2 weeks of cloudy water but good parameters

hywaydave

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My tank completed it's nitrogen cycle about 2 months ago. It's a 53 gallon tank with a Fluval 307 canister filter. I had purchased four pearl gouramis and 5 corys that I discovered about a week later had some ich. I treated the tank with Paraguard, first time using it. I dosed 26 mL daily for 2 weeks and raised the tank water to 80, didn't want to go any higher because I have Anubias. Ich went away within a few days of treatment but continued medication for the full 2 weeks. About a week into the treatment the water started to get cloudy and has been that way since. Besides the Paraguard, the only other change was the feeding. Now that I have corys, I was dropping a half wafer or shrimp pelet into the tank (switched betweeen the pellet and wafer each day) into the tank. The corys would get a little bit before the platys and gouramis would take over.

I finished treatment last week and put my carbon media back in the canister. I also stopped dropping a half pellet or wafer in the tank for the time being. My ammonia and nitrite have remained 0ppm since my nitrogen cycle completed, my nitrates never go above 5ppm. I do a 20% water change weekly. Fish are fine. In fact, last week my swordtail gave birth again in the tank and I was lucky enough to save 11 of the fry (usually I'm too late to save any). Current fish stock is: 4 platys, 2 swordtails, 4 pearl gouramis, 5 cory cats, and 11 baby swordtails.

From what I keep reading, it's most likely a bacterial bloom, but you would think I'd be having some changes with ammonia, nitrite, or nitrates right? What else could it be?

Thanks in advance.
 

AbbeysDad

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You can have a bacterial bloom w/o seeing significant changes in parameters - it's simply excess bacteria with an increase in organics. You don't mention If you have gravel, but there may be a lot of 'stuff' down under and a good gravel vacuuming may help. I tend to like 50% weekly water changes as typically there's no such thing as too much clean, fresh water. You also don't mention filter maintenance. Now I used to think that filters need to be routinely cleaned to get the crud out...but this upsets the biology in the filter so these days, I let filter run and run until I notice a significant reduction in output flow.
So...clean the gravel as necessary, increase volume/frequency of partial water changes, and keep feeding to a minimum. :)
 

Byron

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There are many different species of bacteria living in an aquarium, and the majority have no connection to the nitrification cycle (ammonia/nitrite/nitrate). A bacterial bloom is normally caused by the waste-control bacteria that consume organics. You probably can see a slight haze in the water after each water change--that is the waste control bacteria multiplying rapidly (every 20 minutes roughly) because of the high level of dissolved organic matter in the tap water. This tends to clear out in a few hour4s, or a day or two, but sometimes it can take days, even weeks. The water does not smell, at least not disagreeably; it may smell sort of woodsy or "fresh earth."

I have an article on bacteria that may be of interest, posted on @AbbeysDad blog site, here:
 
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hywaydave

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hywaydave

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You can have a bacterial bloom w/o seeing significant changes in parameters - it's simply excess bacteria with an increase in organics. You don't mention If you have gravel, but there may be a lot of 'stuff' down under and a good gravel vacuuming may help. I tend to like 50% weekly water changes as typically there's no such thing as too much clean, fresh water. You also don't mention filter maintenance. Now I used to think that filters need to be routinely cleaned to get the crud out...but this upsets the biology in the filter so these days, I let filter run and run until I notice a significant reduction in output flow.
So...clean the gravel as necessary, increase volume/frequency of partial water changes, and keep feeding to a minimum. :)
When I perform my water changes, I also vacuum the gravel. I may not get to every spot in the tank, some places are hard to get to, but this tank also hasn't been running for very long and I don't have a lot of fish. As you can see from the pics I attached, the diatoms are starting to increase in my tank. It's been running about 2 months, but I accelerated the nitrogen cycle with Seachem Stability and some fish food. It's been cycled.

All of the aqua scaping in the tank is fake except for two Anubias attached to the large fake log.
 

AbbeysDad

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It's been running about 2 months, but I accelerated the nitrogen cycle with Seachem Stability and some fish food. It's been cycled.
Two months is quite new and likely explains the cloudiness due to a bacteria bloom. Now the tank may very well be 'cycled' with sufficient beneficial bacteria to process ammonia->nitrites->nitrates, but as Byron points out in his article Bacteria in the Freshwater Aquarium, there's a host of other bacteria that are essential to the system... and these bacteria take time to settle and establish a balanced aquarium.
Be patient. :)
 
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hywaydave

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Two months is quite new and likely explains the cloudiness due to a bacteria bloom. Now the tank may very well be 'cycled' with sufficient beneficial bacteria to process ammonia->nitrites->nitrates, but as Byron points out in his article Bacteria in the Freshwater Aquarium, there's a host of other bacteria that are essential to the system... and these bacteria take time to settle and establish a balanced aquarium.
Be patient. :)
Thanks, it's just that I've never experienced cloudy water for this long which is why I was concerned, I just remember getting cloudy water for a few days around the 1st week of starting the nitrogen cycle. I've had freshwater and saltwater tanks all my life, just took a break from it for the past 9 years once we had kids. :)
 

Colin_T

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If the water looks cloudy and has been cloudy for a while, try doing big daily water changes for a week and see if it helps. As the others have mentioned, it should clear.
 
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hywaydave

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If the water looks cloudy and has been cloudy for a while, try doing big daily water changes for a week and see if it helps. As the others have mentioned, it should clear.
Do you recommend that I vacuum the gravel during these water changes or just replace the water?
 

Colin_T

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You can gravel clean the substrate if you like but if you have soil or plant substrate, it might make a mess if you use a gravel cleaner on it.

Are the plants in the pictures, real or plastic?
They look quite realistic but also something is not 100% real about them :)
 
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hywaydave

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You can gravel clean the substrate if you like but if you have soil or plant substrate, it might make a mess if you use a gravel cleaner on it.

Are the plants in the pictures, real or plastic?
They look quite realistic but also something is not 100% real about them :)
They are all plastic except for the two Anubia's attached to the fake log.
 
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hywaydave

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The cloudiness has went away. In fact, two weeks ago I had to treat my tank again, only this time with Expel-P (levamisole) because one of my fish had camallanus worms. The tank got really cloudy the next day and cleared up little by little throughout the week. The fish was much better the next day after treatment and I could no longer see the worm hanging out the anus. I then treated a second time a week later per instructions, and this time I didn't have any cloudy issues. Tank is looking much better now. I may do a third treatment this week just to make sure I get all them in the different lifecycle stages.
 

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