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Old 03-11-2017, 06:21 PM   #1
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Help with 60 gal tank water clarity

Good afternoon,

This is my first post here, but I have gained a lot of insight over the years from this forum, and I appreciate all of the information I have gotten from here.

I have been keeping fish for around four years now, starting with a 10 gallon beta tank, graduating to a 29 gallon, and last summer moving to a 60 gallon Marineland tank purchased from Petsmart. Over the course of my fish keeping time, I have run into countless issues, but nothing I wasn't able to correct with patience and furthering learning.

However, I have run into a water clarity issue that I have been unable to solve, and sense I have gleaned so much information from this forum in the past, I wanted to see if anyone could assist me.

Basics:
Tank is a Marineland 60 gallon from petsmart. Testing with API Master kit
Ph is at 6.0, but remains stable and the fish are acclimated
Ammonia is reading zero
Nitrites are at zero
Nitrates are reading between zero and 5.0 ppm, presumably low because of frequent water changes necessary to maintain water clarity.

The tank is stocked with 2 adult angelfish, and I believe them both to be male. They have been together from the get go and have very little territorial issues. I also have 2 albino cory's as well as 3 emerald cory's, all over one year old. The final fish is an adolescent bristlenose pleco, who I acquired in January. No health issues with any fish. The tank is fully cycled and has been for at least 5 months.

My problem began when I realized the Pengiun 350 bio wheel filter I was relying on was not circulating water up to par. I then purchased a Hydor 350 canister filter as a replacement, and ran them both for one month to avoid a mini cycle. Per my research the Hydor 350 should be more than adequate with my stock level(no plans to add fish), only the water clarity has recently(as in past 3 weeks) become an issue. The intake is located in the right, back corner of the tank, and the outlet is on the opposite side, perpendicular to the viewing glass of the tank.

For a couple of weeks, I had no issues. Then I noticed some brown algae build up on decorations, but even after removing that,I still have clarity problems. I'm having to change at least 50% of the water per week to keep it modestly clear, and I have tried multiple changes throughout the week without any progress. I am using stock filter media that came with the hydor filter, and have vacuumed the gravel fairly thoroughly. I think I've reached the boundary of my knowledge here, and any help would be appreciated!

I have attached a photo of my tank with cloudy water as a reference.
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Old 03-11-2017, 07:24 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakebum View Post
Good afternoon,

This is my first post here, but I have gained a lot of insight over the years from this forum, and I appreciate all of the information I have gotten from here.

I have been keeping fish for around four years now, starting with a 10 gallon beta tank, graduating to a 29 gallon, and last summer moving to a 60 gallon Marineland tank purchased from Petsmart. Over the course of my fish keeping time, I have run into countless issues, but nothing I wasn't able to correct with patience and furthering learning.

However, I have run into a water clarity issue that I have been unable to solve, and sense I have gleaned so much information from this forum in the past, I wanted to see if anyone could assist me.

Basics:
Tank is a Marineland 60 gallon from petsmart. Testing with API Master kit
Ph is at 6.0, but remains stable and the fish are acclimated
Ammonia is reading zero
Nitrites are at zero
Nitrates are reading between zero and 5.0 ppm, presumably low because of frequent water changes necessary to maintain water clarity.

The tank is stocked with 2 adult angelfish, and I believe them both to be male. They have been together from the get go and have very little territorial issues. I also have 2 albino cory's as well as 3 emerald cory's, all over one year old. The final fish is an adolescent bristlenose pleco, who I acquired in January. No health issues with any fish. The tank is fully cycled and has been for at least 5 months.

My problem began when I realized the Pengiun 350 bio wheel filter I was relying on was not circulating water up to par. I then purchased a Hydor 350 canister filter as a replacement, and ran them both for one month to avoid a mini cycle. Per my research the Hydor 350 should be more than adequate with my stock level(no plans to add fish), only the water clarity has recently(as in past 3 weeks) become an issue. The intake is located in the right, back corner of the tank, and the outlet is on the opposite side, perpendicular to the viewing glass of the tank.

For a couple of weeks, I had no issues. Then I noticed some brown algae build up on decorations, but even after removing that,I still have clarity problems. I'm having to change at least 50% of the water per week to keep it modestly clear, and I have tried multiple changes throughout the week without any progress. I am using stock filter media that came with the hydor filter, and have vacuumed the gravel fairly thoroughly. I think I've reached the boundary of my knowledge here, and any help would be appreciated!

I have attached a photo of my tank with cloudy water as a reference.
************************************************
Hi Lakebum:

I wasn't able to find the photo you attached. Is the cloudiness in the water white/grey, or does it have a greenish tint to it?

Do you see actual particulates, or is it just a haze?

Did the cloudiness happen abruptly?

Do you have city/company tap water?

Have you ever tested your water for phosphate?

