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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 10 gallon tank that I have had for almost a month now. Everything was great for the first 3-4 weeks. Then one day, I seen that my water in the tank had become hazy and cloudy. So I decided to test the water and everything was good, besides I now had a small bump in nitrites and nitrates in my tank. It was reading at around .5 to 1 ppm of nitrates but staying at 20 ppm of Nitrate? (I'm using the API 5 in 1 aquarium test strips). The pH had stayed fine for the whole time, around 7.5, until today when it got up to between 8 and 8.5. I have done a 25%, and two 40% water changes in the last 5 days and the cloudy water is still present as well as the spike.

I have one dwarf gourami and a peppered cory and two other cory of similar size that I can't remember their names for the life of me. I just recently added the two other cory and not soon after, the change in the water occured.

I also have another 10 gallon guppy and small cory tank sitting directly beside it and have done water changes in it with no problems in water clarity.

If anyone could give suggestions on what to do or why this is happening (I have read about bacterial blossom and what not and I only let my tank sit for about 5 days before adding fish). I just want to know what to do and how to fix the problem.

p.s: the fish seem to be doing fine, the DG is still active as well as the cory, just cloudy water and water parameters spike. No noticeable decay of the fish or illness present.
 

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where is your ammonia sitting at? the tank could be going through a mini cycle (common in new systems) youron the right track with the w/c's though. do you happen to have any rates coming from the tap?

the cloudiness also from a bac blom of organics being brken down. do you notice it gets cloudy after w/c or when sub is disturbed?
 

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stop adding food and kill the lights until the tank is clear.


my .02
 

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I wouldn't worry directly about the cloudiness, but the sudden rise in both pH and nitrite is serious and must be dealt with; these may or may not be related to the cloudiness. I'm assuming the .5 to 1 ppm is in fact the nitrite, with nitrate at 20ppm (you typed nitrate both times, but earlier had them distinct).

What water conditioer are you using?

Up until this happened, i.e., during the previous 4 weeks, were you doing regular water changes? How often, and what volume?

Have you tested the tap water (alone) for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? And pH (shake tap water very briskly for a few minutes before testing pH to outgas the CO2; this is not necessary with the aquarium water pH test)?

Live plants?

How often do you feed, and how much?

Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I wouldn't worry directly about the cloudiness, but the sudden rise in both pH and nitrite is serious and must be dealt with; these may or may not be related to the cloudiness. I'm assuming the .5 to 1 ppm is in fact the nitrite, with nitrate at 20ppm (you typed nitrate both times, but earlier had them distinct).

What water conditioer are you using?

Up until this happened, i.e., during the previous 4 weeks, were you doing regular water changes? How often, and what volume?

Have you tested the tap water (alone) for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? And pH (shake tap water very briskly for a few minutes before testing pH to outgas the CO2; this is not necessary with the aquarium water pH test)?

Live plants?

How often do you feed, and how much?

Byron.
You are correct about the 0.5 to 1 ppm of Nitrite with nitrate at 20 ppm. I recently bought Prime conditioner as it was recommended to me at a fish store in Columbus, OH. The previous 4 weeks before I did about a 25% water change about every 10 days I believe.

And I haven't checked the water I have been using, but like I said I use the same water in my 10 gallon guppy tank that sits beside this tank and the nitrite and nitrate levels are at 0 as well as the pH staying at or around 7 - 7.5.

I do not have any live plants in the tank itself, just artificial plants with an air hose for bubbles and a random bridge decoration I have had in the tank since I sat it up.

I will say that I have been feeding about twice a day. The tank with the DG I have been feeding freezedried brine shimp once every two days as well as flake foods once or twice a day. I usually give a small pinch of whichever food I am using since I just have the DG and three cory fish.

The fish still seem to be swimming around fine, no less active than before. The DG still swims around freely but does stay in his corner of the tank.

I did a WC about 2 hours ago (about 30%) and I just checked the water and the water parameters read as such:
GH: 120 ppm (where it always is)
KH: 120 ppm (where it always is)
pH: between 7 - 7.5
Nitrite: above 0.5 but below 1 ppm
Nitrate: between 20 and 40 ppm, but closer to 40.

I used prime in the whole tank and have had the lights off since the water change.
 

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Prime can be contributing to the cloudiness.

I would stop doing water changes, stop adding Prime, kill the lights (which you already have), stop adding food. And see if it clears up in a few days to a few weeks.

