My Dream Aquarium- 55 Gallon - Plans

The June FOTM Contest Poll is open!
FishForums.net Fish of the Month
🏆 Click to vote! 🏆

UPDATE - Cloudy Tank Continues

So, I did at least an 80% water change to get rid of cloudy water but it stayed cloudy. Before water change I could not see any suspended particles, so assumed it was bacterial. After, I had both.

I went and bought Seachem Clarify and put it in. I checked this morning and it's still cloudy. Finally I did some reading to find that the best thing to do is leave it alone LOL.

I will do that now that I have done a bunch of crap I could have skipped LOL. Normal water change day is today, though, so no biggy.

I have also almost stopped feeding the fish for a couple of days and have cut the light back to 5 hours a day to push back on the algae.

Tank cloudy after adding Clarify:
1000008718.jpg
 
I went through that, when changing over one of my tanks... I never did get a definitive answer why or what it was ... but after a month or so, including a gravel change, it cleared... mine had an under gravel filter, and when doing the gravel change, I syphoned it out, did half, then a couple weeks later did the other half, trying to best seed beneficial bacteria, as there were still fish in the tank... while syphoning out the gravel, I noticed I was pulling a lot of grey "stuff" from under the under gravel filter plate, even though the under gravel plate had 2 powerheads on it... finally after a couple weeks, after completing the gravel change, the tank began to clear... today, like 6 months later, the water is pristine...

are you vacuuming the gravel during your water changes???

my strange grey water thread...

 
I went through that, when changing over one of my tanks... I never did get a definitive answer why or what it was ... but after a month or so, including a gravel change, it cleared... mine had an under gravel filter, and when doing the gravel change, I syphoned it out, did half, then a couple weeks later did the other half, trying to best seed beneficial bacteria, as there were still fish in the tank... while syphoning out the gravel, I noticed I was pulling a lot of grey "stuff" from under the under gravel filter plate, even though the under gravel plate had 2 powerheads on it... finally after a couple weeks, after completing the gravel change, the tank began to clear... today, like 6 months later, the water is pristine...

are you vacuuming the gravel during your water changes???

my strange grey water thread...

That is comforting. I keep reading, "do nothing out of the ordinary, it will go away."

I do vacuum during water changes. I did an out-of-cycle vacuum right before the bloom occurred. I think I unleashed some food or something that the bacteria just decided to munch on.

My filter for the 75 gallon is an FX4 which they say is good for up to 250 gallons, so I'm pretty confident in filtration. I use K1 filter media too, which has more usable surface than most.

I really hate seeing the cloud and it's hard to believe it's not bad for the fish, but that's what I keep reading, so I gotta just trust it. Your experience reinforces what I have been reading.
 
UPDATE - Winning Algae War, but Still Cloudy Days - Also, Thoughts on Fertilizer

Algae Killed by Less Light

I think I posted above that I cut the light back to 5 hours per day. I have it on for 5 hours at 100% intensity for all spectrums except blue and it is at 43%. Still not sure why blue should be less, but that seems to be a pattern, so I'll follow it.

Anyway, I don't like that it doesn't come on until 4pm, but the algae has dropped WAY back. My red original red plants- alternanthera reineckii rosanervig (I think) are looking much better- they were really covered in algae, but the leaves are more normal now. It has gone away from the insides of the bushes of wisteria and water sprite, and is no longer topping my hydrocotyle verticulata either.

So, my theory of having enough light and fertilizer to allow the plants to out-do the algae didn't work- or it didn't work in the period of time I gave it (about 2 months I think). I like not having so much algae, so I'll have to figure out how to do the lighting to compromise with my desire to always be able to look in and see them with having the right time/intensity for the plants healthy growth.

I may do something like what @noahm is doing where it balances light between the 2. The back half get light for a time, then the front half, then both. We'll see. I want to get a whole week with the new pattern before changing.

Fertilizer- Is EI the Best Way to Go?
I also stopped fertilizing this week. I was worried that with less light, the plants would need even less and I don't know what is causing the cloudiness, so I figured let's cut the fertilizer out for a week to see what happens.

Well, the plants are still growing at a tremendous pace. I had a big pile of trimmings in my bucket again yesterday after pruning. I'm very happy with the growth- these are healthy plants.

I do have tabs in the substrate, so I'm sure that's helping with the growth. I did a lot of reading about EI method of fertilization and it is a really good way to go, but honestly, I don't think I have touchy enough plants to require it. Pretty much all the plants I have are in the easy to medium category for maintenance and I do have CO2 going.

