Very Cloudy Water
So here is the layout:
I have 19 fish in my 29g. 10 zebra danios, 5 bloodfin tetras, 1 pleco, 2 odessa barbs, and 1 betta.
The lights are on a timer and are on 10 hours a day then there is a blue led light for night time.
I had a Tetra Whisper filter on it while it was cycling then replaced it with an Aquaclea 70 and put the cartridge from the Whisper at the bottom of the Aquaclear to make sure most of the bacteria transferred(it has been cycled for a few weeks now) The old cartridge was quite dirty however. I put a piece of driftwood in the tank.
The water started getting very cloudy and I thought at first it was the driftwood so i removed it and boiled it to leach it. It has not gone back in since yet. I also did a 35% WC at this time. The problem still persisted.
I then thought it was the old cartridge. I removed it and rinsed off the Aquaclear media in tank water and did a 45% WC. None of these tactics have proven to help whatsoever. It's like I never did them. I didn't even notice a difference in the clarity of water after each WC. I do not see any physical signs of algae whatsoever.
The water slowly gets more and more cloudy. It looks green in the tank but when i siphon it out it is brown and i can't even see the bottom of the bucket. Please help. I'd like to know what could be the cause of this and what steps I need to take to resolve this issue(non chemically is preferred). Thank you.
What type and how large of Pleco?
These fish can produce tons of waste, grow too large for 29 gal, and also root around in substrate and stir up crud unless you are on time with the gravel vaccuming= (regularly) in unplanted aquariums.
Could also be small bacteria bloom if borrowed material did not provide enough bacteria for fish load and this should clear as the bacteria multiply (Few Days).
Would watch water paramter's for any ammonia spike,maybe feed a little less for a few days.
Could also run some fresh carbon in the filter for a few days as well.8-)
In addition to above post,, and more pondering,, Brown water does not sound like bacteria bloom which is usually described as white,grey,or milky looking, but more like increased flow from filter, maybe stirring up crud from the substrate or wood still leaching tannins.
Green water, would maybe give me pause to reduce lighting period in duration and or intensity8-).
I would try water changes and carbon for a few days were it me.
Since it's brown and there was wood in the tank, it sounds like tannins that leach from wood. Short of using something like Seachem Purigen, I think several water changes in time are the only answer.
I'd suggest there may be more than one explanation, but it comes down to what you can actually see in the way of colour. You haven't mentioned how long the tank has been running, but from your info I'm assuming it is not new and has been set up a few months; correct me if that is a mistaken assumption.
The described "cleaning" of filter, etc. would or could produce a bacterial bloom, which would be whitish cloudiness, something like a thin fog. This is common when filters are cleaned as significant bacteria (and I'm talking many different bacteria besides the common only-considered nitrifying bacteria) are lost. Changing the substrate will do similar. In these cases, riding it out is the best, as the bacteria simply has to re-establish, and more and more water changes are detrimental and can make it even worse. Not normally harmful, just unsightly, though it sometimes will cause ammonia to rise.
The wood would suggest tannins, if a brown/yellow tint. Having removed the wood and performed a water change, this should not return, so that is the key here. Harmless if this is what is is/was.
Green suggests an algae bloom, caused by too many nutrients in the presence of light. You have a lot of fish producing waste in a 29g, and the light is on a long period. Plants are not mentioned, are there any? This would or should help if there are, but there is still a heavy organics load and the light (depending its intensity) may be too much.
One unrelated comment on the night blue light. This is fine for a short period after the main light is out, but there must be a period of complete and total darkness. Eight hours is usually suggested. This means no lights in the room or over the tank. This is crucial to fish, also to plants if you have any.
Thanks guys for the quick advice. The gravel is a natural stone no dye and You are correct my tank has been up and running for a couple of months now. I sihponed the gravel pretty good and placed a blanket over the whole tank. Going to go black out for a couple of days and see how things go. Will let you guys know.
Also, what would be a good amount of fish for this 29g? Small tropical fish.
Ok so this is night number 2 with no feeding and total blackout. I did a slight peek at the water and nothing has changed. Still as cloudy and green as ever. What are my options at this point please?
So the cloudiness is definitely green, rather than whitish, yellowish or brownish?
Are there live plants?
What exactly is the light (fluorescent or incandescant, number of tubes/bulbs, what type, wattage, etc)?
How often were water changes being done, and how much of the tank at each?
What water cnditioner are you using? And are any other substances going in the tank?
Sorry for all the questinos, but we need to know the data since various things can interact in different situations.
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