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Old 01-11-2005, 08:55 AM   #1
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EXTREMELY cloudy water

Generally speaking, what would be causes of extremely cloudy water? The cloud is white, not green. Not "milky" but close. Appeared over a very short time period.

I'm very new to this, I'm sure there is something I don't understand.

Is this the tank cycling?

Thank you.
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Old 01-11-2005, 10:52 AM   #2
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usually the cause yes.... how old is the tank ??
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Old 01-11-2005, 11:00 AM   #3
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How big is the tank, what is in it, how long have you had it? Did anything in particular happen before the cloud? What equpiment is on the tank?

Like c0mf0rt was asking, we need more information to help you would properly
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Old 01-11-2005, 12:49 PM   #4
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28gal, cycling with damsels. Ammonia/nitrate/nitrite spiked way high very suddenly and water went cloudy. Fish seem to be suffering but was under the impression that I should not do a water change during cycling.

small skimmer, canister filter, power filter / biowheel

fish have been in about 2 weeks

I did a bit of research before starting, but I'm getting the feeling I'm in way over my head here...

I'm guessing that these fish will just have to be sacrificed and then I wait for the nitrogen levels to go back to zero before I put anything else alive in there?

thanks.
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Old 01-11-2005, 12:56 PM   #5
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i have seen this in a tank and what was done was i added a power head and it add oxygen to the tank through little bubbles and better water movement. it seemed to help but i am new to this too.
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Old 01-11-2005, 01:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
28gal, cycling with damsels. Ammonia/nitrate/nitrite spiked way high very suddenly and water went cloudy. Fish seem to be suffering but was under the impression that I should not do a water change during cycling.
Typically people would avoid cycling with this fish for this reason. The fish very likely are suffering for sure in that tank, but you can help them with water changes! The bacteria that you want live in the subtrate and filter, not much of it is in the water. Changing the water gets the ammonia and nitriates out of the tank, the the bacteria is relatively unharmed. You can also cycle with raw shrimp, or even live rock. You may want to think about returning the fish to the LFS and cycling the tank without them.

Quote:
small skimmer, canister filter, power filter / biowheel
Sounds like a good start. Are you planning to keep a lot or live rock in the tank, or just a fish only system? There is a lot fo think about with how you filter a marine tank, it all depends on what you want in the tank.

Quote:
fish have been in about 2 weeks
The good news is that the fish are still alive. The bad news is that the cycle may still have weeks to go.

Quote:
I did a bit of research before starting, but I'm getting the feeling I'm in way over my head here...
A lot of people get in over their head starting out a marine tank. If you stick with it, we can help you get that tank up and running (and healthy).

Quote:
I'm guessing that these fish will just have to be sacrificed and then I wait for the nitrogen levels to go back to zero before I put anything else alive in there?
No need to sacrifice the fish! You can very likely save the fish with water changes, or give them back to the LFS.

What do you want in the tank 3 and 6 months from now? Knowing that will allow people to point you in the right direction. Do not be discouraged.
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Old 01-11-2005, 01:14 PM   #7
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i have seen this in a tank and what was done was i added a power head and it add oxygen to the tank through little bubbles and better water movement. it seemed to help but i am new to this too.
The extra water movement is good. The bubbles are not necessary. You would be better off to just point the powerhead at the surface of the water. The water movement at the surface increases oxygen more than enough.
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Old 01-11-2005, 07:21 PM   #8
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My goal for this particular aquarium is a very few fish only. It is my understanding that a tank of this size cannot handle much more than this. It is also my understanding that live rock, inverts, etc. make things much more complicated -- I chose fish only because I thought it would simplify things.

The fish look very bad now -- I've done a water change... changed a large portion of the water because the test results were just sooo horrible and the water looked sooo bad. It cleared up a bit, but within a few hours was extremely cloudy again.

I've removed the fish and put them in a small tank with brand new water. They look very bad, I do not think the LFS will take them back. I realize that they cannot live in this new tank very long at all, but I belive they will surely die if left in my main aquarium (I'm sure at this point someone will mention that I really should have a QT, but I seem to have other issus to try to figure out first).

So then, let me rephraze my question as follows: assuming that the fish perish, I am now left with 28 gallons of cloudy, ammonia/nitrate/nitrite filled water. Do I just let this tank sit empty until the levels return to zero?

Thanks so much... ya'll have been a really big help so far.
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Old 01-11-2005, 07:36 PM   #9
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Get a piece of shrimp from the grocery store and throw in there. This has been the best proven method for cycling a tank besides using lr. It is not uncommon for damsels, even as hardy as they are, to perish from the cycling process. Basically, these fish are exposed to toxic water for a few weeks. Some will make it, and some will not. It is a gamble that many of us have used in the past, but now choose to do a fishless cycle instead for humane reasons.
Cloudy water is definitely a sign of cycling.
And yes. You will want to setup a qt once you have the main tank established and ready to add fish later. Keep stopping by and asking questions. We all want you to be successful in this hobby, and it will keep you from getting frustrated. HTH

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Old 01-11-2005, 07:42 PM   #10
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How long does the shrimp stay in the water? And what is the purpose of now adding shrimp if the ammonia/nitrate/nitrite is already present?

