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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this.

About a week ago I noticed that my 125 gallon freshwater cichlid tank was starting to get a little murky. So I did a water change to see if that would help. Several more days later the tank was still murky and getting worse. The water is so murky now I can barely see my fish. There is nothing weird growing on the substrate or the glass or in the filters but the water is cloudy and green looking. All of the fish are still alive a look like they are just fine. I have know idea what is going on or what to do. I tried putting in some algae destroyer liquid yesturday but it doens't seem to be doing anything. I don't want to keep pouring random chemicals in my tank, but I want to see my fish. Does anybody know what is going on and what to do?
 

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Algae removing chemicals are nasty, bad, and dangerous. Please don't use them.

have you checked your water parameters? Is it white cloudy or green cloudy? What is your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate? How often do you do water changes? When was the last time you cleaned your fitlers? What filters do you have?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's a green cloudy. I do water changes every 2 weeks, sometimes sooner. I have a 350 Magnum, Emperor Bio-wheel 400, and a powerhead sponge filter. I clean out my 350 almost everytime a do a water change because it's so clogged up.
I just tested my water - ph=6.0, ammonia= 6.0 to 7.0, Gh and Kh not sure but I think around 196+ ppm, and Nitrite= 0 ppm. Any other tests I can do???
 

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Why is your ammonia so high? Your tank is NOT cycled. Ammonia should be zero. Nitrite zero, nitrates under 40.

Ammonia this high is deadly. Something isn't right here.

I would up water changes, if your ammonia is really that high then you need to be doing 25%, possibly several times per day.

Once it gets to zero, I would do 50% changes weekly, making sure to vacuum the substrate. Never replace all filters on the same day. Give them a week or so between changes. I alternate mine every week, and use biomedia that never gets replaced. If you use carbon in any, scrap it, as after about a week it starts to leach what it absorbed back out.

Never rinse biomedia in tap water. Something happened to your cycle, possibly the algae killer may have destroyed it. Are you using test strips? Get a good master test kit. Test strips are junk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, my tank has been set up for almost a year now. I do water changes consistently every 2 weeks and about 25% each time. I only clean out my filters when they slow down to a trickle. So I'm assuming that the abnormal ammonia (I just retested and got same result) must be from the "Algae Destroyer Liquid." I borrowed it from a friend and he said he got in online from Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. I'll do a water change tomorrow and re-test the ammonia. I do have an older Freshwater Master Test Kit with the single bottle of Ammonia Test Solution instead of the two different bottles, so that could be the problem also.
 

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Well either you had an ammonia spike that caused the green water...

Or your algae destroyer contains ammonia. You should be able to read the bottle or the manufacturers website to find out if the chemical contains ammonia...

Either way ammonia is really bad for your fish. I suggest doing 30~50% water changes frequently (a couple a day wouldn't hurt) until the ammonia is close to 0...

If the chemical does not contain ammonia, which I doubt it does, then you've either had an ammonia spike... or you've damaged your bacteria colony. Anything dead or rotting in the tank can add ammonia to your system. A dead fish somewhere, excess food rotting... anything organic... Also some glues contain ammonia... Then there are the things that can damage your bacteria, such as chlorine (maybe you forgot your dechlorinator, although I've done that without much of an effect), Windex, etc, etc...

Think of anything you have added to the tank or done differently and then consider if that could be the culprit. Good luck narrowing it down.
 

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You should also get a new ammonia test kit ASAP. You said it was old. Mine has an expiration date on it. Has yours expired?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't think I've done anything different over the past couple of weeks. I do however add API aquarium salt after ever couple of water changes or so. Usually if one of my fish looks beat up or something. Would that make any difference?
I tested the ammonia level of another tank of mine at it was at zero. So I think my test solution is still ok. I'm in the process of doing a 50% water change right now. Hopefully that will help.
I was also wondering if I keep my lights turned off for the next couple days if that might help get rid of the green cloudiness??? My fish room still gets quite a bit of sunlight but not directly on the tank.
 

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I'll echo the others--lots of big water changes.

Once you get your ammonia level to 0, you can try to blackout the tank for 3-5 days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, 50% water change completed. Tank looks much better but still a little murky. Ammonia levels have decreased but still not to zero yet. I'll do another water change tomorrow. Fish still seem to be doing just fine.
If I added some algae covered plants or decorations from my other tanks would that help encourage better bacteria???

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the help. Ammonia levels are back down to 0 and tank seems to be clearing up. I've done 2 50% waterchanges over the past 5 days and that appears to be taking care of the ammonia and green tinge. :thumb:
 

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Now that the water quality is better, you can also shut off the light for a few days and probably totally get rid of the algae issue. It's a plant, without light, it will die back. The algae fix liquids will definitely cause high ammonia levels. You got very lucky to not crash the whole tank with levels that high. Keep doing large volume changes and shut off the light and you should have clear water in no time at all. If just that doesn't do it (say you have a big picture window in that room or something), then you can always tape garbage bags around it for a few days, also. Hope that helps! Good luck :).

Barbie
 

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Rather than put chemicals in to flat out kill algae (which can take down helpful bacteria), try using something to "starve" the algae. I've had good luck with chemicals that chelate nitrates and phosphates (which are algae food), like Tetra's Nitraban... filter media that can snag this nitrates and phosphates helps as well. Just don't use media that grabs ammonia or else you'll crash the nitrogen cycle in the tank.

Also, feed your fish the bare minimum until things are squared away. that'll help keep the phosphates (and ultimately the nitrates too) down.

Good luck! :)
-Ryan
 

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Why "snag" nutrients when you can just do water changes to dilute them? If your nitrates are climbing, the odds are good that there are other things in the water becoming more saturated that aren't necessarily tested for. Water changes are a good habit to get into ;).

Barbie
 

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Keep the water changes going but don't gravel vac all the time. 25% every other day is plenty. Don't service the filters on water change days , do that on the days you don't water change.
 

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Barbie said:
Why "snag" nutrients when you can just do water changes to dilute them? If your nitrates are climbing, the odds are good that there are other things in the water becoming more saturated that aren't necessarily tested for. Water changes are a good habit to get into ;).

Barbie
I totally agree. Nitrate is a great proxy for that "other stuff". :)

I believe in doing 50% water changes weekly.... and even then you're only diluting things by half. My mind tends to run away with that thought.

Just sometimes you get behind the ball a bit, and it's hard to catch up.... though after thinking about it more, frequent water changes are the way to go... but perhaps when algae gets out of control, using stuff to scrub the excessive nitrates and phosphates that the algae needs to thrive can help with the immediate problem.

-Ryan
 
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