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Old 02-28-2011, 02:10 PM   #1
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Cloudy water! A little help please...

Woke up this morning and my water was pretty cloudy. I figured it was a bloom of bacteria so I changed about 25% of the water, and cleaned out my filter. Before I changed it the water the readings were: PH 8.0, Ammonia .25, nitrite 0, and nitrate 5.0. Should changing the water help out with the problem? Its a 125 with about 60 lbs of lr, its home to a lionfish, rabbitfish, clownfish, hippo tang, and 2 damsels. They would all be considered small in size...The tank has been running for abour 4 months with no incident at all. Thanks for all the help
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:56 PM   #2
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I agree it's most likely a bacteria bloom. Something has occurred that caused your ammonia to spike to 0.25. Had any deaths or losses lately?
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:43 PM   #3
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None at all...Very strange...It is a bit better now but not all the way...
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:51 PM   #4
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You are most likely experiencing calcium precipitation. This is when calcium and alkalinity and magnesium are out of balance and the calcium molecules cannot remain soluble. Low
Magnesium levels will cause this or too high of calcium levels will also cause this. It is harmless to your fish but will have an impact if you ever try to grow corals. Coralline algae and other organisms in your tank will impact your water parameters by using up cal, alk, and mag. These three parameters need to remain in balance.

Do you test your parameters? If you want a clear tank, you will need to monitor Alkalinity, Magnesium, and Calcium.
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:13 PM   #5
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No I don't check them...I didn't know that I had to...Other than buying the chemicals to bring them up or down what else do I need to do to get the water clear? Do I need to change more of the water?
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:25 PM   #6
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Water changes should clear it up. Eventually the precipitate should balance out one it's own. Once the excess calcium gets taken up by your coralline algae, etc the water should clear up. You should ask yourself what are those chemicals in the pretty bottles with fish on them anyway? I'm sure the answers are on the web.

It really depends on your goals for your tank. If you only want to keep fish with LR, your parameter levels shouldn't change that quickly, especially in a 120 g. However water change water can vary from bucket to bucket and batch of salt to batch of salt. Do you mix your own water?
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:34 PM   #7
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Yes I mix my own water...I like to keep my tank around 1.022. I have been messing with the salt for quite a while and I'm able to keep my water pretty accurate. I just use tap water and use an additive to make the tap water safe... After I change some of the water out I let the tank cycle the water andif I need to add salt I syphon some of the water back out and add it to the existing water...any other suggestions you may have to make my life easier? I think my next investment will be an RODI unit...How much of the water should I change to get it clear again?
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:48 PM   #8
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I'd highly recommend RO/DI. TDS = Total Dissolved Solids are high coming out of any tap source, relative to reefing.

Do your usual water changes and you should be fine. My TDS measures triple zeros after my DI. I can notice algae growth in tank if that number creeps anywhere above zero. Good luck.
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