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Old 02-17-2019, 03:05 PM   #1
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Help - my water is cloudy

I set up my tank (20 gallon) around two months ago-ish. I did a fish-in cycle with a couple of large black skirt tetras and when ammonia and nitrites where back down to zero after around 4 weeks, I added another couple of tetras and then another, so that the tank now holds a school 6 large black skirt tetras. Water went cloudy shortly after I added the new fish, then went clear again - and the parameters stayed stable. (I use the API freshwater master test kit, no strips, and YES, I do remember to shake the bottles vigorously when testing for nitrates).

With the last couple of tetras, I aslo added some live plants and java moss (following advice from our store). Again, water went cloudy but cleared up fast without affecting water parameters.

Then I added 12 red cherry shrimp. No issue.

Then I added 5 kuhli loaches knowing that I would now get close to the limit for my tank (using the calculator on aqadvisor, I should still be good, though) - and since the loaches are young and very small, I figured that would be ok.

Since the tank finished cycling, I have done a weekly 20% water change.
Water parameters have remained stable with ammonia and nitrite at 0 and nitrates less than 10 (but sometimes more than 5).

I was good for about a week. Now my water has gone slightly cloudy (not very cloudy just a faint haze) - and one of my tetras died.

When I test the water there is a slight hint of ammonia (somewhere between zero and .25 - the yellow has a very slight tint of green), nitrite is zero and nitrates less than 10. PH is stable just between 6.8 and 7.

I have done two 20% water changes twice this week with gravel vacuum thinking that I probably overfed (which I did - vacuumed up too much food ) and that I wanted to remove the cause of what I assumed was a bacterial bloom. At the same time, I have fed very minimally to try to resolve it.

But now my bottom is quite clean from what I can see anyway - but the water is still hazy (and I am worried that I will have more dead fish if I don't act), and I cannot figure out why?

I guess I COULD have dead loaches or dead shimp somewhere in there. I have seen both live loaches and live shrimp, but they are fast little suckers, good at hiding and difficult to count, so I cannot say for sure. But there is nothing obvious.

Any ideas at what I should be looking at? Should I just wait for the haze to disappear assured that as long as the parameters are fine - or at least in the reasonable range - everything is fine? and that all my fish aren't going to die just because that one tetra did...?

Or is there something else, I should be doing or investigating?
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Old 02-17-2019, 09:18 PM   #2
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Hazy water that's not due to a bacterial bloom could be either particles stirred up during your gravel vac or it could be the beginnings of an algae bloom. I'm leaning towards an algae bloom as I've dealt with it many times. Could you give more info about the tank? Filtration, lighting, co2 if added, substrate, ferts and anything else you do to the tank.
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Old 02-17-2019, 09:19 PM   #3
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Oh yea. Light cycle time
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Old 02-17-2019, 11:22 PM   #4
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Yes, is it cloudy white or cloudy green.

Cloudy white says the bacterial populations are not stable (ie tank might be cycled but bacteria are not well established to handle any change).
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Old 02-18-2019, 12:17 AM   #5
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When you do your gravel vacs once a week, only lightly vacuum the surface of the gravel. Don't go all the way down or deep into the gravel. 20% water changes every few days without a gravel vac and feed lightly once a day could very well clear it up. Gravel vac, lightly, on like your 3rd water change.

Once your water is cleared up and your back to once a week water changes then bump the percentage up to 40-50%. Stick to that routine and you should be ok.
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goatnad View Post
Hazy water that's not due to a bacterial bloom could be either particles stirred up during your gravel vac or it could be the beginnings of an algae bloom. I'm leaning towards an algae bloom as I've dealt with it many times. Could you give more info about the tank? Filtration, lighting, co2 if added, substrate, ferts and anything else you do to the tank.
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Oh yea. Light cycle time
T. Filter is Marineland Penguin 150B biowheel. I have an extra pad inside the filter - originally added so I could exchange one at a time and still keep some bacteria. Since then I have realized that I do not need to change the filterpads as often as the manufacturer states, mignt not need to change the pad at all, so the second one might not be necessary. But now its there...

Substrate is just regular aquarium gravel. Nothing fancy - just what they sold me as basic gravel when I first got the aquarium and the silk plants. THe plants I have added (beside the moss) are types that accoridng to the LFS would do well in that setting if I just added root tabs.

So, I have added a couple of Seachem Flourish tabs to the gravel.

Lights are LED (so I have chosen plants that are fine with low lights. They are on timer and turned on 7 am to 10 pm (which I now realize might be a tad too long). I do like the lights for decoration, though, so maybe I should add some blue lights for the night and shorten the "daytime".
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Originally Posted by Delapool View Post
Yes, is it cloudy white or cloudy green.

Cloudy white says the bacterial populations are not stable (ie tank might be cycled but bacteria are not well established to handle any change).
It MIGHT be cloudy white, but I am not really sure. It isn't that bad (yet), but it isn't crystal clear either as it has been all through the cycling process, just hazy.

I initially suspected bacterial bloom, but it has been like that for almost a week now and with bacterial bloom, I would assume that it would pass quickly as it did while cycling and adding more fish/plants? Or have I just been lucky to have it pass quickly before...

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer. I really appreciate the help!
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:01 AM   #7
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When you do your gravel vacs once a week, only lightly vacuum the surface of the gravel. Don't go all the way down or deep into the gravel. 20% water changes every few days without a gravel vac and feed lightly once a day could very well clear it up. Gravel vac, lightly, on like your 3rd water change.

Once your water is cleared up and your back to once a week water changes then bump the percentage up to 40-50%. Stick to that routine and you should be ok.
Thank you. I will try that!
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