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FAQ: Cloudy/milky/hazy water problems...
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Joined: 05 Nov 2003
Location: Iowa, USA

PostPosted: 2004.05.21(Fri)12:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a quick update for everybody... Smile

My water has totally stabilized and is perfectly clear in my 50 gallon. And my 37 gallon never had a problem when I finally got it set up. I used water and "gunk" from my 50. No cycle to speak of in this tank. Inmates are doing great in both tanks.

But, FYI, Laughing I did add driftwood again - went with African driftwood from Drs Foster & Smith (tested in own bucket of water first!). Awsome stuff! This driftwood has been in my tanks for a few months now with no problems. Just couldn't stand not having driftwood for Uncle Jack, my pleco...and I like that more natural look!

Happy taxlady at last!
Tenecor 50 gal flat-back hex - various inmates & plants in Flourite. 40 gal tall - mated pair of Angels & plants in Flourite.
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Joined: 12 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2004.07.12(Mon)6:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the same problem very cloudy water but other water parameters were OK, a more powerful filter with fine filter wool did the trick and cleared it within 2 days!
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Blue Fe-Knicks
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Joined: 20 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2004.07.20(Tue)12:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a ten gallon tank
2 platys
3 lamp eye tetras
one drawf puffer (he was a left over from another tank and needed more stimulation as he wasn't eating anymore all alone in his 1.5 gal)
a cory catfish
and one beta who hides inside the brain cave of a skull. *smiles*
A four inch bubble stone
TopFin 10 gal tank filer
and I have plastic plants

This tank was set up a month ago from a 2.5 gal. (with only the beta and the platys) because the other tank cracked. When I did this I moved most of the old water into the new tank. I have no sign of new tank cycling, my ammonia levels have never even gone above 0ppm. I perform a 25% water change once a week.

Current importante levels are:

My tank has been cloudy since right after I set it up and before I added the newer fish (the tetras and catfish).

I have tried products to get rid of the cloudiness caused from over feeding and/or other particles in the water but they have not helped in the least. It isn't green in color like other people have had but strictly the white.

And I just noticed the appearance of brown algae in my tank a day ago.

My tap water is a little high on the pH (generally clocking 8+ I do have high range test kits so I do not know the specific number on that) so I have added some Proper pH to level it back out to 7ish. I haven't tested the hardness of my water but have plans to but a test kit for it this afternoon. But my questions are as follows:

If my water is too hard could that cause this unexplained cloudiness?
Could the Proper pH be the cause of my cloudiness?
What other steps maybe taken besides water changes and waiting to fix this problem?

Thank you,
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Joined: 04 Sep 2004
Location: San Antonio TX

PostPosted: 2004.09.04(Sat)11:51    Post subject: cloudy water with no apparent cause. Reply with quote

Another thing to consider is if there has been a change in your local tap water source. Sometimes, severe weather conditions, such as heavy rains can cause added minerals or chemicals to sneak into your water system. When you change out the water, you may be introducing more minerals than usual, even though you are using the same source you always do. Crying or Very sad Be sure you always use a water conditioner when you change or add water.
May you and your fish be happy and healthly and a source of contentment for each other.
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Joined: 04 Sep 2004
Location: San Antonio TX

PostPosted: 2004.09.04(Sat)12:14    Post subject: UGFs and plants Reply with quote

ecajberry wrote:
I have been reading a lot about just how crappy these UGF's seem to be, and I am seriously considering removing it all together.
Since my fish population is currently at 3 in a 30 gallon tank, I think I will undertake this chore and maybe go thru another cycle because of it, hopefully a short one, but it sounds like the tank will be better off without it, and even allow some live plants to be introduced as well.

I assume the Aqua Clear 200 will be enough for water filtration?
If not I will deal with that as the need arises.

I have UGF's in my 55 gallon and none in my two 10 gallons. The plants are doing just as well in the big tank as in the small ones.
Before getting rid of the UGF's, consider the whole tank as a system. Is your gravel compatible with the UGF? Sand can get it there and clog it and make it worthless. Large gravel could allow food to get in there and rot. Have you tried reversing the direction of water flow in your UGF in order to clear it out?
May you and your fish be happy and healthly and a source of contentment for each other.
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Joined: 01 Nov 2004

PostPosted: 2004.11.01(Mon)23:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tennessee Jed wrote:
We weren't so rigorous about our blackout. We simply turned off the tank light for four days and kept the room blinds closed. We did not cover the tank and we continued feeding.

As I said before, this seemed to work when combined with the water changes.


This is exactly what I've been doing in my 29G. Closed the blinds, turn off the lights, and 1/3 water change every day. The water progressively gets less green.
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Todd Smith
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Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Location: Rochester, New York, USA

PostPosted: 2005.01.29(Sat)13:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an established setup: 50 Gallons. Six fish: Black Shark 12 inches; Red Tailed Barb; Coffee and Cream Pleco; Unknown Catfish; two Zebra Loaches.

I inherited the setup from my nephew when he undertook responsibility for a large saltwater setup. Abou a year after setting up the tank at my home, my water started becoming cloudy. Just a haze at first, then a substantial white haze which at times can run to cloudy.

