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Water Colour Is Gross

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Mostly New Member
Mar 22, 2016
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Hey all! :D
So for a while now my tank has been an odd colour. If i could describe it, it would be a greeny-yellow-blue XD Its honestly more on the yellow side, but sometimes looks a little blueish green. It has been like this since I had a massive ammonia spike a month or two ago. The water is very clear, just stained in colour. I had a phos-elim in the filter to remove the excess phosphates that were in there (it was at 10ppm :l) and I typically do 20-30% water changes every week, with the odd gravel vac every now and then. Its a 200l aquarium with about 14 small to medium fish in it. The filter i use is an Eheim Classic 350, so its more than capable of handling the bioload. The water just won't clear up :/ I should probably also mention that i have 3 pieces of Malaysian driftwood in there, but i soaked them for about 3 months, and made sure the water was clear before they went in. So its possible its tannins, but I just want your opinions on it...
Heres a photo of what it looks like :/
And I doubt its an algae bloom, as I suspected this a while ago and had the lights off for 2 weeks straight and only fed the fish every second day, AND put the phos-elim pad in the filter. Made 0 difference... All my fish are healthy, active and coloured up nicely, and I haven't had any deaths or disease in the 6+ months the tank has been running, so I also doubt its a waste issue... But I'm not even close to being an expert on fish, so if anyone can help me, that'd be sweet! 


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Sorry to say that tank is too small for a Clown Loaches  and they should be kept in groups of 5 or more.
On the water colour, my first thought is that it may be due to the colour of the wall behind the tank.  Both photos only show the tank, not any of the wall itself except through the tank, so this may or may not be the case, but surrounding colours will be "picked up" by water in an aquarium.  In any event, I would suggest a background on the tank, and the best for this is plain dull black.  I use black construction paper that you buy in the arts and craft type stores.  Not with a shiny finish, just very flat/dull black.  If is good to have a background on an aquarium for your viewing and for the fish.  Photo/picture backgrounds may look nice on their own, but behind an aquarium they usually are anything but complimentary, so go with plain black.  I have tried other colours like dark brown, but black is best.
If you remove say a glass of water from the tank, when viewed in a clear glass or jar, against a white background in ordinary natural daylight (no sunlight, no artificial lighting), does it still have a tint?  If yes, we can consider further.
Nick is correct on the clown loaches, and I see some other potentially large fish; the Bala Shark can easily get as large, up to 16 inches.  You will very soon need a very large tank, over 6 feet in length, for the loaches and shark.
I didn't ask for your opinion on the fish in my tank, that is completely beside the point. However, I understand and appreciate why you're asking. I guess I should explain how I got these fish in the first place. But first, I'll have you know that I AM currently in the process of selling the sharks, and will be selling the 3 clown loaches once they start to get too big for the tank. (I had a guy try to swap a koi for my sharks on gumtree hahaha! some people, I swear! XD) I bought this tank second hand, and thus the fish with it. It was a little sad actually, as there was only one clown loach when I bought it. He was so shy, and never wanted to come out. Since I got the other two (both from people who had tanks too small for them, one from a fighting fish tank!!), Silvio has really picked up, and is now a happy, confident little loach with two buddies :)  I am well aware of how big each fish will get, as I have done research on all of them. If anyone is to blame for ignorance, it's the guy who originally bought the fish before me. Seriously, putting a Fire mouth with Kribs and a Gudgeon! :/ I appreciate that you're concerned about the fish's welfare, but just know they are in the hands of someone who understands their needs. :) I work with fish everyday, it is currently my job to run the fish section in a store and make sure people get the right information about each fish I sell, and the requirements they have. If they don't understand, I won't sell the fish to them. You wouldn't believe the amount of idiots who still think its ok to put a goldfish in a bowl, or a 16 litre tank!! 
 Makes me so mad! So yes, I am someone who thinks its very cruel to keep large fish in a small tank. 
Yeah I will definitely be getting a background, as i plan to convert this tank into a planted aquarium eventually :) And the second photo i posted actually has part of the wall in the photo, you'll need to look a little closer. Its above the tank itself. The walls are as white as you can get haha. I'll upload another photo though, showing the comparison between wall and water :)  
Although I am new to the hobby, I know a reasonable amount about basic care and requirements for each species of fish, so I'm not a huge novice. I just need a little guidance every now and again when something stumps me :p 
Thanks for the help Byron! :D

The water isn't THIS bad irl, the camera has exaggerated it a little. Its more a greenish-yellow rather than straight green colour. But there you go... Not a nice colour at all. Lighting is only on for about 8 hours a day, and fish are fed once a day, so I wouldn't have thought it was an algae bloom... 


