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Old 01-29-2014, 05:38 PM   #1
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Cloudy Water

I have a 40 gallon tank with a Fluval 305 filter. Recently, a fish (Bala Shark) developed what I think is fin rot. I did a partial water change and as I hadn't cleaned the filter in a while I cleaned that out (probably dumb to do, but I tried to avoid washing everything off if that counts...). For the fin rot, I started using Melafix and Primafix. I read that the carbon of the filter would nullify those two chemicals so I then removed the carbon.

Since removing the carbon (which also coincides with the filter cleaning), my water is getting very cloudy. I did a 30%-ish water change yesterday but the water is still very cloudy.

I'd like to use the Melafix and Primafix for a few more days in the main tank in case there's any disease hanging out in the water still, but I'm concerned that if I leave the carbon out, the water will keep getting worse. Any tips?

As for the fin rot: I moved that fish to a recently set up hospital/quarantine tank that I set up with (cloudy) water from the main tank and fresh water. That tank is also clouding up now. It was set up yesterday during the water change of the main tank. Any ideas on fixing that? Is it too soon to do a water change for that tank?

Sorry for the tome of text - thanks for any help!
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:55 PM   #2
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Fin rot is caused by poor water conditions 95% of the time. What are your parameters currently at?

When cleaning the filter did you change the cartridge or just rinse it off? How exactly did you clean it? Generally, carbon becomes inactive after 1 - 3 weeks depending on the quality and amount.

The cloudiness is likely a bacterial bloom from ammonia in the water so the first course of action should be to test your water parameters.
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Old 01-29-2014, 06:12 PM   #3
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So the 5 in 1 test str doesn't cover ammonia. However nitrite at 0 and nitrate around 40 to 80 (hard for me to tell on the strip). pH is lower than it should be (6.5 when I'm trying to keep it at 7 to 7.5).

And I only rinsed the media - no changing of it.
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Old 01-29-2014, 06:17 PM   #4
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The strips are really bad, buy the API master liquid kit.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:01 PM   #5
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I don't have time to run out to get a new test kit tonight but I will keep that in mind (or possibly order on Amazon ASAP). Would another water change tonight be a good idea? And should I add carbon back to the filter or keep treating the tank for fin rot (even though the visibly sick fish has been removed)?
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:20 PM   #6
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Fin rot isn't contagious as long as the poor water conditions are remedied. All but the most severe cases of fin rot will heal in the matter of a few weeks. If you have 80ppm nitrate (which is what we will assume it is at just to be on the safe side) then I would suggest doing 2 50% water changes waiting 1 hour between them. This would theoretically lower your nitrates down to 20ppm. Another 50% change tomorrow wouldn't hurt.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:27 PM   #7
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If fin rot's not contagious then I may move the shark back over to the main tank (I have very little faith in my backup equipment for the hospital tank). I'll post his symptoms in the sick fish forum as well to see if there's any other possible diseases/sickness going on. He also started swimming on his side and a lot of vertical floating. (This was happening before the move to the hospital tank so I don't think the two are related.)

I'll do a water change ASAP as well. I assume adding the carbon back in is not a good idea if I'll be continuing the Primafix/Melafix dosing?

Thanks for the help so far!
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modestvolta View Post
If fin rot's not contagious then I may move the shark back over to the main tank (I have very little faith in my backup equipment for the hospital tank). I'll post his symptoms in the sick fish forum as well to see if there's any other possible diseases/sickness going on. He also started swimming on his side and a lot of vertical floating. (This was happening before the move to the hospital tank so I don't think the two are related.)

I'll do a water change ASAP as well. I assume adding the carbon back in is not a good idea if I'll be continuing the Primafix/Melafix dosing?

Thanks for the help so far!
Usually, when fish are swimming like that they are too far gone to be saved. It was likely caused by high nitrates in the tank.
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Old 01-29-2014, 08:19 PM   #9
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I would just like to second all the advise you have got already. Also, bala sharks shouldnt be kept in a 40g tank long term. They need 150g minimum.
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Old 01-29-2014, 10:11 PM   #10
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Update: I did a 35%-ish water change (I just wasn't comfortable taking much more water out). Also cleaned off excess algae from decorations (after taking decorations out of the tank). About 30 minutes after the water change, I did a check on ammonia and, assuming I did the test correctly, the ammonia is down to somewhere between 10 and 20.

I'll do another 25% water change tomorrow and if needed, another on Friday or Saturday. Does that sound like an adequate plan or do you still recommend a more aggressive water change?

And regarding the Bala shark: I'm a moron, it's actually a rainbow shark (I had Balas a long time ago (in a slightly larger tank) and just got them mixed up in my head). He's doing a very admirable job of sticking in there but he's definitely seen better days. I'm still treating with fish meds, but most likely in vain at this point.

Thanks for all the feedback so far! The angel fish may be ticked off for now but I'm sure they'll appreciate it in the long run...
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