I'm going to finish out the week without fertilizing (Wednesday starts a new week of the cycle). I'll start back again on Thursday, but I'm going to do some more reading on other methods. Maybe I'll cut back on the dose I use for the EI method and see what happens. I don't know. I guess if I really want to see what'll happen I should stop the fertilization for 3 weeks and see how the plants do longer term. I might do this later, but don't want to do it while i'm still working on...or waiting on this cloudiness to drift away.

Cloudy Water
The water is still cloudy. I did some vacuuming again yesterday and also changed out 20 gallons of water. It had ZERO effect on the level of cloudiness. I think it's some kind of bacterial bloom. The fish are all fine- hungry and active as ever, and the plants are growing like crazy, so it doesn't seem to have a negative effect on the inhabitants- just the observers...

I have been thinking about opening up the filter and replacing some of the sponge that I added in extra- it was a cross between sponge and floss- maybe I'll put some actual floss in there instead and see if it makes a difference. I might do that Wednesday when I change the water. I have tons of bio media in there, and this sponge/floss is just around the outside of the sponges that come with the filter, so I feel confident that I won't disrupt the biological filtration. We'll see how it looks Wednesday.

Anyway, even with the cloudiness, I really enjoy watching these guys swim around. I love my hatchet fish taking care of the surface, the angelfishies continue to grow and are developing more and more colors and patterns, and the ember, green fire, neon, glowlight and glofish tetras are all zipping around doing their thing.

Oh, also, my raphael is out and about sometimes! I see him FAR more than I did the first one. I'm grateful for that. Maybe he wants to make sure I know he's alive so I don't accidentally throw him out :oops: :rolleyes: - good move on his part.
 
Interesting situation. It does sound like a bacterial bloom. That said, I guess it will eventually have to work its way through to clarity. As long as everything is happy, I guess you just keep waiting. As to the light overlap, I did wind up going back to a couple hours break in the middle of the day, but still doing 8 per and an overall 11 hour window.
 
UPDATE - Cloud Reduction!

So, I did the weekly water change yesterday- had a conflict today so did it earlier. I decided I'd change the floss type stuff that I had put around the outside of the sponges in the FX4. That filter has 2 trays. The sponges are all on the outside and the bio media is in the center. There are 4 sponges- 2 per tray. When I went to set up the filter, I saw a guy recommend putting something with less holes around the outside of the sponges to make sure and filter more thoroughly. I went to Petsmart and bought a Top Fin filter pad and just cut it to size. I thought about the fact that there's bacteria in those sponges, but I think the 4 main sponges and all the bio media should have enough to ensure losing the stuff around the edges isn't impactful.

Anyway, the tank is clearer today! It's not where I want it, but I think it is as clear as it was before all this happened, so I'm happy. I have yet to get to the point of "crystal clear water" where it's hard to tell there's water in there, but I guess time is critical for that- the tank is still relatively new.
Clear tank now
Clearer Tank.jpg
Cloudy tank 8 days ago

cloudy23Jan24.jpg
 
UPDATE - Cloud Continues

So, I thought the tank was going to be clearing up, but over the last few days it got cloudy again. It drove me nuts. So, yesterday I thought of something else that might help.

When I cleaned the filter a while back, I put the bio media and a couple of pieces of Rubble Zone into a bag and put it into the bottom tray. I had the bio-media in there by itself before, but I wanted the Rumble Zone in a bag, and the only one I had was huge, so I put all of it in there.

So, my theory was that maybe the bag was impeding the flow of the water through the filter. I had also realized that the Rubble Zone won't break of pieces to get in the impeller and cause problems. So, I took the bio media out of the bag and placed it back loose in the tray like it was before. I added a couple more pieces of Rubble Zone too.

I also thought that it might be good to add the carbon pad that comes with the FX4, thinking it might clear up some of the cloudiness. It's brand new- I never added it to the filter before, so I added that as well.

I also added another dose of Seachem Clarity, hoping that it would do some good. I think by this time I have decided it's a bacterial bloom, but I figured I would try just in case.

DISASTER
Well, that's a (gross) overstatement, but it didn't help. Also, today, the water was more cloudy than yesterday. SO- on to plan E or F or whatever letter I'm up to now.

I've ordered the 24 watt AA Aquarium Green Killing Machine. I had ordered a UV light early on, but when it arrived, I sent it back. That one was one that connects to the return hose from the filter. I just thought it was overkill at the time.

This one is internal to the tank, which I've read is not very effective, but a guy I know has used one and swears it worked great for him for the same problem. So, I'll give it a try.