I would also add anacharis to help condition the water and consume the nutrients. even just floating so they can get some ambient light.

my .02
 

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I partly agree, but stability is key as well as reducing this nitrite. Prime is good, glad you are using that at water changes as it detoxifies ammonia, nitrite and nitrate but only for its effectiveness which is 36-48 hours. More frequent water changes would have helped initially, no less than once each week (7 days), and change half the tank; this is the schedule you should get back on once we clear up the current issues. Some floating plants would be very good too.

It would be useful to know your tap water pH, remember to shake the tap water briskly for several minutes before testing. I would want to know the exact pH of the source water for comparison. If it is rising as it did previously, we must find out why. But it is possible the CO2 is giving a false initial reading, and the bubbling in the tank is correcting this. The pH may remain lower in the other tanks for some other reason so that is not a good comparison. Please test your tap for pH and report back.

Aside from the pH, the other may have been the addition of the new fish. This is still a new tank, only 4 weeks old, so increases to the ammonia from a fish or two may be more significant that they would in established tanks or tanks with live plants which would easily take up the ammonia increase. Here the nitrite increase may be due to this.

Stop feeding for a couple days, it will not hurt the fish. This will significantly decrease the ammonia/nitrite. Then when you resume, only once a day, preferably in the morning if you can after the tank light has been on for at least 30 minutes. Fish are naturally at their most active and rested then, and can more easily digest food.

Byron.
 
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I've never seen Prime or any other conditioner for that matter, cause cloudiness in a tank.

Like others have said, you can cut down on the feeding and see if that helps.

Your tank is in the new stages; hang in there and keep up with maintenance and you'll have a crystal clear tank in no time.

And welcome to the forum :wave:
 
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Discussion Starter #9
I partly agree, but stability is key as well as reducing this nitrite. Prime is good, glad you are using that at water changes as it detoxifies ammonia, nitrite and nitrate but only for its effectiveness which is 36-48 hours. More frequent water changes would have helped initially, no less than once each week (7 days), and change half the tank; this is the schedule you should get back on once we clear up the current issues. Some floating plants would be very good too.

It would be useful to know your tap water pH, remember to shake the tap water briskly for several minutes before testing. I would want to know the exact pH of the source water for comparison. If it is rising as it did previously, we must find out why. But it is possible the CO2 is giving a false initial reading, and the bubbling in the tank is correcting this. The pH may remain lower in the other tanks for some other reason so that is not a good comparison. Please test your tap for pH and report back.

Aside from the pH, the other may have been the addition of the new fish. This is still a new tank, only 4 weeks old, so increases to the ammonia from a fish or two may be more significant that they would in established tanks or tanks with live plants which would easily take up the ammonia increase. Here the nitrite increase may be due to this.

Stop feeding for a couple days, it will not hurt the fish. This will significantly decrease the ammonia/nitrite. Then when you resume, only once a day, preferably in the morning if you can after the tank light has been on for at least 30 minutes. Fish are naturally at their most active and rested then, and can more easily digest food.

Byron.
Okay, I put some water in a tube and shook it up quite well for almost 2 minutes. The test strip read as so:
GH: between 120 - 180 ppm (I have hard tap water)
KH: about 160 ppm
pH: it read at 7.5.
No2: 0
No3: 0

I will be going to the fish store on Monday, and I will look to buy the living plant that was recommended to me in the above post (I can't remember its name).

Are there any other plants I should get? I just have a gravel bottom too. Will plants live with that?

I appreciate the help a lot. You did make a good point that when I added the two extra cory that is when the tank became cloudy. I also just have the filter that came with the tank (I got it from a fish store as a set with filter conditioner and so forth). I did recently buy a Tetra whisper 20 gallon filter for the tank as a friend suggested buying a filter that was bigger than my tank. Anything else that will help with my tanks I would GREATLY appreciate it. I'm open to just about anything as I have recently got into fish keeping and I have a large passion and love for it.
 

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I agree. I've never had issues with Prime before either. Sounds like you are almost thru the cycle which sounds very fast to me. It's usually 6-8 weeks. I also would advise keep up with the water changes, test your tap water to know your source water numbers and feed no more than once a day. You can even skip a day once in awhile it won't hurt. Good luck, keep us posted on your progress. And Welcome to the Forum!!
 

