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Cloudy tank won't clear up

Discussion in 'Freshwater Newbie Forum' started by FishyWarrior, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. FishyWarrior

    FishyWarrior AC Members

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    I've had a 5 gallon betta tank for a little over a month now and the water got super cloudy suddenly and just won't clear up.

    When i first started up the tank i had the same cloudiness that i expected from first putting water in, but all that cleared up in about a day or two. The cycle was completed very quickly because i used filter media from my other established tank to help this one along and i put my betta in a week later. All was good for several weeks but now, after i cleaned the filter and put a second bag of media (uncycled), it went back to this and has stayed this way for a full week now.

    Since then i took out the second bag and replaced it with the carbon to see if that would help but it doesn't seem to have changed anything over several days. Parameters still look good, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, low nitrates. I also do 20% water changes twice a week. When i do change the water, the stuff i take out almost has a yellow color to it even though i can't really see that in the tank itself.

    It seems like a bacterial bloom, but is it supposed to happen twice? and for this long?

    I'm not sure if this is connected, but i'm assuming the wisteria in the tank is dying off because they aren't getting as much light as they used to with all the cloudiness. It's mostly old leaves wilting and pretty much rotting away and covered in holes, but i even notice it to a lesser extent in new growth. Although the hairgrass and java fern both seem to still be going strong.

    I have no idea what to do to fix this. My sister has the same tank as me and her water is still crystal clear (though she hasn't had it long enough to need to clean the filter yet). Any help or idea what could be going on here?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. myswtsins

    myswtsins AC Members

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    When you cleaned the filter did you replace the media, or rinse it in tank water or under the facquet? Does the cloudiness subside at all right after a water change?

    If you don't think you've upset the biological cycle then it's probably an algae bloom, green water algae specifically. It is not always as green as you would expect and the yellow water you remove fits. Since you say your nutrients are very low then excess lighting would be the #1 culprit. What kind of lights do you have and how long are they on? You could try a 100% blackout, uv filter or daphnia. Plants look plenty strong enough to survive a 3 day blackout without issue.
     
  3. fishorama

    fishorama AC Members

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    I'm with Jen, it could be algae. Your plants look healthy, even the wisteria. In addition to length of lighting (try no more than 6 hours) you can try some fine filter media like floss or quilt batting (no fire retardant) to see if that helps. Just because you can't see well doesn't mean there's really much of a "tank issue".
     
  4. FishyWarrior

    FishyWarrior AC Members

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    I thought i might have disrupted the cycle, but i used a bucket of tank water to scrunch out the sponge and shake the media bag, so i highly doubt it is that.

    I don't know what light it is specifically, it came with the tank. Which is a fluval spec. I keep the lights on for about 10 hours a day, i have them on a timer. Right behind the tank are blackout curtains so i don't think the sun is affecting it any. I can reduce the time to about 9 hours if that would help. Though it's strange, my sister's tank gets MORE light than mine and is perfectly clear. Clearest water i've ever seen.

    I can try the blackout though, it'll be a little hard since i have a tank very near to it filled to the brim with baby guppies that need many more hours of light...now i'm starting to wonder if that's the culprit though...They were born coincidentally the same day this all started.

    I'll put up a barrior between the two tanks and keep the lights off for a couple days and see if that fixes things, thanks for you help!
     
  5. FreshyFresh

    FreshyFresh AC Members

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    Could this be diatoms? I'd do more like 80% water changes several times a week until it clears up, then reduce per your parameters.
     
  6. OrionGirl

    OrionGirl No freelancing!

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    Diatoms aren't free swimming. It might help to diagnose the issue if you take a clear glass of the tank water and look at it on a white background. Algae will look green, bacteria will look white or off white. Keep in mind that a bacterial bloom that clouds the water has nothing to do with the bacteria that process nitrogen--nitrifiers are not free floating. They remain stuck to objects. There are lots of different microfauna that live in our tanks, though, and population imbalances aren't terribly uncommon.
     
  7. FishyWarrior

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    Ok so i got back from seeing my friend for 5 days and i come back and there's a very gross slimey coating on literally everything in the tank. Plants, rocks, walls, even the surface of the water. The light was off for a few days too and the cloudiness hasn't cleared.

    The color of the water i take out is more yellow than it is green though.

    I hope it comes across well enough in these pictures.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. OrionGirl

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    Water parameters?/ What's in the tank? Was it fed?
     
  9. trigiver01

    trigiver01 Follow HIM and be fishers of men!

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    Definitely seems like a bacterial bloom to me; it explains the cloudiness and the slime coating.

    Check and post your parameters at least daily to make sure you're not missing a surge of something. I would also recommend increasing your tank aeration to help supply oxygen to fish (some blooms have been shown to decrease dissolved oxygen as bacteria use it up) as well as "choke out" any anaerobes responsible for the bloom.

    Have you changed anything in the tank? Food source, fertilizers for the plants, etc?
     
  10. FishyWarrior

    FishyWarrior AC Members

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    Huh...I just checked and ammonia is at .50 while the other two are at 0. Did the cycle reset itself? I don't think there's any reason it should have, i used fully cylcled media for this tank right off the bat. For the first month that this tank was up the tests told me that it was cycled. I haven't really changed anything, i dose with excel everyday and flourish twice a week for the plants. All that's in this tank are a few nerite snails and a betta. The only thing that i can think of is after i put in a marimo moss ball this started happening. But i don't think i want to blame it on that cause that's just silly.

    I'll swap out the media bags with others that i know are fully cycled as well and see if that clears fixes things? In the mean time i'll be doing water changes every day so my poor betta doesn't have to sit in this for long.

    Does that slime go away on its own by the way? what is it exactly and what causes it?
     

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