Why don't I just wait it out and let it clear up on its own? Well, I will, but only when I run out of ideas to do something about it sooner :D :D :D

On a (very) positive note, the fish are doing great and the plants (to the extent that I can see them) are also. Very grateful for that. The cloudiness is just bugging ME apparently, not them.


The tank just after adding Seachem Clarity- DOH!!! :oops::oops:o_Oo_O
cloudyClarity752Feb24.jpg
 
UPDATE- I can see clearly now... 🎶🎵🎶

FINALLY the tank is clear. I had some family over last weekend for some gumbo (I make a very good authentic gumbo if I say so myself). The plan was to show off the (relatively) new tank to them. However, the tank looked like someone dumped a gallon of milk in it, so it didn't have the impact I had hoped (although the gumbo turned out great).

My brother, ever the one to fix everything, called a friend who keeps fish. I rolled my eyes, but endured the call. HIs friend immediately recommended a UV light. OMG, I forgot all about that! He recommended this Green Killing Machine (24 watt).

The funny thing is that I bought a UV light a couple of months ago, but returned it, deciding it was overkill. The one I bought was cheaper than the Green Killing Machine, but it was less wattage. It also connected straight to the return hoses from the filter. I had read that the ones you put into the tank are useless, etc.

I would not have bought the Green Killing Machine if I was not desperate and if my brother's friend didn't so adamantly recommend it. I also read some reviews and they were pretty glowing.

SO, I bought it, did my normal weekly water change (35 gallons) and turned it on. Four days later, my water is very close to crystal clear! I'm so happy with the results. I'm guessing it would have cleared up eventually on its own, but it was killing me to see it so cloudy every day and I'm very happy that I got this thing. I'll run it for a few more days and then pull it out, but it's nice to know I have it if I need it.

Here's a picture of the tank taken today- there are CO2 bubbles in the water and you can still see the Chri..... Valentines Day tree lights on the tank (yes, we have a Valentines Day tree- actually 2 of them- my wife is amazing and I admit I am enjoying a little more of the holiday spirit around the house).

75Clear10Feb24.jpg
 
I had a really stressful week at work, so I went to one of the LFS close to me to look around. I'm looking for a ring to keep my plants in on the water....kind of...mostly I just wanted to walk around and stare at stuff.

This store is a chain, but they carry things that other big chains don't. They have ferrets, and rabbits along with birds. In the fish dept they carry things like knife fish, discus, rope fish, etc. Today they even had a silver arowana- $104!

They also happened to have some little hatchet fish. Oh crap, I only have 3 and in the back of my mind I have been thinking about getting some friends for them, so here we go LOL. The poor old guy who got them for me had a hard time getting them out. I could tell he didn't have much experience with it and he had to climb a ladder to get them out- not good on his knees. I tried to just look away at some other fish so that I didn't add to the pressure, but I was kind of worried that he'd smash one against the side of the tank LOL.

Anyway, he got them out without any of them jumping out of the tank or the little plastic container and I walked out with 3 new buddies.

I drip acclimated them for an hour and put them in the tank. It was weird- I think the angelfish have PTSD when they see the net- they were pale and at the bottom of the tank for about 10 minutes after I dropped the hatchetfish in the tank- I even dropped some food in and they didn't go get it. I started to think something was really wrong with them, but eventually the zipping around of the other fish drew the angels out of their stupor and they joined the munchfest.

I watched the new hatchetfish for awhile- hard to say how they're doing. No real signs of stress, but mostly they're just hanging in one spot. The original 3 went and checked them out, but pretty quickly returned to their normal patrol of the top of the tank.

It's interesting to note how big your fish have gotten when you get a few new ones. These new ones are so small! I'm looking forward to watching them grow, knock on wood.

The tank is getting full- I can't really add more fish. I wouldn't have added these, but I really want the hatchets to have a decent shoal.

On another note, the UV light has been removed for a few days and the water is crystal clear! So happy to see the tank back to thriving at all levels. Hopefully it'll be a good home for these new little fliers.

This one is the big one- not as big as the ones I've had, but biggest of the new lot.
newhatchetbig16Feb24.jpg


medium one:
newhatchetmedium16feb24.jpg


small little guy just sitting in the middle of the bottom third of the tank. He sat there without moving for about 20 minutes.
newhatchetsmall16Feb24.jpg
 
I have the same light in my 75.

I run it for about 6 hours a day plus a bit of sunrise and sunset.

Light intensity is as follows

Pink: 30%
Blue: 3%
Cold White: 28%
Pure White: 35%
Warm White: 31%

I have been fiddling around with the percentages and duration over the last 6 months and I have very minimal algae growth right now. I had more when the light was on longer and stronger.
 

Most reactions

Back
Top