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Okay, I put some water in a tube and shook it up quite well for almost 2 minutes. The test strip read as so:
GH: between 120 - 180 ppm (I have hard tap water)
KH: about 160 ppm
pH: it read at 7.5.
No2: 0
No3: 0

I will be going to the fish store on Monday, and I will look to buy the living plant that was recommended to me in the above post (I can't remember its name).

Are there any other plants I should get? I just have a gravel bottom too. Will plants live with that?

I appreciate the help a lot. You did make a good point that when I added the two extra cory that is when the tank became cloudy. I also just have the filter that came with the tank (I got it from a fish store as a set with filter conditioner and so forth). I did recently buy a Tetra whisper 20 gallon filter for the tank as a friend suggested buying a filter that was bigger than my tank. Anything else that will help with my tanks I would GREATLY appreciate it. I'm open to just about anything as I have recently got into fish keeping and I have a large passion and love for it.
Is there something calcareous in the tank that might raise the pH? Rock or gravel/sand composed of calcareous minerals such as limestone, marble, lava, dolomite, aragonite? But the tank is down now, so let's see if this remains.

Plants. Floating are ideal for what we want here, as they are fast growing, being closer to the light and can use CO2 from the air. Water Sprite, Hornwort, Duckweed, Salvinia, Brazilian Pennywort...these are all in the profiles with photos, click on the names.

On the filter, do you mean that you recently changed from the old filter to a new filter?
 

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On the filter, do you mean that you recently changed from the old filter to a new filter?
No, I bought it online but it has not yet arrived. I haven't changed yet, but I don't know if I should? Is this a good idea or no?
 

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No, I bought it online but it has not yet arrived. I haven't changed yet, but I don't know if I should? Is this a good idea or no?
My last question was to clarify, because in such a new tank, changing over the filter could well cause a spike in ammonia and then nitrite, since the filter at that early stage will be a prime host of bacteria. In more established tanks, bacteria are everywhere, colonizing all hard surfaces under water, so one can change filter media/wash it under the tap with no effect at all.

To answer your question as to which filter to use, I would need to know more about the setup. Filters perform two functions: moving the water around the tank, and "filtering." The filtering involves mechanical, which removes suspended particulate matter from the water as it passes through various media (this keeps the water clear), and biological, which is the nitrification process. More filtration, or larger filters with more water movement, do not mean better water, though in some cases they can.

And this is where we come to the fish, tank size and live plants. With a tank that is basically balanced with respect to fish load (species and numbers) and water volume, with live plants, filtration only needs to provide some water movement through the mechanical stage. Fish have preferences for water flow, and the smaller that tank the more critical this becomes because the fish cannot escape the water movement if it is too strong. Plants can also suffer nutritionally. After all, it is perfectly possible to have a very healthy aquarium with no filter at all; the key is having fish suited to such a setup, and live plants.

Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you for everything. Like I said before it is a 10 gallon tank that is stocked with one male dwarf gourami. It has 3 cory, one peppered and two that are of similar size but I can't remember for the life of me their name (either mal-something or pal-something?). I have a bridge decoration that the cory like to hang out underneath. I have a sunken log decoration with two artificial plants on the bottom. I also have an artificial plant that floats on the top of the tank that my DG really likes. The filter and lighting system is the stock that came with my tank set up (the filter says aqua tech on it). The bottom is black and blue gravel. I also have a heater and the tank is usually kept at or around 78 degrees.

And that is my tank in a nutshell. I will be going to pet store Monday to buy some live plants that you have mentioned before to set in my tank and allow them to float at the top.
 

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Also, should I continue to do water changes? Lights are still off, no food has been put in. If I need to do daily water changes that is not a big deal. I just want to clear the tank up.
 

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Also, should I continue to do water changes? Lights are still off, no food has been put in. If I need to do daily water changes that is not a big deal. I just want to clear the tank up.
I appreciate the desire to have a clear tank...some cloudiness is natural in new setups, and sometimes this clears after a few days, sometimes a few weeks. I had one tank that took 3-4 months. While unsightly, the fish are not likely suffering at all, as this is most probably a bacterial bloom. It will clear, and is best left to do so on its own. More water changes can make it linger longer. You can read more on why here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-articles/bacteria-freshwater-aquarium-74891/

Our main concern now is the nitrite, as we have already discussed. Stay with that, the fish will be healthier for it. The cloudiness will then clear. The floating plants will help.

