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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hope someone in this forum can help me fix the mess I have. I'm working with a 75 gallon fresh water tank with a 8 inch oscar,medium size dempsey, red devil, texas and convict.

This started a month ago when my fish got ich. during treatment, a bunch of Malaysian trumpet snails appeared. After getting rid of ich, I decided remove all the gravel and ornaments and equipment . I disposed the gravel. I soaked the ornaments and equipment in bleach, I thoroughly rinsed the ornaments and equipment until a test a test strip for chorine indicated 0. I filled the tank with fresh water and added treatments to remove toxins. I put the ornaments and equipment back. I did not add any substrate so I could make sure the snails were gone and won't return. After a week, the ich was still gone and snail didn't reappear. I added 2 twenty lbs of sand substrate, after thoroughly rinsing it. I also added the packets of water clarifier that came with the sand After a day I changed the filter media. Over the next 3 days, I added Fritz Aquatics 80209 FritzZyme 7 Nitrifying Bacteria for Fresh Water

After a week, the water never got as clear as it was in the past. I thought it was caused by the sand being too fine. I removed the fine sand and replaced it with thicker sand. I thoughly rinsed that sand too. I added Tetra water clarifier. I added Fritz Aquatics 80209 FritzZyme 7 Nitrifying Bacteria for Fresh Water afew more times.. after another week,and the water is still cloudy. Like a foggy day. My water tests have been in the safe zone.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO NOW. PLEASE HELP !!
 

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I'm sorry you are having so many problems with this tank.

Which exact sand product are you using now?

Tetra Water Clarifier is a product to cause small particles to clump together so that your filter can more easily remove them. Why did you decide to use it, was it because your water was cloudy?

What type/brand of water tests are you using? Strips or liquid reagents with test tubes? What are the exact test results or a pic if you are using test strips along with the bottle's results color scale.

Have you tested pH and KH and if so, what are the test results? The FritzZyme 7 has specific requirements for both pH and KH.

Are your fish already in this tank?

P.S. I forgot to add that the cloudiness you are seeing may be a bacterial bloom so it's not something I would worry about at this time if everything else checks out water parameter wise.
 

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You don't mention what you have for filtration. Canister? HOB? One,some? On a side note, you must realize the tank is grossly overstocked and somewhat mismatched. An 8 in Oscar should be alone in 75g. And when it hits or approaches the foot long mark, 75 is inadequate. That's if the RD doesn't flip the kill switch and go on a rampage. Regardless of water clarity, you have or will have an untenable situation.
 

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That would be a tremendous +1 to @Oscar6 !
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Okay then... shall we try this again?
Please respond to @Deeda and her questions. They are relevant to your problem, and may help to fix the cloudy water in your tank.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you very much for your sincere detailed response. Here are my responses.
Which exact sand product are you using now?
I read a few posts where some say they successfully used sand blasting media. I used black diamond sand from tractor supply. While unorthodox, I took the risk. It is only 11.99 per 50 lbs. I figured if I rinsed it enough and used a clarifier it may work. I suppose I am wrong.

Tetra Water Clarifier is a product to cause small particles to clump together so that your filter can more easily remove them. Why did you decide to use it, was it because your water was cloudy?
Yes
What type/brand of water tests are you using? Strips or liquid reagents with test tubes? What are the exact test results or a pic if you are using test strips along with the bottle's results color scale.
I am using the API liquid / test tube kit
pH is 7.6
Amonia is 0
nitrite 4 ppm
nitrate 20 ppm
[/QUOTE]
Have you tested pH and KH and if so, what are the test results? The FritzZyme 7 has specific requirements for both pH and KH.
pH is 7.6. The API liquid test doesn't include a KH test. I used API strips to test KH. It was dark brown greater or equal to the darkest brown on the color scale. The water in my city is hard. I don't use a softener. The hardness has not been a problem in the past when my water was very clear


Are your fish already in this tank?
Yes. They don't show any signs of distress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You don't mention what you have for filtration. Canister? HOB? One,some? On a side note, you must realize the tank is grossly overstocked and somewhat mismatched. An 8 in Oscar should be alone in 75g. And when it hits or approaches the foot long mark, 75 is inadequate. That's if the RD doesn't flip the kill switch and go on a rampage. Regardless of water clarity, you have or will have an untenable situation.
I have a one Top Fin® 75 gallon Silenstream™ Power Filter HOB.

