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ranchu_man

Cloudy Water...

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I have my tank running since last October and it was running fine with crystal clear water all the time. Until recently, the water became cloudy (not very severe though) and I have started to perform water changes from the usual 25% to 75% and still no signs of clearing up the water. I have a big filtration system with added crushed corals to buffer the water and also added some baking soda to increase the PH level. My filter is a trickle filter with lots of media, bio balls and bio rings.

The filter media has not been cleaned for a while and I have also cleaned part pf the media using tank water. Almost everything has been cleaned and yet no improvements on the water clarity. I have 9 gf in my 70gal tank and feeding is normal at 2 times daily. The goldies are perfectly healthy and very active. If I do a 75% water change, the water will be clear for about 2-3 days and will get cloudy again.

The water parameters is as follows:-

Ammonia=0

Nitrite=0

Nitrate=15ppm (low due to frequent water change)

Water hardness=120ppm

PH=7.5

The water in the tank used to be very clear but on some occasion in the past, the water will get a little cloudy after water change but will clear up in a day. The tank is fully cycled as you can see from the parameters and it is also a bare bottom tank with only 2 small plastic plant in it. I am not sure whether the used of crush corals is causing the water to turn cloudy. I cannot find any crushed oyster shell to buffer the water thus corals is the only available solution.

Any help appreciated.

Cheers........... :(

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Hi there ranchu_man. :)

Crush coral can have lots of very fine powder mixed in. That is why I prefer crush shells but that by-the-by.

Anyway, you can have a look at this thread and see if you can rig something like that up. Very effective. :)

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/...showtopic=10121

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Hi Captk,

Nice to hear from you again. I am inactive at this forum for a while. I have done what the thread had mentioned. I used a 5 micron filter fitted to a 60W power head with flow rate of 3000l/hr. The water seems to clear up a bit after running for 8 hours but still not well polished. The filter had changed its color from white (new) to brown after 8 hours. I ran it for 2 days with little improvements. I have since removed the unit on Monday. I think the cloudy stuff cannot be filtered out. It doesn't look like debries or fine air bubble.

I will try removing the bag of crushed corals to see whether it helps to clear up the water. Could this be a bacteria bloom? I have 8 layers of floss media in the filter, 6 layers in the 1st stage and 2 layers at the sump area before the sump pump. I just cannot figure out what causes the water to get cloudy. In case of bacteria bloom, what can be done? Just leave it alone to let it settle down of keep on changing water till is clears up. I have been changing water every 2-3 days at 50% for the past 2 weeks and geting a little tired. Is this too much or I should let the tank settledown for a week or so?

Edited by ranchu_man

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Okay, a couple of points. It is possible to buy 1 micron filter so there is room to improve as far as the filter goes.

If it is not fine debris then it gets tricky. We can say bacterial bloom but the sum doesn't add up. Usually a bacterial bloom happens when there are lots of nitrients in the water but your tank has been running for a long time and the filter is cycled. You are doing lots of water changes and the nitrAte is good, nothing else seems out of place. You are not over feeding them, are you? What type of diet is it? Lots of protein and live food?

You water is not particularly hard so minerals participating out of the water doesn't ring true either.

You could try using one of those chemicals that is designed to bind fine particles together so that the filter can remove them more easily. In Australia we have a product called Magic Clear. I don't know if it is available in Perak.

Edited by captk

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To answer your question. I would say stop changing water for a week and let it settle down. It might even improve in the mean time. If it is a bacterial bloom, it won't hurt the fish. :)

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Interesting. The corals been in there for a while, so I wouldn't think that would be doing it. Be sure to buffer with baking soda to maintain your KH.

I've been using a 1 micron aquaclear quick filter that hooks to a powerhead. The filters are cleanable. the unit cost $10 and replacement filters are a couple of bucks a piece.

From what I understand, bacterial blooms (white cloudy water) are from heterotrophic bacteria (the ones that eat debris) reproducing too fast. You might try rinsing your mechanical filter media well in old tank water.

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Guest ThugLife

i got the same problem

my water is white cloudy, what do i do?

tank has been set up more than 6 months

i have two bubble wands that produce fine bubbles but they dont cause the cloudyness.

the water had been pretty clear but since i have been adding water conditioner i have this problem

i have a 30gallon with 4 Comet GoldFish

ph is low i cant get it to go higher than 6.2

and tha other like ammonia r fine tha local petshop said.

i do regular gravel cleans every 2 weeks changing 20% of tha water

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Captk, I am feeding the fishes 2 times daily and feed only what they can eat in 3 minutes. I will leave the tank running for a few days and see whether the situation improves or worsen. I will look out for the Magic Clear if I can find one.

