i don’t really know if this is algae

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carligraceee

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hey guys- i need to know if this is algae or not. it’s kind of hard to identify lol. i just did a HUGE water change and that is what the third pic is...

the first pics are a couple days after a 50% water change. fish are doing awesome, even in that weird water so i’m convinced it is some kind of algae. i stopped turning on the lights as much. today they were only on for a couple hours instead of around 12.
 

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Colin_T

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Milky cloudy water is normally caused by a bacterial bloom that occurs when there is uneaten food in the tank or if the tank is new and still cycling (developing the beneficial filter bacteria).

Green cloudy water is caused by an algae bloom.

How long has the tank been set up for?
How often and how do you clean the filter?
What is the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate level in the water?

How often do you do water changes and how much do you change?
Do you gravel clean the substrate when you do a water change?

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Reduce feeding to 3 times a week for a few weeks.

Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for a week.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

Clean the filter if it hasn't been done in the last 2 weeks. However, if the filter is less than 6 weeks old, do not clean it. Wash the filter materials/ media in a bucket of tank water and re-use them. Tip the bucket of dirty water on the garden/ lawn.
 
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carligraceee

carligraceee

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hey colin! thanks for replying so quickly!

my tank has been set up for roughly 3 weeks now. if you look back in my profile, you will see i had some issues but got them fixed until this.
i haven’t cleaned the filter yet.
ammonia is 0, nitrites are 0 and nitrates are around 15ppm.
i did my first water change (55%) almost a week ago but recently did a 80% water change (yesterday). i was planning on doing 50% every week.
no i don’t, i have corys in my tank but i am planning on buying a vacuum but i’m not sure how to use it if you could enlighten me.
i don’t know if i have the money for a gravel vacuum right now (i have to get paid) and i just did a HUGE water change. what do i do then? my fish are doing wonderful, swimming actively, eating and socializing.
 

Colin_T

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The water is cloudy because it's a new tank. Keep feeding down and do lots of water changes and it should go away on its own when things settle down.

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If you get a basic model gravel cleaner like the one in the following link, it will let you clean the gunk out of the gravel without having to remove the gravel from the tank. You can buy them from any pet shop or make them from a plastic drink bottle and a garden hose, (see details below for home made gravel cleaner).

You put the gravel cleaner tube in the aquarium and have the end of the hose in a fish bucket. You can suck on the end of the hose for a second to get the water syphoning down the hose, or you can fill the gravel cleaner tube with tank water and lift it up. As soon as the water starts draining down the hose, put the gravel cleaner tube back in the tank water, and start gravel cleaning. When you put the gravel cleaner back in the water, keep the open end up so air can come out, otherwise the air will stop the syphon.

When water is draining out of the tank, push the open end of the gravel cleaner into the gravel and push it down to the bottom, then lift it up. As the water drains out it sucks the gunk out of the gravel and removes it from the tank with some of the water.

You move the gravel cleaner around the tank systematically cleaning the gravel as you go. When you have drained out some water (say 50-75%), you stop gravel cleaning and remove the gravel cleaner from the tank. Then fill the tank up with dechlorinated water.

It sounds complicated but if you ask a pet shop assistant to demonstrate it, you will see it is very easy to use.

I have added a couple of YouTube links below that show 2 different ways of starting a gravel cleaner. The first video shows a young lady using a gravel cleaner with a one way valve in it. This allows the water to go out but not come back in. The second video shows a guy filling the gravel cleaner and hose with tank water and putting his thumb over the end of the hose. He then puts the hose in a bucket and the water starts draining. They are both different to the way I describe and are other options.


If you see a gravel cleaner that has a narrow plastic end on the gravel cleaner tube, remove that bit because they are completely pointless and not necessary. Just get a basic gravel cleaner like the one in the first link above.

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HOME MADE GRAVEL CLEANER
You can make a gravel cleaner from a 1, 1.5 or 2 litre plastic drink bottle.
Cut the bottom off the bottle and throw the bottom piece in the recycling bin.
Remove the cap and plastic ring from the top and throw those 2 bits in the recycling bin.
This creates the gravel cleaner tube.

Then get a length of garden hose or clear hose from a hardware store and stick one end into the top of the bottle. Find a hose that fits in nice and tight so it doesn't come out easily. Most 12mm garden hoses fit in perfectly.
That is a home made gravel cleaner. :)
 
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carligraceee

carligraceee

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Alright guys! Some changes have been made. I used an aquarium stocking calculator I found that was linked in several posts on here.

I am a little overstocked but I have a plan.

I purchased two otos recently. And they are awesome, my tank has never been healthier. I now keep my light on longer to encourage algae growth.

I will be rehoming my cory catfish sometime soon. Otherwise, my tank will stay overstocked. I will also be giving a home (hopefully) to an injured fish. Half his tail was bitten off and I want to give him a loving home.

My fish are doing well. I also purchased a gravel vacuum recently and used it last weekend. It is awesome! My tank is doing awesome and my fish are flourishing! Thank you everyone for your help!

I will continue to ask for help though, but any negative posts will be ignored. I am still learning and doing the best I can since I am still a minor and have to rely on my mother. Please don't recommend anything that costs hundreds of dollars. Even a hundred dollars is a little much right now, COVID has caused money to be a little tight and I don't think she would spend that much on fish ever unless it was a new tank.

I don't plan on upgrading until I get really good at fish keeping. Maybe next Christmas I will upgrade to a 20g or a 29g.

Sending love your guy's way! Happy fish keeping!!

PS. My tank is no longer cloudy. It is really clear and only has the slight tint to it I assume is from my water change needing to be done (it has been a week). I will do a 50% water change and vacuum after school today!
 

Colin_T

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Gravel cleaners, the best thing since sliced bread, at least for aquariums :)

How black was the water when you first gravel cleaned it?

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If you have concerns about the tank being overstocked, do more water changes and gravel cleans. Do it twice a week instead of once a week. This will dilute more nutrients and disease organisms out of the water and keep the tank cleaner. Thus buying you some time until you can re-organise the fish situation.

If you can't do more water changes, just reduce feeding. the less food going into the tank, the less gunk produced and the cleaner the water will be.
 
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carligraceee

carligraceee

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i know, my gravel vacuum is great!

it wasn’t bad at all- i pulled out a lot of nasty stuff but it was just super murky and had a lot of poops in it.

so far, my fish seem great, even with the more fish. i am going to do a water change tonight. i’ll attach some photos :) you are awesome thank you for all your help!
 

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