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Old 07-26-2021, 01:53 PM   #1
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Help stabilizing tank

I have a 54 gallon corner bow filtered by fluval 407 that's been cycled but is only 3 months old. Today my water seems white cloudy. I use Api master kit for all readings which are pH 7ish, am 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 5ppm and Api test strip for KH & GH which is 40 & 180. I have hard water I treat with prime and I also have RO water. PH of tap water is 7.6 and RO 6.8. I'm a little unsure what to do right now... treat to raise ph? Just change carbon in filter? Water change with tap/prime?.. RO with some ph up? Please help I don't want to mess things up my fish are very happy.. and even after feeding never getting anything but zero ammonia & nitrite. I have 3 angels, 3 swordtails, and a redtail shark. And also a few mystery snails.
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Old 07-26-2021, 03:16 PM   #2
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Is that a photo of the cloudy water? It doesnt look too bad at all.

Cloudy water is usually a sign of a bacterial bloom indicating nutrients are out of balance. This is common in a cycling tank/newly cycled tank and usually clears up on its own in a couple of weeks. Did you see this during your cycle?

Try water changes. You could try carbon. It might absorb some of the organic compounds feeding the bacteria. Do you have plenty of surface agitation to supply oxygen to the water?

The nuclear option is a UV steriliser. This will clear it in a day so but not cure the cause.

Edit: Don't try chemically altering pH. Most fish can acclimate to a wide range of pH. Unless your pH is way out there or you need a pH for particularly sensitive its usually best to let it settle where it naturally settles.
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Old 07-26-2021, 03:23 PM   #3
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Hi Jaspian,

I want you to pretend for a moment that you don’t have any test kits. You don’t have RO water or pH down.

Tell us, are your fish showing signs of distress? If the answer is no then there really is nothing to worry about.

Did you know the liquid KH test kit doesn’t even measure KH? Strips are notoriously more inaccurate than liquid so they are probably telling you something really meaningless.

When you try to do something meaningful with meaningless results this creates confusion and anxiety.

You are the best test kit. Look at your fish. Your own test kit (your eyes) have given you the most accurate pieces of information so far. With the results you can do something meaningful and usually that is never to get the test kits out but 90% of the time to correct tank issues it is to change some water.

In this case you have identified cloudy water. Generally, this is a ‘bacterial bloom’ and never really a good thing to see. This is because there is some microbial instability. Likely causes are disruption to the filter media, washing in tap water or cleaning too vigorously in a young tank, or disturbing the substrate.

The second thing you have identified is that the fish are healthy.

With this information we can continue as normal but be more mindful of disturbing the biological filter in future.

If however the cloudy water has a green hue this is likely an algae bloom. Harmless but a bit of a pain. No chemicals will help, only a UV light for a quick fix or patience for a long term fix.

In the words of the great Primus….’Fish On’
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Old 07-26-2021, 03:31 PM   #4
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The photo doesn't really show it but with eyes is whitish cloudy can especially tell when looking at the black angels when they are mid tank or further.
Yes the tank is cycles. There is some surface flow from the fluval canister and the back corner does have a 4 inch x 1 inch air stone running but I turned it to slow since my pregnant swordtail has been hanging back in the plants.
I have not distributed the rocks (unless the mystery snails could) but I have a lot of surface area with corner tank and I have not opened my canister at all since the tank started running.
But I'll I'm glad you agree with no chemical treatment.. my worry was that it's too much hardness/calcium from my tap water but didn't want to lower ph by using RO.
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Old 07-26-2021, 03:45 PM   #5
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Thank you these tests are driving me crazy and yes all my fish are great and snails as well. Just got worried seeing the white cloud and originally only thought to test bc someone told me to check hardness before I give my snails calcium chips.
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Old 07-27-2021, 08:20 AM   #6
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Another opinion that you should change with just tap water unless there is something chemically wrong with your water that would be a danger to your fish. By not modifying your tap water you take one more variable out of the equation when you do have an issue. The fish also aren't subject to swings in pH if you don't mix it the same every time.

When I had my 55 I had to add baking soda because my tap water is the opposite of yours - no hardness and low pH. I wish I could've changed water without having to mix and test before pumping it into the tank.
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Old 07-27-2021, 08:35 AM   #7
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I have chloramine in my water so when I was cycling and I had a nitrite spike I needed larger water changes and thus I would use 5 gallons tap treated with prime and 5 RO so I think I probably should've just keep using my tap water.. which I am now doing so maybe in time ph will stabilize? Only then worried the hardness will stay 180+ but not necessarily sure that is something I should be worried about or not.
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