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Please help, very cloudy water with no fish yet

Discussion in 'Cycle your Tank' started by Quadda, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. Quadda

    Quadda New Member

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    Hi everyone, I have recently got a 10 gal tank for some guppies and shrimp, a basic little build. I set it up this past Saturday and have been having some troubles with cloudiness. After about a day of setup, the tank got VERY cloudy. And I mean really cloudy, barely able to see through. I did all my research, and I have everything from SafeStart to Prime in my arsenal, as well as a gravel cleaner. Now let me just stress that I did not get fish yet, knowing that the tank would need to be cycled. I made sure to wait twice the time required to put in my bacteria after the conditioner, but then this showed up. I boiled all of my decorations (plastic and a resin skull) but they kinda feel apart so I reboiled and put them back together. I read to boil them, but I do not think I should have in hindsight. I have read that it also may be the items degrading inside of my tank, but I do not see any flakes or paint pieces or whatever. Just super cloudy, milky water. I have ten gallon specified air pump and sponge filter, so they are not the problem. My temp has been set to ~78 degrees since I first set it up. I understand you all probably understand this fish keeping business a heck of a lot better than me, so I was hoping for maybe some piece of mind (or maybe a stern warning to get all new decorations :( ). Why is this happening, and should I consider this to not just be the average bacterial bloom? I did stick my hands in the water a lot to situate the decor, and they were not necessarily clean. Thanks y'all.
     
  2. Kritastrophe

    Kritastrophe Fish Fanatic

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    Could be a bacteria bloom but I’m wondering what you mean by your decor falling apart? Plastic can melt and break down if boiled. Most aquarium safe rated faux decor you purchase should be rinsed in tank water before adding to your aquarium. What kind of substrate are you using?
     
  3. Sylvan

    Sylvan Fish Fanatic

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    I had this problem as I set up my 110 litre tank. My initial problem was the substrate leeching colour into the water, I had reddish clay type substrate so you can imagine how that looked. I sorted that by several big water changes then I got this milky like water like you have. I did some reading and it seems it's a bacterial bloom. Eventually it does disappear. I did a couple more water changes and waited relatively patiently and the cloudiness went after a couple of weeks.
     
  4. Quadda

    Quadda New Member

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    I am using Snowy RIver gravel from Petco. I did not wash it off, having been scared of messing it after boiling my stuff and it all being deformed. I fixed it, but no I did not run it through water. What should I do? Complete water changes? This cloudy water has been persistent for a couple of days now.
     
  5. Jan Cavalieri

    Jan Cavalieri Fish Crazy
    Pet of the Month Winner!

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    Ideally you would remove most of the gravel and rinse it off in the sink about 4 times. I use Seachem Dark Substrate and it's super dusty and would clould the tank white if I didn't rinse it multiple times. It is hard boring work. You'll need a bucket to hold the gravel and a colander to rinse it - then after it's good and rinsed - take it back to the tank and pour it in. Your going to lose your cycling I'm afraid, but to get rid of all the dust in gravel would take forever with water changes - so this really would be faster.

    Also drain the water out of the tank - it's too full of dust to use.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Byron

    Byron Member

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    First, there is no need to boil any decor. If the decor is aquarium safe, meaning it is sold specifically to put in an aquarium, all it needs is rinsing under the tap. Warm water, with or without a brush if you like, but nothing more.

    Any decor that is falling apart, or has fallen apart, should not be put in an aquarium. Once it falls apart, it may well leech who knows what substances. Do not use it. After removing all of it, drain the tank completely. Remove the gravel and wash it thoroughly, the idea here is to remove any residue from the decor, then add some fresh tap water. Do not use the decor.

    As for the cloudiness, that is normal in new tanks. It could be due to a bacterial bloom (especially since you also added bottled bacterial supplement) or microscopic sediment from the substrate, or both. Water changes should deal with the latter, and once it settles as well, and sometimes help with the bacterial bloom but sometimes not to ride this out.
     
  7. Quadda

    Quadda New Member

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    I have a few questions. First, do I really need to throw away all of the decor? It cost a lot. Secondly, it has been sitting for a few days as cloudy as can be. How long until it should be done? Thanks.
     
  8. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I do not know exactly what this decor was/is, but I would never risk fish by using anything that broke/fell apart when boiled. Once you open the substance there is no telling what might leech out over time.

    Cloudy water due to a bacterial bloom can last a few hours, a few days, a few weeks. If it is due to organics it can last months. If due to sediment from the gravel, it will settle out in a few days, or should.

    Cloudy water caused by sediment or a bacterial bloom is not in itself an issue for fish. But having said that, it could be due to something that is...if for example this had anything to due with the decor falling apart.
     

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