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

PostPosted: 2004.01.10(Sat)20:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:
Quote:
I have been reading your other post that Steve's been helping you with.

I would try and increase your KH a bit more by adding more bi-carb.

I would say that the water quality has gone out a bit, with the KH being so low, and caused these internal problems.

White feices is the first tell tale signs of this problem.


I plan on doing another partial water change tonight and will add more bi-carb. I have noticed a little bit of white feces and could tell that something was going on by the way a few fish were acting.

Quote:
I have missed the post about what you think the cloudy water is, whether green water, Bacteria or algae.

So not going to eloborate, except have you tried a UV steriliser on the tank, and some very good solid floss to physically filter any solids out.


To give you a little background: I have had my tank set up since May. A few fish added about a month later. I had decorated using driftwood. It lowered my pH and KH, which I discovered after ruling out everything else Steve and everyone had me check - it wasn't green water (algae), used a diatom filter and don't think a UV sterilizer is going to help (plus they are rather spendy).

I do think it is probably bacteria at this point because my water parameters aren't up to snuff. I had a dumb attack and put one of the small pieces of driftwood back in. It is not in there now (which I think I have already said Smile )

Note: The driftwood had only been in there for about a week...so the water wasn't as cloudy as it has been when I removed it. And darn it Exclamation the water parameters were improving before I put that darn driftwood back in.

I am thinking I need to go back to my daily partial water changes until I can get the water quality back where it should be. And keep testing and adding bi-carb as I go along. Question

I will leave the Purigen in...it shouldn't hurt anything...?

Almost 8 months of cloudy water is really starting to get irritating and very frustrating.

Thanks so much for your help again,
taxlady
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Tenecor 50 gal flat-back hex (inmates & plants in Flourite). All-Glass 37 gal tall (finally setup 03/20/04!! - a few inmates and plants in Flourite).
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Plantbrain
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Joined: 10 Dec 2003
Location: The swamp

PostPosted: 2004.01.11(Sun)12:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try a large water change, like 50-75%.
Water's almost free.
Add a little copper sulfate(not if you have plants or inverts though!)

Try carbon instead or chemi pure also if the purigen did not work(it should have done something).

Also, go to the neighbor's, vacuum some of their gravel and take this "dirt" back to your tank and feed it into the filter.

Sometimes this will get rid of the cloudiness.

Do a large water change, go get some their water, add some of the clear water that's settled off the top to your tank, then save the dirt in the bottom of the bucket to feed into your filter.

Something tells me this will work and the tank will settle in a week or so.

Try leaving the light off for a week also.

I doubt the cloudiness has anything to do with the driftwood.
36" PC light on a 50 gal is pretty intense lighting for a non planted tank.

If you want, you can also add floating water sprite, it's loaded with bacteria, will block the light and lop up any excess NH4 that's produced.


These are some things you can try.

Larger Water Changes
Add water sprite,
Get dirt from neighbor
Turn off the light for a week(unless you add plants)

I'd save the carbon/copper sulfate stuff till later, try the above for 2 weeks or so first. I think it'll settle after you try that.

Regards,
Tom Barr
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taxlady
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Joined: 05 Nov 2003
Location: Iowa, USA

PostPosted: 2004.01.11(Sun)14:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tom,

Quote:
Also, go to the neighbor's, vacuum some of their gravel and take this "dirt" back to your tank and feed it into the filter.


If I may ask - why would getting "dirt" from my neighbor's tank help with the cloudiness? Confused My tank is established and has it's own "dirt". Smile

Quote:
I doubt the cloudiness has anything to do with the driftwood.


You probably haven't seen my previous posts...the driftwood had lowered my pH to -6.0, KH to close to 0. I was headed for a biosystem crash. I feel it is the driftwood, because when I take it out and do large water changes (have been doing 30-50% the last couple days) almost daily it improves my water parameters - and they don't drift downward like when the driftwood is in. I also have added bi-carb to boost this process.

I had put the driftwood in a bucket and measured the parameters and they had dropped within a short time span to the low readings also (small volume of water compared to tank volume - so dropped a lot faster).

