question about water clarity.... newb
ok, so i have aquired a 10 year old 55 gal. it came with 4 fish. a very large pleco(about a foot or more), a large white fish(dont know what kind) not an oscar. a albino cat, and a tiger barb. the tank was in the worst condition i have ever seen. i dont think it was cleaned in over a year. it was caked with poop on the bottom and algae everywere. i relocated the tank to my house, and cleaned as much as i could. the silicone in the tank has a perminant layer of algae on it that i cant get off. im wondering if the water will ever be crystal clear or will it always have a cloudyness to it. the tank is pretty old and im wondering if its the tank making it cloudy. any input would help.
Welcome to the forum.:wave:
Unfortunately, the tank may need reconditioning which is to strip down and start all over again. Rehome the fish in your lfs. There's not much you can do as the tank will be overcrowded with the current fish with the exception of a tiger barb.
If there is also staining on the silicon, it could be medicines previously used and if that is the case, there is nothing you can do to remove the stains.
When cleaning everything, don't use hot water and detergents. Hot water can destroy the beneficial bacteria in the filter media and you can still use the old filter media to cycle the tank. Detergents can leave any residues thus harming the bacteria and eventually killing any new fish that will occupy the tank. Wash the gravel and decors thoroughly under tap water free from chlorine and chloramine.
You may have mini cycles but the filter media containing beneficial bacteria may help speed up cycling. Get API Freshwater Master test kit and continue to monitor your tank water.:) In the end, you should have zero ammonia and nitrites with below 40 ppm nitrates.
It may take a while for the beneficial bacteria to build up in the tank. Algone can help with that too.
not much you can do but start over. i agree with the above reply that these fish are way too big for your tank. find a store that will take the fish, and give them away, some may even give you a small store credit for the fish. vinegar is a way to get rid of algae forming in the tank...my reccomendation is to just use water and a algae scrubbing pad.
drain the water out and start all over...use a gravel vac when draining it though, that way you can get all the crap out of the substrate. after you scrub the tank down start all over. dont replace the floss or sponges in your tanks filters though, those have bacteria you want to keep in them. if your filter has a place for it, add carbon. this will help remove any polutants left in the tank after the scrubbing and remove any "junk" left in the tank or substrate after the cleaning and help the water be nice and pristine.
after the major cleaning, let the tank cycle for a couple weeks before adding any fish...no sence in fish dying right after you got your tank all nice and pretty for them.
stocking ideas are up to you, but dont get any fish that grow over 4"...you could try a couple dwarf gouramis and a fair sized school of tetras that stay under two inches, and a school of corys and maybe throw in a bristlenose pleco or a school of ottos...then you will have fish at all levels of that tank that wont out grow it.
Hmm, I am not sure why you would need to tear it down and start again. The tank can be brought back from the abyss so to say and should take all that much to do it. The pleco is way too big and needs to go. A good show tank in a really good LFS would be a nice place for him. The other fish might be ok but that depends on what you want to do with the tank.
I would do a really good gravel vac with about 1/4 of the water and refill the tank I would say 1/2 water change but fish are too big for that. If you can, do 1/4 water changes 3 times for a week. This will clean the gravel really well and should have a good base to start over. As for the glass, if you plan to get rid of the larger fish, got some ottos, 6-10 of them would have a picnic for days and be very happy campers. With every water change, rinse the filter media really, REALLY well in the tank water to get it as clean as possible. Also, take the filter and scrub it clean after a week in tank water to get the all the gunk out. This will keep some of the bacteria in place and not hurt your biological filtration needs.
It is really up to you but a I have seen tanks come from green pea soup where you couldn't even see into the tank through the glass because it had tons of algae on the glass and green water to pristine tanks in less than a month.
It will help to tell us the type of filter so we can help with the media and cleaning it.
As for the biological bacteria in the filter, if you tear the tank down you will need to keep the filter running in a smaller tank or a bucket of water to keep the bacteria alive or it will die in a matter of a couple days. Also will need to feed the bucket or tank so the bacteria has something to eat to survive.
If you need help getting it all done ask as many questions as you need to. Could be a great article for the forum, Rescued a tank from algae oblivion. 8)
I've had a lot of success replacing my filter with this:
Pura Filter Pad
I had an algae bloom from too many phosphates. I went to my LFS and they suggested the filter. I put it in and 2 days later, my water was perfectly clear.
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