Water Cloudiness???

MyztixSoundZ

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Okay so I've had this tank set up for abotu 4 months now, been cycled a long time ago, and I've added a few shrimps, 2 AFD's, and a male betta. Only recently (about last two weeks) this cloudiness has started happening to the tank, either a few hours after I feed the guys inside or the lights get turned on. I've checked the parameters and they seem to be where they should be and while the ammonia is usually 0 (even with past tests), this time they seemed kinda high I think (.50). The cloudiness sticks around for a few hours and then promptly disappears.

This tank is in the process of becoming a blackwater (Southeast Asian) biotope and has a good chunk of botanicals that have been in there for a month or so just vibing and doing its thing but, I haven't gotten around to finishing up the scape because this keeps coming up and I don't want to make things worse. I've been keeping a close eye on everyone when this happens but, they all seem to be doing just fine and not stressing out. I was considering on getting more shirmps to help with the bioload (which I was planning on doing anyways) and eliminate the problem but, I don't want them just dying when this comes up again cause I know how sensitive they can be to swings like this.

The first picture is the tanks average everyday look, the second is the cloudiness issue. the third and fourth are the water parameters and the ammonia test.
 

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utahfish

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Ammonia spikes are no good and can be caused when beneficial bacteria die.
What kind of de chlorinator are you using or any other added chemicals.
What kind of filter do you have and how do you clean it?
 
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MyztixSoundZ

MyztixSoundZ

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API Stress Coat declorinator, and API Stress Zyme. And I use Leaf Guard, Flourish, and Flourish Exel for the plants.
The filters I have are two of the bettaflowfilters, and as far as cleaning goes, I swish them around in the water that I've taken out so I don't lose any beneficail bacteria.
 

utahfish

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API Stress Coat declorinator, and API Stress Zyme. And I use Leaf Guard, Flourish, and Flourish Exel for the plants.
The filters I have are two of the bettaflowfilters, and as far as cleaning goes, I swish them around in the water that I've taken out so I don't lose any beneficail bacteria.
Get rid of the excel, excel has a chemical in it that is used in embalming and for sterilizing medical equipment. It is harmful to fish and even more so to your frogs as the directly absorb it through skin. This chemical will also kill your beneficial bacteria which leads to ammonia spikes.
Do a more than 50% water change, and rinse of filter media in bucket of water not tap water as the tap water will kill beneficial bacteria as majority of beneficial bacteria is on filter media.
May take a few days or a week for the beneficial bacteria colony to reestablish.
Also check filter and and tank for any dead rotting things. A lot of time filter tubes and what not can be clogged with decaying junk which will produce ammonia or nitrates so make sure those are clean.
Your bioload is pretty low so my first guess would be the excel is killing the beneficial bacteria rather than your fish are producing too much ammonia for the bacteria to break down.
 

utahfish

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API Stress Coat declorinator, and API Stress Zyme. And I use Leaf Guard, Flourish, and Flourish Exel for the plants.
The filters I have are two of the bettaflowfilters, and as far as cleaning goes, I swish them around in the water that I've taken out so I don't lose any beneficail bacteria.
Also stress zyme doesnt need to be used when a tank is cycled. It contains live bacteria and when a tank already has a live colony of beneficial bacteria the added bacteria doesnt have anything to feed on so will starve and die, which could also contribute to cloudiness. Id suggest stop using the zyme as well.
 
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MyztixSoundZ

MyztixSoundZ

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Okay I'll stop using those for now and do another water change and see if that helps. I did move the betta and one of the frogs to another tank to chill for a bit. Do you have any idea as to why this is only starting to happen now as opposed to a month or two ago?
 

utahfish

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Okay I'll stop using those for now and do another water change and see if that helps. I did move the betta and one of the frogs to another tank to chill for a bit. Do you have any idea as to why this is only starting to happen now as opposed to a month or two ago?
Not sure. My only guess would be mass beneficial bacteria die off from the accumulation of excel and zyme in the water. Sorry thats all i got:)
 
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MyztixSoundZ

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Okie dokie. Would it be safe/okay to just go ahead and put in the new driftwood and plants or wait till things clear up?
 

Byron

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As utahfish has basically hinted at if not said directly...this is what can occur when too many additives are dumped in an aquarium. Fish stores will sell us "x" and "y" to solve this or that, or because we "need" it for a healthy tank, or whatever other nonsense. The less additives the better; use what is essential for fish and plant health, and no more.

