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Old 04-30-2009, 04:54 PM   #1
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medication and cloudy water

I just finished treating my tank for ICH. The water is kind of cloudy now. Is this normal after medicating your tank? I just put the carbon back in last night. Will it clear up on its own? thanks!
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Old 04-30-2009, 05:06 PM   #2
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yes it will, let it run its course.have you done a water change since treatment ended?
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Old 04-30-2009, 05:20 PM   #3
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Yes. I did about 1/3 of the water. I just wanted to make sure it was from the meds and not something else. I'll be patient and wait it out then.
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:23 PM   #4
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Here cookie girl

Sorry to hear about your tank problem. Cloudy water is -very- common. It can have many causes. But what I really think yours stems from is the ich treatment. The medication most certainly has destroyed your biological filter (the beneficial bacteria) and your tank is having to re-cycle again. And there is an nutrient inbalance triggering the bacterial bloom you are seeing. The recent fish loss (platies and 3 guppies) was likely due to high ammonia or other water quality problems such as high nitrites as well.

Your aquarium has to get re-established after the major wipeout from the medication use and absence of fish (no ammonia food source for the bacteria)
The bacterial bloom will eventually wear itself out as the nutrient source becomes depleted. But battling cloudy water is best done with a massive water change. If there are no fish in the aquarium, I'd do 100% draining the water as far as you can and refilling it with dechlorinated water. It is possible you may have to repeat these large water changes because what little water or nutrients leftover in the gravel bed may be enough to trigger another bacterial bloom. But after several large water changes like this, it really should be clear.
If you have fish in the tank then draining the water down to leave just enough to keep the fish comfortable will also work but it may just take a bit longer to get the cloudy water clear again.

Once you pretty much have the tank clear, you'll need to work on cycling it most likely. You said you had the water tested at petco but I wish we knew the exact readings of the water parameters. Going by "It's fine" as I run into so much may not always mean it is. In a cycled aquarium you should get ZERO as a reading for both ammonia and nitrite. And nitrate should be 20 or less.
Maybe your tank -is- cycled though. We never know. And there is simply a bacterial bloom from a sudden nutrient imbalance. But the loss of the platies and guppies you mentioned certainly makes me think of an un-cycled tank with ammonia present.
To re-cycle your aquarium, you'll just need to follow some basic guidelines, a really excellent tool to have on hand is test kits for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate to see how things are going along....
If you have fish in the aquarium, you'll have to be very careful with cycling your tank. Feed very lightly, moniter your ammonia levels and be sure to change at least 30-50% of the tank whenever ammonia readings go above safe bounds.
If you don't have any fish or critters in the tank, you could either cycle it with 1-2 hardy cycling fish (my favorite is the Black skirt tetra) or fishless cycle which is where you add -pure- ammonia directly into the tank or use flake food where it decomposes and produces the ammonia your tank needs to start cycling.

When you cycle with fish, test your ammonia level everyday and make those vital water changes when necessary. If you see your ammonia and nitrite levels at ZERO after a couple of week you might could add a few more fish. But be sure to test again the day after adding the new occupants. Sometimes the bacterial colony take a little while to get adjusted to the new additions bioload and you may get a ammonia reading. A quick water change will immediately fix that problem and it shouldn't be a big ordeal.

Thereafter, carefully stock your tank again. I'm sure your tank will clear and get straightened out again with time and good care. A very good tip to remember and try to do is to quarantine all new fish in a 'hospital/quarantine' tank of around 5-10 gallons for at least 2 weeks before adding them to your main aquarium. This helps prevent the new fish from infecting all your others and helps keep the illnesses contained should the new fish ever have one. Quarantining is really a must!