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With that cleared up, the next question is, what is the tank lighting?  And is it on in the photos, or is this just in ambient daylight?  Have you compared a clear glass/jar of tank water beside a similar jar of tap water?  May sound silly, but it is not; tap water is not always crystal clear.  Well water can be another possible too.
You've explained the circumstances surrounding the fish.  Understand that when I or other members read a post, we've usually nothing except what is in that post to go on, and seeing serious issues I feel obligated to point them out.  I've no idea what the member may or may not know, or what the plans may be.
You're not in an emergency yet, and the fish have time to grow a bit in this tank.  But this should be shorter rather than longer.  Fish continue to develop both internally and externally, and these developments can be at different rates depending upon conditions, and that is where things get troublesome for the fish.
It may also be the actual tank glass, as cheaper glass has a greenish cast.
I understand Byron :) I didn't mean that post to sound snappy, I actually appreciate the fact that you took the time out of your day to tell me that :) 
Now, as for the water itself, I haven't actually tried that yet. Ill have to do it tomorrow in the sunlight and see what I find :) And yes the tank lighting is on in those photos. Its an LED white light, with a blue option. It's not the best honestly, and I'll need a different lighting system for a planted tank, but for now it seems to be ok. 
And no need to worry about not being able to shift the loaches, I've already had 3 people ask if they can buy them! :O Unfortunately the people asking only had 4ft tanks too, so naturally I refused. They've got to go to the right home. I'm quite attached to my loaches, so I want the best for them :) 
And unfortunately Tunagirll, I know its not the tank glass' colour, as when i first started the tank up, the water was clear as a bell when you looked through the sides of the tank :/ Hence why I felt I needed to try to nip whatever this is in the bud before something happens! :/
Thanks again for the help guys, really appreciate it! :)
When comparing colours for anything such as the glasses of water here, or tests for pH, nitrate, etc, never use direct sunlight or artificial light.  Use daylight, but not in direct sunlight.  Believe it or not, direct sunlight can alter the colours reflected back that we see, as can artificial light depending upon what it is comprised of (the wavelengths).  Bright daylight out of direct sun is the best for more accurate colour rendition.
The tank lighting may be the issue, or part of it.  LED lighting is so varied.  Except for the high end units, the light produced tends to be anything but true white.  It may also be that there are high organics in the tap water (these cannot be seen) and in the tank with the lighting unicellular algae is increasing to make use of the organics.
Yeah I can't say the lighting is fantastic... Its 37 watt and isn't super bright. Its very possible there are high organics in my tap water, as my phosphate levels tend to be quite high... 
And I did the water glass test, and both glasses of water looked identical. But I know I'm not crazy, there is a yellowy-blue-green tint to the water! D: Ive taken 2 photos of the tank without the lighting on, and not in direct sunlight, only with natural light streaming in. It still looks like someone dunked a tea bag in the tank... 
I'll figure it out eventually, I just hope its nothing serious :( 


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And I did the water glass test, and both glasses of water looked identical
Heres an idea.
Do the same thing with your next door neighbors water, and maybe try a tap say 1 kilometer away, It could be something in the pipes.
The fact that the water from the tank in the glass was as clear/colourless as the tap water in the second glass would suggest that there is nothing wrong with the water itself, assuming both glasses were clear; if both were tinted then obviously the tap water is the issue.
So that means it is the light or reflected hue from something, but not a problem with the tank water.
First thing I'd do is add some sort of a background to the tank, and that will cut off some of the issue.  A nice dark color background will just about eliminate what you are seeing.
I think I may have figured it out. The other day, my sister came around to have a bath, and we noticed that the bath water looked like it had a slight blue tint to it. Ive just done a 30% water change today, and after adding the new water, the tank looks blueish. I'm going to bet its my tap water... But I don't understand HOW it is slightly blue, because this house is brand-spanking new, with plastic piping, not copper... 
Also yesterday I had a power-outage (argh!!), and luckily i was home to help the fishies, so i got a white ceramic bowl to scoop up and pour the tank water for oxygenation (I later got a bucket full of oxygenated water to use), and i noticed the water looked slightly blueish in the bowl. Its gotta be the tap water, right? Nothing else really causes blue tinted water that I know of... 
And yes, background is definitely going to happen. So excited to add that! :D Thanks again for all the input guys! :)
Yup... sounds like its your tap.  Not sure why but remember the water coming to your house could be coming a long way through the old piping system before it ever reaches the 'new pipes'.  
Also, PVC pipes are glued together with a 'purplish' glue.  Not sure if that could leach out or not, but its possible.
eaglesaquarium said:
Yup... sounds like its your tap.  Not sure why but remember the water coming to your house could be coming a long way through the old piping system before it ever reaches the 'new pipes'.  
Also, PVC pipes are glued together with a 'purplish' glue.  Not sure if that could leach out or not, but its possible.
Im guessing it is my tap water. It still doesn't explain the yellow tint I get a few days later though, unless some weird reaction is going on in there that I'm unaware of XD 
Also I tested my water yesterday, and the results were pretty damn good, if I do say so myself. They are: 
PH: 7.2
GH: 170ppm 
Phosphate: 5-10ppm
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
The GH could come down a little, but apart from that, everything looked pretty normal to me. So how should I go about fixing this tap water issue? Is there any way to purify it and get rid of the blue tint? I guess I'd have to know what was causing the tint, but even then, would something like activated carbon do anything? Thank you again everyone for all your help :D

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