Once the Oscar and/or RD are that large. The first to go on a rampage will be removed from the tank and promptly broiled with butter and eaten by me
 

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Thanks for the update @jgrillout !

I've never used the BDBS but I've not heard of it causing cloudiness and quite a few people seem to use and like it.

Your nitrite reading is higher than I like for having fish in the tank. I usually recommend enough of a water change to cut that number in half. Some aquarists suggest using salt (sodium chloride) to treat nitrite poisoning rather than doing a water change. I've never experienced high nitrite level with fish in the tank so you may want to search online for treating high nitrite with fish using salt.

I did a quick API test strip search for the color chart and didn't see the color brown on the chart, I only see red, yellow and green though for high KH values the chart also shows yellow. :unsure:

At this point maybe it's just a bacterial bloom, I would just continue to monitor your water parameters daily and fish behavior for stress.
 

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I have a one Top Fin® 75 gallon Silenstream™ Power Filter HOB.

Once the Oscar and/or RD are that large. The first to go on a rampage will be removed from the tank and promptly broiled with butter and eaten by me
Sounds good. But I recommend an olive oil, lemon, and herbs marinade before grilling
 

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I recommend immediately doing daily water changes until your nitrites are lower per Deeda’s recommendation. I suspect your tank is not fully cycled yet and you are experiencing bacterial blooms. Be sure to use a vacuum like a Python to get all the sludge in the sand when you do your water changes. For this reason, I use aquarium gravel with messy eaters like Oscar’s where it’s easy to see the sludge and get it out of the tank during water changes. You also need to immediately add a second HOB filter onto your 75G tank. For example, I use two Marineland Emperor filters on my 90G plus a large air stone with auxiliary pump to ensure adequate filtration for the cichlids in this tank which is close in size and has the same footprint as your 75G. Whatever filters you buy, keep the established media in your HOB and only rinse it in removed water from your tank as this is where the beneficial bacteria in your tank resides.

I would recommend rehoming your Oscar immediately as he will quickly get too big for your 75G tank. If you must keep him rehome every other fish and keep him as a wet pet. In this scenario he will survive, but will eventually convince you he needs a bigger tank as he grows into adulthood. Also, down the road your Texas and RD will fight to the death in your relatively cramped 75G. I recommend rehoming one of them along with the Oscar. Your current large fish setup would need at least a 220G aquarium to have a reasonable chance of long term success. If you have the funds and space, go this route.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the update @jgrillout !

I've never used the BDBS but I've not heard of it causing cloudiness and quite a few people seem to use and like it.

Your nitrite reading is higher than I like for having fish in the tank. I usually recommend enough of a water change to cut that number in half. Some aquarists suggest using salt (sodium chloride) to treat nitrite poisoning rather than doing a water change. I've never experienced high nitrite level with fish in the tank so you may want to search online for treating high nitrite with fish using salt.

I did a quick API test strip search for the color chart and didn't see the color brown on the chart, I only see red, yellow and green though for high KH values the chart also shows yellow. :unsure:

At this point maybe it's just a bacterial bloom, I would just continue to monitor your water parameters daily and fish behavior for stress.
Your response has reduced my stress. I will do as you suggest. I appreciate you knowledge and willingness to share with our community so promptly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi Deeda,
Since a member posted that my excessively high nitrite was very dangerous, I did 60% water change. I thought it wouldn't hurt to add some API salt for fresh water. I added 3/4 of a cup. Some say it can reduce stress and help heal. I thought the high nitrite level may have irritated their gills. that was yesterday morning. When I got home after work, I noticed there was a white dust of the glass sides. I'm not sure if this is a new condition or if I was that clueless and failed to notice sooner. In fact, it may have been what I perceived as cloudy water. So I used a sponge to wipe it off. Again today, the dusty look is back again. Do you know if that could be from the salt or is this a bacterial bloom. What can I do to fix this? By the way my water parameters are much better now. the nitrites are 0, the ammonia is 0, pH is 7.8, Nitrate around 40
Thanks,
John
 

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John, I'm glad you did a water change to reduce the high nitrite level as it's better for the fish. It seems odd that your nitrate is around 40 ppm after that 60% water change though. I don't remember if you have ever posted your tap water reading for nitrate so if you haven't, please test and post the results.