Cited from
Freshwater Aquarium: cloudy/white tank water, cory cats, beneficial bacteria
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:24 PM   #5
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What are your water parameters?

ph,nitrates,nitrites and ammonia, GH might be helpful too.
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:30 PM   #6
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Hmmm....I`m wondering if you meant the long post for someone else. I didn`t say anything about my water being tested at petco. We don`t even have petcos in Canada actually. lol
Mt water params are...
ammonia 0
nitrite 0
nitrate 10
ph 7.4
I have fish in there now and only lost one neon during the ich crisis. I think it couldn`t handle the meds.
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:35 PM   #7
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No I cited the answer I found related to cloudy water and ICH treatments, that was directed towards someone somewhere not sure who or when but just a rough statement to help get answers to your problem.

you are lucky you dont have em, I call em deathco cause nothing from there survives.

your Ph is acceptable some might say its high but I had to lower mine to 7.0 from 8.6, my fish did fine in the 8.6 its when I started dropping it that I lost an angel but that was it, my neons survived the spike fully.

I think you might just be going thru a bacteria bloom since ICH meds are known to kill off nearly any and all bacteria in the tank.
I apologize for the confusion.
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:59 PM   #8
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No problem. I appreciate the advice.
I hear a lot of bad things about petco. We have petsmart and it's kind of hit and miss with them.
I think I managed to save my bacteria. I've had nitrates through the whole process and I took out my filter cartridge and jammed it into my hospital tank while adding ammonia to keep the bacteria alive. I'll know in a few days....I'll be testing a lot in the next couple of days. All my fishies are behaving normally and eating well so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I just hope the ich doesn't come back. This was my second round of treating. I can't do the heat/salt thing since I have cories and a BN pleco.
I'll keep a close eye on things and hopefully the cloudiness goees away on it's own. Thanks!
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:32 PM   #9
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You can treat with heat.

Heat treatment can be highly effective, and it can be combined with other treatments.
The three phases of the ichthyophthirius life-cycle (Adult, Cyst, Free swimming) take about 4 weeks at 21 C (70 F) to complete but only 5 days at 27 C (80 F). For this reason it is recommended that the aquarium water be raised to 28-30 C (82-86 F) for the duration of the treatment. Avoid fast temperature changes; water temperature should be raised or reduced gradually 0.5-1 C (1-2 F) per day. There are species of fish that will not tolerate the high end of temperatures needed to be effective. If the fish can stand it, raise the temperature even higher, up to 30 C (86 F). Raising the temperature also, presumably, reduces and kills the free swimming parasite. It is important to remember that raising the temperature higher, but not high enough so that the parasite is killed, should be used in conjunction with some sort of medication. The heat speeds up the life cycle of the ichthyophthirius, which is useful if the fish is being medicated, because otherwise the parasites simply reproduce at a faster rate, and kill the aforementioned fish quicker. Temperatures at or above 30 C (86 F) are generally considered to be fatal to ich[2]


You just have to raise it gradually and see how the fish react, some people have taken it up to 89.5 while not hurting the fish at all.

Ive never had ICH, never had any parasites or diseases in my tank yet I know itll happen but I hope my QT practices have been preventing this.

I got to 1 petsmart due to one certain person there, she leaves or transfers within a reasonable distance id follow HER not the store. shes a wealth of info and has had her info and opinion in this tank since day 1. Infact she refers me to her LFS for fish, I only get fish from there when the wife suprises me and the kids or my sister does, however they get the 15 day qt in a plain 10g till I see no signs of change or problem is cured.

Why cant you do the salt thing? the cories are fine with it and so are pleco's

I put an ice pack on a corner of the 10g when I get the QT temp up high for treatments, I have a thermometer suspended in that corner, in the middle and then the other side, also use a surface infrared thermometer for surface temps by the filter outlet. It cools it down enough to give some relief but the cold doesnt move when the tank is that warm.

Keep researching im not finding much saying the heat+salt will hurt those fish, you might not be able to take it real high but im sure you can get near 85 without any issues. or take them out to the QT tank and treat the main tank with heat and salt and treat the QT with some heat and maybe medication if needed.
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