Illness, Health & Nutrition • Cloudy Water

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Cloudy Water

Postby mambee » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:30 pm

I posted this issue once before under Equipment & Supplies when I was contemplating adding a U/V system.

I have a 150 gallon tank that has been setup 10 years with the following stocking:
1 Uaru
4 Geophagus Surinamensis types
2 Severums
4 Silver Dollars
1 Angelfish
2 Striped Raphael Catfish

The problem is that my water has gotten very murky.

I have 2 canisters running: Eheim 2080 and Eheim 2028. The lighting is low power Beamworks LEDs. I perform 40% water changes every week.

The water used to get cloudy after the water changes and then clear up over the next several days. Now it is so murky that I can barely see the fish when they are in the back.

Am I causing mini-cycles by the large water changes and should I try skipping a week to see if it helps or should I do more water changes until the water clears?

Otherwise the water quality must be fine because my Severums are going through the motions of spawning.

Mike
150 Gallon:
Uaru, Geophagus, Turquoise Severum, Angelfish, Silver Dollars
90 Gallon:
Bolivian Rams, Angelfish, Rummynoses, Corys, Dwarf Loaches, Badis Badis
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Location: Hartsdale, NY

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Postby 13razorbackfan » Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:03 pm

Could be many things..doing large water changes won't cause mini cycles because the nitrifying bacteria needed for ammonia conversion are not in your water column. You say you just switched lights? Were you having issues before you changed lights? If not what were you using before? You may have algae die off or algae bloom depending on what you were using and what you went to.

Also....could be heterotrophic bacteria bloom....when was the last time you did a very thorough gravel vacuuming and cleaning of your filters?

One thing you could do...clean filters in old tank water....good gravel vacuum.....and large water change.....75% or around there and then try not feeding for a couple of days and see what happens.
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Postby mambee » Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:22 pm

I had twin bulb flourescents before and had the problem then.

My substrate is 3M ColorQuartz and my Geos are constantly turning it over. I don't have to vacuum it because the filters don't let anything settle.

I cleaned my 2080 2 weeks ago and used aquarium water to rinse the media.
150 Gallon:
Uaru, Geophagus, Turquoise Severum, Angelfish, Silver Dollars
90 Gallon:
Bolivian Rams, Angelfish, Rummynoses, Corys, Dwarf Loaches, Badis Badis
mambee
 
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2003 9:54 pm
Location: Hartsdale, NY

Postby 13razorbackfan » Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:25 pm

mambee wrote:I had twin bulb flourescents before and had the problem then.

My substrate is 3M ColorQuartz and my Geos are constantly turning it over. I don't have to vacuum it because the filters don't let anything settle.

I cleaned my 2080 2 weeks ago and used aquarium water to rinse the media.
Have you changed your food or increased feedings? Anything else you can think of? When was the last time you replaced your filter pads or whatever you use for filter media? Maybe it is worn down? Just spit balling here.
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Postby mambee » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:02 pm

I haven't changed anything. The only strange thing that I have noticed is that the waste in the canisterf filter is white instead of black organic matter.
150 Gallon:
Uaru, Geophagus, Turquoise Severum, Angelfish, Silver Dollars
90 Gallon:
Bolivian Rams, Angelfish, Rummynoses, Corys, Dwarf Loaches, Badis Badis
mambee
 
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2003 9:54 pm
Location: Hartsdale, NY

Postby 13razorbackfan » Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:27 pm

mambee wrote:I haven't changed anything. The only strange thing that I have noticed is that the waste in the canisterf filter is white instead of black organic matter.
Have you tried new filter media to see if that makes a difference?
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Postby mambee » Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:23 pm

The big Eheim is only 2 years old.
150 Gallon:
Uaru, Geophagus, Turquoise Severum, Angelfish, Silver Dollars
90 Gallon:
Bolivian Rams, Angelfish, Rummynoses, Corys, Dwarf Loaches, Badis Badis
mambee
 
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2003 9:54 pm
Location: Hartsdale, NY

Postby 13razorbackfan » Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:35 pm

mambee wrote:The big Eheim is only 2 years old.
Like I mentioned earlier...I am just throwing out suggestions. I don't know for sure what is going on. I would just try and narrow it down one thing at a time. When you clean your eheim canisters do they look as though they are still trapping all your debris/waste? The eheim 2080 is rated for 425(?)gph and the 2028 is 250gph? Are you positive you have enough filtration and that you are not getting a buildup of organics causing either a heterotrophic or algae bloom?

