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Old 08-30-2013, 03:44 PM   #1
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Dusty looking water?

The water in my 20 gallon tank with an AquaClear 50 filter looks dusty. Like tiny little particles in the water also making it look foggy. I've done gravel vacums/water changes, installed a water polishing pad in the filter, etc. I asked a PetSmart employee about it and she said I should try feeding my fish less. I'm feeding them once in the morning now, I feed as much as they will eat in about 1-2 minutes. I also feed algae wafers to my 4 cory cats. Why is the water always like this? I don't understand why the filter isn't catching the particles.

Any help would be appriceated!
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Old 08-30-2013, 04:54 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by wyatt_o View Post
The water in my 20 gallon tank with a AquaClear 50 filter looks dusty. Like tiny little particles in the water also making it look foggy. I've done gravel vacums/water changes, installed a water polishing pad in the filter, etc. I asked a PetSmart employee about it and she said I should try feeding my fish less. I'm feeding them once in the morning now, I feed as much as they will eat in about 1-2 minutes. I also feed algae wafers to my 4 cory cats. Why is the water always like this? I don't understand why the filter isn't catching the particles?

Any help would be appriceated!
Is it tiny little bubbles?
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by wyatt_o View Post
The water in my 20 gallon tank with a AquaClear 50 filter looks dusty. Like tiny little particles in the water also making it look foggy. I've done gravel vacums/water changes, installed a water polishing pad in the filter, etc. I asked a PetSmart employee about it and she said I should try feeding my fish less. I'm feeding them once in the morning now, I feed as much as they will eat in about 1-2 minutes. I also feed algae wafers to my 4 cory cats. Why is the water always like this? I don't understand why the filter isn't catching the particles?

Any help would be appriceated!
Pictures might help
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:22 PM   #4
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How long have you had the tank and what are your water parameters? It could be a bacteria bloom
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Old 08-30-2013, 06:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Sillyfishies View Post
Is it tiny little bubbles?
No, I don't think so. It just looks like little white dust-like particles.
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Old 08-30-2013, 06:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Sidman24 View Post
Pictures might help
I will upload some as soon as I can later tonight.
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Old 08-30-2013, 06:18 PM   #7
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How long have you had the tank and what are your water parameters? It could be a bacteria bloom
I've had the tank up and running with fish in it for about a month or more. I used Tetra SafeStart to cycle the tank, all the fish are healthy. I've looked up pictures of a bacteria bloom and it doesn't look like whats in mine. You can only really notice it up close. And what do you mean by "water parameters"?

Thanks!
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:07 PM   #8
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By water parameters I mean your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate readings from when you test your water. Your ammonia and nitrite should be at 0, and your nitrate should generally be fairly low (>50 or so). If your readings are not similiar to that, you may have a bacteria bloom.

If you don't have a test kit (which is a VERY good investment) you will have to go to your local store to test your water
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Soupy97 View Post
By water parameters I mean your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate readings from when you test your water. Your ammonia and nitrite should be at 0, and your nitrate should generally be fairly low (>50 or so). If your readings are not similiar to that, you may have a bacteria bloom.

If you don't have a test kit (which is a VERY good investment) you will have to go to your local store to test your water
Well I don't have a test kit, mainly just because the fish have always been healthy so I just haven't found the need to buy one. I still don't think it's a bac bloom. I've seen pictures of what they looks like and it doesn't look the same. I will get the water tested the next time I go to PetSmart.
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:39 PM   #10
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Here are some pics of it

Click image for larger version

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Old 08-30-2013, 09:26 PM   #11
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Well it might not be a bacteria bloom, but a couple of things make me think it is:

-Your tank is only 1 month old so your water is not very stable yet. This would make a bacteria bloom much more likely.
-Your filter is not catching the particles. During a bacteria bloom, the filter will not catch anything, as in your situation. And if there were actually particles in your water, I don't know why the filter would not catch it (like you said).
-It looks like a bacteria bloom to me. I know you said it doesn't, but based on the pictures it seems to look like that. Obviously you know what it looks like better than I do, I only have the pictures you posted to look at. Pictures look like a bacteria bloom however.

Now I could be completely wrong. The only other thing I think it could be is green water algae. I can't tell if the water is green based on the pictures which is why im not sure if it is this.
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Soupy97 View Post
Well it might not be a bacteria bloom, but a couple of things make me think it is:

-Your tank is only 1 month old so your water is not very stable yet. This would make a bacteria bloom much more likely.
-Your filter is not catching the particles. During a bacteria bloom, the filter will not catch anything, as in your situation. And if there were actually particles in your water, I don't know why the filter would not catch it (like you said).
-It looks like a bacteria bloom to me. I know you said it doesn't, but based on the pictures it seems to look like that. Obviously you know what it looks like better than I do, I only have the pictures you posted to look at. Pictures look like a bacteria bloom however.

