Can't get water clear on new tank

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Aquarium Advice Newbie
Dec 23, 2021
Hi. I've had a 10 gal for years and decided to upgrade to a 36 gal bowtank. I filled it, (sand substrate) added cycle, moved the existing decorations from the 10 gal over along with a few litres of tank water. I waited a week before I moved the 5 fish I had in the 10 gal over. I also added some anubias. Week 3, I wasn't used to the extra bright top fin light and had a pretty good algae bloom so I turned the light off for the better part of 4 days, rinsed the plants and changed the light set up. It still seems cloudy and green tinged and I'm going into week 6. Test strips just show low amount of nitrates. I did 5 gal water changes week 3 and 5 and gently rinsed the filters in the canister (with tank water) a couple days ago and that hasn't helped a whole lot either. I was concerned about losing the bacteria if I did more. I did rinse the sand multiple times before set up but maybe not enough. I also tried water clarifier and that seem to help but only temporarily. Any thoughts on where I go from here.
Is the tank in the same position as your old tank? Might it be getting more natural light than your old tank?
It is in the same spot glass is higher up maybe more exposed. It would be getting daylight from my front door window.
Some of it is particles from the sand, can I do multiple water changes at this point or is it too early?
Your tank is probably cycling. Moving some decorations will have been of some benefit and swapping tank water will have done nothing beneficial. Moving the filter or filter media would have been the way to go.

Im assuming you are using 5in1 /6in1 test strips. These dont normally include an ammonia test. Can you confirm your test results? Actual numbers? If you arent able to test for ammonia then i would be changing 1/3 of the water daily until you can be sure of your ammonia. After that you need to follow a fish in cycle process. Do you need advice on cycling a tank?

Cloudiness is normal in a tank that is cycling and should clear as the cycle establishes. Sand shouldnt be still floating about about after several weeks, but water changes should help with particles suspended in the water.
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I did take one Marina filter from the 10 gal and put it in the 36 for about 3 days initially too. Noted about the water swap. I wasn't testing high ammonia at the end of one week and the one fish store confirmed it was OK to move the existing fish over.
I am using strips but also have a separate ammonia test strip. That's clear now but I don't have actual numbers, guessing less than 0.5. It did show a bit of color a few weeks back though and the fish store confirmed I did have a low ammonia level, about 0.7, which we assumed was the bottom end of a cycle. Aiming for the liquid test kit kit but it's onback order, they're a popular item.
Ii have read your other posts about cycling. I'll try to figure where I am in it and do a few more small water changes. The water actually looks clearer today than it did yesterday. I'm only having the light on blue/white 6 hours a day right now. Red the other 4 hours, or is that bad info that algae grows faster in blue or white light?
Algae loves blue light. I’m only using 3% of my blue light power and the plants are thriving with just enough algae for the ottos, Siamese algae eaters, and Bristlenose.
Cycling time, so be patient. 3 days of the old filter wouldn't have been enough. It takes about 6-8 weeks to get a BB colony going.

Grab some Purigen and plop it in. Also if you still need you may want to get some fine filter/ polishing pads which can really capture the small stuff in the water. I position mine in top of the outflow of the filter water. Rinse as needed, which might be more at first.

And if the Purigen doesn't seem to help enough, maybe some water clarifyier in conjunction with the polishing pads. Api Accu-Clear works well for me.

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