What size are your fish? How deep is your substrate? Even though your fish dig through it you might have some build up of organics. A heterotrophic bloom should be only temporary especially if you are not doing major water changes frequently. So it should have cleared up fairly quickly. If it is staying cloudy for extended periods of time you may be suffering from not enough filtration depending on the size of your fish load. That is why I ask their size.

Has me a bit puzzled seeing how nothing has really changed and it has been set up for 10 years. Just trying to help you narrow it down some.
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Location: Arkansas

Postby DanniGirl » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:12 am

13razorbackfan wrote:
What size are your fish? How deep is your substrate? Even though your fish dig through it you might have some build up of organics. A heterotrophic bloom should be only temporary especially if you are not doing major water changes frequently. So it should have cleared up fairly quickly. If it is staying cloudy for extended periods of time you may be suffering from not enough filtration depending on the size of your fish load. That is why I ask their size.


I think 13razorbackfan is on the right track. Try a thorough tank cleaning. Remove all the rocks and thoroughly vacuum the substrate and see if the water clears.
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Postby 702Cichlid » Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:15 am

As an aside, fish that are constantly turning over sand can bury feces pretty easily keeping them from getting into the filter. I concur with 13razorbackfan and DanniGirl that giving the sand a really thorough cleaning is probably a good idea.

You could try reducing the amount of food you're giving for a while and see if that has any effect on the cloudiness.

I'd also probably test your water. It's better to know your parameters are good (or bad) than to simply guess using fish behavior as your only empirical data.
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Location: Las Vegas

Postby mambee » Sat Mar 17, 2012 6:32 am

The only thing that has really changed over the years is that I have less fish but they are much larger. The Uaru is abou 10" and the Geos are 6". I used to have 2 Eheim 2028s but upgraded 1 to a 2080 because the water was never crystal clear, but it wasn't cloudy.

I also added some new driftwood, which is probably part of the problem. The sand is white and definitely not dirty. It is about 4" deep along the perimeter because of all the digging.

I'll have to test the water.
150 Gallon:
Uaru, Geophagus, Turquoise Severum, Angelfish, Silver Dollars
90 Gallon:
Bolivian Rams, Angelfish, Rummynoses, Corys, Dwarf Loaches, Badis Badis
mambee
 
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2003 9:54 pm
Location: Hartsdale, NY

Postby 13razorbackfan » Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:42 pm

mambee wrote:The only thing that has really changed over the years is that I have less fish but they are much larger. The Uaru is abou 10" and the Geos are 6". I used to have 2 Eheim 2028s but upgraded 1 to a 2080 because the water was never crystal clear, but it wasn't cloudy.

I also added some new driftwood, which is probably part of the problem. The sand is white and definitely not dirty. It is about 4" deep along the perimeter because of all the digging.

I'll have to test the water.
Yep....driftwood could very well be causing part of the problem.
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Postby tin man » Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:37 pm

Drift wood is lickly the cause where did you get it? If you brought it in directly from a lake river or pond without cleanning it with beach you most likely have an algi bloom.

If it is oak walnut hickory or red ceader it may be tanis.

The white debree in the filter sounds like bacteria od dead algi.

I would remove the drift wood and see if it clears up, do a few water changes and give it time.
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Postby mambee » Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:43 pm

The wood is mopani but the white cloudy water problem predates the addition of the wood. I did 3 days of 40 percent water changes and the tank looks a bit better. As I stated previously, the water was always cloudy after water changes but would clear up. This doesn't happen anymore. Someone once before mentioned phosphates being a problem. I don't have this problem with my 90 gallon as the water is nice and clear. This tank is heavily planted.
150 Gallon:
Uaru, Geophagus, Turquoise Severum, Angelfish, Silver Dollars
90 Gallon:
Bolivian Rams, Angelfish, Rummynoses, Corys, Dwarf Loaches, Badis Badis
mambee
 
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2003 9:54 pm
Location: Hartsdale, NY

Postby 13razorbackfan » Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:09 pm

mambee wrote:The wood is mopani but the white cloudy water problem predates the addition of the wood. I did 3 days of 40 percent water changes and the tank looks a bit better. As I stated previously, the water was always cloudy after water changes but would clear up. This doesn't happen anymore. Someone once before mentioned phosphates being a problem. I don't have this problem with my 90 gallon as the water is nice and clear. This tank is heavily planted.
Yes....the heavily planted tank will absorb the nitrates and phosphates.
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