Cloudy water Help

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Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Jan 10, 2023
Hello my name is Kassandra I am new to aquariums. I have a 29 gallon that is filled with tap water. I live in pa so we have very hard and chlorine. I have put water conditioner in it along with stress coat. When I use the dip stick everything is on point. I have 30 shrimp 5 mystery snails and 2 nitrate snails. Dose anyone have any ideas on how to get the water clear? I was also thinking about getting a bottom feeder?


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Hi Kassandra and welcome to the forum :)

How long has the tank been set up for?
How long have you had the shrimp and snails?

What sort of filter is on the tank?
How often and how do you clean the filter?

How often do you do water changes and how much do you change?
Do you gravel clean the substrate (looks like sand) when you do a water change?
Do you dechlorinate the new water before adding it to the tank?


Don't add any new fish, shrimp or snails until this problem is resolved.

Don't add any bottom feeding fish either because they will starve. The shrimp and snails will deal with any food on the bottom.


If a fish ever gets sick or the tank doesn't look right (cloudy water), do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for a week, or until the problem is identified. If you have sand on the bottom of the tank, just hoover over the top to remove any uneaten food and fish waste.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.


You need a picture on the back of the tank to make the inhabitants feel more secure. You can buy aquarium backings from any pet shop or online. You can also use coloured card, newspaper or a plastic bin liner. Just tape them to the outside on the back of the tank.

Some floating plants like Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides/ cornuta) would shade the tank and encourage the shrimp to come out more. More live plants growing in the substrate would help too. Some good plants to try include Ambulia, Hygrophila polysperma, Amazon sword plants, narrow Vallis.
This tank has been only up about a month. Some shrimp I have had for a few months same with some snails. This was a problem before the new additions. I have a 5 gallon aquarium also. The problem with that was it got infested with pest snails. I had to take the whole aquarium apart. So I had to put everyone in this aquarium.
Dose anyone have any ideas how to make the water safe take out the chlorine? Do the water conditioners do that?

Filter is for FEDOUR 4W 5W Adjustable Aquarium Internal Filter, Submersible Filter with Spray Bar, Water Pump for 1-40 Gallon
I am getting a filter for 50 gallon
The milky cloudy water is normally caused by a filter that hasn't cycled yet. Cycling a filter is where you get beneficial bacteria to live in the filter media/ materials and these bacteria help break down ammonia and turn it into nitrite, and more bacteria turn the nitrite into nitrate. It normally takes around 4-6 weeks for this process to occur but can take longer in cooler conditions. If you replace any filter media you can get rid of the good bacteria and start the cycling process again.

The easiest way to deal with the cloudy water is with water changes. Just do a big (75%) water change and gravel clean the substrate each day until it clears.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.


Filters should be cleaned at least once a month. However, if the filter is less than 6 weeks old, do not clean it. Wait until it is at least 6 weeks old before you clean it, unless the filter flow slows right down, then clean it. To clean the filter, wash the filter materials/ media in a bucket of tank water and re-use the media. Tip the bucket of dirty water on the garden/ lawn.

You might want a different type of filter to give you more filter media if you plan on adding fish. Internal power filters are usually small and have small sponges that can clog up quickly. An external power filter like an AquaClear HOB (hang on back) style of filter would hold more filter media.

You can wrap a piece of sponge around your current filter to increase the amount of filter media you have. This would be a cheaper option than buying a bigger filter. The water would be drawn through the sponge on the outside and then through the sponge on the inside.


To remove chlorine from tap water you can use a dechlorinator (often sold as a water conditioner). Check the label and see if it says "neutralises chlorine and chloramine". If it does, then you're good to go. These neutralise any chlorine molecules in the water and make it safe for fish. The best way to use a dechlorinator is to fill a bucket with tap water, add the required amount of dechlorinator for that bucket of water, aerate the solution for at least 5 (preferably 30) minutes. Then use the water in the tank.

Chlorine will also come out of water after a day or two if you let the water stand in a bucket. Aeration helps speed up this process but it should still be aerated for 24 hours before use to make sure there is no chlorine left in the water.

Sunlight will also break down chlorine and a bucket of water left out in the sun for 12-24 hours should be free of chlorine too.
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