Betty,

I am still using BS to buffer the water everytime I perform water change as our water KH is zero. Added crush corals did help to increase the GH to 120ppm from 50ppm and helps maintaining the PH in the region of 7.3. I have almost cleaned everything in the tank and filter including the bag of corals placed on the 1st stage mechanical filter. Carbon has also been changed. There is quite a lot of debries and fine powder when washing the bag of corals. Not sure whether it is causing the problem. I will remove it in a few days time (allowing the tank to stabilize first). I will get a 1 micron filter with a power head to polish the water weekend to see if it helps to clear up the water.

Thuglife,

Your PH is too low. Try adding 1 tsp of baking soda daily till you achive the PH at around 7-2-7.4 This will improve the water quality. At PH6.2, your nitrifying bacteria may not work properly and you might have presence of ammonia. I had the same problem too and adding BS helps to solve this problem.

Cheers.........

Edited by ranchu_man

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Ranchu_man, may I suggest that you reduce the feed for a few days and see if it has any effects. DG is right, if it is a bacteria bloom, the bacteria has to feed on something. Maybe there are excessive organics in the water. Can say because we can't test for those easily. We can only limit the source and see if we hit jackpot. :)

Thuglife, yes, RM is right. However, I would like to see your KH test result if you can do one. It will tell us if your buffering is too low. What is your source water pH. You can be fighting a uphill battle as well if your source is acidic by nature. I would probably start with 1/2 tsp of BS and just play it slow. Let's look at KH and source pH first, shall we? :) OBTW, what type of conditioner are you using?

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I have just changed 80% water justnow. The water is getting very cloudy. I have also cleaned all the filter media in the 1st stage filtration with tank water to make sure it is really clean. The crushed coral has also been removed and I have added a small bag of man made pebbles like marbles made from calcium carbonate (I think because the color is very white). The label never says the material type but it says it helps to stabilize the PH....just a wild guess.

I will reduce feed and monitor the water clarity. Hopefully there is improvements. Even after changing 80% water, I can still see the water is slightly cloudy (view from the side of the tank). I will update you guys on the outcome in a day or two as in the past weeks, the water will turn cloudy after 2-3 days.

Cheers........... :)

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Guest ThugLife

u changed tha water 80%?? wont that cause bacteria bloomin?

jus wonderin

tha water conditioner that im using is "Aqua plus - tap water conditioner" by Nutrafin

it is a 473mL bottle

my PH from tha tap is 7.0/neutral

and i dont kno tha KH bcuz i dont have a KH tester

but next time i go to tha LPS i will check

Edited by ThugLife

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I am not sure doing a 80% water will cause bacteria bloom. Anyone can provide an answer? I am also wondering on the same question as sometime I do water change, I do get slightly cloudy water but generally will clear up in a day. I think the "cloudyness" might be cause by the very fine air bubbles in the fresh water causing it to look cloudy.

In my case now, this is not happenning. I am still monitoring the tank after yesterday's hardwork cleaning the filter and water change.

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RM, TL, there are many sides to the water change coin. ;) Some of it is myth, others are very real.

I suppose as a start I'll answer the question posed. From what I know, I have to say that a massive water change do not cause bacterial bloom. However, it is never that simple. What we have to consider is the impact of the massive water change.

On one hand, the bio-film (i.e. the thin layer of good bacterias) are fairly resilient so unless the new water has poison (e.g. chlorine) in it and it is properly treated, it should not harm them. The immediate removal of large quantity of nitrIte and/or nitrAte will also reduce the amount of nutrient in the water that feed the bacterial bloom.

On the other hand, we try to create a stable environment in an aquarium. A massive water change will certainly upset that apple cart. The fish will be stressed, extra ammonia will be generated. The water chemistry will be altered drastically and it will take time for the closed system to achieve equalibrium again. Is the system is unstable for whatever reason, it may get worse. That is why we usually advice people to do small but regular water changes instead of massive ones irregularly.