The haze does not change with exposure to light, but will return within a week or two to this undesirable state after a partial water change.

Most important is that my fish are happy and healthy. They are not overfed and I try to maintain a clean environment for them. There are no live plants.

I have two powerheads attached to an undergravel filter and an Aquaclear 300 with activated charcoal, sponge and bioclear inserts.

I tested the water recently:
pH 6
Nitrates none
Nitrates none
Amomonia none

If it's a bacterial bloom, why has it lasted for two and a half monthes? I am monitering the fishes behavior and they seem content and healthy. I don't mind stepping up partial water changes, but I do have one nagging concern.

My signal for a water change used to be indicated by a growth of algae which would turn up in a place where my Pleco couldn't reach. But I seem to have a pronounced lack of green algae (or any algae to be accurate). There's only a smidge. Anybody have ideas? Should I just be calm seeing as my fish are happy? Rolling Eyes
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Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Location: Sydney Australia

PostPosted: 2005.01.30(Sun)18:35    Post subject: My tank is cloudy too! Reply with quote

Crying or Very sad I too need help.

est 07Jan05
90x47x35cm tank with 4 small koi
filters: 1 Aquaclear 300 filter; 1 PennPlax Cascade 200 filter
black pebbles
nitrates & nitrites 0; pH 6.8; ammonia 0.1

Friday - cloudiness observed in the water...performed a partial water change(includes gravel vacuuming)...added the second filter (used to only run with 1 filter)...added Ammon-lock...

Saturday - water clear...

Sunday night - performed a partial water change (includes gravel vacuuming)...a couple of hours later, noticed the water cloudy again...tested water...added ammon-lock...

Monday morning - the cloudiness did not clear...looked harder into the tank and can see very fine white particles...thought it would clear like the previous day...

1. are the particles the cause of the cloudiness?
2. what may these particles be - the bacterial bloom? algal bloom? something else?
3. do I need to change my filter things?
4. is my filtration inadequate? should I invest in a power filter?

I thought I was going OK with the tank...waiting for the cycling to finish...especially when it cleared on Saturday...but now, I am stuck...don't know what I am doing wrong...

Please help! Crying or Very sad
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Joined: 25 Jul 2005
Location: Scottsdale, AZ

PostPosted: 2005.08.02(Tue)16:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

Question: I am new to the hobby, have setup and I believe cycled the tank. The tank is up about a week and a half and the readings are Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrate 0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm and pH 7.6. I have 2 Panda Cory's which I plan to add 1 more in the coming weeks as well as 2 YOYO Loaches which I also plan to add 1 more soon and 1 BMS. My water is a touch on the cloudy side and I understand that this could be normal and probably just an algae bloom of some sort. I have my light set to a timer and provide the tank 12 hours of light a day. So, to get to my question already Embarassed . Would it help shorten the algae bloom if I turn the light off?
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Joined: 04 May 2004
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: 2005.08.03(Wed)0:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 55gal that has had nothing but problems with the water. The first thing that showed up was an Algae bloom {very green water}, started in with W/C and covering the tank, keeping the lights off, then went into a Bacterial bloom.

I went to using Bottled Spring water when doing W/C. I also saw all the little white particiles floating around in the water.

I went from one person to another after another to find out what was wrong, and just like you, according to all readings, it should be good.

Okay, so I now have my tank clean and clear! How??

First off, I have a 55gal, U/G filter, Power heads, fluvial 304 canister, a penquin 300 bio-wheel over the back hanging filter, along with a corner filter {the kind that you put ammonia/carbon crystals and a media in, driven by an air pump}. I have over filtered it, not because of the problem but because I must have 100 guppies or more in that tank.

When I had the bacterial bloom, I put in Bio-Spira, used Bottled water, had to raise the pH because of the Bottled Water, turned down both power heads, stopped using the penquin filter. I would have to change out the media in the corner filter "every" day as it would turn black with gunk and it was slimy to the max. I turned up the air flow to the bubble wound that I have in there and sealed off all the place's on the back of the tank that was open to the air in the room. I did W/C of 25% every other day for one week and then stop doing them every other day and went to doing them just once aweek.

No one here {in Portland Oregon} can tell me what went wrong with my tank, but sealing it off {taping plastic bags across the opening on the back of the tank, putting Bio-Spira in, turning down a lot of my filter systems, having the corner filter in there to collect what ever was floating in the water and changing the media in it, and doing small W/C I can now say that my 55gal tank looks great again. I was to the point of wanting soooooooo much to take out all my Guppies and put my foot through it.

An Algae bloom the water would have a greenish tent to it and the Phosphates would be off the chart.

In the shorts of it, cover all the openings that your tank has that the outside air, pollutents and stuff in the air, turn up the bubble wound or get one, turn down the power heads, put in a corner filter {changing the media every day}and put in some Bio-Spira {even if it is a bacterial bloom, Bio-Spira will protect the cories while the tank is going through it's thing. Do W/C every other day for one week and by then your tank should be doing great, fingers crossed.

Good Luck!
2/10gals, 2/20gals, 1/29gal, 3/55gal
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