Aquarium Setup • cloudy water african cichlid tank

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cloudy water african cichlid tank

Postby icewind » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:50 am

Could someone please give some possible reasons why the water in my 75G african cichlid peacock tank has been cloudy the past week!! The glass is clean, I do 2x weekly 20% water changes, we have well water and the PH is naturally right at 8, no nitrates or nitrites, the amonia between 0 and .25, all stays stable. Temp in the tank is between 78-79. I have about 12 peacocks, 3 yellow labs, and 3 clown loaches ( which are doing very well and seem happy) and a couple of pleco bushy nose. We have a 405 fluval filter, sponges get rinsed out in the tank water,replaced every couple months. Carbon, same thing as with the sponges. I have two other tanks, a 55g and 30g, that are on the same maintainence schedule and they are both beautifully clear, just not sure what Im doing different with this one!! All the water test within the safe zones. How often do you reccommend taking the rocks out and doing a good vacume under the rocks? Any suggestions will be very appreciated, so thanks in advance for the support and advise!!
icewind
 
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:37 pm
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Postby prov356 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:36 am

the amonia between 0 and .25


You shouldn't be getting any ammonia reading.

How often do you reccommend taking the rocks out and doing a good vacume under the rocks?


That's exactly what I was going to suggest. You probably have a heavy organic load. It's either coming directly from the fish (overstocked or overfed tank?) or a combo of fish and what's hidden in the substrate and/or filter. One caution. you don't necessarily want to get in there and try to resolve all of this at once. Take out some of the rocks and vacuum well. Do a section at a time and spread this over a few cleanings. I'm assuming you have sand. How deep is the sand depth? Don't use any more than they really need or it can become a detritus trap. Stir the sand after vacuuming whatever you find under the rocks. You may see large bubbles coming up from the sand. That's a sign that you have decaying organics within the sand. I, at times, will even siphon out all of the sand (easier than it sounds) and rinse and replace it. Rinse it same as you did before first adding it. It's not as horrible of a job as it sounds and will clear up water really well. When I do this I do the entire tank at once. You can do this also, but don't combine it with a filter cleaning. You'll end up also doing a major water chnage and that''s a good thing. Test your water parameters after because there's always the risk that you'll release nitrite into the water if denitrification has been taking place in the sand. This can happen in an oxygen depleted area such as what can occur in a deep sand bed.

sponges get rinsed out in the tank water,replaced every couple months


Not sure why you're replacing sponges, just rinse and keep them. You may be removing good bacteria, but depends on the other media. What other types of media are in the filter besides the carbon. You can stop using carbon, btw. Tossing the sponges may actually be the entire source of your problem. Hard to say without more info.

You might also want to consider a second filter at some point. It's mostlly a matter of redundancy, but you can then stagger cleanings and not lose too much good bacteria. Sometimes you can get away with one filter at first, but as the fish grow and the filter slows down, you may find one filter alone just gets by.

Any power heads, or other equipment in use?

Do you have full tank pic or video you can post?
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Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 8:09 am
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Postby kajunfish » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:08 am

Ditto! Had the same problem in one of my tanks. There where so much organics in my subtraite that when I turned off the pumps and filters and looked really close you could see what looked like smoke rising from the bottom of the tank. I did something a little extreme to fix it. Filled a new 25 gallon trash can with the tank water. Put the rocks and decorations and the fish in the trash can with small extra filter I had. Then I stirred up the gravel. Could not believe how bad it was. Drained that water out the tank. Then I put everything in the trash can back and filled it up. It worked. Since I've got a better vac and I started vacuuming under the rocks.
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Postby icewind » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:12 am

Thank you for all the feedback,it is giving me ideas of what may be the problem. I only throw out one or two of the sponges after a few months, until they are falling apart, but other than that I just rinse out the sponges in tank water to clean them, I also have those cylinder rocks with holes in them for the biologica stage of filtration, and I never clean or replace then at the same time. I do have a power head in there, and the sand is about 2" deep, to give the rocks some support, I vacume that everytime I do water change, 2x week. I have wondered if a fish has died and I just cant see it, but was worried to disrupt the tank again, so may take the advise of doing just a few at first and clean under them. I thought the .25 and under was pretty good for amonia, so now I know its not I will work on correcting that somehow! I have a video posted on the aquarium and photography site of the forum under the 75 g cichlid tank. Since then I have added a few more fish bringing up the total to
11 Peacocks
3 yellow labs
4 bushynose
3 clown loaches