In addition to the filter, you have changed anything else (e.g. lighting, food, etc.)?
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Old 03-11-2017, 07:36 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Yorg View Post
************************************************
Hi Lakebum:

I wasn't able to find the photo you attached. Is the cloudiness in the water white/grey, or does it have a greenish tint to it?

Do you see actual particulates, or is it just a haze?

Did the cloudiness happen abruptly?

Do you have city/company tap water?

Have you ever tested your water for phosphate?

In addition to the filter, you have changed anything else (e.g. lighting, food, etc.)?
Thank you for the reply, Yorg! Let me try to attach it again, sorry about that. I would say it has more of a greenish tint, but more or less it's just very hazy. I would say semi-pond like, no particulates floating in the water. I am on city water, and have never tested it for phosphate. Although I have not had an issue with the tap water thus far.

It happened over the course of a couple of weeks, after fully transitioning to the Hydor filter. I have cleaned the filter, I'm wondering if it's a filter media issue? Also, I am using the stock LED'S that came with the tank, have reduced feeding habits recently in an attempt to curtail the water cloudiness. I feed flakes once a day, make sure the angels get full, then an algae tablet to the corys and plecos twice a week.
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Old 03-11-2017, 08:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Lakebum View Post
Thank you for the reply, Yorg! Let me try to attach it again, sorry about that. I would say it has more of a greenish tint, but more or less it's just very hazy. I would say semi-pond like, no particulates floating in the water. I am on city water, and have never tested it for phosphate. Although I have not had an issue with the tap water thus far.

It happened over the course of a couple of weeks, after fully transitioning to the Hydor filter. I have cleaned the filter, I'm wondering if it's a filter media issue? Also, I am using the stock LED'S that came with the tank, have reduced feeding habits recently in an attempt to curtail the water cloudiness. I feed flakes once a day, make sure the angels get full, then an algae tablet to the corys and plecos twice a week.
**************************************************
Thanks for the pics and the additional info, Lakebum. It certainly looks like an algae bloom. Given how low your nitrates are, there must be some other cause, which is why I asked about the phosphate (that and silicate are sometimes culprits in causing algae blooms, too).

Your feeding regimen sounds fine, and you certainly have a very low bioload in the tank. By any chance is sunlight hitting the tank for any length of time during the day?

Since the filter is the only thing that's changed, it's tempting to keep looking at it as the suspect, although frankly I can't think of anything related to the filter that might be contributing to an algae bloom if you have standard media and if it's performing well.

About the only thing I can think of to advise is to start running Seachem's Purigen in your filter. If there is any way you can find out from your water company what the phosphate levels in your water are (short of buying your test kit from API), that might suggest the need to use something like Phosguard to try to lower the phosphate levels if they're on the high side.

I'm kind of gun shy about things like algaecides and those water clarifiers; I don't use them and wouldn't advise another aquarist to try. Perhaps other folks on the forum have used them and could relate their experiences.
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Old 03-11-2017, 09:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Yorg View Post
**************************************************
Thanks for the pics and the additional info, Lakebum. It certainly looks like an algae bloom. Given how low your nitrates are, there must be some other cause, which is why I asked about the phosphate (that and silicate are sometimes culprits in causing algae blooms, too).

Your feeding regimen sounds fine, and you certainly have a very low bioload in the tank. By any chance is sunlight hitting the tank for any length of time during the day?

Since the filter is the only thing that's changed, it's tempting to keep looking at it as the suspect, although frankly I can't think of anything related to the filter that might be contributing to an algae bloom if you have standard media and if it's performing well.

About the only thing I can think of to advise is to start running Seachem's Purigen in your filter. If there is any way you can find out from your water company what the phosphate levels in your water are (short of buying your test kit from API), that might suggest the need to use something like Phosguard to try to lower the phosphate levels if they're on the high side.

I'm kind of gun shy about things like algaecides and those water clarifiers; I don't use them and wouldn't advise another aquarist to try. Perhaps other folks on the forum have used them and could relate their experiences.
Thank you for your insight, I tend to believe it is an algae issue as well, but cannot define the source. I'll see if I can get phosphate information from my water provider, but in the mean time does anyone see an issue with my setup? BTW my water temp stays steady at 78 degrees. I am beginning to question if this is too high.

As for sunlight, it does receive indirect light during the afternoon, enough to illuminate the bedroom...but not direct sunlight hitting the tank. This is a naturally planted tank.

I was not aware of Seachem's Purigen product, I prefer to use the least amount of chemicals I can, but this may be a viable solution. Thank you, I appreciate it!

I have edited to add a pic of the tank after a ~50% water change, just for reference.
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Old 03-12-2017, 05:20 AM   #6
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Well ever since I have a UV sterilizer installed in my tank I never faced bacterial or algae bloom ever. Water looks always crystal clear. Its a nice addition to any tank.
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