What's new

PLEASE HELP planted tank cloudy water dead fish

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


New Member
Jun 30, 2022
Reaction score
San Gabriel
Okay HI I have a planted tank using organic soil that is technically used for plants like tomatoes. But I’ve had this tank for over 9 months because I got it on my birthday last year and it’s a 10 gallon fluval tank with special lights for plants and a built in filter. Now it’s been ruining AMAZING for all this time I have different plants in there but I have some tall Amazon swords and some type of Anubias but my tank has been in good water parameters for the longest time and I have an air pump in there. Now a couple of days ago I did a water change and I cut one of the Amazon swords because it was over growing to the point of it taking most of the light and the top surface area. Yesterday they where fine and today I woke up to a cloudy tank and my fish where all gone except my dwarf gourami and I took him out into a plastic container and added another air pump with a stone and that completely helped because he started swimming normal. In the planted tank he seemed lathargic and sick and like he was going to die because he was loosing his buoyancy then I found my be one tetras that I thought were dead until I added into that small container with air in it. After I sadly picked up two dead neon tetras from the tank I checked my parameters Ammonia 0ppm, Ph 6.4, nitrate 0ppm everything seemed fine but idk what to do I had them in the container for a while but I did a water change and went out to buy a better air pump because I was thinking it was an air problem but once I let the tank settle for a couple hours the fish still don’t seem great and now idk if it’s just because of the shock or? And the tank is still a little cloudy but the fish are hiding in the back of the tank. Can anyone tell me the potential problem the only thing I did differently from any water change was cutting the plant which I have now removed. Please help if I have to strip the tank and maybe buy fluval substrate or idk change up my whole tank I will for the sake of my fish but idk what could have gone wrong. I always do the same thing for my water change
Hi and welcome to the forum :)

Did you dechlorinate the new water before adding it to the tank?
If not, you may have poisoned the fish with chlorine/ chloramine.

Water companies add extra chlorine/ chloramine if they do work on the pipes, if there is a sudden rise in temperature, or if it rains heavily. They don't tell customers they are adding more, they simply do it as a precaution to make sure there is nothing alive in the water.

If you disturbed the substrate it might have released something nasty.

Did you use a bucket specifically for the fish?
If you use any bucket from around the house, it might have something in it that has poisoned the fish.

If you have any residue from hand sanitiser or any cream, soap, detergent, perfume, etc, on your skin, that can poison fish.

The best thing to do is a huge water change and add aeration to the tank. Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank. The best way to achieve this is by filling a bucket with tap water, adding enough dechlorinator to treat that bucket of water. Then aerating it for at least 5 (preferably 30) minutes before adding it to the tank.
So I did dechlorinate my water I always do before putting it in because like you say that’s bad. I did not disturb the substrate when I cut the plant and I have clean out the tank and disturbed the substrate and nothing has happened before. Yes I use specific buckets one for the dirty water from the tank and one used only for adding the water change. And I wash my hands before hand and rinse for a long time and if theres later dirty fish water I use that to rinse my handed before disturbing anything with king the tank. I have done a water change and I have constant aeration in my tank so could it be anything else????
The water company might have increased the amount of chlorine/ chloramine and it wasn't all neutralised by the dechlorinator.

There was something that got into the tank and poisoned the fish.

The filter stopped working after the water change.

That's about all it could be.

Pruning plants doesn't cause it and unless someone dumped a heap of fish food into the tank, that is unlikely to be the issue. If they did put a heap of food in, you would probably have an ammonia reading.
Lots of aeration to keep the oxygen levels high.
Regular water changes to help flush out any toxins in their bodies.
Maybe some carbon in the filter.
I added a pump that is made for 20 gallons but I think it was too much for the fish and my filter already has carbon. But I’ll keep doing water changes thank you
The water company might have increased the amount of chlorine/ chloramine and it wasn't all neutralised by the dechlorinator.
Most dechlorinators can be mildly overdosed, check the dosage instructions on the bottle. If using API Water Conditioner, you should (per the instructions) double the standard dose for chloramine.

Most reactions