Cloudy water issue

Bluephoenix4462

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Water temperature 78, ammonia 0ppm, nitrite and nitrate 0ppm and pH 6.8. filter fluval U3 and large sponge filter. Not over feeding fish eat all food before hits the bottom. Tank vacuumed monthly for my cycle levels. I've tried api clarifier and tetra clarifier. Tank has been set up for 5 months. Why won't my water clear up any ideas or solutions?
 

Byron

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First off, do not use clarifiers if fish are present. Most of these chemicals work by binding particulate matter so it can more readily be caught by the filter. Unfortunately, the chemicals also bind fish gills. Do a major water change to rid the tank of these.

As for the cloudiness. This could be due to one of a few causes. Some fish are good at keeping the substrate churned up (my tank of cories has this issue, esp at feeding time). There could be microscopic particulate matter in the source water. There could be a bacterial bloom, diatom bloom (not the same as diatom algae) or an organic bloom. I had the latter in my 90g tank for three years, but never in the other 7 tanks.

Most often the culprit is a bacterial bloom. You might be surprised at how much dissolved organic matter is present in tap water. The waste-eating bacteria multiply roughly in about 20 minutes, so they can rapidly increase to feed on this, especially common in new tanks or after each water change.
 
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Bluephoenix4462

Bluephoenix4462

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I will do a water change to get rid of the clarifiers in the water. Now if its a bacterial bloom would adding more beneficial bacteria to the tank help?
 

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Adding more beneficial bacteria won't do anything to clear a bacterial bloom. The two types of bacteria are totally different.
 

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Can you take a photo of the aquarium, full frontal view please, since it might be easier to identify the bloom type if it can be seen

All sorts of things can cause a bloom and they come in a variety of colours and densities which when seen can first identify what it is and then deal with getting rid of it effectively (and safely for the fish)
 

gilpi

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I would think your filters are not sufficient for your tank? Depending on what is making your water cloudy, there are ways to clear the water but it's better getting at the cause of what's making it cloudy. What size tank and how many fish in it?
 

Essjay

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Tank vacuumed monthly for my cycle levels.
Do you do weekly water changes but only vacuum the substrate once a month, or do you do water changes once a month?

If you are doing water changes only once a month and vacuuming the substrate at the same time there will be a lot of organics building up in the water for the bloom bacteria to feed on. I suggest doing a 50% water change and substrate clean once a week and see if that clears it up. It will take a few water changes & substrate vacs to remove all the organics so it won't clear the bloom instantly.
 
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Bluephoenix4462

Bluephoenix4462

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Can you take a photo of the aquarium, full frontal view please, since it might be easier to identify the bloom type if it can be seen

All sorts of things can cause a bloom and they come in a variety of colours and densities which when seen can first identify what it is and then deal with getting rid of it effectively (and safely for the fish)
 

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Bluephoenix4462

Bluephoenix4462

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Do you do weekly water changes but only vacuum the substrate once a month, or do you do water changes once a month?

If you are doing water changes only once a month and vacuuming the substrate at the same time there will be a lot of organics building up in the water for the bloom bacteria to feed on. I suggest doing a 50% water change and substrate clean once a week and see if that clears it up. It will take a few water changes & substrate vacs to remove all the organics so it won't clear the bloom instantly.
I do monthly water changes based on my nitrate and nitrite levels in the tank I will normally do one sooner if the levels start going up. I also vacuum weekly to every 2 weeks.
 
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Bluephoenix4462

Bluephoenix4462

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I would think your filters are not sufficient for your tank? Depending on what is making your water cloudy, there are ways to clear the water but it's better getting at the cause of what's making it cloudy. What size tank and how many fish in it?
I have a large sponge filter and a fluval u3 filter both are up to 40g, tank size is 36 and I have around 30 small fish in the tank but the tank was cloudy even with 12 fish has not gotten worse adding more fish.
 

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I do monthly water changes based on my nitrate and nitrite levels in the tank I will normally do one sooner if the levels start going up. I also vacuum weekly to every 2 weeks.

This is one problem. Water changes must be regular, not based upon tests indicating a problem. The aim is to prevent the "problem," so tests are consistent, with always zero ammonia, zero nitrite, and nitrate at some level that does not increase. Nitrate should be kept as low as possible, and never rise between water changes beyond a couple of ppm.

Regular W/C means once every week. The volume needs to be sufficient to achieve the aim of removing as much pollutants as possible and replacing the "dead" water with fresh. Most of us do 50% or higher. Provided the parameters, being GH, pH and temperature, of the tank water and tap water are basically the same there is no detriment in changing water, and the more the better.

Vacuum into the open substrate areas at each water change. Keep the filter clean. Do not overfeed the fish.

This is likely a bacterial bloom, though it would look the same if it were an organic bloom or a diatom bloom. But bacterial blooms are common. It should sort itself out, with the above changes.
 
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Bluephoenix4462

Bluephoenix4462

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This is one problem. Water changes must be regular, not based upon tests indicating a problem. The aim is to prevent the "problem," so tests are consistent, with always zero ammonia, zero nitrite, and nitrate at some level that does not increase. Nitrate should be kept as low as possible, and never rise between water changes beyond a couple of ppm.

Regular W/C means once every week. The volume needs to be sufficient to achieve the aim of removing as much pollutants as possible and replacing the "dead" water with fresh. Most of us do 50% or higher. Provided the parameters, being GH, pH and temperature, of the tank water and tap water are basically the same there is no detriment in changing water, and the more the better.

Vacuum into the open substrate areas at each water change. Keep the filter clean. Do not overfeed the fish.

This is likely a bacterial bloom, though it would look the same if it were an organic bloom or a diatom bloom. But bacterial blooms are common. It should sort itself out, with the above changes.
I do a water change when the nitrite says .25ppm. also I was told doing to frequent water changes or large water changes would harm the beneficial bacteria in the tank. Im starting to feel more and more confused about what to do with my tank 😕
 

Byron

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I do a water change when the nitrite says .25ppm. also I was told doing to frequent water changes or large water changes would harm the beneficial bacteria in the tank. Im starting to feel more and more confused about what to do with my tank 😕

There is so much inaccurate and misleading "information" circulated in this hobby, it can indeed be confusing. Water changes cannot interfere with bacteria because bacteria are sticky and they adhere to surfaces; filter media, the filter itself, each grain of substrate, plant leaves, etc, etc. You absolutely cannot remove these with water rinsing, you would need to scrape them off.

As I said previously, provided the parameters are the same, or near enough, there is no harm in large frequent water changes. Waiting until tests show an increase in nitrate or whatever is too late, the damage is already being done. Prevention is the aim, and W/C achieve this. You can read the facts about water change benefits in my article at the head of the Tropical Discussion forum here:
 

gilpi

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Water changes will not harm your beneficial bacteria. Your bacteria resides in your filter media so needless to say, it should not be replaced. There is much misleading information. Keeping fish healthy can be very simple just following simple guidelines as far as making sure you maintain the beneficial bacteria alive by not over cleaning or replacing the filter media, not overfeeding and frequent water changes since you have 30 fishes in that tank.
 

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