Did you dissolve the salt in water before adding it to the aquarium? If not, that may account for the white dust on the glass.

A bacteria bloom can last for a couple weeks but usually clears up under that time length. I understand it can be ugly to look at but some patience dealing with it will pay off in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
John, I'm glad you did a water change to reduce the high nitrite level as it's better for the fish. It seems odd that your nitrate is around 40 ppm after that 60% water change though. I don't remember if you have ever posted your tap water reading for nitrate so if you haven't, please test and post the results.

Did you dissolve the salt in water before adding it to the aquarium? If not, that may account for the white dust on the glass.

A bacteria bloom can last for a couple weeks but usually clears up under that time length. I understand it can be ugly to look at but some patience dealing with it will pay off in the long run.
I appreciate your continued assistance & advice.

Here are my tap water parameters. I did dissolve the salt in tap water.

ph-low = 7.6,
ph - high = 8.2
ammonia = 0
nitrite = 0
nitrate = 0

My understanding is that if the ph-low test is at the upper limit then ph-high test is needed.

Last night I decided rushed through the cleaning I did Wednesday. Last night I made another attempt. I removed all the decorations & equipment and soaked those in water & bleach.
With my python, I suctioned the waste off the top of the sand. This caused the water to decrease probably 33%.
After scrubbing & thoroughly rinsing the HOB. I put in back in the tank with new media (that is a cartridge with charcoal covered with cotton). treated the water with API Aqua Essentials. I feared this might have been a disaster causing new tank syndrome. I also added a new clean air stone. Fortunately, The fish were fine today. I now will only feed the fish once a day and for a while I'm turning off the light. from 12am to 5pm.

I suppose I'll leave everything as is for a week. Hopefully this will work.
You would be a good computer support person because you communicate well. You are empathetic and knowledgeable.
 

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I'm not sure why you decided to remove all decorations and equipment and clean them in a water and bleach, can you please explain why you did that?

Replacing the HOB media with a new cartridge at this point is counter intuitive when you are effectively starting over with cycling a new set up with fish in the tank. Did you also add the FritzZyme 7 product according to the directions?

Cycling a tank with fish present is a gamble requiring daily testing and monitoring of the ammonia and nitrite levels and performing water changes as needed to keep those levels as close to zero as possible.

The API Aqua Essentials is just a type of dechlorinator product that also says "This unique formula binds with ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate rendering them non-toxic and allowing the biofilter to more efficiently remove them." Since you have replaced the filter cartridge with a new one, you essentially do not have a mature or 'seasoned' bio-filter that is capable of using the bound ammonia, nitrite or nitrate that will be present in your aquarium.

Ideally you don't want to mess with your filter, decorations or substrate when you are in the position you are in with an uncycled aquarium. I know you are frustrated that your tank water was cloudy and you want to actually see your fish in clear water but there is a process to getting to that point.

I also appreciate the kind words though I am a bit frustrated with the steps you have taken to hurry along the cycling process. I have not seen a quick fix to getting a tank ready for fish of the size of fish that you have outside of using a mature filter or filter media from another tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm not sure why you decided to remove all decorations and equipment and clean them in a water and bleach, can you please explain why you did that?

Replacing the HOB media with a new cartridge at this point is counter intuitive when you are effectively starting over with cycling a new set up with fish in the tank. Did you also add the FritzZyme 7 product according to the directions?

Cycling a tank with fish present is a gamble requiring daily testing and monitoring of the ammonia and nitrite levels and performing water changes as needed to keep those levels as close to zero as possible.

