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New Fishless Tank - Cloudy Water

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#1 piggymummy


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Posted 10 May 2012 - 09:19 AM


We have a new 65l tank, which we filled 4 days ago and started up the heater (25c)and filter. We also added some washed gravel, plastic plants and an ornament. The water has not yet been dechlorinated. Within a day or two, that water became a bit cloudy.

Yesterday, we added a few real plants and some Nutrafin Cycle (although in hindsight, this probably won't work until we dechlorinate the water).

Why is it cloudy? We weren't sure whether there's just lots of air bubbles in it or something else.

Is it a problem?

Apologies if this has already been answered here somewhere, but I've mostly found reference to cloudiness once the bacteria have already been added (or indeed fish added).

We were hoping to introduce a couple of fish at the weekend as our small children are eager to get going.


#2 big_sw2000


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Posted 10 May 2012 - 09:52 AM

If its a white cloudiness, then good chances its a bacteria bloom, nothing to worry about, it will clear its self in a few days.
Not to sure about fishless cycles, as i cycled my tank years ago with fish, as old to by local pet store. So in my view, maybe 2 very hard fish wont do any harm


#3 mattyeatsmatts



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Posted 10 May 2012 - 09:53 AM

Chlorine in water will dissipate after time but when you have fish I advise buying some as to not destroy the bacteria in the filter.

The cloudy water could be either, you did not wash the gravel enough(dust from manufacturing) or your tank has gone into a bacterial bloom.

Introducing fish so early would be unwise as your filter is not yet developed to handle the bio-load of your tank, aka Your filter can't break down fish waste so it releases harmful toxins into the water and harms the fish.

I would recomend taking a look at these links:



#4 willowstwin



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Posted 10 May 2012 - 11:05 AM

+1 with matty. I had bacterial bloom with my 48litre... My only advice is to add dechlor (as chlorine kills the bacteria you need to be cycling with) and DONT buy any of these chemicals claiming to "decloud" your water. I used one, after taking advice from a shocking lfs, and it basically clumped all the bacteria into blobs of orange goo, which then almost ruined my filter (I had to strip it down, thoroughly clean it and start from scratch).

Try fishless cycling, get yourself some mature filter media if you know anyone with a mature tank (or ask on here), and be prepared for lots of water testing and waiting. But trust me when I say, that the wait is worth it!! The only way I can advise you on fish in vs fisless is 2 options:

Option 1 - put fish in, you can only put a few fish in every couple of weeks, you have higher risk of deaths and you have to put a LOT of work in doing water changes numerous times a week. Also, you'll probably get annoyed at how bare your tank looks and will probably be tempted to go buy more fish, then wonder why they're dieing.

Option 2: you wait and be patient while you fishless cycle with ammonia (can be sped up with some donated mature media), but but then suddenly, all the waiting turns into a tank which is fully stocked with fish in one go because you're safe in the knowledge that your filter can handle the bioload :)

#5 Chtheo


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Posted 10 May 2012 - 11:14 AM

If it is a bacteria thing, then i dont really know much about that. However it's been my experience when setting up new tanks that quite often the cloudyness is dust from the gravel (no matter how much i wash it, i never seen to get rid of all the dust!) For that, i have used Interpet's Filter Aid, and over night the water has been crystal. It does clog up your filter however, so you would need to rinse through any sponges of filter floss (if done in tank water there shouldnt be any much damage done to your basteria cultures)

If it is bacterial, then i dont really know as i havent had this issue. A Friend of mine however swears by this stuff called "Special Blend" I cant remember the make, but basically its cultured "good stuff" It smells like death but juding by the results in his tanks it works well, and because its good bacteria, it should help your filter rather than destroy it.

Obviously this is my opinion here, juding by what i have seen and what has happened to me.

Edited by Chtheo, 10 May 2012 - 11:15 AM.

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