Cichlid Fish Forum banner

help! cloudy water

2721 Views 25 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  cichlidaholic
if anyone could please help me. I have has my new/used 80 galloon tank up for about a little less then 3 months now and it will not clear. I don't think it is a bacteria bloom because that water is usually a whitish color and mines a yellowish to brownish color. I do not know what to do. When I test the water everything comes out fine except the pH and the hardness it is high, but I thought that was okay with cichlids? Then I started thinking well maybe it was my Texas Wholely Rock I have in the tank. It was one big piece and I had my father cut it into smaller pieces. Maybe the particles off of thoses pieces are doing this. I don't know? If anyone has any ideas how to fixes this please let me know. Thank You all.

Just to let you know I have an Eheim 2215, that came with the tank (new media in it, with two home made cardon bags at the top) and a top water skimer (has little basket at the time to hold media in, but no cardon in it).
1 - 7 of 26 Posts
It sounds like you may have an algae bloom rather than a bacterial bloom.

Is the tank in direct sunlight? How long are you leaving the lights on daily?

Did you use new substrate? Did you wash the holey rock well or soak it before adding it?
What kind of test kits are you using? Are they liquid reagent or the strip kind? How old are they? Have they been open longer than 6 months?

What are the exact water parameters on the tank?

I'd be very concerned if it took a tank 3 months to lose the cloudiness...

How long has this tank been set up?
The heater wouldn't affect your water in a cloudy respect.

Bottled water can cause a huge shift in ph, so that's not the thing to do.

Keep the lights out and do some extra water changes and see if that helps.

Test strips aren't worth taking home, IMO. Pick up some liquid reagent tests! Throw away all tests that have been opened for over 6 months.

By "parameter", I'm referring to ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and ph readings.
The first thing you need to do is start with your water changes...Don't worry about the rock for now.

The ammonia reading can do long term damage to the fish.

It may be necessary to do several partial water changes. You want the ammonia to read zero. Make sure you use a good dechlorinator - Prime would be great since it will detoxify ammonia. I would do 30% water changes with a few hours in between each until you get the ammonia reading back to zero. Then you'll need to monitor the water closely.

Feed sparingly until you get the ammonia under control!
Tap water is fine, but I'd be worried about adding it from the garden hose. It may not match the temperature of the water in your tank. What is the temp, by the way? You may need to replace your heater if it isn't working.

These fish shouldn't be fed feeder fish. You're risking exposing them to disease with the feeders, and many mbuna are herbivores. What species are you keeping?

Are you certain there aren't any dead fish in the tank?

What is your tank maintenance routine? Have you been doing water changes during this 3 month period? (If not, this will explain the ammonia level...)

It's really easy to overfeed. How often are you feeding? What are you feeding? How long does it take them to consume the amount you feed? (Excess waste can also contribute to the ammonia level...)
I do water changes weekly, at about 30-40%.

Basically, depending on your filtration (how good it is) you should monitor your water and adjust to your feeding habits for awhile to determine how often you need to change the water. Once those nitrates get above 20, IMO, it's time to do a water change. If they hit 40, I need to do one now.

Since you haven't been doing water changes, I would start by doing smaller water changes so you don't shock the fish too much. Do 25% now, and try doing another 25% water change before you go to bed tonight. Check your water parameters tomorrow and we can determine how much further you need to go with them.

Try to keep the water you replace within a couple of degrees of the water in the tank. And don't forget your dechlorinator!
As DJRansome has said, water changes are to keep your fish healthy and happy. As long as you use a good dechlorinator with the water changes, you're actually doing them a favour!
1 - 7 of 26 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.