The API Aqua Essentials is just a type of dechlorinator product that also says "This unique formula binds with ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate rendering them non-toxic and allowing the biofilter to more efficiently remove them." Since you have replaced the filter cartridge with a new one, you essentially do not have a mature or 'seasoned' bio-filter that is capable of using the bound ammonia, nitrite or nitrate that will be present in your aquarium.

Ideally you don't want to mess with your filter, decorations or substrate when you are in the position you are in with an uncycled aquarium. I know you are frustrated that your tank water was cloudy and you want to actually see your fish in clear water but there is a process to getting to that point.

I also appreciate the kind words though I am a bit frustrated with the steps you have taken to hurry along the cycling process. I have not seen a quick fix to getting a tank ready for fish of the size of fish that you have outside of using a mature filter or filter media from another tank.
The reason is OCD plus I thought the decorations and equipment were covered with the same bacteria or whatever it is on the glass. I realized there was some beneficial bacteria that would be lost. I used Seachem Pristine today. I just noticed Seachem Stability is even better. It is supposed to be formulated specifically to prevent new tank syndrome. I will use that tomorrow. So far I'm fortunate the fish are not distressed.

I was 13 when I started the aquarium hobby. There was no internet and forums like this. My pet store did not mention things like beneficial bacteria and tank cycling. I bought my first tank, filled it up, put two 7 inch Oscars in it. There was no problem. I had another tank with smaller south American cichlids. Every week I emptied the tank, sometimes scrubbed it with SOS pads. I never lost a fish. I guess it was just beginners luck. I know better now thanks to this forum. I don't take the risk as seriously as I should since I was able to have healthy fish in a non cycled tank when I was 13.

One of the benefits of forums like this is others get to learn from these stupid mistakes like mine.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
(y) thank you
 

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So apparently your aquarium is now going to start a new cycle? Okay then... you need a second aquarium filter. Keep your current Hang-On-Back (HOB) power filter, as it will help to better distribute water current and oxygenation throughout the water of the aquarium. But, you need to add another one.
To inform...
Do NOT add a second HOB filter that uses this type of cartridge,
Rectangle Font Electric blue Art Fashion accessory

Replaceable filter cartridge for HOB filter
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Get a HOB filter that uses this type of biological filter media,
Rectangle Box Transparency Paper product Font

Foam media block insert for HOB filter
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The foam media types are easy to maintain as you simply squeeze them out occasionally in a partially filled bucket of tank water. Compared to filter cartridges, they are high performance. Plus, the surface area of a block of foam media will colonize MUCH more beneficial bacteria in it, than a cartridge type filter will. And, you don't periodically replace foam media blocks. Nope. Foam filtration media for an aquarium will last almost forever.
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Either a Tidal 110 or Aquaclear 110 HOB filter, would be an excellent choice as a second power filter for your 75 gallon aquarium.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So apparently your aquarium is now going to start a new cycle? Okay then... you need a second aquarium filter. Keep your current Hang-On-Back (HOB) power filter, as it will help to better distribute water current and oxygenation throughout the water of the aquarium. But, you need to add another one.
To inform...
Do NOT add a second HOB filter that uses this type of cartridge,
View attachment 143926
Replaceable filter cartridge for HOB filter
-
Get a HOB filter that uses this type of biological filter media,
View attachment 143927
Foam media block insert for HOB filter
-
The foam media types are easy to maintain as you simply squeeze them out occasionally in a partially filled bucket of tank water. Compared to filter cartridges, they are high performance. Plus, the surface area of a block of foam media will colonize MUCH more beneficial bacteria in it, than a cartridge type filter will. And, you don't periodically replace foam media blocks. Nope. Foam filtration media for an aquarium will last almost forever.
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Either a Tidal 110 or Aquaclear 110 HOB filter, would be an excellent choice as a second power filter for your 75 gallon aquarium.
You hit the nail on the head. I bought a a Tidal 75 last night. They didn't have the 110 in stock. I also added a sponge filter. Wow, what a difference in less than 24 hours ! The water is crystal clear ! I think I'm heading in the right direction. I appreciate the time that you and the others whom replied to my post. (y)
 
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