Excel, utahfish covered, dump it out in the yard (not down the drain). StressZyme is undoubtedly part of this cloudiness, as such haze is bacteria multiplying. StressCoat contains aloe vera, and this is now known to damage fish gills over time. LeafGuard is a fertilizer but not a complete one, and with Flourish Comprehensive Supplement you do not need others, as FC contains all necessary nutrients. Use it sparingly.

For a good conditioner, there is none better than API's Tap Water Conditioner. It is highly concentrated so you use less than any other product on the market and that means less chemical stuff getting into fish.

Do a major water change, 70-80% of the tank volume at one go, use fresh tap water with the conditioner (as you have it now, use the StressCoat, but I do recommend changing to the API; a small bottle will last months). Add the Flourish Comprehensive Supplement on the day following the water change, at the one dose indicated on the label. Nothing else.
 

utahfish

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As utahfish has basically hinted at if not said directly...this is what can occur when too many additives are dumped in an aquarium. Fish stores will sell us "x" and "y" to solve this or that, or because we "need" it for a healthy tank, or whatever other nonsense. The less additives the better; use what is essential for fish and plant health, and no more.

Excel, utahfish covered, dump it out in the yard (not down the drain). StressZyme is undoubtedly part of this cloudiness, as such haze is bacteria multiplying. StressCoat contains aloe vera, and this is now known to damage fish gills over time. LeafGuard is a fertilizer but not a complete one, and with Flourish Comprehensive Supplement you do not need others, as FC contains all necessary nutrients. Use it sparingly.

For a good conditioner, there is none better than API's Tap Water Conditioner. It is highly concentrated so you use less than any other product on the market and that means less chemical stuff getting into fish.

Do a major water change, 70-80% of the tank volume at one go, use fresh tap water with the conditioner (as you have it now, use the StressCoat, but I do recommend changing to the API; a small bottle will last months). Add the Flourish Comprehensive Supplement on the day following the water change, at the one dose indicated on the label. Nothing else.
Byron, good stuff. I was waiting for you to reply as i figured, byron will know this stuff and i was interested in what else you would add. Excellent advice as always!
 

Byron

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Something of a general nature I forgot to add in my previous post but intended to. An aquarium is an artificial ecosystem, true, but everything that occurs within the aquarium follows set laws of nature, be they chemistry or biology. That means that as soon as the aquarist adds "x" to the water, he/she is immediately injecting a foreign substance that can sometimes have very serious consequences because of a chain reaction. A microbiologist/marine biologist friend explained this to me a few years back, and it was a good lesson learned. Never add any substance, medication, additive, etc unless it is essential for the fish's health/survival, or the plants' benefit. And then always use the product sparingly.
 

Retired Viking

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I agree with @Byron and @utahfish , I add very little if any chemicals to my tanks besides dechlorinator, if you did loose your good bacteria I would suggest adding some Tetra SafeStart Plus. This is the good bacteria your tank may be short of. It will replace the bacteria that was killed off.
 
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MyztixSoundZ

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@utahfish @Byron @Retired Viking
Thank you three for the help and advice. The other supplements have been canned and when I did an ~85% water change, I found some botannical pods that were heavily decomposing so, those most definitely exacerbated the problem. The water did clear up a bit last night but has since gotten backto being milky again. I'll do another water change in a few days and see where everything is at.
 

Byron

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@utahfish @Byron @Retired Viking
Thank you three for the help and advice. The other supplements have been canned and when I did an ~85% water change, I found some botannical pods that were heavily decomposing so, those most definitely exacerbated the problem. The water did clear up a bit last night but has since gotten backto being milky again. I'll do another water change in a few days and see where everything is at.
This is likely a bacterial bloom of some sort, and it can take time to clear. Water changes may not clear this much, so while water changes can never really hurt and will always have some benefit, here you might not see much clearing. This is because a bacterial bloom involves decomposition bacteria in the water that can rapidly reproduce (roughly every 20 minutes) if organics are present, and not only do these occur within the tank, but tap water can be loaded with dissolved organics, especially in warmer weather. So be patient. Having cleaned up the water, getting it clear may take a few days. But it is not detrimental to fish.
 

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