Can NOT Clear the white fog after 10 weeks...
Hi all. About 2.5 months ago I had an ammonia issue that fogged up my tank from overfeeding. I've treated it and have been getting good readings for several weeks but the white fog (not algae) will not go away. It's a 55G freshwater with 7 cichlids, a gourami, and a pleco. Readings over the past weeks have been:
Amm: .25 ppm
But I just can NOT clear the fog. I have done 30% water changes every 4-6 days, then I tried 60% water changes every 7 days (changes includes vacuum), then I just let it sit for 10 days without doing anything, while my fish barely have eaten anything over the past 2 months.
I'm starting to think something is wrong with my Fluval 405, but my numbers are good and my fish are happy and healthy. Over the last 2 months I have changed or cleaned all of the filter media being sure to not upset the beneficial bacteria.
Initial thoughts? Just took a video. It is foggier than it looks. It has been crystal clear for years until now.
Are you using strips or a liquid test kit? Strips are SO unreliable.
You are still cycling with an ammonia reading. Get some cheap stem plants and float them in the tank to lessen the effects of the cycle on your fish. And if you DO clean the filter media, just rinse it in tank water you've siphoned out.
It could also be beneficial to put another filter on the tank
- even an inexpensive internal or a sponge will do. Just to give more surface for bacteria.
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Try checking the phosphates. When I kept cichlids all the time, my phosphates got out of hand, and I had to treat for them. I tried using the Fluval ClearMax biobags in my filter, but it didnt help. The only thing that did at first was a phosphate remover (liquid).
After fighting with the cloudiness for some time I gave up and got a second filter, crystal clear now. So now I am basically running filtration for 80 gallons worth on my 29 gallon (AquaClear 50 and Marineland BioWheel Penguin 150).
Hey thanks. How do I test for phosphates? I use the API liquid test kit which doesn't include it. My Fluval 405 is for 100G tanks and I have a 55G so I hope I don't have to buy another filter, especially since I am pretty sure I am not overstocked. This filter was $200+. Thanks again.
But looking at your video, it looks like phosphates to me. Phosphate liquid remover wont harm your tank, and it would probably be cheaper to just treat for them, as the tests can be pricey. And testing on a saltwater tester wont give you the info you need because from my understanding phosphates is bad in salt tanks due to the coral or something. And in a freshwater they use like 10ppm of phosphate in a tank I THINK.
I recommend using Pond-Care Phos-Out Phosphate Remover, it works better than most. I say this because most cheaper freshwater phosphate remover is included with other chemicals to treat multiple things (tetra has one out), but the Phos-Out is only for that and doesnt disrupt anything else in the tank and is safe for plants, inverts, and fish. Phos-Out is at petsmart for like $16, and its a HUGE bottle (made for large ponds, so you have to do some math as the dosage is for 100 gallons), but sometimes you can catch it on sale.
You might need to dose once every two days for a week before you see a difference as it only removes a certain amount of phosphates per dose, and the cloudier it is due to phosphates the higher the level.
Links from foster & smith...
Testers for phosphates:
Aquarium Water Testing: Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Phosphate Test Kit
Phos-Out I was recommending:
Liquid phosphate removers for clean, clear pond water: PondCare Phos-Out by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals
I had this problem forever, for me it was under filtration. Make sure you aren't killing your good bacteria with tap water when cleaning your filter, and as stated check out phosphates. Although I don't think it would be the cichlids causing that, I keep 30+ cichlids in my 55gal and don't have any problems with it.
Phosphates can also come from the tap water, and dechlorinators wont remove it.
Thanks all. But wouldn't "under-filtration" lead to ammonia, nitrite, etc? The frustration is that I have good test numbers (for weeks now) and happy, healthy, hungry fish, but just a horribly ugly foggy aquarium.
My tank was under filtered, but I had perfect water parameters but cloudiness and high phosphates causing it.
For me, I dont like canister filters. Not just because they are expensive, but the gph on them are sometimes lower than needed. Same with HOB filters. So I have two filters running on mine, and I have no more issues.
But if the tank was clear for some time, and just recently began clouding with no changes on your part or in basic water chemistry, then I think phosphates are the best bet. Maybe your city has changed their water by adding chemicals or something and high phosphates are a side-effect? I dont know, just a thought.
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