Now I could be completely wrong. The only other thing I think it could be is green water algae. I can't tell if the water is green based on the pictures which is why im not sure if it is this.
It could very well be a bac bloom, just what made me think it wasn't is that the pictures I looked at online of one didn't look like mine, but pictures can be deceiving. So I have a few questions:

What causes a bac bloom? I'm sure my tank is cycled because all the fish are healthy. (If the tank being cycled has anything to do with it)

How long will a bac bloom last?

What can I do to stop the bac bloom?

Also about the algae, I usually keep all the algae scrubbed off, so I don't think that is what it is. I haven't noticed green water either.

Thank you so much! You're being very helpful.
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:24 PM   #13
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A bacteria bloom is the result of an "upset" in the cycle of your tank. If you feed too much a couple days, or maybe a couple of plants die, or pretty much anything that could produce more ammonia in your tank than usual, will cause it.

What happens is that there is a regular amount of ammonia produced in your tank, and you will produce enough beneficial bacteria in your tank to eat just enough of that ammonia. If you add more fish or do something like I listed above, there will suddenly be more ammonia in the tank than the bacteria you have can handle, so more bacteria is created. This is called a bacteria bloom. After all the bacteria to eat the ammonia is created, another bacteria bloom to eat the nitrite that is produced will be created as well. It is sometimes called a mini cycle as well.

When a bacteria bloom occurs, no amount of filtration will get rid of the cloudiness. It will just go away after the bloom is over (unless you use some special additives).

The bacteria bloom will usually last as long as it took to cycle your tank, but it is a miniature version of the cycle and is therefore less harmful to your fish. The actual cloudiness however, generally only lasts about a week. If it goes away and comes back, that is the second production of bacteria and would probably take about another week. (A week is a long estimate too).

To stop a bacteria bloom you would have to find the new source of ammonia in your tank and remove it. This may or may not be practical (I.E. Removing 10 fish isn't practical, but getting rid of dying plants is).

And the green water algae is not found on the glass, it is in the water and makes it green and cloudy. If your water is not green then you don't have to worry about this.

The only way to know for sure is if you test your water and find out what the parameters are.

I hope you find this helpful, if its not a bacteria bloom or green water algae I don't really know what it could be.
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:34 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Soupy97 View Post
A bacteria bloom is the result of an "upset" in the cycle of your tank. If you feed too much a couple days, or maybe a couple of plants die, or pretty much anything that could produce more ammonia in your tank than usual, will cause it.

What happens is that there is a regular amount of ammonia produced in your tank, and you will produce enough beneficial bacteria in your tank to eat just enough of that ammonia. If you add more fish or do something like I listed above, there will suddenly be more ammonia in the tank than the bacteria you have can handle, so more bacteria is created. This is called a bacteria bloom. After all the bacteria to eat the ammonia is created, another bacteria bloom to eat the nitrite that is produced will be created as well. It is sometimes called a mini cycle as well.

When a bacteria bloom occurs, no amount of filtration will get rid of the cloudiness. It will just go away after the bloom is over (unless you use some special additives).

The bacteria bloom will usually last as long as it took to cycle your tank, but it is a miniature version of the cycle and is therefore less harmful to your fish. The actual cloudiness however, generally only lasts about a week. If it goes away and comes back, that is the second production of bacteria and would probably take about another week. (A week is a long estimate too).

To stop a bacteria bloom you would have to find the new source of ammonia in your tank and remove it. This may or may not be practical (I.E. Removing 10 fish isn't practical, but getting rid of dying plants is).

And the green water algae is not found on the glass, it is in the water and makes it green and cloudy. If your water is not green then you don't have to worry about this.

The only way to know for sure is if you test your water and find out what the parameters are.

I hope you find this helpful, if its not a bacteria bloom or green water algae I don't really know what it could be.
It's been going on for more than a week I'm sure. I don't have live plants so that's not part of it. I have been adding fish recently, I just got what should be the last one a few days ago. I will get the water tested soon and see what's going on there. And like I said I cycled the tank with Tetra SafeStart, so I guess you could say it cycled in 24 hrs. I added 2 platys and kept them in it for a few days and then started adding my other fish a few at a time. From what you're saying it is very much looking like a bac bloom. I hope that is indeed what it is and it goes away at some point.

Yes, you are being very helpful. Thanks!
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:15 PM   #15
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He water significantly cleared up yesterday. I hope it's clears up completely soon. I guess it was a bac bloom :/ I'm sure it lasted for more than a week though.

Thanks for your help!
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