capacity. Once we know this, it will be easier to suggest action if that is required.


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