Today someone at the pet store told me it was probably an algea bloom and not to do so many water changes, so not sure now what to think about that! Any more thought or suggestions will be much appreciated!!
icewind
 
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:37 pm
Location: alaska

Postby prov356 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:31 am

I only throw out one or two of the sponges after a few months, until they are falling apart, but other than that I just rinse out the sponges in tank water to clean them


Begs the question, why are your sponges falling apart after only a few months. They should last for years.

the sand is about 2" deep, to give the rocks some support


Sand won't support rocks. I'd take that down to an inch or less.

I have wondered if a fish has died and I just cant see it


In a well filtered tank, that shouldn't cause an ammonia level.

Today someone at the pet store told me it was probably an algea bloom and not to do so many water changes, so not sure now what to think about that!


Is the haze green? If not, it's not an algae bloom. The elevated ammonia level it telling.
prov356
 
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 8:09 am
Location: North Royalton, Ohio

cloudy water

Postby icewind » Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:18 am

Thank you all for the helpful advise, I have learned so much through this forum!! I am staying with the twice weekly water changes, I didnt think the advise that the pet store gave me was very good, but I am still learning so I look for advise where I can! Still not sure why my amonia level was higher than it should be, the strips say it was in the safe zone, but the API kit said between 0 and .25, and since you say that is too high I am trying to find ways to reduce it. It is very possible I am overfeeding and will try to change that, they are such good beggers and Im a push over! I did vacume under all the rocks and did about a 40% water change, so will see if that helps, in the mean time thanks again for all the help!
icewind
 
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:37 pm
Location: alaska

Postby icewind » Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:21 am

P.S in regards to the sponges looking like they are falling apart after a couple mos. Im sure that is just my inexperience showing there and since this is the first canister filter I've owned, it probably is fine, I just thought they looked really bad, so I will not change them any more, just rinse them in tank water!
icewind
 
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:37 pm
Location: alaska

Postby cantrell00 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:41 am

Just jumping in here about the Amm reading....

Anytime I check ammonia, I am always seeing something between 0 ~ .25. I think this has more to do with the color of the card relative to the sample more than anything. My bet is that Amm is 0 but just "looks" like .25 on the card...

My 180 has been set up for almost 4 months & the Amm. still looks like .25 & I know it isn't... Can't be.

Just an FYI
It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.
Thomas Jefferson
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Postby prov356 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:12 pm

Depends on the kit, but API's test has always been a no doubter to me. If it's not bright yellow, it's not 0. Try testing a known source such as bottled spring water to see if there's a difference.
prov356
 
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 8:09 am
Location: North Royalton, Ohio

Postby icewind » Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:14 pm

Great idea to test the bottled water against the aquarium water and the results are identical! I just have a hard time detecting the difference of the color chart, but unless the bottled water has ammonia in it I think Im good to go!! Thanks for that idea! By the way, it is looking alot better after taking the rocks out and vacuming under them, I took your advise on not trying to do it all at one time, at the next water change I will do more, but its already looking alot better! Thanks again =D>
icewind
 
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:37 pm
Location: alaska

Postby icewind » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:40 pm

Well dont know if this could have anything to do with cloudy water, but just a few days ago got home and found my tank to be full of ich!! I had some yellow labs in QT for 3 weeks as , but obviously they carried it to the 75g. Needless to say Im devestated as I've always tried to be sooo careful. So far I have lost 2 clown loaches, 1 pleco and 1 peacock. I started with the salt and higher temp. tx as Robin from the forum for sick fish recommends, and am on the 3 day of tx. So far they are all hanging in there, hope not to lose anymore.
So Im wondering if the cloudy water could have been a red flag? From now on how should I know when its safe to take fish from QT? Thanks for the help!
icewind
 
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:37 pm
Location: alaska


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