Hope that doesn't sound confrontational... am trying to learn.

Thanks.
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Old 01-11-2005, 08:00 PM   #11
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Not at all my friend. We are all here to learn. The fresh shrimp from the grocery store will cycle the tank breaking down the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate and building a bacterial bed, which is needed for marine life. I would leave it in there for about a week. You will know when it is complete as it will decompose and smell something fierce!
Afterwards, get a test kit that will test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH. Once all your levels are where they need to be you will be fine. My cycle took between 4-6 weeks. I added fish about 2 weeks after that to be on the safe side. HTH

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Old 01-11-2005, 08:50 PM   #12
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This thread has me curious... Why is the shrimp necessary after the cycle has already started? If he's got cloudy water (diatoms are probably next, lol) and his tank already has ammo, trite and trate so it is already building the bacteria necessary to support the system when the time comes. What benefit is there to adding the shrimp now (presuming that there is enough ammo to stress a damsel, which is a lot). He doesn't seem to need any more ammo right now...? I would have *guessed* that he could have just let the cycle finish.

I appreciate the input here. I'm intrigued at the theory.

As for your damsels in QT, keep some aged salt water mixed and up to temp and do frequent water changes (daily or every other as the ammo starts to creep up). Are you getting your water from the LFS or mixing it yourself?
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Old 01-11-2005, 09:09 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Phyl
This thread has me curious... Why is the shrimp necessary after the cycle has already started? If he's got cloudy water (diatoms are probably next, lol) and his tank already has ammo, trite and trate so it is already building the bacteria necessary to support the system when the time comes. What benefit is there to adding the shrimp now (presuming that there is enough ammo to stress a damsel, which is a lot). He doesn't seem to need any more ammo right now...? I would have *guessed* that he could have just let the cycle finish.
This is exactly the question that came to my mind... it seems that everything the waste that would be provided by a rotting shrimp would already be present in my tank. I'm sure there is something that I don't understand, though. lol, I don't seem to understand much!

I don't get the diatom joke... help?

Thanks again.
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Old 01-11-2005, 09:10 PM   #14
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Oh, and to answer the question... I mix my water myself using tap water. What is meant by "aged" salt water?

lol, and I thought I did sooo much research before I started... sigh...
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Old 01-11-2005, 09:47 PM   #15
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Check out the Pesky Diatoms thread below. *Those* diatoms. You get the cloudy water and then the brown algae takes over your tank until you want to put a blanket over it. If you're lucky you get over them in a week or less, unlucky and you're suffering for weeks with them (even worse with the pressure of "my whole family will be here for the holidays and what am I going to tell them about this mungy brown tank I have"?! LOL). After that things miraculously get better and your on your way to finally putting fish that you want to keep in your tank. Nobody tells you about these phases *before* you dump your initial million into your tank though! Well the nice people here would... if I had known enough to ask them!

Research those damsels that you have (there are many types and some of them are agressive and nasty) before you put them back into your tank. You may decide that with your ultimate tank goals these fish don't fit the profile. We went with green chromis first because they tend to be a less agressive sort and look cool in schools.

Aged saltwater would be sw that has been mixing (PH) and heating (heater) for at least 24 hrs before you use it. Using saltwater that hasn't properly dissolved can cause burns to the fish from the salt.

The experts here say that tap water can lead to a tough battle with diatoms due to PO4 in the water. My tap water must not have a PO4 to speak of because we're not having problems with it yet. I'm working on getting my RO/DI installed though so we'll soon be using that to mix up our SW. YMMV.
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Old 01-11-2005, 10:14 PM   #16
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The shrimp at this point will keep a biological load on the bacteria. There is ammonia now but once it cycles to nitrite there will be none. The bacteria will still need to be maintained by providing new ammonia to convert. Of course this is my reasoning on it only. Someone else may be able to shed a different light on this matter.

Diatoms are a normal episode of a new tank. I believe they are primarily caused by silicates. The phosphates in tap water will eventually give you problems with algae. I switched to distilled water for my changes and topoffs. Once you have cycled you can get a cleanup crew of snails etc. to quickly rid the tank of the brown. HTH
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Old 01-12-2005, 01:31 AM   #17
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This thread has me curious... Why is the shrimp necessary after the cycle has already started?
If your damsels pass on because you are the middle of the cycle, what is going to keep the bacteria building? If you add another fish it will likely have the same result.
This post suggests that this was a new setup in the process of the cycle. What I gathered from this is it hasn't been up very long, which means the cycle isn't complete. Without fish or a piece of shrimp, how will the biological bacteria form and maintain itself for future fish?
How long has this tank been setup?
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Old 01-12-2005, 08:12 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Salttanker
How long has this tank been setup?
Fish have been in since 12/28.
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Old 01-12-2005, 09:22 AM   #19
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Try to not feel discouraged, It took about 5 months before my water parameters settled down, and then my evil ex-roomate did something to my tank for revenge because I was moving out. So I had to start over again......I was pretty discouraged, but my bf made me set it back up again, and I'm so glad I did. It is a rewarding and challenging hobby.
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