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Old 10-03-2021, 09:14 PM   #1
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Milky White Water


The water in my school's tank recently became milky white, as such:

Water parameters:
Nitrite & Nitrate: close to 0 ppm
Temperature: 25 degrees C
pH: 6.5 (usual ~7)
kH: 50 (mg/L)
gH: 90 (mg/L)

It became like this all of a sudden. The tank water was clear for a month.

The recent thing that might be blamed is that I washed 1/2 of the ceramic rings in the canister filter using water from a drinking fountain and then changed 40% of the water two days later because there are algae. The filter's a Tetra ex 800 plus (but it's down to 200 liters per hour or something due to clogged pipes, I will be changing them tomorrow). The tank is 180 liters in volume.

I looked this data up, and people say that it's bacterial growth and it's going to go away on its own. I'm not sure if that's the thing happening in my case though; this has been the case for four days and isn't getting better.

The fish still has their appetite and none of them are dead (yet).

Can anyone please help? Thanks in advance.

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Old 10-03-2021, 10:04 PM   #2
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Holy poop, I thought my tank was bad!

I’m in the same boat, though the water isn’t near that cloudy and I didn’t do anything physically to cause it.

My water has become milky cloudy for a week or 2 now and so far the fish don’t seem effected at all. Water changes and increased aeration haven’t seemed to clear it up yet
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Old 10-04-2021, 01:25 AM   #3
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Yes. That looks like a biological bloom caused by bacteria taking advantage of nutrient inbalance. This is common in a newly established tank and normally clears up as the tank establishes. Ive certainly seen cloudiness like that and it took a week to 10 days to clear.

A few points and questions.

How old is the tank? What types of fish and how many do you have?

What do you know about the nitrogen cycle? Do you know how to cycle a tank? If so how did you cycle the tank?

Im assuming you tested your water with a 5 in 1 test strip. 5 in 1/ 6 in 1 test strips are notoriously inaccurate and dont cover the parameter that is most likely causing your issue. Ammonia. A liquid test kit like API freshwater master test kit covers what you need (pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate), is fairly easy to use, will be more accurate than test strips, and while more expensive up front will be more cost effective as you get 100s of tests from it. Regardless you need to test for ammonia.

Your test result of 0 nitrate (or close to 0) tells me you arent cycled. Nitrate is the end product of the nitrogen cycle and is normally only removed with water changes. Change 50% of the water to clean (0ppm nitrate) water and you remove half the nitrate. A cycled tank should therefore be showing some nitrate. An uncycled tank should be showing some ammonia and/or nitrite depending on how far along your cycle is. You arent showing anything in your water test at all, although your test isnt covering ammonia yet.

I assume the water from the fountain is treated with chlorine or chloramine. This will kill off any benenficial bacteria that will have established. Always rinse with water taken from the tank or treat tap water you use with water conditioner.

If you are seeing excess algae, that's usually a sign of too much light. Is the tank in direct sunlight? Or how long do you have the aquarium lights on for?

Your pipes are clogged? What are they clogged with? Again i'll go back to how long have you had the tank? What has been your water change schedule? How much and how often?

Until you are able to test for ammonia i would change half of the water daily. That looks a lot of fish for a cycled tank, and i dont think you are cycled so that makes it worse.

Im making a lot of assumptions here, so please correct me if im wrong anywhere and any additional information you can provide will be useful.
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ate, water, white, white water

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