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Old 04-30-2011, 10:57 AM   #1
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Newly Cycled Tank but Cloudy Water

Tank: 65gal
pH: 7.9
Ammonia: ~0
NitrIte: 0
NitrAte: 5ppm
Stock: 5 otos, 1 male betta, 1 red platy, community of MTS

I've been doing PWC every 3 days because I have a ton of driftwood in this tank and it's leeching tannins into the water badly. My tank water has maintained the light brown color you'd expect in this scenario. However, in the last week or so the water has been getting progressively cloudier. My wife and I were concerned for the health of the fish so we did a 30-35% PWC, and used PRIME to add a burst of bacteria.

Here we are 3 days later, and the water is cloudy again. I'm really confused because my water parameters are perfect yet the water looks terrible. Am I missing something?

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Old 04-30-2011, 11:07 AM   #2
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Have u tried boiling ur driftwood? And also add carbon into ur filter it helps to clear the water! And as for ur cloudy water, I think ur doin to many frequent water changes! Try reducing it. I think the cloudy water is the result of ur filter trying to grow more bacteria
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Old 04-30-2011, 04:58 PM   #3
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I soaked the driftwood in my tub for several days in scalding hot water, then I soaked it in a kiddie pool for over a month. Finally, I aged my driftwood in the sun/weather for six+ months.

The driftwood is too large to boil with any container I have. Bottom line, I dont think the driftwood is the source of the cloudiness, only the tea-colored tannins. I forgot to mention we added Purigen to the filter media in my HOB filter (also has carbon).

Your statement about doing PWC too frequently puzzles me b/c I was under the impression that it was impossible to do too many PWCs. I'm not rinsing my filter media, I'm just syphoning out dirty/cloudy water.

Anyone else got input on this?
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Old 04-30-2011, 05:03 PM   #4
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Sounds like a bacterial bloom to me. Daily 50% PWC should clear it up in 3-4 days.

Prime is the best, but it does not add bacteria to your system. As for the tannins, as long it's not heavy tea water looking, it won't hurt your fish. I've found that poly-fil will trap the tannin particles very well.
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Old 04-30-2011, 05:09 PM   #5
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Sounds like a bacterial bloom to me. Daily 50% PWC should clear it up in 3-4 days.

Prime is the best, but it does not add bacteria to your system. As for the tannins, as long it's not heavy tea water looking, it won't hurt your fish. I've found that poly-fil will trap the tannin particles very well.
I might have the brand names confused, but I do have a bottle of bacteria that I use occasionally. Prime must be the dechlorination product I use. Either way, thank for the heads up, we'll just wait it out and continue our PWC every 3-4 days.
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Old 04-30-2011, 05:20 PM   #6
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How long do you keep the lights on. Carbon will clear the water up but it sounds like a bacterial bloom. I often suffer from this if I leave the lights on two long. The lights are for plants not fish. At night cover the tank so that there is no light at all. Only put the light on for about 6 hours a day depending on how many plants you have. When you turn the lights out re cover the tank. Reduce feeding or maybe skip a day. There is always something they can nibble on. When you do a water change keep the dirty water and clean your filter media in it. Don't do massive water changes 25% will do. Hope this helps.
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Old 04-30-2011, 05:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by CorporateGranola

I might have the brand names confused, but I do have a bottle of bacteria that I use occasionally. Prime must be the dechlorination product I use. Either way, thank for the heads up, we'll just wait it out and continue our PWC every 3-4 days.
Gotcha. Sorry, meant to do PWC 3-4 days in a row to clear a BB.
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:01 PM   #8
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How long do you keep the lights on.
The tank is heavily planted. The lights are on a timer with a 12/12 schedule.

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Carbon will clear the water up but it sounds like a bacterial bloom. I often suffer from this if I leave the lights on two long. The lights are for plants not fish. At night cover the tank so that there is no light at all. Only put the light on for about 6 hours a day depending on how many plants you have. When you turn the lights out re cover the tank.
I have never heard of anyone covering their tank after lights-out. There are only two diurnal species in the tank, but they are both approaching 2 years old and don't seem to be showing any stress from being relocated from their old 12gal enclosure.

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Reduce feeding or maybe skip a day. There is always something they can nibble on. When you do a water change keep the dirty water and clean your filter media in it. Don't do massive water changes 25% will do. Hope this helps.
They only get fed every 3 days so overfeeding really isn't an issue, but I know that leftover food can foul the water so I actively try to avoid overfeeding.

Thanks to everyone for helping us, but I think the bacterial bloom seems to be the general consensus. I don't want to add any chemicals to the water so my only option (based on everyone's feedback) is to just keep up the PWC until it clears up. Because of my plants I really can't pull my lights down to 6 hours per day. The minimum recommend for planted tanks is 8-10 on/16-14 off & many folks just rely on 12/12.

Sources:
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ay-129978.html
How long do you leave your aquarium light on each day?
The Correct Lighting for Your Aquarium

PS: If you have an iPhone, I highly recommend the aquaPlanner app! It helps immensely with scheduling maintenance and customizing alerts!
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