Like I said before it is a 10 gallon tank that is stocked with one male dwarf gourami. It has 3 cory, one peppered and two that are of similar size but I can't remember for the life of me their name (either mal-something or pal-something?). I have a bridge decoration that the cory like to hang out underneath. I have a sunken log decoration with two artificial plants on the bottom. I also have an artificial plant that floats on the top of the tank that my DG really likes. The filter and lighting system is the stock that came with my tank set up (the filter says aqua tech on it). The bottom is black and blue gravel. I also have a heater and the tank is usually kept at or around 78 degrees.
And that is my tank in a nutshell. I will be going to pet store Monday to buy some live plants that you have mentioned before to set in my tank and allow them to float at the top.
Gourami live among floating plants, so that is why you are seeing it remain up there. Adding some live floaters will really cheer him up.:)

I would reduce the temperature a couple degrees, down to 75-76F. Corys do better cooler, and the DG is fine with this too. BTW, we have fish profiles, second heading from the left in the blue bar, and when a name is identical in a post to that in the profile it will shade and you can click it as a link to that profile, example Dwarf Gourami. Temperature is given for each fish in the profile, and data on their habitat which will explain the plants, etc. [Lowering the temp a touch might help the cloudiness too.]

As for the filter, the smaller one you have is fine for these fish. Gourami do not like water currents, they occur in swamps and still waters as the profile mentions. Corys are half and half on this, but they don't need strong currents so they are fine too.

Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you for everything. I will get the plants Monday, I think I like the look of the duckweed the most so I think I am going to go with that. Would it be okay to remove the artificial plants and replace them with living plants instead? I have looked at some tanks on here and I really like the natural look that live plants give a tank. I just don't want to mess up the parameters in the water by adding something or taking something away that I would have or would not have needed otherwise.

I will put the plants in the water and then update you on the water quality probably Monday night or Tuesday morning/afternoon.

Thank you again. I'm new and I really appreciate the help.
 

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Thank you for everything. I will get the plants Monday, I think I like the look of the duckweed the most so I think I am going to go with that. Would it be okay to remove the artificial plants and replace them with living plants instead? I have looked at some tanks on here and I really like the natural look that live plants give a tank. I just don't want to mess up the parameters in the water by adding something or taking something away that I would have or would not have needed otherwise.

I will put the plants in the water and then update you on the water quality probably Monday night or Tuesday morning/afternoon.

Thank you again. I'm new and I really appreciate the help.
You are most welcome. Try to get other floating plants too. Duckweed is fine, it will multiply unbelievably, and most of us get it as a hitch-hiker with other plants, wood or fish.:lol: It is useful to take up nutrients and ammonia, but it is sparse as a cover (thinking of the gourami, who would prefer something like Water Sprite with dangling root masses).

You can replace the artificial plants with live as you get them. Most people find that once they have live plants, the artificial begin to really look "artificial."

Byron.
 

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We totally understand the fear to add something else when things seem precarious now. The up side to live plants is that they "take up" the ammonia produced by the fish in their processes. That helps protect them from high numbers and lessens the cycle process. You do need to make sure that you have the right bulb for your hood light and that you have some form of fertilizer. We're telling you to get plants, myself included, and forgetting to tell you there is some expense with it. For the ones that get planted in the sand or gravel, I separate the bunch into 2 maybe 3 bunches, I try to leave at least 3 together and plant them that way. When they flourish and reach the top I cut them back half way, create an new bunch and plant it. repeat repeat. At some point you start pulling out your plastic ones and then you are hooked. The fish truly like them too. They will completely avoid plastic but I find them trolling in and under and around, even wedged into them sleeping. I don't think I can ever go back to plastic now. The down side is the addiction that comes with it, the cost, and then we want to go get a new one to try another.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
One last question. The tap water I have been using tested pretty high in gH and kH. I was wondering if this is okay water to keep using to do water changes?? I do have a spring in the country (I live in a country town) that I have been using in my other tank where the parameters are good, water is not quite as high in gH or kH.

My reasoning for using different water is that I started my first tank (the one I am having problems with) with the tap water and the second tank I used the spring water so I didn't want to add different water to the tanks. It is much easier to do these constant WC in the problem tank because I am using tap water.

Should I continue use with the tap water?
 
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