My tap water is pH 7.0, KH 4-5. I had had the driftwood in my tank for quite a while and was wondering why my water was never clear. Thus, the long hunt for the culprit! Smile

Quote:
36" PC light on a 50 gal is pretty intense lighting for a non planted tank.


I had just added the PC light (8800K Ultra-Daylight; didn't go with 10000K, felt that was too much) a couple weeks ago because I want to add live plants whenever I get the water to stabilize. This lighting should be okay for a planted tank, right?

Today, before my water change my water parameters were pH 7.4, KH 3-4. So, I think if I stay away from putting the driftwood back in (which is so hard to do, because I love that "natural" look!), that the "good buddy" bacteria will take over and the water should clear.

Does this make sense to you?

Thank you a bunch,
taxlady
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Tenecor 50 gal flat-back hex (inmates & plants in Flourite). All-Glass 37 gal tall (finally setup 03/20/04!! - a few inmates and plants in Flourite).
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Dr Mike
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Joined: 20 Dec 2003
Location: Kansas City, MO

PostPosted: 2004.01.12(Mon)1:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Jules...

Tell ya what. You said your tap water is pH 7.0, KH 4-5. SOLD! Bottle it up and sell it to me in exchange for some pieces of my driftwood. Laughing

I have a really neat piece that I didn't use in my 125 gal and it's just sitting in my storage room !!

LOVE YA !! Just couldn't resist. I'm definitely envious of your tap water!


Dr Mike
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taxlady
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Joined: 05 Nov 2003
Location: Iowa, USA

PostPosted: 2004.01.12(Mon)6:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey there Dr Mike,

How much for the driftwood? Then I'll tell ya how much I want for the water!

Laughing Jules
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AlleyCat
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Transplanted Canuck in Ohio

PostPosted: 2004.01.12(Mon)8:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple of additional questions...

The driftwood you had/have in your tank. Is it store bought? If not where did you get it from? Also, is the gravel you're using store bought? If so, can you re-call the name brand? If not, where did you purchase it? Are there any other decorations in the tank, like maybe a piece of coral or something organic?
And finally, any chance you can take a picture of it and post it here?

There's a solution to this problem somewhere.

A.C.
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blackmagic
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Joined: 10 Mar 2003

PostPosted: 2004.01.12(Mon)9:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

dang that is a bad. well I have a small lfs in my neighbor hood and they are clean and they test my water for free and they have there own test kit that is used just for customers water. they wash the tubs out before each test they perform I know because I have had my water tested there for the first two months of owning my set up. the big pet stores really don't care nor do they have the time to assist people all they want to do is sell the fish and like I said before some of them don't even know anything about what they are selling not good business if you ask me. so I guess I am saying go to a small mom and pops lfs and they will treat you better than the lager stores. o and try the aqua clear.
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anonapersona
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: 2004.01.12(Mon)10:21    Post subject: Is that 96 watts over 50 gallons? Reply with quote

If that is 96 watts over 50 gallons and you have no plants --- turn the light off!

It sounds like the start of greenwater to me.

Keep the light off for 2 or 3 days and see if the cloudiness is gone.
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Plantbrain
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Joined: 10 Dec 2003
Location: The swamp

PostPosted: 2004.01.12(Mon)11:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

>If I may ask - why would getting "dirt" from my neighbor's tank help with >the cloudiness? My tank is established and has it's own "dirt".


Sometimes the tank gets out of balance and this helps very often.

>>I doubt the cloudiness has anything to do with the driftwood.

>You probably haven't seen my previous posts...the driftwood had lowered >my pH to -6.0, KH to close to 0.

Actually I did and I have more experience with various types of driftwood than anyone I've ever met or run into.
If you look at the KH at 0 and the pH swings involved when you remove all the buffer, that can cause a system crash for the bacteria.

Hence the adding of "mulm" from another tank, eg bacteria ladened material to get your tank cycled.

While the wood can cause some decline in the GH/pH,(Not KH, this would require something besides humic and fulvic acids to remove KH, such as strong acids like H2SO4, HCL, HNO3 etc) generally if you'd do the regular large water changes with the tap which has more KH/GH etc, then you would not have such a low KH now.

>I was headed for a biosystem crash. I feel it is the driftwood, because >when I take it out and do large water changes (have been doing 30-50% >the last couple days) almost daily it improves my water parameters - and >they don't drift downward like when the driftwood is in. I also have added >bi-carb to boost this process.

