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Cloudy water!! Need help!

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:19 am
by Kennethannen
Hey guys and gals,

I need some help with my tank. I seem to have cloudy and merky water in the aquarium. I never use to have this problem but now it seems to be an every day occurrence. I have some photos to help with questions that will come, for example I'll post a link of what the aquarium looks like from front and side. Also, a picture of the water test I just had done. (Photos)

Info about tank, I've had for 2 years and all of the fish have been in it from the beginning. The decorations along with the gravel as well have been from the very start. Only significant change to this aquarium was the filter. I had a fluval c3, 5 stage power filter but just changed in the last couple days to the pen plax cascade 1000 canister filter. I was hoping the new filter would help with the water clarity but no real change other than the smell has greatly diminished. My tank is about 30-40 gallons and the pump moves 200+ gallons an hour.

I have done weekly and daily water changes with water conditioner and start up bacteria with every change. I change approximately 20-30% of the water. Except once a month I will do just over 50%. Gravel cleaning weekly.

When I get close to tank I can see what looks like white particles floating in the current or like milky water flowing. In need help and any advice is welcome. Experience or beginner, all advice welcome. I appreciate the help. Take care!! Keep calm and cichlid on!!

Re: Cloudy water!! Need help!

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:10 am
by DJRansome
Can't see the pictures, but milky water sounds like a bacteria bloom. What is your test result for ammonia? Why do you add bacteria with every change?

Re: Cloudy water!! Need help!

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:55 pm
by Deeda
I can see his pics and the test results are as follows: .25 Ammonia, .5 Nitrite, 40 Nitrate, 7.2 pH, 75 Total hardness, 120 Total alkalinity. The fish stock looks like a +6" Jack Dempsey, at least 3 more 4 inch cichlids and an 8" pleco.

I think part of the problem is insufficient water changes to reduce the nitrate level so I would up your weekly water changes to get that number lower.

Was the water cloudy (milky) prior to changing the filter?

Can you post the dimensions of the tank in Length x Width x Height?

Re: Cloudy water!! Need help!

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:15 pm
by My2butterflies
I think there is a mix of issues going on here.
Too many fish for the water volume, the tank is recycling from the filter change, and not enough water changes to keep up with the stocking level.

Op- you mentioned the new filter helped with the smell. What smell? Fishy/lake smell? I'd say that is another sign of not enough large and regular water changes for your current stock.
Moving 200+ gals an hour on a 40gl tank isn't going to help without regular water changes of 60%+

Oh, and I'd stop adding the bacteria. I did that when I first started having tanks and I never saw any positive change.

Re: Cloudy water!! Need help!

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:08 pm
by Aaron S
I essentially echo the other comments but will just talk to the things I see. Your tank looks like mine does when I change my filter pads and water change. In my case, it goes away within a day or two (but some of the white stuff stays stuck to the glass and you have to wipe it off). I feel like you lost some bacteria when you did the filter swap which is causing the issue. If that is true, then it will go away when your bacteria catch up. I also suspect that you are not doing enough cleaning since you said changing the filter helped a smell...a well kept tank will not smell. 50% monthly sounds like it is not enough to help the water conditions and be aware that changing 20% of the water twice a week is not the same thing as 40% of the water once a week (it is quite a bit less effective to do the two changes)

Re: Cloudy water!! Need help!

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:26 pm
by DJRansome
The most concerning thing for me is the .5 nitrite. My fish are gasping at the top with that reading.

Re: Cloudy water!! Need help!

PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:34 am
by Kennethannen
Hey guys, sorry for delay. Thank you for all the feed back. The smell was just a slight smell when I'd open top of lid. But that is dinished now. The cloudy water was a problem before the new filter but with my twice weekly water changes have helped with some cloudiness. I was adding the new bacteria with every change because I was told by local pet store you always want to add new bacteria with water changes. I'll try to not do that anymore. I'll try the new method of doing a weekly 25% water change and than biweekly of 40-50%. Thanks for all the replies. You have all helped a lot.

Re: Cloudy water!! Need help!

PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:02 pm
by Fogelhund
The main issue is incompatible fish, with too many of them, in too small of a tank.

Re: Cloudy water!! Need help!

PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:33 pm
by kchandran
Cleaning your filter media with tank water regularly could help with cloudy water. Water changes will help you a lot as well, especially with that stocking. Hope your tank is doing better.

Re: Cloudy water!! Need help!

PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:08 pm
by Dooner
Having same issue. Started after adding one new piece of mopini wood. It had been boiled and soaked for several days to remove tannins and kill bacteria. As soon as the water went cloudy I took it out. This has not happened before and there are at least four other pieces. I have done two 40% water changes in the last week and cleaned out one of two filters.