In this case, RM is an experienced fish keeper and I rely on his knowledge and experience to form his own judgement. However, to form a baseline, I also suggested that RM should leave it alone for a few days to see if it will settle down. It is a bit of a forest from the tree type of problem. If you can't see through to the fundamentals because of too many changing variables then you can't fix the problem. :)

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Captk,

You are absolutely correct. Changing too many parameters at one go can sometimes be disastereous and no way of finding out the actual cause of the problem. In my case I ran out of options thus restarting the whole process again and hopefully I can hit the jackpot finding out the actual cause. I will now leave the tank alone for at least a week to see how it behaves. :)

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Just one more question. Will too much filter media in the filter system causes bacteria bloom? My filter has many layers of fine wool media, 6 layers in the 1st stage plus another 4 layers of course media (used for koi ponds). The 2nd stage which is a trickle filter have 2 bags of bio ring at the top followed by ~150pcs bio balls and another 2 layers of course media. The sump had a bag of carbon and pump. Since there is so much surface area for the nitrifying bacteria to grow, will it cause cloudy water if the population grows out of proportion? Also will water change dislodge the bacteria from the filter media causing the water to turn cloudy?

I did 80% water change last night and the water is again getting cloudy

:( I have reduced feed today and DG was right that the crushed coral may not be the cause as it was removed yesterday. Lets see what happens in a few days time.

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Guest ThugLife

thanks fo tha help

i need help in restartin a new tank

how do i do it properly?

its a 30 gallon

and i just bought a new filter for it "topfin filter 30"

and bought a new undergravel system to replace the old one

can yall help me in startin it up

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One thing at a time. :)

RM, the situation with nitrifying bacteria is that you can't have them growing indefinitely or out of control. You can have the equivalent of a football field in surface area and there will only be a set amount of bacteria on it. The reason is simple. Food. :) Any bacterial colony's size is governed by the amount of food available to them. As soon as the bacteria number multiplies beyond the level of food supply, some of them will strave to death thus maintaining a stable level. That is why a bacterial bloom in the water should ultimately clear by itself because the bloom will consume what nitrients are in surplus in the water and then it will strave itself out unless more and more nitrients are created to sustain the bloom. This is the question we have to ask ourselves. :) What is sustaining the bloom?

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ThugLife,

I'd advice you nuke your tank properly before you start again.

The normal weapon of choice is bleach. Just your plain household cleaning bleach. The normal ratio is 1 part bleach to 19 part water. If you think you have some nasty bug in the tank, you can make it 1:10. Put everything including every bit of the filter, nets, ornaments, gravel (you can boil them), etc and soak them in the bleach solution over night and make sure there are no air pockets. Wash the tank with the bleach solution well.

Rinse with fresh water many times until you can't smell bleach then rinse two more times with dechlor water. Because you had fungal problem, I would suggest you air dry everything for a week to 10 days before start again.

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Guest ThugLife

u serious bleach?

it will go away if i rinse it?

well ill do that

and what is "dechlor water"?

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Yes, if you seriously want to sterilise something, you use bleach. You need to rinse it extremely well.

Dechlor water is water that has been treated with chlorine/chloramine remover, stuff that you would treat your own fish tank water. :)

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It's not the bacteria that convert ammonia to nitrAte that bloom. They don't grow fast enough to bloom, tho I wish they did!

It's the heterotrophic bacteria that eat debris that bloom. According to Tim Hovanec, the heterotrophs:

-are responsible for the break down of organic materials, e.g. leaves, fish feces (1)

-are one of the chief producers of ammonia in an aquarium (1)

-are responsible for bacteria bloom which turns the water milky white (1)

-can double their population every 20 minutes and can grow over and smother nitrifying bacteria (1, 7)

-consume oxygen which may inhibit growth of the nitrifying bacteria (1) especially if there are large increases in organic matter in the tank (6)

The numbers at the end of each bullet refer back to links here to his articles.

Since you tank is barebottom, the heterotrophs will be living mainly in your mechanical filter media, I'd think mainly in the layers that trap the large particles cuz that's where their food is.

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Thank you, Betty, I got a bit carried away with the population density of the nitrifying bacterias and missed the heterotrophic bacteria issue. :) Glad that you are around to catch my dropped balls. Cheers! :D

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Guest ThugLife

thanks captk

u do help alot

so i can use water conditioner? rite?

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Yes, water conditioner is fine. :)

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Guest ThugLife

ight

i have taken all tha rocks out and will boil them in a pot

i had filled it with half a cup of bleach and filled water scrubed all tha tank in and out

then washed tha tank 7 times with water

then i filled water and add water conditioner

i will leave tha water condtioned water in tha tank over night is that okay?

2morrow i will be washing tha tank 7 more times

with water and waterconditioned water

am i doin this rite?

thanks again fo da help

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