Just do a water change. Easy cheap and solves any issues.

>I had put the driftwood in a bucket and measured the parameters and >they had dropped within a short time span to the low readings also (small >volume of water compared to tank volume - so dropped a lot faster).


Soak the wood before putting it into any tank, this is a good rule anyway.
Then you don't have tannins which is the main issue.

>My tap water is pH 7.0, KH 4-5. I had had the driftwood in my tank for >quite a while and was wondering why my water was never clear. Thus, the >long hunt for the culprit!

Boil the wood. Do regular 50% weekly water changes, it's unlikely that much KH can be consumed through formation of HNO3 in the gravel.
There are no strong acids in wood.
Onl;y strong acids are able to remove the KH.
GH an be removed and exchanged with peat.
Plants can remove KH.

>I had just added the PC light (8800K Ultra-Daylight; didn't go with >10000K, felt that was too much) a couple weeks ago because I want to >add live plants whenever I get the water to stabilize. This lighting should >be okay for a planted tank, right?

Yep.
Why not just add water sprite now floating then plant it in the substrate later? Cheap, will reduce the cloudiness, stabilize the tank more, remove NH4 and NO3 som you don';t have to worry as much about the bacteria converting the NH4 to NO3.

>Today, before my water change my water parameters were pH 7.4, KH 3->4. So, I think if I stay away from putting the driftwood back in (which is so >hard to do, because I love that "natural" look!), that the "good buddy" >bacteria will take over and the water should clear.

Well if you keep doing routine water changes, this will never hurt and only help BTW, the issue of KH.GH will not be a problem in the future.

It takes close to the same amount of time to 25% vs 50% weekly changes using a python or similar hose type set up.

Regards,
Tom Barr

>Does this make sense to you?

>Thank you a bunch,
>taxlady
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taxlady
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Joined: 05 Nov 2003
Location: Iowa, USA

PostPosted: 2004.01.12(Mon)17:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

AlleyCat wrote:
Quote:
The driftwood you had/have in your tank. Is it store bought? If not where did you get it from? Also, is the gravel you're using store bought? If so, can you re-call the name brand? If not, where did you purchase it? Are there any other decorations in the tank, like maybe a piece of coral or something organic?

And finally, any chance you can take a picture of it and post it here?


The drifwood is store bought. A couple from my LFS and a couple Malaysian from Drs. Foster/Smith.

The gravel is store bought. Estes Natural Aggregates.

Only other thing in my tank are silk plants and some 2" flat, round rocks from LFS.

Just happened to order a digital camera and when I figure out how to run the darn thing, I will post a picture. Smile


anonopersona wrote:

Quote:
If that is 96 watts over 50 gallons and you have no plants --- turn the light off!

It sounds like the start of greenwater to me.


My tank is 22" deep, so I don't feel that the 96w PC lighting is too much. I am going to add live plants soon, that is why I upped my wattage. I know it isn't green water forming because the cloudiness was there long before I added the PC light (a week or so ago). Smile But I understand your thinking.

Plantbrain wrote:
Quote:
While the wood can cause some decline in the GH/pH,(Not KH, this would require something besides humic and fulvic acids to remove KH, such as strong acids like H2SO4, HCL, HNO3 etc) generally if you'd do the regular large water changes with the tap which has more KH/GH etc, then you would not have such a low KH now.


I understand all this and had been doing weekly 25-50% water changes before figuring out the driftwood was the culprit. To keep up with the drop in pH and KH, I would have to do almost daily water changes.

Quote:
Soak the wood before putting it into any tank, this is a good rule anyway.
Then you don't have tannins which is the main issue.


I have soaked this darn wood (all of them!) for at least 3-4 months in total...and boiled them, many times. Mad UGH! I might just have to go with some other natural-type slate or something. Thinking about putting the wood outside for a year or two...maybe then I can use it! Smile Or I might have to take Dr Mike up on his offer and have him send me some of his driftwood for some of my tap water!

Tonight my water is looking a little better. Going to do another water change...I promise not to have a dumb attack and put the driftwood back in y'all!

Thanks,
taxlady
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