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Old 11-09-2019, 06:31 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2019
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Cloudy water and white stuff on the gravel

Hi, this has probably been posted hundreds of times but I don't know where to start with these 2 problems.

I started with a Betta who looked lonely on the counter at the local Asian supermarket. He is in a 3.5 gallon tank (a kit from Petsmart) that comes with LED lights and small filter. I added a heater and plants. Along with the Betta, I added a mystery snail, a Nerite snail, 3 Kuhli loaches and 3 Otoclinus cats. Food is Betta flakes, 1 sinking wafer and 1 algae wafer daily.

It looked great for 2 or 3 months, until we went on vacation for a week. I put in a 7 day vacation feeder tablet. When we got home, the water was a little cloudy and I took out what was left of the feeder tablet and changed about 30% of the water, but it didn't improve and it seems to be getting worse and worse. The water is very cloudy and there is now whitish stuff on the gravel, looks almost like mold. I have changed 50% of the water every 1 - 2 weeks and used the gravel vacuum. I found one of the Otos dead and took it out. The Nerite snail died, too. The mystery snail and Betta are still okay but I can't see any of the others because the water is so cloudy! Even with a flashlight.

The water is from a well, not treated or softened. It's hard and alkaline. I took some of the water to a LFS and they said it was fine, no ammonia or anything.

Can anyone help me with this? It seems like the more I try to fix it, the worse it gets.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 11-09-2019, 08:27 PM   #2
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Location: Northern California
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I'm not sure how to fix it but first, you are overstocked. That's too many fish in such a tiny tank. Second, I don't like those 7 day feeder tablets as they invariably mess up the water parameters in different ways. I'd quit messing with this tank and get a bigger one.

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Old 11-09-2019, 10:06 PM   #3
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I have another tank - 29 gallons - which I've been trying to cycle for the last 2 months. It's planted and has 5 danios, which the LFS said would help with the cycling. I planned to use it for loaches or gobies.

Tonight I took a really good look in the small tank and found the 3 Kuhli loaches and the last Oto cat dead. The Kuhlis were my favorite, I am really upset and feel guilty.

I'm thinking maybe I should put the Betta and the snail in a fish bowl for a while and clean out the small tank.

Thanks for the advice.
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